10 Best Shopping Experiences Along the Big Island's Kohala Coast

The Big Island may have an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor experiences to be had, but shopping on the island is somewhat limited. Yet those in search of gifts, souvenirs or just good ol' retail therapy won't be disappointed with the selection of shops on the warm and sunny Kohala Coast. Form outdoor markets with an eclectic selection of locally made goods to high end designer fashion purveyors, the Kohala Coast has a wide range of great shopping.

While shops to meet the needs for basic necessities like toiletries and electronics are in Kailua-Kona, clothing, accessories, and jewelry can be found along the entire entire coast.

For designer duds in elegant stores, the King's Shops at Waikoloa Village offers a wide array of stores including Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. Also on the grounds are more modest but high quality children's shops, men's and women's clothing stores, and souvenir shops.

At the Ali'i Gardens Marketplace, Kona Farmers Market and the Kona International Market, you can find locally crafted jewelry, home decor, art and clothing. In addition imported goods from Asia and the Pacific Can also be found. The farmers market is a great place to pick up local fruit and ready to eat food to take to the beach, or a picnic at one of the area's fun attractions.

Enjoy the eclectic array of shops and good along the Kohala Coast, which ranges from Hawi to Kailua-Kona.


The cute little lizards called geckos that found in trees, homes, shops and even pop into restaurants in Hawaii are the star of this boutique. These tropical house guests are celebrated in the fun shop that is perfect for gifts and souvenirs. You'll find accessories, housewares, clothing and other art and decor all gecko themed. It is most definitely a children's store, but there's some accessories and housewares good for adults too. Children will have fun exploring the shop, so this may be a good break for families shopping throughout the designer stores and galleries surrounding Local Lizards & Things.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: Geckos are symbolic with the Hawaiian Islands, and this is a perfect place for perfect souvenirs.

Jade's expert tip: Ask the staff the difference between the Hawaiian gecko and the introduced Madagascar gecko.

Read more about Local Lizard & Friends →

This jewelry boutique carries fine stones and metals as well as a wide selection of high-end pearl jewelry. They offer Tahitian black pearls, South Sea white and golden pearls, and chocolate Tahitian pearls. Fresh water pearls in the shell can also be found here, which are quite interesting to see. Black pearls are highly valued by locals, and you'll see many residents wearing them. Many of the pearls are paired with other stones like opal or diamond, but it's the single pearls on a pendant or as earrings that residents of the islands really value. Pearls can be worn casually or when dressing up.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: Island Pearls sells a wide selection of exquisite pearls of all colors, shapes and sizes.

Jade's expert tip: Look specifically for Tahitan black pearls, they're the most valued in Hawaii.

Read more about Island Pearls →

The Kawaihae Shopping Center serves as a convenient shopping and dining destination for both residents and tourists staying at the nearby 5-star resorts. They are located just 10 to 15 minutes north of many major resorts such as the Marriott Waikoloa, Hilton Waikoloa, Mauna Lani, Fairmont Orchid, Mauna Kea Resort and the Hapuna Prince Hotel. The unique layout of the center allows for street frontage and access for both the upper and lower levels. This service-oriented center, across from Kawaihae Harbor, features a dive shop, art gallery and multiple restaurants, including the popular Cafe Pesto. Shops and eateries include Anuenue (shave ice), Cafe Pesto, Harbor Gallery, Kawaihae Kitchen, Kawaihae Market and Deli, Kohala Burger and Taco, Kohala Divers and Mountain Gold Jewelers.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: Kawaihae Shopping Center is not only the only cluster of shops in the small port town, but offers good food and unique shopping.

Jade's expert tip: Cafe Pesto, located at the center, is the best Italian food this side of the island.

Read more about Kawaihae Harbor Shopping Center →


Voted the #1 shopping center in West Hawaii for the last three years, Lanihau Center is made up of fun shops, great food, and some services to fulfill your every day needs. Located in the heart of sunny Kailua, the center also is hom to various concerts and community gatherings. Anchor tenants are Sack n Save and Longs Drug. You will also find these great merchants- Supercuts, Gamestop, GNC, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Edward Jones, Verizon Wireless, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Royal Jade Garden, Buns in the Sun, Nail Trixx, Happi Yu Sushi, American Savings, Sumo Deli, Mobi PCS, Hawaiian Ice Cones, Oshima Surf & Skate, L&L Drive Inn, and Bank of Hawaii.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: Laniahu Shopping Center offers fun shops, as well as basic necessities in life.

Jade's expert tip: Look for Buns in the Sun, a hidden gem for breakfast.

