While on vacation we like to visit local shops where locals go for their daily needs. We try to avoid tourist stores like Snorkel Bobs, Sea Quest Charters, and Hilo Hatties in favor of the local markets, mom & pop shops, or the local Costco to see what's unique and different (surfboards, beach gear, Hawaiian shirts, local foods, etc.) A few examples of our shopping adventures on this trip...
Poke (pronounced pokey) is a Hawaiian delicacy of yellowfin tuna marinated in spices, seaweed, garlic and other condiments, traditionally served as an appetizer. We bought it fresh daily and enjoyed it on dinner salads. Absolutely delicious!
The Kona farmers market was a bonanza of healthy ingredients for meals. They had freshly picked mangoes, papaya, bananas, and pineapple that was our breakfast fare. The merchants were friendly and offered tips for choosing the best fruit, and their personal touch was a bonus, well worth listening to their stories. But be sure to bring your own shopping bag.
We found many quilt stores listed in brochures so we planned our daily excursions to include these shops for unique Hawaiian fabrics. However, it turned out the shops were more like neighborhood houses -- and a challenge to find even with GPS maps. We satisfied our curiosity, met some wonderful quilters, and purchased some fabric. Did you know that 3 yards of fabric weighs almost a pound? That limits the fabric you can carry back with those airline luggage restrictions.