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Fireworks display over Honolulu.

Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year) to our HAWAII Magazine, HawaiiMagazine.com, Facebook and Twitter reader ohana from the staff ohana of HAWAII Magazine!

May you all enjoy a wonderful New Year's Eve and 365 days in 2014 that, hopefully, includes some time in our Islands.

Mahalo for subscribing to, reading and following HAWAII Magazine in 2013.

See you in 2014!


Photo: Dawn Sakamoto

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle



So you say you’re wrapping up 2013 here in Hawaii?

Big fans that we are of warm, tradewind-kissed New Year’s Eves, we’re solid fans of bidding farewell to the old year and welcoming in the new right here in the Islands, too. But just because we’re annually one of the final locales in the world to get to do both doesn’t mean we prefer our New Year’s Eves quiet.

A number of residents here follow a longtime New Year’s Eve tradition of welcoming the new year with fireworks in their driveways and neighborhood streets. It's loud. It's smoky. It requires a permit. It's also a surprising and visually stunning sight for visitors checking out our 'burbs.

But if you’re fortunate enough to be welcoming 2014 in the Islands this year, we’re thinking you might also want to know where some of our large public displays of pyro (i.e. New Year’s Eve aerial fireworks displays) are happening. Gosh knows, we do.

Below you'll find our list of Hawaii spots to catch the sky ablaze with New Year’s Eve fireworks displays. We've got all the lowdown you need to know about public fireworks shows on Oahu, the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and even Lanai.

Hauoli Makahiki Hou!—that's Happy New Year!—and best wishes for 2014 from the staff ohana of HAWAII Magazine and HawaiiMagazine.com!


Waikiki New Year’s Fireworks

The details: Visible from the entire Waikiki beachfront, this annual fireworks show—sponsored by Waikiki hotels and businesses and the Waikiki Improvement Association—even has a fireworks countdown before the main event.
Click here for more information

New Year’s Eve Party of the Year

9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m., Midnight

The details: Fireworks every hour at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, starting at 9 p.m., with a grand finale display at midnight. Festivities get under way at 6 p.m. Among other highlights: bands and DJs on multiple stages, an “Eat the Street” food truck festival and carnival rides, including a Ferris Wheel.  Tickets are required to get in to the event. But aerial fireworks being, of course, aerial and all, you’ll be able to see the displays anywhere near Kakaako Waterfront Park.
Click here for more information

• Ko Olina New Year’s Lagoon Fireworks Spectacular


The details: Annually the largest NYE fireworks show in Hawaii, the display here is typically launched over the West Oahu resort’s four lagoons, which are open to the public. Area resorts, however, do charge for parking.

Note: The annual New Year's Eve Aloha Tower Fireworks show and block party was cancelled by Aloha Tower Marketplace owners Hawaii Pacific University this year.


Aloha 2013 New Year’s Eve Pacific Rim Celebration


The details: Hosted by the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the aerial display here will light up the resort’s Kaunaoa Bay beachfront. The fireworks are part of the hotel’s big New Year’s Eve dinner and dancing celebration, a ticketed event open to hotel guests and anyone wishing to pay to be in attendance. Party guests are sure to have the best views, but with Kauanaoa Beach—and all Hawaii beaches—open to the public, if you can reach the beach you’ll catch the fireworks.
Click here for more information



Hawaiian-style ahi and spicy ahi combo poke bowl at Ono Seafood, Honolulu, Oahu.

So here it is. The final category we're sharing online from HAWAII Magazine's 2013 Food Issue main feature "75 Places to Eat Like a Local."

Over the last couple of months, we've been sharing multiple categories and eateries from our “75 Places to Eat Like a Local” feature here on HawaiiMagazine.com. (The full list, of course is in our 2013 Food Issue.) We've shared 6 of the feature's 15 food categories here online: "FROM THE SEA," “HOMEGROWN,” "CARNIVORE,"“BREAKFAST,” “LUXE & LOCAL" and "NOODLES"

Below is the sixth and final category we’re sharing free-of-charge online: the five restaurants that made our “GRAB & GO” category.


75 Places to Eat Like A Local

“Grab & Go”
Category 1 of 15

When we're on the run but want to eat well.