Read more about Lanihau Shopping Center →

Not to be confused the Island Naturals in Hilo, this one is right in Kona. Best described as a natural food superstore, Island Naturals in an island staple for natural food, products, spirits, beauty products, and home supplies. What really awesome is that their breakfast hot bar serves just about everything you could want in the morning, no matter your taste. Eggs, sausage, fake sausage, tofu, pastries, and more along with really good Hawaiian coffee. Take it on the road or enjoy outside at tables. With locations in Pahoa, Hilo, and two in Kona, natural food can be obtained all over the island. The store has just about everything organic, natural and eco-friendly you could need. A highlight here is the hot bar and salad bar, with a changing menu each day that offers really good ready to eat food all day long.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: Island Naturals sells healthy and organic food, as well as toiletries, local crafts, and housewares.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a reusable shopping bag since the Big Island banned plastic bags in early 2013.

Read more about Island Naturals Hilo Market & Deli →

Designed to combine feeling of outdoor shopping with the comforts of outdoor shopping, the Kona International Market features boutiques, unique gifts, art, and locally made crafts. A business center is on site for your comvenience business center and coffee shop. The farmer's market and Asian market offer unique finds. The International Food Court provides extensive cuisine options and parking is free. A free shuttle also runs from the Kailua Pier on ship days from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The market also serves as a platform for local music and shows at the on site stage.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: The Kona International Market offers outdoor shopping with unique art, gifts, and locally made crafts.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a reusable shopping bag.

Read more about Kona International Market →

South Kona Coast

Over forty vendors gather Wednesdays through Sundays from 7 am. to 4 p.m. at the Kona Farmers Market. Located on Alii Drive in the heart of Kailua Kona, the Kona Farmers and Crafts Market is a must see while on the Big Island of Hawaii. Check out the huge selection of locally grown produce, flowers, hand-made arts and crafts, Kona coffee and and many more local items in the outdoor market. It's an easy stop while exploring Kailua on foot, as the market is located across the street from the ocean, in the midst of many other shops and restaurants.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: The Kona Farmers Market supports local farmers and crafters.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a reusable shopping bag since plastic bags are banned on the Big Island.

Read more about Kona Farmers Market →

Located just minutes from Kona Airport, Kona Coast Shopping Center offers an unbeatable variety of department stores, specialty shops and restaurants. It's a good place to stop when you get in to stock up on necessities. From apparel for the whole family to appetizing eats, they have just about anything you could need. The collection of shops includes - 808 Computers Ba-Le Sandwich Don's Chinese Kitchen HFS Federal Credit Union Jamba Juice Kamuela Deli Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry KTA Super Stores Mary's Spa Nails & Hair Orange Tree Yogurt Payless ShoeSource Radio Shack Starbucks Coffee Taeng-On Thai Food II Tesoro Wendy's Pier 1 Imports

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: The shopping center is located near the airport, making it a good place to stock up on necessities when you get in.

Jade's expert tip: Enjoy a sandwich at Ba Le.

Read more about Kona Coast Shopping Center →

If you plan on taking home locally made items to placate those who couldn't make it to the Big Island with you, check out this public market. Here, just a mile or so south of Kailua Pier, shoppers can find everything from handmade baskets and hats to black pearl necklaces, wood carvings, fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, and Kona coffee beans. Considered the island's largest and best open-air market. There's a combination of goods here that are imported from other exotic locales, but much of it is handmade by local crafters. Much of the goods here represent Pacific culture and style.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: Offering crafts, accessories, home decor and art that represent Pacific life and culture, the market is a great place for gifts and souvenirs.

Jade's expert tip: Seek out locally made goods and art.

Read more about Ali'i Gardens Marketplace →

Located at the Waikoloa Beach Resort along the sunny Kona coast, Kings' Shops offers visitors and local shoppers a large array of shopping choices. From Baron & Leeds, Coach, L'Occitane, Louis Vuitton to Maui Divers, Royal Gold, Solstice Sunglass Boutique, Sunglass Hut, Tiffany & Co., Tommy Bahama's, and many more exciting retailers. Dining includes Pacific Rim cuisine to casual snacks from Island Fish & Chips, Merriman's Market Caf�, and Roy's Waikoloa Bar & Grill. The Kings' Shops measures 75,000 square feet of prime retail property that boasts sales per square foot as among the highest in the state of Hawaii with a planned expansion of 25,000 more.

Recommended for Kohala Coast's Best Shopping because: The King's Shops provide serious retail therapy with their wide array of high end shops.

Jade's expert tip: Check it out when you're going to Hapuna Beach or to Waikoloa.

Read more about King's Shops at Waikoloa Village →


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade