Upon fi rst entering the main drag of the South Shore town of HANAPĒPĒ , you might think you’ve STEPPED BACK IN TIME. Historic buildings line the streets; most fi rst built more than a century ago when the fi rst 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 fi lms such as THE THORN BIRDS, 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, Hanapēpē remains a bustling town. 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 Hanapēpē.
Other ways to while away your time: Take a walk on the HANAPĒPĒ SWINGING BRIDGE , dine in one of the town’s local eateries, or pick up a souvenir from a charming gift shop.
To fi nd Hanapēpē, turn off Highway 50 at the sign that reads “ KAUA‘I’S BIGGEST LITTLE TOWN. ” Visit hanapepe.org.