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©Ann Cecil


On the way to Waimea Canyon, the Hanapepe sign beckons visitors to turn off the highway and take a step back in time to discover the rustic charm and laid back style of "Kauai's Biggest Little Town".

Hanapepe sits serenely along the river at the foot of the Hanapepe Valley where taro was once cultivated by the native Hawaiians. The name "Hanapepe" is Hawaiian for "Crushed Bay".

Although it's small and peaceful today, Hanapepe once flourished as one of Kauai's biggest towns. Starting in the mid-1800's, Chinese rice farmers harvested the valley, "Mom & Pop" stores began to spring up, and as a natural result, larger businesses were drawn to the area.

Hanapepe became the center of commerce and entertainment, with two movie theaters, three skating rinks, and over sixty stores, the islands first airstrip, and the second largest port.

Today, its sleepy atmosphere of yesteryear, with its historic buildings, has made Hanapepe a choice location for moviemakers, with such films as "The Thornbirds", and "Flight of the Intruder".

Hanapepe's rustic store fronts have become home to a variety of quaint art galleries, in fact, Hanapepe offers more galleries than anywhere on Kauai. This unique community has recently organized the "Art Colony" which hosts Art Night Open House every Friday evening from 5 to 9 p.m.

Come see the Old Historic Kauai, Come See Hanapepe.

(Information provided by Hanapepe Economic Alliance, Inc., A Community Based Non-Profit Organization)"

Back to Special Places on Kauai - Southwest (Part 1)

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