Aloha, fellow Oahu shopping enthusiasts!
I’ve got a story to share with you: my boyfriend and I recently went on an epic shopping adventure in the paradise of Oahu. We were determined to find the best malls and markets this beautiful island has to offer, all while keeping an eye out for those fantastic deals we know you crave.
You see, as someone who’s been researching and experiencing the Oahu shopping scene for quite some time now, I understand your desire to uncover hidden gems and avoid overpriced tourist traps. That’s why I decided to share our favorite spots and insider tips with all of you savvy shoppers out there.
Throughout this article, you’ll discover not only where to go for amazing deals but also how to make the most of your shopping experience on the island. Whether you’re a local looking for something fresh or a visitor hunting down that perfect souvenir, I’ve got your back!
Warning: After exploring these incredible shopping destinations in Oahu, don’t be surprised if you suddenly become everyone’s go-to guide for all things retail-related!
Now let’s dive into the world of Oahu shopping paradise and get ready for some serious deal-hunting!
Ala Moana Center
Begin your shopping journey in Oahu from the largest outdoor mall in the world, the Ala Moana Center, with some 300 outlets, four levels, and a centre stage for traditional Hawaiian performances every week. The mall is also great for shopping for trendy swimsuits, water sports equipment, and terrific handicrafts prepared by local artists.
Ala Moana Center caters to every type of shopper, so you can find your favourite retailers like Nordstorm and Bloomingdales, tons of local eateries, and a Japanese food village modelling the small town of Kyoto.
My boyfriend and I always stop by this mall as it has an uncrowded feel from its spacious area, plus clean amenities and terrific outlets.
Here’s why Ala Moana Center offers the best shopping in Oahu:
- You can shop for essentials at the mall’s newly-opened Target.
- The mall has an open-air bar on its top floor, the Mai Tai bar, which is a favourite spot to hang out among locals.
- Families will love bringing their children for the daily keiki hula show.
Waikele Premium Outlets
A quick detour from Waikiki will lead you to the best shopping area for discounted luxury goods, the Waikele Premium Outlets, which houses 50+ retailers across five sections. There’s no better mall to shop all your favourite brands in Oahu, at prices so low you’re bound to overspend (I know I have!)
Some of the top brands you’ll find at the Waikele Shopping Outlets are Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani, Kate Spade, Guess, Levi’s, Coach, Ralph Lauren, and Converse. There are also local retailers and surf shops to try the latest island fashion and restaurants in the Waikele Center opposite the mall.
My boyfriend and I always stop by the Waikele outlets before Christmas and on Black Friday, as you can find even better deals during these times of the year.
Here’s why it’s the Waikele Premium Outlets offer the best shopping in Oahu:
- There are plenty of ATMs and currency exchange options near the outlets.
- You can join the VIP shoppers club for discounted deals.
- You can take a shuttle to Waikele from Honolulu for the 20-mile ride.
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Market
Oahu’s shopping scene isn’t limited to just malls, as the island houses the largest flea market in Hawaii, with nearly 400 stalls and local businesses showcasing their products. The Aloha Stadium Swap and Meet is like no other place you’ve shopped from before, selling aloha shirts and swimwear, colourful headdresses, local jewellery, and even antiques.
You can also purchase farm-fresh fruits, dried fruits, traditional sweets and street food from stalls scattered across the market, which is held three days a week.
In addition, the Aloha Marketplace facing the Aloha Tower is great for shopping from high-end retailers and local outlets and dining from the island’s best restaurants.
My boyfriend and I never miss the chance to check out the Aloha Stadium Swap and Meet, as you can interact with locals and buy some terrific island goods. Here’s why it offers the best shopping in Oahu:
- You can get bargain prices on furniture, decoration pieces and local art.
- There’s a $1 admission fee to enter the expansive stadium and shop in its many stalls.
- You can find varying prices for the same items in different booths, so explore and get the best deal!
Set around an age-old banyan tree, the International Marketplace is an incredible shopping area in Waikiki, set over four floors and with 90+ stores. From luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue to local brands like Mahina selling high-quality ware, the possibilities for shopping here are endless.
