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May 02, 2016


Hawaii Island (May 2, 2016) – Take a Kilauea volcano rainforest hike to learn how Native Hawaiians closely observed and cared for the natural world. Or discover the coolness of traditional Portuguese stone oven baking, attending a Buddhist bon dance, or learning hula from a kumu hula (hula teacher). On Hawaii Island, the diverse cultural and artistic expressions born of the state’s world-renowned multiethnic population are celebrated year-round at myriad festivals, events, exhibits and museums, and on dozens of indoor and outdoor tours and activities. You’ll find a handful of these below, along with other Hawaii Island hotel, activity, dining and event news.

Travelers can enjoy hula and music, watch skilled artisan demonstrations, and try their hand at Hawaiian crafts at the 36th annual Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival and BioBlitz, happening Aug. 27, 2016. The free festival will include a “BioBlitz” – a fun, hands-on opportunity to observe and document plants and animals that thrive in the lava flows and native rainforests of Kilauea volcano – led by individuals and organizations at the forefront of conservation, science and Hawaiian culture. The BioBlitz is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the cultural festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (808) 985-6011, or email for more information.

The Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa is located on a historic coast that was the birthplace and playground of Hawaii’s greatest kings. On the resort’s Keauhou Bay-facing grounds are the remains of Kaukulaelae, an ancient fishing village founded in the 1700s. Complimentary cultural tours of Kaukulaelae village are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for guests and the general public. The resort also offers a historic sail of Keauhou Bay on the Hawaiian sailing canoe Kini Kini Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., sharing the myths, legends and true stories of Hawaii's kings, queens and deities. A fee applies for the sail tour. Call (808) 557-8034, or visit for more information.

Nohona Hawaii – which can be translated as “living the Hawaiian culture” or “living the Hawaiian way” – is also the name of an expanded program by KapohoKine Adventures focused on protecting Hawaii’s natural resources and their crucial bond in preserving Hawaiian culture. For four years, KapohoKine Adventures has been inviting local students into Hawaii Island’s native forests for hands-on lessons in the importance of sustainability. Now offered as a KapohoKine Adventures’ tour, Nohona Hawaii allows visitors to split time between ziplining Hawaii’s longest tandem zipline, and working in a mala (cultivated garden) or loi (irrigated terrace), cleaning trails or planting native flora. For more information, call (808) 964-1000, or visit

The Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel has become one of the most sought-after destinations on Hawaii Island for cultural events. On July 16, the hotel will host the Joann Williams’ Craft Fair, a showcase for classic Hawaiian arts and crafts. The hotel also provides an everyday showcase for many historic artifacts depicting island life in the 18th century, including portraits of Hawaiian royalty, domestic and agricultural relics, and more. Visit for more information.

A second John Howard Pierce Photograph Exhibit at the Lyman Museum will open May 20 and run through 2016. Pierce, a former Hawaii reporter and Lyman Museum curator, was an avid photographer who documented life on Hawaii Island in the years before and after statehood – a time of great historical importance. His work offers a visual record of Hawaii Island’s history, photographed recently enough for community members to help museum staff identify faces, places and events captured. For more information, call (808) 935-5021, or visit

Home to a priceless collection of more than 1,600 eclectic art pieces from the Pacific Rim, Polynesia and Asia, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers a complimentary docent-led art tour every Saturday morning, showcasing works collected by resort founder Laurance S. Rockefeller. Hawaiian kapa cloth, Japanese tansu cabinetry, Ainu kimono, Thai icons, Maori canoe prows, bronze Indian chests, and various wood carvings are just a few of the artifacts and pieces visitors will discover on the informative, museum-quality tour. Call (808) 882-7222, or visit for more information.

The annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort promises a full-day of fun, including a “Battle of the BBQ,” marketplace, pool party with live music by Henry Kapono, and signature “Mai Tai Mix-Off” competition. The big contest, set for Aug. 13, will feature 21 of the world's best bartenders vying to claim the “World's Best Mai Tai” title and a $10,000 first-prize for their individual takes on the classic tropical cocktail. Call (808) 930-3255, or visit for more information.

Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows with the resort’s 27th annual Turtle Independence Day.  The celebration kicks off beachfront with a welcome ceremony and hula performance by Halau Waiau, followed by the release of honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) into waters off the hotel.  Since 1989, the Mauna Lani has received honu from Oahu’s Sea Life Park and raised them in the hotel’s ponds until old enough to release into the open ocean.  The annual celebration will also feature live entertainment and honu educational displays. It all happens July 4, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Call (808) 885-6622, or visit for more information.

