Posts Tagged ‘Kauai’

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.


Living Green in Hawaii: Kauai

Kauai is a place where the green lifestyle is as literal as it is figurative. The Garden Island is a place of water; frequent showers cause waterfalls to appear out of nowhere. Water brings uninhibited life – a theme of Kauai and its people, and one that affects many of the sustainable lifestyle choices made every day by the residents of The Garden Island.Green living on Kauai

If you’re moving to Hawaii in search of a green island lifestyle, look no further than Kauai real estate. Although small on a map, Kauai has a wealth of land owned by local ranchers and farmers who produce some of the greenest foods known to man. Grass-fed cattle and wholesome seasonal fruits and veggies are available at many restaurants and local markets. Look for stickers on beef that indicate a local product (if you see a Princeville Pride sticker, it means the product comes from the Princeville Ranch on the North Shore).

Fishing is a huge industry on Kauai. Some of the freshest sustainably caught seafood can be had without hurting your wallet. Many fish markets are peppered around the island so you can be sure there’s one nearby your work or your little piece of island real estate.

Grass-fed beef, local fresh fish and island-grown produce can be found at some of these local favorites:

  • North Shore: Foodland, Hanalei Dolphin, Kilauea Fish Market, Papaya’s, The Hanalei Gourmet and Princeville Shell Gas Station (don’t be scared away by the pumps!)
  • East Side: Wailua Country Store, Pono Market, Kojima’s, Fish Express, Windward Market, Ara’s Sakana-ya & Hukilau Lanai
  • South Side: Sueoka’s, Koloa Fish Market, Shells Restaurant at the Sheraton Kauai Resort and Merriman’s (look for beef from A’akukui Ranch, located just eight miles from Poipu)
  • West Side: Barefoot Burgers, Big Save, Kauai Coffee, Hanapepe Sunshine Market and Hanapepe Café

The green lifestyle is alive and well on Kauai. Planning to retire in Hawaii? Kauai is one of the best places to retire! Looking to raise your family here? Look no further! Trying to find life’s next big adventure? Kauai has it all and Best of Hawaii real estate will connect you to the best Hawaii REALTOR to guide you to the greenest real estate on Kauai. Each Hawaii REALTOR in our system has been ranked according to their specific areas of expertise, and you can be sure we have the ideal agent for you. Our free Hawaii REALTOR matching service will connect you with an agent who will help you achieve a green lifestyle in Hawaii.


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.


Healthcare in Hawaii? We’ve got you covered!

It seems like every time we Healthcare in Hawaiirelease new content on the Best of Hawaii Real Estate site, we uncover more and more reasons why moving to Hawaii is truly paradise found.

This week, the site’s latest addition – Healthcare in Hawaii – spotlights Hawaii’s healthcare system as a national standout.  We’ve compiled a bunch of useful information and data from a wide range of sources to create a page that’s comprehensive, easy to read and interesting all at once.  You will find lots of information in small bites, with the resources to find more if you want more information about a particular topic.

Did you know that Hawaii has had near universal healthcare coverage for more than 35 years?  Did you know the state’s largest private hospital has its roots in Hawaii’s original monarchy?  We’ve expanded on this and a whole lot more, all on the site.

We are just as curious as you are about these topics, and we aren’t satisfied until all of our questions are answered.  By putting ourselves in your shoes, we know that your questions are being answered as well.

Whether you’re moving to Hawaii, relocating to a different island within the state, or simply looking for information about healthcare in Hawaii, head over to the site and check out our latest website addition.  It is just one more step toward our goal to become your comprehensive Hawaii resource.


Don’t Miss This Step

We’ve added yet another new section in the Information Center on the Best of Hawaii Real Estate webMissing This Simple Step Could Cost You Thousandssite (http://bestofhawaiirealestate.com) to help you to better understand the enormous impact our free service could have on your next real estate transaction. Written by some of the most experienced minds on our team, this section is an eye-opener – it uncovers issues that arise in many transactions. For example, do you know what dual agency is? A fully disclosed answer awaits you! You have a choice and we want you to be fully armed.

When you’ve decided to make the real estate plunge, where do you begin? Do you head to the yellow pages? Do you start with a Google search? What phrase do you type in? How can you be sure that you’ve started your search correctly, or that you haven’t made the wrong choice at a fork in the road? How do you get rid of all those “What Ifs”?

If this is your first visit to our website or blog, welcome and let us take a minute to explain how our RE-Direct© technology does the work for you. First, you answer a few simple questions about your real estate goals. Next, our system takes less than thirty seconds to turn your answers into quantifiable attributes. RE-Direct© then compares your results to our ranked database of local Realtors. Instantly the preferences you’ve specified have traveled through the ether of cyberspace directly into the inbox of the exact same Realtor whose professional information is being displayed on your screen. It’s instant and it’s 100 percent free!

Now you have a dynamic new first step in the quest to fulfill your real estate dreams and a direct connection to the agent who best fits your requirement. No more questions, no more stress. It isn’t magic; we simply put the real estate industry where it should be – working for you.

