HAWAI‘I – E hele mai! With new and returning attractions, restaurants and events happening around the state, right now is the perfect time to begin planning a visit to the islands of Hawaiʻi. You’ll find genuinely unique and enriching experiences of all kinds throughout Hawaiʻi ready for you to discover and explore on your arrival. Keep reading to learn more about new Hawai‘i happenings, as well as activities showing what mālama kuʻu home (“caring for our beloved home”) means to residents and how abiding by the ideology will truly enhance your visit to the Hawaiian Islands.
For additional updates regarding each of Hawai‘i’s islands, please reference the media sites of our individual Island Chapters: the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau.
Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay recently partnered with Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Chapter's Ocean Friendly Visitors Program to offer guests of the hotel opportunities to learn how to mālama (“care for”) Kaua‘i and, in exchange, receive a fourth night at the property free. The Kaua‘i chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is encouraging visitors to engage in mindful practices such as using only reef-friendly sunscreen, minimizing single-use plastics, participating in beach cleanups and admiring wildlife from a safe and legal distance. www.HGIKauai.com
Since March 15, Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park (Kauaʻi) — including its Kalalau Trail — has required 90-days advanced reservations for all entries, camping and lodging, an increase from 30 days. Parking passes to the Kaua‘i wilderness park are limited and sell out quickly. The pass, which is available for purchase at www.GoHaena.com, includes day-use park entry and is a good option for individuals unable to secure a parking pass. For more information, visit DLNR.Hawaii.gov.
The phrase mālama 'āina (“to care for the land”) reflects Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection’s (Hawaiʻi Island) mission to protect, preserve and respect the island of Hawaiʻi. The resort recently partnered with Māla‘ai, a school garden program in nearby Waimea town, to responsibly and sustainably cultivate and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables in the resort’s on-property garden, Hoʻōla. With its name meaning “to give life to,” Hoʻōla provides purposeful, hands-on opportunities for Mauna Lani guests wishing to become involved with the garden. To learn more about Māla‘ai, visit www.Malaai.org.
Paradise Helicopters (Hawaiʻi Island), a locally owned helicopter company, is offering guests opportunities to both experience and protect the beauty of the island of Hawai‘i’s natural landscapes. The company’s Malama Charters provides exclusive landing opportunities paired with a native tree-planting experience and educational tour. Flights depart from multiple locations on the island of Hawai‘i. Visit www.ParadiseCopters.com or call 866-876-7422.
In commemoration of Earth Day 2022, Sea Life Park on O‘ahu is partnering with nonprofit 808 Cleanups to host a beach cleanup on April 24, from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by a memorable and intimate release of honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) hatchlings into the ocean. Cleanup participants will be eligible to receive 50% off park admission for the day to enjoy additional festivities and marine education. www.SealifeParkHawaii.com
NEW HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS
ʻAlohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach on O‘ahu recently announced that it is on track to become the first carbon neutral hotel in the state of Hawaiʻi. The resort’s upcoming carbon neutral certification underscores its existing sustainability initiatives, commitment to plant 100,000 indigenous trees in its legacy forest, and use of renewable electricity throughout the property. In addition, credits for Beach Candy Waikiki are now included in the resort amenity fee to further enhance guests’ Hawaiʻi experience while helping preserve the environment and reduce waste. www.AlohilaniResort.com
Aqua-Aston Hospitality (Statewide) is moving away from single-use plastic at its resorts statewide this year to convert 100% of its properties to bulk bathroom amenities. The Honolulu-based hotel management company continues to advocate for sustainability and marine life across its 25-plus properties in Hawaiʻi by limiting plastic usage and partnering with local, environmentally friendly brands. Aqua-Aston recently introduced a new reef-safe sunscreen amenity to its properties through a partnership with mom-owned Little Hands Hawai‘i where guests receive access to samples of the lightly coconut-scented sunscreen at its front desks. www.AquaAston.com.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s (Hawaiʻi Island) new partnership with Hawaiʻi Land Trust focuses on Māhukona, an area north of the hotel’s property within the island of Hawai‘i’s Kohala district spanning the coastline of six ahupuaʻa (land divisions). Through a portion of donation proceeds, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is helping support the preservation of land at Māhukona and the practice of celestial navigation and open ocean voyaging. Also within the area, local nonprofit Nā Kālai Waʻa hosts and cares for navigation-related cultural sites and uses the sailing canoe Makaliʻi to teach aspiring navigators how to sail. www.MaunakeaBeachHotel.com
Montage Kapalua Bay (Maui) is offering guests opportunities to learn about Hawaiian culture from its new cultural ambassador, Hoku Haiku, who brings more than 25 years of experience as a cultural educator to the resort. New programs at the Maui resort include nā pā‘ani kahiko (traditional Hawaiian games) and guided cultural educational walks. Hoku and Silla Kaina, the resort’s longtime cultural ambassador, lead classes sharing Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian myths and legends, coconut-frond weaving, and ‘ukulele and hula lessons with guests. For a full list of classes, visit www.MontageHotels.com.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort on Oʻahu is inviting guests to experience its newly created A‘o Cultural Center, part of the property’s ongoing $80-million renovation. Open since March, the resort’s expanded cultural center features complimentary guest activities, including lei-making, ʻukulele and hula lessons. The resort has also revamped its Herb Kāne Lounge with new local artwork and a more open structure. www.Outrigger.com
New activities at Royal Kona Resort on the island of Hawai‘i offer guests opportunities to experience Hawai‘i’s rich culture. Offered several times throughout the week, they include lessons on playing ʻukulele, dancing hula and making fragrant flower lei. Reservations are required due to limited space. An activity schedule and sign-up list is available at the resort’s front desk. For more information, call 800-222-5642 or visit www.RoyalKona.com.
