Admire the quaint setting, browse the charming stores and restaurants and visit the pristine sandy bays in Kauai’s Biggest Little Town.
Among the liveliest towns in Hawaii, Hanapepe has a rich culture and historic buildings. Its plantation history is alive in the old structures, which today hold quaint shops and art galleries. Purchase artisanal gems from local vendors and chat with residents for a glimpse into their traditions.
Stroll through the enchanting town center for excellent dining and shopping options. The picturesque commune was the setting for several movies and the inspiration for the Disney animation Lilo & Stitch. Embark on an art tour on Friday evenings, when the town’s painters and sculptors showcase their work.
The Swinging Bridge sheds light on the rich past of the town. Watch your kids sway on the fun structure on the Waimea River, as Hawaiian children have done since the early 1900s. School was often canceled on rainy days, as the bridge was inaccessible. Consider Hanapepe’s intricate history, entwined with American G.I.s, sailors who trained in the Pacific theater.
In the southern part of the town is the Kauai Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji. Play games with your kids, enjoy a meal and join a memorial service.
Take a break from the cultural delights of the town with a relaxing afternoon at one of the beaches. Immediately south is Glass Beach, which takes its name from the abundance of sea glass. Collect these pretty translucent pebbles that shimmer in hues of blue, brown and white.
Head west to Salt Ponds Beach for its ideal swimming and snorkeling conditions. Spot monk seals and see the traditional salt ponds.
Fly to the Port Allen Airport and get a taxi to the town with a drive of just a few minutes. The commune is on the southern shore of Kauai, just 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Koloa. Visit nearby attractions, such as the Spouting Horn.
Hanapepe is known for its quaint strip of shops and its excellent beach options.