Upon first 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 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
and the Disney animated hit
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.