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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Category: Hawaii
August 7, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Wind, rain, massive surf for Big Island as hurricane nears

Here’s what the Big Island of Hawaii faces Thursday afternoon and evening as Hurricane Iselle makes landfall, with sustained winds of about 75 mp expected along with torrential rain and high surf/storm surge. This advisory below is from the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, which will issue new alerts  through the afternoon…


Comments | More in Hawaii, Hurricanes | Topics: Big Island, Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Hurricane Iselle

August 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Airlines, hotels drop change fees as hurricane heads to Hawaii

With Hurricane Iselle bearing down on Hawaii, airlines are letting travelers waive flight-change fees and some are offering refunds/credit for passengers who want to cancel completely. And they’re warning passengers that flights to and from the islands could be disrupted on Aug. 7-8. Hotels such as the major Outrigger chain, with dozens of properties in Hawaii, …


Comments | More in Hawaii, Hurricanes | Topics: Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines

June 3, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Farmers markets are an every-day thing (almost) on Kauai

A few years ago when I did an article on Waikiki on the Cheap, I discovered the worth-waking-up-early-for Saturday farmers market at the community college parking lot on the road to Diamond Head. Not only was there local produce such as papaya and starfruit, there were glorious tropical flowers to take back to the rented…


Comments | More in Hawaii, Trip reports | Topics: farmers markets, hawaii farmers markets, Kauai

April 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

No go! for Hawaii travelers after airline shuts down

If you’re looking to book flights between Hawaii’s islands, you’ve got one less airline to choose from. The inter-island carrier go! has stopped all inter-island flights after struggling financially. Its parent company, the Arizona-based Mesa Airlines, is pulling the planes back to the mainland U.S. for code-share flights with United Airlines and US Airways. Go! had operated…


Comments | More in airlines, Hawaii | Topics: go! Airlines

March 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Cheap and scenic: Take the bus around Oahu

Recently I wrote about taking a spectacularly scenic drive around the Hawaiian island of  Oahu, suggesting places to stop and sightsee along the way. But Seattle Times reader Bronson Swanson has a suggestion:  Instead of driving a rental car, take the city bus on the same route. It saves money  and the environment, says Swanson. The bus…


Comments | More in Hawaii, Scenic drive | Topics: North Shore, Oahu, TheBus

February 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

New flights to Hawaii’s little islands

A new Hawaii  inter-island service, from Honolulu to the small islands of Molokai and Lanai, is being started by Hawaiian Airlines. To mark the new turbo-prop  service (called ‘Ohana by Hawaiian and using 48-passenger ATR-42 aircraft), the airline is offering $59 one-way fares for tickets booked through Feb. 17 for travel through April 17  between…


Comments | More in airlines, Hawaii | Topics: Hawaiian Airlines, mokulele airlines

December 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Learning about life in Hawaii through obituaries

When I travel, I always get the local newspaper (provided I can read the language) to get the flavor of a city’s life and politics.  And I always read the obituaries because, in death, you can learn a lot about the lives and legacy of individuals and the culture of a place.

I’m in Honolulu and have been reading the obituaries in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  As in everything Hawaiian, the obituaries are a rich multicultural mix including  people of Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and native Hawaiian backgrounds.

One obituary in particular caught my eye, of a 93-year-old woman named Te’amalelalolagi Lale Igafo-Saole. Born in 1920 in American Samoa, she would have witnessed vast changes in Samoa and Hawaii, from World War II through today’s mass tourism.  But it was her personal history that struck me; she leaves behind  five children, 66 grandchildren and


Comments | More in Hawaii | Topics: Oahu, obituaries, Pray for Sex beach

December 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Warming up in Waikiki, a tropical wonderland

A warm-weather Santa on the beach in Waikiki. (Kristin Jackson / Seattle Times)

A warm-weather Santa on the beach in Waikiki. (Kristin Jackson / Seattle Times)

Goodbye cold Seattle, hello balmy Waikiki with a sun-bronzed Santa Claus, in red shorts and a Santa hat, strolling the Waikiki beach. And local ladies dancing the hula at a beachside park, wearing sparkling green leis and swaying as a band croons “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”

When fresh off the plane from deep-freeze Seattle, there’s something wonderfully incongruous about Christmas  festivities in a tropical haven like Hawaii. In Waikiki, the Honolulu visitor epicenter, the warm ocean waves lap the beach by the hula dancers. Santa stands under a swaying palm tree, by the light of a sparkling moon and flaming torches. Christmas decorations and lights shimmer in stores.

And  those stores … I haven’t stayed in Waikiki for many years and I was dazzled by the number of luxury stores that have


Comments | Topics: beach, Waikiki

June 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Hawaii tips: A few favorite things from a week on Maui

Raindrops on roses? Whiskers on kittens? I don’t know about those, but these are a few of my favorite things from this past week’s visit to Maui:

Hawaiian-cowboy themed shops are part of the local color in Makawao, in upcountry Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Hawaiian-cowboy themed shops are part of the local color in Makawao, in upcountry Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

  • Best little tourist town: Makawao. Lahaina has great historical sites and museums, but it’s looking a little careworn and in need of fresh paint, while the surfer-dude haven of Paia is overloved and traffic-jammed. The upcountry cowboy town of Makawao has fun local shops, a couple nice cafes and cream puffs from Komoda’s bakery.
  • Kapalua Bay for snorkeling: Get there early for a spot in the public parking lot of this beautiful little beach with a protected and quiet cove that’s great for beginner snorkelers or old pros. Good reefs with some brightly colored coral, big scarlet-colored slate pencil urchins, and lots to see throughout the bay, including schooling fish like you saw in “Finding Nemo.” Fun to swim with them.
  • Plate-lunch place: Ono Kau Kau Mixed Plate, 3481 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Honokowai. I liked the Lau Lau Pork, wrapped in taro leaf for a taste of the islands. Tip: Unless you’re there for a real FULL meal, get the “Mini” plate ($7.95). All items on the “Local Food” menu come with the typical macaroni salad and

Comments | Topics: Hawaii, Maui, maui attractions

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