Best Christmas Shopping in Kauai

Best Christmas Shopping on Kauai, 2013

Kauai may be lacking in enormous shopping malls and designer duds, but it's still a wonderful place to shop. As the holiday season settles in on the Garden Island, shoppers are seeking out places to pick up unique gifts and Kauai has an abundance of places to find them. Kauai is a melting pot for artisans and crafters, and because of that there's an abundance of one of a kind jewelry, art and other creations for the home. Many of the best places to find gifts are farmers markets and small boutiques, making shopping an experience in itself.

Islanders have been embracing the concept of buying local, and on an island that imports over 85 percent of its goods, it's a good motto to follow. At outdoor farmers' markets like the Sunshine Farmers' Markets, shoppers with sustainability in mind can browse one of the many locations around the island that is home to the markets. From handmade jewelry, clothing and home decor, to locally grown treats, they're a shopper's paradise.

For block party like fun and the best place to find local art for gifts, visit Hanapepe Art Night each Friday. Dozens of galleries open their doors, and entertainment, dancing and displays spill out onto the small town's street. The newer Kapa'a Art Night brings the same sort of fun to the east side, offering art and entertainment the first Saturday of each month.

Have with holiday shopping this year and seek out truly unique and Hawaiian style gifts.


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.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Taro Fields provide a platform for some of the most classic, and classy, aloha wear on the island.

Jade's expert tip: Ask for the locally made or designed clothing and accessories.

Read more about The Taro Fields →

Enter the museum-like Red Koi Collection to explore an interesting array of exotic fine arts. The collection includes unique finds such as original paintings, koa furniture, hand painted silks and beautiful custom jewelry, both locally made and imported. The top quality products give the shop an antique feel with the element of a home with high end products belonging to a wealth world traveler. Red Koi Collection is worth a session of window shopping or bringing home souvenirs. Located along Kauai's southern shore, Red Koi Collection brings exotic imported goods to the beach town of Poipu. From jewelry to home decor, Red Koi has it all.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This south side gallery brings unique and exotic art and home decor to the public.

Jade's expert tip: Check out their website to see the latest finds.

Read more about Red Koi Collection →

Kong Lung Historic Market Center
Photo courtesy of igougo

The Kong Lung Historic Market Center is made of an array of exotic shops making a home in the wooden structure that has been around since the village was thriving in the sugar industry. Locally crafted goods are for sale here in a number of styles. High end jewelry made with precious stones and locally designed can be purchased along with men and women's clothing that has also been locally designed and made. Unique housewares, much with an Asian or Pacific theme can be found and shipped home, wherever that may be. Browsing the shopping center is great after breakfast here or before a romantic dinner.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Kong Lung contains an eclectic mix of unique and exotic boutiques and galleries.

Jade's expert tip: Drop by before or after visiting the nearby Kilauea Lighthouse.

Read more about Kong Lung Historic Market Center →

Ching Young Village Hanalei
Photo courtesy of pedal and paddle

Nestled in historic Hanalei between the ocean and the lush green mountains, Ching Young Village is mostly made up unique and exotic gift shops along with stores that provide all the surf gear a beginner or professional could need. Another Hawaiian style outdoor shopping center where there is no main roof reaching over the entire center, the warm tropical breeze blows through as peaceful and small clusters of people browse through daily. You'll find a mix of visitors and locals here on any given day. From art galleries to surf gear shops and a health food store, the center has all shopping angles covered.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: From surf shops to exotic art galleries, Ching Young holds a unique collection of shops, ideal for Christmas shopping.

Jade's expert tip: Take a stroll through before or after enjoying a meal in Hanalei.

Read more about Ching Young Village Hanalei →

Hanapepe Art Night
Photo courtesy of garden island

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.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Hanapepe Art Night offers the most vast collection of locally made art on the island.

Jade's expert tip: If you can't make it to art night, just visit the town and check out the many galleries.

Read more about Hanapepe Art Night →

Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art, a quaint but wonderful shop in Hanalei, features a collection of treasures from the countries of Oceania, the land of betel nut, crocodiles and headhunters. Many items are museum quality and were collected during the owner's five year voyage around the Pacific by boat. All are one of a kind, including masks, tikis and contemporary jewelry influenced by primitive designs. Every table, sculpture, calabash,necklace � everything � comes with an interesting story. Fantastic and beautiful items that are rich in traditional culture grace the walls of this gallery like shop. Each piece has a story behind it, which the workers are happy to share.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Boasting a collection of exotic finds from around the Pacific, Havaiki offers the most intriguing array of gifts.

Jade's expert tip: Ask the worker for the story behind the piece you're interested in.

Read more about Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art →

Kilohana Plantation
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt

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 a ceramics shop where you can make your own pottery to ship home. Plenty of boutiques make it a great place for holiday shopping.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A varied selection of galleries and boutiques make Kilohana Plantation a wonderful place for holiday shopping.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a camera and an appetite and make this more than a shopping experience.

Read more about Kilohana Plantation →

Every first Saturday of the month, a ton of local artists and crafters gather for Kapa`a Art Night where they line the streets with booths featuring their wares. Locally crafted jewelry, paintings, decor and other locally made things are all available while meeting the artists or other new people. Live music usually takes place and restaurants and shops are open. Kapa'a Art Night is part shopping extravaganza, part social scene, and part nightlife. This is the best place on the island to find an abundance of locally made gifts, art and home decor. Support local artists by gifting their creations.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Kapa'a Art Night provides a platform for locally crafted goods, perfect for holiday gifts.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a reusable shopping bag.

Read more about Kapa`a Art Night →

Locally made and grown everything is what you will find at the Waipa Ranch Farmers Market outside of Hanalei at the end of the North Shore. Fruit, vegetables, jewelry, crafts, clothing - you name it and it's there. This is a great place to watch and absorb the local culture and people and meet the friendly folks of the North Shore. Whether you're holiday shopping or looking for a healthy and delicious meal, you'll be treated to something wonderful at the market. The views in the valley are great too. The market takes place every Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and is located right across from the beach.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: This outdoor market connects locally made arts and crafts with holiday shoppers.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a reusable shopping bag and get there early for the good stuff.

Read more about Waipa Ranch Farmers Market →

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.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Buying local is best, even for the holidays, and the farmers market is the best place to find locally made arts and crafts for gifting.

Jade's expert tip: Bring your own shopping bag to save plastic.

Read more about Sunshine Farmers Markets →


Meet 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...  More About Jade