Free Wi-Fi

Update: Thanks for the comments, I’ve added those locations to my list below. It seems like old town Kapaa is the newest surf spot. Plus, now I’ve done some more research, though only on the web not in person.

In an email, Tara asks:

i am new to the island and love your blog. i’m a writer searching for cafes or coffee shops w/free internet on the island; my old stomping ground was the cow’s end in venice, ca and i miss it. do you have any pointers?

I have been thinking this would make a good post topic, but I wanted to do more research before writing. I’m learning that’s not the way blogging works, so I’ll just give you what I have for now:

  • The Small Town Coffee Co. across from the library in Kapaa has free wi-fi, I just confirmed that on their website. They’re in a quaint location, and even with no parking to speak of, they are always busy, so they must be doing something right. I’m not going to do a full review, but the coffee’s good, their barista is a twotime barista contest winner. The inside is a bit rustic, but I prefer that to any shiny new chain store, and it reminds me of one of my favorite cafés, Simple Pleasures Café in the outer Richmond, SF.
  • Shawn says Java Kai, the other independent coffee shop in old town Kapaa, has it and so does their other shop in Hanalei.
  • Jonathan reveals that Blossoming Lotus, also at the light in old town Kapaa has a “freely accessible signal,” but since I actually don’t have a laptop or an iPhone, I don’t know if that’s equivalent.
  • Kukui Grove mall outside of Lihue has signs throughout their interior walkways and food court that wi-fi is available and free.

In the comments Shawn also links to a website with wifi-search, both free and for pay. There are some discrepancies in the data (and it is likely to be outdated quickly), but it gives a few more free ones:

  • The Shack restaurant, now Polynesia Café but I don’t know if they kept the wi-fi.
  • Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, next to Foodland in Waipouli.
  • Aloha Beach Hotel (was Resort) in Wailua.
  • Starbucks in Kukui Grove (but the one in Borders nearby and the one in Kapaa are for-pay).
  • Grinds Café (more of a diner than a café) in ‘Ele’ele.
  • Waimea Brewing Company (micro-review: good beer too) and Waimea Plantation Cottages

You can’t search the whole island, so here are all cities/zip codes with results: Waimea, ‘Ele’ele, Koloa/Poipu, Lihue, Kapaa,
Princeville, and Hanalei. Also, Hanapepe, and Kilauea have some new cafés and bookstores that would be likely candidates, does anyone know if they do wi-fi yet?

I’ve never actually used any of these access points, so I can’t tell you the quality of the signal and the connection. If readers know of other places, let us know in a comment.

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  1. Shawn Young says:

    I think Java Kai has free wi-fi (Hanalei and Kapa’a).

  2. Shawn Young says:

    You can also this web site to search for free wi-fi hotspots sorted by city…

  3. jonathan jay says:

    In addition to the Kapa`a fre-wifi sites, Blossoming Lotus Restaurant located in the Dragon Building across from the ABC store also has a freely accessible signal, 100/365. I see people in the parking lot logging in all the time in the evenings.

  4. Eric says:

    Correction — Java Kai (in Hanalei, at least) does not have free wifi, or wifi accessible to customers at all. Huge disappointment for me, as I researched them before I left and was under the belief they did.

    This is as of 2011-07-28.

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