Kapa‘a and Wailua are home to some of Kaua‘i’s most talented artists and artisans. While there are some pricey pieces to be found, there are a lot of affordable works as well, especially in galleries that host multiple artists. Even if you’re not in the mood to buy, these galleries and stores are a lovely place to browse beautiful, local creations.

Carved golden ring and bracelet with black enameled names.

Hawaiian Heirloom jewelry is distinguished by its unique carved gold patterns, and often includes black enameled names. It makes a lovely, personalized souvenir of your island adventures. Photo © Nikki Horiye.

Galleries

Aloha Images (4504 Kukui St., 808/821-1382, 10am-6:30pm Mon.-Sat., 11am-3pm Sun.) has prided itself on being a “candy store for art lovers” for 15 years. It’s a good slogan, as the shop is loaded with affordable local art. Hundreds of original works line the walls, along with giclees, prints, and other things for the home. Featured artists paint in the gallery daily.

Inside Kela’s-A Glass Gallery (4-1354 Kuhio Hwy., 888/255-3527 or 808/822-4527, 10am-7pm Mon.-Sat., 11:30am-4:30pm Sun.) is a dreamy, glistening underwater world of pretty things. With over 150 glass artists’ work on display, Kaua‘i’s natural beauty is represented in jewelry to wear and things to decorate the home with. Staff is friendly and happy to help you find that perfect gift. It can be pretty pricey in here, but it’s at least worth window shopping.

Earth and Sea Gallery (4504 Kukui St., 808/821-2831, 9am-9pm daily) is stocked with locally made products from over 30 artists. The boutique has something to offer for everyone, with shell jewelry, children’s clothing and toys, artwork, bath and body products, and more. The staff is always friendly and outgoing and the products are unique.

Jewelry

Imperial Jewelers (4-831 Kuhio Hwy., 808/822-0094, 10am-6pm Mon.-Sat.) sells Hawaiian hand-crafted heirloom jewelry. Pendants, bracelets, rings, and earrings are available in the local style of carved 14-karat gold with a name in black if you like. The carvings come in an array of Hawaiian designs like whales, sea turtles, flowers, and more. A highlight is the plumeria lei flowers collection, where elegant small plumerias are connected in a permanent lei.

Jim Saylor Jewelers (1318 Kuhio Hwy., 808/822-3591, 9:30am-5:30pm Mon.-Sat.) is another nice jewelry store selling unique designs. The designer uses precious stones, black pearls, and diamonds in his unique settings and styles. He’s been designing on Kaua‘i for over two decades.

A very fun stop is Kauai Crafters (4-1176 Kuhio Hwy., 808/346-7700, 9am-6pm daily). The small shop is jam-packed full of local crafts with a strong shell theme. They sell kahelelani jewelry, koa and mammoth ivory fishhook necklaces, coconut faces, and a lot more. It’s a fun store to check out, everything is gorgeous, and there are some affordable items.

Travel map of Wailua, Kauai, Hawaii

Wailua


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.