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Archive for the Category "Hawaii Travel"

Enhancements at Kauai Beach Resort Aug 01

One of my favorite hotels on the island of Kaua’i, Aqua Kauai Beach Resort offers guest so much:

Guest Rooms are of traditional plantation-style rooms and suites with private balconies that showcase views of the ocean,beach and mountains:

Choose from 4 dining options from casual grab & go breakfasts to poolside cocktails and Pacific Island Cuisine :

Enhanced experience by adding a six-foot circular fire pit at the SHUTTERS FIRESIDE LOUNGE and newly installed custom artwork glass by Jules Cannon of Sun Solutions at the Naupaka Terrace.

Four Saline Swimming Pools including 2 Lagoon Pools with Waterfalls, 75 Ft Lava Tube Waterslide and Two Whirlpool  Spas :

** sip tropical Mai Tais or Lava Flows at the poolside Driftwood Bar & Grille

Rental Car Agency on site if you want to take advantage of resort airport transportation, Market Shop, Conference Center – great for small groups or family reunion space, private beach and Fitness Center:

Art & Wine Thursdays are a signature event at the resort on every first Thursday of the month from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Held in the lower lobby an art and wine reception featuring a different wine region from around the world each month.

Aqua Kauai Beach Resort is also a great destination to host your destination wedding -several ceremony locations within the 25 acres of lush grounds and a dedicated team to plan every detail.

To get started planning  your trip to Kaua’i contactLinda Dancer Direct Line 828-256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

Watching Mushrooms Grow Jun 27

One of the great things about visiting the Hawaiian Islands is the diversity of activities and tours available to visitors. One of the fastest segments of tours  are foodie , farm or farm to table tours.  Hamakua Mushroom Farm located on Hawaii Island is one such tour that I have had the pleasure of personally experiencing and found the process so interesting. Hamakua Mushrooms are a speciality and exotic mushroom grown in a mixture of corncob, wheat bran and grandis eucalyptus sawdust. Mushrooms are carefully cultivated to grow out of a bottle (shown in my photos above) a method originally developed in Japan. Using the now available automated processes that have been developed allows growers to produce their product commercially. This process has allowed Hamakua Mushrooms to develop their signature “Ali’i” Mushroom.

Hamakua Mushroom Farm  is located in Laupahoehoe on Hawaii Island (Big Island), so think about adding this tour when visiting the Hilo side of the island.  Hawai’i County gives Hawaii Island farmers a chance to showcase their agricultural products while giving visitors a taste of a real farming experience through Hawaii AG Tours.

For larger groups and special events the farm also has an Events House – chef catered menus can be created for your special celebration for groups of 4-50 people or information email  reservations@hamakuamushrooms.com  

Contact them directly to book a tour on the Tour Line  (808) 962-0305 

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

Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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Tips to Help Reduce Jet Lag On Flights to Hawai’i Apr 04
Hydrate before your long flight to cut down on jet lag.

Hydrate before your long flight to cut down on jet lag.

When anyone begins to think about where to go on vacation, certainly the length of the flights for many is a huge deciding factor about where to consider traveling to. As a Hawai’i specialist, this is normally one of the first questions I am asked as I begin to work with new clients looking for the perfect destination for their Honeymoon. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to reduce the time it takes to fly from the east coast to Hawai’i but I have found that concentrating on being hydrated helps considerably to cut down on my jet-lag.  I have found that when I drink plenty of water before the flight, stick to fruit juice and herbal tea during flight I am not nearly as irritable or tired when I arrive and my muscles take sitting for long periods of time a lot better.

In addition, for the days leading up to my trip I avoid salty foods and snacks and instead  eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. I avoid caffeine and alcohol  because both can have the opposite effect people are looking for and can prevent you from sleeping on the flight. In addition I try to avoid high-fat meals opting instead to eat lighter meals with protein such as grilled chicken, broccoli and a salad.  I also take protein bars as a healthy snack during the flight.

