Sure the pool is nice and the beaches are sandy but the first thing on my list To-Do when I stepped off the plane in Hawaii was to head out shopping. Here are my three shopping spot suggestions you must visit when vacationing in O’ahu.
Before you go and spend all your cash on $100 Hawaiian dresses or $50 Aloha shirts, stuff your money back into your wallet and head over to Savers. Savers is a second hand store selling mainly clothing but they have some shoes, accessories, and even a few toys. You might think a second hand store isn’t appealing but you’ll find some great deals. I found Cinnamon Girl dresses, that are made in Hawaii and sell new for $100 – $200, available for $5.99 – $12.99.
There were also Aloha shirts selling for under $6.00 when they usually sell for close to $30 or more new. As second hand items, the dresses and shirts I bought, looked brand new. But I think the best deal was on a new pair of Birkenstocks ($300 shoes) for $5.99. Savers lets you dress the Hawaiian part without dropping all your money on one item. That means more shopping for me.
The Swap Meet at the Aloha Stadium is huge. You’ll find guys selling new stuff as well as people selling second hand stuff. I was looking forward to checking out the trinkets and treasures that other people wanted to get rid of. Imagine a huge garage sale. I found a cool little Hamster character that wheels across the table and it only cost me ten cents. You’ll find all sorts of cool tourist things like magnets, bathing suites, and cool bracelets for nice souvenirs. There’s also neat new things sold there too. I bought a coconut ring from Organico Jewelry. It was made from actual coconuts and coloured with natural dyes. My mom bought three rings from them, all made from Tagua nuts. I picked up a new bag too that had a fun Hawaiian pattern and was made locally. They even sell coconut water. They give you an actual coconut that they cut a hole in and put a straw. You can then drink the coconut water. I liked the taste my brother and sister didn’t like it much. The Swap Meet is a great stop to find a unique souvenir or in my mom’s case, buy a new bathing suit.
Ala Moana Center ($$$)
If you are looking for some regular shopping than the Ala Moana Center is the place to visit. It is the biggest outdoor shopping mall in the USA. You will find all of the popular stores plus a few Hawaii specific ones. I loved the second level of the Shirokiya store (a Japaneese department store). The tempura and sushi and food. Yum. We also found some really coold Japanese puzzles on clearance and my little sister got a Hello Kitty watch. The Ala Moana Center is the first place I discovered the Cinnamon Girl store and their dresses. I like walking outdoor, without all those electric lights.
Eventhough it was raining when we went to the mall, there are overhangs over the stores so we didn’t get wet. I liked all the natural plants too. It was just a really nice mall to be in. The Ala Moana Center has one of the best food courts that I have ever been to. I loved the the choices that you could make. No stops like McDonalds. Instead there was ramen noodles, tempura, kaluha pig, chicken, and sushi. The Ala Moana Center makes great a day of shopping, it offers lots of free parking and it’s not stuffed in a electrically lighted mall (except the food court but it looks pretty cool).
With shopping out of the way you can enjoy all your new finds on your vacation. The problem is deciding on which dress to wear first.
Bye for now,