Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 Next>>

Hawaii_Oahu_Maui_Big IslandAloha to our reader ohana. We truly value your opinions on all matters related to HAWAII Magazine. 

As you know, HAWAII Magazine and our website, HawaiiMagazine.com, are especially for anyone who loves the Islands. Some of you live here. Others visit regularly. And still others are dreaming of doing both. With every issue we aim to showcase the beauty of Hawaii, its people, culture and history, as well as a wide array of Island activities you’ll either want to experience yourself or recommend to friends or family.

Please take a few minutes to share your opinions in HAWAII Magazine's Audience Survey. In return, we’ll enter you into a sweepstakes contest to win a five-night stay for two at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu.

Mahalo for taking a few minutes to complete our HAWAII Magazine Audience Survey. The survey and contest will wrap up next month. The winner will be selected at random. In coming weeks, we’ll follow up with more information about sweepstakes.

For more information about Hilton Hawaii properties, click here.


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Photo: (Lanikai Beach, Oahu) Karina Chapman
 

Hawaii_HonoluluThe 21-foot shaka-flashing Santa is already seated next to a lei-draped Mrs. Claus, toes cooling in a fountain pool fronting Honolulu Hale (Oahu’s city hall). Nearby, menehune-style elves (pictured, below) and a much larger-than-life snowman and his family are in place for the 27th annual Honolulu City Lights display, which will get under way this weekend.

At sunset on Sat., Dec. 3, at about 6:30 p.m., Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle will flip a switch to light the city’s elaborately decorated 50-foot holiday tree (pictured, right). The tree illumination will be preceded by the annual Public Workers Electric Light Parade — floats, bands, more than 30 decorated city vehicles ranging from fire trucks to TheBus city buses — and a concert at historic Kawaiahao Church, which is across the street from Honolulu Hale.

As city’s holiday tree lights up, so will dozens of other trees and holiday-decked buildings along downtown Honolulu’s “corridor or lights.” Following the tree illumination, several music performances are slated for a stage on municipal grounds. Also, Honolulu Hale will open its doors for its annual indoor tree and wreath displays.   Hawaii_Honolulu

The outdoor courtyard areas will be decorated festive outdoor displays. In addition, children’s rides will be operating through the month-long celebration. Thousands are expected to turn out for opening night, followed by a steady flow of visitors through the Christmas holiday. 

This year’s City Lights theme is “Holoholo Holiday,” which translates as  “just for fun.” If you’re on Oahu during December, we highly recommend stopping by Honolulu City Lights — with a camera. The Mele Kalikimaka scene is Honolulu’s aloha-filled season’s greeting.   

For more information about Honolulu City Lights’ opening night and related special events, click here.


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Photos: (top) Bob Rock, (bottom) Ron Slauson
 

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_North Shore_HaleiwaCooking Channel’s Eat Street, which spotlights innovative curbside eats, will feature Honolulu’s popular Soul Patrol food truck in an episode airing today. Later this month, the show will showcase Opal Thai, a Haleiwa-based eatery on Oahu’s North Shore.

Eat Street’s film crew spent several days on the island during June shooting our growing food-truck fusion fare. Soul Patrol (parked near Beretania and Alakea streets, near downtown Honolulu), fuses Southern and Pacific styles of cooking to serve up “Pacific Soul” eats. Chef Sean Priester (pictured, above) also emphasizes stocking the truck’s kitchen with locally grown and produced ingredients. Among the truck’s top sellers: buttermilk fried chicken, seafood gumbo & grits, crab and feta macaroni & cheese, and the “Sassy BBQ Chicken Plate.”

In the episode slated to air today (3 p.m., Hawaii time; 8 p.m. and midnight, Eastern time; and repeats airing on Dec. 8 and Dec. 10) will start with the Japanese-American Fukuburger truck in Las Vegas, followed by Soul Patrol. The show will then jump to trucks in Orlando, Fla. and Brooklyn, N.Y. For more details about the episode, click here.
 
