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Archive for the Category "Waikiki Beach"

Hawaii Food Tours Jan 09
Hawaii Food Tours

Hawaii Food Tours

Tasty Tours for the Hungry Traveler –  catchy slogan for a unique tour opportunity on O’ahu created by  Chef Matthew Gray (Food Writer and Restaurant Reviewer)  

Voted #1 Tour on O’ahu two years in a row and  Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence are just two of Matthew’s awards find more on their website  Hawaii Food Tours fun tours such as Hole in the Wall  and North Shore Food Tour  are some of the most popular tours as seen on TV Food Network.

For information or to set up your food tour call (808) 926-FOOD(3663)

Take Matthew’s advice when visiting the islands and “Eat Something Delicious Today” with Hawaii Food Tours

For help planning your visit to O’ahu contact O’ahu Destination Specialist Linda Dancer

Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Email



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Hawaii Royalty – Places to visit on O’ahu Dec 05

Unfortunately, sad to say that many visitors to Hawaii do not realize that Hawaii’s rich history includes Hawaiian Royalty. There are many sites throughout the islands where one can learn about this rich history, O’ahu is the home of many of these royal sites.

Probably, the grandest and most well known is the Iolani Palace,  where visitors are invited to take a step into Hawaii’s past-  guided and audio tours are available – Open Tuesday through Saturday – Reservations are suggested as tours are limited in size and number – 1-808-522-0832  – The Palace is located at 364 South King Street – Iolani Palace(completed in 1882) chronicles the reign of  King David Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapiolani , and later Queen Liliuokalani. King Kalakaua and his queen traveled the world, bringing home tokens of esteem and affection from heads of state around the world.  The story of Hawaii’s Kingdom is told through portraits, show pieces such as the Grand Staircase made from Koa wood (said to be the largest such structure in the world) , visitors are asked to wear booties over their shoes as they move from room to room on magnificently restored Douglas fir floors, the dining room is set as if waiting for guests to arrive for state dinner. One sad fact in Hawaii’s royal history is that the Hawaiian monarch was overthrown in 1893, and the new provisional government could not wait to toss the treasures of the king and his queen, but luckily the Friends of the Palace organization have searched the world trying to acquire as many of the original artifacts as possible and restore the Palace to her original glory for visitors from around the world to see.

Nearby the Iolani Palace, you will find Washington Place, the home of Queen Liliuokalani before she ascended to the thrown in 1891, she wrote of her home in her book “Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen “.

Mauna Ala -(fragrant mountain)  after Albert’s death, Kamehameha IV ordered a new mausoleum to house his son, the royal grounds are very close to Summer Palace – Mauna Ala is the final resting place of the Who’s who of Hawaiian Royalty.  Mauna Ala Royal Mausoleum is located 2261 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu   – Open 8am-4pm – Monday-Friday

My personal favorite of all the Royal Residences by far is Queen Emma’s Summer Palace – a graceful home set against the lush backdrop of Nuuanu Valley. Sadly, the palace had fallen into disrepair and almost became a baseball field, but luckily the  Daughters of Hawaii intervened in 1915 turned the home into the showplace it is today. The palace is located about three miles from downtown, filled with beautiful artifacts including some originals to Queen Emma and her husband King Kamehameha IV and was used  to escape from Honolulu’s heat in the summer. The saddest thing for me and always brings me to tears is the beautiful cradle in which the king and queen’s son, Prince Albert slept (who sadly passed away at the sweet age of four) they say the bedroom where the cradle sits overlooks the Royal Mausoleum below where the child is buried, as a mother, I just always feel the grief Queen Emma must have felt over the death of her young son, but the peace of being able to look below to his final resting place. Queen Emma’s Summer Palace is located 2913 Pali Highway, Honolulu (808) 595-3167

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum  one of the best places in all of Hawaii to be introduced to Royal bloodlines, culture, and the rich history of the Kingdom of Hawaii – located 1525 Bernice Street (808) 847-3511

For more information or to book your visit to O’ahu Contact: Linda Dancer

Direct Line (828) 256-1520 – Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Email



Haili’s Hawaiian Foods Nov 07
Haili's Hawaiian Foods

Haili’s Hawaiian Foods

Since the 1950’s  delicious original Hawaiian island cuisine has been  served at Haili’s Hawaiian Foods, now relocated in Oahu’s  trendy Kapahulu neighborhood.