Ono Seafood

Residents flock to this hole-in-the-wall seafood merchant just outside of Waikiki to pick up containers of all manner of made-to-order poke—from shoyu ahi (tuna) and limu (seaweed) ahi to miso tako (octopus) and more. We come for the simple joy of Ono Seafood's poke bowls: your choice of poke—one or two kinds—generously portioned over a bed of warm rice.

747 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, Oahu • (808) 732-4806

Diamond Head Market & Grill

Hit the "grill" at this take-out favorite near Waikiki and you'll find grilled ahi steak, char siu pork, portobello burgers, kalbi ribs and other tasty plate lunch specials. Hit the "market" and leave with an ever-changing selection of tasty gourmet baked goods, salads, sandwiches, wraps and cold items.

3158 Monsarrat Ave., Honolulu, Oahu • (808) 732-0077 • Website


Writers' okazuya from Hilo Lunch Shop, Hilo, Big Island with (clockwise from bottom, left) pohole salad, pipinola salad, vegetable tempura, fried chicken, shoyu hot dogs, corned beef hash patties, nori-wrapped fried chicken, pickled radish maki sushi, hot dog maki sushi.

Hilo Lunch Shop

We've previously mentioned our pages the giddiness that overtakes us whenever we enter this Big Island take-out shop and again find ourselves confronted with all of our local food favorites—musubi, shoyu hot dogs, nori (dried seaweed)-wrapped fried chicken, fried noodles, pohole (fiddlehead fern) and pipinola (chayote squash) salad. The list goes on. The staff here will put as much as you want of anything on your plate. You pay a la carte.

421 Kalanikoa St., Hilo, Big Island • (808) 935-8273


Honolulu City Lights display, Honolulu, Oahu, 12/24, 1:12 a.m. (Hawaii time)

From: HAWAII Magazine’s staff ohana

To: our HAWAII Magazine & HawaiiMagazine.com
reader ohana

A very Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) to you and all the best in the new year. Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)!

Photo: Dawn Sakamoto

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle



After 56 years on Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki’s iconic International Market Place will shut down forever at the close of business, Dec. 31.

Landowner Queen Emma Land Co. plans to demolish the maze of open-air souvenir kiosks known for its kitschy, old Waikiki charm into a modern, high-end, three-story retail complex that will include a Saks Fifth Avenue anchor store. The new project, which will house 360,000-square-feet of retail, dining and entertainment, is scheduled to open in Spring 2016. It will boast 60 stores—many of which will be unique to Waikiki—and a 750-stall parking garage spread over six acres of prime real estate on Kalakaua Avenue.

The sole survivor of the International Market Place’s demise will be its massive Indian banyan tree, which will be preserved as part of the new development. In a news release, project developer Taubman Centers—a Bloomfield, Mich.-based operator, developer and owner of high-end retail centers nationwide—has said it has engaged a registered arborist to preserve and enhance the health of the tree. The arborist, according to Taubman Centers, has been monitoring and attending to the trees in the International Market Place for more than 40 years.

The rest of the market place and a couple of adjoining properties, however, will be demolished in January.

The International Market Place’s closure marks the end of an era. Over its half-century of existence, millions of visitors have strolled its tightly-collected maze of retail stands selling all manner of mostly foreign-made Hawaii tchotchkes—from plastic tiki statues and discount aloha wear to writhing hula girl lamps and wood carvings—and dined in its random collection of eateries. Restaurateur Donn Beach—owner of the now long-gone Don the Beachcomber restaurant chain—once famously perched his office in the sturdy branches of the market place's massive banyan tree.


Since the International Market Place's 1957 opening, there have been no major renovations to the property. The newest building on the property was erected in 1970. But property developers have coveted the shopping district’s central Waikiki location for almost as many years as the Market Place has been open.

In May 2010, Queen Emma Land Co. signed an agreement with Taubman Centers to redevelop the International Market Place property. Last August, Queen Emma Land Co. and Taubman Centers jointly announced that they would be moving forward to begin construction of the project.

Queen Emma Land Co. and Taubman Centers plans and building materials for the redeveloped market place property include water features, natural store, indigenous landscaping and an area honoring the legacy of Queen Emma, who was the queen consort of King Kamehameha V from 1856 to his death in 1863. The nonprofit Queen Emma Land Co.'s stated mission is taking care of the land bequeathed to the Queen’s Health Systems by King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. All of the income generated by the land company is earmarked toward providing health care, education and charitable services, principally at Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu.

