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There's so much to learn about this tropical paradise we call Hawai'i. Start your journey today by reading more about what makes this place so special.

Hiking Kā‘ena Point Trail

Posted in: Environment, Things to Do

Story and Images by Sarah Yamanaka, Executive Editor This arid coastal hike located in Kā‘ena Point State Park begins a little less than three miles from Kā‘ena Point on both sides of the Wai‘anae mountain range. You can start the trail in either Wai‘anae (2.4 miles one way) or Mokulē‘ia (2.5 miles one way); where the paved road ends is where the trail begins.  An early view on the Kāʻena Point Trail A group of us started in Mokulē‘ia. No blue skies, just gray clouds above for which we were ... Read More

Cruisin' the Coconut Coast of Kaua‘i

Posted in: Things to Do

Stretching from Wailua Golf Course up north to Keālia Beach, and inward to Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale, Kaua‘i’s eastside is often referred to as the “Coconut Coast” because of the acres of coconut trees. It was once open only to Hawaiian royalty, and includes the towns of Wailua, Waipouli, Kapa‘a and Keālia. What is there to see and do along the Coconut Coast? Glad you asked! We put together a handy guide with some suggestions for places to Eat, Play and Shop along this stretch of the Garden Isle. Palm trees along Kaua‘i's ... Read More

Searching for Humpbacks: Whale Watching on Oahu

Posted in: Environment, Things to Do

We’re thrilled to have seen the first of many Humpback whales (kohola) in our island waters, and you can too. Nothing beats being able to see a mammoth whale up close in their natural habitat. Get ready to get acquainted with the mighty Humpback. A breaching Humpback whale [Photo Courtesy Dolphin Excursions] These mighty and endangered humpback whales travel thousands of miles from their home in Alaskan waters to the Pacific Ocean, a route they undertake year after year. Like other mammals such as caribou whose migration routes are passed ... Read More

Jumping in with Dive Oahu’s Brian Benton

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher “We started as a ‘dive club,’” says the Southern California native who first came to Hawai‘i as a U.S. Marine in the early 80’s. “It started as a couple of friends, then a few more type thing on the weekend. I’d tow my first boat (a 25-foot, 10-passenger Radon) from ramp to ramp, and people would meet me there.” At the time the dive club started in 1995, Benton was a full-time dive instructor at Tropical Ocean Sports in Kane‘ohe Bay. He was responsible for as ... Read More

Let's Go Whale Watching! How, Where and When to Enjoy Watching Humpback Whales in Maui

Posted in: Environment, Events, Things to Do

  Every winter, about 4,000-5,000 Humpback whales—two-thirds of the whole North Pacific population, migrate to Hawai‘i’s warm waters from the chilly environs of Alaska for a well-deserved respite. The peak of their activity is from January through March, making this an ideal time for us to view them in the wild. A whale breaching off the coast of Maui [Photo Courtesy Pacific Whale Foundation] While summers in Alaska are devoted to feeding, their winters in Hawai‘i are focused on reproduction. In fact, the state is considered the nation’s primary mating ... Read More

Polynesian Cultural Center: Navigating New Waters with Delsa Moe

Posted in: Culture & History, Shopping, Things to Do

  The roots of the Polynesian Cultural Center can be traced to the late 1940s when members of The Church of Latter Day Saints started a hukilau—a fishing festival with a lu‘au feast and Polynesian entertainment—as a fundraising event. From the beginning, it proved immensely popular, and eventually led to the opening of the Polynesian Cultural Center in October 1963.  The original 39 structures on 12 acres have expanded many times over the years to become a world-renowned, special place of enchantment, entertainment and education.  “We have never stopped expanding ... Read More

Sunrise To Sunset: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on the Valley Isle

Posted in: Food & Drink

  Maui has no shortage of places to grab a bite. There are so many choices, in fact, that it can maybe feel overwhelming. So please let us offer you up some suggestions for your breakfast, lunch and dinner in Lahaina and Kihei.  BREAKFAST: Since 2003, CJ’s Deli & Diner in Lahaina has been serving up generous portions of comfort food favorites. Plus they boast of having the most affordable breakfast in the Kaanapali area, served up daily from 7-11 a.m. All the familiar favorites are here, like pancakes and French ... Read More

