Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii Beaches’

Lydgate Beach Park

 

Lydgate Park in Kapa’a is always at the top of all the lists and with good reason.  It is the first beach many tourists see when welcomed by friends or family as it is used to “wash the mainland off” and help  you slip into the island’s low key vibe.  There is a comfort station to change into your suit and showers to rinse off the sand and salt when you are ready to head to your island home away from home.

It has two completely contained beaches that are perfect for kids to play as it has two rock walls that completely protect from the waves.  There is the very shallow, sandy bottomed baby pond side which is great for the toddler set and the bigger family side where kama’aina and tourists all bring their families to cool off in the water.  You can see the big waves outside the rock wall and sometimes they even come over making it fun for the older kids to try and stand on the underwater rocks and keep their balance. The second larger pond is great for all the family as it has some wave action for the littles to practice or learn to boogie board but calm enough to learn to swim.

Snorkeling here is actually really good, especially for first timers wanting to get  used to their gear and still be able to see lots of different fish;  you can even see the big blue school of yellowfin surgeonfish from above the water. Snorkeling is best near the rock edges so watch for many fish that are snuggled down into cracks and crevices. The fish are plentiful and always changing since they come and go through the openings in the rock wall.

There is a pavilion,  a large playing field and a really fun playground area across from the beach making this a wonderful place to hang out for the day!  Pick up lunch at any of the restaurants or food trucks that run along Kuhio Highway in old Kapa’a Town, bring lots of sunscreen (nothing ruins a trip to Kauai like a nasty sunburn), find your spot on the beach and let the sounds and surf bring your tropical dreams to life with the spirit of Aloha.

 

 

 

 


10 Best Things About Christmas in Hawaii

Everybody loves Christmas. Everybody loves Hawaii. It’s only natural that combining the two makes for one super holiday! People from every corner of the world come to Hawaii during the Christmas season to enjoy some of the best of what the islands have to offer.

We’ll let you in on a little secret. While we all know Christmas isn’t a Hawaiian holiday, over the years the holiday has gained a unique island feel. The familiar – Christmas trees, colorful lights and festive holiday parades – blend with Hawaiian cultural traditions to create something special. It’s Christmas in the Spirit of Aloha and it’s something you can experience every year as a Hawaii real estate owner.

To celebrate Christmas in Hawaii this year, we’ve put together a special list of what we consider to be the top 10 best things about spending the holiday in the islands:

  1. Hawaiian Christmas Songs. Music is part of the holiday and this is no exception in Hawaii. The Hawaiian language is beautiful and flowing – perfect for festive caroling. Perhaps the most famous is Mele Kalikimaka (made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1950s and, more recently, in the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). There are many others!
  2. Santa Arrives… By Canoe? That’s right! Every year in early December, Hawaii celebrates the holiday season as Santa arrives on the shores of Waikiki Beach on his very own outrigger canoe. The event is hosted by the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel and is free to the public. Kids can even get some face time with the jolly old elf upon arrival!
  3. Lighted Boat Parades. Two parades typically light up the waters around Oahu each year during the Christmas season. The Honolulu Christmas Boat Parade tours around Honolulu Harbor and can be viewed from the Aloha Tower Marketplace and various other spots on the Honolulu waterfront. The Hawaii Kai Christmas Boat Parade usually attracts thousands who watch as about 40 boats – all litup for Christmas – float lazily through theHawaii Kai waters.

    Mele Kalikimaka

    Merry Christmas in Hawaiian! (Photo courtesy of Flickr user "billsoPHOTO")