For over three generations recipes have been handed down since Mom Haili started her secret process shared only to the family of sisters who continue offering traditional Hawaiian food made fresh for a good price. However, times have changed and prices are a little more than in the original days of  Mother Rachel Ching Haili’s day  where poi was “one dollah” for three bags, and thirty five cents for  one laulau – visitors today at their new home on Palani Ave can expect the same  award winning wonderful food and service.  Awards such as Winner of the O’o Award-Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, 2010 Honolulu Advertiser Hawaii’s Best Restaurant Award for Best Hawaiian Foods, 2011 Recipient of the ‘Aha Hipu’u Award-Contributions to Hawaiian Culture-Winner of Healthy Plate Lunch Contest – Department of Health continue to be earned by this O’ahu favorite.

Haili’s Hawaiian Foods – closed on Monday – Open Tues, Wed and Thurs  10am-7pm, Fri and Sat  10a-8pm and Sun 11a-3p

Phone number  (808) 735-8019

Location:  760 Palani Ave ( Just ask your hotel concierge for directions)  at the corner of Kapahulu Ave.

Looking to book your vacation to O’ahu – Contact Linda Dancer   Email

Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Remember the best way to enjoy your visit to the Hawaiian Islands is to get out and explore the culture !


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Waikiki Vow Renewal Ceremony Oct 10

Celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary soon and thinking about a Vow Renewal?

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort offer couples to Hoi Hou Ke Aloha (Fall in love all over again) –

Free vow renewal ceremonies are held every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings on  iconic Waikiki Beach  – many husbands score extra points for planning with me in secret to share as a surprise to his bride once they arrive on the island , to express to his bride he would in fact do it all over again.

The non-denominational ceremony is conducted by a Hawaiian officiant. Couples are welcomed with a Hawaiian chant that celebrates the occasion – then led to the ocean’s edge to be honored with a graceful hula and serenaded with Hawaiian song. Couples are blessed with a gentle sprinkling of sea water before reciting vows in Hawaiian language. The ceremony concludes with a beautiful song and hula. Following the ceremony each couple is presented with a certificate to commemorate their vow renewal.

If you are looking to travel to O’AHU and are thinking about a vow renewal arrangements need to be made in advance as space is limited and participation is subject to availability and is complimentary to registered guests of Outrigger Waikiki and Outrigger Reef

Let’s get started planning your romantic stay on O’ahu contact  Linda Dancer The Knot Best of Weddings Winner today!


Best of Weddings

Best of Weddings


         Direct Line  828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Duke’s Oceanfest – August 16-24, 2014 Aug 08

The 13th annual Duke’s OceanFest will be held at venue sites throughout Waikiki from August 16th – 24th 2014. The annual event features a variety of ocean sports that were close to Duke Kahanamoku’s heart . Duke (Hawaii’s ambassador of Aloha)  is thought to be the father of surfing so this event featuring Longboard Surfing, Paddleboard Racing, Swimming, Tandem Surfing, Surf Polo, Beach Volleyball and more is the perfect way to celebrate this man thought to be the greatest waterman who ever lived.  He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming, an actor, lawman, a pioneer player of beach volleyball and a businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing.

To book your trip to O’ahu contact  Linda Dancer – Hawaii Master Destination Specialist

Direct Line 828-256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331


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Kahala Celebrates 50 Wonderful Years Mar 21

Since  January 1964, The Kahala Hotel and Resort  on the island of O’ahu has been celebrated as one of the top resort in Hawaii, providing world class service to discriminating world travelers. Over the years the Kahala Hotel and Resort has hosted countless film, television and music stars along with dignitaries and heads of state from around the world.

The Kahala  Hotel and Resort is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and continues to draw new and returning guests. Those familiar with the resort love the dolphins, the amazing multi-colored lobby chandeliers, friendly faces of employees that welcome them home again and signature service they have come to expect from the resort.

With revitalized guest rooms and wonderful dining opportunities it is safe to say that the Kahala Hotel and Resort will continue to have a virtual who’s who by the resort pool for years to come. Why not add yourself to the list of visitors to the Kahala and let’s get busy planning your honeymoon, milestone anniversary or next family vacation at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

In celebration of 50 years – some fun facts you might not know about the Kahala Hotel and Resort:

** The resort cost $12Million to build

** The resort site is 6.5 beachfront acres

** The dolphin lagoon is 4 feet above sea level, the first dolphins to inhabit the lagoon were names Uku, Nihoa and Kui and were flown 4500 miles from Gulfport, Mississippi

** The resort opened January 22,1964 – the room rates were $26USD a night and a night in the Presidential Suite cost $150

**  The Kahala Hotel and Resort  was the first major resort to have air conditioning in all rooms.

**  There are 28,000  multi-colored pieces of Italian fused glass in the lobby chandeliers

**  A Beach Bar was opened and used expressly for “Rick’s Bar” in the TV Series “Magnum PI”

For more information on O’ahu and The Kahala Hotel and Resort  Contact: Linda Dancer

Direct Line: 828-256-1520  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331 Email:



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Hawaii’s Iconic Mai Tai Mar 07

The actual origin of the iconic Hawaii cocktail the Mai Tai is still up for discussion but for many visitors to Hawai’i the vacation begins when they have been served their first official Hawaiian Mai Tai. An alcoholic cocktail based on rum, Curacao liqueur and lime juice and normally served in Polynesian-style settings and usually garnished with pineapple, a cherry and an orchid blossom.

