Categories:

Stories

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.

The History and Development of Polynesian Cultural Center

Posted in: Culture & History

While October 12, 1963 marks the official opening date of the Polynesian Cultural Center, its roots go back to the mid-1800s.  Missionaries from the Church of Latter Day Saints (popularly called Mormons) arrived in the Sandwich Islands (Hawai’i) in 1850. By 1865, the LDS Church had purchased a 6,000-acre plantation that encompasses all of Laie, home to the Polynesian Cultural Center. The LDS Temple in Laie — started in 1915 and dedicated on Thanksgiving Day 1919 — attracted more islanders from throughout the South Pacific.   In 1921, Matthew Cowley was ... Read More

Cruising the Wailua River Valley With Four Generations of Smiths

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Kauai 2021, Things to Do

Sharing songs and legends of the Wailua River Valley is a family tradition. In 1946, Walter Smith, Sr. and his wife, Emily, started our family business with a small rowboat and a borrowed outboard motor. Four generations later, we continue Grandpa’s tradition of sharing our love of Kauai and its rich cultural heritage. Some activities take all day or must be reserved well in advance of your arrival- especially with Covid restrictions in place. The Wailua River Cruise is a great way to sit on a covered boat, meandering up the ... Read More

U.S. Army Museum of Hawai’i: Five “Dis-Arming” Facts about the U.S. Army Museum of Hawai’i

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

Most first time visitors to Waikiki know these two things:  that Waikiki is expensive, and  they plan to visit Pearl Harbor and learn about WWII history. What most do not know is that right in their midst is the U.S. Army Museum of Hawai’i located in Fort DeRussy Park, between Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Halekulani, right on the beach. And that it is free admission.  “We support ourselves through donations and gift shop purchases,” says Cynthia Duncan, Executive Director of the museum’s dedicated non-profit organization, the Hawai’i Army Museum ... Read More

Honolulu Museum of Arts Joyful Return

Posted in: Culture & History, Events, The Arts, Things to Do

With vaccinations in full swing and hope for a safe return to shared experiences on the horizon, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents a museum-wide spring exhibition titled Joyful Return, opening April 17. Joyful Return consists of six outdoor pop-up installations and one in-gallery installation across the museum, each a mix of unexpected, interactive and evolving elements brought to life by the community. “Our first exhibition of 2021 begins with a warm invitation to our community to join us in a year-long celebration of getting back to our joyful pursuits ... Read More

Big Island Trivia

Posted in: Big Island 2021, Culture & History

Hawai‘i Island is better known as the “Big Island” in honor of its relative size. It’s also because Hawai‘i Island shares its name with the entire state, which can be very confusing to those less familiar with the islands. Hawai‘i Island is in fact one of the most unique land masses on the planet. Consider:   -While it is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, it is also the youngest, with estimates ranging from 400,000-800,000 years. (Kauai, the oldest island, by contrast, is estimated to be five million years old!)   ... Read More

Hawaii Trivia: Test Your Knowledge!

Posted in: Big Island 2021, Culture & History, Environment, Kauai 2021

Hawai‘i is such a fascinating place with tons of facts and tidbits to glean. How well do you think you know the islands? We put together some trivia questions so you can put your knowledge to the test, and maybe even impress your friends and family with your HIIQ (Hawai‘i Intelligence Quotient). The answers are down below—no cheating!.  Got your thinking caps secured? Okay, then. Get ready, get set... GO!   1.  The Hawaiian islands are the projecting tops of one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. How ... Read More

15 Hilarious Questions Hawai‘i’s Tourists Really Ask

Posted in: Big Island 2021, Culture & History, Environment, Kauai 2021

Repeat after me: There’s no such thing as a stupid question.  While some questions may give us pause, the only way we ever learn anything is by asking, right? Those who work in the visitor industry get pelted with questions of all sorts. They’re thrilled that people want to learn so much about their surroundings and the activities they’re taking part in, but some questions can and do make us here in Hawai‘i chuckle. It’s certainly no different than when a Hawai‘i resident visits the U.S. mainland or another country ... Read More

Ten Things that Make Hawai'i the Most Unique State in the Country

Posted in: Big Island 2021, Culture & History, Environment, Kauai 2021, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher ʻIolani Palace Hawaiʻi has the only royal palaces on American soil. ʻIolani Palace, in Honolulu, is the site of the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani. Those familiar with Hawaii’s history can argue persuasively that Hawaiʻi is NOT legally United States territory, but that’s a story for another time.   Weather Honolulu is the only major U.S. city where the average high temperature is in the 80’s—TWELVE MONTHS A YEAR!   Caffeine Junkies Rejoice Hawaiʻi is the only state that grows coffee commercially. Hawaiʻi’s rich, volcanic soil ... Read More

The Polynesian Cultural Center Ready to Welcome Back Guests Safely

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

With a brand-new year comes new beginnings and, at long last, a time to welcome our guests back safely to our One Place Like No Other. The Polynesian Cultural Center is looking forward to opening its doors to visitors again beginning January 18, while fully implementing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health guidelines for the safety of both its employees and guests. During this initial reopening phase, the Center will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. The Center’s adjoining Hukilau Marketplace will be ... Read More