Adventures on Haleakala

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Things to Do

At over 10,000 feet high, saying that Haleakala is impressive is an understatement. Everyone who visits Maui should make a point of heading to the summit to experience the glorious views and unique landscapes. While catching a sunrise from the summit is worth the trip in itself, the slopes of this dormant volcano are home to other attractions that are also worth a visit.   If feeling cool mountain air on your face while taking in out-of-this-world views is up your alley, you just might enjoy an excursion with Bike ... Read More

Going Deep with Maui Divers Jewelry’s Cole Slater

Posted in: Environment, People, Shopping, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher Most successful jewelry companies don’t start out as a dive shop. But this is Hawai‘i, where unusual starts to local businesses are commonplace. With that in mind... Backstroke to 1958 when master divers Jack Ackerman and Larry Wembley took guests deep-sea diving off Lahaina, Maui. On that day, more than 200 feet below the surface, they came across something mysterious and never before seen—black coral. “Black coral is only found in waters between 150-300 feet deep off Maui,” says Cole Slater, executive vice president for Maui ... Read More

A Night Out at Tanaka of Tokyo

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

  Alison “Bo” Tanaka grew up at Tanaka of Tokyo. Literally. “One of my fondest early memories was going to the office at King’s Village with my dad,” she says. “I loved that. Today, I meet him in the office every Monday and we review the week and talk strategy.” Apparently that strategy has been extremely successful. Tanaka of Tokyo is consistently the top-rated teppanyaki restaurant in the state. “We have been in Waikīkī for 41 years,” says Bo. “Our goal was to have a restaurant within walking distance of ... Read More

Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm: The Legacy of a Master Gardener and Visionary

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher Lav•en•der - Noun1. a small aromatic evergreen shrub of the mint family, with narrow leaves and bluish-purple flowers. 2. a pale blue color with a trace of mauve. Lavender is known to represent purity, silence, devotion, serenity, grace and calmness. When you read reviews from visitors to the Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm, you see these same words and their synonyms to describe the experience.   Fragrant lavender growing at Ali‘i Kula “Lavender comes from the Latin word ‘lavare,’” says Sarah Adams, Customer Service Supervisor at the farm. “On ... Read More

Garden Isle Originals: Unique Gifts From Kaua‘i

Posted in: Culture & History, Shopping

Return home with the gift of a Kaua‘i original and watch as your loved ones turn to you with a smile that says, “It’s perfect!” Ni‘ihau shell lei made with tiny shells from the Forbidden Island [Photo HTA / Tor Johnson] It’s said that Hawaiian heirloom jewelry got its start when Queen Kapi‘olani and Princess Lili‘uokalani returned from attending Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in England in 1887 with gifts of solid gold bracelets with their names etched in Old English lettering filled with black enamel. However, according to Philip Rickard, founder ... Read More

Ni‘ihau — 17 Miles and a World Away

Posted in: Culture & History, Shopping, Things to Do

The history of Ni‘ihau is storied and mysterious; our limited space will not do “The Forbidden Island” justice. In Hawaiian lore, Pelehonuamea (commonly known as Madame Pele) first landed on Ni‘ihau, although geologists believe the island was created by a secondary rift from the Kaua‘i volcanic explosion.  Elizabeth Sinclair purchased Ni‘ihau, and parts of Kaua‘i, in 1864 for $10,000 in gold and a piano from King Kamehameha V, and private ownership passed on to her descendants, the Robinson family. They continue to uphold their promise to the king to protect ... Read More

From Kīlauea to Kalalau — Your North Shore Adventure

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Things to Do

You’ll need a gameplan to visit Kaua‘i’s North Shore, namely, to enter Hā‘ena State Park—so keep reading. But don’t miss the incredible sites—and sights—along the way! Kapa‘a Coastal Path [Photo HTA / Heather Goodman] The drive along Kūhiō Highway 56 is among the island’s most delightful. From Kīlauea to the end of the famous Kalalau Trail, the panoramas along this part of the coastline are indeed breathtaking, and have been made famous by Hollywood films. A thought to keep in mind is that while you’re on vacation enjoying the sights, ... Read More

