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Waikoloa

Where to Shop

In anticipation of the influx of tourists Waikoloa expects to generate with all of the construction that’s going on, the Queens’ Marketplace is currently under development. Plans include something called the Waikoloa Cultural Gardens, and a shopping mall with plenty of retail shops and restaurants.

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek

There is a plethora of shopping opportunities in the resorts, as well as at Kings’ Shops.We’ve highlighted some of the more unusual stores in Kings’ Shops below.

Kings’ Shops (250 Waikoloa Beach Dr) is a touristy minimall with a variety of shopping – from t-shirts to Louis Vuitton, art galleries and jewelry. There is, inevitably, a Starbucks, as well as timeshare operators, restaurants, and special events at its stage (near Crazy Shirt, the legendary Hawaiian t-shirt chain). There are free daily cultural events like `ukulele lessons or arts and crafts at 11:30 am, and eve- ning Hawaiian entertainment like hula at 6 pm. On the lawn behind the Shell station, there is a family movie every Tuesday at dusk for $5, kids five and under free.

Whalers’ General Store (886-7057) is probably the most important store to know about, as it sells groceries, over-thecounter medicines, alcohol and other beverages, sunscreen, newspapers, rafts, beach towels, slippers, and gifts like chocolate-covered macadamia nuts (worth the calories!), toy `ukuleles, and tropical floral-scented lotions.We used to buy a couple of inflatable rafts from Whalers’ whenever we’d first arrive from the mainland so we could float on the ocean and relax for hours. Open 8 am-10:30 pm daily.

The Ukulele House (886-8587, www.ukulelehouse.com). Surprise! The Ukulele House sells `ukuleles, those miniature guitars that sound so soothing when strummed by a falsetto singer. The chain store (there are three on O`ahu) also sells instructional books, t-shirts, Hawaiian quilts and a few other gift items. Open 9:30 am-9:30 pm daily.

Giggles! (886-0014) is a children’s store, with toys as well as alohawear, bathing suits and even little hula skirts. On the toy side of things, there are stuffed animals, snorkels, puppets and some unique Hawaiian games like Go Fish cards with pictures of tropical fish and their Hawaiian names. Open 9:30 am-9:30 pm daily.

Under the Koa Tree (886-7444). Koa is a beautiful native hardwood that is showcased at Under the Koa Tree in the form of bowls, chessboards, paddles, hair barrettes, boxes, wine stands, boxes and even a skateboard. There is also some wall art for sale. Open 9:30 am-9:30 pm daily.

Honolua Wahine (886-1019, www.honoluasurf.com) is a women’s surf shop with cool clothing and bikinis, beach chairs, bags, sunglasses, boardshorts, straw hats, flip flops and anything else you need to look like a “beach Betty” or better yet, a surfer girl. Open 9 am-9:30 pm daily.

Noa Noa (886-5449). This clothing store sells unique garments sewn from hand-dyed batiks. The designs are based on tattoos seen in old pictures of Hawaiians from the Bishop Museum on O`ahu, which maintains the definitive archive of Hawaiian history. Open 9:30 am-9:30 pm daily.

Where to Eat

Kings' Shops

Grand Palace (Kings’ Shops, 886-6668) is a Chinese restaurant serving decent food and a tidy décor with a few aquariums. Lunch (11 am-2 pm) includes soup, egg roll, rice and crab wonton if you don’t special order. Dinner items can get exotic, like the abalone with black mushroom. Standard chicken, pork and vegetable dishes are more affordable, such as sweet and sour pork and beef fried rice. Open 11 am- 9:30 pm daily. $$

Hamayu (Kings’ Shops, 886-6333) is a Japanese restaurant with good, if somewhat pricy, sushi rolls and a special à la carte tempura menu. The dinner menu is much more extensive than the one at lunch, with temptations like sashimi salad with red snapper, onion and sprouts in a spicy Asian dressing, and an interesting miso soup option with lobster. There are complete sushi dinners that include soup and salad ranging from $22 to $39, as well as meat dishes like teriyaki sirloin steak and offerings from the à la carte sushi and tempura menus. Open for lunch 11:30 am-2 pm, and dinner 5:30- 9:30 pm. $$$

The Hilton Waikoloa

Imari Japanese Restaurant & Tea House (886-1234). If you love teppanyaki, where the chef twirls knives and prepares your meal in front of you on a tableside grill, this is the place, though the prices may make you swallow hard ($33- $60). Imari also has creative sushi and traditional tableside service. Open 6-9:30 pm. $$$$

“The trouble with resisting temptation is that you may not get another chance.” – Edwin Chapin

Kamuela Provision Company (886-1234) is the Hilton’s high-volume steak and seafood restaurant, with fine dining prices but an overriding “turn ‘em and burn ‘em” vibe – get people in and out as fast as possible to maximize profit. It’s a dimly lit, sea-themed place overlooking the pool area. Surf and Turf $53, steaks $39-$48, Maine lobster $51, fresh catch $35. Open 5:30-10 pm, $$$$

Entertainment

The Marriott is home to the Clipper Bar, with murals of Old Hawaii. We’ve enjoyed several sunsets seated at this round bar, munching on nut mix.

Waikoloa Village

Practicalites

Dorkels Rental (883-3675, www.dorkelrental.com) rents snorkel gear, boogie boards, beach toys, and umbrellas for less than you’ll find in resorts ($30 for a week of snorkel gear – though Kona’s Snorkel Bob is way cheaper.). They also have baby equipment for rent, like car seats, swings and strollers. Open 8 am-8 pm daily.

Entertainment

Sharkey’s (883-0020). While technically a restaurant, Sharkey’s belongs in the entertainment category because it’s more of a bar than an eatery, serving drinks until 2 am. The pool table has a huge Jack Daniels logo across its black felt, and tables are placed in the dining room area as well as around the circular dance floor, where tablecloths have multiple cigarette burns. Smoking is allowed here, but the high ceilings mean you don’t choke the second you walk in the door. If you’re determined to eat here, you can choose things like hot wings, taquitos, burgers, steaks, or stirfries. There is karaoke Thursdays from 10 pm to 2 am, and a DJ and dancing Friday, Saturday and Monday nights. Open for lunch noon to 4 pm, dinner 4-9 pm daily. $$

Mauna Lani Resort Area

The Honu Bar is the Mauna Lani’s after-dinner drink spot – but there’s plenty to munch on here too. In addition to an à la carte menu served nightly with a few seafood, steak and gourmet pizza entrées, Tuesday through Saturday the Honu Bar also serves sushi! $$$

The Fairmont Orchid - The Polo Bar & Paniolo Lounge. This place is like an old gentleman’s club, with dark wood panels, obscenely comfortable leather furniture and a red felt billiard table. The Paniolo Lounge expands the space onto a huge lanai overlooking the grounds and the ocean. They serve fine cocktails and light appetizers.

The Orchid Court (885-2000). This is the site of the Fairmont’s gigantic breakfast buffet, with macadamia nut pancakes and omelette stations among the offerings. Open 6:30-11:30 am. $$$$

Norio’s Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant (887-7320). Named after the restaurant’s master sushi chef, Norio Yamamoto, Norio’s offers excellent sushi and sashimi, as well as hot pupus and entrées. Open 6-9:30 pm. $$$$W

Hapuna Beach Prince

Arnie’s (880-3192) is the golf clubhouse restaurant, with standards like Caesar salad, “sand-wedges and chips,” cheeseburgers, pastas and pizzas. On weekends, there are some brunch items as well. Open daily 11 am-3 pm (a half-hour earlier on Sat and Sun), bar till 5 pm. $$

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