Turtle Bay Resort on O‘ahu recently debuted its Thursday weekly Paniolo Pāʻina at The Stables. The event features live entertainment, food and cocktails, and interactive activities for the whole family honoring Hawaiian cowboy culture, which dates back to 1800s. Activities include the Pony Experience offering kids a chance to pet and feed ponies, paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) storytelling, fire-knife dancing, hula and a night cap of s’mores by the campfire. www.TurtleBayResort.com
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience (Oʻahu) is a showcase of more than 400 of French painter Claude Monet’s most iconic works of impressionism, set to run at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on O‘ahu from June 15 through July 31. Notable Monet artworks, including his Water Lilies series and Impression: Sunrise and Poppies, will be part of the display. With an enchanting musical score, breathtaking projections and stunning set pieces, Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience encourages infinite interpretations of Monet’s work. www.MonetHonolulu.com.
Bishop Museum (O‘ahu) announced new exhibition, “The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu” from June 18- October 15, 2022. This exhibit will explore the history and contemporary meanings of four large pōhaku (stones) on Waikīkī Beach. Legend has it that these pōhaku were placed long ago as a tribute to four māhū (people of dual male and female spirit) who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi. Although the stones have survived for centuries, the story behind them has been suppressed and the respected role of māhū erased. Using immersive media and innovative storytelling approaches, the exhibition revitalizes this traditional story to help restore this sacred site as a permanent reminder of Hawaiʻi’s history of inclusion and acceptance. The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu is presented in both English and ʻōlelo Niʻihau, the only form of Hawaiian unbroken by foreign contact. This is Bishop Museum’s first fully bilingual exhibition, signaling its commitment to centering the exhibition in a Hawaiian worldview. For more information, visit www.BishopMuseum.org
In partnership with Hawaiʻi Land Trust, the award-winning Mauna Kea and Hapuna golf courses, nestled on the Kohala Coast of the island of Hawai‘i, recently underwent an extensive sustainability analysis to implement best management practices designed to reduce both courses’ water consumption and downward run-off of fertilizer into the ocean. Collectively, the measures taken are positives for the environment and also help create healthy surroundings for Hawai‘i’s state bird, the threatened nēnē (Hawaiian goose), flocks of which can often be found grazing in and around the golf course fairways. For more information, please visit this link.
No‘eau Designers (Oʻahu) now offers Native Hawaiian and Hawaiʻi-based artisans a venue to showcase their products to kamaʻāina and visitors with its newly opened location on the third floor of Ala Moana Center on O‘ahu. With the works of more than 100 vendors offered both in-store and online, buying local at Noʻeau Designers gives back to Hawai‘i’s artisan community.
O Nā Lani Sunset Stories welcomes audiences at International Market Place (Oʻahu) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, now through February 2023, for a presentation honoring the O‘ahu shopping and dining center’s rich history and sense of place with Hawaiian and Polynesian song and dance. O Nā Lani Sunset Stories begins at sunset with the ceremonial lighting of the International Market Place’s Lamakū Torch Tower on Kalākaua Avenue in Waikīkī and leads to the center’s Queen’s Court stage. O Nā Lani Sunset Stories is free, open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. from March through August, and at 6:30 p.m. from September through February. www.ShopInternationalMarketplace.com
Learn how to make your very own lei pua kalaunu (crown flower lei) from start to finish at the Queens’ Marketplace’s Coronation Pavilion in Waikōloa on the island of Hawai‘i every first Friday of the month, from 6 to 7 p.m. The pua kalaunu was Queen Liliʻuokalani’s favorite blossom and was thought to resemble a royal crown, a distinction which also gave the flower its English-language name. Lessons are limited to 15 persons and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. www.QueensMarketplace.com.
Situated in Waikīkī on O‘ahu, the Queens Waikiki Luau at International Market Place happens every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., welcoming guests to enjoy dinner, bar access and interactive activities. Capped at 70 attendees, the lū‘au’s Polynesian revue from across the Pacific includes music, song and the famed fire-knife dance. www.QueensWaikikiLuau.com
After a nearly two year hiatus, the Royal Hawaiian Band has returned to ʻIolani Palace on O‘ahu for its popular lunchtime concerts. The concerts are free, open to the public and held on most Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. ʻIolani Palace invites residents and visitors to spend their lunch hour enjoying the music of the Royal Hawaiian Band on the palace grounds. Once known as the King’s Band, the Royal Hawaiian Band was created by King Kamehameha III in 1836 and is the only full-time municipal band in the U.S. The band has grown in prominence over its many years, playing at state occasions, parades, national competitions and other international venues. For a full list of lunchtime concert dates, visit www.IolaniPalace.org.
