Best of the Big Island’s Small Shops

Homegrown shops and boutiques welcome guests to browse on a lazy afternoon... Find secondhand books, homemade soaps, and Hawaiian-grown coffee beans, among other delights.

78-6831 Alii Dr #142, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Local shops and the Big Island go hand in hand. Kona is home to plenty of homegrown shops, but if you are just looking for that great piece of literature to read on the beach, Kona Stories is a fantastic little book shop worth browsing around. Beach goers and holiday makers should be able to find something to pass the time or entertain them while they stay in Hawai‘I.
Holualoa, HI 96725, USA
Aunty Doris is always behind the small counter dressed neatly in her red-and-white palaka shirt, with her hair fixed just so. She knows everybody and your madahs and fadahs and all da keeds too around here. Stop in for a taste of her old-fashioned crack seeds all lined up neatly on the shelf. Carry the jar over to the counter and talk story with Aunty as she spoons out your selection of sour cherry, football, olive seed, pickled ginger, li-hing mui, prune mui, dried lemon or wet seed. Chances are while you wait you’ll experience a “taste” of local color too. Eh no eat all da sweet sour cherry. I gotta get my fix!
HI-11, Naalehu, HI 96772, USA
For travelers who find themselves driving on the southern end of the Big Island, a stop at the Punaluu Bake Shop should be required. The shop is clean, has an outdoor picnic area, and has a case full of tremendously delicious bakery items. Malasadas are a Hawaiian favorite food and perfect for breakfast, but the bakery also sells sandwiches, ice cream, and some local souvenirs and kitchen items.
831 Leilani St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
For travelers who visit Hawaii and want a quiet, tucked-away vacation from the rest of the world, Hilo is a fantastic town to find a condo for rent and sunrises from the local beaches or to enjoy quiet evenings staying in. While no one needs to get lost in a book when there are so many beautiful things to enjoy on the Island of Hawaii, Hilo Bay Books compliments a tucked-away, quiet, beachy lifestyle perfectly by selling secondhand books (their motto is “get used!”) to help you unwind and enjoy the time away from home.
55-3419 Akoni Pule Highway
An excellent way to enjoy a long trip around the Big Island is to poke around in Mother’s Antiques & Fine Cigars in Hawi (located near Kapaau). Items from eras gone by populate this store along with a fine collection of cigars. This shop enables visitors to dream of old times when men sat in rocking chairs on a veranda and slowly smoked cigars while sporadically talking about the day’s events. Stop in for a feel of local island lore and to seek out a treasure all your own.
Alii Dr
Right along the water in Kailua-Kona, Alli Drive winds around the shoreline and through the town’s quaint strip of shops and restaurants. Surf shops, souvenirs, bars, cafes, and restaurants crowd in the small spaces to attract the crowds of tourists. Staff are friendly and helpful and always interested in where their customers come from. When shopping starts to burn you out, the ocean view is a great place to sit and relax for a while. Alternatively, grab an afternoon cocktail or coffee at the numerous cafes and bars along your shopping route!
78-1377 Bishop Rd, Holualoa, HI 96725, USA
The best Kona coffee I have ever tasted. EVER! When he pronounced the winner in Gevalia’s Cupping Contest in 2010, judge John King said, “We were in 100% agreement that Buddha’s Cup is the winner. The trick is keeping the classic Kona mellow, sweet profile. and clearly Buddha’s was the truest to that old style, old school Kona profile. " Well done to the ohana of Brewmaster Manny Ochoa and Chris Coleman. Visit all 3 award-winning farms in the area; Imagine, Kona Kulana and Buddha’s to see hand selected coffee beans drying in the sun and learn about the multi- step process expertly done by this family to bring you the best coffee EVER! 808-322-6712 for tour info and to order. Their gift shops sell some beautiful tote bags made from coffee sacks and repurposed aloha print fabric. The coffee cups are a favorite of mine.
75-5669 Ali'i Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Kona coffee is famous around the world as one of Hawaii’s best known products. The relatively small coffee growing area on the Big Island of Hawaii produces only a small fraction of the world’s coffee beans. The limited production makes Hawaii Island’s caffeinated product like liquid gold for Kona coffee lovers. Among the hundreds of coffee farms on the Big Island, Country Samurai Coffee Company operates a lush and green outfit on the Kona slopes and still grows their coffee trees in a natural and traditional method that enables them to grow tall—up to 18 feet. Harvesting requires ladders and can be time-consuming, but the trees are able to develop a larger root system, pull in more nutrients from the volcanic soil, and produce more coffee berries. To try these distinctly grown beans, visit the family owned Country Samurai Coffee shop in Kailua-Kona. The shop sells several other items including chocolate covered coffee beans and macadamia nuts and Hawaiian teas.
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