If you’re going to spend time shopping
you’re in for
a fun adventure. You are guaranteed to find whatever it is you are
looking for and then some!
The best Oahu shopping can be found in both indoor and outdoor settings. You will find a diverse mix of shops specializing in Hawaiian specialty items, island art, high-end designer goods, local crafts, and as much Hawaiiana as you can muster. Whatever you are looking for, you will be able to find it at the following Oahu shopping venues: Ala Moana Mall, Aloha Tower Marketplace, Ward Warehouse & Ward Centre, and of course, the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. These are places where I do most my shopping on Oahu.
In one of its recent mega million dollar renovations, the Ala Moana
Mall added a 4th top level with a handful of restaurants and a fun open
air island bar called the
Mai Tai Bar, which is a hotspot for hip
locals and tourists alike!
This one of a kind shopping mall also has a beautiful center stage that hosts free daily performances, including lots of local Hawaiian music and hula dancing. Don’t miss the Keiki (kids) Hula performance that takes place every Sunday at 10am!
Remember walking down to the old abandoned Honolulu Aloha Tower with my brother when we were kids. Buildings with broken windows and rusted metal framing were all that remained of the original 1926 docking center for arriving cruise ship visitors.
Today, the Aloha Tower
Marketplace has received an amazing makeover,
adding 60 retail shops and 15 restaurants.
oasis is once again a welcoming center for incoming visitors, and now
goes far beyond just a welcome port for incoming cruise
sports some of the best entertainment and shopping on Oahu.
The selection of unique, fun and local shops, hip restaurants, and nightly entertainment has made the Aloha Tower Marketplace a main Oahu shopping attraction, not only for visiting tourists but for locals as well.
Arrive early and be prepared to literally be overwhelmed in a good way. Stall after stall -- there is so much to see and take in. You might not know how to start and where to end, but you must come see this one of kind Oahu Shopping extravaganza.
I always think I have seen it all at the Aloha flea market, but I’m always pleasantly surprised with all the new ideas and creativity that turn into products, and are sold each weekend at this special marketplace...
from dried and fresh
tropical fruits and nuts, to jewelry, tikis and
masks, t-shirts, antique Hawaiiana items, refrigerator magnets, towels,
I love going to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, knowing that there is a large representation of unique Hawaiian goods, waiting to be discovered at great bargain prices. Don’t miss visiting this Aloha flea market!!
shops, special Hawaiian
artworks, mellow crowds, and good restaurants & bars are a
small taste of what you will find at these vintage wooden buildings.
This shopping venue should definitely be one of your
when shopping on Oahu.
You will find a nice variety of shops at the Ward Warehouse, including galleries featuring unique Hawaiian artwork and creations.
Don’t miss the Nohea Gallery, which is well worth visiting on its own. They have one of the best displays of locally featured artists and their beautiful Hawaiian art.
Also try to peek into the popular Nea Mea Hawaii Native Books. They’re not only famous for their extensive collection of books relating to topics about Hawaii, but they are known to host fun events, including some local Hawaiian group concerts.
Hula Supply Center just
relocated to the Ward Warehouse, and joined the unique offering of
The Ward Centre features a good handful of restaurants, and some high-end boutique clothing shops. The Borders Book Store that anchors this center has a neat dedicated Hawaiian section featuring recent and popular books on Hawaii. Upstairs you will find a few restaurants and bars that host live music some nights.
If you’re lucky, you might catch a popular local
Hawaiian band playing. I’ve been fortunate myself to catch
some big-ticket groups, and all for the price of a beer.
Across the street you will find a new extension of the Ward Centers. It’s worth walking across, as they have added some new fun sporty restaurants and shops. Roxy Surf Shop, just for the wahines (ladies), has joined the mix, and now anchors this section.
Shopping on Oahu doesn't only mean shopping in Honolulu and Waikiki. The North Shore holds its own when it comes to shopping.
Hawaiian shave ice and catching a view of the
usually what’s on everyone’s mind when trekking out to the Northshore
But if you stop to linger in Haleiwa Town for a
bit, you are in for an Oahu shopping
experience that is uniquely different from the rest of the island.
A handful of Hawaiian art galleries and vintage surf shops partly defines Haleiwa Town's character. And let's not forget one very famous shave ice shop -- Matsumoto's Shave Ice.
If you are in search of some beautiful Hawaiian artwork, make sure you head out this direction.
Besides Haleiwa, Honolulu’s
Chinatown is the only other central location on Oahu for art galleries
where you will find a great collection of local artwork.
You can also, of course, find Hawaiian art works pretty easily throughout Waikiki, but with convenience comes hefty prices sometimes. If you are looking to spend about half the fortune, and maybe even have an opportunity to meet the artist, then make the journey out to the famous old Haleiwa Town where they are more laid back and welcoming.
This is Oahu’s newest hip area to
peruse boutique shops, dine
in great restaurants, and hangout to experience
the active nightlife. Honolulu’s Chinatown is also
home to many of Oahu’s artists who are setting up their art galleries
One thing that has not changed in this vintage Chinatown, are the
colorful lei shops.
