Kauai

There aren't a lot of shops and spas on Kauai, but what you will find here are a handful of places very much worth checking out for the quality of their selection of items sold and services rendered. Many shops now make an effort to sell as many locally made products as possible. When buying an item, ask where it was made or even who made it.

Often you will find that a product handcrafted on the island may not be that much more expensive than a similar product made overseas. You can also look for the purple "Kauai Made" sticker many merchants display.

Along with one major shopping mall, a few shopping centers, and a growing number of big-box retailers, Kauai has some delightful mom-and-pop shops and specialty boutiques with lots of character. The Garden Isle also has a large and talented community of artisans and fine artists, with galleries all around the island showcasing their creations. You can find many island-made arts and crafts in the small shops, and it's worthwhile to stop in at crafts fairs and outdoor markets to look for bargains and mingle with island residents.

If you're looking for a special memento of your trip that is unique to Kauai County, check out the distinctive Niihau shell lei. The tiny shells are collected from beaches on Kauai and Niihau, pierced, and strung into beautiful necklaces, chokers, and earrings. It's a time-consuming and exacting craft, and these items are much in demand, so don't be taken aback by the high price tags. Those made by Niihau residents will have certificates of authenticity and are worth collecting. You often can find cheaper versions made by non-Hawaiians at crafts fairs.

Kauai is often touted as the healing island, and local spas try hard to fill that role. With the exception of the Hyatt's ANARA Spa, the facilities aren't as posh as some might want, but it's in the human element that Kauai excels. Many island residents are known for their warmth, kindness, and humility, and you can often find all these attributes in the massage therapists and technicians who work long hours at the resort spas. These professionals take their therapeutic mission seriously; they genuinely want you to experience the island's relaxing, restorative qualities. Private massage services abound on the island, and your spa therapist may offer the same services at a much lower price outside the resort, but if you're looking for a variety of health-and-beauty treatments, an exercise workout, or a full day of pampering, a spa will prove most convenient.

Though most spas on Kauai are associated with resorts, none is restricted to guests only. And there's much by way of healing and wellness to be found on Kauai beyond the traditional spa—or even the day spa. More and more retreat facilities are offering what some would call alternative healing therapies. Others would say there's nothing alternative about them; you can decide for yourself.

Open Hours. Stores are typically open daily from 9 or 10 am to 5 pm, although some stay open until 9 pm, especially those near resorts. Don't be surprised if the posted hours don't match the actual hours of operation at the smaller shops, where owners may be fairly casual about keeping to a regular schedule.

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  • 1. Kapaia Stitchery

    Hawaiian quilts made by hand and machine, a beautiful selection of fabrics, quilting kits, handmade aloha shirts, and unique fabric arts fill a cute, small,...Read More

  • 2. Kauai Community Market

    This is the biggest and best farmers' market on Kauai, sponsored by the Kauai Farm Bureau and Kauai Community College and held 9:30 am to...Read More

  • 3. Kauai Museum Shop

    The gift shop at the museum sells some fascinating books, maps, and prints, as well as lovely authentic Niihau shell jewelry, handwoven lauhala hats, and...Read More

  • 4. a.ell atelier

    Clothing designer Angelique Ell sells everything from custom wedding gowns to men's aloha shirts to children's clothing, using sustainable materials and practices. Specialized home decor...Read More

  • 5. ALOHA Images

    ALOHA stands for "Affordable Location of Original Hawaiian Art." A self-proclaimed "candy store for art lovers," it represents 11 artists who produce Hawaii-theme art, ranging...Read More

  • 6. Deja Vu Surf Hawaii: Kapaa

    This family operation has a great assortment of branded surf wear and clothes for outdoors fanatics, including tank tops, caps, swimwear, and Kauai-style T-shirts. They...Read More

  • 7. Hilo Hattie, The Store of Hawaii

    This is the big name in aloha wear for tourists throughout the Islands, and Hilo Hattie has only one store on Kauai, located a mile...Read More

  • 8. Hokulei Village

    Just down the highway between Kauai Community College and the Lihue town center, this newer retail plaza has a bank and Verde New Mexican restaurant,...Read More

  • 9. Jim Saylor Jewelers

    Jim Saylor and his team of jewelers have been designing beautiful keepsakes on Kauai since 1976. Gems from around the world, including black pearls, diamonds,...Read More

  • 10. Kauai Fruit & Flower Company

    At this shop near Lihue and five minutes away from the airport, you can buy fresh Hawaii Gold pineapples, sugarcane, ginger, tropical flowers, coconuts, and...Read More

  • 11. Kauai Village Shopping Center

    The buildings of this Kapaa shopping village are in the style of a 19th-century plantation town. ABC Discount Store sells sundries; Safeway carries groceries and...Read More

  • 12. Kela's Glass Gallery

    The colorful vases, bowls, and other fragile items sold in this distinctive gallery are definitely worth viewing if you appreciate quality handmade glass art. It's...Read More

  • 13. Kilohana Plantation Shops

    With shops and art galleries tucked into the 16,000-square-foot Tudor mansion and restored outbuildings, Kilohana Plantation offers quality clothing, jewelry, candy, handmade pottery, Hawaiian collectibles,...Read More

  • 14. Kinipopo Shopping Village

    At this tiny center on Kuhio Highway, Korean BBQ Restaurant fronts the highway, as does Goldsmiths Kauai, a gallery selling handcrafted Hawaiian-style gold jewelry. A...Read More

  • 15. Kukui Grove Center

    This is Kauai's only true mall. Anchor tenants are Longs Drugs, Macy's, Ross, Kukui Grove Cinemas, and Times Supermarket. The mall's stores offer women's clothing,...Read More

  • 16. Marta's Boat

    On display at this quirky boutique is expensive but unique clothing by husband-and-wife team Ambrose and Marta Curry. He creates silk-screen art with nontoxic paint...Read More

  • 17. NoKa Fair

    Open daily, the NoKa (North Kapaa) Fair outdoor market—formerly the Kauai Products Fair—has been redesigned and now features a collection of shipping containers repurposed to...Read More

  • 18. Otsuka's

    Family-owned Otsuka's has a large clientele of visitors who appreciate its wide selection of unique furniture, artwork, candles, tropical-print pillows, accessories, rugs, and knickknacks. ...Read More

  • 19. Pagoda

    The shop is tiny, but it's big on exceptional antiques, Hawaiiana, and gifts. The owner, Liane, has been collecting rare finds most of her life...Read More

  • 20. Two Frogs Hugging

    On display here are lots of interesting housewares, accessories, knickknacks, and hand-carved collectibles, as well as baskets and furniture from Indonesia, the Philippines, and China....Read More

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