Kauai offers a range of shopping experiences, from upscale resort wear to small boutiques and a handful of big box stores. It doesn’t take long to quickly discover that Kauai’s residents favor a casual style when it comes to clothing, usually touting beach-inspired casual wear made by popular surf brands. So, if you want to shop like a local, you’ll need to exchange the fancy sandals for slippers (flip-flops), and always have a set of swimwear on hand. Stop in these top 5 local only Hawaii shops on Kauai for the latest swimwear and beach-inspired casual wear and embrace the casual style of island life!
Situated across from Poipu Beach Park, Nukumoi’s is a great place to go when you need a break from the sun. You’ll find a large variety of beach rentals here, including gear such as snorkel sets, boogie boards, beach chairs, umbrellas, surf boards, and stand up paddle boards. Though the locals don’t flock here for the rentals, this locally owned and operated shop is popular for purchasing surf boards, boogie boards, and apparel. They offer swim apparel and casual wear for men, women, and children, as well as accessories such as hats and stickers. Rather than picking up a souvenir-style t-shirt to commemorate your Kauai vacation, the tees, hats, tanks, and hoodies found at surf shops such as Nukumoi’s double as both casual local wear and memorabilia from your vacation! Kauai Surf School also operates out of Nukumoi’s, and here you can book 1.5-hour group or private surf lessons for you or the family!
Pay attention to the stickers and decals in the back windows of Kauai vehicles, and you’ll likely spot a Tamba sticker long before you ever notice the store. This small shop located in the east coast town of Kapa’a offers surfboards for sale and rent, as well as boogie boards and stand up paddle boards for rent. Surfboard racks for your car come free with rentals. In addition to surf gear, you’ll find an assortment of shirts, hoodies, hats, rash guards, UV shirts, and jackets for men, women, and children, as well as extras such as towels, wallets, flasks, and stickers. This locally owned and operated company is well-loved by the island’s residents.
Located in the North Shore town of Hanalei, Ohana Shop is a locally owned and operated company that offers high end locally crafted products. This is a great place to pick up gift items or something to pamper yourself. Tropically-inspired clothing, eye-catching items for the home, and locally relevant books line the shelves in this intimate shop. For the home, pick up unique items such as Japanese glass floats, camp mugs, and tropically printed microfiber towels. This is also a good place to pick up a top-notch quality lauhala hat, which are made from hand weaving the leaves (lau) of the hala tree. Providing both style and protection from the sun, this style of hat is popular around the island for a long day at the beach. Jewelry made from local shells and pearls are also on display, as well as accessories such as beach totes, keychains, and pareos.
Salt & Sea
This locally owned and operated boutique offers unique women’s swimwear and casualwear, along with a handful of options for men and keiki (children). Many of the products sold here are created by local artists, seamstresses, apothecary makers, and designers. In addition to local favorites like Kaikini, Benoa, and Yireh, you’ll also find more widely recognized labels such as Acacia, Indah, and Boys + Arrows. A variety of swimwear tailored to all body types ensures that you’ll be looking your best for a day at the beach! Trendy casual wear includes an upscale assortment of jumpsuits, skirts, shorts, dresses, and tops. What began as a small start-up shop now offers three locations around the island in Lihue, Kapa’a, and Poipu.
Located a bit off the beaten path in the inland town of Kalaheo, the flagship Aloha Exchange store offers casual wear as well as surf, skate, and camping gear. You’ll find their motto “aloha brings change” on many of their tees, tanks, and hoodies. This shop is locally owned and operated, and all their logo wear is designed on Kauai. T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, and hats for men, women, and children are all a great addition to the wardrobe. Aloha Exchange also partners with other brands both locally and internationally to offer a wide variety of other clothing and gear. Due to its popularity, a second store has recently opened in the North Shore town of Kilauea.
Find the best surf shops and locally crafted clothing lines when you shop like a local! Be sure to visit these top 5 local only Hawaii shops on Kauai during your island stay. Contact us!