HAWAII – As another spectacular year nears its end, we look forward to 2018 and what’s ahead in the Hawaiian Islands with exciting updates about renovated hotels, fresh fare, intriguing attractions and activities, and more. Below are our top highlights for the months to come.

For additional updates regarding each island, please reference the appropriate newsletter of each Island Chapter: the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Oahu Visitors Bureau.


Resort renovations along Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast are underway, with $37 million in projects targeted for completion in the months ahead. The Kauai Shores Hotel, Mokihana Resort, Pono Kai Resort, Hotel Coral Reef Resort and Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach are taking on everything from extensive pool renovations to renewed guest rooms with goals of revitalizing multiple areas of their properties by August 2018. www.royalcoconutcoast.com

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu recently expanded retail offerings throughout its 22-acre property. The return of DFS to the resort is among the most notable of the new retailers. Known for its duty-free airport shops and luxury galleries, DFS is opening a 2,000-square-foot space at the resort in December. The store’s expanded retail options will include the Hilton Hawaiian Village logo shop Anuenue, which sells curated items spotlighting the resort’s famous Rainbow Mural, Hilton Hawaiian Village logo memorabilia and the resort’s own exclusive coconut papaya skin and hair care line. www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com


Hula Hulas recently opened the first of five “farm-to-fork and entertainment restaurants and bars” it plans to open statewide on the island of Hawaii. Hula Hulas in Hilo offers ocean-view dining and a menu supporting local farmers, fishermen, bow hunters and food crafters. The restaurant’s wine and spirits menu includes a dozen local and global craft beers on draught, and seasonal cocktails incorporating housemade simple syrups. Live music is offered nightly on the restaurant’s elevated stage. www.hulahulashilo.com

Four Seasons Resort Lanai’s new Picnic Under the Stars offers a celestial adventure allowing guests to become kilo hoku – in early Hawaii, astrologers who observed and studied the stars. Guests can join in, download a star-watching app to their phone, and receive a month-specific stargazing map prepared by the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, then spread out on a Four Seasons-provided blanket and aim their loaner Celestron SkyMaster high-performance binoculars on the stars. While taking in the view, they’ll also choose from a selection of desserts, and enjoy their own half-bottle of Prosecco. The island of Lāna‘i’s scarcity of light pollution all but assures guests will see stars on most nights. www.fourseasons.com/lanai

On Oahu, Mahina Brunch, the Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club’s new musically inclined Sunday dining experience at its Mahina and Sun’s restaurant, is now available for hotel guests and the public to enjoy. With the restaurant’s menu already centered around Hawaii chef Ed Kenney’s elevated home-cooking style and use of locally sourced ingredients, Executive Chef Erik Leong also incorporates seasonal ingredients into the new Mahina Brunch menu. The brunch is offered poolside and inside the restaurant on Sundays, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Diners can also groove to rotating music sets curated by Oahu-based record label Aloha Got Soul. www.mahinaandsuns.com


The Holo Moana: Generations of Voyaging exhibition at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum on Oahu celebrates the resurgence of the centuries-old ancestral practice of long-distance ocean voyaging. Honoring the accomplishments of the Polynesian long-distance voyaging canoe Hokulea, its 2017 return to Hawaiian waters following its three-year Malama Honua worldwide voyage, and the ancestral practice of ocean wayfinding, the collaborative exhibit of Bishop Museum and the Polynesian Voyaging Society is on display in the museum’s J. M. Long Gallery through June 24. Exhibition visitors are invited to step into a wind-based immersive experience incorporating digital sensors and electronics bringing to life the winds used by voyagers and shared in Hawaiian cultural stories. Visitors can also sit back in a full-dome projection theater for a presentation with audio narration by Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson, master of the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigation. www.bishopmuseum.org

Maui sailing charter company Kai Kanai is offering two new tours – the Sunrise Deluxe Snorkel and the Signature Deluxe Snorkel – for underwater explorers. Guests on board are invited to sit back and relax for a cruise along the South Maui coast, and enjoy perspectives of Haleakala volcano and Maui neighbor islands. Both charters take guests to offshore Molokini islet and submerged volcanic crater, with Kai Kanai’s sunrise tour arriving before many other tour companies make the trek out. www.kaikanani.com

Molokai Bicycle offers comfort, road/racing and hybrid bikes for pedaling up to the northside sea cliffs overlooking historic Kalaupapa peninsula or to eastside Puu o Hoku Ranch – with its vistas of Maui across the Pailolo Channel – and into scenic Halawa Valley. Mountain bikers can take the 10-mile ride up to the Waikolu Valley Lookout and back downslope to Kaunakakai town. www.mauimolokaibicycle.com


The Volcom Pipe Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series event, returns in 2018 with a holding period set for January 29 through February 7. The contest will cap Hawaii’s 2017-18 winter season of surf competitions at one of the world’s most iconic surf breaks: the Banzai Pipeline off Ehukai Beach on Oahu’s North Shore. The Volcom Pipe Pro draws major pro surf talent year after year, creating a competitive roster of aspiring professionals and some of the sport’s greatest names, including 11-time WSL champion Kelly Slater and Hawaii’s own John John Florence. The event is free and open to the public. www.worldsurfleague.com

The annual Waimea Town Celebration will again commemorate the Kauai town’s proud history and tight-knit community, from February 17 through 25. The nine-day festival features family-friendly cultural and recreational events, including hula performances, the Waimea Roundup Rodeo, a long-distance canoe race, a celebration of 18th century Kauai and Niihau Chief Kaumualii, the Waimea Film Festival, kids games and rides, sports events and competitions, educational and cultural exhibits, food booths and more. The festival ends with a two-day finale highlighted by the Heritage of Aloha Hoolaulea celebration at Waimea’s historic sugar mill. www.waimeatowncelebration.com

Wanderlust, which produces large yoga lifestyle festivals worldwide, is returning to Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in 2018 for its Wanderlust Oahu event. The beach yoga and wellness retreat, set for March 1-4 at the resort, aims to kick off Wanderlust’s 2018 festival season with a slate of experiences for yoga enthusiasts, music lovers, foodies, surfers and seekers. www.turtlebayresort.com

Celebrating its 24th anniversary in 2018, the Honolulu Festival is one of Hawaii’s premier cultural events. The three-day Oahu festival, set for March 9-11, shares the rich, vibrant cultures of Hawaii and its Asia and Pacific Rim neighbors with attendees through educational programs and activities, craft fairs, arts and entertainment, and a grand evening parade through Waikiki. The festival culminates with the colorful and dramatic Nagaoka Fireworks show off Waikiki’s beaches. www.honolulufestival.com


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