The Grand Lanai in the area is a terrific food district where you can try Hawaii-icons like the Liliha Bakery for their fresh cream puffs and malasadas. Other great eateries include Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s Eating House for gourmet food, Chef Mina’s steakhouse, and Kona Coffee Purveyors for the best local brews.
Here’s why the International Marketplace has the best shopping in Oahu:
- There are also hair salons, an art gallery and a motorcar rental in the market.
- The open-air complex has nearly 80 stores, so you can get all your island shopping done from here.
- You can stop by ABC stores and Duke’s Market for discounted buys and essentials in the area.
Chinatown in Downtown Honolulu
Honolulu has one of the largest Chinatowns in the U.S. in its downtown area, offering a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in Chinese and Hawaiian fusion food and authentic fare from around Asia.
A trip to Chinatown will have you swooning with the smells wafting from restaurants selling the best seafood, ramen, and meats roasted in aromatic spices. The area also sells beautiful handicrafts and art pieces from around Asia, which you can buy for great prices.
Some favourite stores in Honolulu’s Chinatown include Hawaiian Island Stamp & Coin for stamps, coins and paper money, Hound & Quail and The Art Treasures Gallery for antiques, and Ginger13 for Hawaiian jewellery.
Here’s why Chinatown has the best shopping in Oahu:
- You can buy farm-fresh produce, local spices and seasonings from the stalls here.
- The prices are the cheapest in Oahu, and you can get great deals.
- This open-air area has a farmers market feel and friendly vendors, which give good discounts after a bit of haggling.
Nestled between Ala Moana and downtown Honolulu, the Kakaako District is your best choice for shopping in Oahu the way locals do. The district is famous among artists with murals lining the walls, a block of trendy retailers and restaurants called SALT, and the nearby Ward Village for formal shopping, dining and entertainment centres.
You can start exploring Kakaako District by purchasing vintage clothes from the local retailers at SALT, stopping for coffee at the trendy cafe ARVO, and shopping for chic surf and swimwear from Milo and Stoke House.
Moving towards East Village in Ward, you can find bargains at T.J. Maxx, get discount buys from Nordstrom and support small businesses at the South Shore Markets.
Kakaako District feels like shopping from old-meets-new Hawaii, and the unique finds here make it the best shopping in Oahu.
- You can find the island’s best theatres at Ward, with 16 screens premiering the latest movies.
- SALT has won the ‘Shopping Center of the Year’ award, so you’re guaranteed great buys here.
- There are terrific restaurants in the district serving a range of cuisines.
What is the main shopping street in Honolulu?
Kalakaua Avenue is the main shopping street in Honolulu. Spreading from Ala Moana to the Kapiolani Regional Park, Kalakaua Avenue is filled with tourists and locals shopping for local and international brands, skyscraping hotels, terrific restaurants, and high-end malls.
What is the biggest mall in Oahu?
The Ala Moana Center is the largest mall in Oahu, expanding 2 million square feet, with four levels, 300 stores and up to 80 dining options. It’s also the world’s largest open-air mall and is a one-stop for all your shopping dreams.
Is clothes shopping cheap in Hawaii?
Depending on where you shop from, clothes shopping in Oahu can range from expensive to pretty cheap. Head to the Aloha Stadium Swap and Meet and the International Marketplace for great clothing at low prices.
What should I not miss in Honolulu?
Winding Up The Best Shopping in Oahu
Shopping is a highlight of any trip to Oahu, as you can find fantastic malls, shopping centres, and markets on the island. In addition, there are famous international stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Armani and Hawaiian stores selling locally-made clothes and accessories in nearly every market, so you’ll never run out of options on where to shop in Oahu.
Looking for the best shopping deals and discounts in Oahu? Head to the Aloha Swap and Meet and the International Marketplace.
Need a shopping area with a family-friendly environment? Then, don’t miss the Ala Moana Center.
Want to buy unique goods and sample local food? Head to Chinatown in downtown Honolulu.
The best shopping in Oahu is sure to get you addicted!
Last Updated on April 3, 2023 by Brigitte