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  • 07
  • Nov
  • 2014

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

It’s been known to rain from time to time in Hilo, so what is there to do in Hilo during your Hawaii cruise if you encounter a tropical outburst?  Well, shop, of course. Just about everyone wants to bring home a souvenir or two – and often many more — from Hawaii, whether it’s wearable, edible, or just displayable. Here are our picks for the best places to shop in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii:

Happy Traveler Comment
I want to thank you [Glynna] for suggesting the Avalon boat trip through the Rhine River. We had a superb time. As I reflect back I am in awe of the history in Europe. The architecture is stunning. I would recommend the trip to all that inquire about it. The finale of a week in Holland was the icing on the cake. Did I say we had a WONDERFUL time? Thank you so much. — Sharon F.

Sig Zane Designs: Sig Zane – a Hawaiian native who describes himself as a “fisherman, surfer, dancer, artist, and cultural practitioner,” opened Sig Zane Designs in 1985, where he incorporates images of Hawaiian plants into his modern aloha wear. In this upscale family-run store in downtown Hilo, you might find images of koa leaves decorating aloha shirts or puakenikeni blossoms ornamenting pareaus (Polynesian-style sarong-like skirts or dresses). Zane says he wants to “honor the land and the native culture” by depicting island vegetation. Chances are you’ll like his designs because they make pretty nice things to wear — whenever you’re in a tropical mood. (122 Kamemaheha Ave., Hilo.)

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Photo Courtesy of Sig Zane Designs – The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Hilo Hattie: Hilo Hattie isn’t exactly the opposite of Sig Zane’s Designs – they both sell aloha wear – but the atmosphere is totally different. Hilo Hattie stores (which are on four different islands, though Hilo is an appropriate one to visit) are Hawaii’s largest retailer and often packed with shoppers. While aloha shirts, muu muus and pareaus are the top sellers, you can also find souvenirs, jewelry, beach accessories and gourmet food items. As you enter you’re greeted with a shell lei around your neck and a free cup of coffee, and chances are that when you leave, you’ll be carrying at least one bagful of Hilo Hattie merchandise. Hilo Hattie, by the way, was a singer-comedienne who popularized such tunes as “When Hilo Hattie does the Hula Hop” back in the 1940s. Hilo Hattie stores have been selling Hawaiian fashions and other items since the early 1960s. (111E. Puainako St., Hilo)

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Photo Courtesy of Hilo Hattie – The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Hilo Farmers Market: Whether you crave some fresh fruit or baked goods, want to buy some island jams or jellies, or just want to mix with the locals and check out the colorful scene, head for the bustling open-air Farmers Market in downtown Hilo. Besides exotic fruits and vegetables to admire and photograph, you’ll find a big section of local crafts made from koa wood and etched glass, as well as tropical clothing, handmade jewelry, orchids and more. Just be sure that if you want to bring something back to the mainland that it’s certified safe for doing so (unpackaged fresh fruit is not). While open-air, the Farmers Market is covered to ward off rain, and more than 200 vendors appear every Wednesday and Saturday year-round. On most other days, you’ll often find a smaller number of vendors eager to do business. (Kamehameha Ave. and Mamo St., Hilo.)

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Photo Courtesy of Hilo Farmers Market – The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Big Island Candies: If Chocolate-Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies sound good, head for the Big Island Candies factory, where the company’s confections are made and sold at their flagship store in Hilo. You can take a self-guided factory tour and then choose among a selection of macadamia nut and other types of Hawaiian-style cookies and chocolates; the danger is emptying your wallet as you fill your stomach. (585 Hinano St., Hilo.)

An alternative for quenching your sweet tooth is Big Island Delights, where you can buy Hawaiian biscotti and other types of cookies and chocolates as well as gift baskets complete with macadamia nuts. You can also purchase locally grown Hawaiian coffee at Big Island Delights. (762 Kanoelehua Ave., Hilo.)

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Photo Courtesy of Big Island Delights – The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Finally, if you still need a macadamia nut fix, head out to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory a few miles south of Hilo via Highway 11 and Macadamia Rd., where you can drive through macadamia nut orchards before arriving at the Visitor Center to sample some macadamia nut shortbread cookies hand-dipped in chocolate – and, of course, buy some to go. (16-701 Macadamia Rd., Keaau.)

The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

Photo Courtesy of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory – The Best Places to Shop in Hilo During Your Hawaii Cruise

To book your Hawaii cruise and take advantage of all the islands have to offer, call our expert agents today at (888) 804-CRUIse (2784), visit us at www.CruiseExperts.com or email us at info@CruiseExperts.com to find out the best deals for Hawaii.

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