Happy Valentine’s Day weekend which translates in Hawaiian to Hau’oli La Aloha! What better time to look for the most original and best gifts from Hawaii to send or bring to those far away. Here’s a just updated list with our top 6 Hawaii-themed gifts for Valentine’s Day and 20 more Hawaii souvenir ideas for other times of the year.
Our Top Valentine’s Gifts from Hawaii.
1. Honolulu Cookie Company: These are always a big hit and vary seasonally including holiday collections for Valentine’s Day and Christmas. We send them to friends on the mainland who crave them. These premium cookies are individually wrapped to stay fresh longer. I still remember getting a Honolulu Cookie while flying the now-defunct Island Air.
2. Sunset Boat Cruises: What could be more romantic than a sunset cruise with that special someone. Most islands offer these sailings including seasonal whale watching. You can order gift certificates now to give on Valentine’s Day for a future trip to the islands. And if a short cruise isn’t enough, how about a week-long Hawaii cruise?
3. Tropical Flowers from Hawaii: These include lei and other tropicals delivered to your home. No matter where you live, it’s a way to bring the islands to you. Our suggestion is to decide which island you want the flowers sent from and then do a Google Search for flower vendors.
4. Hawaiian Jewelry: From rare Niihau shells to Hawaiian heritage style, wedding bands, bracelets, and necklaces. You can shop online at places like Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry, Na Hoku and Maui Divers.
5. ETSY: You can find Hawaii-themed cards to download and other gifts from the islands suitable for Valentine’s Day. It is also a great way to support island businesses.
Hawaii Souvenirs Year-Round that Say A-L-O-H-A.
We always look for Made in Hawaii products and feel those are the best gifts from Hawaii. If it is made in Hawaii, you’ll definitely see that indicated since it is a big deal. There’s also a huge array of less expensive items made elsewhere that have a Hawaii theme. If you care to, learn the difference.
Keep in mind that ABC Stores, Longs/CVS, Wal-Mart, and Costco all offer a large selection of gifts from Hawaii, including local food products, sometimes at a discount.
Craft Fairs and Farmers Markets make great stops on all the islands and help support local Hawaii artisans. We’re blessed with many artisans who create everything from Hawaiian honey and jams to jewelry and baked goods to sculpture.
These Hawaiian gifts all become more meaningful at home and can help bring your vacation in paradise back to life.
Going on a Hawaii vacation with friends or family is the ideal way to relax and rejuvenate! Who doesn’t value precious keepsake memories in every form? Souvenirs from every trip is a special way to remember those vacation moments and keep them alive for a lifetime.
Souvenirs can range from a mug or photo, a t-shirt, or some snacks. It all works. And it can cost from a few dollars to the sky’s-the-limit. The point is that every souvenir is imbued with the Hawaii vacation sentiment that will help you and your loved ones recall the experiences of your vacation. It’s fun to display your travel souvenirs with great pride (some of us have homes full of them — hint, hint)
Are you ready to start creating collectible memories from your Hawaii vacation? If so, keep going, as we, together with your prior comments, will fill your head with ideas. Please add yours too. We love reading about them.
1. T-Shirts. We continue to wear the t-shirts purchased from Crazy Shirts for years; they last virtually forever. You’ll still find deeply discounted seconds at their Ward Village Crazy Shirts outlet store. These make one of the best Hawaiian souvenirs.
2. Hawaii music, whether digitally or in physical media (are there still CD’s?) that help you dream of Hawaii during a very cold winter. There’s a huge array of Hawaiian music on Amazon, and from across the web.
3. Aloha wear and Hawaii hats that you can enjoy both here on your trip and perhaps even more so when you get home. These too are make for a great Hawaii souvenir. Try to find an aloha shirt or other clothes that are actually made here in Hawaii. One example is Tori Richard, where you can buy a beautiful Hawaiian shirt that is made in Hawaii. Reyn Spooner is too.
4. Footwear. Examples include slippahs (flip-flops), including Made in Hawaii by Island Slipper. Online or in person. While many other slippahs are Hawaii-inspired, we aren’t aware of any others currently made here.
5. Postcards can turn into nice stationery cards and can even be framed as an inexpensive keepsake or gift.
6. Key chains. Consider turning one into a holiday ornament too.
7. Hawaii made food gifts. This is virtually unlimited and gets bigger by the day. From mushrooms to honey and Hawaiian sea salt and spices to grown in Hawaii pineapples. Teas too! Also candy of all sorts, chocolates, shortbread cookies, jams/jellies, snacks including famous crack seed, and chips. And so much more. We perennially love and gift Costco’s raw Big Island macadamia nuts by the pound, which are a great buy. A Beat of Hawaii friend owns Monkeypod Jam, and we do buy and enjoy her handmade products including mango jam and guava. Another friend is the president of Koloa Rum, whose award-winning products are served on Hawaiian Airlines and is also now partnered with the Las Vegas Raiders NFL franchise. Don’t forget cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company, a favorite of ours and others also available at Costco.
8. Island calendars are available seasonally for less than a dollar at Walmart and Long’s.
9. Housewares. Placemats, napkins, you name it. Hawaii wood products, including Martin & MacArthur, for example.
10. Christmas ornaments and decor. These are often found at Hawaii museum stores year around.
11. Hawaii coffee. Coffee from Ka’u is our top pick for flavor, albeit expensive and hand-processed. For an over-the-top experience, we also enjoy Kona Coffee from Hula Daddy, just a quick drive up the road from the Kona Airport. Starbucks usually has Hawaii-themed gift cards to take home.