For those that are seriously worried about it, there are some websites that even go as far as preparing customized travel plans , one such site is Stop Jet Lag.

I hope these simple thoughts will help you next time you are on a long flight.

For Information on planning your trip to Hawai’i  Contact: Linda Dancer  Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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

 

 

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  www.kauaimuseum.org

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

Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

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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 citylights.honolulu@gmail.com   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

Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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Helpful Travel Tips for Hawai’i Nov 08

Aloha Bus

Welcome to Hawaii

 

There are direct flights to Maui, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island from many west coast cities, but many visitors  to Hawai’i arrive through Honolulu International Airport and then a short flight over to the outer islands. Currently all major domestic air carriers and 14 international carriers fly into Honolulu, O’ahu.

Once you have arrived to your island of choice, many ground transportation options are available for you but by far, rental cars are the most popular option because you will want to explore the island you are visiting and a rental car gives you the most freedom to do so. Lock your doors and don’t leave any personal belongings in your unattended vehicle.

In addition to rental cars, round trip airport transfers, local buses such as the Aloha Bus, motorcycles, rental bikes and mopeds are available. Depending upon the resort destination you have confirmed your hotel in, there are also shuttles that run between shopping and dining options such as within Wailea and Kaanapali Beach Resort areas on Maui.

Some other helpful tips:

Time Zone : Hawai’i Standard Time  is the time zone for the Hawai’i Islands. ** Hawai’i doesn’t observe daylight savings time, so remember to add one hour to the time difference when visiting during (March to early November)

Area Code:  The area code for the entire state is 808– Hawai’i has very strict cell phone laws requiring the use of a hands-free device while driving.

Ocean Safety: You are on vacation, and although the ocean is Hawai’i’s playground to ensure a safe time while on vacation heed the warning signs posted about dangerous currents and offshore winds found in certain areas.Don’t stray far from shore and do not ignore warning signs when swimming,kayaking,stand up paddle boarding or windsurfing. For extra safety try to visit beaches that provide a lifeguard. For information about beach safety  Hawaii Ocean Safety.

Island Dress Code: You are on vacation no need to bring a suit and tie. “Resort Wear”  is appropriate even at the most luxurious of resorts throughout the islands which is considered shorts,polo shirts,sundresses, T-Shirts  and Aloha Shirts, jeans – but do check the restaurant dress codes as some will require long pants and collared shirt for gentleman.

***** It is a custom in Hawai’i to slip off your shoes when entering a home. 

USDA Inspections: The USDA enforces strict rules regarding the importation and exportation of uninspected plants and animals. Before landing in Hawai’i you will fill out a form to declare such items that you are bringing to the island/ likewise / When departing your luggage must pass through a pre-flight check and a sticker placed on your bag as proof it has been inspected for fresh flowers or fruits that visitors might try to sneak home. You can purchase fresh pineapples and flower leis  that have been inspected once you clear security to take home with you. For more information check out the USDA website

Other Helpful Hawaii Tips can be found at Travel Smart Hawaii

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

Email Address: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park Sep 13

Punalu'u Beach Park

Clients are always asking me where they can go to see a black sand beach and honu( Hawaii green sea turtles) Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park is always one of the first places that I suggest they visit.
lined by palm trees

 On Hawaii Island(The Big Island) this beautiful beach is a favorite spot for locals to boogie board and fish but is also a spot frequented often by green sea turtles.  A great photo opportunity for visitors especially if you are lucky enough to can catch the pod of spinner dolphins that sometimes play off shore  amazing everyone with their acrobatic show.

