Wal-Mart: Cheap tourist gifts
Everyone knows what a Wal-Mart is! Why pay three to 10 times as much for something when you can find the same things at Wal-mart? I found several items there that were also being sold at the gift shops at our hotel for so much less.
Actually we had forgotten about Walmart until some friends from the resort told us about his $3 t-shirt. Not two hours later we were at the same walmart buying the same $3 t-shirts!
What to buy: Same souviniers that you would find at the resorts at a fraction of the cost.
What to pay: I don't usually buy jewelry from Wal-Mart but I had my eye on a Hawaiian Heirloom ring that was being sold at the jewelry shop at our hotel for $300. I found the same ring for less than $100 at Wal-Mart.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Women's Travel
Big Save Market: Beat the High Cost of Food Shopping
The Hawai'ian Islands are very expensive when it comes to things like groceries, toiletries and gasoline as a good majority of goods must be shipped in. So to help offset some of the high costs here is a tip for taking the edge off of eating out. I like to stay in a condo when visiting. Most condos are fully equipped with full kitchens and washing machines.
Big Save Market is a very well stocked grocery store with several locations on Kauai. They offer a wide variety of items you might need. I would like to point out though, their produce selection was not as good as the roadside stands for things like mangoes, pappya, pineapple and other tropical fruits.
What to buy: I bring a bag with me and I fill it with things that are expensive like laundry detergent--"Spray and Wash" makes a very portable "cube" of detergent which takes up very little room and does not add a lot of weight to your bag. I also like to bring Dryer sheets, granola snack bars, small boxes of cereal, peanut butter and trail mix. You can then buy milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, juices (I love the tropical juices) and other perishables like yougurt and cheese. I don't bring coffee since it is grown on the islands but I do bring coffee filters as there never seem to be enough in the units.
Note**When you are finished with the tote bag you brought items to the island it will be a great bag to take home all your Hawai'ian souveniers.
What to pay: Everything is expensive on the island, howeve "Big Save Market" is cheaper for most things than the smaller stores such as the "ABC and Whaler's General Stores."Related to:
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Kong Lung Company: A most unusual store
Kong Lung is almost indescribable. The owner imports unusual objects from around the world - art, jewelry, clothing, furniture, candles, soaps, tableware - you name it. Expect the unexpected here. There is also an area featuring "Made in Kauai" items. Prices ranges from inexpensive to extremely pricey, but everything here is unusual and beautiful. The building itself is, I believe, on the National Register of Historic Places.
This is a very lovely and unusual store.
What to buy: I could spend thousands in Kong Lung, easily. I especially like the jewelry and tableware. One of my favorite pairs of earrings came from this store - they were handcrafted silver fish bones. Probably doesn't sound too spectacular, but they were.
Whatever you buy here, you will probably not see anyone else - ever - with the same item.
What to pay: $5 - $5.000.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Long's Drug Store: Drug Store
We have found that Long's Drug Store is one of the cheaper places to buy coffee, nuts, cards, and locally made products. You can also get your photos developed in a hurry here.
Try to avoid rush hour traffic or you will sit in line on the two lane road for a very long time.
We was there during the xmas season so I am sure the traffic was worse at that time.Related to:
- Road Trip
Farmers' Markets: Farmers' Markets
There is a farmers' market practically every day somewhere on the island. The venue changes by the day of the week, and you should enquire locally (I found the venues listed in a phone book in my hotel room!) It's great for getting fresh veggies and fruits direct from producers, and for meeting and chatting with local people. You cannot make a purchase until the official opening time of the market, but you can view and reserve items in advance; and this you should do, since good stuff sells out quickly. Plan on being there about half hour or so ahead of the opening.
What to buy: Bananas and papayas were particularly good when I was visiting (February).
What to pay: It's not necessarily cheaper than grocery stores; freshness and being supportive of local farmers are the reasons for buying at the market.
Coconut Marketplace is located on the east shore of Kauai in the town of Kapaa in the Wailua Area. It's an open air shopping center that has over 70 small shops and restaurants. It's a good place for buying gifts for friends back home.
