Retail fun is part of any holiday and Hawaii offers some of the best retail therapy in the world. Naturally you’ll find massive , American-style malls for all the big brands, but often great satisfaction can be found away from the city in little villages and hamlets all through the islands. A great Hawaiian shirt or local craft products are always popular gifts.
Honolulu Night Market
An incredible Honolulu shopping experience, Kakaako comes alive with an evening event that combines fashion, live music, art, shopping and local food. Held under the Honolulu city lights, this monthly night market celebrates the best of urban island culture featuring local artists, designers, musicians and chefs. It all goes down on the third Saturday of every month.
Art + Flea
Discover a unique monthly shopping experience for Hawaii's talented creatives to showcase their goods and talents. Behind Marukai Market on the last Thursday of the month, over 60 independent artists, vintage collectors, food trucks, handmade aficionados and fashion designers are featured at each event, drawing an eclectic crowd of shoppers, music and art lovers alike.
DFS Galleria Waikiki
Located in the heart of the action is DFS Galleria Waikiki, claiming to be the ultimate luxury shopping destination and full of world-class brands. Choose from a wide range of island gifts, fashion apparel, and cosmetics. Plus international travellers can enjoy the same experience in duty free.
The Center of Waikiki
Just a stone’s throw away is The Center of Waikiki. This retro-styled retail building is reminiscent of the original Waikiki Theatre first opened in 1936, when the so-called “Golden Age of Waikiki” was at its peak. It retains some historical features like the brash neon “WAIKIKI” sign and offers a choice of shopping and dining styles.
Mahinalani Gift Shop
Way over on the other side of Oahu is the Mahinalani Gift Shop, part of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s expanded shopping experience. A great place to find an authentic piece of ancient Polynesian culture to take home. There are great gift items including fine jewellry and quality Hawaiian-style apparel by Tommy Bahama.
In addition Mahinalani offers all the usual souvenir caps and t-shirts for all the family – and in-laws – as well as key chains, pencils and mugs. Also at the centre is the unusual Ulu, built into the theatre complex and resembling a Hawaiian volcano, selling fine arts, ceramics, clothing, wood, music and DVDs.
International Market Place
The Queen Emma Land Company’s International Market Place is a fun open-air shopping experience also in the heart of Waikiki with more than 130 shops, carts, restaurants and a food court. Sure, it can be a bit touristy, but it’s still a great place for just browsing, strolling or picking up curious and unusual last minute souvenirs as well as all the usual drawer stuffers.
Shopping in Maui is a leisurely, laid back activity and centres mostly on locally owned shops selling souvenirs and hand-made goods. But, if it’s the well-known upscale retailers you’re after, you won’t be disappointed. Head to Whalers Village on the island’s western coast where over 90 boutiques, clothing and specialty stores are found – and all just steps from the beach. Wailea, on the island’s southern shore is another popular haven for shopping.
The Big Island
Waimea General Store
In the northern part of the Big Island, you’ll find the quaint community of Waimea, home to the Waimea General Store, a local favorite since 1970 and one of Hawaii's most unusual island stores. Browse a great selection of local and imported gifts, a specialty kitchen section, Hawaiiana books, soaps and lotions, delicious tasty sweets, a great kids’ selection, bibs and bobs and just an entertaining Hawaii experience.
You’ll quickly find The Big Island likes to do things differently and nothing speaks louder to that than Donkey Balls in Captain Cook on the western shore where the original factory and store making and selling gourmet chocolates started. Donkey Balls features gourmet chocolates and 100 per cent Hawaiian macadamia nuts with all 25 flavours of chocolates handmade. Try some Kona Gogo Beans and the famous Kona and Ka’u Coffees.
Foodies can be amazed at some of the flavoursome rubs, gourmet sugars and salts, organic honey, hot sauces and dipping sauces. Make sure you declare your 'Donkey Balls' and any other foodstuffs when coming home.