Kauai is one of the best places on Earth to unplug and enjoy the simple things in life, like the sun warming your face and the silky sand beneath your toes. But even paradise has its occasional hiccups, or items that go missing and you feel the need for a little “vacation” from your vacation. When this feeling rolls around it may be time for the healing powers of retail therapy to work its magic. Case in point:

You and your family arrived on Kauai’s glorious South Shore just two days ago, but your son managed to lose a flip flop while swimming after an imagined sea turtle in the shallow waves, and your daughter forgot to pack her cover up and now has a two-alarm sunburn on her right shoulder. Meanwhile, your spouse accidentally sat on your sunglasses rendering them oddly askew and you’re starting to feel cross-eyed.

You are staying at Koloa Landing Resort so you ask the concierge for some tips. Turns out Kauai’s South Shore offers a wealth of good shopping with everything from outdoor centers perfect for a leisurely post-beach window shop, to general stores and beachwear boutiques with all the necessities. You are delighted to discover that some of these shops are even within a short stroll of the resort.

The Shops at Kukui’ula

Just a five-minute walk from Koloa Landing, the Shops at Kukui’ula is an upscale outdoor shopping extravaganza offering a plethora of mainstream stores, one-offs and chains bearing all kinds of things you may need or (let’s be honest) just plain would love. At beachwear stores like Poʻipu Surf and Cruise Kauai you can grab new swimsuits and flip flops for various forgetful family members. Blue Ginger women’s wear and Mahina boutique sell upscale island attire where you might find just the right wrap to keep you cozy for that beachside dinner. For more active wear, a Lululemon Pop-Up shop offers hiking and yoga gear, and Crazy Shirts is filled with fun T-shirt souvenirs to either bring home for your dad or to treat yourself with a memento of your Kauai adventure. And happening upon Lappert’s Ice Cream for a salted caramel coconut crunch waffle cone makes the visit even better.

Bonus: Every Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:00 pm, the Shops at Kukui’ula hosts its Culinary Market featuring some 30 purveyors of locally grown fruits and vegetables, hand-crafted jams, cheeses, spices and baked goods. Maybe it’s time to taste your first rambutan!

Poipu Shopping Village

Poipu Shopping Village is also a short walk from Koloa Landing. Boutiques in this pretty botanical setting are a little more eclectic, like Elephant Walk, which is filled with funky hats, jewelry and gifts. Na Hoku offers fine jewelry, watches, and gems. Diamond-studded flip flop charm, anyone? Making Waves swimwear features everyone’s favorite bikini designers, while Honolua Surf Co. and By the Sea can provide all the mens and women’s casualwear you’ll need to go from day into night on the island. If you feel hungry, grab a Puka Dog because where else can you get a polish sausage daused with lava habanero sauce, coconut relish and lilikoi mustard?

Warehouse 3540

Billing itself as a creative community marketplace, Warehouse 3540 is not to be missed. Though the large space’s “history is a bit of a mystery” it has been transformed into a collective of local artisans and businesses offering creative, unique and giftable goodies in a super hip, rustic setting. You’ll be delighted by fine art, hand-made jewelry, clothing and vintage treasures. (Who can resist a charmingly battered 1970’s Kauai license plate?) There’s even a consignment shop. Stop by the indoor Kind Coffee trailer for a local brew or step outside and find an array of gourmet food trucks at the ready.

Old Koloa Town

For authentic Hawaiian charm in an historic setting, Old Koloa Town offers several blocks of old-time Kauai structures with wrap-around wooden decks and some modern boutiques. Pick up a pair of Keshi Pearl earrings from Brianne & Co, a local jewelry maker raised on Kauai. Stop into Koloa Trading Post for that perfect Hawaiian shirt to wear to your next luau. And whose family rec room would be complete without a colorful metal sign warning of “Falling Coconuts”? You’ll find a nice selection of these and other unique furnishings at Divine Planet. Browse the surf wear shops, fine art studios and even a smoke shop. Restaurants proliferate these blocks, too, with everything from fine Italian cuisine to gourmet burgers, and the best cappuccino on the South Shore is found at the tiny but mighty Aloha Roasters.

We got you covered

Back at the resort with a proper cover up for your daughter, a decidedly uncrooked pair of Ray Bans, and two pairs of boys’ flip flops (just in case) you are ready to resume your adventures in paradise. Now if you could just remember where you left your sun hat . . .

Book your villa at Koloa Landing Resort today. We are just down the road from some fabulous shopping — should you need a little help . . .

Erica Karlin, with research by Natasha Karlin, Koloa Landing Resort