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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.

Polynesian Cultural Center: Navigating New Waters with Delsa Moe

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

  The roots of the Polynesian Cultural Center can be traced to the late 1940s when members of The Church of Latter Day Saints started a hukilau—a fishing festival with a lu‘au feast and Polynesian entertainment—as a fundraising event. From the beginning, it proved immensely popular, and eventually led to the opening of the Polynesian Cultural Center in October 1963.  The original 39 structures on 12 acres have expanded many times over the years to become a world-renowned, special place of enchantment, entertainment and education.  “We have never stopped expanding ... Read More

Adventures on Haleakala

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

At over 10,000 feet high, saying that Haleakala is impressive is an understatement. Everyone who visits Maui should make a point of heading to the summit to experience the glorious views and unique landscapes. While catching a sunrise from the summit is worth the trip in itself, the slopes of this dormant volcano are home to other attractions that are also worth a visit.   If feeling cool mountain air on your face while taking in out-of-this-world views is up your alley, you just might enjoy an excursion with Bike ... Read More

Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm: The Legacy of a Master Gardener and Visionary

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

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

Garden Isle Originals: Unique Gifts From Kaua‘i

Posted in: Culture & History, Shopping

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

Ni‘ihau — 17 Miles and a World Away

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

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

From Kīlauea to Kalalau — Your North Shore Adventure

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

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

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Paniolo: Horseback Riding Adventures on Kaua‘i

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

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

Rainy Day Fun on Kaua‘i

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

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

NorthShore Zipline Company: Zipping Down the Up Country

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

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

The Capitol District: Home of Hawai‘i’s Government Landmarks

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

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

CLIMB Works: A North Shore Zipline Adventure

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

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

O‘ahu’s Gold Coast: A Getaway from Waikīkī Located in Waikīkī

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

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

Must See Attractions: Pearl Harbor Historic Sites

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

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!

Posted in: Culture & History, Food & Drink

  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

Don't Miss These Waikīkī Landmarks: A Rich History Along America's Most Famous Beach

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

  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

What's Going On at Mauna Kea? A Visitors Guide to TMT

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

By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor Thirty Meter Telescope 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. TMT Protest The reason for all ... Read More

Honouliuli: 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

Waimea Valley: 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

Planning Your Vacation: Five Must Do Activities on Maui

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

Planning a vacation can be overwhelming. With so many exciting and unique things to do here in the islands, it can be hard to decide what’s worth doing and way too easy to overlook some winners. No worries, we got you! Here are a few must-do activities on Maui that we think you should add to your bucket list, just so you can check them off when you get here! Attend a Lūau Experience Hawaiian culture at an authentic lūau [Photo courtesy Old Lahaina Luau] A luau is more than ... Read More

Hula in Hilo: The Annual Merrie Monarch Festival

Posted in: Culture & History, Things to Do

Hula Kahiko performance [Courtesy Merrie Monarch Festival] A Festival of Hula A journey undertaken by ancient ancestors, the love between a man and woman, the gentle sway of palm trees beneath the light of a full moon...these are just some of the stories told through the art of hula. With no written language prior to western contact, the Hawaiian people used this revered art form to pass down the myths, legends and history of their people. Dancers trained rigorously and performances were taken seriously. Every April, hula hālau (hula groups) from ... Read More

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