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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.

Honoring a King—Kamehameha Day Celebrations on O‘ahu

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

By Fern Gavelek   King Kamehameha Celebration Lei Draping Ceremony [Photo by Sarah Yamanaka]   Background on Kamehameha I On June 11 each year, the state honors Hawai‘i’s first king—Kamehameha I (1758?-1819). Born in the Kohala district of Hawai‘i Island, Pai‘ea was destined for greatness as Halley’s Comet is said to have shot across the sky the night he was born. A great warrior, diplomat and leader, Kamehameha is credited with uniting the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom. His war tactics have been studied by the Pentagon and his likeness ... Read More

Souvenir Shopping? Take Home These Isle Delights!

Posted in: Food & Drink, Shopping

Taking care of family, friends and coworkers when you return from a Hawai‘i vacation can seem like a chore. We can help with ideas that are easy on the eyes, the tastebuds and your wallet.   Pineapple-shaped favorites from Honolulu Cookie Company Spam musubi aside, there is no more an iconic food item in Hawai‘i than the pineapple-shaped, premium shortbread cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company. Honolulu Cookie Company baked their first batch in 1998 after entrepreneurs Keith and Janet Sung developed a recipe for premium shortbread cookies. As an artist, ... Read More

Sky Riding—How Richard Schuman’s Magnum Helicopters Became a TV Star

Posted in: People, Things to Do

The Hawai‘i helicopter tour business has grown over the years, and there are several reputable companies to choose from on each island. But on O‘ahu, there’s only one helicopter to fly if you want to feel like a TV star. “Well, there’s actually four,” corrects Richard Schuman, owner of Magnum Helicopters and Makani Kai Airlines. “Our guests get to fly in the same helicopters they see on ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Hawaii Five-O’ each week—doors on and doors off.” Does Stephen Hill, who plays Vietnam veteran and helicopter pilot Theodore “T.C.” ... Read More

Enjoy the Flavors of Life at Salt & Pepper Cafe

Posted in: Food & Drink

Having owned several restaurants and nightclubs on the East Coast, owner Jeffrey Samuels wanted Salt & Pepper Cafe to be a comfortable spot serving good food to his customers. The cafe’s contemporary look and vibe is all Samuels. “I designed the layout myself,” he says. “I was looking for a place where everyone could enjoy a good meal. Like the meaning of O‘ahu—‘The Gathering Place’—I have friends who are vegans, who feel uncomfortable going out for a meal because they can’t find anything on the menu to eat. I wanted ... Read More

Experience a Bounty of Delights at a Maui Lu‘au

Posted in: Culture & History, Food & Drink, Things to Do

The bountiful food and lively Polynesian performances of today’s lu‘au have their roots in a proclamation by King Kamehameha II that abolished a long-standing tradition that men and women eat separately. The 1819 feast where the King ate with women was a symbolic act that ended the religious taboo and is considered the first lu‘au. The lu‘au got its name from the most popular food item at the feast, chicken and young tender leaves or taro baked with coconut milk. ‘Aha‘aina Wailea, A Grand Wailea Luau The royal lū‘au of ... Read More

Sun’s Out, Surf’s Up! Looks Like a Beach Day on Maui!

Posted in: Shopping, Things to Do

An obvious perk of being on an island is that no matter which direction you head towards, you’ll soon run into a beach. When you’re on Maui, it doesn’t really matter which beach you happen upon since they’re all beautiful in their own way. Yet, some are more suited to surfing, some to swimming and snorkeling, and others just for taking a timeout while reading and listening to the waves. Here are a few notable picks from around the island. South Side KAMA‘OLE BEACHES 1, 2, 3This trio of Kīhei ... Read More

It’s a Boat. It’s a Sub. It’s a ‘SemiSub’! Talking Story with CEO Curtiss Jackson

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher The SemiSub One is a brand new, five-star, 149-seat semi-submersible watercraft that opened its galleys to the public on O‘ahu in November 2019. The vessel is the first of its kind in the world and has garnered major buzz both locally and worldwide for the unique experience it provides lucky guests. “The SemiSub One prototype has been in development for more than a decade,” says Founder and CEO Curtiss Jackson, “and has undergone rigorous scrutiny on its road to sailing openly in Hawaiian waters.” The SemiSub ... Read More

Big Island Dolphin Watch

Posted in: Environment, Things to Do

Along with whales, dolphins could be called the ‘brainiacs’ of the marine world. Intelligent in ways that are different from humans, studies indicate dolphins are playful, quick learners and demonstrate empathy, grief and joy. Anytime you’re out in Hawai‘i’s waters, be on the lookout for our resident marine life that includes whales (in addition to seasonal Humpback whales), the endangered Green Sea turtle and Hawaiian monk seal, as well as pods of dolphins. According to the non-profit Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund that engages the community in research, education and conservation projects, ... Read More

Tee it High, Let it Fly: Golfing on the Big Island

Posted in: Things to Do

If you’re a golfer, then you pretty much HAVE to golf while you’re here. If you totally get that, then you need to read on because we’re going to give you three great golf options on the Kona side that welcome visiting slicers, hackers and golf pros with friendly rates and aloha service. Makani Golf Club Makani is the Hawaiian word for “wind.” But when you first take in the 150 acres off Māmalohoa Highway near the turnoff from Saddle Road, you could be excused for thinking it means “spectacular ... Read More

Keeping it Local with Hawai‘i’s Homegrown Businesses

Posted in: Shopping

There are many ways to uplift local culture while also pleasing tourists. Let’s look at three local businesses that accompish this successfully with both pride and aloha. Maui Divers Jewelry Founded in 1958, Maui Divers Jewelry started as an undersea touring company in Lahaina before one of their fishing expeditions discovered Hawaiian Black Coral off Moloka‘i. They soon grew to become one of the leading manufacturers of precious coral jewelry in the world. They also feature Hawaiian Heirloom jewelry with designs that honor the tradition of this uniquely Hawaiian keepsake, ... Read More

