Its unfortunately true: historically, tiki culture has been a distorted appropriation of Polynesian and Hawaiian culture, and has thus been rejected by locals and only half-heartedly promoted to tourists. I know that you already know that you need to include sunscreen when youre packing for Hawaii; did you know that not all sunscreens are created equal when it comes to their environmental impact? We actually go through a couple of boxes even before we leave. If you or anyone you know is a vodka aficionado, this makes for a wonderful souvenir. A post shared by Mauna Kea Tea (@maunakeatea). These scents are guaranteed to bring you back to your tropical getaway. You can get your pineapples there, supermarkets, Costco or local farmers markets. If youre in Maui, do not miss a visit to the Alii Kula Lavender Farms.
Malls like Ala Moana, International Market place in Oahu have small stores and carts selling locallymade items.
Original and handmade quilts are quite pricey due to the skill and time it takes to make some items especially bedspreads (which cost over a thousand dollars).
(One packet calls for two pounds of ground beef, though you can make it vegetarian, too.) In particular, youll find craftspeople across all of the islands who make incredible carvings with koa. Prices depend on the quality, fabric and prints of the shirts. There is a list of what cant be brought and pineapple is excluded.
There are over 650 coffee farms in this region and many offer tours that usually end with free samples.
They were used for canoes, homes and churches during the olden days and now mostly used for furniture, staircases, musical instruments and woodcrafts. Actually, they have a long history in Hawaii, dating back to the early 20th Century. There is a memorable character and sign to take a picture with at the entrance.
(Its run by local publisher Bess Press.) Incredibly, every shell is completely unique even two halves of the same shell are different. (Spoiler: I love the InstaX!). Diamond Bakery Hawaii These arent just any cookies, these are Hawaiian short bread cookies that have been been around for 99 years.
These naturally extracted oils come in many flavors like garlic or herb. Its hard to fathom a more conducive environment for bees to produce the best honey than the lush Hawaiian lands filled with tropical flowers and continuous sunshine.
But, their various cookies with great flavors like original coconut cookie, butterscotch, guava, chocolate chip and kakimochi (mocha crunch) are a family favorite. Your email address will not be published. Many of us carry water bottles and they come in really handy while exploring the Hawaiian islands.
The Dancing Hula Girl Doll or Dashboard Doll was created during the 1950s and popular especially with American soldiers coming into Hawaii.
Pineapples are allowed to be brought back to the mainland USA and will go through agricultural inspection at the airport.
Hawaiian Sea Salt has become popular lately with chefs on the Mainland (where most of us reading this live), so its a good souvenir to bring home if you want to impress dinner guests with a great seasoning. Okay, I know this is a cheeseball one, but Hawaii is a seriously incredible destination and definitely a bucket list trip no matter which island(s) you visit. I bring it on special trips and shoot 1-2 photos per day; then I have truly unique photo souvenirs to look back on. Prague with Kids: Sights and Rituals on the Charles Bridge, Walking through Kuranda, Australia: Village in the Rainforest, 25+ Attractions & Stops on The Road to Hana + Tips, Things to do in Villefranche-sur-Mer: Day trip from Nice, Local Supermarkets (Foodland, Supermarket Times,etc.).
A bulk of our souvenirs have usually been many of the food items below. They make a variety of tropical infused and island inspired seasonings and salt with products like garlic guava and passion fruit chili pepper. My favorite part is tasting their award-winning goat cheese and decadent chocolate truffles made of goat milk.
They are cute!
To be honest, this is one of those souvenirs thats so ubiquitous that it almost seems cheesy to mention but it is definitely one of the top souvenirs from Hawaii, so it has to be first on my list!
Koa trees are also known as Hawaiian mahogany.
Be aware though: this Hawaiian souvenir has a short shelf life since the best flower leis are made with real flowers.
That also means you can find pineapple treats, like dried and candied pineapple, to enjoy while youre in Hawaii and bring home with you as Hawaiian souvenirs too.
From photo frames to treasure boxes, bowls and kitchen items, they are practical items that are sure to last for years.
There are a variety of companies that sell them like Hawaiian Host, Mac Farms, Hawaiian Sun and Mauna Loa.