According to local legend, ancient Hawaiians dove underwater with a jug to obtain freshwater during times or drought, as oddly enough this beach has a large amount of cold freshwater flowing from underground. If you take the time to wander near the boat ramp at the north end of the beach you will see the ruins of a heiau(shrine) and a flat sacrificial stone. Inland you will also see a memorial for Henry ‘Opukaha’ia at his birthplace, he entered the Foreign Mission School at age 17 with the vision of bringing Christianity to Hawai’i, but sadly he died of typhoid fever in 1818, but his dream would be fullfilled in 1820 with the arrival of the first Protestant missionaries.
Also you will find:
**Just past the parking area with a protected area surrounded by a rock wall you will find ancient  petroglyphs(ancient carvings)
**Nearby is Ninole Cove, a small beach with a grassy area and lagoon good for swimming
** Restrooms, picnic tables and camping (by permit)  are also available
Please be advised however:
Although easily accessible there is no lifeguard on duty. Swimming can be dangerous due to strong rip currents and a very rocky bottom.
Always check ocean conditions before entering the ocean-
** When in doubt, don’t go out! Great advise from the locals.
Located on Hwy 11, 27 miles south of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
For more information or to book your vacation to Hawaii Island :
Contact:Linda Dancer Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com  Direct Line 828-256-1520
Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Exploring Maui’s Hana Coast Aug 30

Road to Hana

The beautiful Maui town of Hana is isolated from the rest of Maui by geography and can only be accessed by a short flight into the small airport or most often  by driving the “Road to Hana”, the destination is lovely, but the journey along the Road to Hana is such an experience one should not miss when you visit Maui.  Few drives throughout the Hawaiian islands are as beautiful as the Road to Hana, complete with black sand beach,waterfalls,cliffs,rainforest and incredible ocean views.
To get to Hana, one must travel  Highway 36/ which turns into Highway 360(Hana Highway) which is a 52-mile two-lane road with over 200 hairpin turns and cross over about 50 bridges-expect the trip to take about three hours from Kahului so allow a full day for this adventure. One of the first stops along the Road to Hana is Paia, a former mill town that is today a surfer spot with several restaurants,galleries and shops
At Mile Marker 2, a great stop is  Twin Falls  (Twin Falls Fruit Stand is your landmark)

Waianapanapa Beach

I suggest you take a picnic lunch if you are driving  the Road to Hana and stop at Mile Marker 32 at Waianapanapa State Park and Beach -A beautiful black lava-sand beach, a great contrast  to the surrounding ocean and lush rainforest. Here visitors will find picnic pavillions, restrooms, walking trails and a fruit stand. Careful-this beach is more for photo opportunities than swimming, the surf on the east side is rough and can be unforgiving. Spend some extra time after lunch and walk down to the Waianapanape Caves and learn about the tragic end of Princess Popoalaea’s life as she hid in the cave. Just past the town of Hana you will find Hamoa Beach, one of the best beaches on Maui.

Oheo Gulch

 Continue on for about 10 miles further to Kipahulu area where you will find Oheo Gulch, home to the Seven Sacred Pools a series of cascading waterfalls that make for an incredible swimming hole( the water temperature is normally a little chilly). Please be advised that the pools can change with the weather as they are filled by rainwater from the mountain above. Sometimes placid fed by graceful waterfalls, but with heavy rains on the mountain the gorge can turn into a dangerous muddy torrent and should be avoided. If you have allowed enough time (about 2-2.5 hours) before you leave the park, a beautiful hike along the Pipiwai Trail through a bamboo forest up to the Waimoku Waterfall is so worth the effort.
 Although Kipahulu  is actually part of the Haleakala National Park and may not look like that big of a distance on the map, the summit of Haleakala and Kipahula area  are not near each other and it is not a good idea to try to visit both on the same day.
** Just beyond this point  you will find the grave site of Charles Lindbergh at the Kipahulu Point Light Station.

Regardless of whether you choose to drive the Road to Hana yourself, or let someone else do the driving such as the tour that I took with Valley Isle Exursions so you can enjoy the amazing scenery along the way, just do it. Having done it both ways, I must say I enjoyed the day I spent with Valley Isle Excursions much more, I was able to relax and just take in the scenery that I missed before driving and trying to keep up with mile markers and landmarks.

