Also held on the well-shaded grounds of Pukalani Stables, this farmers market takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Fun fact: Since there’s also a Waimea on Kaua‘i, mailing addresses here use Kamuela — the Hawaiian version of Samuel — instead, in honor of Parker Ranch founder Samuel Parker.
While many of the same vendors from the Wednesday market return on Saturday, there are some notable additions. Since Hawai‘i state law forbids the sell of sunscreen with certain chemicals, and Hawai‘i County (the Big Island’s local government) will ban all chemical sunscreens as of Dec. 1, 2022, stopping by Little Hands Hawai‘i to stock up on mineral-only sunscreen is a great idea. Created by an island-born couple, the sunscreen line is suitable for sensitive skins and includes tinted and non-tinted versions that are a far cry from the pasty titanium oxide of old. The packaging is also plastic-free and sustainably sourced. Bonus: Turn in a container of chemical sunscreen and you’ll get a discount on your purchase.
Hawaiian seafood is justly famous, but the cold waters off the Kona airport are also an ideal site for aquaculture of species such as lobster and abalone. Big Island Abalone has a 10-acre, solar-powered aquatic farm in Kona that raises Japan’s most prized abalone strain, Ezo. If you don’t have time to tour the farm, come sample its wares in one of the best bargains at the market: four grilled abalones topped with a choice of sauces for just $10. They’re made to order and take about 8 minutes to prepare.
Housed in a stylish black-and-white Airstream camper, State of Grace Pies offers freshly baked and frozen pot pies with sweet or savory fillings and a flaky, buttery crust. Some favorites include the combination of spinach, feta and Hamakua mushroom; the classic chicken with local veggies in white wine and thyme; and the lobster pie, featuring the locally raised lobster in a rich potato bisque.
Watercolor artist Candace Lee showcases the island’s beautiful and distinctive flora and fauna in her work, which appears in a delightful assortment of forms and sizes at her farmers market stand. You can take home a giclee print starting at $50 for an 11×14 print or a small refrigerator magnet for just $10. Pillboxes, card holders, masks, heat- and water-proof tiles, and even pillowcases provide other colorful choices for a keepsake or a mahalo (thank-you) gift.
A bonus of both the Wednesday and Saturday markets at Pukalani Stables: You can visit the Paniolo Heritage Center, which has displays of vintage saddles and other paniolo (cowboy) history. Another fun fact: The first cowboys in Hawai‘i came from Spain-governed California, and were named for the Hawaiianized version of español, or Spanish. The Paniolo Heritage Center also sells a wide range of gifts and souvenirs, many of them cowboy-themed.