Discovering the Treasures: Oahu’s Windward Side
(Sponsored) Once you drive through the lush ridges of the Koolau mountains, escaping the crowds and hustle of Honolulu, relaxation takes over. From Waimanalo to Kahaluu, Windward Oahu’s unique local businesses, scenic beauty, and friendly faces bring kamaaina and visitors alike to this low-key paradise.
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Locals from all over Oahu venture east to indulge in the Windward side’s vibrant shopping scene. From beachy boutiques and eclectic storefronts to organic nurseries and global home furnishings, Windward Oahu has everything and anything on your wish list.
Photos: Keaka Lunn
Inspired by Native plants and Hawaii’s easy-going lifestyle, Manuhealii creates contemporary Aloha wear for the whole family. Since 1985, husband-and-wife team Danene and Pono Lunn have celebrated Hawaii’s beauty and culture through fashion and design. Manuheali‘i’s well-crafted collections of clothes and accessories intertwine meaningful Hawaiian images with stylish prints and modern cuts. Pono, an architect and graphic designer, creates the designs himself, while Danene uses her aesthetic eye to select color palettes for the apparel. “We’re continually evolving,” explains Pono. “This year we are expanding our collection to incorporate more global prints and fresh new styles.”
If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind finds, Kailua Verde is the place for you. As Kailua’s only high-end consignment shop, Kailua Verde brings sustainable fashion at affordable prices. The eco-chic boutique is known for its high-end clothes, gently used designer pieces, and vintage jewelry. “I love my customers, and I love helping them find new life in these beautiful clothes and accessories,” says owner Lillian McDonnell. Just because it’s recycled, doesn’t mean it’s not new. “We have a lot of brand new items,” explains McDonnell. “When shops around the island go out of business or have extra stock, we take on their apparel to recycle at our store.”
Get lost wandering through a three-story treasure trove of unique home furnishings and exotic décor at Baliboo. For 14 years Baliboo has been a Windward O‘ahu hidden gem, tucked away on Kapa‘a Quarry Road. A favorite among interior decorators, Baliboo is the place to go to find eclectic art, beautifully carved Buddha statues, and handcrafted furniture to perfect your indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Aside from its Southeast Asian woodcarvings, this shop boasts one of the largest collections of Koa furniture on the island.
If you’re drawn to the beautiful and exotic, Koolau Farmers has a variety of interesting plants and flowers to brighten your home. The home and garden center, with two east-side locations in Kaneohe and Kailua, has been a botanical resource in Windward Oahu for decades. Koolau Farmers offers everything from seed-starting supplies and fertilizers to worm-compost bins and expert planting advice from their knowledgeable staff. And the Kaneohe store is spearheading a new venture for the local chain—floral arrangements. Many Hawaii plant-lovers go to Koolau Farmers to buy bizarre and beautiful flowers and trees—such as a black-flowered anthurium and the popular evergreen “Mrs. Garfield” amaryllis. The stores also carry a dwarf Japanese Maple variety, which grows splendidly in our volcanic soil. “Most of the popular maple trees that have been introduced to our state will die or not grow well,” explains general manager Elton Hara. “This one variety grows really well. People love the colors and shape of the leaves.” With a new location popping up in Honolulu on McCully, the homegrown enterprise is spreading their seeds through the island.