FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SIZZLIN' JULY NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAII
Island of Hawaii (July 5, 2016) – From working Waimea town ranches offering a look back at the range skills of the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy), to Hilo museums exploring the everyday lives of early 19th century Hawaiians and American missionaries. From activities and tours digging into the island of Hawaii's rich agricultural and multicultural past, present and future, to five National Park Service sites spotlighting Hawaiian cultural history. Hawaii’s largest island celebrates its fascinating history in every region of its vast and diverse landscape. A number of hotels and tours dropping intriguing knowledge of the island of Hawaii are listed below, alongside the latest news on activities, tours, upcoming events and dining out.
Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel offers a showcase of Hawaiian history. Kamehameha the Great, who united the Hawaiian Islands under his rule, is the hotel’s namesake. The king’s royal residence, Kamakahonu, was located adjacent to the current site of the hotel. The hotel’s lobby features historical murals depicting Kamehameha the Great and his son, Liholiho, who ruled as Kamehameha II. And the beachfront hotel is located adjacent to Ahuena Heiau, a temple dedicated to Lono, the Hawaiian god of peace, agriculture and prosperity. Visitors are invited to view the hotel’s historic artifacts and paintings on a self-guided tour. For more information, visit www.konabeachhotel.com.
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay is situated on Kona coast lava cliffs and historic lands that were the birthplaces and playgrounds of Hawaiian royalty. Learn the rich history and heritage of Keauhou and the island of Hawaii at a talk story session with the hotel’s Aunty Tutu each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A skilled kumu (teacher) and knowledgeable kupuna (elder), Tutu also offers lessons in lei making, ukulele and hula in the resort’s lobby. For more information, visit www.sheratonkona.com, or call (808) 557-8034.
The sacred valley of Waipio is found on the island of Hawaii's breathtaking Hamakua Coast. Waipio is enclosed by valley walls as high as 2,000 feet, with waterfalls as high as 1,450 feet. Also known as “The Valley of the Kings,” Waipio was the boyhood home of King Kamehameha the Great and once a center of Hawaiian culture for religion and politics. Guests on KapohoKine Adventures’ “Waipio Valley Explorer” expedition spend more than three hours in the valley, and time on the Hamakua Coast, including stops at Onomea Bay, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and Akaka Falls State Park. For more information, visit www.kapohokine.com, or call (808) 964-1000.
Guests on Body Glove’s Kanoa II catamaran lunch and dinner cruises can now learn a bit of Hawaii history while at sea. A new lunch cruise takes guests from the Kailua-Kona Pier to Kealakekua Bay while a historian shares stories, legends and lore of the numerous heiau (temples) and battlefields along this stretch of the Kona Coast. Live music and lunch, or a sunset buffet dinner, complete the cruise. For more information, visit www.bodyglovehawaii.com.
The Kona Historical Society's Kona Coffee Living History Farm offers the only living history coffee farm tour in the U.S. Mondays through Fridays, guests can take self-guided tours of the working coffee estate, first homesteaded in 1900. A “Hands on History” tour offers visitors a chance to experience a rotating lineup of traditional craft lessons and activities including “Pan Roasting Coffee,” “Sustainability in the Kitchen Garden,” “Learning Japanese with Calligraphy,” “Pickling on the Farm,” “Traditional Medicinal Herb Gardening,” “Lauhala Weaving” and “Mochi and Tofu Making.“ Participation in “Hands on History” is free with admission to the farm. For more information, visit www.konahistorical.org, or call (808) 323-3222.
The inaugural Hawaii Island Festival of Birds will launch the Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail, Sept. 24-25. From a birder’s eye view, attendees will have the chance to see notable species, such as the nene (Hawaiian goose and Hawaii's official state bird), Hawaii amakihi (honey creeper), omao (thrush), Hawaii elepaio (flycatcher), apapane (honey creeper), iiwi (scarlet honey creeper), io (hawk) and alae kea (Hawaiian coot). Endemic sub-species of the kukuluaeo (black-necked stilt) and pueo (short-eared owl), as well as numerous established non-native species may also be seen. Enjoy family-friendly activities, guest speakers, birding tours on land and by sea, workshops, an art fair and more. For more information, visit http://hawaiibirdingtrails.com.
Mauna Kea Resort's 5th annual all-day family-friendly Festival of Aloha returns to Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Convention Center Courtyard on Aug. 28. Attendees will enjoy live Hawaiian music, hula performances, craft and clothing vendors, an appearance by the event’s royal court, and food booths featuring Hawaiian plate lunches from Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel Executive Chef Peter Abarcar Jr. and specialty eats from the chefs of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Festival admission is free. For more information, visit www.hapunabeachprincehotel.com/events, or call (808) 880-1111.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows offers rich cultural experiences on the island of Hawaii’s Kohala Coast. Guests can tour the hotel property’s historic petroglyph fields and fishponds, and participate in an array of cultural activities. Danny Akaka, the hotel’s cultural affairs director, guides weekly walking tours sharing tales of old Hawaii. In addition, Mauna Lani’s waters are home to an abundance of marine life, which guests can learn about on complimentary fish and turtle tours. For a more hands-on experience, guests can try floral lei making or coconut frond weaving, take an ukulele or hula lesson, or learn the traditional Hawaiian method of casting a fish net into the ocean. For more information, visit www.maunalani.com.
