Clarissa Haili(Hilo Hattie) was born a pure Hawaiian on October 28, 1901 on the island of Honolulu. The name Hilo Hattie was given to Clarissa when she became internationally famous by her singing and dancing. To many, she is known as "Auntie Clara". For over seven decades, she has brought laughter, happiness and of course the spirit of aloha to those around her.Make Hilo Hattie part of your personalized Lihue itinerary using our Lihue trip planner .
The song "Hilo Hattie does the Hula Hoop" by Don McDiarmid. unfortunately, was not written for Auntie Clara. At the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the regular comic hula dancer was not feeling well, so that gave Auntie Clara the opportunity to step in. However, McDiarmid was not fond of a five-foot Hawaiian woman dancing to his song. Mcdiarmid was bewildered that her version of Hilo Hattie brought an astounding ovation; Hilo Hattie was born.
She was a master in comic hula; entertaining hundreds of nightclub shows such as St. Francis in San Francisco and St. Regis in New York. The year 1940, Hilo hattie decided to give up her career as a school teacher to focus more on bringing her comic hula into the spotlight through songs such as "Holo Holo Kaa" (Going for a car ride), "Princess Purple" and "The cockeyed Mayor of KaunaKakai".
Besides being a legendary entertainer, she was also a gourmet cook, a 40-year supporter of Easter Seal Society, a golfer and a gifted seamstress.
Clara died in 1979 leaving behind her legacy of laughter and music, highlighted by her passion for educating and teaching.
Hilo Hattie Reviews
You can’t miss Hilo Hattie! It’s like a tradition for heaven sakes! My sister and I wore our hula attire for years! The prices are reasonable, and the souvenirs are perfect! Nobody should go the Islan... more »
We've been visiting the hilo Hattie's on Kauai with some frequency over the past 18 years. It's a must-visit place to both buy Aloha-wear for the current trip and replenish Aloha-wear for the return t... more »
Nice place for great patterns on Aloha shirts but a bit pricey. That being said, I still have the last shirt I purchased in 1997 that still looks as good as it did when I bought it. You get what you pay for.
They have a lot of traditionally Hawaiian souvenir type items. Most of the clothing is ugly & gaudy, but there are some really pretty, nice items as well, but they are expensive. Most everything was expensive and not overly exciting for my taste. Still, if you want a great souvenir ship for your trip, this is one option to check out.
Plan your trip to Lihue
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Side trips from Lihue
Hidden gems in Lihue
Shopping in Lihue
Nearby attractions in Lihue
Plans to Hilo Hattie by other users
23 days in Kauai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Kauai BY A USER FROM CANADA January, outdoors, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Kauai BY A USER FROM INDIA August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in Kauai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Hawaii BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Kauai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium