Arts and Culture

Discovering Hawaii: Beyond Its Beaches, Umbrella Drinks and Shave Ice!

hawaiian shave ice

Our Hawaii Islands are a truly unique place to visit for many reasons, including the incredible natural beauty that attracts millions of visitors yearly. Towering valleys, cascading waterfalls, swaying palms, and, of course, pristine beaches and ocean waters undeniably fuel our tourism traffic.

black lava rocks on big island beach

However, lifting the veil of the usual visions of paradise, dig a bit deeper to discover the fascinating history, culture, and cuisine that make this island archipelago so special.

map of the hawaiian islands

Most Remote Island Chain in the World

Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the planet located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean more than 2,000 miles from the closest continent. It traces its earliest settlers to Polynesian ocean voyagers followed centuries later by Western Europeans with Spanish and Portuguese immigrants among them. Adding to the ethnic melting pot were citizens of Mexico, Japan, China, Philippines, Korea, and, more recently, those from various regions of Southeast Asia.

guitar on the beach in hawaii

Mixed Cultural Backgrounds

The result? A fascinating mixed plate of everything from cuisine and architecture, song and dance, art and ocean sports to sustainable agriculture and aquaculture methods. On Hawaii Island, I encourage you to take time to visits the coffee farms scattered along the hillsides in the famous Kona growing region; the boutique produce farms in Waimea and South Kona Waimea; Anna Ranch in Waimea for an immersion into the rich paniolo (cowboy) and ranching heritage of this upcountry area; the Isaac Art Center and Gallery (also in Waimea). Most hotels and resorts throughout the island host a variety of Hawaiian cultural programs for guests that include lei making, hula and ukulele lessons, lauhala weaving, and an introduction to the Hawaiian language, among others, in addition to numerous ocean sport adventures, including outrigger canoe paddling, sailing canoes, stand up paddling, surfing and more!

colorful Hawaiian flower lei floating in water

Appetizing Local Foods

Following all that activity, dig into some tantalizing local foods – poke, Korean barbecue, sushi and sashimi, kalua pig and cabbage, spam musubi, huli huli chicken, lau lau, and potato mac salad. Don’t forget two scoops of rice and Portuguese donuts (malasadas) – a must-try sweet treat!

More Information

For information on unique real estate opportunities such as this throughout Hawaii Island, please contact Carrie Nicholson, R(B), BIC, Director of HL1-Big Island, (808) 896-9749 or

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