If You Didn’t Know How To Swim, Would That Stop You From Coming To Hawaii?

Okay, so this is definitely a validated question. After all, Hawaii’s islands are surrounded entirely by water. But to decide not to travel to Hawaii because you can’t swim is assuming Hawaii is only for water enthusiasts. Coming from the islands we can say that there is more (much, much more) to do in Hawaii than just swim in the warm waters. It is true, however, that many vacationers choose Hawaii for this exact reason; to float in the ocean in nothing but a bikini, get some surf action in, or snorkel, but for them to say this is all they did on their entire 7-night stay would be an exaggeration. Plus, the water logged wrinkly skin would just get too ugly, not to mention swimming at night is a bit scary too.

But seriously, Hawaii offers its visitors and residents a plethora of land activities. Hiking, sightseeing, driving tours, museums and parks, shopping, zoos and aquariums, botanical gardens and waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches (just the sand part), the new zip line activity, biking, strolling, seriously the list could be endless. Hawaii is so much more than just it’s ocean activity parts, so have no fear visiting Hawaii, even if you can’t swim.

Two experiences I want to share that relate to this:

A friend visited from the mainland and made it known that he couldn’t swim, nor wanted to attempt to learn. Most comfortable swimmers’ response is, “Come on! It’s easy! I can teach you!” While for this person it seems ridiculously easy to teach someone to swim, the non-swimmer is truly frightened and most likely anxious about their near future experience in the water. Not knowing how to swim is a scary thing, which is why most people learn at a young age.

Anyways, I didn’t let his “don’t know how to swim” thing get in the way of taking him to some of Oahu’s most breathtaking beaches, because honestly, whether or not you can swim, you still can appreciate a beautiful beach when you see it. I took him to Lani Kai on the east side of Oahu, which is, for those who don’t know, a white sand beach with very temperate, enticing turquoise waters. And wouldn’t you know it, he decided to wade in the waters!

It made it easier for him to conquer his ocean fears by #1, me not pushing him to swim or making it seem like a big deal that he couldn’t, and #2, taking him to a place that was calm and tranquil enough for him to debate swimming. And when he allowed his bravery to override his fear, he found out he could comfortably wade in the shallows with his feet safely on the sandy bottom the whole time. So for those who don’t know how to swim, there is always a calm ocean pond or beach for you to test your skills and gain confidence in.

My second relevant story is when I was on a tour boat for shark diving. It was a small, intimate tour and I assumed everyone who was on the boat would be getting into the water to swim with sharks. Plus, it’s a somewhat pricey tour, so you would think anyone willing to pay the price would want to go for the whole experience. As we were all gearing up to jump in the shark cage and deciding who was going first, the captain looked at one woman and said, “Which group would you like to be in?” And she responded, quite emphatically, “Oh no, I’m not getting in!”

I thought to myself, now that’s strange. She pays for the tour but doesn’t actually do the tour. But then my second thought was, well who says the shark cage tour is all about seeing the sharks? Okay, majority of people would say it is, but if you think about it, it’s kind of like that old saying, “the journey is the reward”. The final destination or “reward” doesn’t exist without the journey, so who is to say what is more important to one person or the next? For this woman, the experience of watching her family members enjoy the tour was well worth the money, which is totally fine. And for those who struggle about visiting Hawaii if they can’t swim, you have to think about the rest of the adventure, not just this small part of it.

When the question, “If you didn’t know how to swim, would that stop you from going to Hawaii” was asked on our Facebook page, many people responded with blatant comments such as “learn before you go!” or “just float in the water” or “strap on some water wings” but the truth is, if you can’t swim and you go in the ocean, you’re putting yourself in grave danger. But like many others commented more sincerely, there is so much more to do in Hawaii than merely swim! So don’t let this small part of life stop you from enjoying a tropical vacation, because the experience of the journey is much greater than the final destination or “reward” anyways!

Things to do in Hawaii in May

Mele Mei Month Long Celebration of Activities

Come join in Hawaiian music and hula events with the month-long Mele Mei celebration featured in and throughout Waikiki, Oahu. Events take place at various hotels, venues, and beaches and if you’re traveling to the island during this month, than this is something you will definitely not want to miss. Mele Mei kicked off last weekend with a variety of local music and cultural activities and events and will continue to be celebrated throughout the month of May.

This past weekend, Hawaiian Grammy winner Na Hoku Hanohano performed at an outdoor concert hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Local performers sang and danced the evening away, with all proceeds benefiting Charity Walk Hawaii, and with a successful turn out of tourists and locals alike.

