Hanalei is a small charming town on the Northern Shore of Kauai. Apart from the beautiful scenery that people have come to know of Hawaii, this little town offers a hip and artistic experience for travelers that are looking to get immersed in Hawaiian culture. Crash into the waves of a vibrant shopping district full of unique local finds, as Hanalei’s shopping centers bring about a whole new experience on the island of Kauai.
Like several towns in Kauai, Hanalei is known for the occasional farmers’ markets that crop up in various locations at certain periods of time. These markets are a great way to immerse yourself in the local tastes of Hanalei’s fresh produce, as well as experience the community and rich culture of Hanalei through the people manning the stalls, purchasing goods, and just having a great time overall.
Moreover, the small town of Hanalei is dotted with antique stores that take you through the many periods of Kauai’s history. Go down a trip down memory lane with every piece of history etched into a bygone treasure filled with stories about the old island.
There’s just so much to find in Hanalei, every hole in the wall, every nook, and cranny, every single spot deserves to be explored. To help you decide which places to explore first, here are 5 of Hanalei’s most popular shopping spots, with details of what you’ll find in each.
Ching Young Village
One can’t really say they’ve shopped at Hanalei without stopping by the famed Ching Young Village. The family shopping center holds a special place within the history of Kauai undergoing subsequent change by the turn of the 20th century amid Hawaii’s developing economy.
Situated on Kauai’s North Shore, in the heart of Hanalei Town, Ching Young Village has local shops in abundance. You’ll find Hawaiian art and accessories made by local folk, as well as various food choices worth trying. It embodies the Hanalei bazaar experience where travelers can find a variety of shops and restaurants where they can choose where to shop at their heart’s content. If you’re planning a road trip on your trip to Kauai, Ching Young is also perfect for a little stopover when you need to take a break from the drive.
Hanalei Farmers’ Market
Kauai has been famous for its natural abundance in both flora and fauna, and much of that is in full display at Hanalei Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday from 9:30 AM. to 12:00 PM, a large grassy lawn off Malolo Road gets covered with more than 50 stalls selling local produce. With the variety of produce, food, and art you’ll find at this market, Hanalei’s Farmers’ Market is one of Kauai’s most popular pop-up events.
As one would expect from a Farmers’ Market, the Hanalei event is usually teeming with fruits and vegetables endemic to Kauai. The energy is also heightened by performers, musicians, and stalls that give out free samples of their food products.
Travelers will enjoy the market as an event filled with all the hustle and bustle one would expect from a Hanalei event, with the added novelty of finding handmade crafts, fancy clothing, prepared food, and other local sundries.
Waipa Farmers’ Market
For a quaint Farmers’ Market experience, visitors may stop by the Waipa Farmers’ Market located along Hanalei Bay. Opening every Tuesday from 3:30 PM. to 5:30 PM, the market offers a more intimate experience where people can connect with the ‘āina (that which feeds us – the land and resources), and learn about Hawaiian values and lifestyle through laulima (many hands working together).
Stewarded by the Waipa Foundation, the culture and the community of the location have been brought up with utmost care. The foundation aims to maximize health and productivity, as they move towards sustainability. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beautiful scenery, the local produce, and the rich culture that Waipa Farmers’ Market readily offers.
When one thinks of Kauai they think of the lush scenery, the vibrant blue seas, and the local wildlife. Yet, nestled between the lush sea-cliffs of the North Shore mountains of Kauai and Princeville Ranch is a shopping center unlike any other, with picturesque views of Bali Hai and Kauai’s ancient Taro fields, the Princeville Center is a must-visit for the premiere Hanalei shopping experience.
Princeville Center is the place to gather for long-term Hanalei travelers as the center offers a more purposeful shopping experience. Visitors may find a wide variety of shops that sell souvenirs, hardware, surfing gear, clothes, and many more. It is anchored by a well-stocked grocery store called Foodland where they sell fresh goods and equally fresh poke bowls that are a must-try for anyone visiting Hanalei.
The center also has a nice coffee shop for visitors that might want to relax with a good cup of joe. To curb your sweet tooth, Princeville Center also has a famous ice cream shop that locals and tourists flock to. If you ever find yourself needing something specific on your trip, you’re most likely to find it at Princeville.
Yellowfish Trading Company
Antiquities abound at Yellowfish Trading Company as the store sells an eclectic collection of local vintage items for collectors to sink their teeth into. Located by the Kuhio Highway between Aku Road and the Alo Laà Studio, this unique store gives travelers a peer into the “Old Hawaii”, as natives would call it.
There’s nothing quite like Yellowfish Trading Company on the rest of the island, tucked away in a small shopping mall the store brings about a big and bold personality to the local venue. The shop offers a unique mix of modern and vintage treasures from Kauai, serving as a go-to for cool souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else in Hawaii.
The shop offers well-priced gift ideas to bring back home. The friendly owner and staff make visitors feel more than welcome in their little old shop with anecdotes of the items for sale. Truly a must-visit location, their selection of items covers a wide variety of antiquities that you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
Plan Your Trip
The understated beauty of Hanalei lays dormant within its intimate streets and its local spots. It’s a place that has to be experienced to be believed, a soulful town that’s just waiting to be discovered, and for the lucky few travelers that step foot on this little slice of paradise, the experience could be nothing short of breathtaking. It’s a different Hawaiian vibe, but it’s something that offers a sense of familiarity, a sense of exploration, beauty, and most of all a sense of Hawaiian culture.
Hanalei is a special place that gives a whole new meaning to the Hawaiian experience, it is an intimate town that packs a lot of heart and soul. Suffice to say, for travelers, there are some things you can only find in Hanalei, not just in a material sense, but on an entirely spiritual and personal level.
5 Best Places to Shop in Hanalei [Infographic]