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What Souvenir To Buy In Hawaii


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Arline Jameson



When visiting the beautiful islands of Hawaii, it’s hard to resist the allure of bringing home a piece of paradise with you. Whether you’re a tourist looking for a unique souvenir or a local wanting to support local artisans, Hawaii offers a wide range of options for memorable keepsakes. From traditional Hawaiian crafts to personalized items and artworks, there is something for everyone.


Hawaii is known for its rich cultural heritage, and many visitors are drawn to the traditional crafts that reflect the island’s history and traditions. These include items such as lauhala woven products, such as hats and baskets, wood carvings, and featherwork. These artifacts not only make stunning souvenirs but also reflect the deep connection to the land and the people of Hawaii.


If you’re looking for something more personalized, Hawaii is also home to a vibrant artistic community that offers a variety of customized items and artwork. From hand-painted surfboards to personalized jewelry, you can find a unique piece that captures your memories of the islands. Many local artists are inspired by the natural beauty of Hawaii, infusing their work with the vibrant colors and imagery of the islands.


For the food enthusiasts, Hawaii has a range of local products and beverages that make for perfect edible souvenirs. From the famous Kona coffee to tropical jams and macadamia nuts, these delicious treats allow you to savor the flavors of Hawaii long after your trip has ended. Don’t forget to check out the local farmers’ markets, where you can find fresh produce and unique culinary delights.


No trip to Hawaii would be complete without shopping for authentic Hawaiian clothing and accessories. From aloha shirts and muumuus to traditional hula costumes, these garments not only make great souvenirs but also allow you to embrace the spirit of the islands. You can also find a variety of accessories, such as shell jewelry and hand-woven hats, to complement your Hawaiian-inspired attire.


Jewelry is another popular choice when it comes to Hawaiian souvenirs. Many jewelers in Hawaii create stunning pieces using materials native to the islands, such as black coral, pearls, and Hawaiian wood. These unique designs embody the natural beauty of Hawaii and serve as a reminder of your time spent in paradise.


Traditional Hawaiian Crafts

Hawaii is deeply rooted in cultural traditions, and traditional crafts are an integral part of the island’s heritage. These crafts are not only beautiful but also serve as a way to preserve and honor the rich history and traditions of the Hawaiian people.


Lauhala weaving is one of the most renowned traditional crafts in Hawaii. Lauhala is made from the leaves of the hala tree, which are dried and carefully woven together to create various items such as hats, baskets, mats, and purses. The intricate patterns and designs found in lauhala products are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who create them.


Another traditional craft that showcases the artistry of Hawaii is wood carving. Koa wood, a native Hawaiian tree known for its beautiful grain patterns, is often used for carvings. From intricate sculptures to functional items like bowls and utensils, wood carvings are a symbol of the connection between the people and the land in Hawaii.


Featherwork, known as kāhili in the Hawaiian language, is a traditional craft that was reserved for Hawaiian royalty. The artisans would painstakingly gather feathers from native birds, such as the mamo and the ʻōʻō, and create stunning capes, helmets, and other regal adornments. Today, featherwork is still practiced by a few skilled artisans, continuing the legacy of this ancient craft.


Hawaiian quilting is another beautiful traditional craft that has been passed down through generations. Quilts are made by hand, using intricate patterns and designs inspired by nature, such as flowers, sea turtles, and waves. These quilts are not only aesthetically pleasing but also serve as a symbol of Hawaiian culture, providing warmth and comfort.


When shopping for traditional Hawaiian crafts, consider visiting local artisans and craft fairs, where you can find authentic and high-quality products. Supporting these artisans not only allows you to take home a unique and meaningful souvenir but also contributes to the preservation of Hawaiian culture.


Personalized Items and Artwork

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir that holds a special meaning, personalized items and artwork in Hawaii are the perfect choice. These unique creations allow you to capture your memories of the islands and add a personal touch to your keepsake collection.


One popular personalized item in Hawaii is the hand-painted surfboard. Local artists beautifully decorate surfboards with intricate designs, vibrant colors, and even custom artwork or messages. These surfboards not only make for stunning wall art but also serve as a reminder of your time spent in the waves of the Hawaiian shores.


