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  • Safety First! Staying Safe on Hawaii's Trails and Beaches

    (photo courtesy DLNR) 
    On September 21, 2018, DLNR Department of Forestry & Wildlife closed the popular Mānoa Falls Trail to the public until further notice due to a landslide, because of safety concerns. State officials would be doing assessments to determine how bad the situation was.
    Still, in just the few days since the trail has been closed, three people have already been cited for sneaking onto the trail, despite the barriers and posted warnings.
    The closure of Mānoa Falls brings to mind another beautiful hike into a lush valley, Sacred Falls, on the Windward side of O‘ahu. On Mother’s ...

  • Live Music in Paradise: Summer Concerts on O‘ahu

    The evolving genre of Hawaiian music is the soundtrack to life in Hawaiʻi. From the delicate strumming of the ʻukulele to the vibrant, uplifting melodies, Hawaiian music continues to grow in popularity as its styles and practitioners change with the times. And while we may all have our favorite groups and performers, there’s nothing like the soothing sounds of classic Hawaiian music performed live to bring visitors and residents together. PC: Colleen Ricci.For those visiting Oʻahu in the summertime, you’re in luck, because the island plays host to a variety of outdoor concerts in beautiful, tropical settings. From the verdant North Shore ...

  • Six Hawai‘i Summer Events You Can't Miss

    Get out the sunscreen and beach towels because summer is finally here! While you can’t go wrong with a visit to Hawaiʻi in winter or spring, there’s nothing quite like a summer island getaway. Things move slower in the summer, with residents and visitors alike enjoying less traffic, more leisurely days and perfect weather for an outdoor adventure. Best of all, summer season means the return of festive, family friendly events across the state. From thrilling rodeo action to a festival dedicated to Hawaiʻi’s favorite fruit, you’ll always find something to do in paradise.PC: HTA / Tor Johnson.Check out some ...

  • Something Delicious: TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie in Hawaii

    A warm, soothing bowl of udon: this is the comfort food I grew up with. Whether I was kicking a cold or fighting a stomach bug, nothing cured my ailments quite like a large, slurp-able serving of Japanese udon, a rich noodle soup where the thick wheat flour noodles are stars of the show.Mentai Caviar Udon, one of the many udon variations offered at TsuruTonTan.Lucky for me, I’ve spent most of my life in Hawaiʻi, where Japanese restaurants serving the classic Kitsune Udon are in near abundance. But what happens when a restaurant hailing from Japan and specializing in this iconic noodle dish sets ...

  • Celebrating Kamehameha the Great

    Kamehameha the Great (1758?-1819) is one of the most significant figures in Hawaiʻi’s history. As the first ruler of the enduring Kamehameha Dynasty, Kamehameha the Great’s rise to power was prophesied even before his birth, and fulfilled by his historic and incomparable reign. PC: Tor Johnson.Following his unprecedented move of the enormous Naha Stone, Kamehameha was sent to Hawai‘i Island’s North Kohala District where, in accordance with ancient Polynesian customs, he was raised in seclusion and received training by his uncle Kalaniʻōpuʻu befitting of a high-ranking Hawaiian aliʻi (chief). Through lessons in navigation, warfare, oral history and culture, Kamehameha was ...

  • Rock-A-Hula Showcases Hawaiʻi Talent in New Show

    Since its Hawaiʻi launch six years ago, Rock-A-Hula has evolved from a big stage concert experience to a unique fusion of Las Vegas sparkle and Polynesian culture. Now, in an effort to integrate more Hawaiian elements into the existing show, Rock-A-Hula has announced that local talent will join its already dazzling lineup, starting with internationally acclaimed Hirie. This Week Hawaii recently had the pleasure of attending an exclusive media event, where we were treated to a delicious lūʻau buffet, gracious service and a memorable show in the heart of Waikīkī.While Rock-A-Hula is already one of my favorite live shows in ...

