Top 10 Ukulele Stores and Dealers in the United States

For anyone looking to play a new instrument, there’s always the dilemma of where to buy your own and what kind of specifications one should look out for. Picking the right place to purchase the right kind of ukulele is the first step to your ukulele journey, and below are the top ukulele stores in the US.

  1. Kamaka Hawaii, Inc. (South Street, Hawaii) – Located in South Street, Hawaii – Kamaka is one of the most trusted and well-known ukulele brands. As the trademark instrument of Hawaii, Kamaka ukuleles are traditionally given to young children as gifts to start playing the instrument at an early age. Well-known ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro owns a Kamaka ukulele and even recommends young players to start with a high-quality ukulele. Established in 1916, Kamaka Hawaii prides itself in being the home of the original pineapple-shaped ukuleles made from acacia koa lumber. The store also caters to customers looking for vintage or secondhand Kamaka ukuleles.
  2. Kala Brand Music, Co. (Petaluma, California) – Another well-known brand in the American ukulele community is the Kala. This popular ukulele’s birthplace is in Petaluma, California but due to the instrument’s surge in popularity, Kala was able to branch to Hawaii and Virginia. What has made them an established brand is their commitment to taking traditional standards in building ukuleles and taking a modern, innovative spin on them. In 2007, Kala created the original U-Bass which is an instrument in the shape of a ukulele but sounds like an upright bass. Customers who have already bought an instrument, both in the shop and online, have returned to purchase more to grow their ukulele collection.
  3. UKE Republic (online, showroom in Austell, Georgia) – UKE Republic started out as an exclusively online store in 2007 as a response to the demand of online ukulele shops. As the number of customers grew, they opened a showroom in Austell, Georgie in 2012. Their shop is carefully curated with only the best brands of ukuleles and ukulele accessories, and people are welcome to test drive the ukuleles and ask the friendly staff for a demonstration. Their customer service is known to cater to a variety of needs, specifications, and skill levels. If you get lucky during your visit, you might also witness a wonderful performance from their occasional open jams they host every now and then.
  4. The Ukulele Site (Haleiwa, Hawaii) – The Ukulele Site is a favorite among ukulele players. The simple setup and aesthetically pleasing design of the store is very warm and welcoming. Any visitor can easily enter and be enchanted by their wide selection of ukuleles. The staff lets customers play any instrument on display and will even encourage them to try playing different types of ukuleles to help identify and pick from different sounds produced by different types of materials used to build ukuleles. Visiting their website beforehand is also recommended where you can find videos of different ukuleles being played. The Ukulele Site takes pride in their passion, love, and knowledge of the ukulele wherein customers can walk in with as many questions as they can ask and walk out happy with all the relevant answers.
  5. Ukulele Station America (Oregon, Illinois) – Ukulele Station America in Oregon, Illinois is very popular with locals mostly because of the owner John Lindhorst. Lindhorst is very active in Oregon’s art and music scene and is also very passionate about encouraging local businesses and organizations to create spectacular events. Ukulele Station is a dealer of household names in ukulele brands including Kala and Ohana, but the locals visit the cottage-turned-store mostly for the ukulele lessons that the store also offers or just to spend time with Lindhorst who is always generously and warmly offering serenades to visitors.
  6. Hale Ukulele (San Diego, California) – What is special about small friendly neighborhood shops is that they extend their services beyond their business and Hale Ukulele in San Diego, California is the perfect example of that. Visitors to the shop are welcome to sit down, play the instruments, and jam for hours. It is recommended to call the shop prior to visiting to find out if your desired ukulele brand is on sale. The store also offers individual and group ukulele lessons and has a recording studio available to local artists for rent. Moreover, Hale Ukulele is also a supporter and affiliate of a few ukulele clubs in San Diego.
  7. Uke Hut (Long Island, New York City) – Uke Hut in Long Island, New York is not only the first ukulele shop in New York City but is also a ukulele lounge and performance venue. As an authorized dealer, their shop includes well known Hawaiian K brands and every purchase will come with a free tuner. Uke Hut has hosted concerts for artists like Eva Kano and even Yukata and Hula themed events. Customers have lauded the place as “ukulele heaven” and have praised the owners for being very accommodating and patient with newbies. In 2014, Uke Hut opened a second branch in Queens, New York City.
  8. Fan Guitar and Ukulele (Richmond, Virginia) – Fan Guitar and Ukulele is a humble local shop in Richmond, Virginia owned by John Gonzales del Solar who used to be a musician in the Navy band. A fateful landing in Hawaii has introduced him to the ukulele and there he fell in love with the instrument and eventually set up shop with his wife. Fan Guitar and Ukulele has amazed customers with their quick and friendly customer service and their ability to do flawless instrument repairs. Some customers were even able to acquire rare strings, parts, and other accessories from the shop.
  9. Mainland Ukes (Nashville, Indiana) – Mainland Ukes in Nashville, Indiana is a local family business that sells their own brand of ukuleles made from mahogany, spruce, cedar, and mango wood. Their instruments are strictly acoustic with no electric pickups and they all come in Aquila brand strings which put these ukes on the higher scale of modulation. Mainland Ukes are perfect for anyone who can’t afford to purchase high-end well-known brands but do not want for quality to be compromised. Despite being a humble local shop, Mainland Ukes ships internationally and every instrument purchased is highly encouraged by the store to arrive with a case. The shop also caters to special occasions by offering special gift wrapping and gift certificates. It is highly encouraged that interested visitors call the shop prior to dropping by so the owners will know when to expect you and extend to you the best customer service.
  10. Magic Fluke Co., LLC (Sheffield, Massachusetts) – Magic Fluke is another store that makes their own instruments. What started out as a basement shop in Connecticut grew from the continuous demands of customers hence the need to move to a bigger and more accommodating space. Magic Fluke also produces other instruments including banjos and violins. Their instruments are fondly named after critters like the Fluke and Flea, the Cricket, and the Firefly for their ukulele, violin, and banjo respectively. Anyone into clean and minimalist designs would easily fall in love with Magic Fluke’s instruments. While their mains store is situated in Sheffield, Massachusetts, their instruments are distributed and sold all over the US including Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, and Michigan.

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4 Comments


  1. Don’t forget Mims in Meadows of Dan. Great setup from her and a large selection of ukuleles.

    Reply

  2. Just one proviso: You can’t actually walk out with a new ukulele at Kamaka headquarters. The location in Honolulu is the factory where the ukuleles are built, not a retail outlet. You can order one there, but there aren’t any finished ukuleles for sale to the public at this location.

    Reply

  3. I find it interesting that the majority are manufacturing sites rather than actual shops that have a wide variety of brands and models to sample. I don’t trust any listing that doesn’t include Elderly Instruments!

    Reply

    1. Sorry, I shouldn’t say majority, as 4 out of the 10 are manufacturers. And I know Kamaka doesn’t sell at the factory.

      Reply

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