Custom jewelry is another way to personalize your Hawaiian souvenir. Local jewelers can create pieces that reflect your style and incorporate elements inspired by Hawaii, such as seashells, coral, or gemstones in the colors of the ocean. Whether it’s a necklace, bracelet, or a set of earrings, these personalized jewelry pieces become cherished mementos of your Hawaiian experience.


Hawaii is home to a thriving art scene, with talented local artists showcasing their work in galleries and roadside stalls. Many of these artists offer the option to create personalized artwork, allowing you to request a specific scene or subject that resonates with you. From vibrant paintings of tropical landscapes to intricate wood carvings or ceramic sculptures, personalized artwork captures the essence of Hawaii and your unique connection to it.


For those who prefer functional items, consider personalized ceramics or pottery. Many local potters offer the option to customize pieces such as mugs, bowls, or plates. You can have your name, a meaningful Hawaiian word, or a special design incorporated into the piece, creating a truly personalized and functional souvenir.


When shopping for personalized items and artwork, be sure to visit local art markets, craft fairs, and galleries, where you can directly engage with the artists. This not only allows you to discuss your preferences and ideas but also supports the local creative community. Your personalized Hawaiian souvenir will not only be a treasured keepsake but also a reflection of your unique experience in the islands.


Local Food Products and Beverages

When it comes to bringing the taste of Hawaii back home with you, local food products and beverages make for delicious and authentic souvenirs. From aromatic Kona coffee to tropical fruit preserves, there is a wide array of edible treasures to choose from.


Kona coffee is world-renowned for its exceptional flavor and quality. Grown on the slopes of the Big Island’s volcanic region, this rich and aromatic coffee is a must-try for any coffee lover. Be sure to pick up a bag of freshly roasted Kona coffee beans or a few boxes of Kona coffee pods to enjoy a taste of Hawaii every morning.


Hawaiian macadamia nuts are another popular local treat. These buttery and crunchy nuts are not only delicious on their own but are also a versatile ingredient in baked goods, salads, and savory dishes. You can find macadamia nuts in various flavors, such as roasted, salted, chocolate-covered, or even in flavored nut butters.


When it comes to sweet treats, Hawaii offers a wide range of tropical fruit preserves and spreads. From pineapple and mango jams to lilikoi (passion fruit) curd, these flavorful spreads capture the essence of the islands in every bite. Spread them on toast or use them as a topping for pancakes and desserts to bring a taste of Hawaii to your mealtime.


Local honey is another popular food souvenir. Hawaii is home to unique types of honey, such as macadamia nut blossom honey or Lehua blossom honey, which is made from the nectar of the native Ohia Lehua flowers. These artisanal honeys not only taste delicious but also showcase the diverse flora of the islands.


If you’re a fan of tropical beverages, don’t miss the chance to bring home some Hawaiian-made spirits. Distilleries in Hawaii produce a variety of craft spirits, including rum made from local sugarcane, vodka infused with tropical fruits, and even unique flavors like coconut liqueur. These locally crafted beverages are perfect for creating tropical cocktails and reminiscing about your time in Hawaii.


When shopping for local food products and beverages, make sure to visit local farmers’ markets, specialty stores, and even plantation tours where you can learn about the production process and support local producers. These edible souvenirs will not only satisfy your taste buds but also serve as a reminder of the flavors and culinary traditions of Hawaii.


Hawaiian Clothing and Accessories

When it comes to capturing the essence of Hawaii through fashion, there is a wide range of traditional and modern clothing and accessories to choose from. From vibrant aloha shirts to delicate hula skirts, these items allow you to embrace the spirit of the islands and showcase your love for Hawaii’s unique culture.


One iconic item that is synonymous with Hawaiian fashion is the aloha shirt. These colorful, short-sleeved shirts feature vibrant tropical prints and are a staple in Hawaiian wardrobes. Whether you opt for a classic design or a more modern twist, an aloha shirt is a must-have souvenir that can be worn with pride.


Muumuus, also known as Hawaiian dresses, are another popular clothing item for both women and men. These loose-fitting, flowy dresses are perfect for warm Hawaiian weather and are available in a variety of prints and styles. Wearing a muumuu allows you to feel the comfort and elegance of Hawaiian fashion.


For those looking for a truly unique and traditional Hawaiian garment, consider purchasing a hula skirt or grass skirt. Made from natural fibers, these skirts are traditionally worn during hula dances and add an authentic touch to any Hawaiian-themed event or costume.


To complete your Hawaiian look, accessories play a key role. Shell jewelry, such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, are a popular choice. These pieces often feature cowrie shells or seashells intricately threaded or strung together, adding a touch of beachy elegance to your outfit.


A traditional Hawaiian hat, known as a pāpale, is not only functional but also a stylish accessory. Made from woven materials like lauhala or palm leaves, pāpale hats protect from the sun while adding a Hawaiian touch to your attire.


Another accessory that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii is the lei. The lei is a garland made from flowers, leaves, or even shells, and it is a symbol of love, friendship, and celebration in Hawaiian culture. Wearing a lei around your neck or as a hair accessory adds a touch of beauty and aloha spirit to your ensemble.


When searching for Hawaiian clothing and accessories, be sure to explore local boutiques, markets, and even online stores that specialize in authentic Hawaiian fashion. By bringing home these pieces, you not only enhance your own style but also support local designers and artisans who keep the traditions of Hawaiian fashion alive.


Jewelry and Accessories Made with Hawaiian Materials

Hawaii is known for its natural beauty, and the islands provide a rich source of materials for creating stunning jewelry and accessories. From exquisite pieces made with black coral to unique designs incorporating pearls and Hawaiian wood, there are plenty of options to find a special memento to cherish.


One of the most distinctive materials used in Hawaiian jewelry is black coral. Found in the deep waters surrounding the islands, black coral is known for its unique black hue and beautiful luster. Skilled craftsmen transform this precious material into earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, creating striking pieces that capture the essence of Hawaii’s underwater world.


Pearls are another popular choice in Hawaiian jewelry. The islands are home to pearl farms where freshwater and saltwater pearls are cultivated. From delicate pearl necklaces to elegant pearl earrings, these timeless pieces offer a touch of sophistication and elegance.


Hawaiian wood is also highly valued in jewelry making. Koa wood, in particular, is treasured for its rich reddish-brown tones and beautiful grain patterns. Local artisans craft bracelets, pendants, and rings using this unique material, creating pieces that are not only beautiful but also serve as a connection to Hawaii’s abundant forests.


Seashells are often incorporated into jewelry, offering a touch of the ocean’s beauty. Cowrie shells, in particular, are popular in Hawaiian designs and are often used to create necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. These delicate shells add a touch of beach charm and are a representation of Hawaii’s close connection to the sea.


When it comes to accessories, Hawaiian materials extend beyond jewelry. Hand-woven hats made from natural fibers like lauhala or palm leaves offer protection from the sun while showcasing the craftsmanship of local artisans. Other accessories, such as bags, wallets, and even phone cases, are also made using Hawaiian fabrics or prints, allowing you to carry a piece of Hawaii with you wherever you go.


When shopping for jewelry and accessories made with Hawaiian materials, consider visiting local jewelry stores, craft fairs, and online platforms that support local artisans. By investing in these unique pieces, you not only acquire a breathtaking souvenir but also contribute to the preservation of traditional Hawaiian craftsmanship that celebrates the natural beauty of the islands.


Home Decor and Furnishings

Bringing a touch of Hawaii into your home is made easy with the wide variety of home decor and furnishings available on the islands. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or small accents, Hawaii offers a range of options to infuse your living space with the beauty and spirit of the islands.


One popular home decor item that instantly adds a tropical vibe to any room is a Hawaiian quilt. These meticulously handcrafted quilts feature intricate patterns inspired by nature, such as flowers, palm trees, or ocean waves. Displayed on a wall or draped over a sofa or bed, Hawaiian quilts add a unique Hawaiian touch and a pop of vibrant colors.


Artwork is another way to bring the beauty of Hawaii into your home. From paintings depicting breathtaking landscapes and seascapes to prints capturing the spirit of hula dancers or surfers, there is an abundance of Hawaiian-inspired art to choose from. Whether you prefer modern or traditional styles, these artworks allow you to create a visual connection to the islands.


Hawaii is known for its stunning natural materials, and incorporating them into your home decor can create a truly unique ambiance. Bamboo furniture, such as chairs, tables, or screens, adds an element of tropical flair while also being sustainable. Woven lauhala mats or rugs made from natural fibers like sisal or seagrass bring a touch of island warmth to your floors.


