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Shopping Surprises on the Garden Island

Shopping Surprises on the Garden Island

Central Coast

Kauai Shopping Special - from Kauai MagazineKukui Grove Shopping Center, the main shopping center in Lihue, comes closest to the mainland mall concept, for it is anchored by major department stores that are complimented by a variety of smaller specialty shops. In the Kalapaki Beach area, there are two smaller shopping centers, Anchor Cove and Harbor Mall, nestled along the edge of Nawiliwili Harbor. Both offer clothing, accessories, artwork, and restaurants.

Heading west, just outside of Lihue is a unique shopping experience you won't want to miss. Set in a restored mansion on the spacious grounds of Kilohana Plantation, are several shops with a focus on the arts.

East Side/Coconut Coast

The Kapaa-Wailua area, just north of Lihue on the east side of the island, concentrates many shopping options into a three-mile stretch along Kuhio Highway starting with Kinipopo Shopping Village. Next is The Coconut Marketplace, situated between several hotels and vacation condos, features merchandise in all price ranges including jewelry, casual clothing, art, books, a magic shop, and kites.

Traveling a short distance farther north, you will find Kauai Village, easily recognized by the large-as-life Whaling Wall painted by artist Wyland. The pleasant plantation-style complex houses a large supermarket, drugstore, coffee shop, and several stores featuring Hawaiian products and resort wear, and a natural food market and café. Just north is Waipoli Plaza where you'll find a variety of shopping options. A little farther north on Kuhio Highway puts you in the heart of downtown Kapaa, where a sidewalk stroll takes you to an appealing collection of art galleries, boutiques, small shops, and restaurants full of local color, including the award-winning Blossoming Lotus organic restaurant. At the north end of Kapaa, you see the Kauai Products Fair.

North Shore

On Kauai's north shore, the quaint little town of Hanalei encourages browsing and shopping in the loveliest of settings. Ching Young Village has over twenty shops including a grocery store and a camping and kayaking outfitters store. Across the street, an art gallery, surf shop, and a clothing and gifts store, occupy an old, converted schoolhouse. The smell of gourmet coffee wafts from another nearby group of shops and galleries. In Kilauea, Kong Lung Center offers unique fashions and accessories along with eclectic home furnishings from around the world, presented in a store that is a modern rendition of an original plantation store.

West Side

On the way to Waimea Canyon, in sleepy little Hanapepe, there are several shops and artists' studios housed in quaint, early 20th century buildings. A combination bookstore, espresso bar and vegetarian restaurant has jewelry, art, and gifts for sale.

South Shore

Near the south shore, charming Old Koloa Town, a refurbished sugar mill town from a by-gone era, is a must-see. The little shops and stores, which now house island-style clothing, art galleries, restaurants and gift boutiques, are the original plantation-owned buildings. Each one has a descriptive placard telling the history of the building and its owners. The tiny Koloa History Center in the Old Koloa Town Mall offers a brief introduction to the history of the area featuring a display of artifacts from the old plantation days. Poipu Shopping Village in sunny Poipu, on the south shore, has everything you need on your vacation: suntan lotions, beach mats, swimwear, snorkels and fins, postcards, photo processing, ice, beverages and snacks. You will also find a good selection of jewelry and collectibles to take home.

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