Maui-Style Souvenirs: Unique Gift Ideas for Everyone Back Home

Posted in: Food & Drink, Shopping

As your vacation winds down, you’re probably thinking about getting some keepsakes for yourself or family and friends back home. And let’s face it, sometimes a “Wish you were here!” postcard just doesn’t cut it. Whether you’re looking for apparel from local brands, unique regional treats, or local arts and crafts, we’ve got some ideas for you to consider. Choose your own pearl at Pearl Factory As “Hawai‘i’s Original Pearl-In-The-Oyster,” Pearl Factory makes your jewelry shopping experience fun and exciting. All pearls come from genuine saltwater cultured oysters. Discover Akoya, ... Read More

The Road to Hana: The Drive of a Lifetime

Posted in: Things to Do

Maui’s Highway 36, more commonly known as Hāna Highway or the Road to Hāna, is the start to a meandering 64-mile drive along the island’s north and west shores, with breathtaking sights and experiences not found anywhere else. One of the many waterfalls to be found along the scenic route [Photo Tor Johnson] Beginning in Kahului, the entire drive can take a full day, depending on your pace—you’ll have to take it slow with the road’s 617 turns and 56 one-lane bridges—and how often you stop—and trust me, there’s quite ... Read More

Sunshine Helicopters: Talking Story with Founder Ross Scott

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher “We had a great life; we rented a little house on the beach and owned a sailboat charter business. We were good. And then my son got accepted into Chapman College in California.” Chapman College can take partial credit for starting one of the most successful air tour companies in Hawai‘i, Sunshine Helicopters. Except that the founder didn’t attend the school—he just paid for it. “I was in good shape financially, except for the $28,000 a year I was going to have to come up with. ... Read More

Dive Into Maui's Seafood Spots

Posted in: Food & Drink

When you’re vacationing in the middle of the Pacific, it’s only natural that you’d want to sample some of the ocean’s bounty. Fortunately for you, Maui has some great seafood spots offering dishes cooked in familiar styles or with a unique island vibe. Grilled Fish Salad at Down the Hatch Seafood is made fun at Down the Hatch. This Lahaina eatery offers selections “Between the Buns and On Top of Tortillas,” plus appetizers, salads and “Big Plates” like macadamia nut-crusted ahi and cajun-grilled fresh catch. Enjoy locally sourced fresh fish ... Read More

Rainy Day To-Dos on Oahu

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Food & Drink, Shopping, The Arts, Things to Do

Rainy day? Not a problem here! We get them from time to time, especially during the ‘winter.’ But don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with a few great ideas for a day well spent indoors.   Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center If your idea of art is jewelry, why not spend part of a rainy day watching how it’s made? Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center offers a factory tour on Liona Street that’s an education in fine jewelry making. Each guest views a seven-minute video and then a guide walks ... Read More

Unique Big Island Tours

Posted in: Environment, Food & Drink, Shopping, Things to Do

From busy bees to octopus, and growing vanilla to the intricacies of coffee farming, Hawai‘i Island offers many opportunities to have fun while learning about its homegrown industries.   Catch the buzz at Big Island Bees Learn what all the buzz is about at Big Island Bees. Started by Garnett and Whendi Puett in 2004 after Garnett’s stepfather initially brought the family bee business to Hawai‘i in approximately 1971, the couple has continued the family tradition as fourth-generation beekeepers. Did you know that true honey is good for your health? ... Read More

There's Lots to Do in South Kona!

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

Who knew there were so many things to see, eat and do in South Kona? From historic sites to isle beaches and downright delicious eats, the area makes for a day well spent. Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers features local, fresh and organic ingredients Anything but your typical burger joint, the philosophy behind Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers stresses three factors that make for a wholesome, authentic dining experience—local, fresh and organic. As one of the pioneers and leaders in the farm-to-table movement on the Big Island for the last 10 years, ... Read More

Destination: Hilo!

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Shopping

Quaint Hilo hangs onto its small town charm as a residential hub of shops, restaurants and services, not yet willing to turn itself over to development. We like it that way, and so do the many visitors who slow down to enjoy its treasures. Quaint, downtown Hilo [Image by Robbyn Peck / Hilo Downtown Improvement Assoc] Park and poke around—don’t miss the colorful Hilo Farmers Market at Kamehameha Avenue and Mamo Street. Hilo is also home base for edible island favorites such as Big Island Candies and Mauna Loa Macadamia ... Read More

Eating In Waikiki

Posted in: Food & Drink

After arriving on O‘ahu and checking into your accommodations, sometimes you just want to hang out in the vicinity and enjoy a casual meal. We’ve got those options for you right here! P.F. Chang’s always tries to exceed guests’ expectations The chefs at P.F. Chang’s create fresh and inventive Chinese cuisine served with island-style hospitality on a daily basis. With more than 200 locations across the U.S. and more around the globe, you might think it’s a basic chain restaurant—but then you would be wrong. “Many people don’t realize that ... Read More

Beach Bound on the Big Island

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

Native Hawaiian cultural sites and modern-day beachgoers mingle at Kahalu‘u Beach Park in Keauhou. Once owned by the Bishop Estate, Kahalu‘u Beach Park was deeded to the County of Hawai‘i in 1966 and became a permanent public fixture for the enjoyment of the local community. Once home to Native Hawaiian people, both commoners and chiefs, prior to Western contact, the area still contains remnants of those days. House sites, heiau (temples) and petroglyphs are visible at or near Kahalu‘u Bay. Tiny St. Peter’s Catholic Church also stands along the shore, ... Read More

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