Best Places for Christmas Shopping in Honolulu, 2013

Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Photo courtesy of International Market Place
Photo courtesy of their facebook
By Jade Eckardt

Holiday shopping is often done at its best when gift are unique and thoughtfully chosen, and in Honolulu there's an abundance of places that provide shoppers with unique and locally crafted goods. In Hawaii it's common for entire families to stay for the holidays, and of course most travelers seek souvenirs, but either way you're gift hunting. So we've compiled the ten best places for Christmas shopping, to guide you to the best home decor, jewelery, clothing and arts and crafts on the island.

These days it's all about buying local in the Hawaiian Islands, and many of the shops on our list are on a mission to connect shoppers with locally made goods. At the Haleiwa Farmers Market, one of the most booming outdoor markets on the island, shoppers can find an abundance of locally made arts, crafts, and home decor, all unique options for gifts.

Also on the North Shore is Kai Ku Hale, and Global Creations. Both boutiques in Haleiwa are loaded with an eclectic mix of art work - both wearable and for the walls - as well as clothing, jewelry and beach inspired Christmas tree decorations. Kai Ku Hale focuses on Hawaiian style things, while Global Creations is all about beach and surf style.

For well known shops, drop by Ala Moana Mall for traditional gifts, clothing, and accessories.

When visiting Hawaii in the holiday season, remember that island style goodies make the best, and most unique gifts. And don't forget, always bring a reusable shopping bag.

8. Surf N Sea
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt

Surf, swim, dive, stand up paddle, and more surfing. That's what Haleiwa Surf N Sea is all about. The jam packed shop offers an extensive array of just about any sort of surf gear a person could need including boards of all shapes and sizes. There's also a huge collection of women's clothing and accessories, and many local girls find it to be the best place to shop for the latest women's surf fashion. Sale items are usually placed out front on the deck and offer good savings. They also offer surf lessons here as well as stand up paddle board lessons. Open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, Haleiwa Surf N Sea is the most comprehensive surf shop in Haleiwa.

7. International Market Place
Photo courtesy of International Market Place

A local fixture that's changed amazingly little since its inception in 1955, International Market Place features more than 130 shops, kiosks, and artist's stands selling everything from fine jewelry to t-shirts, from quilts to candles. While the collection of shops unapologetically caters to tourists, you'll still see authentic Hawaiian-made crafts, as well as great bargains. Market Place is organized around a banyan tree that's more than a century old and is just one of the property's trees of importance. Much-loved Queen Emma, the islands' 19th-century monarch, once owned the land on which Market Place now sits. Bring a reusable shopping bag to enhance island sustainability.

6. Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
Photo courtesy of coolmikeol

Can't pass up a bargain, even while on vacation? You'll definitely want to make your way to this expansive flea market, which is held three days each week. All sorts of merchandise are available from a variety of vendors, and you're certain to find something intriguing to take back home or enjoy while you're on Oahu. Clothing, food, souvenirs, crafts, and hidden treasures all beckon and can be had for good prices. An ideal destination if you just want to check out the local color too. Admission is $1 and after that parking is free. There's an ATM in the parking lot.

5. Ala Moana Center
Photo courtesy of Haleiwa Farmers Market

This enormous, open-air extravaganza is Hawaii's largest shopping center, and with 230+ businesses to explore, you're certain to find one or two to monopolize your energy. Anchor stores include Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Sears, and Shirokiya. Other temptations include A/X Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Hilo Hattie, Prada Sport, Baccarat, Chanel, DKNY, and Max&CO. A host of eateries and services is also available. The mall is set among lush landscaping and features koi ponds as well. Ala Moana Shopping Center can be more than a shopping experience since there's plenty of restaurants and bars to provide a break between shops.

4. Global Creations & Interiors
Photo courtesy of Global Creations

With a strong resemblance to an exotic museum, Global Creations is decorated with a thorough collection of home decor, art, trinkets, jewelry, books and things for children. Located on the side of Kamehameha Highway which winds through the historic town, Global Creations is a one stop shop that can take care of gifts for others or treats for yourself. Loaded with a huge array of goods, the shop is also an ideal spot for window shopping. Around the holidays they come up with unique festive trinkets such as hand blown glass mermaids for tree ornaments. Many local artists and craftsman feature their work in the shop so it's a perfect spot to pick up something uniquely Hawaiian.

3. Kai Ku Hale
Photo courtesy of Kai Ku Hale

Unique, unique, unique - describes Kai Ku Hale on the North Shore in Haleiwa. Loaded with gorgeous Hawaiian style home decor, clothing, trinkets, jewelry and art, the shop is a must stop for amazing locally finds. Most of what the shop sells is locally made. Everything here will surely add a new element to your home or wardrobe. If you're looking for gifts to bring home, or photography for the wall, this is the place to stop. Much of what's in the shop has a Hawaiian theme, whether it's a leaf or flower pattern on a dish towel, locally found shells as earrings, or a pounding North Shore wave in wall art. Make sure to take the time to stop by.

2. Kailua Farmers Market
Photo courtesy of Brock Roseberry

At the Kailua Farmers Market, a flood of vendors selling locally made and grown arts, crafts, and food - both ready to eat meals and fresh produce. One of the rare farmers markets on the island that is actually open during the late afternoon (as opposed to the morning), Kailua Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. You'll want to bring a reusable bag to shop here, or even a pre-used plastic bag to truly go green. This is a wonderful place for visitors to take in local culture and people, and enjoy locally made goods and great food.

1. Haleiwa Farmers Market
Photo courtesy of their facebook

Over 3,000 people come to the Haleiwa Farmers Market on average every Sunday. Located right on the beautiful North Shore near exquisite beaches and perfect waves, the market offers an average of 50 vendors every market day. The rules are that all goods and food must be locally made and/or grown, making for a truly local experience. The market has be relocated and is now nestled inside of gorgeous Waimea Valley close to the sand and surf. At the plastic free market, all of the disposable plates and utensils are biodegradable and plastic shopping bags aren't allowed, unless they're previously used. You'll see nearly everyone here using reusable shopping bags to carry the locally produced goods in.