  • Five Earth Day Celebrations in Hawaiʻi

    Every April, people around the world recognize Earth Day, a time to promote awareness, education and understanding of the biggest challenges and struggles facing our environment and delicate ecosystem. From the first Earth Day in 1970 until today, we have made great strides in building an environmental movement, but there is still so much more work to be done to protect our oceans, lands and animals.   From the mountains to the sea, beauty surrounds us in Hawaiʻi nei.If you’re in Hawaiʻi for Earth Day (and the days that follow), you’re in luck, because there are so many events and volunteer ...

  • Seven Events to Kick Start your Spring in Hawaiʻi

    Spring is one of the most bustling seasons in Hawaiʻi. Sure we get our fair share of rainy days, stifling humidity and—close your eyes—crawling cockroaches (yikes!), but spring also brings with it some of the most popular and well-attended events across the islands. Whether you’re looking to watch internationally acclaimed films or sample food you’ve never heard of before, Hawaiʻi in the spring truly has it all.Don’t believe us? Here are seven can’t-miss spring events on Oʻahu, Big Island, Maui and Kauaʻi:1. Watch celebrated films from across the globeHosted at Regal Dole Cannery Theatres on Oʻahu, the 21st Annual HIFF ...

  • Hawaiian and Pacific Rim Cultures Unite at the 24th Annual Honolulu Festival

    Every March, the ever-popular Honolulu Festival on Oʻahu invites visitors and locals alike to experience a weekend of moving, educational and fun events around the hub of Waikīkī. Last Friday we had the pleasure of attending the Friendship Gala to kick off the Festival’s 24th year.While we waited for the Exhibition Hall doors to open, we learned about the history of the Honolulu Festival through a linear timeline display.Hosted in the grand Hawaii Convention Center, the Friendship Gala is all about bringing divergent cultures together in one space, a space devoted to fostering friendship and goodwill. And what better ways ...

  • Hiking in Paradise: Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

    Tucked away in East Oʻahu, Wiliwilinui Ridge is one of three advanced hikes you’ll find along the Koʻolau Summit Trail, and arguably the most accessible. Unlike Hawaiʻi Loa Ridge (steep inclines) or Kuliʻouʻou Ridge (a challenging push to the summit), Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail seems to have struck a balance between challenging and manageable—a balance for which a somewhat novice hiker like myself is always searching.Before you take a single step onto the trail, you’ll need to work through the parking situation. The trail head is located at the peak of the Waiʻalae Ike subdivision, a private neighborhood that requires permission ...

  • A Taste of Hawaiʻi

    You can learn a great deal about the culture and heritage of a new travel destination from the food locals are eating. A state or country’s cuisine is often inspired by the people who inhabit it, those who pour their hearts and souls into the land and shape the way it’s perceived. And as one of the most diverse melting pots in the world, Hawaiʻi boasts a gourmet spread of unique delicacies influenced by Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Portuguese cultures, just to name a few.Authentic Hawaiian food is flavorful, colorful and oh so delicious!If you’re a first-time Hawaiʻi ...

  • Ka Moana Lūʻau Heats Up East Oʻahu

    East Oʻahu is home to pristine, sandy beaches, spectacular lookouts, delicious dining…and a lūʻau! Premiering January 2, Ka Moana is Sea Life Park’s revamped lūʻau, and my very first authentic Hawaiian lūʻau experience. The This Week team had the privilege of checking out Ka Moana during its exclusive grand opening event, and let us tell you—it does not disappoint.Receiving a warm welcome from our friends at Sea Life Park! Photo courtesy of Sea Life Park. Sea Life Park partners with Malu Productions to make the magic happen. Hosted in the Park’s beautiful Makapuʻu Meadows, Ka Moana (translated as “the ocean”) features ...

