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Archive for the Category "Hawaii Gifts and products"

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Celebrates 46 Years Nov 04

Coffee Cherry

The Kona Coffee Festival  is celebrating its 46th anniversary making it Hawaii’s oldest food festival. The celebration lasts for 10 days of annual fan favorites and new exciting events promoting and perpetuating the culture, heritage, artistry and rich history behind Kona’s nearly 200 year old world famous cup of coffee. This years  celebration runs from Friday November 4th – Sunday November 13th 2016. Check the website above for the updated schedule of events for the festival and set your calendar accordingly.

Also check out my blog post on Kona Coffee for one of my favorite Kona Coffee farm tours.

For more information on Hawaii Island, contact Linda Dancer  Hawaii Master Destination Specialist   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  or Direct Line 931-337-0770


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Dis’N Dat Shop in Lanai City Jun 20
Dis N Dat Shop -Lanai City

Dis N Dat Shop -Lanai City

Whether you are staying on the island of Lanai or on Maui and take the ferry over to Lanai for the day, make time to visit the Dis ‘N Dat Shop in Lanai City.  You can’t miss the bright green 1928 era cottage in Lanai City, it will catch your eye. The first hint that you have arrived to somewhere special is Barry’s yellow and white 1959 Nash Metropolitan car, and from the moment you step inside the magical twinkling sound of wind chimes, gongs and crystals  that hang from the ceiling and throughout the shop are just mesmerizing.  Regardless of what you are looking for (trust me you will not leave without finding something special that just calls out to you) if you look hard enough you will probably find it.  From whimsical animal figurines to designer jewelry and Asian antiques within the Balinese showcases. Exclusively at Dis ‘N Dat  you will find handmade on Lanai- SuzieO’s sparkling Swarovski and sterling dangly ankle bracelets.

Other unique items found in the shop include Gail’s one of a kind holiday ornaments an exclusive collection of  hand carved  fossilized whale bone fish hook necklaces.

***Frommer’s Guide to Hawaii calls Dis ‘N Dat their favorite shop on Lanai and  very highly recommended

Check out their YouTube Video which explains how this sweet shop came to be or LIKE their page on Facebook

After a fun time shopping, do as I did in this photo and spend some time in the hanging chairs outside on the front porch.

Contact the shop  (808) 565-9170

Location: 418 8th Ave / Lanai City ,HI 96763

To get started booking your trip to Hawaii – Contact: Linda Dancer

Direct Line: (808) 256-1520  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331



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The Beautiful Flowers of Hawai’i May 16

Hawaiian flora is as diverse as the Hawaiian Islands – they grow on.  A subtropical region blessed with soil heavy laden with volcanic ash and a near perfect climate combine to make the Hawaiian Islands a perfect place to grow so many different types of flora. Regardless of where you travel throughout the islands you will find amazing flora in abundance in trees, shrubs and flowers , in some cases gorgeous flowers growing in the midst of ancient lava rocks.

Not all flowers that you see growing throughout the islands are native, many were introduced to the islands by various settlers over the years. The arrival of migrant works to the Hawaiian Islands brought a rich influx of  flowers and although they brought much beauty to the island unfortunately it led to the disappearance of many endemic varieties of flora because of the changes in the environment caused by the introduction of these species.

Hawaiian flowers are not known only for their beauty but also for the scents that waft through the air – often you can smell them before you see them because of their fragrance. Flowers such as the ones pictured here Hibiscus, Pikake and Hawaiian rose are used for perfumes, many varieties  of Orchids, Crown Flower, Tuberose, and Plumeria  are used to make beautiful leis. Several botanical gardens are located in the Hawaiian Islands and is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy so many of these beautiful flowers.

Hibiscus grown in so many colors ( Yellow is the Hawaii State Flower) is often used to convey a symbolic message. Did you know – that  if you see a woman with a hibiscus blossom worn on her left ear it means the woman is in a relationship and not interested in another man. If you see a woman with a hibiscus in her right ear – she is not dating anyone and is single. Just in case you ever wondered.   

I encourage you to slow down a bit as you travel throughout the islands and do take time to enjoy these beautiful flowers and enjoy the tropical fragrance.

