The Ramen Bar, serving creative takes on the traditional Japanese noodle soup, is one of the food stations at The Street, Waikiki’s new culinary hub. // © 2017 The Street HNL
Feature image (above): Waikiki Ocean Thriller treats visitors to dazzling views of Oahu’s tourist mecca. // © 2017 Roberts Hawaii
Some things never change in Hawaii, such as silky beaches and stunning sunsets.
But for travelers seeking something new in the Aloha State, these five headline-makers are providing a fresh perspective for the vacation destination.
Food Mecca in Waikiki
Celebrity chef Michael Mina doesn’t do things on a small scale, as The Street — his new Waikiki venture — demonstrates. Located on the ground floor of the revamped International Marketplace, this 6,900-square-foot culinary gathering place showcases the talents of top chefs at 13 stalls that are called hawker stations.
Like a food court gone rogue, the appetizing hub regales visitors with temptations such as barbecue, burgers, beer, coffee, poke, ramen and Mediterranean fare. Open and communal seating invites conversation among friends and strangers from breakfast through the evening.
Clients can customize their experience with a Street Party pass good for seven stations over the course of 30 days.
Interactive Gourmets on Maui
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is serving up a delicious sense of place courtesy of two yummy new programs.
The Culture & Culinary series pairs beloved Hawaiian traditions with island-sourced food and drinks. The one-hour, talk-story sessions include a cooking demonstration with tastings and Maui-made beverages.
At the Distiller Series, guests learn about locally-created spirits, then watch a Maui mixologist turn them into craft cocktails. Clients get to sip the results, complemented by island pupus (snacks).
Taking place through August 2017, the events are free for Sheraton Maui guests ages 21 and older. Participants receive dinner discounts after each program.
Ocean Thrills on Oahu
Oahu’s newest boat is making a big splash off Waikiki. Dubbed Waikiki Ocean Thriller, the guided excursion presents perspectives from the sea during a romp across the waves.
On the 45-minute cruise, clients enjoy unimpeded views of the shoreline and landmarks such as the ultra-pink Royal Hawaiian and stately Diamond Head. Guests ride in a 32-foot-long, rigid-hull, inflatable vessel that holds up to 25 people. Since the boat sits low in the water, passengers easily spot turtles, dolphins and other sea creatures along the way.
Offered three times daily, six days a week, tours cost $40 per adult and $30 per child.
Tour-and-Hotel Deals on Hawaii Island
KapohoKine Adventures has dreamed up four new hotel-and-activity packages to help clients save money as they explore Hawaii Island. Each offering includes an outing for two and one night in a standard room at the refurbished Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo, where KapohoKine is headquartered.
Visitors can go on a Hawaii Volcanoes National Park land tour; a kayak or boat tour from Hilo Bay along the Hamakua Coast; or a helicopter tour above lava flows and waterfalls. A fourth package, combining a land, air and zipline tour, upgrades guests to a junior suite.
Nightly per-person package rates range from $129-$559.
Zipping to the Max on Kauai
Outfitters Kauai has already established itself as one of Hawaii’s most innovative adventure tour firms. Now it’s upping the ante with the FlyLine, the longest zipline in the islands.
From a tower 50 feet above ground — the state’s tallest launching pad — clients fly headfirst, Superman-style for three-fourths of a mile. During the tandem run, guests soar up to 50 mph over Kipu Ranch, a secluded spread that has starred in movies such as “Jurassic Park,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Clients check in at Outfitters Kauai’s new visitor welcome center, located at the gateway to the ranch.