Join Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa in September for a celebration of art, and cultural and educational activities at the Kupuna Hula Festival. The event will feature performances from talented kupuna (elder) hula dancers from Hawaii Island, and a halau (hula group) competition perpetuating the art of hula. Additionally, the resort’s “Malama Hahalua: Manta Ray Week,” celebrating the globally recognized marine life icon of the Kona Coast, is set for Sept. 11-17. Sheraton Kona partnered with Manta Pacific Research Foundation in summer 2014 to open the hotel’s Manta Learning Center. To learn more, call (808) 557-8034, or visit   

Kona is renowned by triathlon enthusiasts as the home of the annual IRONMAN World Championship. They also know Dave Scott (aka “The Man”), six-time IRONMAN champion and first inductee into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame. This summer, Scott will personally host “The Dave Scott Triathlon Experience,” a series of triathlon clinics available exclusively to a very limited number of guests at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Each clinic will feature five days of highly personalized coaching by Scott and his team, focusing on all disciplines of triathlon. The clinics are ideal for any level of competitor, from avid to aspiring! Clinics are set for July 25-30, Aug. 15-20 and Aug. 22-27. For more information, visit

Held at Kalani, Hawaii Island’s premier retreat center for more than 40 years, the fourth annual Hawaii Yoga Festival provides an opportunity to deepen one’s yoga practice. The festival will focus on the intention of balance, which will be called in with a traditional Hawaiian ceremony. Throughout the week of the festival, happening Oct. 11-16, guests will have access to a full schedule of classes, Hawaiian cultural events, local farm-to-fork fare, and opportunities for self-discovery and connection. Festival registration is open now at Interested in performing or teaching? Contact the festival at

KapohoKine Adventures is now the exclusive activity agent for the newly refurbished Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo, a DoubleTree by Hilton. After more than five years in historic downtown Hilo, KapohoKine Adventures has moved its flagship store to the Grand Naniloa’s main lobby in conjunction with the $18.5 million renovation of the iconic Hilo hotel and golf club. KapohoKine Adventures will offer its eco-focused adventure tours, “Zipline Through Paradise” zipline tour, and activities with outside vendors in partnership with Hawaii Performance Partners at the new location. Hotel guests, visitors and residents are welcome to visit for advice and booking tours. Call (808) 964-1000, or visit

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is pleased to announce new appointments and promotions to its culinary leadership team. Peter Abarcar Jr. will oversee the team as director of culinary and beverage operations. Marla Dunn joins the culinary department as director of restaurants. Michael Quanan has been promoted to executive sous chef. And Moses “Moki” Tavares has joined the culinary team as chef de cuisine at resort restaurant Coast Grille. The promotions and team additions aim to elevate the hotel’s food and beverage experience, ensuring guests are provided with the very best in service and locally sourced cuisine. Call (808) 880-1111, or visit
Guests can find their Mauna Kea moment and indulge in “Suite Deals” at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Stay five nights or more and enjoy complimentary daily breakfast and a resort credit up to $5,000. Experience Mauna Kea magic on the resort's golf course and tennis courts. Bask in the ambiance and charm of the hotel’s newly renovated Copper Bar, or dine oceanside at the Hau Tree. “Suite Deals” are valid through Dec. 18, 2016, and subject to availability and blackout dates. Call (866) 977-4589, or visit
Get ready to “Spring Into Summer” at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Enjoy warm relaxing days on Haapuna Beach ending with sublime sunset views from the Beach Bar or Coast Grille. The beachfront hotel’s “Spring Into Summer” package offers guests a guaranteed ocean view room, daily breakfast for two, and every fourth night is free. Rates are based on select room categories and exclude tax and daily resort charge. Call (888) 977-4623, or visit

Hawaii Vacation Rentals offers private home and townhouse rentals for visitors hoping to learn about local culture on Hawaii Island, and prepare their own meals with produce from the island’s many local farmers markets. A stay in one of Hawaii Vacation Rentals’ vacation homes allows for access to a multitude of Hawaii cultural and resident experiences, and the opportunity to live like a local for a brief or lengthy vacation. Visit for more information.

For more information on Hawaii Island, or for a calendar of events, please visit