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Hawaii (Big) Island
Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
Originally a hotel, the Kona Inn was built in 1928 to woo a new wave of wealthy travelers. As newer condos and resorts opened along the Kona and Kohala coasts, it was transformed into a low-rise mall with dozens of clothing boutiques, art galleries, gift shops, and island-style eateries. Broad lawns with coconut trees on the ocean side provide a lovely setting for an afternoon picnic. The open-air Kona Inn restaurant is a local favorite for evening mai tais.
This new center features big-box retailers like Sports Authority (for snorkel and swim gear), as well as an array of fast-food standbys like Dairy Queen, Subway, Taco Del Mar, and Panda Express. The best-kept secret is Ultimate Burger, featuring locally produced beef and delicious homemade fries. Take the kids to Genki Sushi, where fresh sushi is delivered to patrons via a conveyer belt. Relocated from its previous site in Kailua Village, Kona Wine Market offers the best selection of premium wines, liquors, and spirits in Kona, along with some gourmet and gift items.
An awesome flower vendor creates custom arrangements while you wait at this touristy farmers' market. A glass artist offers nice works of fine art. Here you can find the best prices on fresh produce anywhere in Kona. The market is held in the parking lot at the corner of Hualalai Drive and Alii Drive, Wednesday to Sunday from 7 to 3.
Its location across from the Honokohau Harbor makes this family-owned coffee company's retail outlet a good bet for some easy gourmet gift shopping—or just a coffee or tea stop. Try different roasts or a selection of flavored coffees from the coffee bar, and shop for other Hawaiian-made treats, from honey and jams to chocolate-covered coffee beans. The shop is behind the Tesoro gas station. www.konacoffeeandtea.com.
Here you can find fine stores such as Under the Koa Tree, with its upscale gift items crafted by artisans, along with such high-end chains as Coach, Tiffany, L'Occitane, and Louis Vuitton. Gourmet offerings include Merriman's Market Cafe, Roy's Waikoloa Bar & Grill, and the Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Surf Museum. Oahu-based Martin and MacArthur joined the tenant roster in late 2011, featuring koa furniture and fine accessories. www.waikoloabeachresort.com.
Around the corner from King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, this neighborhood mall includes the Bangkok House, which serves up Thai cuisine. There's also a hair salon and women's clothier.
Originally a general store built in 1914, this shop features handmade products crafted by local weavers. Among the offerings are hats, baskets, containers, and mats, many of which are woven by the proprietors. Owner Alfreida Kimura-Fujita was born in the house behind the shop, and her daughter Renee is also an accomplished weaver.
About 5 mi south of Kailua Village, this shopping center includes KTA Superstore, Longs Drugs, Kona Stories bookstore, and a multiplex movie theater. Kenichi Pacific, a great sushi restaurant, and Peaberry & Galette, a café that serves excellent crepes, are favorite eateries that have been joined by Bianelli's Pizza and Sam Choy's Kai Lanai. You can also grab a quick bite at Los Habaneros or L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. www.keauhoushoppingcenter.com.
A stop at this unique shop should be part of your itinerary when visiting Volcano Village. Beautiful hand-stitched Hawaiian quilts grace the walls, quilting kits and books abound, and the vast inventory of tropical fabrics is amazing. The friendly proprietors also offer plentiful fine art, photography, and cool souvenirs you won't find anywhere else. www.kilaueakreations.com.
This oceanfront shopping plaza houses the exquisite Harbor Gallery, which represents more than 150 Big Island artists. Take a look inside before or after your meal at the acclaimed Cafe Pesto, Kohala Burger and Taco, or Kawaihae Kitchen Sushi and Take-Out. Also here are Mountain Gold Jewelers, the