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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for ways to be environmentally friendly while traveling? Most of us know about leaving no trace when we visit a place, but there are plenty of ways that tourism can have a negative impact on an ecosystem, especially in areas where those ecosystems live in delicate balance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FOOD & DRINK
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.
With the first day of winter on the horizon and the holidays beating at the door, it's time to break out the mugs and sink deep into some comforting warm drinks.
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.
When it comes to watching the final episode of "Game of Thrones," throwing a themed party includes plenty of choices for food and drink. Save yourself some time and edible glitter and skip the fancy drinks floating around your Facebook timeline - just stick to bourbon.
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.
Beer and bourbon may seem like strange bedfellows, but they've been friends since they were paired up for the first time in Scottish pubs in the 1920s. They also make a perfect pair for a day of drinking, eating, and watching football.
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.
Leanne Lauricella gave up a great NYC job AND eating animal products to start a goat sanctuary in New Jersey. - #job
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.
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).
It's still nice to be able to drool over things for the home - even if we can't have them. - #home decor
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).
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.
There are many different cultures that help to make Austin the wonderful and interesting place that it is. The melting pot that makes up Austin is dominated by Mexican, Latin, African, and a variety of Asian cultures, creating a city that is rich in music, theater, festivals, and food.
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.
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.
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 ...
Try as they might, no venue, show producer, panel manager, or police department is ever going to put on a perfect show with so many variables involved. This year's SXSW, we saw some really brutal fails, but we also saw some more lighthearted moments.
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.
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?).
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 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."