Support Local In Hawaii: An Unconventional Travel Guide To Oahu

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What's a lover of small businesses and local makers to do in a place overrun by touristy sights and shops? They keep searching! Teagan's travels in Honolulu, Hawaii had her overwhelmed with tourist attractions and longing for authentic Hawaiian makers. Keeping her eyes peeled for local gems, she was able to find some unconventional attractions that tickled her shop-local fancies.  

Read on for a list of Teagan's favourite "unconventional" attractions in Oahu, Hawaii!

Shopping

China Town

China Town was a surprising breath of local fresh air after being bombarded with ultra touristy shops and attractions. Stop by Roberta Oaks first - they have a map of their favourite shops in the area by the cashier. 

Owens + Co - a gift shop abundant with locally made cards, textiles, soap, sweets, and more!

Roberta Oaks - a clothing boutique for men and women carrying made in Hawaii items

Madre Chocolate - chocolate made in Hawaii, utilizing traditional ingredients of the Aztec, Maya and Olmec tribes 

Haleiwa

Located along the North Shore, Haleiwa has an old town feel and fabulous art galleries and food. Although not all of the shops boast of 'Made in Hawaii' products, it is a delightful area to explore. 

Malibu Shirts - high quality vintage tee shop showcasing a store full of historic Polynesian artifacts and unique surf memorabilia 

Close to Waikiki

South Shore Market  - a paradise for lovers of locally made goods! The market features 18 local merchants, a creative collective of entrepreneurs and passionate shoppers.

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Eating

Along the North Shore

Sunrise Shack - featuring local kombucha, papaya bowls and a chance to watch the pro surfers on the banzai pipeline just across the street. 

Mike's Huli Chicken - this food truck tantalizes passerbys with chicken broiled over Kiawe wood from the coastline. Mike's Huli Chicken is run by a passionate local man who grew up in Halewia.

Farmer’s Markets

King's Village - a collection of fresh food from local farmers, artisans and food purveyors. This market is conveniently located in Waikiki - open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4pm-9pm.

Close To Waikiki

Henry’s Place - gelato to die for! 

Maguro Spot - the BEST poke

Liliha Bakery - a memorable local diner with old fashioned Hawaiian food and baked goods

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Activities

Judd Trail Hike & Swimming Hole - a quick hike off the beaten path with a tranquil swimming hole 

Macadamia Nut Farm - find a variety of flavoured macadamia nuts at this stop along the North Shore

International Marketplace - a place to participate in Hawaiian culture, both past and present. The market/mall has lively events including luaus, lei making classes, live music and yoga! Though this market doesn't have an "ethically" made focus, it was an interesting place to check out! 

That concludes Teagan's unconventional travel guide to Oahu, Hawaii! We hope it's inspired you to keep your eyes peeled for ways to support authentically local businesses, products and events amidst the maze of tourist attractions. Do you have a special spot in Hawaii? Let us know in the comments below!