Ukulele performer and prodigy, Jake Shimabukuro lead the “Go For The Record: Hana Hou!” event that aimed to break the record for “World’s Largest Ukulele Ensemble”. The amount of ukulele players needed to claim this title was 1,547 members, but Jake’s group came up just shy of this. However, the event was a spectacle and a treat for those involved.

May 1st was Hawaii’s famous “May Day”, which is the celebration of spring, Hawaiian style. Mele Mei celebrated this holiday with “Lei Of Stars: Outdoor Concert” at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel that lasted from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. With performances by Olomana, Eddie Kamae, Alan Akaka & The Islanders, Ron Loo, and Kumu Hula Michael Pili Pang, the event included a sit down dinner and live entertainment. The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame is located within the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, and was founded in 1994 as a non-profit educational corporation.

Coming up on Friday, May 4th, there will be a free event from 6:30pm-8:30pm at “Luxury Row”, located at 2100 Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. This event features the executive director of Legends of Steel Guitar, Ku?uipo Kumukahi. On the website, Ku’uipo writes, “The Legends of Steel is a living tribute to the founders and innovators of steel guitar, as stewards of Hawaiian Music highlighted by the mastery of these amazing innovators we are humbled to share their stories and honor their contributions to the proud tradition of Hawaiian Music”.

Saturday, May 5th not only celebrates Cinco de Mayo, but also the Lifetime Achievement Banquet Luncheon at the Ala Moana Hotel in Waikiki. Doors open at 10:00am and is followed with a no-host cocktail reception, lunch, and the awards program. General admission tickets begin at $100 and are available at http://www.nahokumusicfestival.com/eventinfo.htm.

The Legends of Steel luncheon will happen on Sunday, May 6th at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki from 10:00am until 2:00pm. This event honors the Hawaiian music styles and influence of the steel guitar, with over a dozen performers as live entertainment. Tickets are $70 and can be purchased by calling (808) 388-0559 or by emailing maikiaiufoundation@gmail.com. Make sure to bring your instrument, because an impromptu jam session is to follow the concert.

The Hawaii Book and Music Festival will happen this weekend as well, on both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm at the Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale in Historic Downtown Honolulu. Admission and parking is free, so be sure to check out this celebration of story and song!