Do real estate professionals take a hit in business as a result? Amazingly enough the answer is no – with willing consumers being connected with the agent most likely to satisfy their needs, there will be more happy buyers and sellers, more transactions completing escrow, and an all together better business environment. It is win-win for everyone involved.

Think of us as the real estate industry’s passive mediator, as a bridge over the strangely empty void between you and the industry’s best professionals. Most importantly, think of us any time you are in the market to buy or sell real estate.


The Job Market’s Greener on the Island Side

The latest addition to our Information Center section – Jobs in Hawaii – that we mentioned Thursday is complete and live.

We’ve approached this section a little differently. We realized that in order to make the point clearly – that Hawaii is a bright spot in a troubled global job market – we needed to stray a bit from our normal light-hearted style.

We’ve included graphs, tables and a whole lot of statistics, all telling you that if you’ve been holding off moving to Hawaii because of the job search, a closer look will offer some very good news that might just change your mind.

Throughout the Great Recession – the term dubbed by mainstream media for this recent economic downturn – Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment levels have consistently hovered around 70 percent of the nation’s average.

Hawaii’s job market also appears to be recovering at a faster rate than the country as a whole. Recent data show that, while the job market seems to be improving throughout the country, that rate has been turbo-charged here in Hawaii.

Since we’ve grabbed your attention, check out Jobs in Hawaii for more of the good stuff. And remember – more updates are always just around the corner!


An Example to Follow…

The online real estate marketing publication Property Ad Guru has featured our latest update as a shining example of how using real local information gives added value to our service and our website. We have been working hard to update our website to continually include more useful information to assist potential homebuyers.

Ad Guru Post Image

To quote the blog post, “Best of Hawaii Real Estate is making local information a key part of its strategy… [with] the addition of new ‘top five things to consider’ sections covering each area.”

Property Ad Guru agrees that local, from-the-source information is utterly invaluable to consumers looking for real estate. If you live on the mainland, you can’t simply jump in your car and drive to Hawaii. It’s the isolation, cultural differences and other aspects unique to the area that makes having this local perspective especially important to people considering Hawaii as a long-term living destination.

Similarly, a Google search will typically land you in a sea of results aimed at tourists and short-term vacationers. The information on our site is specifically targeted at people considering a move to (or within) Hawaii. This is good for the industry, good for Hawaii and, most important of all, good for you and your family.

And we’re not done yet! Just today, we’ve released the latest addition to our Information Center – Jobs in Hawaii – detailing how new residents can expect to be received by Hawaii’s current job market… and there’s good news for job seekers.

Experience the best of local Hawaii before you even arrive, only at Best of Hawaii Real Estate.


Website Expansion Gives Local Perspective of Life in Hawaii

LIHUE, Hawaii (May 24, 2010) – Starting today, the Best of Hawaii Real Estate website will be releasing a series of updates designed specifically for people who are considering a move to Hawaii.

Harnessing a considerable statewide professional network, the expansion compiles interviews, research and internal resources to create a unique, from-the-source perspective.

“The relationships we have around the state give us unprecedented access in to the rhythm of life in Hawaii,” said company spokesperson Nick Ellenburg. “The entire update stems from a simple question we asked an assorted group of locals and long-time Hawaii residents: What’s your favorite part of living here?”

The update, dubbed the “Top 5 things to consider”, is available on the Best of Hawaii Real Estate website (http://bestofhawaiirealestate.com). The sections can be found in the site’s dropdown menu for each separate island located at the top of the site.

Each page features a numbered list of the island’s five most important things to consider for new Hawaii residents, as well as a series of pictures, statistics and interesting factoids. The section has been designated for expansion in the near future.

In addition, keep an eye on the “Information Center” for more new and helpful information. Next up will be “Hawaii Employment Options”, a detailed and to-the-point overview of how you can expect to be received by Hawaii’s job market.

The Best of Hawaii Real Estate website is an officially licensed user of RE-Direct Agent Matching software, designed and implemented by The Portal Tree, LLC, a software development company specializing in real estate referral networking. The website’s Agent Matching service allows consumers to discover the best Hawaii real estate agent for their needs. This service is provided free of charge to the consumer and without any obligations.


Top 5: Comin’ on Strong

Best of Hawaii Real Estate’s “Top 5 things to consider” section we announced earlier in the month is coming along nicely.

As of today, the Big Island (split into Hilo and Kona sides) Oahu, Kauai and Molokai are all up and running, with Maui and Lanai due to be released in the next couple of days. Every one of these sections has been designed with you in mind based on interviews with long-time residents and locals of each individual island. We hope the feature will give you an inside glimpse at day-to-day life in the islands, ultimately making your Hawaii real estate decision as informed as possible.

sea turtle

And while you’re on the site, keep an eye on the Information Center for more new and helpful information. Next up will be “Jobs in Hawaii”, a detailed and to-the-point overview of how you can expect to be received by Hawaii’s job market.

So head on over; we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the data we’ve gathered.