If you drop by Honolulu’s Chinatown, let
it be for no other reason than to check out the handful of lei
shops and perhaps buy one that is freshly made and you will be given a
lesson on the meaning of the colors and the type of flowers that you
choose for your lei! You’ll find a wide variety of handmade
far beyond what you will find in Waikiki or at the airport.
I love hanging out in this downtown area! It’s best described as a classic historic district with big brick buildings, and local flavor with a great vibe. It’s a fun place to take a break from the mainstream shops, and stroll around to discover something new.
There are a few individual shops and galleries on Oahu that
& uniquely different than the rest, and warrant a visit own
their own. These treasure finds display items that represent
Hawaiian culture and captivating artwork, which is highly recognized by
the Hawaiian local community.
Making the short list includes: The Kim Taylor Reece Gallery, Hula Supply Center, The Nohea Gallery, Ukulele Shop, and Bailey’s Antique & Aloha Shirts.
The Kim Taylor Reece Gallery – located on the quiet side of the Northshore in an area called Scared Falls, is a two-story beach house gallery. The Kim Taylor Reece Gallery is a special find for those who notice their sign and choose to stop as they drive around the coastal windy road.
There couldn’t be a better location to display Kim’s captivating black and white photography, framing the beauty and essence of the Hula performance. His 25 plus years studying the art of Hula and perfecting his ability to capture it on film, has made his artwork specially recognized amongst the Hawaiian community and though out the world.
Many of his signature pieces are framed in Hawaiian Koa wood frames and displayed in large prints through out the gallery. It’s easy to find the magic and beauty of the Hawaiian culture here in the Kim Taylor Reece Gallery.
Open Mon-Wed Noon to 5pm
Kim Taylor Reece Gallery
53-866 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula - (808) 293-2000
Learn more at www.kimtaylorreece.com
The Nohea Gallery – I can literally spend hours in the Nohea Gallery, perusing the endless creations made by over 400 Hawaiian community artist being represented in this special Oahu shopping gallery.
I’ve personally taken a liking to the Norfolk
Pine wood bowls that illuminate beautifully in the light. I
personally bought a few of these wooden bowls for my own home.
Open Mon - Sat 10am to 9pm, Sun 10am to 6pm
1050 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu - (808)
learn more at www.noheagallery.com
Even Anthony Bourdain from the television show called “No Reservations”, managed with his picky taste, to find a special vintage Aloha shirt to his liking.
Whether you’re in the market for
an Aloha shirt, unique Oahu antique finds, or Hawaiiana gifts, Bailey’s
Antique & Aloha Shirts is very fun place to visit while
shopping on Oahu!
Open Daily 10am to 6pm
517 kapahulu Ave, Honolulu - (808) 734-7628
Learn more at www.alohashirts.com
Peggy's Picks - It's hard not to drive down Kapahulu Ave without turning your head for a glance at Peggy's Picks. It stands out from all other shops with a colorful eclectic mix of treasures that are displayed in Peggy's windows, and just outside her front door.
Step inside and you're in for a special treat, as you'll be surrounded by an amazing collection of unique finds that Peggy has discovered during her ongoing travels around the world, and locally here on Oahu. From carved Tikis to tribal Masks to intricate jewelry, there are some great gift items, and special souve nirs worthy of consideration.
Open Daily 11am to 7pm
Located at: 732 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu - (808) 737-3297
Discover more at Peggy's Picks
Honolulu Nut and Ukulele Company If you’re passing through the Eastern Windward side while shopping on Oahu, make sure to stop at this little shopping strip located in Waimanalo. It’s hard to miss as it resides next door to a local ice-cream shop that is also known for selling Hawaiian shave ice.
Honolulu Nut and Ukulele Company is an unsuspecting gift shop that takes a strange turn once you enter. The isles are loaded with a huge collection of bagged up nuts and dried Asian cracked seed for sale. Follow the trail of nuts to the back of the store, and the venue takes a twist into a nice display of ukuleles for sale. Who knew that nuts and ukulele’s made such a good fusion mix!
Located at: 41-1537 Kalanianaole Hwy Waimanalo - Phone (808) 259-7880
Check out more reviews here
Hula Supply Center – If you're shopping on Oahu for hula dance supplies, this is a fun store that caters to the Hawaiian & Polynesian dance performances. You will discover many authentic hula, Tahitian and other Polynesian dance supplies, dress wear and musical instruments (including ipus, Pu’ilis and tuete drums). If you are looking to take a piece of real Hawaiian culture home, this is the spot to visit worth while shopping on Oahu!
Open Mon - Sat 10am to 9pm, Sun 10am to 6pm
Located in the Ward
Warehouse: 1050 Ala Moana Blvd Suite 1000, Honolulu
Phone (808) 941-5379
Discover more at www.hulasupplycenter.com