To get started planning your trip to Hawaii :
Contact: Linda Dancer   Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331


Kauai’s Kilohana Plantation Apr 18

Visitors to Kilohana Plantation are offered a glimpse into Kauai’s agricultural history.  Built by Gaylord Parke Wilcox in 1935, the 16,000 square foot tudor style mansion was thought to be one of the most beautiful in all of Hawaii with lavish grounds and furniture, a reflection of the prosperity brought by sugar. Once sugarcane was king on Kauai and covered  large plantations of land throughout the island. The mansion was severely damaged by Hurricane Iwa in 1983, but has been completely restored, rooms that once served as the family homestead are now repurposed as a gift shop, galleries, a lounge and award winning Gaylord’s Restaurant.

Kilohana Plantation was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1974 and named a State of Hawaii Historic Landmark in 1993.

Kauai Plantation Railway  takes you on a 40-minute tour of the 105 acre Historic Kilohana Sugar Plantation – the Conductor-Narrator will introduce you to herds of Wild Pigs, Goats and Sheep – feed them if you wish, you will also see Cattle and Clydesdales. Travel through fields of fruit orchards, fields including pineapples and learn about Kauai’s agriculture history. Combined with a hike into the enchanted Kahuna Nui Valley – see amazing floral canopies, tropical forest, feed wild peacocks and play on rope swings.  Enjoy your gourmet deli lunch under the shade of Norfolk Pine Trees.

Luau Kalamaku (Kauai’s Only Theatrical Luau) is now offered at the plantation on Tuesday evenings – or  for added romance reserve the Plantation Owner’s Evening  where you will be greeted with a fresh floral lei and champagne.

Koloa Rum Company established in 2009 has won numerous awards – tasting room and company store.

I encourage you to take time to visit Kilohana Plantation during your visit to the island of Kauai  and take a glimpse of Kauai’s past.

Kilohana Plantation is located on Route 50, 1.4 miles north of Lihue- (808) 245-5608

For more information on Kilohana Plantation or booking your visit to Kauai, contact Linda Dancer 

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


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Kaua’i Museum – Hawaiian Pa’ina Begins Feb 28


Kaua'i Museum

Kaua’i Museum

Kaua’i Museum begins Hawaiian Pa’ina every first Friday of the month.

Featuring culinary favorites from award-winning Chef Mark Oyama and live Hawaiian Music. Hosted in the newly renovated courtyard from 11:30 am – 1:30pm

The Hawaiian Pa’ina costs only $20 for adults(children ages  5-10  cost $8.00)

I always stronly encourage my clients to visit the Kaua’i Museum and to be able to combine with lunch and Hawaiian music is all more reason to go.

Sugar Boiling Pot

Sugar Boiling Pot


Kaua’i Museum is located     4428 Rice Street/ Lihue,  HI 96766

Phone 808-245-6931

For more information  check out their website

Be sure and check out their gift shop as well !

To get started planning your trip to Kaua’i contact Linda Dancer

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




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Akatsuka Orchid Gardens Dec 13

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens  located on Hawaii Island has the perfect thing for that hard to buy person on your gift list, my photos of just a few of the beautiful orchids on display in their Orchid show room in Volcano, Hawaii. It might be too late to receive a live plant by Christmas, but they have several opportunities such as their Holiday Orchid Club, several fun items such as socks, beauty products and t-shirts on  their website.

To see if you can still place an order for Christmas this year call them toll free 1-888-967-6669  or email them

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens has one of the larger orchid collections in the state of Hawai’i with over 1000 plants on display, do yourself a favor and schedule a Orchid Greenhouse Tour (last about 1 hour)- I never knew that orchids came in so many beautiful colors and variations, not to mention all the other tropical flowers on display as well. You will even have the opportunity to see an orchid valued at $20,000, and  they have an exclusive collection of Cattleya hobby plants.

Located on Hwy 11 (between mile marker 22 and 23)  on the way to Volcano Town and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Showroom is wheelchair accessible

For more information on booking your trip to Hawai’i Island  contact  Linda Dancer  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331 Direct Line 828-256-1520




Mom in Hawaii 2007 081

Mom in Hawaii 2007 078

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Whaler’s Village (Maui) offers so much! Sep 27

