A vast majority of the stops on the Hana Highway involve taking time to take in the natural beauty — but while Puka Puka isn't one of those, it's no less worthy of your time. Set in a plantation-era building, this exhibition space/gallery/shop is dedicated to Polynesian, international, and surf art and culture, playing host to the largest archive of works from Surfer magazine founder John Severson, as well as collaborations with Maui shapers and board short makers, and a selection of custom wetsuits, sunglasses, ocean-inspired clothing by Hussein Chalayan and jewelry by Martin Margiela. If you're really lucky, maybe there will be a film screening or in-shop concert going on — but no matter what, you're lucky just to be there, period.
You'd expect to find an old-timey hardware store in middle America — but not in one of the hippest spots in the country. In business for 50 years, the Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center is a family-owned hardware store in the heart of Williamsburg. In addition to offering nearly everything under the sun, from flowers and paint to plumbing and electrical, the store also plays host to Crestfest, a Summer festival celebrating art, community, and life. Oh, and be sure to ask if Franklin — the store's pet pig — is in when you stop by, and be sure to go out back and say hello if he is.
Who said you had to be a surfer — or even live near water — to dress like one? Certainly not the guys behind Été Clothing. Set in a part of Europe that's a six-hour jaunt from the nearest waves, this carefully curated shop offers boards from the likes of Fatum, Light, Webber, and Firewire, gear and clothing from the usual suspects like O' Neill, Volcom, Quicksilver, Sex Wax, Gorilla Grip, and more, and streetwear from brands like Cleptomanicx, Forvert, Nike SB, Supra, Vans, Cheap Monday, and Mazine. Whether you're an actual wave rider or just want to look like one, they've got what you need.
You can find fishing gear just about anywhere — but if you're really into fly fishing, it can be hard to find the best stuff. In fact, you often have to go to a dedicated shop — a shop like Mend Provisions. Founded in June by a couple of guys that were unhappy with the surrounding options, this independent store offers everything from sub-$200 starter kits to high-end rods and reels, as well as quality flies and line, waders, boots, knives, and a range of clothing and other accessories from the likes of Filson, Poler, Topo Designs, Tanner Goods, and more.
We love golf. We love quality, American-made goods. So it's no surprise that we're big fans of Pebble + Pine. Located in the Bishop Arts District, this new-ish store features 100% American-made golf and lifestyle goods, including golf lessons, books, and equipment, as well as cologne, apparel, Hill-Side neckwear, accessories, Baxter of California grooming products, and leather goods. With a laid-back, DIY-style showfloor and beers available for sipping while you shop, it's a great place to hit on your way to or from the course.
As stores go, it's hard to get more manly than Deus Ex Machina. The Venice depot of this killer company is a treasure trove of awesomeness, offering in-house custom built motorcycles, hand-shaped and -glassed surfboards, self-branded clothing and artwork, coffee from Handsome Coffee Roasters, and a variety of goods from the likes of Baxter of California, Makr Carry, Raen Optics, and others. Not too bad for a building that's served as both a gas station and flower shop.
Set on a cozy main street not far from the banks of the Wilamette River, Enchanté offers a touch of Paris in the Pacific Northwest. In business for many years but moved into a new, roomier location, this small town candy store specializes in chocolates of all sorts, including fantastic turtles and chocolate-covered Nutter Butters. Also on offer are a range of other candies, including licorice and mints, as well as excellent flavored popcorn that's (thankfully) available in big bags for at-home munching.
Not everyone takes their tea seriously — and by seriously, we mean does more than simply order up the Passion Fruit variety at Starbucks from time to time — but if you do, you need to make a stop at Song Tea & Ceramics. This new Pacific Heights shop is run by Peter Luong, whose family runs the well known Red Blossom Tea Co. But unlike the huge variety on offer there, Song focuses on two dozen-or-so high-quality teas, several of which are unavailable elsewhere in the U.S. The teaware — made by respected Taiwanese artisans — is also impressive, as is Luong's willingness to teach customers more about tea and make recommendations. The finishing touch? A zen-like sales floor that goes perfectly with the calming effects of the product. [Scouted by Michael]
It can be tough to find genuinely cool toys and gifts when all you're seeing are the same options at big-box stores like Target and Toys 'r' Us. Mass Ave Toys makes it easy. Founded in 2006, this fun store offers a huge array of toys and collectibles from around the world, with a focus on items that are fun, well-constructed, and more unique than your average Wal-Mart toy isle fodder. Perhaps best of all, the staff is super-helpful, and can assist you in finding a perfect gift for any age group.
Lots of times when heading out to get a cigar you have to choose between a great selection or a great atmosphere. Not so at 21º Cigars & Accessories. Named after the optimum storage temperature for cigars (21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit), this newly-relocated shop offers a large selection of hand-rolled cigars, including sticks from Padron, Ashton, Arturo Fuente, E P Carrillo, Camacho, and Rocky Patel, the latter of which partnered with the shop to create the only Rocky Patel lounge in the state. Speaking of the lounge, it offers plenty of comfortable leather seating, a great ventilation system, free Wi-Fi, six TVs, and a solid selection of craft beers and wines.
What better place for a bookstore than just blocks from one of the best known Writers' Workshops in the country? Set near the University of Iowa and the aforementioned workshop, Prairie Lights is a first-class bookstore that benefits from the surrounding town's enthusiasm for literature. The books inside tend to lean toward fiction, travel, children's, and poetry — the owners are poets themselves — but with three and a half floors of selections, there's bound to be something there that sparks your interest. And don't think you have to rush home with your purchase, either — the store includes a cafe serving coffee, baked goods, small snacks, and wine and beer, making it an ideal spot to sit and read.
Whether you're looking for some new reading material, a new pair of kicks, or a new gadget, Colette has you covered. Located not far from the Louvre, this three-story shop offers up a large variety of goods, ranging from books, magazines, music, and movies, to sneakers, street wear, electronics, and even candles. And that's just the first floor. Upstairs, you'll find even more clothes for both men and women, an art gallery, and a beauty/apothecary shop, while down the basement you can contemplate your purchases over a meal from the Water bar restaurant.