BEST UKULELE SHOP
1750 Kaahumanu Ave., Wailuku
The cutest chordophone on Earth heralds Hawaiian heritage (thanks first to da Portuguese cavaquinho et alia), so when Mauians select who’s got the best ukulele shop on-isle, they know what they’re talking about. For 20 years, Mele Ukulele–under the direction of world-renowned luthier Michael Rock–has been a haven for four (or more) stringers. Their Wailuku store carries all things uke, and it’s not uncommon to see a local celebrity stopping in for anything from a pack of strings to a new, entirely handmade ukulele (from their Waiehu factory), known for their pristine playability. They’re made with tropical hardwoods like koa (a flamed-grain favorite) and sometimes Western red cedar (which “imparts a warm, mellow, rich tone”) or Sitka spruce (which adds “volume, punch and brilliance”); like fine cigars, these ukes are best stored in humidors (fo’ realz).