Hawaii Mai Tai

Hawaii Mai Tai

The source of the name is  “Maita’i” the Tahitian word for “good” , but the drink is always spelled with two words Mai Tai  – One popular story that has always been associated with the origin of the Mai Tai  belongs to the Victor J Bergeron (Trader Vic’s Restaurant in Oakland, Ca.  in 1944) when he put together the ingredients for friends visiting from Tahiti,and one of his friends responded with “Maita’i roa ae!”  which means very good  and the name stuck.

Everyone has a favorite, but these are a few of my mine-

The “Mai Tai” Bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, has been serving this original Mai Tai recipe since 1953, many have tried to improve upon Mr. Bergeron’s original recipe but most agree there is nothing better than the original.

Personally, my favorite has to be at the House Without a Key at the Halekulani on O’ahu. For nearly a century locals and visitors to Hawai’i alike have gathered under the century-old Kiawe tree to share cocktails and listen to Hawaiian music. House Without a Key is Halekulani’s popular indoor/outdoor gathering spot for informal breakfast, lunch, cocktails, appetizers and entertainment.  Famous Waikiki Beach sunsets paired with Hawaiian music and graceful Hawaiian Dancers and a Mai Tai, the perfect end to a day at the beach.   

Mai Tai at  Tahiti Nui  Hanalei - Kauai

Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui
Hanalei – Kauai

Tahiti Nui Bar and Restaurant   located in Hanalei, Kaua’i has been welcoming visitors for three generations, world famous Mai Tai’s are made from Grandma Louise’s secret recipe – amazing food and personality combine to make every visit a fond memory, whether you are staying in Princeville, or just making a day trip at least stop by for lunch and a Mai Tai.

Regardless of the islands that you visit, just ask the locals where to go for the best Mai Tai on the island.

To get started planning your visit to Hawaii contact Linda Dancer , Direct Line 828-256-1520, Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331







Honolulu City Lights Tour Dec 06

Planning on visiting Oahu during the Christmas Holiday?   If so, you should check out the Honolulu City Lights Tour , aboard a Double Decker Bus.

Nightly December 8th- 30th  from 6pm-10pm. If you do not hop on and off the bus you can expect to complete the loop in about one hour.

Complimentary earbuds are given so you can listen to holiday music while you are touring through Honolulu and enjoy the lights.

Aloha Bus

Aloha Bus

  Adult $26.10 / child (ages 3-11) $13.50  ** includes taxes and applicable admissions

Travel through from Ward Center, Downtown circling the Honolulu Hale(City Hall) giving visitors the best opportunity to see the Honolulu city lights. I suggest that you hop on and off the bus at one of the two nearest stops to the Honolulu Hale for best viewing of the decorations and to participate in the festivities.

Honolulu City Lights are presented by the City and County of Honolulu and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights! for more info you can email them at   Great T-shirts and ornaments are available on their website as well -a great way to support this wonderful celebration.

ADA Compliant Buses with lifts – please contact reservations at 1-888-206-4531  or (808) 833-3000

So relax  take a deep breath and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Christmas Holiday !

Contact:Linda Dancer Toll Free:1-888-811-1888ext 331 Direct Line: (828) 256-1520


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Diamond Head State Monument – O’ahu Aug 02