Opal Thai, which, at the time Eat Street was filming, parked on the edge of Haleiwa with various other food trucks, will serve up Pad Thai, Penang curry and the truck’s popular “Drunken Noodles,” a spicy stir-fried dish made with broad noodles, in an episode set to air Dec. 20 (8 p.m. and midnight, Eastern time.) For more details, click here. Opal Thai, now housed in a shop building, is no longer operating a food truck.

A feature story in the November/December 2011 issue of HAWAII Magazine, "Evolution of the Hawaii Food Truck," (John Heckathorn) details how Hawaii led the way long before the recent gourmet food-truck craze on the U.S. mainland.
 

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Photo: HAWAII Magazine
 
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Hawaii_Big Island_KonaAlaska Airlines today launched a weeklong winter airfare sale, which includes a $160 one-way fare between Oakland, Calif. and the Big Island’s Kona. The Cyber Monday winter sale’s fares to Hawaii are valid between Jan. 16 and March 7, 2012.

Tickets must be purchased by Mon., Dec. 5. For a complete list of fares and days of travel (blackout dates apply) as well as complete rundown on terms and conditions, click here or call 1-800-ALASKAAIR (800-252-7522).

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine (we’re offering our own Cyber Monday sale today — $10 for a one-year subscription, six issues), click here.

Photo: Big Island sunset in Kailua-Kona area, Jackie Hayenga
 

Hawaii_magazine_subscriptionAloha, reader ohana! As you know, HAWAII Magazine and our website HawaiiMagazine.com are for anyone who loves the Islands — whether you live here, visit us regularly or are still dreaming of doing both. Every issue showcases the beauty of Hawaii, its people, culture, food as well as a wide array of Island activities you’ll either want to experience yourself or recommend to friends or family.
 
Today only we’re offering a one-year subscription (six issues) for just $10. This is the lowest price of the year for our ultimate user's guide to the Islands.

To take advantage of this Cyber Monday deal as a holiday gift for friends and family or — why not ? — for yourself, click here. Mele Kalikimaka!
 
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Hawaii_Maui_whales_festivalTo see update to this post, click here.


Maui’s Pacific Whale Foundation is hosting its annual Welcome Home the Whales celebration on Sat., Nov. 26.

The celebration features an open house event at Pacific Whale Foundation’s headquarters in Maalaea is set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Visitors may tour the foundation’s research labs, education classrooms and meet the research team and staff.  Also: special whale-watching cruises with Pacific Whale Foundation's researchers and a benefit lunch. For additional information about the celebration, click here.

Welcome Home the Whales kicks off of the 2011-2012 Maui Whale Festival, a six-month series of events hosted by Pacific Whale Foundation.

In a news release issued by Pacific Whale Foundation, the nonprofit’s chief operations officer - Eco-Adventures, Cynthia Mayer, said: "The whales are back and we're ready to celebrate." She added, "This event honors the thousands of humpback whales that arrive here each fall, and marks the official start of Maui's whale-watch season.”Hawaii_Maui_whales_festival

This season’s first whale-spotting occurred on Sept. 26 in Honaunau Bay, which edges the Big Island and is within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary, which lies within the shallow (less than 600 feet), warm waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands, constitutes one of the world's most important humpback whale habitats.

Scientists estimate that there are 20,000 humpback whales in the North Pacific. An estimated 12,000 swim to Hawaii each winter to mate, give birth and nurse their calves in warm Hawaiian waters, where they are protected.

Whale-watching season in Hawaii typically spans the months between November and May. The whales arrive throughout the season, moving in and out of Hawaiian waters through the winter. Peak humpback whale viewing months in Hawaii are January through March. The last remaining mothers and their calves usually depart our Islands for Alaska by early May.Hawaii_Maui_whales_festival

This year’s first sighting was a bit earlier than most years. Last year, and in 2009, the first humpback whale of this year’s season was spotted on Oct. 20. According to the Pacific Whale Foundation, which has records from the last dozen years, the earliest arrival of the first humpback on Sept. 16, 2000, and the latest, Nov. 11, 2005.