ABC Stores are a Hawaiian chain that stocks everything tourists like you need (and that Ive needed I think we made seven trips to ABC Stores on our recent Oahu trip!). Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry offers a variety of options and even the opportunity to customize your own since they are handmade in their Honolulu factory. But, they make for perfect souvenirs to wear at home and at work especially during casual Fridays. It has a range of unique flavors that include The Black Lava salt, Kiawe Smoked salt and Red Alaea Sea Salts and produced with no additives. Fresh floral leis can be purchased at Cindys Lei Shoppe in Honolulus Chinatown or at Hawaii Lei Stand in Honolulu. Find dealers around the country selling these special ukuleles.
Ukuleles are made in various wood and designs. Talk about comfort food! I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. It turns out the lei goes far back in Hawaiian cultural history; we learned at the Bishop Museum that leis were something even Hawaiian commoners could wear and there was no special occasion needed to make or wear a lei.
The most common type is pearl jewelry, and Maui Divers is probably the most well-known brand. If you are visiting the Big Island, visit Koa Wood Ranch for many unique and handmade koa wood products. Typically these were more common for men, but like shell leis, which you can also find everywhere, tourists can get away with choosing whichever lei they like as a souvenir from Hawaii. You can find Hawaiian coffee on every island, and there are a large number of roasters and varieties to choose from. Its actually pretty good. Pre-mixed candies are sold in packets at supermarkets and stores like ABC Store, Walmart, Target and Longs Drugs.
Its packed in resealable bags, but we doubt itll last that long.
Today, you can find Hawaiian clothing (also sometimes called Aloha shirts or Aloha clothing) that ranges from cheeseball to tiki chic to business casual and yes, in Hawaii some companies still observe Aloha Fridays where everyone can wear these prints to work.
Just add water and rumand start your virtual Hawaii vacation. They are wonderful welcome tokens and also used for appreciation gifts throughout the Hawaiian islands. Their store also has ready-to-drink cocktails, rum cakes, rum fudge and tropical fruit jellies/jams.
Got a would-be chef on your list?
KoAloha Ukulele also makes ukuleles from koa.
Kona Coffee is world-renowned as one of the tastiest. The Big Island aka Hawaii and specifically the Kailua Kona region is known as coffee country. You can also just get the Li Hing Mui powder by itself and put it on your own gummy candy. The islands backdrop and surroundings are wonderful inspirations.
We always love bringing these home. So, I have always gravitated towards these scents when buying personal care items and even with candles around my house. They have a wonderful selection of flavored macadamia nuts. Pure, raw Hawaiian honey is enhanced in this enviable environment. Ive been fortunate: Ive visited Hawaii many times and have set foot on all of the major islands since my first trip to Oahu more than 20 years ago. - St. Augustine |
Learn how your comment data is processed. But new this year is the Mele Keepsake Box, which features eight flavors (two cookies of each flavor) in a beautifully crafted box that doubles as a picture frame ornament that you can hang on your tree.
If youre in Maui, look for the extra sweet Maui Gold pineapples.
Look at this USDA guideline for more information on what lei is safe to bring back. I recently found pancake mixes from Matsumotos (the Oahu North Shore shave ice store) and loved them. Which of these souvenirs do you want to bring home from your next Hawaii trip?
You can also find many of the other souvenirs on this list at ABC Stores, but they arent guaranteed to be made in Hawaii which is why its important to check before you buy and support local artisans and craftspeople instead if you want one of the other souvenirs I listed.
But were addicted to its sweet and salty snack mix (above), a mix of pretzels, conical-shaped corn chips, chunky cheese snacks and sugary wheat squares. The kukui nuts are almost everlasting and also come in very handy during graduations. So there you have it: my list of the best Hawaii souvenirs almost all of which are made right in Hawaii! If you want to bring a ukulele as a musical instrument for yourself or the aspiring musician in your life who will play it for an extended time, there are actual places to purchase them. But, you dont have to have tropical decor.
The Honolulu area also has these stores selling original and handmade quilted products.
Local tea company Tea Chest Hawaii boasts two new organic teas, both featuring organic herbs and Hawaii-grown ingredients to boost wellness. We love their chocolate dipped cookies too.