Historical tours come alive at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay’s “Haleo Luau: The Voice of Life,” presented by Island Breeze. The evening dinner and show, happening Mondays and Fridays, shares the stories of historic events that occurred in the Keauhou area. From the birth of Kamehameha III to the surfing legends of Heeia Bay, talented dancers and musicians take guests on a journey through the area’s history and notable people. Luau guests will also enjoy games, arts and crafts, and live music, and have an opportunity to meet the show’s performers. For more information, visit www.sheratonkona.com, or call (808) 557-8034.
Guests of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will have an opportunity to dive deep into Hawaii’s contemporary art scene at the resort’s “Hawaii Master Artists Series” exhibit, set for July 4 through Aug. 26. The series will showcase the work of local artists in four exclusive shows changing every two weeks. The series will also feature artist workshops, local-style “talk story” collector receptions, and private dining experiences with master artists. Through featured artworks and interaction with the artists who created them, guests will learn about the inspiration behind each work, and discover new collectable works of art. For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai, or call (808) 325-8000.
The annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrates the legacy and cultural traditions embedded in the world-famous beans and brews of the island of Hawaii's Kona Coast coffee-growing region. Each November, festival (and coffee) fans gather in Kona for the 10-day heritage festival, which celebrates its 46th annual go-round this year. The festival schedule is filled with fun activities for all ages and interests, and, of course, lots of opportunities to taste Kona-grown coffee and experience the region’s celebrated lifestyle. This year’s Kona Coffee Cultural Festival happens Nov. 4-13. For a complete list of events and festival information, visit www.konacoffeefest.com.
The island of Hawaii is home to one of the most renowned astronomical sites in the world at the 13,803-foot-elevation summit of Maunakea volcano. Beginning July 15, KapohoKine Adventure’s new “Stellar Explorer” expedition will offer a full day of stargazing activities straight through to an evening grand finale atop Maunakea. The tour’s first stop is Hilo’s Imiloa Astronomy Center, followed by a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to view the large lava fissure of Mauna Ulu, which last erupted in 1974. As darkness falls, the tour heads to the 9,200-foot-elevation Maunakea Visitor Information Station and then on to Maunaloa volcano for incomparable stargazing. For more information, visit www.kapohokine.com, or call (808) 964-1000.
Dragonfly Ranch, an award-winning bed-and-breakfast in Kona, is hosting a cleansing retreat for doctors from Dec. 1-10. Dr. Shanhong Lu, a medical doctor based in Mt. Shasta, California, will be presenting scientific information to doctors who are interested in holistic medicine. The workshop will include frequent visits to nearby ocean bays, yoga in the ranch’s colorful labyrinth, and lomilomi massage and meditation classes. For more information, call Barbara at (808) 238-1906.
Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf, located on the island of Hawaii's beautiful Kohala Coast, invites the entire family to experience “Family Golf Days” at its Waikoloa Kings’ Course. Families can enjoy nine holes of golf on the Kings’ Course daily after 3:30 p.m. at $50 per adult and $25 for juniors. Complimentary Nike rental clubs are included in the fee for juniors; adult rental clubs are $25. For tee times or more information, visit www.waikoloagolf.com, or call (808) 886-7888.
Just in time for summer family travel season, the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, located on the beautiful Kohala Coast of the island of Hawaii, is pleased to introduce “‘Ohana Family Happy Hour” at its Hale Kai Restaurant. Children ages 5 and under can dine for free when ordering from the restaurant’s keiki (kids) menu, while children ages 6 to 12 dine for 50 percent off the same menu. Adults enjoy 25 percent off of Hale Kai appetizers, $5 smoothies, drink specials and oversized lawn games. For more information on all family-friendly activities at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii this summer, visit www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii/activities-services/family-travel.
During the month of September, the restaurants of The Shops at Mauna Lani and Mauna Lani Resort will offer a variety of tempting, affordable menu selections. As part of The Shops’ and resort’s annual “Taste of Mauna Lani” promotion, diners will enjoy special, discounted three-course dinners from participating restaurants, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, The Blue Room Brasserie and Bar, Monstera Noodles and Sushi, Under the Bodhi Tree Vegetarian-Vegan-Raw, and more. The Shops and Mauna Lani Resort will donate $2 from each “Taste of Mauna Lani” dinner sold to a local charity to provide meals for island of Hawaii families. For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.
The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory recently received a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The annual achievement celebrates hospitality businesses earning great reviews from travelers who use TripAdvisor.com. The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory is the nation’s first company to grow, hand pick, sun dry and process only Hawaii-grown cacao for chocolate. The factory produces three types of chocolate: milk, dark and rare Criollo. Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory chocolate is sold at retailers throughout Hawaii, at the plantation’s chocolate shop in Kona, and online at www.ohcf.us.
For more information on the island of Hawaii, or to find a calendar of events, please visit www.gohawaii.com/hawaii-island.