Whaler's Village

Whaler’s Village Shopping Center located on Ka’anapali Beach, Maui offers visitors over 90 shops, beachfront dining at several restaurants, historical displays at the Whalers Village Museum and so much more. An eclectic mix of art galleries (, clothing shops for all ages such as Blue Ginger, Pacific Treasures Boutique, BillaBong(Love the Sanuk Get Leid Loafers), Honolua Surf Co., Honolua Wahine and Tori Richard, Fine jewelry such as Baron & Leeds, Brighton(ask about their Hawai’i charm bracelet), Maui Divers, Na Hoku and Pandora. Have a long list of folks back home that you need to buy some special souvenir for? Not to worry you can find it at Whaler’s Village at stores such  ABC Stores, Honolulu Cookie Company,Martin & MacArthur, Totally Hawaiian Gift Gallery, Maui Toy Works, SWAROVSKI or something totally unique Lahaina Scrimshaw.
If during your shop till you drop outing at Whaler’s Village you should get hungry or thirsty  that is covered at the Food Court as well with everything from  Nikki’s Pizza, Subway,McDonald’s Express, Dragon Wall Express followed by something to cool you off at Haagen-Dazs or Yogurtland. Check out what is happening on Centerstage as well during your visit Lei-Making Classes, Hula Lessons and more.
But then there are those those romantic evenings on Maui, where you look  for the perfect mix  of sunsets  and fine dining-Whaler’s Village has that covered too!

Lei Lani's

Oceanfront dining at Leilani’s on the Beach offers the finest steaks,chops,ribs and the best of Hawaii’s fresh local fish and seafood, and the team at Leilani’s do an amazing job with intimate birthday parties, engagement dinners or rehearsal dinners (reservations accepted and suggested).Hula Grill offers live entertainment daily combined with wonderful island flavors, or Maui Fish & Pasta offers farm to table menu just steps from the beach, open air atmosphere overlooking the ocean,what better way to spend Happy Hour – Early Bird Specials –
The Star of the Show!


And then there are the Whales!

If you are lucky enough to visit Maui or her sister islands of Molokai or Lanai  during whale season, the star of the show will be the whales, and this one decided to visit while we were dining at Maui Fish & Pasta, so just another reason to visit Whaler’s Village. You just can’t plan these magical experiences so always have your camera handy so you do not miss the opportunity to catch them.

Whaler’s Village is Located on beautiful  Ka’anapali Beach:
2435 Ka’anapali Parkway – Lahaina, Maui  Hawai’i 96761 / Hours Daily: 930am-1000pm 
PARKING: Available in the multilevel parking garage adjacent to Whaler’s Village.
SHUTTLE SERVICE – Catch the free Ka’anapali Resort Shuttle from your hotel /the trolley picks up various times of the day  from 1000am to 1000pm from several hotels and resorts throughout the Ka’anapali Resort   OR the Lahaina Shuttle  is also an option for a nominal fee- Check with your hotel concierge for pick-up times and locations  depending upon your dates of travel.
Ka’anapali Beachwalk  if you are staying  at resorts  such as the Hyatt Regency Maui, Westin Maui, Ka’anapali Alii  a short walk from your resort along the ocean is another option for you.
Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 /Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
Tedeschi Vineyards – Maui’s Winery Jun 07

Most everyone wants to visit Maui for golden beaches, fabulous resorts along the coast, and to play in the beautiful blue of the Pacific ocean, but personally I also love to go Upcountry, taking the scenic drive along Hwy 37, just past the tiny town of Keokea, this is where you will find Tedeschi Vineyards – Maui’s Winery.

   Maui’s Winery is situated on the historic grounds of what was once known as Rose Ranch where King Kalakaua came to relax, the cottage housing the tasting room was built for King Kalakaua, as you stroll throughout the original gardens, under 100 year old trees you know you have arrived at a very special place.  Literally as you tour the grounds with the winery staff, you are walking the same pathways once taken by ali’i(royalty). Throughout the tour you will learn how many of the historic lava rock buildings are now used in the wine making process, as well as the steps necessary to produce wine.

So how did Maui’s only commercial winery come to be in the middle of Ulupalakua Ranch?  In 1974 the winery  in collaboration with the ranch  began to grow grapes in keeping with the agricultural heritage of the area,  while the grapes were growing and maturing  the winery began to experiment with  pineapples that were already plentiful on the island and produced a sparkling wine that was very well received by the public, but hard to produce they had to come up with other options a little easier to produce, after three years of experimenting  Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. Finally in 1984 the first grape product was released in the form of :Maui Brut Sparkling, and today they have a wide variety of wines to offer.