For those who appreciate the soothing sound of ocean waves, a Hawaiian-inspired water feature can provide a calming focal point in your home. Hawaiian-themed wall fountains or tabletop water features create a serene atmosphere reminiscent of Hawaii’s beautiful beaches and waterfalls.


Hawaiian-inspired ceramics and pottery are also popular choices for home decor. Handcrafted bowls, vases, or decorative plates featuring intricate designs and vibrant colors can add a touch of elegance and a pop of Hawaiian culture to any space.


Hanging a traditional Hawaiian pāpale (straw hat) on a wall or placing a potted orchid, anthurium, or hibiscus plant in your living space can instantly evoke the lushness and beauty of Hawaii. These natural elements bring a sense of tropical paradise to your home.


When shopping for home decor and furnishings in Hawaii, explore local boutiques, art galleries, or specialty stores. These shops often support local artisans, allowing you to find unique and authentic pieces that reflect the true essence of Hawaii. By incorporating Hawaiian decor into your home, you can create a personal sanctuary that transports you back to the beauty and tranquility of the islands.


Music and Musical Instruments

Music is an integral part of Hawaiian culture, and immersing yourself in the melodic sounds of the islands is a wonderful way to bring Hawaii into your home. Whether you’re a musician yourself or simply appreciate the enchanting tunes, there are various options available to explore the world of Hawaiian music and musical instruments.


Hawaiian music is renowned for its soothing melodies, harmonious vocals, and the use of unique instruments specific to the islands. Traditional Hawaiian music often features the ukulele, a small four-string instrument similar to a guitar but with a distinct sound. Learning to play the ukulele can be a rewarding experience and allow you to tap into the spirit of Hawaiian music.


Another popular instrument in Hawaiian music is the slack key guitar. This style of guitar playing originated in Hawaii and involves tuning the guitar strings to create a relaxed, mellow sound. Listening to or learning to play slack key guitar can transport you to the tranquil shores of the Hawaiian islands.


Alongside string instruments, percussive instruments play a significant role in Hawaiian music. The ipu (gourd drum) and pahu (drum) are traditional instruments that provide rhythmic accompaniment. Adding these instruments to your collection allows you to delve further into the rhythmic heartbeat of Hawaiian music.


When it comes to purchasing musical instruments, there are various specialty stores across Hawaii that offer a wide range of options. From beautifully crafted ukuleles and guitars to handcrafted percussion instruments, you can find instruments made by local artisans who have mastered their craft.


If playing an instrument is not your forte, you can still enjoy the sounds of Hawaii by collecting albums and recordings of Hawaiian music. Traditional chants, Hawaiian slack key guitar music, and contemporary Hawaiian artists all contribute to the rich tapestry of Hawaiian music that can transport you to the islands.


In addition to instruments and recordings, there are opportunities to experience live Hawaiian music performances during your visit to the islands. Many resorts, restaurants, and cultural events offer live performances by local musicians, giving you an authentic taste of Hawaii’s musical heritage.


Allowing the sounds of Hawaiian music to fill your home creates a soothing and uplifting atmosphere. Whether you are strumming a ukulele, playing a slack key guitar, or simply enjoying the melodies of Hawaiian recordings, immersing yourself in Hawaiian music is a beautiful way to keep the spirit of the islands alive.


Beauty and Skincare Products

Hawaii is not only known for its stunning landscapes but also for its abundance of natural ingredients that have been used in traditional beauty and skincare practices for centuries. From tropical fruits to indigenous plants, there is a wide range of beauty and skincare products available in Hawaii that can nourish and rejuvenate your skin.


One popular ingredient in Hawaiian beauty products is coconut oil. Known for its moisturizing and nourishing properties, coconut oil is used in various skincare products such as lotions, body oils, and lip balms. Its natural tropical fragrance adds a touch of paradise to your self-care routine.


Kukui nut oil is another Hawaiian ingredient used in skincare products. The kukui nut tree, also known as the candlenut tree, is native to Hawaii and produces oil that is rich in essential fatty acids. This oil is often found in facial cleansers, body creams, and hair treatments, providing hydration and promoting healthy skin.


Hawaiian botanicals such as hibiscus, tiare flower, and noni fruit are commonly incorporated into skincare products due to their beneficial properties. Hibiscus is rich in antioxidants and helps to gently exfoliate the skin, while tiare flower possesses soothing and moisturizing qualities. Noni fruit is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular ingredient in skincare formulations.


