What souvenirs should you buy in Hawaii? There are so many things to find for yourself, friends and family, it’s difficult to decide what gifts to bring home. To make souvenir shopping easy, I suggest focusing on three categories: food, clothes, and music. Keep reading to learn what to buy in Hawaii.
What to Buy: Food and Snacks
What is one of the best things about Hawaii? The food! Hawaii is a melting pot of unique cultures from around the world. As a result, Hawaii has a unique local food identity.
The classic food souvenirs in Hawaii to buy are:
Macadamia nuts. A classic Hawaiian treat, the macadamia is synonymous with Hawaiian snacks. Try chocolate-covered mac nuts from Hawaiian Host or grab a variety of roasted and seasoned flavors from Mauna Loa.
100% Hawaiian coffee. When in Hawaii, buy Hawaiian coffee. Stop by a local coffee shop in Waikiki—I usually go to Kimo Bean—and pick up a few bags. An 8 ounce bag is about $15 or $20. It’s 100% worth it.
Hawaiian honey. The honey in Hawaii is euphoric! My favorite honey so far is by Big Island Bees. I usually buy mine at a local grocery store, like Foodland, or order online.
Locally made cookies. There are a few local companies that make great cookie gift sets, like Honolulu Cookie Company or Big Island Candies. Try all their samples in store, then buy a few boxes for you and your friends.
What to Buy: Clothes
What’s type of clothing is Hawaii famous for? Not grass skirts, Aloha shirts! Identified by the colorful patterns and all-over prints, Aloha shirts are what people think of when Hawaii comes to mind. (Aloha shirts are also known as “Hawaiian shirts”.)
Find aloha wear items like these:
- Dress. Ladies look lovely in aloha print dresses. There’s something about that summer-time, beach look that brightens up your wardrobe. A dress is perfect for warm, sunny days wherever you are.
- Button-down shirt. Men, go bold and buy a Hawaiian shirt as a souvenir. Back home, you can wear your aloha shirt on “Casual Fridays” or to a luau-themed party on the weekends. If Hawaiian shirts are “too loud” for you, look for muted prints that are much more subtle.
- Shorts (swim shorts). Fashion-forward clothing companies, like Reyn Spooner, make a variety of aloha wear to choose from, including swim shorts. Mix things up and wear an aloha print swimsuit to the pool.
- Hat. Straw hats, like ones from Hilo Hattie, often have a tropical print trim that let you make a statement with your headwear.
What to Buy: Hawaiian Music
A Hawaiian music CD is the perfect souvenir. You’ll listen to the music over and over, long after your vacation has ended. Musical sounds of Hawaii will stir memories of the islands, transporting you to paradise no matter where you are in the world.
Recommended Hawaiian music CDs to buy on vacation:
- Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (IZ) - Alone in IZ World
- Brothers Cazimero - The Best of
- Kohala - Kohala
- Hapa - Hapa
- Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and Willie K. - Hanaiali’i