The Maui Whale Festival, which will be under way through mid-May, features a paddle board and kayaking event, a golf tournament, a fun run, free lectures, a citizens’ count of whales, “World Whale Day” (formerly Whale Day) and other special cruises and events. For more information about the festival, click here.

For suggestions on shoreline outlooks, check out our HAWAII Magazine’s Landlubber’s Guide to Whale Watching in the Islands. And don’t forget your binoculars. 

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) HIHWNMS: Fisheries Permit #782-171
 

Hawaii_Maui_Waikiki_Sammy Hagar_rumFormer Van Halen front man, part-time Maui resident and celebrity liquor distiller Sammy Hagar is behind the latest addition to an ever-growing list of made-in-Hawaii spirits.

Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, a silver rum made from Hawaii-grown sugar cane, is the result of partnership between Hagar and Haliimaile Distilling Company on Maui. Both partners claim roots in the libations industry.

Hagar personally introduced Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum last night at the Hard Rock Café in Waikiki (pictured, below) to a gathering of eager fans and media, including HAWAII Magazine.

We asked Hagar about the origin of the idea to create the new rum. In response, he said: “The Islands inspired me.”  He adds,  “I just love it here. When I get off the plane, I’m bombarded with the warmest, richest feelings. Hawaii affects all of my senses.”

Hagar has two homes on Maui and owns five Sammy's Beach Bar & Grill locations nationwide, including one at the Maui International Airport.

Hagar’s rum uses sugarcane grown only in Hawaii. Why? “I can get sugar from other places,” says Hagar, “but I don’t want to because it doesn’t taste as good.”

Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum is distilled in Maui from first-growth, first-press sugar cane. According to a press release, “Unlike other premium rums, which follow a standard one-year maturation period for the cane, (cane used in) Sammy's Beach Bar Rum matures for a full two years, giving the sugar from the cane its intense character.”Hawaii_Maui_Waikiki_Sammy Hagar_rum

It is currently available for sale only in Hawaii, but Hagar plans to expand distribution to the rest of the U.S. in early 2012.

“We wanted to launch it in Hawaii first,” says Stephen Kauffman, president of Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. He notes that it will be available on the U.S. mainland starting in Spring 2012.  Also, he says, plans are in the works to create a pineapple-infused rum and an aged dark rum. 

Haliimaile Distilling is the maker of Pau Maui Vodka, premium vodka distilled from Maui Gold pineapples. Hagar has turned the handmade tequila served in his Cabo Wabo chain of nightclubs and restaurants into one of the top-selling premium tequila brands in the nation.

Hagar’s favorite way of enjoying his new rum?

“Three ounces of rum, one ice cube (yes, that's just one rock) and a drop of a citrus, whether it’s lime, lemon or orange. For an added kick, try adding a quarter grind of pepper,” Hagar says.

OK, and how about a hard-rockin’ mai tai recipe, Sammy? Here it is.

Sammy’s Original Maui Mai Tai

Ingredients: 1½ oz. Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, ½ oz. orange curacao, ¾ oz. lychee juice/syrup, and 1 oz. fresh sour.

Directions: Pour ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass, drizzle dark rum into the cocktail, garnish and serve.

For more drink recipes and other information about Sammy’s Beach Bar rum, click here.


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Photo: (top) Sammy's Beach Bar Rum, (bottom ) Wes Funai
 

Hawaii_Oahu_Big Island_Maui_giftsThe holiday season is on its way. In less than a week, turkey dinners will be served. And at this time next month, we’ll be wishing you Mele Kalikimaka! So, now is the time to put together your Hawaii gift list.

