Kris Bordessa

At Shore Bird Restaurant & Beach Bar, diners can grill their own entees.

At Shore Bird Restaurant & Beach Bar, diners can grill their own entees.

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Hawaii, make reservations for dinner at the Shore Bird Restaurant and Beach Bar. The open air, oceanfront restaurant located in the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Waikiki affords a gorgeous sunset view from Waikiki Beach, making this a great spot for a romantic interlude. But it’s not your usual restaurant meal.

Once you’ve placed your order, your server will bring your fresh meat or seafood entrée to the table – for you to cook. You’ll be instructed on suggested cooking time for your entrée and sent off to the community grill. The grilling area features a professional grill and is equipped with various cooking sauces, spices, and barbecue utensils as well as a large clock with which to keep track of cooking time. It’s a fun and festive atmosphere as diners mingle over the grill awaiting their entrées. Mai tai optional.

–Kris Bordessa of Honolulu On The Cheap and Big Island On The Cheap

{ 0 comments }

The Royal Hawaiian Band

The Royal Hawaiian Band

Visitors to the islands will find plenty of music to enjoy, but one continuing musical tradition dates back to 1836. Founded by King Kamehameha III, The Royal Hawaiian Band (formerly known as The King’s Band) still performs regularly throughout Hawaii and around the world. The heart of the Royal Hawaiian Band, the only full time municipal band in the United States, is Hawaiian music. Featuring stylized Hawaiian melodies including “Sophisticated Hula” and “Hukilau” the band always closes with the famous “Aloha Oe” composed by Queen Liliuokalani. There are several standing dates on Oahu where you can catch a free concert: Read More »

{ 1 comment }

Santa waving a shaka

Santa waving a shaka

The thought of Christmas may evoke jingle bells and sleigh rides for many folks, but those of us who call Hawaii home have a slightly different version of holiday cheer. If you’re lucky enough to be spending the holiday on Oahu, you’ll find palm trees lit with Christmas lights, see Santa waving a shaka, and hear Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) wherever you go. You might even be lucky enough to catch Santa’s arrival on a surfboard. The following events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Ride the Pearlridge Express -  Children under 48″ can climb aboard the Pearlridge Express for only $3. The train chugs around the Uptown Center Court from November 19-January 2.

Santa’s German Gingerbread Village – The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Hawaii features an edible winter wonderland made of gingerbread and other sweet treats created by Executive Chef Ralf Bauer and his team of culinary artists. November 24 to January 3, 2011 in the resort’s lobby.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

The Kahala Hotel and Resort has appeared on an episode of Hawaii Five-0, and it is rumored it will appear again on future episodes.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort has appeared on an episode of Hawaii Five-0, and it is rumored it will appear again on future episodes.

The new Hawaii Five-0 television series is making a splash across the nation with an all-new cast bringing Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danno (Scott Caan), and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) back to the islands. They’re joined by Kona Kalakaua (Grace Park) and an occasional appearance by Jean Smart, who plays the part of Hawaii’s governor. Visitors to Oahu can add some famous filming locations from vintage 5-0 and the new 2010 series to their itinerary. Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Wine tasting in Hawaii

by Kris Bordessa on November 10, 2010

Volcano Winery

Volcano Winery crafts wines from Symphony grapes as well as tropical fruits like guava.

Hawaii. Sun, sand, and…wine tasting? The islands may not be your first thought when you think of wine tasting, but oenophiles visiting Hawaii will be happy to note that the beach isn’t the only place to check for great legs. The state of Hawaii boasts two wineries with unique vintages, as well as an assortment of shops that offer wine tasting and special events.

OAHU

The Wine Stop – This shop offers complimentary wine tasting a couple times a week, along with a variety of special events and seminars. Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Byodo-In Buddhist temple

Byodo-In Buddhist temple

No matter your religious affiliation, these places of worship offer a unique opportunity to experience the history and diverse culture of Hawaii. Enjoy the serenity of a Buddhist Temple, see the first Christian church raised in Oahu by missionaries, and pay respects to the Hawaiian culture at a heiau.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

A Hawaiian Shave Ice!

A Hawaiian shave ice!

Don’t call it a snow cone. Sure, it has a base of ice topped with circus-bright colors, but the similarity ends there. Where snow cones are made from tiny, crunchy chunks of ice, Hawaii’s favorite treat is made of finer stuff. It’s fluffy and airy, much like freshly fallen snow. While most of the island residents refer to these as ‘shave ice’ or ‘shaved ice,’ folks from the eastern side of the Big Island may confuse you when they call it ‘ice shave.’ No worries; it’s all the same stuff. Order yours with azuki beans or li hing mui for real island flavor!

Check out these favorite island spots for shave ice:

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

A display at the Hawaii Army Museum

A few months ago I told you about exploring World War II history at Pearl Harbor. And while Pearl Harbor tops the list for most Hawaii visitors as a must-see World War II site, history and military buffs will no doubt want to delve deeper. From war memorials to a museum housed in a solid concrete battery, these spots will satisfy the most avid WWII (or any war for that matter) enthusiast.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Fun stops for kids on Oahu

by Kris Bordessa on September 24, 2010

The Dole Plantation

Sure, the beaches in Hawaii are like a great big sandbox. But the sun and surf day after day can wear a kid out. When you need a break from the sun, these family-friendly stops are surefire kid pleasers.

Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center – Catering specifically to young children, the center captivates kids with hands-on exhibits and experiences. Learn about the human body, explore different cultures, discover the plantation history of Hawaii, or imagine what it would be like to be a firefighter. Fair warning: you may need to drag your kids out of there. Maybe shave ice is a good incentive?

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Hawaiian Hurricane popcorn is made from a blend of popcorn, rice crackers, and nori.

If you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive souvenir to bring home from your Hawaiian vacation, look beyond the cheapo 4-for-$10 T-shirts. Take something home that will really give your friends and family a taste of the island. That’s right, folks. I’m suggesting that you shop for souvenirs…at the grocery store. Check the snack aisle or the Asian food aisle, and you’re bound to find something that your friends at home have never even heard of before. Here are a few suggestions:

Crack Seed: This local favorite is primarily a variety of dehydrated and preserved fruits. Crack seed came to Hawaii with the first Chinese immigrants who came to work the plantations – and it’s here to stay. The sweet and salty dried fruit is often flavored with li hing mui. You can pick up crack seed at any grocery store or stop in at a specialty shop like the Crack Seed Center in the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

One-Ton Chips: The Maebo Noodle Factory has been making One-Ton Chips in Hawaii for nearly 60 years.  Made with dough similar to that used to make wontons, these chips are crispy and slightly sweet. You’ll find them in the grocer’s snack aisle or – sometimes – at Costco. Read More »

{ 0 comments }