With unforgettable experiences like surfing big breaks, snorkelling amongst colourful marine life, seeing a lively luau, and experiencing exciting nightlife on the beachfront, you’ll want to bring home a souvenir from Oahu to remember your trip. 

    With an outstanding number of shops on the islands, you’ll have plenty of momentoes choose from, whether you want authentic island goods or a quirky gift for friends and family back home. Take a look at our list of the best souvenirs to buy in Oahu.

    1

    Dashboard doll

    A nice embellish for your car

    For as long as people have been visiting Hawaii, the hula girl has been a symbol synonymous with the island culture. Visitors often bring home mementos of Hawaii in the form of a dashboard hula doll, which dances along to the rhythm of your vehicle as you drive. 

    Hula girl figurines have been around for a long time, but the dashboard doll started in the 1950s, rising to popularity when American soldiers spent time in Hawaii during the war. Dashboard dolls can be found just about anywhere in Oahu, but you may get lucky and score a vintage version from a swap meet or market.

    2

    Kona coffee

    Get your caffeine fix

    Cultivated on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, Kona coffee is one of the most expensive and treasured coffees in the world. The unique combination of sun, rain, mild temperatures, and volcanic soil is ideal for coffee cultivation, giving Kona coffee a high-quality taste. 

    Oahu is one of the best places to find genuine Kona coffee to bring home with you, and you’ll find no shortage of local shops that offer it. When shopping, keep in mind that the best types of Kona coffee are Type I, known by names like Prime, Select, or Fancy.

    3

    Nut butter

    A delicious breakfast spread with unique flavours

    While nut butter may not immediately spring to mind when you think of Oahu, it’s actually one of the best places in the world to buy this delicious spread. The island has numerous shops that offer different types of nut butter with unique ingredients, such as coffee and peanut butter, banana macadamia nut butter, and chocolate coconut peanut butter. 

    Macadamia nuts are commonly grown in Hawaii, so you’re most likely to find some combination of raw or gourmet macadamia nut butter with other added ingredients.

    4

    Local wine

    Not your typical Sauvignon or Merlot

    Hawaii is known for producing unique wines with flavours you might not find in many wine regions around the world. Favouring fruity flavours like pineapple, the viticulture in Hawaii is based on high elevations and cooler temperatures near volcanic mountains. 

    One of the most prized grapes in Hawaii is the Symphony grape, which produces a fruity, off-dry white variety of wine. If you’re looking to bring some wine home with you, just visit the nearest wine shop to enjoy samples of unique flavours. 

    5

    Flower lei

    The symbol of Hawaiian culture

    Flower lei is one of the most popular souvenirs to bring back from a trip to Oahu. A symbol of Hawaiian culture, this wreath of flowers is often given to visitors when they reach or leave the island.

    Hawaiian leis can be made of a wide variety of materials, though most prefer a flower lei as a souvenir. The designs can get quite intricate – you can find unique leis that incorporate exotic flowers and vibrant colours.

    6

    Koa wood

    Shop for decorative items made from this ancient wood

    Koa wood is prized by Hawaiian carpenters and musicians for its vibrance and quality. It has a special significance in Hawaii, as it's native to the islands and considered sacred. In the past, koa wood was used to build canoes and weapons. 

    Today, just about everything is made with this wood, including furniture, kitchenware, and home decor. All souvenirs are created from fallen Acacia koa trees to ensure the continuation of the species on the Hawaiian Islands. 

    7

    Black pearls

    Splurge on native jewellery

    The black pearl, known as the “pearl of queens,” is one of the most desirable types of pearl in the world. Though they come in many hues, the pearls aren’t actually black but have a dark background with iridescent colours. 

    There are legends all over Polynesia about the significance of black pearls – many locals claim that they contain healing powers and protect wearers from negative energy. Jewellery stores in Oahu offer high-quality accessories like pendants to rings made with black pearls, either single or full strands, as well as with precious stones and metals. 

    8

    Koloa rum

    Mix your own tropical cocktails

    Koloa rum is a delicious rum created right in Hawaii. Painstakingly created from Hawaiian sugarcane and pure rainwater from Mount Waialeale, this high-quality liquor is twice-distilled in copper pots, creating a smooth and rich end product. 

    Koloa rum comes in a few varieties, including coconut rum and spiced rum. It mixes well into an array of island-style cocktails. You’ll find vendors offering Koloa rum all over Oahu, so you can bring back a few bottles for yourself, friends, and family back home.

    9

    Hawaiian quilts

    A practical and unique gift

    Unmistakably from the islands, Hawaiian quilts are a distinctive style of quilting that features bold patterns and nature motifs. Though there are “crazy” quilts with elaborate embroidery, the ones with botanical designs against a white textile are more commonplace. 

    Most souvenir shops and stores offer Hawaiian quilts, most of which are usually mass-produced goods. A great alternative is to shop at a market or swap meet, where you may get lucky and find an antique or vintage version.

    10

    Tropical fruit preserves

    Great for foodies

    Oahu has no shortage of delicious tropical fruit preserves to choose from. Fruit preserves travel well and make for excellent gifts for family and friends back home. 

    You can find artisan tropical fruit spreads at local shops and markets in many different flavours, such as passionfruit, guava, papaya, and mango-pineapple. Bring home a few jars and enjoy a taste of Hawaii when you’re back to the daily grind.

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