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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Plan Your Trip
Book Your Vacation
Plan your own idyllic getaway with the Hawaii travel experts. Our partner, Pleasant Holidays, has created unforgettable vacations to the Hawaiian Islands for more than half a century, and can help you with all your travel arrangements.
Experience Your Hawaii
Enhance your vacation with activities and experience the very best of the islands. From helicopter flights to snorkeling adventures, from luaus to eco-tours, Pleasant Activities has hundreds of engaging activities that will catch your fancy.