12. Insulated bags with Hawaii motif. Handy here, during travels, and are also one fo the best souvenirs to keep or gift at home. Found at stores throughout Hawaii.
13. Hawaiian jewelry from rare Niihau shells to Hawaiian heritage style, wedding bands, bracelets and necklaces.
14. Musical instruments, beginning with a ukulele. Starting from about $20 at Walmart, but you’ll get what you pay for.
15. Artwork from the Hawaiian Islands. Try the Honolulu Museum of Art and other museums throughout the state if prints are your thing. A koa wood bowl from Hawaii is what some consider the most perfect gift.
16. Hawaii books. Also bookmarks. Check out Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii‘s location at Ward Center new Waikiki.
17. Lei, including shell, kukui nut, and fresh. Many travel well, even some fresh flower leis.
18. Decals and stickers.
19. Pet gifts. We’ve purchased Hawaii-made specialty dog biscuits at Hawaii farmer’s markets.
20. Hawaii notepads, post-it notes, and pens.
Beat of Hawaii friends’ gifts from Hawaii suggestions include (see comments below):
Suzanne: Hawaiian spices and sea salts are inexpensive and easy-to-pack gifts. On Maui, I like to buy Tutu’s Pantry spices. I’ve also picked up a number of spices and salts from gift stores and farmer’s markets. I love the reminder of fun times in Hawaii when I use the spices – especially when we BBQ.
Kathi: My girlfriend grew up on Oahu has her brother send her Anahola Granola. When I was on Kauai, I bought some at a little market in Anahola. Brought it back to San Diego and I am hooked. If you are near a Costco in the islands you can get larger bags there!
Mary: When I come home from Hawaii, my girlfriends always look forward to receiving Hawaiian goodie bags filled with Hawaiian soaps, lotions, lip balm, perfumes and, of course, Maui Babe suntan lotion. When in the islands, I also like to stock up on Hawaiian handmade items, such as the quilted pillow covers and wall hangings, purses, etc, to give away as Christmas and birthday presents. They are always a big hit. Two other items that are a big hit back home are the Hersheys Macadamia Nut kisses and the Maui Onion potato chips!!! No one can get enough of those!!!
Iris: Cookbooks of local cuisine. It’s nice to have a taste of vacation when you’re back home!
Julie: OMG! Kauai Chocolates in Ele’Ele has the best dark chocolate-covered mac nuts ever. Always take a box back with me and let’s not forget the “Filthy Farmgirl” soaps that are wonderful and pack easily so your clothes smell wonderful when you get back. Great soap made on the islands, introduced to me by my wonderful hosts in Kalaheo! National Tropical Botanical Gardens gift shop has a lovely selection of quality earrings at reasonable prices, too. Sea salts and spices are nice gifts, too.
David: On Kauai, Hale Lea Gallery (Poipu) and the Black Pearl Gallery (Hanalei) have a wide range of Kauai made art, hand painted greeting cards, jewelry and craft. Not a typical Hawaiiana gallery, these two places have exceptional selections from some of the most accomplished artists in Hawaii.
Theresa: I ALWAYS, always bring home lots of the foam, hair flowers that clip in. I wear one the whole time I’m in the Islands and then bring an assortment home for the girls. We love them and wear them all summer. Feels like a little bit of Hawaii here California. I love to bring home Beach Towels from the ABC stores for friends. I might have even used them once…while in Hawaii. When I get home, I give ’em a wash and then give them away to people that have pools. You can never have too many towels! I do love the insulated coolers too. But those I keep for myself!
Katie: I’m a huge reader, so I love to buy books. Used bookstores, chains, independents, antique stalls, and museum gift shops are all places I search out. Another favorite is fabric– my favorite stores are on Kauai (Kapaia Stitchery and Vicky’s Fabrics in Kapa’a). And now I don’t have to worry about lugging all of it home since I found out about flat rate shipping boxes from the USPS– if it fits, it ships! And it’s much cheaper than paying $50 and up on overweight baggage fees.
Julianna: Waimea Valley Gift Shop (Oahu) and the Bishop Museum gift shop carry table runners in vintage fabrics. They pack easily. Longs has great dish towels in Hawaiian prints. Coasters and placemats in pineapple or monstera shapes are fun too. The Christmas Craft Fair at the Kauai Museum features really nice slippah floor mops, great for spills on wood floors and a splash of color. Plus lots of other hand made crafts as you mentioned. Not just plumeria, but any of the starter plants. The store owners will usually tell you what will thrive on the Mainland. WalMart carries them, but the airport florists do too. Mac nuts! And finally, mochi and chi chi dango.
Mary: Furikaki (cellophane bags lighter than glass jars); Portuguese sausage (freeze, then wrap in newspaper, seal in a plastic bag, and put in your luggage); surfing poster (buy poster tube at USPS and mail home or hand-carry on the plane); baseball caps with HI theme (humu humu, Univ of HI, whales, etc.).
Steve: Those big decorative painted collapsible fans you can get at the little stands, international market or swap meet. I am so bummed that I forgot mine on the airplane home, and a friend of mine just returned yesterday bought one for me but he lost it too! Those fans are virtually impossible to find online and overpriced when you do find them.
Jason: Oh yeah! That coffee! For sure. And a red dirt shirt.
Sherri: Plumeria cuttings that you can grow at home!
Do you have favorites not yet on the list?
Photo Credit: If you are here in Hawaii for Valentine’s Day, take your loved one to the beach and make hearts like this one Rob did at Polihale State Park on Kauai.