Although small stores near your hotel will provide you with some basics you have to know (you will notice soon anyway) that food is very expensive in Kaua’i. So, you can save some dollars if you buy from bigger supermarkets. We went to FOODLAND many times because it wasn‘t far from our hotel. It is located before Kapaa at Waipouli (4-771 Kuhio Highway) and have a huge selection of fresh fruits and vegetables for salads but also you can buy already cooked meals (chicken, meat, eggs and jamon for breakfast etc). Of course, there are many more, like the famous in Honolulu ABC market etc
There are also many farmer’s market on several different spots. These markets have fresh vegetables and fruits and they are lovely to see/smell anyway. On october 2009 the spots were:
LIHU’E:Monday 15.00 at Kukui Grove Shopping Mall and Friday 15.00 at Vidinha Stadium Parking Lot
KOLOA:Monday 12.00 at Koloa Ball Park
HANALEI:Tuesday 14.00-16.00 at Hawaiian Farmers Mkt, Waipa
KALAHEO:Tuesday 15.30 at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center
KAPA’A:Wednesday 15.00 at Kapa’a New Town Park
HANAPELE:Thursday 15.30-17.30 at Hanapele Town Park(behind fire station)
KILAUEA:Thursday 16.30 at Kilauea Neighborhood Center and Saturday 11.30 at Kilauea Plantation Center
KEKAHA:Saturday 9.00 at Kehaha Neighborhood Center
Wal-Mart: Save on souvenirs and travel needs at Wal-Mart
Normally I would never shop at Wal-Mart on the mainland, but a good friend who was born and raised on Kauai advised us to shop there before our first trip. It's now the first stop we make after we land in Lihue. We travel to Kauai about twice a year and always "hit the Wal-Mart."
What to buy: Wal-Mart has great prices on things like macadamia nuts, coffee, and lesser priced souvenirs. Over the years we have purchased numerous wooden platters and serving dishes made from local woods in the shape of pineapples, fish, etc. I usually keep a supply on hand to give as hostess gifts, whatever. Wal-Mart also sells Hawaiian shirts and dresses, although the quality is not as nice as Hilo Hattie's (but the prices are much cheaper - I usually buy children's clothes here since I figure they'll only be worn for a short time anyway). The exact same chocolate covered macadamias, packaged coffees, etc. that are sold at Hilo Hatties and at local gift shops are about 1/3 the price at Wal-Mart. My mother-in-law loves the fabric section - they have a nice selection of Hawaiian type fabrics that she has used to make dresses for my little girl, as well as quilts and other items. She says the prices are very reasonable. They also have some cute items in the baby section such as car seat covers and cute Hawaiian theme bedding.
The other great thing about Wal-Mart is that they sell groceries, sunscreen, diapers, personal hygiene items, you name it. If you forgot to bring it or didn't want to pack it you can probably find it here, and cheaply. We usually purchase sodas, bottled water, snacks, etc. and a styrofoam cooler or one of those soft-sided coolers that we then fill with ice. The hotels will charge upwards of 1 to 2 dollars for water and sodas - better to stock up before you get there. You can also purchase items for the beach or pool - sand toys, pool floats, inexpensive towels (if you're staying somewhere - like a condo - that doesn't provide beach towels), snorkels and masks, etc. They will all be much cheaper than renting them. We usually just leave them behind or give them to another family on our last day. We've never spent more than $20 for all our beach supplies, and many places will charge that for one day's rental.
What to pay: Expect to save considerable amounts of money over the local gift shops on souvenirs, although the quality on clothing is not equal to Hilo Hattie's. Expect to save on groceries, even over Safeway or Big Save.
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Hilo Hattie: The Store of Hawaii
For anything that has to do with Hawaii you can't beat Hilo Hattie. This is a chain with stores on all of the major islands and offers what is perhaps the best selection of Hawaiiana that you will find anywhere. When you enter the front door you are greeted with a free lei made of shells and offered a free shot of guava juice. If you're looking for Hawaiian clothing, gifts, foods, books, souvenirs, whatever, your best chance of finding it is here. I've been to the Hawaiian Islands four times now, and every trip I have made at least one stop at Hilo Hattie.
What to pay: Lower prices than most island shops.
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Coconut MarketPlace: Lots More than just Coconuts
The Coconut Marketplace is a very nice open-air mall in the town of Kapaa, about 7 miles north of Lihue. There are more than 70 shops offering wares in large variety, but most tend to specialize in items that may be on interest to the tourist. There are art galleries featuring the works of Hawaiian artists, local crafts and souvenirs, as well as clothing, jewelry, beautyshops, restaurants and a theater. We especially enjoyed browsing through the art galleries, and Karen bought a beautiful red Kauai shirt in one of the shops.
