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Forbes Names Kapaa, Kauai, as One of America’s Prettiest Towns

September 14, 2013 Destination Hawaii No Comments Email Email

Forbes Magazine named Kapaa, on Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast, as one of America’s prettiest towns in an article published August 16th at

Farmer's markets in Kapaa, Kauai provide a chance to enjoy island's abundance in a small-town environment

Farmer’s markets in Kapaa, Kauai provide a chance to enjoy island’s abundance in a small-town environment

Contributing writer, John Gufflow, said, “What we went looking for (were) towns seemingly custom-designed for soaking in the sights, with charming main streets, a variety of activities and beautiful vistas. Whether it’s the fresh air, authenticity or lack of skyscrapers, these enchanting locales deserve a spot on your travel to-do list.” Gufflow explained that Forbes relied on seasoned writers from a variety of national travel publications to come up with the top 15 towns. “To designate America’s most picturesque towns, we called on travel experts from Frommer’s, National Geographic, Fodor’s, and Midwest Living magazines, all of whom shared with us selections of what they consider to be among America’s prettiest towns.”

“This designation from Forbes is tremendous news for the Royal Coconut Coast Association. We’re working hard to expand recognition of Kauai’s east side as a great place to visit. This honor is really supportive,” says Troy Spalding, president of the Royal Coconut Coast Association.

The choice of Kapaa was provided by National Geographic Traveler writer, Andrew Evans. He wrote, “Unlike the high-rise strewn beaches that line so many of Hawaii’s stretches of coast, Kapaa has a small-town Polynesian paradise quality that feels much more connected to the island’s past. It’s a very Hawaiian town with traditional ukulele makers and fish taco trucks parked under the palm trees.” Evans further described Kapaa as, “A small town with a lot of Hawaiian life, minus the tourist fray. Shop in the morning, then kayak offshore in the afternoon and don’t worry about fighting for blanket space in the sand – there’s enough for everybody.”

Evans visited Kauai late last year. During his visit, Kamika Smith of Smith’s Tropical Paradise, showed Evans around Kapaa. “While here, I took him to have shave ice at Ono Family Restaurant and then took a walk along Kapaa town stopping at Pono Market to check out the plate lunch specials, then the ukulele store (where he later went back and bought an ukulele) and also to some of the smaller general stores along the way,” said Smith.

Kapaa is the only Hawaiian town on the list; in fact, the only town named west of the Rockies. The other 14 towns on Forbes list are: Lambertville, New Jersey; Athens, Georgia; Fort Benton, Montana; Breckenridge, Colorado; Deckorah, Iowa; Anne Marie, Florida; Camden, Maine; New Iberia, Louisiana, Edgartown, Massachusetts, Ashville, North Carolina, Leavenworth, Washington; Galena, Illinois; Holland, Michigan, and Fish Creek, Wisconsin.

To access the article online, go to:

The Royal Coconut Coast Association is a non-profit corporation, officially established in late 2012. The organization acts as a central source of information about features in the Wailua to Kapaa corridor of Kauai including public and private attractions, businesses and area events. For more information, email info(at)royalcoconutcoast(dot)com or go to

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