Who doesnt love food?
(Sidebar for tiki fans like me: Skull & Crown is probably the only modern tiki bar in all of Hawaii; two other classic bars are La Marinana Sailing Club on Oahu and Tiki Iniki on Kauai.). The award-winning Kloa Rum Co. on Kauai debuts its newest spirit: chocolate-flavor rum using locally grown cacao from Lydgate Farms, a fifth-generation farm on Kauai.
For something completely different, you can also find beautiful jewelry made in Hawaii to bring home as a souvenir or gift. After my most recent trip to Hawaii, I can say with certainty: Hawaiians have a solid sweet tooth or they at least know that we visitors do! They offer a variety of salt flavors. On our recent trip, we went to the local grocery store and grabbed a bag to enjoy during our trip (no gross hotel coffee for us!) Ocean Organic Vodka, located in Maui, offers guided tasting experiences during specific times.
Tea was one of the surprising souvenir products I found when we first visited awhile back. We have stopped here and enjoyed visiting their organic farm with fantastic views but didnt get to do the taste test due to time constraints. We have made the scenic drive to visit MauiWine which has been around since 1974. Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts is a world-renowned and local Kauai company.
if you want authentic and handmade quilted items, visit one of the retailers that specialize in them.
The Liliha Saimin kit features shelf-stablenoodles, soup base and spices so you can whip up local-style saimin in your own kitchen. Jam, jellies and preserves can be spread out on so many pastries whether for breakfast or snacks. This Kailua-basedchocolatier has the perfect gift for the chocoholic on your list: The Flavors of Hawaii gift box with Mnoa Chocolates artisan bars and chocolate-macadamia-nut spread, Wai Melis raw lehuablossom honey, exotic fruit jellies by Maui Fruit Jewels, kiawe smoke salt from Kailua Seasoning Co. and li hing pineapple crisps by Maui Crisps.
There are also specialty stores like Hilo Hattie, Shaka Time Hawaii and Iolani.
If you want a lei souvenir that lasts a little longer, look into the kukui nut or shell leis you can often find sold in the same place. The blue circle bottle is unmistakeable. There is no shortage of casual dresses and swim cover-ups in various tropical prints while on the Hawaiian islands.
There is also Volcano Winery on the Big Island. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.
I have a review comparing the InstaX with the Polaroid Now if youre trying to choose which instant camera to buy for your Hawaii trip. They have formal tours and also self-guided guided tours around the farm. If youre sightseeing in Oahus North Shore, stop by the North Shore Soap Factory to see the Hawaiian Bath and Body products and schedule a behind the scenes tour or stamp your own soap.
They offer tastings and a visit to the historic Kings Cottage.
Check out some of these local places: Kamaka Hawaii Inc This company has been making ukuleles since 1916 and all models are made of koa wood. Vacations come and go but souvenirs always bring us back to those wonderful memories of relaxing and exploring.
Straight from island coffee growers, this is guaranteed to bring back some Hawaiian memories as you sip your morning coffee.
These are great if you want to bring back a sweet treat of the non-macadamia nut variety.
Be sure to read the rest of my Hawaii travel guide if youre planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands! Dont we all need that right now?
I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest but my heart will always be out West. Some can only be found on the islands.
Estate Reserve 5-Pack Variety Gift Set, Kauai Coffee Co. Cant decide which Kauai Coffee Co. coffee to order? Buy some exclusive products that arent found elsewhere and of course, sample the variety of Mauna Loa goodies. With the amount of macadamia nut trees growing on the Hawaiian islands, the Oils of Aloha produces macadamia cooking oils.
You can also buy souvenirs when doing tours of where theyre actually produced.
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13. In Hawaii, tiki is a little sad, said our bartender as he served up a second round of cocktails at Skull & Crown Trading Co. in Honolulus Chinatown district.
Known more commonly in the mainland USA as Hawaiian shirts, the button-down Aloha shirts with a variety of beautiful prints are perfect items to buy on the island to wear for a nice dinner or to attend luaus. Their retail store showcases a variety of souvenirs and koa wood products.
Try the mochi one. (If you need advice, heres my recipe for poke with Alaskan salmon.).