Sea Life Park on O‘ahu is presenting its new Hawaiian monk seal talk story session, Meet Kekoa. Session participants learn about the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, and Kekoa’s incredible journey and contributions to human understanding of the hearing capabilities of Hawaiian monk seals, all integral learnings in protecting future generations of the seals. Sessions happen on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. www.SealifeParkHawaii.com.
Explore historic downtown Honolulu on O‘ahu with a ride on the Waikiki Trolley. Hop aboard the company’s brand-new Heroes and Legends tour to discover and hear stories about the district’s historical figures and their groundbreaking accomplishments. www.WaikikiTrolley.com
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
On the first Friday of each month, Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Marketplace (Oʻahu) invites visitors and residents to attend its Taste of Oʻahu night market featuring food and live entertainment. Tickets are $10 for attendees ages 12 and older, $5 for keiki (children) ages six to 11, and free entrance for those ages five and under. Tickets can be bought online or at the event. www.MillwoodOhanaProductions.com
The Garden Island Arts Council is celebrating Hawaiian music with E Kanikapila Kākou every Monday evening through April 25, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at Kauai Beach Resort and Spa, with a special concert scheduled for May 30. Guests of all ages are invited to enjoy evenings of lively entertainment from Hawai‘i composers, musicians and kumu hula (hula instructors), and listen, learn and “talk story” with local artists. Crafts, CDs and E Kanikapila Kākou T-shirts are also available for purchase at the event, as well as food and beverages. https://bit.ly/3IevdbM
The public is invited to a concert event filled with new music and performances by award-winning artists at the Kaua‘i Songwriters Music Festival at the Hilton Garden Inn at Wailua Bay. Hawai‘i State Poet Laureate Kealoha will serve as emcee for the May 7 event and perform alongside Grammy award-winning composer Ken Emerson and internationally acclaimed songwriter Allan Thomas. Festival guests will have opportunities to learn about and appreciate original songwriting from some of Hawai‘i’s finest songwriters and music professionals. www.KauaiSongwriters.com
This year’s Kaʻū Coffee Festival (Hawaiʻi Island) will be comprised of a monthlong schedule of virtual events happening throughout April. Head to the festival’s website from April 1 through 30 to learn about the rich history of coffee grown in the island of Hawai‘i’s Kaʻū district and meet its hard-working coffee growers through informative farmer profiles. Virtual events will also include music and hula by Kaʻū practitioners — some of them also coffee growers. The festival will also feature an interactive Kaʻū Coffee College webinar featuring educational forums aimed at addressing the pressing needs of the heritage coffee-producing district. www.KauCoffeeFestival.com.
Each year, the small town of Kapaʻau on the northernmost tip of the island of Hawai‘i hosts the Kohala Reunion. Founded in 2000 by a group of Kohala residents who enjoyed talking about the good old days, this year’s event is set for July 2 through 4 at the Kamehameha Park Complex. Kohala Reunion honors generations of residents from the area, celebrates Kohala, and perpetuates the community’s values, traditions and way of life. www.NorthKohala.org.
Bring your beach chairs and coolers to Laʻiʻōpua 2020’s Ola ka Lāhui, a talk story and cultural activity gathering on the lānai of Laʻiʻōpua 2020 in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawai‘i, happening June 25, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Participants can join cultural artisans in demonstrations of treasured traditions. An hourlong talk story will feature kūpuna (elders), island historians, storytellers and artisans sharing their manaʻo (thoughts) about Hawaiʻi’s history, arts and traditions. The event’s name, Ola ka Lāhui (meaning “the nation lives on”), reflects its intent to share the ʻike (knowledge) and moʻolelo (stories) of Hawaiʻi for future generations. www.Laiopua.org.
For the first time in more than two years, the Paniolo Heritage Rodeo will return to Kōloa Plantation Days on Kaua‘i, from July 22 through 24, spotlighting the cultural experience of today’s paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) lifestyle. Cheer on competitors as they test their skills and nerves in high-stake races, fast-action riding and exciting roping sports. While there, enjoy local foods, exhibits, demonstrations and cowboy storytelling. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
The Soto Zen Bon Festival (Kauaʻi) returns on June 17 and 18, showcasing folk dancing, music and religious traditions that have evolved in Kaua‘i’s Japanese American community for more than five generations. Guests of all ages are welcome to stop by the festival to taste and enjoy popular food items unique to Kaua‘i, watch and participate in traditional dancing to the vibrant beat of taiko drums, and check out a variety of cultural and historical exhibits celebrating immigrant and sugar plantation heritage. www.KauaiSotoZen.org.
Celebrate World Ocean Day at World Whale Film Festival, happening June 8 on Maui, presented by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation. This year’s new hybrid festival experience includes an in-person event at Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery in Upcountry Maui and an online component boasting a robust slate of films screening June 8 through 30. www.PacificWhale.org.
For the most complete and updated Hawai‘i calendar, please visit the World-Class Calendar of Events.