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Are there local farmer’s markets? Where are they & what can I expect?

Farmer’s markets are a wonderful source for a sampling of the foods (and sometimes local crafts) of Hawaii. Fresh produce arrives straight from nearby farms, offering crisp vegetables, juicy fruits and various other locally-made treats for all to purchase and enjoy.

On Kaua’i, there are farmer's markets every day in some area of the island, and they offer a fun and interesting place for visitors and local residents to rub shoulders. You will undoubtedly see agricultural products you’ve not seen before – exotic fruits and vegetables as well as familiar favorites like tree-ripened papayas and bananas. Ask the vendor about their unique products and they will tell you how to cook (if necessary) and eat them. Then buy a selection of items and store them in the refrigerator in your Hanalei Colony kitchen to enjoy throughout your stay.

A popular treat at Kauai farmer’s markets is ice cold coconut water served in the coconut with a straw. It’s a great way to cool off and refresh yourself on a warm, tropical day, and you can eat the fresh coconut meat after you finish the juice. A truly wonderful taste of Kauai.

Two excellent farmer’s markets take place each week within a short drive from Hanalei Colony. It is recommended to arrive at the markets just before they open, in order to enjoy the very best selection of items:

• Every Tuesday from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. -  Waipa Farmer’s Market

Located about 3 miles from Hanalei Colony, the Waipa Farmer’s Market features multiple local vendors offering mostly organic veggies, fruits, flowers and a variety of Kaua’i foods and crafts. A great place for local food and souvenirs representing a sampling of Kauai culture.

To get to Waipa Farmer's Market, drive south from Hanalei Colony (turn left onto Kuhio Highway from the resort parking lot). About a quarter mile before you get to Hanalei School and Hanalei town, you’ll see a cluster of green and white buildings on the right. At the gate look for a blue sign that says "Farmer's Market Every Tuesday, 2PM". Customers for the Waipa market should turn into the unpaved driveway (on the Hanalei side of the paved driveway) and park where you are directed.

• Every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  – Hanalei Farmer’s Market

This farmer’s market is located about 5 miles from Hanalei Colony in the town of Hanalei. The market takes place in the Hale Halawai ‘Ohana O’ Hanalei community center  -- the name means “A house for the coming together of the family of Hanalei.” Local farmer's bring fresh produce and talented local artisans display their Hawaiian crafts.  There are also several food booths offering healthy drinks and delicious prepared foods.

In addition to the above two farmer’s markets within a short distance of Hanalei Colony, here is information on other farmer’s markets on the island, listed in order of their proximity to the resort (closest to farthest away). If you happen to be out exploring the island, stop in and enjoy these markets:

Kilauea Farmer’s Market is every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center, off Lighthouse Road. This is one of the smaller markets, offering vegetables and produce only, with up to 15 different vendors. The prices are usually great. There is another Kilauea Farmer’s Market on Saturdays at 12:00 p.m. in the field behind the Kilauea Post Office.

Anahola Farmer’s Market is on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until dusk on Hokualele Road in Anahola. This is a relatively small farmer’s market, but is easy to access and features a popular and unique product: wild boar BBQ and great BBQ sauces available for purchase.  

Lihue Farmer’s Market, Mondays at 3 p.m. at Kukui Grove Shopping Center. You can expect to find a dozen or so vendors next to the Kmart store.

Lihue Farmer’s Market on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. is located at the Vidinha Stadium Parking Lot on Hoolako Street, off Queen Kapule Road in Lihue. You can browse the market before the selling begins at this location.

Puhi Farmer’s Market at 10:00 a.m.  Saturdays at Kauai Community College (just south of Lihue, on the highway – you’ll see the college). Very centrally located.

Koloa Farmer’s Market (south shore) opens at 12:00 p.m. Mondays at Knudsen Ball Park on the right side of Maluhia Rd. There are usually a large number of people waiting for the market to open, so you’ll want to arrive early.

Poipu Farmer’s Market is every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at Kukui`ula Shopping Village on the South Shore. The shopping center caters to tourists, and the prices at this market may be higher than the other locations. But the advantage is you can browse through the shopping center and the farmer’s market at the same time.

Kekaha Farmer’s Market at 9:00 a.m. Saturdays at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center. This is on the west side of the island -- a long ways from Hanalei Colony, but on the way to Waimea Canyon if that’s on your agenda for Saturday.

For more information on Kauai farmer’s markets, contact guest services at Hanalei Colony Resort by phone at 808.826.9875 or email guestservices@hcr.com

Enjoy your tropical Kauai treats!