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A wonderful selection of rare Niihau shell lei at Kauai Gold & Kauai Pearl ranges in price from $20 to $200. To appreciate the craftsmanship, understand the sometimes-high prices, and learn to care for and preserve these remarkable necklaces, ask how they are made. The store, which has been in business since 1985, also sells a selection of 14-karat gold jewelry and Tahitian black pearls.
At this shop near Lihue and five minutes away from the airport, you can buy fresh Hawaii Gold pineapple, sugarcane, ginger, tropical flowers, coconuts, local jams, jellies, and honey, plus papayas, bananas, and mangoes from Kauai. All the fruit at Kauai Fruit and Flower Company has been inspected and approved to ship out-of-state. www.kauaifruit.com.
Kauai produces more coffee than any other island in the state. The local product can be purchased from grocery stores or here at the Kauai Coffee Visitor Center and Museum, where a sampling of the nearly two-dozen coffees is available. Be sure to try some of the estate-roasted varieties. www.kauaicoffee.com.
Hawaiian quilts made by hand and machine, a beautiful selection of fabrics, quilting kits, and fabric arts fill Kapaia Stitchery, a cute little red plantation-style building. There are also many locally made gifts for sale. The staff is friendly and helpful, even though a steady stream of customers keeps them busy. www.kapaiastichery.com.
Jim Saylor has been designing beautiful keepsakes for over 30 years on Kauai. Gems from around the world, including black pearls, diamonds and more, appear in his unusual settings.
This is the big name in aloha wear for tourists throughout the Islands, and Hilo Hattie, The Store of Hawaii, Fashion Factory only has a store on Kauai. Located a mile from Lihue Airport, come here cool, comfortable aloha shirts and muumuu in bright floral prints, as well as other souvenirs. Also, be sure to check out the line of Hawaii-inspired home furnishings. www.hilohattie.com.
Once an old Hanalei schoolhouse, the Hanalei Center is now a bevy of boutiques and restaurants. You can dig through '40s and '50s vintage memorabilia, find Polynesian artifacts, or search for that unusual gift. Buy beach gear as well as island wear and women's clothing. Find a range of fine jewelry and paper art jewelry. There is a full service salon and a yoga studio in the two-story modern addition to the center, which also houses a well-stocked health food store.
Clothing designer Angelique Ell sells everything from custom wedding gowns to men's aloha shirts to children's clothing, using all-natural fabrics. Home linens are also sold here, as are soaps, jewelry, candles, handbags, and artwork by local artists. www.islandhempclothing.com..
Kauai's West Side has a scattering of stores, including those at this no-frills strip-mall, Eleele Shopping Center. It's a good place to rub elbows with local folk at TimesBig Save grocery store or to grab a quick bite to eat at the casual Grinds Cafe or Tois Thai Kitchen.
This friendly, hip boutique sells unusual merchandise from India and other exotic Asian locales. Dangly earrings, loose, natural clothing, beads, campy home furnishings, and other eclectic offerings make this fun shop worth a stop. If you miss it here, you can check out the Hanalei location.
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