Big Island

Residents like to complain that there isn't a lot of great shopping on the Big Island, but unless you're searching for winter coats, you can find plenty to deplete your pocketbook.

Dozens of shops in Kailua-Kona offer a range of souvenirs from far-flung corners of the globe and plenty of local coffee and foodstuffs to take home to everyone you left behind. Housewares and artworks made from local materials (lauhala, coconut, koa, and milo wood) fill the shelves of small boutiques and galleries throughout the island. Upscale shops in the resorts along the Kohala Coast carry high-end clothing and accessories, as do a few boutiques scattered around the island. Galleries and gift shops, many showcasing the work of local artists, fill historical buildings in Waimea, Kainaliu, Holualoa, and Hawi. Hotel shops generally offer the most attractive and original resort wear, but, as with everything else at resorts, the prices run higher than elsewhere on the island.

High prices are entirely too common at the island's resort spas, but a handful of unique experiences are worth every penny. Beyond the resorts, the Big Island is also home to independent massage therapists and day spas that offer similar treatments for lower prices, albeit usually in a slightly less luxurious atmosphere. In addition to the obvious relaxation benefits of any spa trip, the Big Island's spas have done a fantastic job incorporating local traditions and ingredients into their menus. Massage artists work with coconut or kukui (candlenut) oil, hot-stone massages are conducted with volcanic stones, and ancient healing techniques such as lomilomi—a massage technique with firm, constant movement—are staples at every island spa.

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  • 1. As Hawi Turns

    Housed in the 1932 Toyama Building, this landmark North Kohala shop stocks sophisticated women's resort wear made of hand-painted silk or high-quality cotton in tropical...Read More

  • 2. Basically Books

    The legendary shop stocks one of Hawaii's largest selections of maps, including topographical and relief maps, and Hilo's largest selection of Hawaiian music (feel free...Read More

  • 3. Big Island Candies

    A local legend in the cookie- and chocolate-making business, Big Island Candies is a must-see for connoisseurs of fine chocolates. The packaging is first-rate, which...Read More

  • 4. Gallery of Great Things

    You might lose yourself exploring the trove of fine art and collectibles in every price range at this gallery, which represents hundreds of local artists...Read More

  • 5. Hula Lamps of Hawaii

    Located near Costco in the Kaloko Light Industrial complex, this one-of-a-kind shop features the bronze creations of artist Charles Moore. Inspired by the vintage hula-girl...Read More

  • 6. Kilauea Kreations

    Beautiful hand-stitched Hawaiian quilts grace the walls here, quilting kits and books are plentiful, and the vast inventory of tropical fabrics is amazing. The friendly...Read More

  • 7. Kimura's Lauhala Shop

    Originally a general store built in 1914, this shop features handmade products crafted by local lauhala weavers, who use the leaves of the hala tree....Read More

  • 8. Kona Butcher Shop

    Locally sourced meats from all over the state are showcased at this specialty market owned by two former executive chefs. Lamb, chicken, venison, and dry-aged,...Read More

  • 9. Kona Wine Market

    Near Costco, this longtime local wine store carries both local and imported varietals (with more than 600 high-end wines), specialty liquors, champagnes, 150 craft beers,...Read More

  • 10. Lava Light Galleries

    C. J. Kale is an accomplished, award-winning photographer famous for capturing extraordinary images of lava flowing through the curl of a wave. Not a believer...Read More

  • 11. Mrs. Barry's Kona Cookies

    Since 1980, Mrs. Barry and her family have been serving yummy homemade cookies, including macadamia nut, white chocolate–macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin, and coffee crunch. Packaged...Read More

  • 12. Sugar Coast Candy

    Located on the bayfront in downtown Hilo, this beautifully decorated candy boutique is a blast from the past, featuring an amazing array of nostalgic candies,...Read More

  • 13. Two Ladies Kitchen

    This hole-in-the-wall confections shop has made a name for itself thanks to its pillowy mochi. The proprietors are best known for their huge, ripe strawberries...Read More

  • 14. Waimea General Store

    Since 1970, this Waimea landmark at Parker Square has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Although specialty kitchenware takes center stage, the shop...Read More

  • 15. Westside Wines

    Tucked away in a small downtown Kona retail center below Longs, this nifty gourmet wine and spirits shop offers restaurant-quality "wine list" wines at affordable...Read More

  • 16. Keauhou Store

    This historical roadside store has been transformed into a combination convenience store, bakeshop, lunch stop, gift shop, and museum. When Kurt and Thea Brown purchased...Read More

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