  • My Backyard: Exploring Wahiawā

    Welcome to a series highlighting neighborhoods and communities on O‘ahu!
    The town of Wahiawā, centrally located in O‘ahu’s piko, or belly button in Hawaiian, is referred to as the “Gateway to the North Shore.” It’s a place to stop for gas or grab a quick bite, but if you’ve heard the phrase, “The joy is in the journey, not the destination,” then Wahiawā is part of that journey.
    Right: A gravel pathway meanders through a portion of the Wahiawa Botanical Garden.Left: The unusual and unique jade plant.

    Wahiawa Botanical GardenOne of the popular places to explore is the 27-acre Wahiawa Botanical ...

  • A Whale of a Time aboard Star of Honolulu

    Boasting an enormous size of up to 50 tons and often stretching as long as 45 feet, Humpback whales are truly one of the world’s most impressive marine mammals. And at the peak of whale watch season in Hawaiʻi, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to spot Humpback whales with our friends aboard Star of Honolulu!There's nothing more incredible than watching a whale breach! Photo courtesy of Star of Honolulu.Every winter, thousands of Humpback whales migrate from frigid Alaska to Hawaiʻi’s warm waters to mate, give birth, nurse their young and enjoy a well-deserved rest. Hawaiʻi’s temperate weather conditions make ...

  • Happy 25th Anniversary to Duke’s Waikiki!

    Last week we had the pleasure of spending #AlohaFriday down at Duke’s Waikiki. An iconic Oʻahu dining and pau hana joint for visitors and locals alike, Duke’s is known for its scrumptious menu items, enchanting live music, breathtaking ocean views...and Hula Pie, of course! So we definitely couldn’t pass up the chance to celebrate Duke’s 25th anniversary at its gorgeous beachside locations.Photo courtesy of HTA/Daeja FarisDuke’s is named after the late Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian swimmer and surf legend known widely as the “king of the ocean.” Since 2007, Duke’s has been serving up delicious island-inspired fare, from huli huli chicken ...

  • Hiking in Paradise: Puʻu Pia Trail

    When in Mānoa, expect mud.This was my mindset going into Puʻu Pia, a brisk, two-mile hike through verdant Mānoa Valley. Sure enough, I awoke just before sunrise to the sound of light rain tapping on my windows and thickening clouds rolling in overhead. It’s tough to time this hike because morning showers are inevitable in Mānoa Valley, and trudging through a damp, muddy trail isn’t my favorite way to tackle a hike. Thankfully a good hour after sunrise the clouds billowed past the valley’s rolling hills, and my friends and I were cleared to begin the hike.    Signs like these ...

  • Hiking in Paradise: Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail

    I began tackling my New Year’s resolution a few days early. Since resolving to make my health and fitness more of a priority in 2017, I found myself jogging more and taking lunchtime strolls, yet still not making enough time for weekend hikes. Though I’m not a big resolutions person, I felt determined to set some personal goals to groom my hiking dexterity and explore new trails in the new year.I started by taking advantage of the extra-long Near Year weekend and rising early for a tranquil Makapuʻu walk on the Friday before New Year’s Eve. Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail marks Oʻahu’s ...

  • Six Hawaiʻi Customs to Make Your New Year Unforgettable

    There’s no place like home for the holidays and, lucky for us, home means rolling mountain ranges, big wave surf and a rich history steeped in many cultural traditions. Influenced by Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian customs, Hawaiʻi is the perfect melting pot in which to welcome 2018. And, with many traditions practiced in the hopes of bringing about good fortune in the year to come, how can you go wrong? Let’s face it—we could all use a little good luck this year.This week we’re taking a look at some of the cultural traditions that have shaped the Hawaiʻi we know ...

  • New Wave Holiday at Ward Village

    Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Ward Village is definitely getting into the holiday spirit.   The indoor-outdoor setup at Ward Village's New Wave Holiday.Once known as Art+Flea, an Oʻahu pop-up market showcasing art, retail, food trucks and live entertainment, New Wave Friday is now presented by Ward Village and hosted in the new South Shore Market. South Shore is an ideal location for this urban night market, complete with festive lighting, rustic holiday décor and lush living walls inside and outside the complex. We spent last Aloha Friday at Ward Village’s transformed New Wave Holiday to ring in ...