Battleship Missouri Memorial Safely Welcomes Back Visitors to The Mighty Mo

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

“Of Silhouettes and Ash: The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” exhibit available through February 2021 The Battleship Missouri Memorial is pleased to welcome back visitors to the Mighty Mo beginning December 16, 2020, while implementing Center for Disease Control (CDC) health guidelines for the safety of employees and guests.  Due to Hawaii state COVID restrictions, static tours will be offered at this time. The WWII Exhibit, Crew’s Room Exhibit and CEC will be closed until further notice. During this initial reopening phase, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will be open ... Read More

Old Lahaina Lu'au - Sharing Hawaiian Culture Once Again

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

The Old Lāhainā Lū’au has prepared our authentic Hawaiian lū’au to welcome back our kama’āina (residents) and malihini (visitors) beginning December 20, 2020. We anxiously await sharing our Hawaiian culture through food, entertainment and hospitality with enhanced safety protocol in our open air beach side setting. Due to our current pandemic requirements and limitations, our seating capacity has reduced significantly, so we recommend that you book your reservations soon. Visit our website for availability and details on our safety protocol at www.oldlahainaluau.com. When you are ready to travel, your ‘ohana ... Read More

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park Reopens to the Public Beginning Friday, November 6

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

  Bowfin to reopen with new guidelines as health and safety take top priority Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (November 4, 2020) –The Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association is scheduled to reopen its USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park to the public on Friday, November 6, 2020 with advanced health guidelines in place for the safety of visitors. “We’ve taken advantage of the closures this year to make a number of improvements to our campus and we look forward to welcoming the public,” said Chuck Merkel, Executive Director of the Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association. The ... Read More

What is Hawaii Uniquely Known For?

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

When you imagine a tropical paradise, Hawaii is one of the first places to come to mind. You probably picture a hammock tied up to two palm trees on the beach with a scrumptious strawberry margarita in your hand. But you can find palm trees, sandy beaches, and tasty margaritas at vacation destinations all over the world. Hawaii has all of those things and so much more. In fact, there are parts of Hawaii that you’ll only find on these specific magical islands. We’ve rounded up the top eight things ... Read More

USS Missouri’s Captain Callaghan’s Tribute: Kamikaze Exhibit Reopens on the Battleship Missouri

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

The USS Missouri was the last, and most famous, battleship commissioned by the United States Navy. Launched on January 29, 1944, the “Mighty Mo” would see action in three wars—World War II, and the Korean and Gulf Wars. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender aboard the Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd. It will also mark the 75th anniversary of the first time the ship was hit by a kamikaze. Photo Credit: Naval History and Heritage Command “The attack did not get much media attention when ... Read More

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Adds ‘Dogfight’ Experience to your Day of Remembrance

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum sits on 441-acre Ford Island, a short bus ride from the Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor National Memorial). Now a National Historic Landmark, the museum hangars are quiet today, but still show the scars of war.   It’s important to budget an entire day for your Pearl Harbor experience. “What makes the museum even more of a ‘must-see’ attraction is the ‘must do’ of our new state-of-the-art 360-degree flight simulators,” says Executive Director Elissa Lines. “You can take to the sky in the Fighter Ace 360 that ... Read More

Pearl Harbor Historic Sites Overview: Read Before You Go!

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

Pearl Harbor Historic Sites is the most popular visitor destination on O‘ahu, hosting over 1.7 million people a year, yet planning your day here can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know: USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor National Monument There are four distinct historic sites that make up Pearl Harbor: the two bookends of World War II with the USS Arizona (what most people think of when you say “Pearl Harbor,” recently renamed Pearl Harbor National Memorial) and Battleship Missouri Memorial, plus two museums detailing the air and ... Read More

More Hawai‘i Themed Virtual Activities to do While Social Distancing

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Events, People, The Arts, Things to Do

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve written about activities you can do while you’re stuck at home #socialdistancing, from the educational to the entertaining, and other unique virtual experiences. Now, we’ve got even more for you to check out while staying in, including aquarium visits, walking tours and music playlists! Though they're temporarily closed to the public, the Waikīkī Aquarium still has experiences to share online Waikīkī Aquarium, long known as a pillar of education, conservation and just inspiring awe and wonder, still continues its mission despite not being physically open ... Read More

Changes are Afoot at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

Changes are afoot for this museum situated next to the Pearl Harbor National Monument. Plan for a return later in the year to see the improvements. The USS Bowfin at sunset [Photo courtesy USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park] Submarines were America’s ultimate stealth weapon during WWII sinking more than 5.5 million tons of enemy shipping. Docked at Pearl Harbor, the USS Bowfin (SS-287) served with distinction. The museum is currently undergoing a major improvement, but the submarine, gift shop and food service is still open to visitors. Don’t miss ... Read More

Your Own Private Film Festival: Movies to Stream During Hawai‘i's Stay-At-Home Order (or Whenever!)

Posted in: Culture & History, The Arts, Things to Do

  Social distancing doesn’t mean Friday nights at the movies are a total bust. If you need a break from Netflix’s offerings (or your family), here are some cinematic options for you! From local productions to local movie houses, we've got you covered: The award-winning 'Mauka to Makai' and other short films are available for stream via HIFF The Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) had to cancel their Spring Showcase this year, but that doesn’t mean that we’re totally without film fest-worthy fare to enjoy. At the beginning of the ... Read More

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

Plan Your Trip

Book Your Vacation

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.

Book now

Book Your Activities

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.

Book now!

Follow Us

Follow Hawaii's #1 visitor guide magazine for the latest happenings! Hashtag #thisweekhawaii to be featured on our page!

Follow Us On Instagram Follow Us On Facebook