A shopping spree on Kaua‘i mimics the island experience to a tee—you can’t possibly know what to expect, and you have to go looking to find the treasures hidden along the way. There are shopping malls—none of them guilty of sprawl—big-box discount stores, and Macy’s, the island’s only nationwide department store. Beyond that, there is an eclectic mix of small, unique, owner-operated stores. Here’s a short guide to the island’s major shopping destinations:
Kukui Grove Shopping Center, in Lihu‘e, is the largest shopping center on the island. Here you’ll find Macy’s, Starbucks, Long’s Drugs and more. Costco and K-mart are nearby. Smaller shopping destinations, like Anchor Cove Shopping Center and Harbor Mall, are located at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Wal-Mart, on the north side of Lihu‘e, is located near Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
The shops of Kilohana, located north of Lihu‘e on the grounds of a 1930s plantation estate, offer art and gift shops in a pleasant surrounding.
South shore shopping is concentrated in the Po‘ipu Shopping Village, on the streets of nearby Koloa Town, andin the resorts. Kukui‘ula Village Shopping Center, a 90,000-square-foot mall, is the newest addition to the south shore shopping scene. The shopping complex is part of a 1,500-unit housing and golf course project currently under development.
Coconut Marketplace, near Kapa‘a, is a visitor-friendly shopping center with 60 restaurants and shops. Nearby Bambulei, a small apparel and antiques boutique in Wailua, is a find for women looking for something different. In Old Kapa‘a Town, a cluster of off-the-mall shops and restaurants line the streets. Park and walk to discover what’s there.
West-side shopping is likely to focus heavily on arts, crafts and tasty treats like handmade jellies and granola. If you come across Ni‘ihau leis, you’ve stumbled on a gem. Hanapepe is the place to find local art.
Kilauea, an old plantation town that is now growing its own brand of island chic, is located just off Kuhi‘o Highway, 25 miles north of Lihu‘e. Down the road in Hanalei, a village of little shops and eateries invite exploration.