Living in Hanapepe, Kauai
A haven for artists, Hanapepe Town borders ancient salt flats where Kauai’s unique ‘alaea salt is produced.
While most towns on Kauai got their start with the sugar industry, Hanapepe began as a refuge for those who had enough with sugar.
Entrepreneurial immigrants built this town by establishing small businesses and farms growing taro or rice.
Hanapepe River slices through the town. Spanned by several small bridges, including the famous Swinging Bridge, Hanapepe is picturesque to the extreme. The shops, including Talk Story, the island's only bookstore, are frequently photographed by tourists. Disney even used the town as inspiration for the animated movie, Lilo and Stich.
Every Friday evening, Hanapepe's Art Walk takes over the downtown. Held rain or shine, art walks are regularly scheduled street parties among several of the communities. Each one is unique to that area, featuring local musicians, artisans, and food trucks. Restaurants, shops, and art galleries stay open late to take advantage of the increased foot traffic. Residents and tourists of all ages mingle and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Nearby conveniences include the Ele'ele Shopping Center, just a few minutes to the east offering Big Save grocery, McDonald's, Longs Drugs and other shops. Port Allen has a microbrewery with locally crafted beer, casual eateries, and shops. It is also the harbor of choice for most of the boat tours viewing the spectacular Na Pali Coast or whale watching.
Salt Pond Beach Park is also close and features protected pools good for snorkeling, fringe reefs that keep the water calm, showers and shaded pavilions. Weekends and sunsets are favorite times here, with smells of grilled food wafting through the air and fishermen dotting the shoreline.
If you are looking for a small-town community, Hanapepe should be on your list to explore.