The best way to savor your fabulous vacation is having a token to remember it by. Whether you’re bringing back something for your best friend, neighbor, or grandmother, always aim to shop local. Unfortunately, out of all the things to do in Honolulu, shopping local can be a bit tricky. It can be hard to decipher what’s actually made in Hawaii—unless you know where to go. At any time of the year, you can visit these boutiques around the island and find products exclusively made in Hawaii.
There’s nothing that says “Hawaii” more than an aloha shirt. However, there’s a big difference between one that looks like it was made in Cincinnati and one that was made in Hawaii by a local designer. Hawaiian designer Roberta Oaks has spent the last 11 years perfecting the modern Hawaiian look into one with a distinct ’60s vibe, but with clean lines and silhouettes. While you’re out and about looking for things to do in Honolulu, visit her showroom on North Pauahi Street in Chinatown. The “Going Pineapples” print is a favorite among her customers.
Sally Lundburg and Keith Tallett, the husband-and-wife duo behind Manukai Handboards, are talented artists living on a farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. They’ve spent the majority of their lives in the waters of Hawaii, and decided to make use of discarded materials (old surfboards and broken wet suits) to create custom handboards for bodysurfing on small waves. “I think that the people who are excited about our boards are folks that are just stoked on riding waves and open to new experiences in the water,” says Lundburg. “Handboards are pretty awesome in that they are easy to carry with you. All you need for an awesome ride is a board and a good set of fins.”
Martin & MacArthur
Known for beautifully crafted koa wood furniture, any gift bought from Martin & MacArthur is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. For something a little easier to transport in your suitcase, explore their selection of koa wood watches, made from hand-selected trees on the Big Island, with specialized faces in mother of pearl, silver, or gold. They even have koa moon phase watches that show the phases of the moon, so if stargazing is on your list of things to do in Honolulu at nighttime, you’ll always know the best time to go.
Honolulu Cookie Company
Who doesn’t love cookies? Cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company make fabulous gifts—ones that you can give to pretty much anyone. Their signature pineapple-shaped shortbread cookies are musts, along with their lilikoi mango and hand-dipped chocolate biscuits. Get all your gifts here in one big swoop, and you might receive a tasty gift for all your efforts.
Owen’s & Co.
You might be one of the lucky ones who leaves the island with a glowing bronze tan, but chances are your skin will start peeling within a couple of days. Hawaii has some of the harshest sun rays, which can leave your skin red, blotchy, and dry—especially if you forewent the sunscreen. Before you depart, pick up some of ‘ili body scrub at Owen’s & Co. in downtown Honolulu, and you’ll be back to smooth and glowing in no time.