Is there a more beautiful place to shop for unique gifts this holiday season? Step into the sunshine of Hawaii and explore beautiful shops in surf towns and magnificent shopping centers across multiple islands. No matter where you are, you’re sure to find a one-of-a-kind present. Here are our 15 favorite holiday shopping destinations in Hawaii.
The most massive and beautiful outdoor mall you’ll ever see, Ala Moana Center is a favorite of locals and tourists in Honolulu. The mall includes high-end shopping brands, luxury department stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, two food courts, several restaurants, and a center stage that holds daily performances of hula, music, and more. While the mall tends to host international store chains, there are a handful of locally owned businesses, such as Sand People, a small, beach-themed boutique of jewelry and gifts that any shopper will enjoy.
Hit the surf and then the shops. If you’re out in Haleiwa for the surf and find yourself craving a break from the sun, take a stroll through Haleiwa town and visit shops such as Tini Manini, a children’s clothing store, or San Lorenzo, a fashionable bikini shop. If you’re looking for gifts with that Hawaiian flair, you’ll be sure to find something special in Haleiwa.
Never underestimate the joys of shopping in urban areas such as Chinatown in Honolulu. While the exterior of many shops and restaurants here preserve the old look of any Chinatown across America, their products and interior couldn’t be more modern and trendy. Step into APB Skateshop or Blank Canvas for unique and hip clothing with custom designs that offer a refreshing break from the typical Aloha shirt.
One of Honolulu’s newest shopping areas, South Shore Market, which belongs to Ward Village, is a sleek, modern, and somewhat hipster collection of locally-owned shops. Think succulents, minimalism, and industrial design meets young Hawaii. Purchase jewelry, crafty and cool gifts, beauty products, and more at any of the shops within this very new shopping destination.
If you’re a mainland American visitor to Hawaii, there’s a high chance you’re familiar with long drives to outlet malls out of town. Rather than spending the day driving to an outlet mall near your home, take advantage of Waikele Premium Outlets, located less than an hour away from Waikiki. This mall has all the big brands you could hope for: UGG Australia, Adidas, and Levi’s among others.
Hanalei is the quintessential Hawaiian beach town without the overwhelming feeling of existing as a popular tourist attraction. Perhaps this is because Hanalei is on the less visited north shore of Kauai. Stop by the Hanalei Surf Company for some surf gear or Hula Beach Clothing for cute dresses and gifts.
On the opposite side of Kauai, you’ll find the resort town of Poipu and The Shops at Kukui’ula. If you’d like a touch of luxury to go along with your stay at this honeymoon spot, stop by Halele’a Gallery for original Hawaiian art or continue relaxing in your hotel room with a gift from Maile Organics spa and beauty products.
If you happen to find yourself in Kona on the Big Island, Ali’i Gardens Marketplace is the place to be. There are a variety of local vendors selling various souvenirs, handmade soaps, and other trinkets. This is a quiet, outdoor mall, so you can still enjoy your vacation in paradise. Don’t forget to grab a bag of Kona coffee while you’re there!
While strolling around Lahaina, perhaps while taking a break from whale-watching, stop by one of the many surf or scuba shops, such as Maui Tropix Surf or Lahaina Town Surf Clothing Co. Dress the part and purchase a beautiful outfit from Blue Maui Clothing for your relaxing night out.
Just because you’re on the Big Island doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of luxury while shopping. Check out the Kings’ Shops at Waikoloa and you’ll find international high-end shops, such as Louis Vuitton, and local high-end shops, such as Maui Divers Jewelry.
The Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki boasts many luxury brands, restaurants, and locally-owned shops. The Royal Hawaiian Center is a closer and smaller alternative to Ala Moana Center for tourists staying in Waikiki. Grab your fix of items from Forever 21 to Fendi, but be sure to stop into stores like Fighting Eel, a chic, locally-owned women’s clothing store with cute, minimalist bags and jewelry to match.
Although not all its shops and restaurants are currently open, the International Market Place rivals both the Ala Moana Center and Royal Hawaiian Center with its beauty and selection of high quality brands. Marked by its distinctive banyan tree, this mall was once home to a collection of shops that screamed tourist destination. It no longer holds as many Hawaiian souvenirs or knick-knacks, but it’s only a matter of time before this elegant mall becomes both a local and tourist favorite.
When most people visit Lanai City, they expect to escape the “hustle and bustle” of Hawaii’s main islands, but for those who would like to shop, a walk around Lanai City will take you to art galleries like Mike Carroll Gallery or gift shops like Lanai Plantation Store.
Grab a bike and take a ride through sunny Kailua to cute boutiques such as Olive Boutique, a women’s clothing and accessory store with a second men’s clothing store, Oliver, next door. Also, wander through Mahina, another women’s clothing store with quality dresses that are perfect for your day out in Kailua.
Not your typical idea of a Hawaiian shopping destination, but give it a few more years, and Kaimuki is bound to become the next trendy shopping stop in Honolulu. The shops along Waialae and Kapahulu Avenues have already begun to receive a makeover and aside from delicious restaurants and bars, stores such as Shop Toast, a party supply shop with modern Asian touches, are the perfect place to purchase souvenirs for your friends.