Hawaii Vacation Blog

Iam Tongi – American Idol, Ambassador of Aloha

Iam Tongi is the new American Idol. With his angelic voice, inspiring backstory, and gift for songwriting, Tongi has captured the hearts of the show’s judges and millions of its viewers and voters. He became a national sensation when his audition went viral. His journey to the top of the world of music and entertainment […]

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Pauoa Flats Trail – a hike to remember and ponder

Prompted by a conversation with a bar-tending friend who also happens to be a marathoner and avid trail runner, the HAT Blog recently embarked on a hike along the Pauoa Flats Trail. It’s near our home office, fairly easy, and under one mile (.75 mi). It’s only accessible from a handful of other Na Ala […]

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A Visitor’s Guide to Royal Kunia Country Club 

Whenever I find myself bogged down from work or overwhelmed with a to-do list, I do what any logical person would: I golf. And my go-to golfing spot is the Royal Kunia Country Club.  Royal Kunia has never let me down (my game, however, usually does). It is also a favorite among visitors seeking an […]

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Why Hawaii Loves Iam Tongi, American Idol Winner

Though Iam Tongi’s American Idol season is fading into the past, he remains a beloved musician throughout Hawaii and beyond. Let’s take a look at the Hawaiian musician’s rise to fame and what he’s up to today. Iam Tong’s American Idol Season I’ve never been much of an American Idol fan. Not even a little. […]

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‘Iao Valley State Monument and the legend of the ‘Iao Needle

We can now add Iao Valley State Monument on Maui to the short list of popular Hawaii natural attractions that require reservations for nonresidents. We’ll get to that. First, we’re here to talk about the famous Iao Needle and the ancient Hawaiian legend of how it came to be. ‘Iao Valley was designated as a […]

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Liliha Bakery Kalihi – an original classic

We wrote about the famous Liliha Bakery here at the HAT Blog a decade ago. We’ve been back many times since, and, frankly, nothing has changed (it opened in 1950). That is a wonderful thing. Much has been written over the years about the venerable old diner, many fawning and cutesy local news segments produced […]

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Honolulu Museum of Art – home at HOMA

We’re happy to report that the HAT Blog visited the Honolulu Museum of Art (HOMA in brief) over the weekend. We’re also ashamed to confess that we haven’t been there in years. We’re glad we returned to learn about what’s new at HoMA, what’s ongoing, and what is in store for the future of the […]

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Live music in Hawaii – a vacation essential

Every Hawaii vacation has its own soundtrack. You won’t hear it anywhere else. You can’t take the immediate intimacy of the sounds of the surf or the birdsong of the forest home with you, except in your heart and mind (or a low-fi social media clip, perhaps). That internal soundtrack should include live music in […]

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Makiki Valley Trail: A Walk Through History

Makiki Valley Trail on Oahu is one of the island’s most popular hiking trails. It’s well-maintained and clearly marked, making it a great choice for smart visitors who don’t want to risk trespassing, getting lost, or encountering off-trail dangers.  Here’s everything you need to know about this great hiking trail! Makiki Valley Trail: Know Before […]

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Monarch Poke – a new local favorite

A friend of the HAT Blog, Chef Adam Gilbert, opened Monarch Poke in Pearl City in November 2022. Located in a nondescript strip mall near Pearlridge Shopping Center, the dishes on offer belie the workaday tedium of shoe stores, auto body shops, and plate lunch joints that typify the area. A recent Friday lunchtime visit […]

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3 best Honolulu pub crawls

The wind and rain continue to howl and lash here in Honolulu, and throughout most of Hawaii, with no sign of letting up any time soon. It’s fine, though, except perhaps for my wife’s new clutch of doomed houseplants and the Aloha State residents who’ve been inundated by turbid floodwaters or had their property whipped […]

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Kealia Trail – a forest foray

Wind and rain are battering my lanai, rattling the sliding glass doors and my normally steady state of relative calm. A “Kona low” has settled in over pretty much the whole state of Hawaii and I’m scrolling through the photo gallery on my phone, unable to muster the gumption to do…anything. Pictures of a recent […]

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