The Big Island of Hawaii may not have the giant malls and shopping centers that you’d find on Oahu or even Maui, but there are still plenty of shopping adventures to be found on the island. From trend-setting resort shops along the Kohala Coast to the Wal-Mart in Hilo (a favorite night-time hangout spot for locals), the Big Island has enough venues to satisfy any shopaholic.
Located just seven miles from Kailua-Kona on Alii Drive is the open-air Keauhou Shopping Center, which offers more than 40 shops and restaurants as well as a state-of-the-art multiplex movie theater. Among the items you’ll find here are the latest fashion apparel, swimwear, specialty shops, convenience stores and more. Free entertainment and cultural demonstrations (including ukulele lessons and lei making classes) are held at the shopping center every Friday.
The Big Island’s scenic Kohala Coast also has a wealth of shopping opportunities. The major retail center here is the Kings’ Shops at Waikoloa, a 75,000-squre-foot shopping, dining and entertainment complex with more than 35 stores and eateries. Live hula performances, musical entertainment, weekly guided tours of nearby petroglyph fields, native Hawaiian plants, and arts and crafts displays are among the featured attractions at the Kings’ Shops.
In Hilo, locals and visitors alike flock to the Prince Kuhio Plaza, which bills itself as the Big Islands largest enclosed shopping center. The plaza has many of the familiar names—there’s Blockbuster Video, Champs Sports, Footlocker, K-B Toys, Radio Shack, Macy’s, Sears, Spencer Gifts and Waldenbooks, among others—along with a nice selection of Hawaiian-themed shops. It’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs or treats to bring home. And if you’re in the mood to catch a flick, the plaza has a nine-screen multiplex theater.
Other shopping venues on the Big Island include the Hilo Shopping Center and Puainako Town Center in Hilo, and the Kona Coast Shopping Center and Lanihau Center in Kailua-Kona.