If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, you should really think about bringing something unique back to remember your trip. In previous posts we’ve discussed what not to bring back as keepsakes such as lava rock or black sand from any of the beaches (strictly forbidden and brings bad luck). So let’s talk about something that you can bring back that will provide wonderful memories of your Hawaiian vacation.

So what is Hawaiian memorabilia? For the most part these are antique items that come from Hawaii, such as dolls, posters, quilts and the ever popular aloha shirts. There is one place on Oahu that has Hawaiian memorabilia and souvenirs that goes way beyond anything you could ever find at the typical souvenir shops. It’s called Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts. The store opened over 30 years ago and has a huge selection of vintage items from Hawaii going back to the early 50s. Bailey’s has paper goods that go even farther back to the late 20s and 30s.

We found lots of great stuff there and couldn’t resist taking home an antique “nodder” (ironically made in Japan) that is similar to “bobble head.” The difference is the spring mechanism is located toward the bottom of the nodder that allows the hula skirt to move rather than the head as in the bobble head. Most nodders have magnets on the bottom which were placed on cars in the 50s that had metal dashboards; even I am too young to remember them!!

Bailey’s is located on 517 Kapahulu Avenue just outside of Waikiki, not too far from the Rainbow Drive-In which is famous for great Hawaii plate lunches. If you go to Bailey’s it’s truly a trip back in time and a reminder of the Hawaii of old. Go there on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday after 1PM and you’ll meet a wonderful woman named Suzie Coleman who works at the store. A resident of Hawaii for 48 years, Suzie has a wealth of information and love for anything and everything having to do with Hawaiian memorabilia.

If you are interested in learning more and you happen to be on Oahu during July 17-18, 2009, you can check out the 19th Annual Hawaii Collectors Show. There will be a huge selection of Hawaiian memorabilia that may be a treasure someday. Every other year (it happens this year) there surf auction at the same time in which vintage Hawaiian surf memorabilia will go to the highest bidder. All this will all take place at the Neil Blaisdell Concert Exhibition Hall. For more information please go to Ukulele.com.

For many people coming to Hawaii is a trip of a lifetime, so why not make it truly memorable with a piece of Hawaiian history that is truly unique and interesting.


  1. I’ve read a lot of stories about that curse…so maybe it’s really true. Anyway, my father used to have those hawaiian shirts. He looks really neat when he wears them. I also found an online store selling these They’re really cool!

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