David Thompson, senior editor of HAWAII Magazine sister publication HONOLULU Magazine, recently researched and wrote a feature on the market place’s closure and history, “From Souvenirs to Saks: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Waikiki’s International Market Place," for that magazine’s December issue. It’s definitely worth a read. Click the above link to read the feature in its entirety.

The International Market Place is expected to close at around 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, the time merchants of the market place, adjoining Waikiki Town Center and neighboring Miramar Hotel have been instructed by landowners to shut down and clear out. Demolition will begin in January.

(Writer Chris Bailey contributed to this story.)

Photos: International Market Place

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The Waioli Mission House and grounds in Hanalei, Kauai.

In the hours following Hurricane Iniki’s devastating march across the island of Kauai in September 1992, the only visible damage to Hanalei’s historic Waioli Mission House seemed to be three broken glass window panes. Closer examination revealed that a far more ominous outcome had been narrowly dodged.

Iniki—to this day, one of the most powerful hurricanes to directly strike one of the main Hawaiian Islands—had caused numerous hairline stress fractures to the structure. Only two things had saved the then 155-year-old mission house from complete destruction: Iniki’s relatively quick pass over Kauai, which saved the house from the storm’s sustained 145 mile-per-hour winds; and the home’s heavy timber frame and clapboard siding, which miraculously absorbed most of the hurricane’s force. The historical treasures in the home’s interiors were also unharmed.

More than $800,000 in repairs and new landscaping eventually restored Waioli Mission House, which, since 1919, has served as a museum honoring three of Kauai’s early missionary families. On a 45-minute guided tour of the venerable structure, visitors learn about the storied home and its former occupants, as well as its furnishings and grounds. Barbara Kennedy and her husband, Roger, have served as Waioli Mission House’s caretakers and docents since May 1998, six years after ‘Iniki.   

“A family member, who was on the museum’s board at the time, asked us to apply for the positions,” says Barbara. “We were longtime residents and businesspeople in Hanalei, but we had never worked for a nonprofit organization before. We looked at each other and asked: Why not? What a blessing that decision turned out to be!”

In 1834, Rev. William Patterson Alexander and his wife, Mary Ann, arrived in remote Hanalei on Kauai’s north shore to establish a mission, church and school, and to oversee the construction of a residence for themselves. Completed in April 1837, the Alexanders’ two-story, four-room residence was one of the first Western-style houses built on the island. The Alexanders led the Hanalei parish until December 1842, with George and Malvina Rowell following from 1843 to 1846, and Abner and Lucy Wilcox from 1846 to 1869.

Waioli means “joyful water,” a likely reference to Hanalei’s frequent rains. On an overcast day soon after the Kennedys were hired as caretakers, Barbara was strolling the mission house’s grounds when the clouds suddenly parted and the sun illuminated waterfalls cascading down the majestic slopes of nearby Namolokama mountain.

“It was such a spectacular sight, I started to cry,” Barbara recalls. “Roger and I are history lovers. We sat in the house and spent years reading all the books in the (home’s) collection. Never in our lives did we think we’d have a job that would enable us to learn not only about missionary history, but the history and culture of the people who walked this land long before Captain Cook arrived (in the Islands). Even better, we have the opportunity to share the knowledge we’ve gained. It’s a privilege we’ve never taken for granted.”

Story continues on next page


Hapa Ramen at Star Noodle in Lahaina, Maui.

HAWAII Magazine’s 2013 Food Issue is all about features focused on Hawaii eats.

The November/December issue’s main course, however, is “75 Places to Eat Like A Local,” a guide to the Hawaii places you’ll find us grabbing a bite to eat, or telling our friends and family to nosh at. They’re the cafes we send our Mainland-dwelling former college roommates to when they visit Hawaii and want comfort food. The Honolulu noodle bars we take neighbor island family to eat when they visit “the big city.” And much more.

Over the last two months, we've been sharing multiple categories and eateries from our “75 Places to Eat Like a Local” feature here on HawaiiMagazine.com. (Not all 75, of course. For that, you’ll have to purchase the issue.) We've so far revealed 5 of the feature's 15 food categories here online: "FROM THE SEA," “HOMEGROWN,” "CARNIVORE,"“BREAKFAST,” and “LUXE & LOCAL."