The area of Kauai where the Coconut Marketplace is located is called the Coconut Coast, because of the many coconut palms in the area. Most of these were planted about a century ago and they are quite tall - a beautiful site swaying in the tropical breezes.
Safeway: Grocery shopping on Kauai
For those of us familiar with Safeway, we know that it's a grocery store chain that has some great sales and great selections. If you have a Safeway card, bring it. If you don't have a card, apply for it there (it's free) and use it to get the "member price" on many items.
What to buy: Seems like they always have eggs on sale---BOGOF 18 pack for about $2. Milk also was on sale every time we went there---2 for $7. We even bought steaks one night and bar b qed them at our resort. Lunch meats, bread, cereal, and snacks saved us from having to eat out every breakfast and lunch.
What to pay: Since most things are shipped in to Hawaii, most things are more expensive. But what a small price to pay for being in paradise! If you shop the sales, though, you can buy alot of things for about the same as regular prices back home.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Kauai Products Fair: Authentic Kauai stuff
I felt like I hit the jackpot when I saw this. Dozens of local artisans, farmers, and locals come together in one big outdoor market, selling jewelry, shells, clothing, and every kind of cool wood thing you can imagine. I think I bought almost every single souvenir here -- wooden bowls, vases, bracelets, rings, etc. It is held Wed-Sun from 9 a.m.--5 p.m, just north of Kapaa. If you want cool, homemade gifts, this is the place to go! Most of the vendors are locals who have lots of knowledge and tips about the island to share with you. Since its not a store, you have some bargaining power as well. And if you are like me and show up there three times in one day (i kept forgetting stuff I absolutely needed), some of the vendors will even give you a discount :-)
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Kilohana: Kauai's Grand Plantation Estate
It was difficult to decide whether to make this a "Things to Do" tip or a "Shopping" tip. Kilohana is both of these, as well as home to a fine restaurant, Gaylords. Kilohana is a restoration of a vanished era in what was once Kauai's most elegant sugar plantation. There is a large tudor-style mansion surrounded by 35 acres of exotic plants and gardens, and dotted with century-old plantation cottages. Horse drawn carriage rides are available around the grounds and surrounding sugar plantation, which is still a working farm.
In the manor house, built in 1935, and also in some of the old plantation guest cottages you will find several upscale shops. A few of the rooms of the mansion are still preserved much as they would have been in the 1930s. We enjoyed exploring and browsing here after having lunch at Gaylords. The shops include:
Hawaiian Collection Room
Grande's Gems & Gallery
Clayworks at Kilohana
What to pay: The shops are not cheap, but admission to the grounds and manor house are free, and well worth the stop.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Island Soap & Candle Works: Love Soaps & Candles?
I am a real sucker for soaps and good smelling candles. This shop is located in Kapaa right at the end. It is filled with beautiful scents of handmade hawaiian soaps and candles. When you visit you can watch them make the soaps or candles. There are so many scents it is hard to choose, but I went with some Hawaiian scents including Plumeria, coconut, and mango.
If you love soaps or candles you will love this shop!Related to:
- Women's Travel
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Roadside fruit stand, Hilo Hattie's, & supermarket: Buying coffee, fruits, & souvenirs
Roadside fruit stands are scattered throughout the island. Usually, local vendors sell fresh pineapple, coconut, papaya, mango, macadamia nuts, & other unusual varieties of goodies. It's worth a stop to get the cheapest & freshest the island has to offer. For coffee, Kauai cookies, & other goodies...it's best if you just hit the supermarket. Lihue has a couple of decent-sized grocery outlets. For souvenirs and other local knick-knacks, Hilo Hattie's is a great store. It's basically your one-stop shopping option for just about anything Hawaiian. You can find Hilo Hattie's on the Northeast corner of Highway 56 & Ahukini Road in Lihue.
What to buy: Coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, flower & shell leis, Hawaiian apparel, local crafts, etc.
What to pay: That depends on your budget and what you want!
2373 Ho'ohu Rd, Poipu, Hawaii, 96756, United States
Good for: Business
7083 Alamihi Rd., Hanalei, Hawaii, 96714, United States
Good for: Business
It was a great place, good location. However, Kauai Coast Resort business practice is desired to be...more
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