Step Back in Time in HanapepeKaua‘i

Upon first entering the main drag of the South Shore town of HANAPEPE, you might think you’ve STEPPED BACK IN TIME. Historic buildings line the streets; most first built more than a century ago when the first Asian immigrant entrepreneurs developed the area; in fact, if these charming plantation-style buildings look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen them on the big screen in films such as “THE THORNBIRDS,” “FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER” and the Disney animated hit, “LILO & STITCH.”

Kaua‘i’s “BIGGEST LITTLE TOWN” has a storied past and once was one of the island’s largest communities.

Today, Hanapepe remains a bustling town that is home to more fine art galleries than any other place on the island. There are at least eight galleries as well as a touring children’s theater, which is adjacent to THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN OF PEACE, a garden honoring the late U.S. Sen. Spark M. Matsunaga, a peace advocate who grew up in Hanapepe.

Each Friday night, from 6 to 9 p.m., painters, sculptors and craftsmen open their galleries to the public and put on a fine community open house.

Other ways to while away your time: take a walk on the “HANAPEPE SWINGING BRIDGE,” dine in one of the town’s local eateries or pick up a souvenir from a charming gift shop.

To find Hanapepe, turn off Highway 50 at the sign that reads “KAUA‘I’S BIGGEST LITTLE TOWN.” Visit hanapepe.org.