Hawaii Souvenirs Worth the "Wow" Factor

November 12, 2019

An image collage featuring a sculpture of dolphins in a wave, storm trooper art print, & gold Hawaiian slipper pendant available at Waikīkī Beach Walk® stores in Honolulu, HI.

From the iconic ridgeline of Diamond Head cast against a clear blue sky to the lighting of tiki torches as an equally fiery sunset blazes across the horizon, visitors from around the world can’t help but to fall in love with the Hawaiian Islands. It is paradise after all.

But stepping back onto a plane doesn’t mean leaving it all behind. For a trip as unforgettable as one spent in the islands, indulging in an extra special memento to take back home is worth a short detour. Luckily, priceless keepsakes can be found just steps away from your hotel in Waikiki if you know where to look.

So go ahead and splurge. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Ocean-inspired art from Wyland Galleries

Saltwater has a way of calming the mind and healing the soul, whether you’re watching the tides from afar or taking a carefree plunge into the deep. To browse a collection of ocean-themed works that can add a tranquil touch to your home, visit Wyland’s eponymous art gallery in the heart of Waikiki.
A sculpture of 3 dolphins swimming in a clear wave.

“Below the Surf” Lucite Sculpture

Dubbed the “Marine Michaelangelo,” Wyland is known for his legendary ability to capture the raw beauty of the ocean and vibrant marine life for which Hawaii is known. One of his most famous works, the Hawaiian Humpbacks mural near Honolulu International Airport, may be a familiar sight to many. A distinguished part of Honolulu's skyline, visitors and locals alike often find themselves entranced by the magnificent breaching whale that's visible while driving along the H1 freeway. Even decades after its creation, this life-size painting still tops travel itineraries as a must-see landmark due to its sheer size and its powerful message reminding us of how deeply connected we are to the water. In addition to fine art paintings and wall murals, Wyland has mastered manipulating various mediums into sculptures that are sure to stand out in any room. Lucite, in particular, is a cherished material that Wyland enjoys working with as its translucent nature allows the artist to create underwater snapshots frozen in time. Rarely do people get to see what lies beneath the ocean’s surface. Imagine being able to bring a piece of that into your home.
“Much of the ocean is still a mystery. We see it from the beach or when we cruise along the surface in our boats, but few of us can really comprehend the amazing abundance of life in the ocean around us.”

Oil painting of a wave crashing on the beach at sunset. Vibrant-colored matted art print of a rolling ocean wave behind hibiscus flowers & plants.

“End of a Perfect Day” by Walfrido Garcia

“Hibiscus Breeze” by Heather Brown

Wyland’s original works aren’t the only gems you’ll find in his gallery. In support of local talent, the walls regularly feature renowned Hawaii artists such as Heather Brown and Walfrido Garcia—each with their own distinct style, but equally sharing a passion for the sea. Whichever piece you choose, rest assured that the beach will never be too far even long after your visit to Hawaii is over.

Wyland Galleries | (808) 924-1322 |

2) Fine Hawaiian jewelry by Na Hoku

The quintessential vacation getaway that floats into mind when yearning for an escape, Hawaii’s charm lies in its irresistible natural beauty. It’s no surprise that Hawaiian jewelry design is deeply influenced by the little things that make this tropical haven so unique.

Island jewelry isn’t hard to find on Oahu, but for the finest in quality and craftsmanship, take a trip to the state’s oldest and largest jewelry manufacturer, Na Hoku. Meaning “stars” in Hawaiian, the jeweler’s name is a nod to the ancient Polynesian voyagers that looked towards the twinkling night sky for directions on every journey. Since 1924, Na Hoku has also served as a guide to the island lifestyle by capturing all things Hawaii—from delicate plumeria flowers to swimming sea turtles—into its fine jewelry.

All-gold pendent cast in the shape of Diamond Head with a single round diamond in front of the real Diamond Head for comparison.As one of Hawaii’s most well-known landmarks, Diamond Head can be seen sitting majestically above the shore on the east end of Waikiki. Locals normally refer to the crater by name when giving directions, opting to say, “head towards Diamond Head” rather than “head east.” A famous hiking trail offering coastal views, Diamond Head’s symbolic status makes it the ideal pendant.

The Diamond Head Pendant with a Round Diamond available in 14K Yellow, White or Rose Gold ($759). Chain included.

Single slipper with diamond straps & abalone body in front of a beach with footprints in the sand.This familiar piece of footwear goes by many names: flip flops, jandals, thongs. But in Hawaii, we call them slippers (or “slippahs” if you’re really local). No matter where you look, it’s the classic sandal choice for everyday life. Although slippers are always left at the door when visiting a home, this is one exception that the host will be happy to have you wear inside.

Hawaiian Slipper Pendant with Abalone Inlay and Diamonds available in 14K Yellow, White or Rose Gold (from $679). Chain included. Matching Earrings available.

Gold waterfall pendant with opal inlays & diamonds in front of a real waterfall in Hawaii.For some, it’s the destination; for others, it’s a pleasant discovery on the way to the top. Either way, there’s nothing quite like the sight of a gorgeous waterfall after a long hike. Inspired by this natural wonder, the Waterfall Pendant preserves that powerful rush of water cascading back down to Earth in gold.

Waterfall Pendant with Opal Inlay and Diamonds available in 14K Yellow or White Gold (from $1,599). Chain included. Matching Earrings available.

Regardless of how intricate or simple in design, a meaningful piece of Hawaiian jewelry will always make a statement. Think of your favorite memory in Hawaii and pick up a wearable keepsake to hold it close to the heart.

Na Hoku | (808) 926-7700 |

3) Koa wood products and locally made gifts at Under the Koa Tree

Growing throughout the dense forests of Hawaii, the mighty koa trees produce a rare type of wood that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. This legendary lumber is so highly regarded, it was once kapu—or forbidden—for anyone other than Hawaiian royalty to possess it.

Revered for its integrity and strength, it was originally used to build canoes and surfboards, but is now crafted into nearly anything from functional items (such as koa wood bowls or picture frames) to intricate wall art and sculptures. With its rich caramel color and one-of-a-kind grain pattern, no two pieces of koa wood are the same.

Aside from specialty koa wood furniture and jewelry, Under the Koa Tree acts as a one-stop shop for artwork, accessories, gift items, and more. Best of all, everything is 100% made in Hawaii!
Multicolored orange, blue, & yellow art print of a stormtrooper helmet with the word aloha written above it. 5 iPhone cases featuring various paintings of scenery in Hawaii.

Aloha Trooper Art Print (from $25)

iPhone Cases by Hawaii Surf Artist, Colleen Wilcox (from $39.99)

Under the Koa Tree | (808) 926-8733 | Facebook