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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.

Talkin' Turtles: An Intro to the Honu of Hawai‘i

Posted in: Environment

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

Oils of Aloha: Utilizing Hawai‘i's Natural Wonders for Skincare, Cooking and More

Posted in: Food & Drink, Shopping

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

What's Going On at Mauna Kea? A Visitors Guide to the Current Standoff

Posted in: Culture & History, Editor's Blog, Environment

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

A Shelluva Business: Talking Shop with Todd Crawford of The Shell Factory

Posted in: People, Shopping

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

Souvenir Patrol: Honolulu Police Department Merchandise Benefits the People Behind the Badge

Posted in: Shopping

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

The Coolest Cat in Lahaina: A Conversation with Cool Cat Cafe’s Sean Corpuel

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

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

A Must-Do for Book Lovers: The 72nd Annual Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i Booksale

Posted in: Editor's Blog, Things to Do

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

Women Making Waves on Maui: Alma Tassi of South Shore Tiki Lounge

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

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

Working Vacations: Getting Stuff Done While Enjoying Paradise

Posted in: Editor's Blog

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

Honouliuli: Shining a Spotlight on Our Country's Forgotten History

Posted in: Culture & History, Editor's Blog

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

The Hamburger Steak Plate: The Familiar as a Gateway to the Unfamiliar

Posted in: Editor's Blog, Food & Drink

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

Waimea Valley: The Many Facets of the North Shore's Hidden Treasure

Posted in: Culture & History, Editor's Blog, Environment, Things to Do

By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor A taro patch, just one of the many culturally significant collections of flora found in the valley This weekend we took a drive up to O‘ahu’s North Shore and visited Waimea Vally. I last visited this site about 20 years—and at least two landowners owners—ago. In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t really remember much about how it was back then compared to how it is today. What I can tell you is that the Waimea Valley of today is a more than ... Read More

Buses, Bikes or Boots: Getting Around O‘ahu Without a Car

Posted in: Editor's Blog, Things to Do

By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor TheBus is not only convenient, but it's also a good value One of the prices of living in paradise is the traffic we on O‘ahu have to contend with. For the last several years, Honolulu’s traffic woes have ranked among the worst in the nation. Fortunately, we have a number of alternatives to driving. Keep these in mind and you may manage to avoid a little traffic and a bunch of stress. You’re on vacation, after all! There are, of course, the countless tour shuttles ... Read More

Talking with Jason Trim of Makani Golf Club—The Course Locals Don’t Want You to Know About

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher Makani Golf Club's signature 17th hole is as terrifying as it is breathtaking “Makani” is the Hawaiian word for wind. You could be excused for thinking it means “spectacular views.” Indeed, when one first drives off Māmalahoa Highway onto Makani Golf Club’s 150 acres, your first view is of its signature 17th hole. It’s a par three with an island green that architect Perry Dye modeled after the “most terrifying tee shot in golf,” the legendary 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Looking at this hole on the ... Read More

The Pizza Man of Kaua‘i: Tom Iannucci Opens Pietro’s Pizza e Pasta in Poipu Shopping Village

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Kent Coules, Publisher One of Tom Iannucci's mouth-watering concoctions, fresh from the oven When most people think of “pizza” and “Hawai‘i” they think of pineapple and ham. Tom Iannucci thinks about brick ovens and learning more from his peers at the Association of Verace Pizza Napoletana, who commissioned his pizzeria as their first certified pizzeria in Hawai‘i. It all started on Long Island, New York, where Tom grew up. “It wasn’t the best neighborhood,” says Tom. “A lot of my buddies were going to jail, so after the Beirut ... Read More

To Do on Maui: Rainy Day Activities

Posted in: Things to Do

By Lauren LaDoux, Maui Sales Director Yes, it rains even in paradise. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, what do you do? You could wait it out. NEVER! Why would you do that when Maui is full of so many fun things to do, rain or shine! We’ve compiled a list of our top things to do on the chance that Maui releases the flood gates.   MAUI OCEAN CENTER It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not—Maui Ocean Center is a treat for all ages! They ... Read More

Chef Sheldon Makes a Splash on the Maui Dining Scene with LINEAGE

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Kent Coules, Publisher What do the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award, television’s Top Chef and Hawai‘i’s ubiquitous ABC Stores all have in common? Sheldon Simeon, Executive Chef of the hot new restaurant LINEAGE in Wailea, Maui. Chef Sheldon, as he is known, was twice voted “Fan Favorite” during two separate appearances on the Bravo Network’s Top Chef. He opened LINEAGE in October 2018 in partnership with venerable ABC Stores and was nominated as a semi-finalist by the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant in March. The James Beard ... Read More

Women Making Waves on Maui: Martha Haleakala of Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

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. Kobe's entertaining chefs and delicious food bring people back again and again, but Martha is the restaurant's secret treasure. Martha Haleakala is the owner of Kobe’s Japanese Steak House over in Lahaina, but that wasn’t always ... Read More

Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant is a Treat for Locals and Visitors Alike

Posted in: Food & Drink

By Kent Coules, Publisher Rocky Aoki first introduced Americans to the concept of "eatertainment" in 1964 I recently met a friend at Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for a pau hana (after work) dinner. For many locals, making the trek into Waikīkī can seem like a chore, but visiting Rocky’s was so worth the effort. The former Benihana of Tokyo re-opened under the new Rocky name earlier this year. The wife of the late founder Rocky Aoki wanted to update the restaurant to include some ... Read More

Maui's Hidden Gem: Westside Bagel Brings East Coast Style Bagels to Hawai‘i

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Lauren LeDoux, Maui Sales Director Westside Bagel brings east coast style bagels to Maui Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa who had just started her small business, Westside Bagel, this last October with her partner, Scott. This tiny, bubbly blonde is from the East coast with an undergrad in psychology. She’s also a licensed realtor, though not practicing. Despite those credentials, she always found herself coming back to the food and beverage industry, and after meeting her, youʻll be glad she did. She's a ray ... Read More

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