  • Editor's Picks: Quick Bites for Breakfast in Hawaiʻi

    If you’re like most people visiting Hawaiʻi, your itinerary is chock full of places to go, activities to enjoy and new things to try. And while quality dining is always enjoyable, sometimes you don’t have the time to gather the troops and enjoy a leisurely, sit-down meal before the first stop on your morning journey.Don’t worry—This Week Hawaii has got you covered.Here we’re breaking down our favorite spots on the Big Island, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu to savor a quick bite before hopping back in the car for your next adventure.Big IslandCafe 100 – Cafe 100 is a Hilo staple ...

  • Create a New Thanksgiving Tradition in Hawaiʻi

    In Hawaiʻi we hear it all the time—you’re so lucky to live in paradise. And it’s true, we’re incredibly lucky, yet oftentimes the gratitude gets lost behind the hectic schedules, grueling traffic and daily responsibilities that take up so much of our time. Thankfully, Thanksgiving comes around once a year to keep us in check and remind us of how important it is to keep gratitude top of mind, especially when frolicking “in paradise.”This Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of the important things in life. I love my home, my family, my friends and my dog! There’s beauty that surrounds us no matter ...

  • An Ode to Oʻahu Coffee Shops

    For many of us, a good day doesn’t begin without a proper cup of coffee. Getting dressed, navigating through traffic, answering emails, it’s all made twice as challenging without the glory of coffee to kick-start our brains and get our bodies moving. Whether you enjoy the biting, bitter taste of straight black coffee or opt for flavored espresso beverages, coffee lovers understand the simple pleasure of sipping that first cup.Photo courtesy of Morning Brew Hawaii For those of you who are visiting or living on Oʻahu and subsist daily off of numerous cups of coffee, this post is for you. I’m ...

  • In My Town—Gems Around Makiki

    Makiki and I go way back. Before it housed my current library, used furniture and rambunctious rescue dog, Makiki was first and foremost the town in which I grew up. In the cramped, two-bedroom apartment I shared with my parents and younger sister, we fought for our claim over the bathroom and designated spot on the two-seater sofa. When we moved into a more spacious house with my grandparents in 2011, I never would've anticipated returning to the very same apartment complex four years later, yet that's exactly what I did!Despite the heavy traffic and overcrowded housing situation, Makiki has ...

  • HIFF37 Breathes Life into Hawaiʻi's Film Scene

    When the lights dim, we settle into silence. We turn off the ringers on our phones, tuck our bags under our seats, and lean back into the cushion as we await the flashing screen and booming melodies that signal the start of a long-anticipated movie. There's nothing quite like a community gathering together to enjoy a film screening, and this year's 37th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani is guaranteed to be the premier cultural event of the state. Go For Broke: An Origin Story details the life of University of Hawaiʻi ROTC students following the attack on ...

  • Relearning Gratitude

    From my apartment, I watch the rich amber clouds of dawn paint across walk-ups and low-rise condos that hug each other along the cramped streets of Makiki. I’m half-asleep, yawning, and pulled in haphazard circles by my rescue pup Sterling, yet always I try to take a moment, put down my phone, and glance up at the spectacular sights that surround me.As someone born and raised in Hawaii, I’ve fostered both a genuine appreciation for the place I live, as well as a deep understanding of the many things here I’ve taken for granted. The beautiful rainbows shrouded by clouds, ...

