Hawaii Activities

Visitors Guide to Big Island Shopping

January 6, 2015, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated September 10, 10:29 AM
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Kailua-Kona

Since the ancient Hawaiian days, Kailua-Kona has always been a gathering place for community events, socializing and daily commerce. At one point in history, before Kamehameha the Great united the Hawaiian Islands, Kona was the original seat of the Hawaiian monarchy. Today, the town of Kailua-Kona has become one of the most charming places in Hawai’i for shopping, events and Hawaiian cultural activities. Adorned by historical churches and plantation-style storefronts that resemble the days of ‘Old Hawai’i,’ Kona is a charming place to spend a relaxing afternoon shopping. Here, guests can strolling along the coastline in search for the perfect Hawai’i made gifts and souvenirs at an array of unique boutiques, art galleries, mall stores, surf shops, farmers markets and craft fairs.

Waikoloa Beach Resort

If you’re looking for then largest selection of mall stores and brand name shops, Waikoloa Beach Resort is the place to be. Located just North of Kona, this newer area is full of resorts, golf courses, restaurants, and visitors! Within the Waikoloa Beach Resort guests can find a myriad of shopping opportunities at both the Queens Marketplace, and the Kings’ Shops. Both Shopping Centers are beautiful, and feature a selection of boutiques, brand name stores, restaurants, gourmet markets, and weekly events.

Queens Marketplace

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Queens Marketplace offers a wide selection of vendors to explore. Here, you’ll find Hawaiian art galleries and jewelry stores like Genesis Galleries and Island Pearls, Specialty Gift Shops, realty and timeshare companies, fashion boutiques, casual dining, a food court and a gourmet market. Once a month, the Queens Marketplace features a Movies Under the Stars event, and they offer a variety of Live music and performances throughout the week.

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Kings’ Shops

The Kings’ Shops is a perfect place to go in Waikoloa for both shopping and dining. Kings’ offers a higher end selection of luxury stores that Queens Marketplace. Here is where you’ll find stores like Louis Vuitton, Tori Richard and Tiffany’s on the Big Island. Besides luxury shopping, Kings’ Shops also offers a variety of shopping options with a Macy’s Hawaii department store, apparel and accessories stores, beautiful Hawaii jewelry boutiques like Maui Divers and Na Hoku, shoe stores, business services, specialty gift shops, and more. When dining at Kings’ Shops, guest favorites are Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill, and the Three Fat Pigs Gastropub.

Make sure to check out a long list of weekly events at Kings’ Shops including their Big Island Farmers Market every Wednesday (8:30am-2pm), Ukulele Lessons, Live Musicians, Hula Dance performances, and Hawaiian Cultural Arts and Crafts.

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Downtown Hilo

Downtown Hilo is easily the Big Island’s biggest small town. This is a great area for shopping for art in Hawaii, and checking out one of the most popular small towns in the State of Hawaii. Here, you can find unique gifts shops decorating the insides of century old storefronts, and have a real opportunity to feel submersed in the local culture.  Downtown Hilo is full of a variety of fun boutiques, Hawaiian cultural sites, art galleries, and restaurants. Popular sites to check out in Downtown Hilo are East Hawaii Cultural Center, the Palace Theatre (built in 1925), the Lyman Mission House and Museum, and the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Every first Friday of the month, guests should check out Hilo’s First Friday Art and Music Events.

The Shops At Mauna Lani

Located on the North Kohala Coast, the Shops at Mauna Lani is where you want to be for a great day-long Big Island shopping experience. This chic outdoor shopping center offers something for everyone. At the Shops at Mauna Lani, guests can find a wide ranging of shopping options including luxury fashion brands, island-style aloha wear, trendy boutiques, and art galleries. The Shops also offers a myriad of business services; Clark Realty Group, Moana Salon & Day Spa, the Big Island Visitors Bureau, Snorkel Bob’s, and more. Shops at Mauna Lani also offers guests a handful of dining options including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Tommy Bahama’s Restaurants & Bar.

At the Theater at the Shops, guests will love experiencing Hawaii’s first and only 4D Adventure Ride; simulated rides that are projected on a 19-foot widescreen by a high definition projector.

After you’re finished shopping, check out a full range of daily and nightly events held at the Shop at Mauna Lani. Every Monday and Thursday guests can see a free Hula performance, or enjoy Ukulele Lessons on Wednesdays, and Lei Making on Mondays.

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