Shopping on Kauai offers everything from quaint old country stores to modern shopping centers. It takes a trip around the island to fully appreciate all that Kauai has to offer. Click here to get started: Kauai Shopping.
The main shopping center in Lihue comes closest to the mainland mall concept, for it is anchored by major department stores complimented by variety and drug stores, hair salons, restaurants, and other specialty stores.
In the Kalapaki Beach area are two smaller shopping centers nestled along the edge of Nawiliwili Harbor. The oceanside center offers clothing, accessories and artwork, while across the street is a combination of stores, offices and restaurants.
The Kapaa-Wailua area, just north of Lihue on the east side of the island, concentrates the most shopping options into a three mile stretch along Kuhio Highway. Located next to several hotels and vacation condos, the main focus of one marketplace is jewelry, casual clothing and art, with books, a magic shop and kites for fun.
Just up the road is a village of shops easily recognized by the Whaling Wall by artist Wyland. The pleasant plantation-style complex houses a large supermarket, drugstore, bookstore, and several shops featuring Hawaiian products and resort wear. There is a natural food grocery and deli and an art gallery. The heart of downtown Kapaa turns a sidewalk stroll into a refreshing browse through an attractive collection of art galleries, boutiques, book stores, and small shops.
On the north shore, the quaint little town of Hanalei encourages strolling and shopping in the loveliest of settings. In one complex of over twenty shops, there’s a grocery store and a camping and kayaking outfitters store. Across the street an art gallery, surf shop and clothing stores enliven an old schoolhouse. The aroma of gourmet coffee wafts from a nearby collection of shops and galleries. In Kilauea, unique fashions and accessories along with eclectic home furnishings from around the world are featured in a store that’s a modern rendition of the original plantation store.
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 a sugar plantation are several shops with a focus on the arts. On the way to Waimea Canyon, sleepy little Hanapepe is home to a few quaint shops and studios of local artists. A combination bookstore, espresso bar and vegetarian restaurant features Kauai jewelry, art and gifts.
Near the south shore meander along the boardwalk in Old Koloa Town, a refurbished sugar mill town from a by-gone era, and browse through clothing stores and art shops. Poipu’s modern shopping village has stores with everything you’ll need on your vacation-suntan lotions, beach mats, swimwear, snorkels and fins, postcards, photo processing, ice, beverages and snacks. There’s also jewelry and collectibles to take home. The Hyatt Regency Kauai has a shopping gallery with elegant resortwear, fine art, precious jewelry and other treasures.
The Kauai Products Council supports local producers of items from art to violins through cooperative promotions. Their store at Kukui Grove shopping center in Lihue offers a wide selection and has a directory of all members. There is also a booth at Spouting Horn Beach Park. Council members prepare and ship gift baskets containing Kauai products such as cookies, salad dressings, music cassettes, soap and other goodies.
Gift baskets are also shipped by various florists and gift stores and are also available via the internet for purchasing after you return home. Delivery of baskets to local hotels can be arranged for a minimal fee. Antique stores around the island have delightful Hawaiian memorabilia, antique aloha wear and koa furniture from the Hawaiian art deco period.