101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - SHOPPING -

Shop Big Is­land-Style

If you’re plan­ning a Big Is­land shop­ping spree, or even a win­dow-shop­ping walk­a­bout, don’t ex­pect to hit a mall stocked with Main­land looka­likes. Part of the is­land’s charm is the fact that it’s not rid­dled with de­part­ment store chains. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll eas­ily find all that you need; it’s just that shop­ping on the Big Is­land is an in­trigu­ing mix of is­land-style ap­parel and one-of-a-kind things.

Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona is wall-to-wall shop­ping. Wan­der through the small shops and find is­land wear, san­dals, gifts, jew­elry and art.

For re­sort shop­ping, head to the Ko­hala Coast. Two chic des­ti­na­tions are the Queens’ Mar­ket­Place at the Waikoloa Beach Re­sort and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Hilo Hat­tie, with stores in Kona and Hilo, is known for its large se­lec­tion of Hawai­ian fash­ions. The store may be the only place in the Is­lands that stocks sizes up to 5XL.

Holu­aloa Vil­lage is a shop­ping des­ti­na­tion just wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered. It’s a short and scenic drive from Kailu­aKona. The vil­lage is set in Kona cof­fee coun­try and features a col­lec­tion of gal­leries and shops with friendly pro­pri­etors and in­trigu­ing, orig­i­nal mer­chan­dise.

The Hilo Shop­ping Cen­ter, just min­utes from the air­port, is a re­fresh­ing oa­sis from over­crowded malls. En­joy lunch or din­ner at one of five restau­rants or re­lax with a cup of gourmet cof­fee. The mall in­cludes a large nat­u­ral foods store and a va­ri­ety of ap­parel shops. The shop­ping cen­ter is lo­cated at the cor­ner of Kekua­nao‘a and Ki­lauea streets.

Get an Uke of Your Own

In­spired by Ed­die Ved­der’s Ukulele Songs? Think you could be the next Jake Shimabukuro? Or just want to be able to strum along to songs such as Sit­ting, Wait­ing, Wish­ing by Jack John­son or Iz’s ver­sion of Some­where Over the Rain­bow? Check out lo­cal mu­si­cal in­stru­ment shops in Hilo or Kailua-Kona to try strum­ming the in­stru­ment’s four strings your­self and even buy your own uke to take home with you.

As for the his­tory of the ‘ukulele (pro­nounced “oo-kooleh-leh,” in­stead of “you-ka-le-le”), it ar­rived in Hawai‘i with Por­tuguese im­mi­grants in the late 1800s along with malasadas and sweet bread. Since then, the ‘ukulele has been a key part of kani ka pila (back­yard jam ses­sions) and pop­u­lar Hawai­ian tunes.

Buy one for your­self and learn all about the dif­fer­ent sizes, styles and woods at Kier­nan Mu­sic in old town Kainaliu. Here you can talk to ex­pert luthiers at the only fully staffed re­pair and

cus­tom-made ‘ukulele and gui­tar shop on the is­land. They carry a full range of new, used and vin­tage in­stru­ments for begin­ners and ex­pert play­ers, and of­fer a va­ri­ety of learn-to-play books and DVDs, as well as re­fer­rals to lo­cal in­struc­tors for short vis­i­tor les­son pro­grams.

• Kier­nan Mu­sic (808) 322-4939

In­dulge Your Candy Crav­ings

If you can’t re­sist choco­late, Big Is­land Can­dies is a deca­dent des­ti­na­tion. For more than 30 years, the Hilo in­sti­tu­tion has been known for the qual­ity, ir­re­sistibil­ity and in­no­va­tion of its prod­ucts.

Big Is­land Can­dies is lo­cated in a 40,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity on Hi­nano Street near the Hilo Air­port. Candy and cookie mak­ers work in plain view be­hind a glass win­dow at the rear of the store. Daily tours and free sam­ples are avail­able.

Be sure to try the com­pany’s award-win­ning ma­cadamia nut short­bread cook­ies, di­ag­o­nally dipped in dark choco­late, milk choco­late and white choco­late. The com­pany also has a line of truf­fles with names that’ll make you drool; Mocha, Hi­bis­cus, Dark Choco­late, Yuzu and Co­conut. And that’s only the tip of the candy jar. The store is open ev­ery day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Big Is­land Can­dies (808) 935-8890 or (800)-935-5510

Ride­the Hele-On Bus for a Buck

There are lots of ways to get around the Big Is­land, but none of them is as easy on the pock­et­book as rid­ing the county’s Hele-On Bus. It’s $1 per ride, with monthly passes or pre-pur­chased tick­ets ($7 for a sheet of 10). There’s also a $1 charge per large carry-ons such as lug­gage, over­sized bags and bi­cy­cles. Hint: bring ex­act change.

The county’s Mass Tran­sit Agency re­cently beefed up ser­vice on some of its more pop­u­lar routes and two new ac­ces­si­ble buses have gone into ser­vice to aid dis­abled rid­ers. The Tran­sit Agency also of­fers a shared-ride taxi pro­gram that pro­vides door-to-door rides for as lit­tle as $2 within the Hilo-city area.

For more in­for­ma­tion and sched­ules, call the Mass Tran­sit Agency at (808) 961-8744.


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