Come join in Hawaiian music and hula events with the month-long Mele Mei celebration featured in and throughout Waikiki, Oahu. Events take place at various hotels, venues, and beaches and if you’re traveling to the island during this month, than this is something you will definitely not want to miss. Mele Mei kicked off last weekend with a variety of local music and cultural activities and events and will continue to be celebrated throughout the month of May. This past weekend, Hawaiian Grammy winner Na Hoku Hanohano performed at an outdoor concert hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Local performers sang and danced the evening away, with all proceeds benefiting Charity Walk Hawaii, and with a successful turn out of tourists and locals alike. Ukulele performer and prodigy, Jake Shimabukuro lead the “Go For The Record: Hana Hou!” event that aimed to break the record for “World’s Largest Ukulele Ensemble”. The amount of ukulele players needed to claim this title was 1,547 members, but Jake’s group came up just shy of this. However, the event was a spectacle and a treat for those involved. May 1st was Hawaii’s famous “May Day”, which is the celebration of spring, Hawaiian style. Mele Mei celebrated this holiday with “Lei Of Stars: Outdoor Concert” at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel that lasted from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. With performances by Olomana, Eddie Kamae, Alan Akaka & The Islanders, Ron Loo, and Kumu Hula Michael Pili Pang, the event included a sit down dinner and live entertainment. The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame is located within the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, and was founded in 1994 as a non-profit educational corporation. Coming up on Friday, May 4th, there will be a free event from 6:30pm-8:30pm at “Luxury Row”, located at 2100 Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. This event features the executive director of Legends of Steel Guitar, Ku?uipo Kumukahi. On the website, Ku’uipo writes, “The Legends of Steel is a living tribute to the founders and innovators of steel guitar, as stewards of Hawaiian Music highlighted by the mastery of these amazing innovators we are humbled to share their stories and honor their contributions to the proud tradition of Hawaiian Music”. Saturday, May 5th not only celebrates Cinco de Mayo, but also the Lifetime Achievement Banquet Luncheon at the Ala Moana Hotel in Waikiki. Doors open at 10:00am and is followed with a no-host cocktail reception, lunch, and the awards program. General admission tickets begin at $100 and are available at http://www.nahokumusicfestival.com/eventinfo.htm. The Legends of Steel luncheon will happen on Sunday, May 6th at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki from 10:00am until 2:00pm. This event honors the Hawaiian music styles and influence of the steel guitar, with over a dozen performers as live entertainment. Tickets are $70 and can be purchased by calling (808) 388-0559 or by emailing maikiaiufoundation@gmail.com. Make sure to bring your instrument, because an impromptu jam session is to follow the concert. The Hawaii Book and Music Festival will happen this weekend as well, on both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm at the Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale in Historic Downtown Honolulu. Admission and parking is free, so be sure to check out this celebration of story and song! For more events and information about the Mele Mei month long celebrations, visit the Mele Mei homepage at http://www.melemei.com/about.html. Firework Fridays, All Year Round in Waikiki The Hilton Hawaiian Village celebrates the simple reason of being in Hawaii with a firework show presented year round for anyone and everyone. Every Friday night beginning at 7:45pm, the Hilton puts on a display of beautiful fireworks that streak through the night sky, lasting for approximately 10 minutes. The show is at Waikiki Beach, but can be seen throughout the surrounding areas as well. Many folks recommend watching them from the concrete pier in front of the Outrigger hotel on the beach. Here you will have an ideal view of the show with your back to the hotels and high rises along Waikiki beach. Others have suggested watching the fireworks from Magic Island, because its wide, open expansiveness and park-like setting make it an ideal place for viewing. Wherever you choose to watch the display from, we recommend a blanket and maybe a picnic basket. Or, for a romantic evening, pack some desserts and a bottle of wine and snuggle up on the warm sands of Waikiki. What better way to celebrate the joy of being in the tropics than watching sparks fly between you. Waikiki Aquarium Summer Schedule For the next six weeks, the Waikiki Aquarium will celebrate summer with an array of events for visitors, families, and locals alike. If you love the ocean and its inhabitants, and always wanted to help at an aquarium, Saturday, May 5th is your chance to get involved. Volunteer Training is from 9:00am-12:00pm, and covers training on the natural history of Hawaii, the outdoor reef exhibit, the marine environment and more. Registration is required, so if you’re interested, you can reserve your spot at http://www.waquarium.org/edge-of-the-reef-eor-interpret.html. Monday, May 14th come feed wild animals at the Edge of the Reef exhibit. From 4:30pm to 6:30pm, you will discover how ocean animals capture food and have adapted to the habitat they live in. Have you ever seen an octopus open a jar to get food? See this interesting event at the Waikiki Aquarium, and learn how the Aquarium feeds the rest of its underwater members. You also get to watch the exclusive after-hours feeding time! Registration is required, with tickets priced at $20 per adult and $15 per child, or with membership, $16 per adult and $12 per child. Celebrate Summer By The Sea during the month of June at the Aquarium and spend a week of summer with snorkeling, swimming, and exploring the Pacific coast from Waikiki to Diamond Head. Members get to learn about exhibits, the animals, and feeding habits while they take behind-the-scene tours and exclusive visits around the Aquarium. Registration began on April 2nd, so hurry to reserve a spot for your child(ren) of ages 8-12. A few more activities that will be held during the summer months at the Waikiki Aquarium include World Oceans Day on Friday, June 8th from 9:00am-11:00am, Aquarium After Dark on Tuesday, June 12th from 7:00pm-9:00pm, and Beginning Fish Watching on Wednesday, June 13th from 3:00pm to 3:45pm. Registration is required for the latter two events, so check out this site to get involved: http://www.waquarium.org/community-programs.html#register. 11th Annual Kauai Polynesian Festival May 2012 From Thursday May 24th through Sunday, May 27th, Kauai’s Vidinha Stadium in Lihue presents the 2012 Kauai Polynesian Festival. A colorful presentation of culture through dance competitions, art and crafts, food, workshops, and other entertainment and events are held for four days straight in May with times ranging from 9:00am to 10:30pm. This is an outdoor event, located at the soccer field known as Vidinha Stadium in Kauai’s largest town of Lihue on the southeast side. The Kamanawa Foundation celebrates their 11th annual festival with newly added events, activities, and live entertainment to exceed expectations from last year’s festival. Guests can participate in art and crafts, demonstration workshops, dancing and drumming, and many other hands on cultural activities. Various live entertainment groups grace center stage throughout the weekend, varying from a Hawaiian Contemporary group of musical performers to Tahitian dance competitions to the newly added, “You Tink You Get Talent” for singers, dancers, and musicians of all ages. The weekend pass costs $25 per person, or single day admission is $10 per person, with children under the age of 5 attending for free. Tickets are available for purchase at the door, online at http://www.kauaipolynesianfestival.org/tickets/, over the phone at (808) 335-6466, or at the following locations: Scotty’s Music – Kalaheo, Progressive Expressions – Koloa, Deli & Bread Connection – Lihue, Larry’s Music Center – Kapaa, Hula Girl Restaurant – Kapaa, Eggberts – Kapaa, Hanalei Surf Co., Western Motors – Hanapepe, Aloha Rainbow Screening – Waimea. For a complete list of times and events, visit the website at http://www.melemei.com/

Firework Fridays, All Year Round in Waikiki

The Hilton Hawaiian Village celebrates the simple reason of being in Hawaii with a firework show presented year round for anyone and everyone. Every Friday night beginning at 7:45pm, the Hilton puts on a display of beautiful fireworks that streak through the night sky, lasting for approximately 10 minutes. The show is at Waikiki Beach, but can be seen throughout the surrounding areas as well.

