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Ala Moana Shopping Center may be very close to Waikiki and filled with big name brands; but, its classy stores may not be what you’re looking for if you want a more local, down-to-Earth shopping experience.
At Pearlridge Center, you’ll find a nice mix of name brand and local stores catering to the local audience. This mall is also a wonderful place to take small children since there are several stores that are sure to catch their attention. There are also plenty of seats that conveniently line the walkways whenever you’re feeling tired, and several events and free entertainment are planned throughout the year.
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Local Tip: Pearlridge Center has an Uptown and Downtown, which are just a 5 minute walk apart and share the main parking lot. But, if you’ve got little kids and don’t mind heights, there’s a fun “skycab” you can take for $1 each. There’s also a free shuttle that’s run by security that you can wave down if you spot them passing by.
Since Pearlridge Center’s main customers are local, you’ll find the decor to appeal to local tastes. Expect a casual vibe, plenty of comfortable seating and convenient tables to gather around for a chat.
Since I came here on Black Friday, the Christmas decorations were rocking 100% and each store was on board with their special deals and sales.
Local Tip: Many of Pearlridge’s stores are locally owned so if you’re looking for authentic souvenirs, this may just be the place for you.
Even Santa made an appearance during the Christmas show, which was fun for the kids and parents. And he will continue to do so during these holiday months, so keep a lookout for him!
Local Tip: Holidays and special occasions aren’t the only times when Pearlridge offers special events. Check their events page for pop up fairs where they feature local vendors and their made in Hawaii products that are often handmade.
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Since Pearlridge is a mall for the local population, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised at what the permanent local vendors have to offer. From exclusive only-in-Hawaii goods to delicious snacks, these will make a great gift to bring back home (if you find anything lilikoi flavored – get it!).
One of my absolute favorite crack seed stores also makes itself a home here in Pearlridge. Seed City is a throwback to the old days of Hawaii where crack seed stores were the place to get your favorite local snacks. Make sure you check out those glass jars and grab a couple of bags of “crack seed”. You won’t regret trying out this one-of-a-kind treat.
On this excursion, I also stopped by the See’s Candies store. While it’s not a local store by any means, they did have a Hawaii assortment that caught my eye!