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Hawaii’s Inter-Island fun is awaiting for you


Hawaii’s Inter-Island fun is awaiting for you and there’s so much of it, where does one start? Well, below is a small list of some of the best places to shop and activities you may want to check out while visiting the islands. Every island has something for everyone, young and old. Ladies, you will be able to shop to your heart’s content, at every imaginable store in the world. While the guys can find some tasty island food and action packed activities from water sports, hiking, mountain adventures, and the list goes on. For you night owls there is plenty of entertainment to satisfy your thirst.

Hawaii's Inter-Island FunDining

Kaua‘i: It may not be a museum cafe, but beginning Jan. 4,  and continuing the first Friday of each month, the Kaua‘i  Museum will host a Hawaiian pa‘ina (feast) with dishes by chef Mark Oyama,  whose affordable Mark’s Place in nearby Puhi is popular with locals and visitors  alike. The pa‘ina, which includes live Hawaiian music, will take place in the  museum’s newly renovated courtyard from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; the cost is $15  for adults, $8 for ages 5 to 10.

Merriman’s Downstairs Cafe has reinvented itself as Merriman’s  Gourmet Pizzas and Burgers, with gluten-free crusts available for those who  can’t handle the standard organic wheat version and unique combinations such as  Brussels sprouts, bacon and manchego.

O’ahu: You won’t find any age lines at the Kahala Hotel & Resort’s Veranda,  even as the hotel prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary: A dramatic  remodeling of the tea room and lounge has brought a stylish new interior,  expanded seating and revamped, locally focused menus. The Veranda will also host  Sunday brunch.

After much expectation, Peter Merriman’s two-story Monkeypod Ko Olina opened in December, featuring 36 craft  beers on tap, a wood-fired pizza oven and local ingredients. Suds connoisseurs  will also want to try the Aloha Beer  craft brewery and the Pint and  Jigger gastropub.

Local foodies expect the unexpected at Taste, a “permanent pop-up” in Kaka‘ako  that debuted in October. A hui (group) of innovative restaurateurs, including  Mark Noguchi (formerly of He‘eia Pier General Store and Deli) and Andrew Le of  Pig & the Lady, and food truck faves such as Zaratez Taqueria and  Wow Wow Waffles offer breakfast, lunch and dinner — check the online  calendar to know who’s serving what and when.

Lāna‘i: Island magnate Larry Ellison and well-heeled  visitors can count on decent sushi now that the Four Seasons Manele Bay boasts Nobu,  the 26th establishment for Beverly Hills celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and the  second in the islands (after Waikiki, which opened in 2007.)

And at Ellison’s upcountry Four  Seasons Lodge at Koele, the recent focus on fine wines continues with  special dinners, tastings and festivals; next up is a five-course Pride Mountain  Vineyards wine dinner on Jan. 17, with pairings by executive sous chef  Junior Ulep.

Maui: “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto will open his second  restaurant in Hawai’i when the Andaz Maui at Wailea (the former Renaissance) opens as  expected this summer; his Waikiki dining room opened in 2010.

In Kapalua, Merriman’s now offers pupus such as smoked taro hummus,  fresh-caught sashimi and tempura mahi mahi along with artisan cocktails at the  Point Bar, from 3 p.m. daily.

Gluten-free diners (my family has several) have a reward waiting at the end  of the road to Hāna:  a four-course chef’s tasting menu at Travaasa  Hana ($65), with items such as grass-fed beef with Kula asparagus and a  chocolate decadence dessert. Organic, healthful fare is also on the menu at the  newly opened Harvest Cafe at Lumeria, between Pā‘ia and Makawao;  “master cleanse chef” Craig King also has a special menu for  detoxifying guests.

Hawai‘i: The handsomely renovated (and lengthily renamed) Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa‘s Rays on  the Bay has been wowing visitors with its new menus and ocean-view fire pits  since its fall relaunch. The resort is also now host to the Ho‘oulu  Community Farmers Market, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, following the  closure of the nearby Keauhou Beach Resort; some 40 vendors offer island-grown  or locally sourced food (including 100 percent Kona coffee), arts  and crafts.

Hilo’s recently opened Manono Marketplace features the second location of  Kamuela’s Hawaiian Style Cafe, known for its enormous pancakes, and now also  serving dinner; and the relocated Miyo’s Japanese restaurant. But the biggest  news for locals may be the planned opening of a Zippy’s this summer.

Hawaii’s Inter-Island fun is awaiting for you

Lodgingmy favorite hotel

O‘ahu: At the city-within-a-city that is Hilton  Hawaiian Village, the centrally located Tapa Pool is bubbling with new water  features, lounges and cabanas; it’s also open the latest, till 10 p.m. A $25  million remodeling of the resort’s exclusive Ali‘i Tower should also be  completed shortly.

An eight-month, $18 million renovation at Outrigger  Waikiki on the Beach wrapped up in October, with new furnishings for the 524  guestrooms and pool enhancements, including a glass barrier to allow  ocean views.

Maui: Along with readying its Andaz-branded, 297-room resort  in Wailea for a summer debut, Hyatt Hotels is developing a beachfront parking  lot by the Hyatt Regency in Kā‘anapali into the state’s first Hyatt Residence  Club. The 119-unit timeshare property is expected to open in 2014, according to  the Maui News. Kā‘anapali resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year;  the Sheraton Maui will mark the  occasion with a special luau Jan. 25.

Hawai‘i: The Fairmont  Orchid has completed its biggest room transformation since opening 20 years  ago; work by island artists and other subtle tropical touches such as smoked  glass nautilus glass lamps highlight the elegantly modern ambience.


Kaua‘i: The Poi‘pūarea provides two new attractions, one for  thrill seekers, the other for shutterbugs. Koloa Zipline now offers eight ziplines,  including the reputedly longest one on the Garden Island — the 2,500-foot zip  across the Waita reservoir. Happily, the introductory “sneak peek” prices of  $115 are still in effect. Meanwhile, Photo Safari Hawaii has just  arranged with the National Tropical Botanical  Garden in Lāwa‘i to offer the first private photo tour of the  the Allerton  and McBryde gardens, a 4.5-hour workshop that offers rare access to the  McBryde (Waihulili) Waterfall; private tours cost $550, Thursday group tours  $155.

Hawai‘i: Aerial adventures now come in several flavors here. Hawaii Island Skydiving, based  at Upolu Airport near Hawi, offers sweeping views of Waipi‘o and Pololū valleys;  Haleakalā across the channel on Maui; Mauna Kea and other Big Island summits  before a 45-second freefall, followed by a three- to five-minute parachute  descent. No experience (but some guts) necessary for the  $299 experience.

Only somewhat tamer is the eight-line Kona  Zipline tour ($155) run by Kona Eco Adventures, which also offers ATV tours  and nature hikes traversing rainforest and historic ranchlands, now home to  buffalo, llamas and other critters.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo,  now an official stop on the Carl Sagan Planet Walk (it’s Alpha Centauri, while  the “sun” is in Ithaca, N.Y.) offers a more gentle approach to investigating the  sky.  Yet you can rock out with Friday night planetarium shows that include Pink  Floyd’s “The Wall” and live, 3D “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.”

Hawaii’s Inter-Island fun is awaiting for you is waiting for you to take advantage of it all…

~~Aloha Nui Loa



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