Hawaii is a tropical paradise, and Honolulu on the island of Oahu is a shopper’s paradise.
The Ala Moana Center is a four-story, open-air mall that sits on the northern edge of Waikiki. The center has more then 350 retailers ranging from high-end stores to mom-and-pop shops, said Kainoa Daines, director of sales for the Oahu Visitors Bureau. Among the national chains, shoppers will find locally owned boutiques selling Hawaiian-made soaps, chocolates and other goods, he said. Visitors should also look for live Hawaiian music and hula shows on the mall’s two stages.
International Market Place is an iconic center that opened in the 1950s and is where Hawaiian singer Don Ho became famous performing for packed houses. After being torn down and completely rebuilt, the Market Place today houses 80 upscale and high-end retailers, including Burberry, Rolex and Saks Fifth Avenue. A statue of Ho was placed in the mall last spring to honor his legacy. The Market Place also offers hula shows and live music, and the visitors bureau has been working with the mall to organize and promote dine-arounds at the new restaurants on the third floor.
Across the street, the outdoor Royal Hawaiian Center covers 310,000 square feet over three blocks just off Waikiki Beach. With more than 110 shops and restaurants, the center has “a little bit of everything,” Daines said. In addition to nightly hula shows in the Royal Grove, groups can also arrange workshops to learn the hula, make leis and take ukulele lessons.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Some of the best shopping is found in cities that have a true sense of place, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, is one of those destinations where art, crafts, jewelry, clothing and textiles reflect the people and the locale.
The city is one of the nation’s major art-buying markets, said Joanne Hudson, public relations manager for Tourism Santa Fe. The bulk of galleries, 80 to 100 of them, are along Canyon Road in the historic district. Shoppers will find plenty of higher-end artwork, but it’s also a great place to find less-expensive pieces from lesser-known artists, she said.
Santa Fe is renowned for its Native American arts and crafts. Under the long, shady portal at the Palace of the Governors on the city’s historic plaza, visitors will find Native American artisans selling jewelry, pottery, textiles, weavings and more. The portal is a protected space; sellers must be certified to ensure that what they’re selling and people are buying is made either by themselves or someone in their families.
“You want to make sure you’re really getting something authentic and supporting the artists,” Hudson said.
There are also gift shops, antique stores, independent bookstores and Native American galleries on the city’s historic plaza and within a two- or three-block radius.
The Railyard, a redeveloped historic rail district, is now a hub for arts, entertainment and shopping. Shoppers can explore contemporary art galleries and glossy gift shops, as well as the year-round farmers market and Double Take, a massive vintage store.
Santa Fe’s museum stores offer shelves stocked with carefully curated goods. Four downtown museums are within walking distance, and four more are on Museum Hill.