Diamond Head

Visitors have been flocking to Waikiki Beach  for years, and all the while Diamond Head State Monument stands guard and leads visitors to the shores of O’ahu, but long before this crater became Diamond Head this pronounced seaward summit with deeply eroded ridges was known as Le’ahi. Early history says that Hi’iaka the sister of the fire goddess Pele, gave  Le’ahi its name because the summit resembled the forehead of the fish, it is also said that it is named for the navigational fires that were lit along the summit to assist canoes traveling along the shoreline. Today the Diamond Head light built in 1917, provides a visual aid for navigation. So where did the name Diamond Head come from ? Western explorers  and traders visited in the late 1700’s and mistook the calcite crystals in the rocks on the slopes of the crater for diamonds, thus the nickname Diamond Head came to be the common name.
The broad, saucer shaped crater covers 350 acres with its width being greater than its height.  It is believed the crater was created about 300,000 years ago during a single,brief eruption. Years of erosion and being weathered by rain, wind and pounding by the sea has caused a coral reef to form and protect the seaward slopes of the crater. One of the best ways to see Diamond Head is from the air , I took this shot from the air when I did the Island Seaplane Tour of O’ahu, a wonderful way to see the entire crater.
 In addition to flight tours, another great way to experience Diamond Head is to take the historic trail to the summit that was built in 1908 as part of the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery defense system. From the trailhead to the summit of the crater  you will cover 0.7 miles (1.1km) one way and climb 560 feet from the crater floor. The trail follows uneven and steep terraine so please be careful, and proper footwear is a must. Portions of the trail involve steep stairways, go through long, dark tunnels, so I suggest you take along a small flashlight, but most important pay attention and take your time along the trail.  It is always hot  so sunsreen and lots of water are recommended. Allow 1.5  – 2 hours for a safe and unrushed round-trip hike and take time to take in the surroundings.
Le’ahi is a fragile resource, by staying on the trails and not taking shortcuts you save plants and reduce erosion.    
Le’ahi (Diamond Head) is the most recognized landmark in Hawai’i and was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
For further information about Diamond Head State Monument :
Department of Land & Natural Resources / Diision of State Parks
1151 Punchbowl Street,Room 310,Honolulu, Hawai’i 96809
Phone: (808) 587-0300
For information about book your vacation to O’ahu :
Contact: Linda Dancer   Direct Line:  (828) 256-1520   Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
Waikiki Aquarium Feb 15

Waikiki Aquarium

 There are so many wonderful things to see, do and experience in Waikiki, many visitors do not realize that  there is also a world class aquarium located here as well. Visitors to the Waikiki Aquarium  learn about the unique aquatic life found  throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the tropical Pacific. With over 350 species of aquatic animals and plant, including  Hawaii’s State Fish the humuhumunukunukuapua’a  the tiny fish  with the big name. Monk seals, giant clams,lobsters,eels, sea jellys and when I was last there NEMO  – Peppermint Angelfish , was the one of its kind available for viewing in a pubic aquarium, it was so cute to here the children say  “Oh look mommy, it’s Nemo”, also housed in the Aquarium Jewels -area of the aquarium was Abe’s Angelfish -the rarest of the aquarium’s unique species, and the only one of its kind in captivity worldwide. So for these two displays alone, the aquarium should be very proud, but there is so much more to see and experience.

Giant Clams

Since it opened on March 19th, 1904   the  Waikiki Aquarium has a long history and is the third oldest aquarium in the United States, the original concept to show the world the riches of Hawaii’s reefs. Through strategic partnerships with  such partners as NOAA Pacific Islands Regions, NOAA  Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Na Pua No’eau Center for gifted and talented native Hawaiian Children and the University of Hawaii at Manoa  just to name a few, the goal is to increase the Aquariums own research activities and community educational outreach. Several special projects are planned to continue the celebration of the 100 years+ of the Aquariums existence.  Through a program of gradual renewal, renovations and replacements  along with the implementation  of available inter-active technology today, the Aquarium is well on her way of attracting the interest of children for generations to come.

Wide eyed wonder!

I strongly suggest that if families are visiting  Oahu, to visit the Aquarium website  to play online games  and to check out upcoming events  and displays that might be going on during your visit. I think that showing children these vast displays of aquatic life is a wonderful teachable moment about why it is so important to protect the ocean. Check out the new Critter Cam  watch Ho’ailona (one of the resident Hawaiian monk seals) play in the monk seal habitat.
The Aquarium is located :
2777 Kalakaua Avenue, on the shoreline of Kapi’olani Park
The Waikiki Aquarium can also be reached by TheBus (Route 19 or 20), and Waikiki Trolley’s Green Line
Regular Hours: 900am – 400pm daily  ( the facility closes at 500pm )
Closed on Honolulu Marathon Day (Dec 8th, 2013)  and  Christmas Day
Admission includes a free Audio Tour Wand  – General admission is $9 / but discounts for Military,Students,Children and others are offered as well.
There is also a list of reciprocal institutions for which they offer discounted or free admission, check the website for full list and details.
Contact  Linda Dancer  Hawaii Master Destination Specialist – Direct Line  828-256-1620  Email
  Always  remember the best way to enjoy your visit to the Islands of Hawaii  is to  get out and explore !

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