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Laurie Lyons-Makaimoku

Freelance Journalist/Content Creator/Editor

Location icon United States

Laurie Lyons-Makaimoku relocated to Hawaii Island from Austin in 2016, looking for a temporary change of pace. After falling in love with the island (and one of its inhabitants), she ended up permanently relocating. Since then she's spent time developing an appreciation for Hawaii's places, culture, and people, focusing her travel writing on the island chain, always working to strike a balance between sharing the islands with the world and trying to ensure that tourism is sustainable and ethical. She now shares her home with her husband, toddler, stepdaughter, and 20 animals and continues to write about culture, sustainability, environmentalism, plant-based living, and more.



Fodors Travel Guide
Coronavirus Has Revealed How Bad Hawaii's Tourism Problem Really Is

Hawaii's tourism industry has, of course, been hit hard by COVID-19. However, it's also unveiled some very big problems with it. Aside from the economic impact of so many of Hawaii's people losing work because tourism gets shut down, Hawaii's dependence on tourism has had a much more significant impact-it has emboldened the entitled to use it as their playground and quarantine getaway, with very little regard for its people.

Fodors Travel Guide
50 Ultimate Things to Do in Hawaii

From gorgeous beaches to traditional luaus to top-notch surfing, Hawaii offers terrific experiences that should be on every traveler's list. Here's what you need to do and see for a memorable trip. Hawaii is one of those amazing places that sits at the top of most people's travel bucket list, with daydreamers picturing stunning sunsets and sand in their toes.

Fodors Travel Guide
A Mainlander's Guide of How to Make Sense of the Protests in Hawaii

What's being protested and why, and will it affect my travels? Every morning at the base of Mauna Kea a large, and growing, group of protectors of the mauna (mountain) gather for ceremony. This includes storytelling, daily protocol, hula performances, greeting the sun, greeting the surrounding maunas, chanting, and praying.

Big Island Pulse
Nāhuku -Thurston Lava Tube is Open to Visitors! Here's What You Need to Know

One of the Big Island's most fascinating natural wonders is back open for business. Guests of the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) can once again visit Nāhuku, the Thurston Lava Tube. After its closure during the Kīlauea eruption in 2018, the tube remained closed for nearly two years to ensure that visitors would be safe.

Big Island Pulse
Shingo Honda: Saying Farewell through Impermanence and Parallels

In December 2019, a brilliant artist who brought true light and laughter to the people he knew, passed away due to a senseless crime. For many on this island that he called home for 15 years, the news of his death was the first time that they were introduced to the name Shingo Honda.

Hawaii Adventure, Rentals, Vacation
7 Best Locations For Spotting Honu On Big Island > Hawaii Adventure, Rentals, Vacation

Any trip to Hawaii requires some time spent searching for green sea turtles. "Honu" are one of the most sacred animals in Hawaiian culture, a beautiful reminder of the connection between people, the ocean, and the land. They also bring us back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, making an encounter with these beautiful animals extremely special.

Big Island Pulse
Shop Local on Small Business Saturday with Some of our Favorite Local Businesses

It's time for the busiest shopping time of the year! Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars at a big box store, try buying most of your gifts from local retailers this holiday season. There are always plenty of craft and art fairs on Big Island where shoppers can find local, handmade goods.

Big Island Pulse
Makahiki on Maunakea: Celebrating the Season of Lono

As we enter the season of Lono, the Makahiki festivals meant to honor the god of harvest, fertility, and peace are underway across the islands. Even though it's Molokai that is best known for its celebrations, Hawai'i Island also has popular events filled with games, music, rituals, and more.


Fodors Travel Guide
The Small Changes Hotels Can Make to Fight Global Warming

Though the hotel industry is far from becoming completely sustainable, there are small steps that can be taken, and that some hotels have already implemented, in order to reduce their carbon footprint. From the installation of water bottle refill stations to the elimination of single-use toiletries associated with a hotel bathroom, this industry has the ability to make huge strides in the green movement through simple actions.

Fodors Travel Guide
The Perfect Weekend Getaway: Port Aransas From Houston

Covid-19 Disclaimer: Make sure to check the status of the states , regions, and establishments in which you're planning to visit prior to travel. Many regions continue to see high infection rates and deaths, while many states and counties remain under varying stay-at-home orders.

Fodors Travel Guide
There's Another Way to Take Your Kids on a Trip

As parents and caregivers, we are going to be emotionally and physically exhausted as we go through canceled schools, self-isolating, toilet paper shortages, and canceled vacations, so sometimes we need to be reminded that it's ok to veg on the couch some days.

Fodors Travel Guide
Meet the People Stranded at Hotels-It's Nowhere Near as Great as You Might Think

While being stuck in a five-star hotel might sound incredibly luxurious, those unable to leave their hotel rooms far from home are finding the opposite to be true. With coronavirus affecting nearly every country, most hotels are forcing stayers to lock themselves inside, with no access to the promised amenities.


