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Kapaa is a Charming Beach Town on Kauai's Eastern Shore and Has Lush, Overgrown Neighborhoods
Overview: Kapaa is a charming beach town on the eastern shore of Kauai and is the island's largest metropolis. For much of its history, it was an agricultural hub, surrounded by pineapple groves and sugar cane fields.
Today, Kapaa is busy and draws tourists but still feels connected to it Polynesian roots. It is home to hotels, resorts and a good variety of restaurants and shopping venues, including Kinipopo Shopping Village, Wailua Kai Shops, Coconut Marketplace and the popular Kauai Coffee Company (island beans for sale). Yet even with this commercialization, colorful fish taco vendors still roam the streets and koa woodcarvers still ply their trade. Beaches and beach parks are in and around town and include Lyndgate Beach Park, which has a pretty but narrow strip of sand and two life-guarded swimming pools. Just north of the beach, Hikinaakala Heiau is a 1,200 year old temple. Residents enjoy an art walk with music the first Saturday of every month.
Neighborhoods are lush and overgrown. Housing stock includes ranch ramblers, concrete block four squares, bungalows, stilt homes and condominiums.
Population: 11,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 34%
Cost of Living: 53% above the national average
Median Home Price: $550,000
Climate: Temperatures are in the 70s and 80s year round. On average, the area receives 60 inches of rain annually.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by the Joint Commission? No, but Wilcox Memorial Hospital is seven miles away in Lihue and is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very liberal
College Educated: 32%
Is Hawaii Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The University of Hawaii estimates that Hawaii has a 9% chance of suffering a direct hit from a mega-tsunami in the next 50 years.
Notes: Kappa has a nice reputation and has grown by 4% during the last decade.
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.
Population - 1,428,557
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 91%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 31%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 10%
White persons, not Hispanic - 22%
Median household income - $69,515
Median home value - $515,300
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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