10 Best Shopping Experiences Near the Kauai Cruise Port
By Jade Eckardt
Big Island, Honolulu, and Kauai Local Expert
So you've been on the cruise ship for days - maybe even weeks - and you need to shop. Maybe it's for the sake of old fashioned retail therapy, or maybe it's to restock some basic necessities. Whatever it may be, you'll find it in close proximity to the cruise port at Nawiliwili Harbor on the east side of Kauai. The port is in Lihue, and here you'll find everything from clothing, jewelry and accessories to basic needs like sunblock, electronics and toiletries, and their all close to the cruise port. Remember that many cruise ships offer shuttles around town.
If you're looking for beautiful locally made gifts, arts and souvenirs, stop by historic Kilohana Plantation. Just a short drive or taxi ride from the port, Kilohana Plantation is a historic home housing many galleries, arts and even a rum tasting room.
For local style resort wear, Hilo Hattie is the go to place for shirts, dresses and accessories for both men and women to dress up for dinner. You'll find a huge selection here, and browsing is half the fun.
To meet some basic needs, Longs Drugs is an all around pharmacy and convenience stores. Find everything from electronics to beach gear, and have prescriptions filled.
You'll need a shuttle or taxi to get to these shops, but they're the closest to the cruise port. Everything you could need is just minutes away.
10 Hanapepe Art Night
Hanapepe is a true art town. The small historic town, which surprisingly once served as the most bustling town on the Garden Island, is filled mostly with art galleries selling locally made art and locally crafted jewelry and housewares. Each and every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. the west side town opens its doors to invite the public - both visitors and locals alike - to enjoy a night of socializing and entertainment in the name of art and creativity. Music can usually be found somewhere along the strip of art shops, as well as appetizers, chatting with new friends, and buying and window shopping of art. Dress up or go casual, either way art night is not to be missed while visiting Kaua`i. ((808) 338-1332)
9 Kama'Aina Surf & Sport
Kama'aina Surf & Sport is a one stop shop for all of your needs that are beach, ocean and fun in the sun related. They rent any beach gear a person could need, including surf and stand-up paddle boards, body-boards and snorkel gear. They also offer sun protection products, ocean awareness information, maps, and private or group lessons suitable for all ages and skill levels. Owned by a former professional surfer, they understand what people really need in the water. Kama'aina Surf & Sport is centrally located on the island, close to the Lihue airport and right across the street from the beautiful, world famous Kalapaki beach. ((808) 241-5229)
8 Papaya's Natural Food Market
Known for its selection of organic, vegetarian, and healthy food, toiletries, supplements and even some housewares, this market and gourmet deli is as good for eating as it is for shopping. If you are in need of a natural or organic sunblock, or to restock your organic shampoo and conditioner, this is the place for you. There's also an abundance of herbs and supplements, as well as clothing, gifts and crafts. This is also a great place to stock up on healthy snacks and drinks to bring back to the ship. While here enjoy a healthy meal at one of their outdoor tables. (808-823-0191)
7 Da Life
Da Life is a locally owned outdoor gear shop located right on the beach at Kalapaki Bay next to Duke's Restaurant. The shop is there to provide outdoors types with quality gear for surfing, paddling, free diving, hiking, stand up paddling, rappelling and just about any outdoor activity that can be found on Kauai. While taking time away from the ship you may want to stand-up paddle, go on a quick hike or engage in another amazing outdoor activity. Da Life is close to the cruise port and can offer insight into the best activities to do while on land. Kauai's locals and visitors are all about outdoor activities, and Da Life offers the most thorough array gear. They carry quality clothing and gear from companies like Patagonia, Keen, Vibram, Xcel, Kaenon, Bridwells, GoPro, Olukai. (808-246-6333)
6 Longs Drugs