15 Laid Back Ways to Celebrate National Bourbon Day

For most bourbon drinkers, every day is National Bourbon Day, a day to celebrate the beautiful brown liquor that gifts its disciples with passion and intoxication. For those who do not imbibe regularly, June 14 serves as a day to bring America's spirit into focus.

The Best of Austin, Texas
Get a Dose of Austin History with Your Lunch at Cannon & Belle

Cannon & Belle sits inside the downtown Austin Hilton in a way that already sets it apart from most hotel restaurants. Part open air, partly enclosed, it's hard for hotel guests to not realize this beautiful restaurant and bar is there as they're walking by with their rolling luggage.

Sweet and Savory Bourbon Dishes You Need at Your Thanksgiving Table

If ever there were a holiday that needed a good dose of bourbon at the table, it's Thanksgiving. Between navigating family drama and dealing with the stress of cooking, a large glass of the good stuff is definitely called for. Bourbon doesn't have to remain relegated to just the glass, though.


How Hawai'i Found Sanctuary for Hundreds of Cows

A look at what happened next when an enormous dairy farm on the Big Island was closed for waste violations The tropical state of Hawai'i typically conjures a certain set of images for most people - white sand beaches, vibrant blue water, and fruity umbrella cocktails.

The Best of Austin, Texas
10 Instagram Accounts that Every Austin Dog Lover Should Follow

Happy National Dog Day! This nationally recognized day (August 26) may not see banks closing or special sales on beds and deep freezers, but we think many Austinites can agree that we should all have this day off of work to spend some quality time with our furry friends.


Seriously, We Need To Bring Back The Muumuu

A couple of weeks ago, my husband surprised me with a wonderful gift: the gift of comfort. No, he didn't hand me a too perfectly wrapped gift box containing a fluffy robe or adorable, yet functional bunny slippers. Instead, he told me that I should start dressing more like Hawaiian wahines (women).


Security Baron
Samsung BrightVIEW Review- Does This Baby Monitor Measure Up?

The Samsung BrightVIEW stands out in the baby monitor market because of a crisp touchscreen display on the monitor unit. A single camera generally retails for $180, and up to four cameras can pair with the monitor. Setup The BrightVIEW requires almost zero physical setup (unless you're mounting to the wall).

Security Baron
Infant Optics DXR-8 Review- A Top Baby Monitor?

The Infant Optics DXR-8 - which retails for $230 but can easily be found for $165-$170 - is a quality baby monitor that should warrant serious consideration if you're in the market. The popular monitor is lightweight and portable and can be used in a variety of settings.


The Best of Austin, Texas
The Very Necessary Holiday Shopping Guide for Homesick Austinites

Let's face it - Austin is just one of those places that finds a special place in your heart and never moves out. For those unlucky few who have to move away from Austin, no matter how brief their stay, the lack of Austin struggle is real.

Free Fun in Austin
Austin Holiday Events for Children with Special Needs

The holiday season is a wonderful time for people to come together to celebrate community and fun, and it should be enjoyed by all. Sometimes, however, those bright lights, hordes of people, and new sights and sounds can become a bit overwhelming, making events for families with different needs and abilities even more important.

The Best of Austin, Texas
50 Random Acts of Kindness That Austinites Can Perform Today

February 17 marks the National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and while it's great to have a specific day for doing good deeds for others, we at Austin.com think you should incorporate those random acts into your daily schedule. If you're looking for a few ideas on how to brighten someone else's day (and in ...

Operation Taco Drop May be the Best Thing to Happen at SXSW Yet

Who needs Favor when you've got friends? Sometimes you've just got to have tacos. And when you're an official SXSW artist playing multiple shows, sometimes those tacos have to come to you. Especially if one of those shows is on a boat.


This Supernatural Austin Couple Just Made a BIG Announcement!

One of Austin's cutest celebrity couples just announced some great news - Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Cortese are adding to their adorable brood with a new baby on his or her way in March (just in time to start hitting the SXSW parties?).

Austin Sci-Fi Geeks Will Love This Joss Whedon Photo So Much

No, I love you so much, Joss Whedon... I've got a theory that Joss Whedon may have enjoyed his recent trip to Austin, and local folk musicianShawnee Kilgore has the proof on her Instagram . Naturally, Whedon had to stop by one of Austin's best places to take a selfie .

SNL's Fred Armisen Reveals Dos & Don'ts At SXSW | RumorFix

SNL's Fred Armisen stopped by the Samsung Blogger Lounge at SXSW Interactive on Tuesday afternoon to chat with Shira Lazar about, well, stuff. And RumorFix was there. The Anchorman star arrived late for the interview, but as we later discovered, it's not because he's a diva, it's because he just can't tell his fans "No."

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