Hawai‘i's isolated postion in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has meant that the island chain is home to unique creatures that can't be found anywhere else int he world, while also playing host to wildlife from all corners of the Pacific Rim that pass through, like the legendary Humpback whale. Meanwhile, contact with humans and then later, the Western world, saw the introduction of other species that now make the islands home. Here are a number of species, both endemic and invasive, that you may encounter during your stay: [Photo: ... Read More
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.
By Fern Gavelek Neighborhoods like Chinatown and Waikīkī tend to get all the attention, but if youʻre into history and cool architecture, Honoluluʻs Captiol District is certainly worth checking out. Located in Downtown Honolulu, the Capitol District boasts architectural treasures with fascinating histories. Metered parking is available at the Frank Fasi Municipal Building lot on the left-hand corner of King and Alapa‘i Streets. TheBus offers several routes to the area. Hawai‘i State Capitol415 S. Beretania St., between Richards and Punchbowl Sts. Marking its 50th anniversary in 2019, the Hawai‘i State ... Read More
A lot of people are called “boss” but only Phil Kasper has the distinction of being the “Boss Frog” of Maui. Kasper is the Founder and Owner of Boss Frog’s, with stores on Maui, Kaua‘i and the Big Island, and operator of the country’s finest snorkel boat, the Calypso. Over lunch at Mala Ocean Tavern, Kasper explains that his story isn’t one of overnight success. “Everything happened incrementally,” he tells me. “I came here on my boat in 1987,” his first catamaran, the Frog Man. “There was never a business ... Read More
By Kent Coules, Publisher When Aaron Campbell bought Keana Farms with a partner over 13 years ago, ziplining wasn’t even on his radar. “We bought the land to create affordable housing. For a number of reasons that were beyond our control we had to back off from that goal.” Having been raised on the North Shore since he was a little boy, Campbell’s mission was still to use the land to help the local community. “I loved the fact that the 450 acres was a working farm that delivered a ... Read More
By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor If you’re not feeling up to the hustle and bustle of Waikīkī, but accommodations on the North Shore or out on the Westside feel a bit *too* far away from everything, might I suggest… Waikīkī? Or rather, a stretch of beach known as the Gold Coast. It's still technically Waikīkī, but it's removed enough from the action to feel almost like a different island. Waikīkī and beyond, as viewed from the Gold Coast My significant other and I stumbled upon this area quite by accident. ... Read More
By Fern Gavelek A visit to O‘ahu isn’t complete without time spent at Pearl Harbor’s landmarks. There are four distinct historic sites: the two bookends of WWII with the USS Arizona and Battleship Missouri Memorials, plus museums detailing the air and submarine war efforts. A great starting point is the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, gateway to all four sites. A Pleasant Hawaii tour can take the hassle out of securing tickets and coordinating tour times among sites. Pearl Harbor National Memorial: USS Arizona Memorial An aerial perspective of the USS ... Read More
October is Filipinx American History Month! Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats Celebrates With New Halo Halo Flavors!
One of the wonderful things about Hawai‘i is the diverse makeup of its residents. In addition to Native Hawaiians, Hawai‘i has become home to immigrants from a wealth of nations including China, Japan, Korea, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Micronesia, and countless other regions. Their foods and traditions all contribute to what we consider local culture. Filipinos make up a large segment of the local population, and they get their own month to shine in October, which is Filipinx American History Month (FAHM). The Filipino Community Center and Filipino-American Historical Society ... Read More
By Fern Gavelek Legendary Waikīkī Beach is home to two historic hotels — and you don’t have to check in to check them out! Free public tours are available at both properties and they each have been beautifully restored. Another popular landmark is the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, which stands sentinel right on the beach and is often adorned with lei, especially during the annual Duke’s OceanFest. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa Known as the “First Lady of Waikīkī,” the Moana opened in 1901 as Waikīkī's first, sizeable ... Read More
“If you put a barrier in front of me, I will find a way to get around it,” says Olie Rivera, owner of Koloa Zipline and Kauai ATV. Those words seem to drive every step of his career path. The 64-year-old Colombia native has only been employed for six months of his entire life. “I worked at a print shop when I was a student at Cypress College, in California. Other than that job, I’ve always worked for myself.” Olie's business started with just one ATV. Which quickly became ten. ... Read More
By Fern Gavelek A visit to Hawai‘i is extra special when you come across a wild turtle — whether swimming along a reef or basking on a beach. The Aloha State is home to a handful of turtle species, but the most common is the green sea turtle (honu), followed by the endangered hawksbill (honu‘ea). A green sea turtle resting on a beach [Photo N. Mucnjack / Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund] All of Hawai‘i’s turtles are protected by federal and state laws from harassment, harm, pursuit, collecting, trapping or killing. These ... Read More