Many folks recommend watching them from the concrete pier in front of the Outrigger hotel on the beach. Here you will have an ideal view of the show with your back to the hotels and high rises along Waikiki beach. Others have suggested watching the fireworks from Magic Island, because its wide, open expansiveness and park-like setting make it an ideal place for viewing.

Wherever you choose to watch the display from, we recommend a blanket and maybe a picnic basket. Or, for a romantic evening, pack some desserts and a bottle of wine and snuggle up on the warm sands of Waikiki. What better way to celebrate the joy of being in the tropics than watching sparks fly between you.

Waikiki Aquarium Summer Schedule

For the next six weeks, the Waikiki Aquarium will celebrate summer with an array of events for visitors, families, and locals alike. If you love the ocean and its inhabitants, and always wanted to help at an aquarium, Saturday, May 5th is your chance to get involved. Volunteer Training is from 9:00am-12:00pm, and covers training on the natural history of Hawaii, the outdoor reef exhibit, the marine environment and more. Registration is required, so if you’re interested, you can reserve your spot at http://www.waquarium.org/edge-of-the-reef-eor-interpret.html.

Monday, May 14th come feed wild animals at the Edge of the Reef exhibit. From 4:30pm to 6:30pm, you will discover how ocean animals capture food and have adapted to the habitat they live in. Have you ever seen an octopus open a jar to get food? See this interesting event at the Waikiki Aquarium, and learn how the Aquarium feeds the rest of its underwater members. You also get to watch the exclusive after-hours feeding time! Registration is required, with tickets priced at $20 per adult and $15 per child, or with membership, $16 per adult and $12 per child.

Celebrate Summer By The Sea during the month of June at the Aquarium and spend a week of summer with snorkeling, swimming, and exploring the Pacific coast from Waikiki to Diamond Head. Members get to learn about exhibits, the animals, and feeding habits while they take behind-the-scene tours and exclusive visits around the Aquarium. Registration began on April 2nd, so hurry to reserve a spot for your child(ren) of ages 8-12.

A few more activities that will be held during the summer months at the Waikiki Aquarium include World Oceans Day on Friday, June 8th from 9:00am-11:00am, Aquarium After Dark on Tuesday, June 12th from 7:00pm-9:00pm, and Beginning Fish Watching on Wednesday, June 13th from 3:00pm to 3:45pm. Registration is required for the latter two events, so check out this site to get involved: http://www.waquarium.org/community-programs.html#register.

11th Annual Kauai Polynesian Festival May 2012

From Thursday May 24th through Sunday, May 27th, Kauai’s Vidinha Stadium in Lihue presents the 2012 Kauai Polynesian Festival. A colorful presentation of culture through dance competitions, art and crafts, food, workshops, and other entertainment and events are held for four days straight in May with times ranging from 9:00am to 10:30pm. This is an outdoor event, located at the soccer field known as Vidinha Stadium in Kauai’s largest town of Lihue on the southeast side. The Kamanawa Foundation celebrates their 11th annual festival with newly added events, activities, and live entertainment to exceed expectations from last year’s festival.

Guests can participate in art and crafts, demonstration workshops, dancing and drumming, and many other hands on cultural activities. Various live entertainment groups grace center stage throughout the weekend, varying from a Hawaiian Contemporary group of musical performers to Tahitian dance competitions to the newly added, “You Tink You Get Talent” for singers, dancers, and musicians of all ages.

The weekend pass costs $25 per person, or single day admission is $10 per person, with children under the age of 5 attending for free. Tickets are available for purchase at the door, online at http://www.kauaipolynesianfestival.org/tickets/, over the phone at (808) 335-6466, or at the following locations: Scotty’s Music – Kalaheo, Progressive Expressions – Koloa, Deli & Bread Connection – Lihue, Larry’s Music Center – Kapaa, Hula Girl Restaurant – Kapaa, Eggberts – Kapaa, Hanalei Surf Co., Western Motors – Hanapepe, Aloha Rainbow Screening – Waimea.

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