Following are a few suggestions about shopping in Honolulu. They are in no particular order.

International Market

In middle of Waikiki on Kalakaua, the International Market is a potpourri of shops. Some are just junk, some quite authentic crafts from the Pacific islands. A good place for souvenirs.

Ala Moana

The big shopping center, about a mile West from Waikiki on the main street along the coastline. Easy by bus or foot, and has huge parking lot. Lots of shops, used heavily by locals and tourists. Sears, department stores, and all that...

Ward Warehouse

And neighboring Ward Center, these are a bit more yuppy shopping malls, also located on the coastal route, but about 2 miles from Waikiki. Some reasonable restaurants too.

Bishop Museum Giftshop

Probably the best place for Hawaiiana. Take the exit marked Houghtailing from freeway H-1 West. Or, take bus from Waikiki. The museum should be visited anyway for its wonderful collection of Hawaiiana and the polynesian collection as well.


The UH Bookstore on the Manoa campus in the Campus Center (student union). It is not a great bookstore, a sore subject with us locals. However, it does have UH trinkets, great deals on MacIntosh computers, items of special UH interest, as well as the usual textbooks.

In the last few years the bookstore situation in Hawaii has improved dramatically with the arrival of the three new mega-bookstores. Borders has stores in Waikele, about 15 miles Ewa (west), off H-1, and more conveniently in Ward Center. Barnes and Noble has a large store in the Kahala Mall, with the now usual coffee shop and pleasant places to linger.


The area bounded by River Street Beretania, Nimitz and Nuuanu, has many interesting shops, food markets, and restaurants.


Ewa of Chinatown, corner of 802 N. King at Palama. This is the superb fish market in town. Worth a visit.

Thrift Stores

For you thrift store junkies, we recommend the Goodwill and Salvation Army shops on Waialae at Koko Head Avenue. Good place to get aloha shirts, and other treasures. They are not as good a deal as in years past, but....


Kilgo's was our favorite store, a dangerous place for experimental physicists, but fallen into hard times lately with much union labor problems. At 180 Sand Island access road, off Nimitz out toward the airport. Has the best collection of marine hardware in Hawaii, except perhaps for West Marine (111 Sand Island Access Road, almost accross the street form Kilgoes).

There is a huge Eagle Hardware out in Waikele, but no terrific bargains. More convenient, and generally even more expensive, are the several City Mill locations, one of which (at the corner of Waialae and St. Lous) is close to UH. Most of us hate dealing with them because of generally rude and incompetent staff, and not very good selection. The Kaimuki Ace hardware, at 3367 Waialae Avenue (732-2888), also convenient to UH, is also somewhat expensive, but they have an amazing selection in a small space. It is more like an old time hardware store and the people are generally helpful and knowledgeable. However, if you need many items or need something really special, you probably need to drive out to Eagle.


Though perhaps no thrill for mainland US visitors, the arrival of COSTCO to Honolulu a few years ago has been a great event. There are two huge stores, one near Pearl Harbor and one in Hawaii Kai. You need a membership card, and should check the hours because they are open only to commercial customers at some times.

Last revised 11/96 by jgl.