As a branch of CVS Pharmacy, Longs Drugs is the go to pharmacy and convenience store for residents in Hawaii. Made up of the usual drug store offerings such as medications, make up, hair products, some toys, beach gear and a household items, Long's can cover just about any basic need you may have. Although there are several Longs Drugs throughout Kauai, the store in Lihue is centrally located and is near the cruise port so it's the most convenient location for visitors. Those in need of medication can pick up prescriptions at Longs, as well as purchase on shelf medications. ((808) 245-7771)
5 The Taro Fields
Located in Lihue inside of the Marriott Resort, The Taro Fields offers high quality clothing, accessories, swimwear, jewelry and gifts that reflect the Hawaiian lifestyle. This is an ideal shop for quality clothing for going out to nice restaurants and dressing up a bit. The Taro Fields is a family run business with stores in Princeville on the North Shore and Lihue on the east side. The stores are known for the quality brand name merchandise and warm, friendly staff. The Taro Fields sells name brand aloha and island style clothing by brands including Tommy Bahama, Tori Richard, Fresh Produce, Olukai, Gottex and more. Some of the clothing and jewelry is locally made or designed. ((808) 826-6205)
4 Sunshine Farmers Markets
Local handmade crafts and locally grown produce can be found island wide at the various Sunshine Farmers Markets taking place every day of the week. You'll find food to take home and prepare, as well as ready made meals, clothing, jewelry, and other crafts. They also serve as a really great place to socialize. Below is a listing with days, location and times. -In Koloa at the Koloa Ball Park off of Maluhia Road Mondays at 12 noon. -In Kalaheo at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center on Papalina Road off Kaumualii Highway Tuesdays at 3 p.m. -In Kapaa at Kapaa New Town Park on Kahau Street Wednesday at 3 p.m. -In Hanapepe at Hanapepe Park Thursdays at 3 p.m. -In Kilauea at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. -In Lihu'e at Vidinha Stadium on Hoolako Road Fridays at 3 p.m. -In Kekaha at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center on Elepaio Road Saturdays at 9 a.m. (808/742-1834)
3 Hilo Hattie
Named after a famous classic hula dancer, Hilo Hattie is the go to place in the islands for local style formal wear. Offering an abundance of aloha wear, Hilo Hattie offers tons of clothing and souvenirs perfect for any visitor. Men's, women's, and children's wear are all available. From aloha shirts, to mu'u mu'us, to leis, shorts and fashionable mini dresses, Hilo Hattie offers everything aloha themed. A button up and collared aloha shirt is all any man needs for a night out on Kauai, and the dresses are ideal for women. Kauai maxes out at aloha wear when it comes to dressing up, so this is the spot to go to prepare for a nice dinner out. ((808) 245-3404)
2 Anchor Cove Shopping Center
A small shopping center bordering Kalapaki Beach, Anchor Cove has limited shops, many beach oriented. It's a great place to pick up a few things while taking a break from the cruise ship, or before if you need a new pair of sunglasses or a beach wrap. You can also find a sunglasses shop and jewelry here, as well as a lot of souvenirs and basic beach gear at the ABC Store. This is mainly a shopping center for visitors, and works out well to drop by while on the beach or visiting Nawiliwili Harbor which is where the cruise ships come in. ((808) 246-0634)
1 Kilohana Plantation
In its heyday, this grand, 1930s-era mansion was the focal point of a successful sugar-cane plantation. Today, the Tudor-style, 16000-square-foot home has been restored to its original glory and houses galleries, boutiques, and the historic train. Visitors may wander its halls with their rich detailing and explore the cottages that lie on the estate's grounds. In addition, 22 North gourmet food fit for a locovore, and local artwork and crafts from on-site shops make ideal souvenirs. You'll also find Kauai's only rum distillery and tasting room and a ceramics shop where you can make your own pottery to ship home. (808-245-5608)
About Jade Eckardt
Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and exploring the island. A regular visitor to Kauai, Jade recently authored a full-length Kauai guide book. She is a writer and photographer, whose work has been published in numerous regional and national magazines. When she's not writing, Jade enjoys a good beer, a good surf, and time in her garden with her son.
Read more about Jade Eckardt here.
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