Below is the sixth category we’re sharing: the six restaurants that made our “NOODLES” category.


75 Places to Eat Like A Local

Category 10 of 15

Some go for saimin. Some go ramen. We go for it all.

Star Noodle

Founding chef and Top Chef contestant Sheldon Simeon is no longer leading the kitchen at this mod-cool Lahaina noodle bar, but his inspiration still rules much of the menu. The noodle dishes here—from the porky Hapa Ramen and Star Udon to Lahaina Fried Soup—are unmatched on Maui.

286 Kupuohi St., Lahaina, Maui • (808) 667--5400 • Website

Goma Tei

The menu at this Honolulu noodle bar's two locations is a mix-and-match ramen lover's dream. Will it be housemade char siu pork or slivers of tender chicken in our sesame oil-infused tan tan ramen? Pork tonkatsu or wakame seaweed in our shoyu ramen? And for sides, housemade shredded pork-filled gyoza or crispy, mochiko flour-battered chicken tatsutaage? Decisions, decisions.

Ala Moana Center (808) 947-9188 and Ward Centre (808) 591-9188, Honolulu, Oahu • Website


Belly Bowl at Lucky Belly in Honolulu, Oahu

Lucky Belly

Downtown Honolulu's Chinatown district has oodles of places for noodles—from Chinese restaurants to Vietnamese pho stands. Lucky Belly brings modern noodle bar flair to the game, matching a small, but solid ramen menu—the Belly Bowl with pork belly, smoked bacon and pork sausage is our fave—with brilliant small-plate eats—lamb lumpia, oxtail dumplings among the offerings.

50 N. Hotel St., Honolulu, Oahu • (808) 531-7888 • Website



Are you ready for some all-star NFL football in Hawaii?

Sure, you could watch the annual NFL Pro Bowl on TV, one week before the Super Bowl, beer and pretzels nearby, maybe a snow flurry outside. But wouldn’t you much rather watch it live, right here in Hawaii at Aloha Stadium on Oahu, with reserved seats and other cool NFL Pro Bowl prizes?

Yeah, we thought so.

We’re giving away a five-day/four-night vacation on Oahu with sideline tickets to the NFC-AFC all-star game to one lucky winner in our 2014 HAWAII Magazine Win an NFL Pro Bowl Experience flyaway contest. The game kicks off on Sun., Jan. 26, 2014. Our contest is open for entries now through midnight (Hawaii time), Wed., Jan. 8.

All you have to do to enter is visit our Win an NFL Pro Bowl Experience webpage, read the official rules and submit your entry. After that, just remember to check your email on Thurs., Jan. 10, 2014, to see if you’ve won. Why Jan. 10?

That’s the day we’ll select one winner, at random, from all entries received and notify them. The winner will be given 24 hours from the time the prize-winning notification is sent to reply via email before the prize is awarded to another winner.

Sound fair?

Here's what our lucky winner will get:

• Complimentary Hawaiian Airlines round-trip coach airfare for the winner and one guest between Oahu and the nearest North American gateway city to the winner served by Hawaiian Airlines.

• Five-days/four-nights complimentary accommodations at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, January 24-28, 2014. 

• Two sideline tickets to the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl, Sun., Jan. 26, 2014, at Aloha Stadium on Oahu.

• Two passes to the Official NFL Tailgate Party.

• Two bus passes to the game.

• Two NFL Goodie Bags

• Two seats in the reserved section at the Pro Bowl Ohana Day, Sat., Jan. 25, 2014, at Aloha Stadium.

• A locker room tour following the Ohana Day event.

Enter now and good luck!

HAWAII Magazine Win an NFL Pro Bowl Experience flyaway contest

For more information, contest rules and to enter, click here!


Photo: 2006  Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium/National Football League

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kokua_for_the_philippines_Hawaii_benefit_concertA stellar lineup of Hawaii entertainers including ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro and part-time Maui resident Mick Fleetwood are set to perform at a Waikiki benefit concert to help Philippines victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

The Kokua for the Philippines concert happens this Sunday, Dec. 15, on the Great Lawn of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The noon to 5 p.m. concert will also feature performances by Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, Raiatea Helm, Kuana Torres Kahele, Henry Kapono, Sean Naauao, Kalapana, Makana, Sean Naauao, Loretta Ables Sayre, Natural Vibrations and more.

kokua_for_the_philippines_Hawaii_benefit_concertIf you’re on Oahu this weekend, stop by the concert. General admission tickets are just $20 (available online at Honolulu Box Office or by phone at 808-550-8457). Your donation will be greatly appreciated by Kokua for the Philippines organizers.