Some pointers for driving the Road to Hana :     
* Be sure and take something if you get car sick
* Remember if you want to swim in the Seven Sacred Pools or visit any of the beaches to bring your swimsuit, a change of clothes and beach towels.
* I suggest maybe taking an old pair of sneakers that you do not mind getting dirty so you can hike to the waterfalls and other sites along the way
* Don’t forget  sunscreen, mosquito repellent and I normally take a small cooler of bottled water
* Very few options for getting gasoline in your car  so make sure you start out with a full tank of gas-Fill up in Hana before heading on to Oheo Gulch – the gas station closes early
* Get an early start, you won’t be as rushed, I always leave my resort by around 6:00am or so to try to beat the traffic as much as possible
* There are some road side stands to purchase fresh fruits and local crafts but vendors rarely have change for large bills or operate on the honor system so I try to take one dollar bills for this reason
* Start  your trip back to your resort before dark, I really would not suggest you drive the Road to Hana at night
With a little pre planning your trip on the Road to Hana will be something you remember forever. The Road to Hana is all about what lies just beyond the next curve in the road!
Contact: Linda Dancer   Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com Direct Line:828-256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
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
Kayaking on Kaua’i Jul 19

 Being the oldest inhabited island in the Hawaiian Island chain has given  Kaua’i  the distinction of being the only Hawaiian Island with navigable rivers. Kaua’i has had more time for wind and water erosion to deepen and widen cracks into streams and streams into rivers.  Rivers are navigable but given Kaua’i  is a small island  the rivers are rather short in length, with no rapids and perfect for Kayakers of all levels, even beginners.

In addition to navigable rivers Kaua’i also has beautiful coastline for advanced paddlers along the Napali Coastline (best done in the summer months when the seas are at their calmest). National Geographic Adventure has ranked kayaking Napali Coast second on its list of America’s Best 100 adventures for two years in a row, second only to the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Tours run May through September, ocean conditions permitting, during winter months sea kayaking tours operate on the South Shore, still beautiful but not as dramatic as the Napali Coastline.

  There are several kayak tour and kayak rental companies on Kaua’i but if you are traveling to Kaua’i during peak summer and holiday seasons, making your reservations at least a couple of weeks is suggested. For the most part the tour operators are open year round, most offer tours Monday through Saturday, very limited are available on Sunday.  Regardless of the tour you book  you will need to take your swimsuit,sunscreen, a hat, bug repellant (some of the kayak tours also include tours on private lands), water shoes (sport sandals,aqaua socks or old tennis shoes) and motion sickness tablets if you are sea kayaking. Tour operators offer tours on the Hule’ia, Wailua and Hanalei Rivers with guided tours that also combine hikes to waterfalls, explore famous movie sites and the Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge.  Tours that operate on the Hanalei River (designated an American Heritage River) pass by Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge and many taro farms, the Hanalei River ends at Hanalei Bay as an estuary.

The majority of the tour companies use two person sit-on-top style kayaks, so you share the work with someone  so be sure you sharpen your communication skills, because the nickname for two person canoes on the river is “divorce boats”. In addition many of the tour companies offer alternative adventure tours such as zipline, down hill cycling and standup paddle boarding and even swimming at the base of a remote waterfall.

If you just want to kayak on your own, then I suggest the Hanalei River, I feel the most scenic seen from the kayak, no trails to hike but the most convenient of all is there is a kayak rental company right on the river, no having to haul kayaks on top of your car. Be sure and check water conditions  at www.kauaiexplorer.com before you head out.

Several of my favorite Kayak Tour Operators on Kaua’i:

Outfitters Kaua’i – 2827A Poipu Road-Poipu Beach, Kaua’i 96756  (808) 742-9667

Kayak Kaua’i – 1 mile past Hanalei Bridge, Hanalei Hi 96714 (808) 826-9844 /  second location on Kuhio Highway in Kapaa for Wailua River Tours

Napali Kayak 5-5075 Kuhio Hwy – (Next to Postcards Cafe)  Hanalei, HI 96714 (808) 826-6900  – focuses on sea kayaking

Contact: Linda Dancer  Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com  Direct Line (828) 256-1520 /Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

 

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