The unique volcanic clay found in the Hawaiian Islands is also utilized in beauty treatments. Often used in face masks and scrubs, volcanic clay helps to detoxify the skin, unclog pores, and remove impurities, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


In addition to skincare products, Hawaii offers a variety of natural and organic beauty brands that are committed to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. These brands utilize locally sourced ingredients and prioritize the preservation of Hawaii’s environment.


When shopping for beauty and skincare products in Hawaii, consider visiting local boutiques, farmers’ markets, or wellness centers that specialize in natural beauty products. This way, you can support local artisans and businesses while treating yourself to high-quality products inspired by the beauty of the Hawaiian islands.


By incorporating Hawaiian beauty and skincare products into your routine, you not only take care of your skin but also connect with the natural resources and traditions that have long been valued by the people of Hawaii.


Books and Literature about Hawaii’s Culture and History

For those looking to delve deeper into the rich culture and history of Hawaii, books and literature offer a captivating insight into the islands’ past and present. Whether you’re interested in traditional Hawaiian legends, the extraordinary history of Hawaii’s monarchy, or contemporary novels set in the islands, there are numerous literary works to enlighten and entertain.


One prominent aspect of Hawaiian literature is the exploration of ancient Hawaiian legends and mythology. Books such as “Hawaiian Mythology” by Martha Warren Beckwith and “Legends and Myths of Hawaii” by David Kalakaua offer engaging narratives about the gods, goddesses, and heroic figures from Hawaiian folklore. These books provide a glimpse into the spiritual beliefs and cultural heritage of the Hawaiian people.


To discover the captivating history of Hawaii’s monarchy, biographies and historical accounts are a valuable resource. “Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen” by Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch, offers a firsthand account of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the struggles of the Hawaiian people. “Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure” by Julia Flynn Siler provides a comprehensive historical exploration of Hawaii’s journey from an independent kingdom to a U.S. state.


Contemporary literature set in Hawaii brings the islands to life through compelling stories and vivid characters. Novels such as “Moloka’i” by Alan Brennert, “Shark Dialogues” by Kiana Davenport, and “The Descendants” by Kaui Hart Hemmings transport readers to the diverse landscapes of the islands while exploring themes of family, heritage, and identity.


In addition to fiction, non-fiction works shed light on various aspects of Hawaiian culture. “The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii’s Culinary Heritage” by Rachel Laudan delves into the unique flavors and food traditions of the islands, while “Daughters of Haumea: Women of Ancient Hawaii” by Nalani Kanakaole and Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele celebrates the significant roles that women have played in Hawaiian culture from ancient times to the present day.


Visiting local bookstores, libraries, or online platforms dedicated to Hawaiian literature can provide a diverse selection of reading material. Additionally, attending cultural events and talks by local authors allows you to engage with the community and gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii’s culture and history.


By immersing yourself in books and literature about Hawaii, you can expand your knowledge, gain a greater appreciation for the islands, and connect with the stories and experiences that have shaped this remarkable place.



Hawaii offers a wealth of souvenirs that embody the beauty, culture, and spirit of the islands. Whether you’re seeking traditional crafts, personalized artworks, local food products, clothing, jewelry, home decor, musical instruments, beauty products, or literature, the options are diverse and uniquely Hawaiian.


By bringing home a piece of Hawaii, you not only have a tangible reminder of your time in paradise but also support the local artisans, communities, and traditions that make these souvenirs possible. From the intricate lauhala weavings to the rhythmic sounds of the ukulele, Hawaiian culture and heritage permeate these souvenirs, allowing you to hold a piece of the islands close to your heart.


As you explore the shops, markets, and galleries in Hawaii, take the time to learn about the significance and craftsmanship behind the items you choose. Engage with local artisans, listen to their stories, and gain a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture and traditions.


Whether you’re adorning yourself with a piece of jewelry made from Hawaiian materials, savoring the flavors of local food products, or immersing yourself in the legends and history through literature, these souvenirs become not just mementos, but connections to the spirit of Hawaii.


So, as you embark on your journey in Hawaii, be sure to seek out these special souvenirs that encapsulate the essence of the islands. Embrace the beauty, culture, and history that Hawaii has to offer and carry a piece of its magic with you wherever you go.