Hanapepe is known locally as the "biggest little town" in the fact that it contains all of the luxuries of a large town while retaining that small town quality and atmosphere. There is a park located on the west side of the town. Salt is produced inside of the park and is harvested in the same manner as it was during ancient Hawaiian times.
Hanapepe Town is a historic town located about 17 miles from the Lihue airport. The term Hanapepe refers to crushed bay. It is referred as the crushed bay because of the landslides that occur in the valley. The Kanaka Maoli used to live in the Hanapepe valley a few centuries ago. They live in the valley until Captain Cook arrived in the year of 1778. The land in the Hanapepe Valley is fertile. The people use the fertile land in the valley to grow all kinds of plants including banana, sugar cane and taro. The Hawaiian people grow taro in order to make poi. Poi is a staple food that has been eaten by the local Hawaiians since a long time ago. The saltwater ponds in Hanapepe valley is used to make salt. Up to date, the people still make salt to sell at the town.
After you drive past the Port Allen, you will see a sign called Welcome to Hanapepe Kauai’s Biggest Little Town. You should follow the sign and turn into road to visit the Hanapepe Town. After you enter into the Hanapepe town, you can turn into the right side of the Hanapepe Road and park your car there. There are a number of restrooms and picnic tables at the Hanapepe town. You can start exploring the town by taking part in the Historic Hanapepe Walking Tour. The Historic Walking Tour will start at the Hanapepe Road. Before embarking on the Hanapepe Walking Tour, it is recommended that you wear a suitable walking shoe. If you want, you can also travel on the Kaumuali’I highway.
In 1880, many people from Japan, China, and Philippine immigrated to the Hawaii. The entrepreneurs who quit the jobs at the sugar plantations originally developed the town of Hanapepe. They started to grow all kinds of agricultural products at the area to provide food for the local community. In Hanapepe, there are many missionary churches. The first missionary church is the Hanapepe First United Church, which was built in 1890. Today, the Hanapepe First United Church is known as Hanapepe Hawaiian Congregational Church.
If you visit the Hanapepe Town, you will be able to observe the American West architecture style on the building. Immigrants from the Asian countries primarily occupied the town until the early 20th century. Tourists can visit the fine art galleries when traveling in Kauai. The art gallery is open from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.