Shopping on Molokai and Lanai
At first glance, the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Lanai might not seem to have much to offer shopaholics. There are no large malls or department stores, and you are not going to feel overwhelmed with merchants selling souvenirs. What you will mostly find is small shops where you can browse at you leisure. Here you may find unique items not available anywhere else in Hawaii.
What to Buy on Molokai and Lanai
- Locally grown macadamia nuts (see Purdy’s Nut Farm below)
- Local coffee
- Traditional arts and crafts
- Poke (raw tuna salad)
- Kites (see the Big Kite Factory below)
Best Shopping Areas on Molokai and Lanai
Lanai City is the main commercial center on the island of Lanai, but it is more like a village than a city – the population is just over 3,000 (source: 2010 U.S. Census). The town is focused around Dole Park. There are some charming old-fashioned general stores, as well as some boutiques and small outlets selling gift items. If you are interested in vintage clothing, you will definitely want to check out Cory Labang Studio on 7th Street.
Kaunakakai is the main shopping area on Molokai. You don’t have to worry about getting lost because almost all the shops are to be found on Ala Malama Street. There are two large general stores to choose from, as well as a few smaller shops mostly selling gift items. The Molokai Pizza Café is a popular hangout, and if you are feeling thirsty, you might try Paddlers’ Inn. Most of the shops close by 4 p.m. and there and they don’t open on Sunday.
Best Markets on Molokai and Lanai
Purdy’s Natural Macadamia Nut Farm
Lihi Pali Ave, Hoolehua, Molokai, HI 96729
Purdy’s Nut Farm is the perfect destination if you enjoy eating macadamia nuts. When you arrive here, you can expect to be given a tour of the farm – you will learn about how this produce is grown and harvested. The most fun part of the tour is when you get to crack open your own macadamia nuts. There is a small gift shop where you a few bags of this delicious treat. They also sell honey which goes well with the nuts.
Friendly Market Center
90 Ala Malama Avenue, Kaunakakai, HI 96748
The Friendly Market Center is more like a general store, but they offer a good selection of locally grown fruit and vegetables. The prices of items tend to be cheaper here than other stores in Kaunakakai.
Lanai Ohana Poke Market
834-A Gay St, Lanai City, Lanai, HI 96763
The best poke on Lanai is to be found in Lanai City at the Poke Market. There are many different types of poke to choose from (ten at last count), but you need to get here early in the day because the popular dishes tend to sell out fast. The Poke Market is hidden away on a residential street, but any of the locals can point you in the right direction.
434 8th Street, Lanai City, HI 96763
This is another general store that has a good selection of local products – and a good option if you are looking for organic food on Lanai. They tend to close the shop early on the weekends.
Farmer’s Market Lanai City
Lanai Culture & Heritage Center, Dole Park, Lanai City, HI 96763
The Farmer’s Market in Lanai City takes place every Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon. It is very easy to find because it is right in the center of town at Dole Park. This is a very small market, but you can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables as well as some cooked food here.
Best Places to Buy Books on Molokai and Lanai
Kalele Bookstore & Divine Expressions (64 Ala Malama, Kaunakakai, Molokai, Hawaii 96748) has a good selection of new age books and the recent bestsellers. They also sell crafts and gift items and operate a cafe.
Where to Buy Food on Molokai and Lanai?
Most of the resorts have small shops selling at least a limited selection of food items. If you are looking to buy a lot of groceries, the best option is going to be to go to general stores in either Kaunakakai or Lanai City.
Where to Go Shopping with Kids on Molokai and Lanai?
Most kids are going to get a kick out of Purdy’s Nut Farm (see above). Big Wind Kite Factory (120 Maunaloa Highway, Maunaloa, Molokai, HI 96770) not only sells kites but also provides free kite-flying lessons.
One of the nice things about shopping on Molokai and Lanai is the pace is so laid back and shop owners usually make a fuss over kids – this should mean your child is less likely to be bored while you shop.