 When you enter the tasting room, you are welcome to sample both grape and pineapple wines all made on Maui-

The tasting room is open daily  9:00am – 5:00pm

Free guided tours of the winery are offered at 10:30am and 1:30pm – no reservations are required  ( but they do make reservations for small private winery tours and tastings – and groups of 10 or more guests – contact them via email ).

If you go during lunch time, I suggest you go just across the  street to the Ulupalakua Ranch Store, get lunch to go and have a picnic under the majestic old trees that stand guard over the winery. If you are brave enough try the famous Ulupalakua elk burgers, but as for me still working up my courage to try that, I prefer something from the grill from Maui Cattle Company Beef, and then spend time in the winery gift shop and history room after lunch.

So how do you go Upcountry to find the Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui’s Winery ?   Located about 1 hour ‘s drive from the resort areas of Wailea and Ka’anapali.

From Central Maui, take Hana Highway (Hwy 36)  to Haleakala Highway (Hwy 37)  – at the town of Keokea, stay to the right and continue another 5.1 miles to Ulupalakua.

Maui’s Winery – P O BOX 953, Ulupalakua, Hawai’i 96790 – Toll Free 1-877-878-6058

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


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Four of my favorite books on Hawai’i May 31

   Regardless of how many times I visit the Hawaiian islands I continue to learn more about the history of these beautiful islands. Part of of my love for the islands and curiosity  is fueled  by several books I have read over the years, especially those about the Royal Family, preservation of the islands,  local restaurants and folklore.

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani   with introduction by Glen Grant  – Mutual Publishing -Honolulu,Hawaii – First published in 1898, this book was a plea for justice for her people during the difficult years at the end of the nineteenth century.

Exploring Lost Hawai’i – Places of Power,History,Mystery & Magic  by Ellie and William Crow — Island Heritage Publishing (a division of the Madden Corporation) – The writers spent a great deal of time doing research and it shows covering everything from menehune, sacred heiau and powerful ali’i. Covering historical and cultural significant sites on all the islands, and providing details, directions to each site and they share their own personal experiences during their visits.

Preserving Paradise – Opportunities in Volunteering for Hawai’i’s Environment  by Kirsten Whatley  Island Heritage Publishing (a division of the Madden Corporation)   to order 1-800-468-2800  — Whether  helping to remove invasive nonnative plants from ancient  taro patches  or ancient fish ponds, building cages in the sand to protect sea turtle eggs from predators – if you are willing to give up one day of your vacation there are many grass-root organizations working across all the Hawaiian Islands to preserve the beautiful islands we all love so much. This book is full of opportunities to help preserve paradise.

The Puka Guide – 100 Hawaiian-Style Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants  by Donovan M. Dela Cruz and Jodi Endo Chai ( Forward by Chef Alan Wong)   Watermark Publishing   1-866-900-Book      This wonderful little book is a wealth of information about all the hidden culinary treasures throughout the islands – the way the writers tells the history of each restaurant, offers directions, phone number  and hours of operation  and the must try item(s) on the menu.

Contact: Linda Dancer    Email   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Honolua Store May 17

Honolua Store

Located in the Kapalua Resort on Maui, the Honolua Store has been providing delicious food, groceries and essentials  since 1929. Maui residents, first time visitors to Maui as well as repeat island guest can be found gathering inside the store for a causal meal and to “talk story”.  Originally built in 1929,  the building served as the company store for the thriving plantation village that would later come to be known as Kapalua Resort.
Known island wide for its speciality “Hawaiian Comfort Food” , still preparing recipes handed down from generation to generation.  Great option if you are on your Honeymoon and you want to get something to go as you drive around the island and stop for a picnic somewhere with an amazing view. Great option for families  or small groups to have them prepare catering,they have lots of options to choose from and their friendly staff  will help you come up with a plan that is perfect for your situation. Daily lunch specials, pizza, specialty salads, sandwiches and wraps, fresh from the grill burgers  and a children’s menu as well — and did I mention they have an amazing  Espresso Bar ?

Shopping is fun too!

Hours of Operation: Store 6am – 8pm /  Deli and Coffee Bar   6am – 3pm

 Breakfast  6am – 10am
 Lunch 10am – 3pm
Telephone 808-665-9105
 Email to place your order
502 Office Road- Lahaina,Hawai’i 96761     Kapalua Resort
Contact: Linda Dancer  Phone Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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