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Paniolo: Horseback Riding Adventures on Kaua‘i

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

The first cowboys in Hawai‘i were hired by John Palmer Parker of Parker Ranch fame. They were Mexican vaqueros, highly skilled horsemen who then trained his Hawaiian ranch workers. Eventually, the paniolo spread to other islands including Kaua‘i, which has a significant horse culture today. Every July for 20 years, Joyce Miranda of CJM Stables hosts the Kōloa Plantation Days Rodeo. When the feisty 71-year-old owner isn’t hosting this amazing three-day event, she’s taking care of her riding guests at her Po‘ipu ranch. Riding along the shoreline with an experienced ... Read More

Rainy Day Fun on Kaua‘i

Posted in: Culture & History, Shopping, Things to Do

When you plan your vacation to Kaua‘i, it’s unlikely that you’re envisioning yourself relaxing…on a rainy day. Kaua‘i, however, gets a lot of rain, especially on the windward Hanalei side. Here are a couple of ways to turn a rainy day into one of the best of your vacation. “We don’t even have to look outside to know whether it’s raining,” says Kauai Museum Director Chucky Boy Chock. “We can tell by the number of visitors. When people leave, they comment that they’re glad it rained, because they otherwise might ... Read More

Pili Pacific — Heritage Inspired, Artist Crafted, Contemporary Pacific Design

Posted in: Shopping

By Kent Coules, Publisher “‘Pili’ means to ‘be joined and connected,’” says Herman Pi‘ikea Clark, Jr., “and it has similar meanings in many Polynesian languages. It is this connection throughout the Pacific of deep-rooted traditions in culture, value, family, and lifestyle that embody our unique designs. “We” is Clark, a Native Hawaiian raised in Hawai‘ i, and his wife, Sue Pearson, a Norfolk Islander of Tahitian descent. They met at a Pacific artists’ gathering in 1995 and currently reside in New Zealand and Hawai‘i. Pearson and Clark both have formal ... Read More

Talking Story with Fair Wind Cruises’ Alex Dant: How a Bad Mooring Started an Iconic Business

Posted in: Environment, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher When I ask Fair Wind Cruises VP of Operations Alex Dant to sum up how the business has changed over 48 years, he says, “When we started, it was about going out with our guests and enjoying nature. Today we also teach our guests how to protect the resources. That’s part of our kuleana (responsibility).” Fair Wind takes their role in protecting their work environment very seriously. For several years, all Fair Wind boats have run on bio-diesel fuel, which consists of recycled vegetable oil and ... Read More

Chasing Waterfalls and Sea Caves: An Unforgettable Adventure with Nā Pali Riders’ Chris Turner

Posted in: Things to Do

by Publisher Kent Coules When you read reviews from boat adventure companies, you’ll see glowing reviews like:  “Our guides Tony and Matt were awesome.” “Our captains Cathy and Mike were amazing.”  When you read the reviews for Nā Pali Riders, however, you’ll only see one captain, one guide. That’s because every Nā Pali Riders Zodiac Adventure is led by owner/operator Chris Turner. On a recent Saturday morning, I had the privilege of experiencing the entire Nāpali Coast with Chris, along with my coworkers and friends Stephen McVicar, Robin Kennedy and Wade Oshio. ... Read More

NorthShore Zipline Company: Zipping Down the Up Country

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

by Savannah Coules, Guest Contributor If you’re seeking an adventure—one that’s surrounded by nature, with a bit of World War II history mixed in—then NorthShore Zipline on Maui should be on your must-do list.  The Hai‘kū adventure park offers beautiful views from impressive heights. The staff is friendly and adaptable, looking to provide a safe, educational experience for the whole group while treating each customer as an individual. My group included a couple of surly teenagers and wary, self-proclaimed acrophobes (that’s someone afraid of heights), and everyone left happy. It’s a ... Read More

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