Click here to take a look at our HAWAII Magazine Holiday Gift Guide, which features some of Hawaii’s coolest yule merchandise ranging from limited edition hand-printed Aloha shirts and stunning jewelry designs to bath and body products made with organic Hawaiian herbs, plants and flowers. Also, there’s a great selection of Hawaii-made treats — chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, floral Hawaiian honeys, Big Island coffee and much more.

The Holiday Gift Guide (special advertising section) is included in the November/December issue of HAWAII Magazine.     


To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photo: (Big Island poinsettias) Noel Hawkins
 

The Travel Channel's popular Man v. Food Nation show will feature Side Street Inn — a Honolulu restaurant known for its generous portions of Hawaii-style favorites —  in an episode slated to air this evening.

The feasts special will follow the show's affable host, Adam Richman as he searches for the hearty helpings that make up the "best family-style feasts" in Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

At Side Street Inn, 1225 Hopaka St. (a few blocks from Ala Moana Shopping Center), Richman meets owner Robbie Acoba (pictured, right) as preparations are under way for big home-stye meal at which a crowd of casual diners will dig into Hawaii regional cuisine and comfort food including fresh fish dishes, such as opaka-paka, pan-fried island pork chops, mounds of fried rice and, of course, much, much more.  

Since opening in 1992, Side Street Inn's culinary charm has also been featured in Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" show on the Travel Channel as well as in various national publications and travel guides.

This evening's episode, slated to air at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. in some mainland areas, and at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Hawaii) marks Richman's second visit to Hawaii. In June 2009, during the show's second season, Richman traveled to Oahu to try local cuisine at Hukilau Cafe in Laie, including the eatery's stomach-stretching Hukilau Burger — a large burger topped with a fried egg, teriyaki beef and grilled onions. Also, at Helena's Hawaiian Food in Kalihi, Richman sampled pipikaula short ribs and laulau. For the show's signature food challenge, Richman took on the "MacDaddy pancake challenge" at the MAC 24/7 Bar + Restaurant in Waikiki. The challenge: polish off a plate of pancakes that weighs in at 4 pounds within 90 minutes. The show's champion eater started with gusto, but food "won" when Richman, who later described himself as feeling like a "beached whale" was simply unable to eat that last pound of pancakes.

For additional information about the Man v. Food television show, click here.


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Photo: Travel Channel
 

Hawaii_Oahu_North Shore_surfingHawaii’s world-class big waves of November aren’t rolling into Oahu’s North Shore just yet.

Even so, the official holding period for the 29th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is under way. The 38-day, six-event professional surfing competition (three for men, three for women) is the surf world’s most prestigious annual contest. It’s also the final stop for surfing’s best on the 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals yearlong world tour.

Each Triple Crown event keeps an extended holding period, with competition happening only on days with big surf—in general, sustained wave heights of 15 feet or higher.

The first event of the series, the Reef Hawaiian Pro, is slated for Haleiwa's Alii Beach Park. Organizers have called today and every day since Sat. Nov. 12 — the holding period start date — a "lay day" due to small surf at Haleiwa. While yesterday's waves were rated as solid along the North Shore, out of a northeast direction, Haleiwa requires swell from a northwest direction.Hawaii_Oahu_North Shore_surfing

If you’re on Oahu over the next month, Triple Crown competition is worth the drive to the North Shore—especially when surf is seriously big. Click here to check on surf conditions and the status of events. All events run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expect thousands of surf fans and media on big-wave days.

Triple Crown pros have to compete in all three events in their respective gender categories, with each event crowning an individual champion. The male and female surfer who gains the most points over all three of their events wins the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing overall championship.

Surfline.com, official forecasters for the $830,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, is predicting small to moderate pulses of northwest swells for Haleiwa during this week. The Reef Hawaiian Pro requires four days of competition during a 12-day holding period to crown a champion.

To check out the list of past Reef Hawaiian Pro champions, dating back to 1985, click here.


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Photos: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing/Cestari ASP
 
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