They are quite addicting and easy to pack. If you havent guessed yet, things grow well in Hawaii its literally paradisical that way! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Koa tree is endemic to Hawaii and only grows on these islands, which makes it a great material for Hawaiian souvenirs.
They are practical and cheap and can be found easily everywhere. You can get some of them discounted at Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. Its tradition to be greeted at airports and hotels with fragrant floral leis or polished black kukui nuts. This is one souvenir thats on my list for my next Hawaii trip! I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.
(If they dont know, that would be a red flag for me that it might not be authentically Hawaiian!). The most popular brands but are also pricey are Reyn Spooner, Kahala, Tommy Bahama, Tori Richard.
You can also buy ready-to-eat snack sizes and bags of the pre-popped popcorn. I consider this an underrated souvenir product and a really great one to bring home especially for those who like to cook. Mr. V and I found one such craftsman working on our visit to Lahaina on Maui; we ended up splurging on a gorgeous Maui hook that is one of our most prized pieces of wall art (pictured above).
Every winter Honolulu Cookie Co. releases its limited-edition, seasonal collection of pineapple-shaped shortbread cookies: peppermint macadamia, dark chocolate peppermint macadamia, white chocolate ginger spice and white chocolate pumpkin.
While youre at it, youll also find a myriad of pineapple products and pineapple designs all over the islands. Hands down these are our favorite food souvenirs from Hawaii.
The islands of Hawaii is a major producer of macadamia nuts. Its easy to sprinkle some of these items around your home that will remind you of the islands.
One of my favorite items to bring back from Hawaii are the tropical infused body lotions, oils, creams and soaps. They have beautiful collections of unique and exclusive designs.
From rings to earrings to necklaces, you can treat yo self (or someone else) at pretty much any budget level with pearl jewelry thatll last a lot longer than cookies and coffee. You really cant go wrong with any of the Hawaiian coffee brands touted and sold at many local stores.
Visitors are welcome to tour the factories. Speaking of ABC Stores, I couldnt have a list of the best souvenirs from Hawaii without including the stereotypical ones: keychains, magnets, postcards you name it!
They offer self-guided tours, a look into their processing area, some interactive activities (like cracking macadamia nuts)and free macadamia nut products samples and free coffee tasting.
Look for items that are Made in Hawaii like products from the Island Soap Company, Oils of Aloha, HAKU, Forever Florals which can be found at ABC Stores.
Read about our experience at the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm with kids.
They can be found in many stores including mainstream ones like Macys, Ross, Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack.
All great ideas, Mary! Find a retailer here.
Try the powder on pineapple slices too which is my personal favorite.
I mean, thats certainly how I felt after my most recent trip to Oahu as Mr. V and I walked on the beach our final morning. In particular, you can grab cheap souvenir gifts for friends and family, including some with the ABC Store branding which shows how ubiquitously Hawaiian they are.
Factory Tour: If youre in the Big Island of Hawaii, dont miss a visit to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. It doesnt look like the most attractive combination but guaranteed to make your mouth water.
They continue to give back 1% of all their proceeds to a marine debris project. Sure, you can get most of these titles on Amazon, but why not support a local bookseller, too?
The iconic drive-in off Kapahulu Avenue sells this spice packetcomplete withrecipeto recreate its chili. They are very addicting!Hamakua Macadamia Nut Companyon the Big Island is also another favorite stop.
If you want a really off-beat and delicious food souvenir from Hawaii, keep your eye out for poke sauce.
The Kula Calm teaanaromatic blend of spearmint, chamomile, lavender andlemongrasswill transport youback tothe farm.
So if you look at the sunscreen you brought with you to Hawaii and it includes any of these chemicals, you need to grab reef-safe sunscreen instead.
As an alternative, you can find both cheap and well-made flower leis with fake flowers that will last longer. Souvenir stores sell them and sometimes come decorated and are quite colorful. Hawaiian coffee, specifically Kona coffee, is known worldwide for its powerful punch of caffeine and flavor; its another delicious souvenir to consider bringing back from Hawaii. They make great gifts from any of these companies. Some hotels and attractions also have gift stores on their properties carrying unique souvenirs and some Made in Hawaii products.