  • Support Your Local Beach - Kailua Beach Cleanup


    On a sleepy, Sunday morning I joined members of the Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA) group for a sweep of Kailua Beach. The YPDA focuses largely on promoting action and activism in support of a greener, safer Hawaii. 
    I met with the Secretary on the Executive Board, Will Caron of the YPDA, along with other members and scoped the beach for plastics, rubbish and other waste materials. The cleanup was tedious but beach goers made it all the worthwhile. Supportive sunbathers applauded our efforts and offered words of encouragement and gratitude. Some even joined in temporarily, which in turn, ...

  • Take Flight

    We drove over the bridge onto Ford Island.  Our car was packed. I don’t know about my friends but I was super eager to see the planes.  When I was just a kid, I used to dream of being behind the wheel of a large aircraft. Somehow that level of excitement, risk and responsibility always appealed to me. This carried on to my late teens and early adult years, taking the ASVAB for the Navy and considering going active duty.

    The guard checked our IDs and let us in. I was nearly jumping out of my seat. When we arrived ...

  • Hōkūle‘a Returns Home

    Nearly 50,000 people greeted the double-hulled Hōkūle‘a with much aloha as it entered the channel next to Magic Island.
    The return of the deep-sea voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a to Hawai‘i on June 17 holds deep meaning for Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian people, and speaks to the strong leadership of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the many volunteers who have helped along the way. Beyond the epic accomplishment of covering 60,000 nautical miles and visiting more than 150 ports, 23 countries and eight UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites during a three-year voyage, the roots of Hōkūle‘a and her mission are embedded in the ...

  • Dolphin Spotting!

    The Dolphin Star was lovely enough to invite me to explore the Pacific and take a gander at some wonderful dolphins!  At first I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t been on a dolphin tour boat in over five years since my journey to Long Beach, CA. I didn’t know if I would get seasick, but I braved it because I love the ocean - and marine life really speaks to my soul.
         
    Waianae coastine off of the Dolphin Star. Image by Editor, Fatima Abed
    It was a beautiful, hot day, as it usually is in ...

  • Keep Exploring

    After a long, long cross country journey, full of adventures, I landed in a world of culture I did not understand. I was eager, yet hesitant that I wouldn’t belong, that it wasn’t living up to my expectations and that no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t make this home…a home. I was judged and misunderstood by some of the people around me. I looked different. I wasn’t haole and I wasn’t a local. I come from a mixed background, have colorful hair, piercings and tattoos. As you can imagine, I received the most inconspicuous and blatant looks. It ...

  • Yes, I Live in Paradise

     
    No, I’m not trying to rub it in. It’s just something that friends, visitors or people I’ve spoken to here or on trips have mentioned to me time and again, many after seeing my coveted rainbow-adorned drivers license. 
    I don’t deny it. I think it’s more that: 1) I don’t spend enough time in the places where I could enjoy it more, and 2) having lived here all my life, I’m more blown away by mountain ranges, gurgling streams and redwoods. I guess you could say it’s something I’ve somewhat taken for granted.

    As with most of the 9-to-5 ...

  • Honolulu Festival


    The evening was alive with music and celebration. There were a handful of food vendors with long lines serving up small, delicious portions. The cheesecake dish was to die for! Although the desert was tiny, the sugary drizzle and strawberry were enough to get my attention. I grabbed my food tickets and rushed through the line to make it on time to see the wonderful show.
      
    The cultural performances were beautiful. A performance by a group from the Philippines told a story of a king and queen. A Japanese dance troupe came out and performed a pop routine ...

  • Doors Off Adventure with Magnum Helicopters


    I consider myself a thrillseeker—not quite armchair, yet not to the extreme. So this Door’s Off helicopter tour with Magnum Helicopters is just right.
    First off, I’ve got to say our pilot Jim is first rate. He got the tour going smoothly with a few instructions on what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do while in the air. For example, don’t stick your arm out of the helicopter because it—and you—just might get sucked out due to the hurricane-strength winds circulating just outside. Nah, just kidding…well, kinda. However, cameras, smartphones, headphones have been sucked out into ...