  4. The Nutcracker Ballet. Hawaii enjoys some of the more traditional Christmas celebrations, too. Performances of the famous Nutcracker Ballet happen all over the state during the Christmas season.
  5. Lahaina Gets Lit Up. Maui celebrates Christmas by covering the historic Lahaina Banyan Tree in lights each Christmas season. Residents and visitors celebrate the annual tradition with a ceremony featuring Christmas carols, a Hula exhibition and an appearance by St. Nick for the kids!
  6. Honolulu is Illuminated. Every year around Christmas time, thousands on Oahu gather outside Honolulu Hale – the name give to the mayor’s office – to watch as the massive 50-plus foot Christmas tree is lit for the first time. The event is called Honolulu City Lights and marks the beginning of a month-long Christmas festival in and around Honolulu Hale. The lighting ceremony is accompanied by the Electric Light Parade.
  7. Kauai Blazes Brightly! Residents of the Garden Island celebrate Christmas with their own illuminated celebration. The Kauai Festival of Lights officially marks the arrival of Christmas to the island. The event has its origins more than 50 years ago with “Auntie” Josie Chansky, a local folk artist who opened her home each Christmas to share thousands of the homemade Christmas decorations she had made throughout her life. Her home became knownas The Christmas House among locals. The festival, which began in 1996, carries on the tradition by preserving Chansky’s wonderful collection for all to see.
  8. Football. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl has become a beloved holiday tradition in the islands. The football game takes place every day on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Besides being a nationally important BCS bowl game, it is a chance for Hawaii residents to support the University of Hawaii in their much anticipated annual contest. This year UH will host the University of Tulsa.
  9. Christmas Trees. Having a Christmas tree in your home during the holiday season is a beloved tradition that isn’t missed in Hawaii. Boatloads of the fragrant conifers are shipped to the islands from colder regions of the world so the people of Hawaii can enjoy the comfort and coziness of a Christmas tree in the living room.
  10. Christmas on the Beach. Christmas morning in Hawaii starts out much the same as anywhere else in the world. Gifts are opened and brunch is served. That’s when things start to change. Late December in the islands is much the same as mid-July – that is to say, snow and freezing temperatures are not a concern. Many Hawaii residents head down to the beach after gifts have been opened to enjoy Christmas afternoon in the sun, sand and salt water.

Now it’s obvious that Christmas in Hawaii is an experience second-to-none. Moving to Hawaii is the next step to making this wonderful tradition part of your life. Best of Hawaii Real Estate will connect you to the best Hawaii REALTOR who will help make your dreams come true.


Mahalo For Removing Your Shoes

When you think of caring for the land – being environmentally friendly, in politically correct terms – you don’t think of taking off your shoes before going into a friend’s house… do you?

Nope – we didn’t think so. You might be surprised to learn that in Hawaii, even little things like removing your shoes can be traced back to the ancient Hawaiian idea of Malama ‘Aina – to care for the land. That’s why the next section we will be adding to the Best of Hawaii Real Estate website is all about Malama ‘Aina and its cultural importance in Hawaii.

Here are three examples of Malama ‘Aina in action, introducing you to its relevance to everyday life in the islands:

1. Mahalo For Removing Your Shoes. If you’ve ever been to a Hawaiian home, you’ve more than likely encountered a huge pile of shoes outside the front door. We’ve already explained that this is a tradition of respect in the islands, but Malama ‘Aina is about respecting the land! How does this fit in?Ancient Hawaiians thought of human life as an extension of the land – a gift sustained only by the natural bounty of the islands themselves. These ancient peoples lived a life much closer to the land, so it’s easy to see how this belief formed. When you enter a home barefoot, you’re respecting your host, and in turn, the land itself.

2. I can’t drive 55. So you’re spending the day exploring the back inland roads on Kauai, and you encounter a one-lane bridge and signs require both directions of traffic to yield to the other. As you approach the bridge, you see that another car is also about to enter the only lane coming from the other direction. What would a local do?The gracious act of stopping and waving a stranger through a one-lane bridge respects the life on the other side of that bridge, and is an example of living Malama ‘Aina. With so many one-lane bridges in Hawaii, this is an act you’ll want to follow!

3. Clean-up has never been so fun. How do Hawaii’s beaches stay so clean and sparkly? No, there’s no secret task force that combs the sands for trash while nobody is looking. Beach cleanups are a popular activity among many Hawaii residents – children on field trips, local environmental groups, ocean sport enthusiasts and even the group of post-party-goers just breaking down their beach campsite.Spending your day cleaning takes on a new meaning when it’s on a pristine Hawaii beach. Beach cleanups often pop up at random locations and times, and for any old reason – a testament to just how precious these natural resources are to Hawaii and its people.

Malama ‘Aina is the Hawaiian concept of respect that forms the basis of these traditions. Respecting the land and its people – your neighbors – is as much a part of Hawaiian culture as the Hula and the Lu`au.

Head over to the Best of Hawaii Real Estate site and check out this and more helpful tips for new and potential Hawaii residents.