They are native to Hawaii and only grow in select parts of the islands.
The Hawaiian flower lei is pretty much the most iconic image of Hawaii that makes it one of the best Hawaiian souvenirs, too! Hawaiian shirts are totally lame, right? Below youll find my list of Hawaii souvenirs that you should seek out and keep space in your luggage for.
Of course, there is a store to sample their coffee and buy these products. Martin & MacArthurs offers a variety of koa furniture and products around the Hawaiian islands.
With over 13 acres of farmland and about 55,000 lavender plants.
Its a standard souvenir for many tourists and you can find a variety of designs and quality.
Hawaii is one of the worlds top producers of Macadamia nuts, so its no surprise that these are probably the most popular Hawaiian souvenir to bring home for yourself or for family/friends.
It turns out that a single species of mollusk grows stunningly pretty, colorful shells; divers go down to collect them and turn them into gorgeous jewelry like rings, bracelets, and necklaces.
There are also jars with a combination of flavors.
From lilikoi (passionfruit) to mango to guava and even more exotic options, this is a great Hawaii souvenir if you love a full breakfast spread. You can make its famous chili at home.
Cant feast on your favorite plate lunch from Rainbow Drive-In on Oahu? They offer tastings of their local wines which are also sold around the islands but arent available outside of Hawaii. You can buy the goat cheese to bring home using cooler bags.
If you love tiki, there are stalls that sell tiki glasses, and some bars serve up drinks in them too (like the Hurricane Hank at Hau Tree, which I mention in my Honolulu guide). We loved strolling through the gardens and eating their lavender cookies.
Cant make it back to Alii Kula Lavender Farm on Maui? In fact, you can find boxes of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts for $5 or less in most stores! A post shared by DIAMOND BAKERY HAWAII (@diamondbakeryhawaii).
Maui Divers Jewelry, known as the worlds largest manufacturer of coral jewelry, also has a diverse jewelry collection. These are not authentic and walk the tightrope of respectfulness, but make for a fun souvenir to pull out for drinks with friends once you return home. Pack an outfit or two less and buy some during your vacation.
The caffeine-freelena (shown) is a tumeric-based blend that combats inflammation, with ginger, black pepper and lemongrass. Make sure that the leis do not include fresh fruits (i.e. My husband has a small collection over the years and he likes how comfortable they are and I love how they look.
Their flavored tea boxes can be found in many island stores. In fact, youve probably had Hawaiian pineapple many times in your life without even realizing it (thanks, Dole!). Visit one of their retail locations around the islands. This husband-and-wife design team has a slew of Hawaii food-related magnents featuring everything from Spam musubi to dim sum.
You can bring the whole pineapple. Hawaii isnt the worlds top producer of pineapple anymore but this tropical fruit is still somewhat synonymous with it. While on Oahu recently, I used the advice of former local (and fellow travel blogger) Rachel to stop at Fresh Catch; they had bottles of poke sauce available to purchase and I knew it had to make my list. Hawaiian Island Salt Company based in Oahu offers gourmet sea salt.
Honolulu Cookie Company You may have seen their signature pineapple shaped cookies around the islands especially in their Waikiki area stores.
In addition to pineapple (and coffee and macadamia nuts), a large number of tropical fruits grow in Hawaii too. Or at least eat. If you cant visit them, their products are also widely available around the islands. Look for their stores around Oahu which also go by Island Sole. This means you can find jams and jellies made from a number of those fruits (and even honey from bees that feed on their pollen).
Thats where reef-safe sunscreen comes in: its made without those chemicals that are so bad for marine ecosystems. There have been several occasions where we have brought semi-empty luggages so we can fill it with all our Hawaiian goodies and souvenirs on our way home.
If youre less of a sweet tooth (like Mr. V) and more of a savory tooth (like me), look for Hawaiian sea salt as a souvenir instead of the previously mentioned treats.
There are a variety of water bottle designs at many souvenir stores.
Hawaiian sea salt was used in ceremonial blessings but has been improved for practical purposes by these three companies.
Obviously youll come home with plenty of memories, but one of my favorite ways to bring back a unique souvenir is with my Fujifilm InstaX instant camera.