  • Walk Through: SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

    If you haven't been to West Kaka‘ako, specifically SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, you'll see there's more to it than what's visible along Ala Moana Blvd. This community hub of retail, restaurants and services is an emerging space for arts, culture and creativity—perfect for lunch meetings, pau hana or getting together with friends. I had a chance to visit a few of the businesses earlier in the week and learn a bit about them:

    Bevy Market's Chef Susan Smolinski at left, Mixologist Christian Self at right
    Facing Auahi Street, Bevy Market is a small cafe serving up fresh gourmet salads, ...

  • See Humpback Whales!


    Hawaii’s favorite annual visitors are kohola, or humpback whales, and you can find them popping up in our island waters through April!
    Earlier this week, the crew and I got to see these majestic mammals courtesy of the Star of Honolulu Premier Whale Watch Cruise. Departing from Aloha Tower Marketplace out to Diamond Head and back afforded time to see a couple of pods of whales and enjoy the delicious Taste of Hawaii buffet lunch, as well as have fun with guests performing ‘ukulele and dancing the hula. 
    The cruise began with a welcome and introduction of the resident ...

  • Life Lessons with Miki

    Miki is my mom’s dog, but we like to do things together, especially when it comes to our favorite chill spot. It’s close to home and very peaceful with shaded sidewalks beneath tall eucalyptus trees. The breeze carries the fragrance of the eucalyptus and echoes with birds chirping and hens clucking. It’s also devoid of people, perhaps just 2-3 people exercising or walking their dogs. It’s a sweet little piece of heaven.

    Our favorite chill spot. 
     
    I enjoy our 45-minute walks in our favorite spot; it helps me to relax and breathe, as well as allows me to practice ...

  • Don't be a 'Twonk'

    More than simply a tourist, I consider myself a traveler who respects the rules, guidelines, the local culture of the place I am visiting. 
    As much as I’d wanted to, I didn’t feed the wild animals at Yellowstone National Park or the cute sparrows hoping to catch a crumb at outdoor eating areas. I abstained from pocketing beautiful petrified rocks at Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. I also don’t pick beautiful flowers from botanical gardens just because I thought they’d be lovely in my room.
    Following rules and guidelines didn’t make my vacation experience any less wonderful or memorable. 
    As ...

  • A Time of Remembrance & Gratitude


     
    The month of December brings thoughts of gift giving and receiving, family gatherings and holiday parties. 
     
    In Hawaii, it also brings a day of national remembrance held on December 7. This year, we observed the 75th Anniversary National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration—a lengthy title with an equally large number of unprecedented events held during this once-in-a-lifetime event. From December 1-11, movies on the beach, band performances, activities, special events, banquets, concerts and much more took place to remember the actions of that day, and to say a heartfelt "thank you" to our veterans of the armed ...

  • Christmas in Hawaii

    Christmas has always been a special holiday for me. I spent every Christmas at home in Southern California until I moved to Hawaii many years ago. I always look forward to that indescribable feeling of joy that surfaces around Thanksgiving and leaves with the bustle of the New Year.
    However, my Christmas' in Hawaii didn't start off with that feeling. It was hot. There wasn't as much public festivity compared to the mainland. Plus, my first Christmas in Hawaii was the only one I ever celebrated alone. My roommates had gone home to Hilo. I was invited to other friends' ...

  • Surf Season on Oahu's North Shore

    The beach town of Haleiwa comes alive this month with the excitement of the Vans Triple Crown of Surf hitting Oahu's North Shore, and bringing with it, big name surfers, their fans and curious crowds. You could very well bump into John John Florence—who recently clinched the title of 2016 World Champion at the Rip Curl Pro held in Portugal—or any other pro surfer aiming for a spot in the Triple Crown.
    The Vans Triple Crown annually draws thousands of folks to the North Shore from November 12 to December 20. It consists of three events: the Hawaiian Pro with ...

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