Can’t be on Oahu or at the Hilton Hawaiian Village? The full concert will be streamed live online (see below), with donations accepted by phone or via the web. All proceeds collected with be donated to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.

Television stations scheduled to air the event (in whole or in part) in Hawaii include KFVE, KGMB (CBS), KHNL (NBC), KHON (FOX), KIKU, KITV (ABC), CW, Me-TV and OC 16. In California, the concert will air on San Diego Union Tribune's UT-TV.

kokua_for_the_philippines_Hawaii_benefit_concertKokua for the Philippines will stream live on the websites of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment/Hawaii, OC 16, KHON2, KITV 4, Hawaii News Now, and the San Diego Union Tribune, as well as on the Kokua for the Philippines event website.

Hawaii radio stations KSSK 92.3 FM, KSSK AM 590 and Island 98.5 will broadcast the concert live. Audio streaming will be available on mobile devices by downloading the iHeartRadio app.

Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda as it was called in the Philippines) was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines in early November. It was the deadliest Philippines typhoon on record, killing nearly 6,000 people in the Philippines and wiping out entire communities. A month after Typhoon Haiyan struck the country, more than million people remain displaced and in need of assistance and supplies.

“Kokua for the Philippines” benefit concert
Noon-5 p.m., Sun., Dec. 15 on the Great Lawn of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort • Tickets to concert are $20 each • Concert will be streamed live online. • For more information visit KokuaforthePhilippines.com.


Photos: Courtesy Kokua for the Philippines/James Kimo Garrett

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Top 5 favorite Hawaii small towns


A couple thousand of you voted, we counted every answer and now we're ready to reveal the results of our latest HAWAII Magazine Facebook Ohana Poll question: "What's your favorite Hawaii small town?"

We received so many votes, in fact, that it's possible there isn't a town between Naalehu on the Big Island and Hanapepe on Kauai that didn't get at least a single vote. Votes were so numerous that we wound up surprised at some of the popular Hawaii small towns that missed our Facebook ohana's final Top 5. Among the towns that didn't make the final cut: Kapaa, Kauai; Makawao, Maui; Waimea/Kamuela, Big Island; Koloa, Kauai; and Honokaa, Big Island. One of our favorite Maui towns, Hana (pictured above), just missed the Top 5.

If you’d like to join in on our next poll and vote along with our always-growing Facebook fan page ohana, go to the HAWAII Magazine Facebook page and “like” us. In return you’ll be ready to share your answers in all of our “Hawaii favorite” poll questions as soon as we post them, know the results of the poll when all of the votes are counted and get all of our daily HawaiiMagazine.com photos and features.

We’ll be posting our next Ohana Poll question on HAWAII Magazine’s Facebook page in the days ahead, so join soon if you haven’t yet.

Until then, here’s the Top 5 countdown of our Facebook ohana’s favorite Hawaii small towns:


Hawi, Big Island

Two decades ago, Hawi, on the lush, yet seldom-visited North Kohala peninsula of the Big Island of Hawaii, almost disappeared into the past. The century-old buildings of the once bustling plantation town were boarded up and crumbling. Visitors were few, unless they were headed to end-of-the-highway Pololu Valley. That all changed in the 'aughts when a new generation of artists and entrepreneurs moved into the area. Attracted to the same tranquil small town life that kept longtime residents in Hawi, they (and longtime residents) restored the town’s decaying storefronts, filling them with unique and unusual boutiques, eateries, bookstores and galleries. Hawi today is vibrant again—with a surprisingly-numerous-for-a-town-of-its-size collection of great places to eat—but with no less of its small town appeal firmly intact. HAWAII Magazine has long been fond of Hawi and Kapaa—the latter, Hawi's neighboring North Kohala peninsula town. We’re stoked our Facebook ohana shares that love, too. (Check out our Hawi and Kapaau photo slideshow.)

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