One of Hawai‘i’s greatest draws is its natural resources. Lush greenery, sandy beaches, gorgeous sunny weather—there’s a lot to love about the islands’ climate and terrain. So much so, that you’d almost want to take a piece of the islands home with you when your vacation is over. Unfortunately, you can’t bottle up the sun, and visitors are discouraged from removing rocks, shells and other natural artifacts from the state. Foods, clothing and other products, however, are fine, including those made using the ubiquitous macadamia and kukui nuts. Flavorful cooking ... Read More
By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor You may have seen the marchers pass by your hotel or driven by sign-wavers along the side of the road. Maybe you even had plans to visit the summit of Mauna Kea that had to be scrapped because of the road closure. Mauna Kea is all over the news and social media, and a hot topic of conversation here and abroad. Even celebrities like Bruno Mars and The Rock are chiming in and visiting the site. The reason for all this buzz is because of ... Read More
By Kent Coules, Publisher Some of the beautiful creations you'll find at The Shell Factory It is always fascinating to learn the back story of how someone ended up in Hawai‘i, or how they started their business. Todd Crawford of Kaua‘i’s The Shell Factory is no exception. “My parents started The Shell Factory as a retirement business in 1982,” says Crawford. “They had a jewelry store business in San Jose and vacationed regularly on Kaua‘i. They loved it so much they started thinking about retiring here. That was the start of ... Read More
By Kent Coules, Publisher Interior of the HPRA store, and their popular "Aloha" shirt [hprahawaii.org] Finding the perfect souvenirs to bring home from your Hawai‘i vacation is never easy. If you’re on the prowl for something authentically local but that’s still suspiciously out of the ordinary, follow your leads to 1537 Young Street. Sitting just outside of the jurisdiction of the Honolulu Police Department’s Waikīkī precinct, you’ll find a great store with a great cause: the Honolulu Police Relief Association (HPRA) Store. I staked out the store recently to find out ... Read More
By Kent Coules, Publisher Sean taking on one of his ginormous creations One look at Cool Cat Cafe on Front Street and it’s hard to believe this all started from an 800 square foot hamburger stand making only $300 a day in Atascadero, California. “My dad Steve bought a place called Tubby’s with his last $15,000 in savings in 1989,” says Sean Corpuel, co-owner of Cool Cat. “I had dropped out of high school in Arizona, and my dad asked me if I wanted to come work with him. We ... Read More
By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor and Bibliopile Books, books and more books at the Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i Booksale at McKinley High School Over 150,000 individual books, in more than 70 different categories, with about 15,000 shoppers passing through over the course of nine days. If this sounds like a big, epic deal, that’s because it is. I’m talking about the Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i Annual Booksale at McKinley High School. Now in its 72nd year, this megalithic shopping event is a dream for both casual ... Read More
By Lauren LaDoux, Maui Sales Director This is our nod to the women who are standing tall, climbing mountains and making a difference on this little slice of heaven known as Maui. Whether these women are entrepreneurs, humanitarians, environmentalists or are just doing something really cool, they are making Maui a better place, every day. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Alma Tassi at Akamai Coffee in Kihei. If you don’t know who Alma is, she’s the inspiring and relatable co-owner of South Shore Tiki Lounge at Kihei ... Read More
By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor Editor's tip: If you have to work while you're here, then pick a spot with a view, refreshments or both. It’s a sad reality that many people who visit Hawai‘i are here for work, not play. Our esteemed Hawai‘i Convention Center along with our islands’ numerous hotels host countless conventions, expos and trade shows that draw people from all over the world to our beautiful island chain. That’s not to mention the assorted salespeople, dignitaries and other travelers who visit for a variety of other ... Read More
By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor The Honouliuli Education Center, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i One of Hawai‘i’s most precious assets is its rich and diverse history. Local culture, as we know it today, is comprised of many of the traditions of Native Hawaiians melded with contributions from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Puerto Rican and Portuguese immigrants, along with influences from the greater Pacific Rim, the mainland U.S., Europe and beyond. Sadly, while there is much to celebrate, there is also a darker element to local history that is ... Read More
By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor The classic hamburger steak plate, in all its gravy-licious glory I’ve previously sung the praises of the iconic Spam musubi, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fan of food in general. Hawai‘i’s unique melding of diverse cultures and traditions makes for a fascinating culinary landscape that food-lovers can revel in. When I first moved to Hawai‘i oh-so-many years ago, I admit that I was intimidated by the local food choices. Sushi and Japanese food, in general, hadn’t yet reached the masses, the ... Read More
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