Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
On the Little Island of Kauai, Mellow Hanapepe Sits in a Lush Valley and is Home to Cute Shops, Artists, Overgrown Neighborhoods and Breathtaking Ocean Views
Built by Chinese immigrants in the 1880s, Hanapepe is on the southwest shore of Kauai, Hawaii's fourth largest island, and sits in the lush Hanapepe River Valley. Ocean views from the south side of town are breathtaking.
A short hop from the Lihue Airport and the Kiahuna Plantation Resort, Hanapepe is a rural place but earned the name "Kauai's Biggest Little Town" in WWII and was for many years a thriving economic hub. Over the years, businesses have come and gone, and today the town is home to numerous artists and entrepreneurs. Friday night's Art Night showcases local artists' talents. The main road is lined with telephone poles, shops, cafes, bookstores and more in old buildings with false front parapets and large display windows. Neighborhoods are overgrown, and sidewalks are few. Homes are a mix of the modest and the extraordinary.
Hanapepe is not far from the Salt Pond Beach Park, an uncrowded pocket beach that is generally safe for swimming, snorkeling and windsurfing. The town of Eleele is next door and is home to the Eleele Shopping Center. It has a grocery, a hair salon, a bank, fast food outlets, hardware store and other everyday merchants.
Population: 2,800 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 44%
Cost of Living: 98% above the national average
Median Home Price: $950,000
Climate: The area receives, on average, 30 inches of rainfall each year. Temperatures are in the 60s, 70s and low-80s year round. Rainstorms can be intense.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Wilcox Memorial Hospital is in Lihue about 15 miles away and accepts Medicare patients (but not Medicaid patients).
At Least One Hospital Accredited by the Joint Commission? No, but Wilcox Memorial Hospital is in Lihue about 15 miles away and is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by Kauai Bus
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very liberal
College Educated: 28%
Is Hawaii Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: Hanapepe has maintained its population during the last decade and does not not attract a lot of tourists. Home prices have increased 1% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Aloha State is an isolated volcanic archipelago 2,397 miles east of San Francisco. Although it was annexed by the United States in 1900, Hawaii did not become a state until August 21, 1959. It is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands, and it is the northernmost island group in Polynesia.
Hawaii's islands are known for their lush foliage, rugged geography, as well as their gold, red, black, and green sand beaches. Its Kilauea volcano is one of the world's most active. NASA astronauts trained for moon voyages by walking on Mauna Loa's hardened lava fields.
Of the six major islands, Oahu has the only major city - Honolulu. Climate and rainfall can vary depending on altitude and location. Thanks to trade winds, the north and east side receive higher amounts of moisture than the south and west. The islands experience some tropical storms, but the incidence of a true hurricane is rare. The rainiest city, Hilo, in the United States is in Hawaii.
Tourism and defense are a large part of the Hawaii's economy. The state is the only one in the union to grow coffee. It also produces most of the nation's pineapple and sugar cane. Nearly eight million tourists come to visit each year.
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