A fire-knife dancer at Royal Kona Resort’s Voyagers of the Pacific luau // © 2015 Royal Kona Resort
Feature image (above): Climb Works’ new three-hour tour takes clients soaring over Keana Farms on Oahu’s North Shore. // © 2015 Climb Works/Keana Farms
Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaiiwww.a3h.org
As Hawaii’s repeat visitors seek out new experiences, the companies providing activities and attractions on the islands are continuing to fine-tune their offerings to keep the destination fresh.
“Visitors are always looking for the next new thing,” said Toni Marie Davis, executive director of Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii. “As a result, we’re seeing more and more companies turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.”
The following activities and attractions have found new and creative ways to engage visitors to Hawaii.
Today’s travelers are hungry for food-related pastimes. Hawaii Food Tours and E Noa Tours have introduced excursions exploring the culture and cuisine of Oahu’s North Shore. Sunset Ranch Hawaii offers farm-to-table experiences at an exclusive North Shore estate.
Two new options for active clients include Bike Hawaii’s 2-mile Makapuu Lighthouse hike and Climb Works’ three-hour zipline tour at Keana Farms.
During Bishop Museum’s unique Stars and Guitars planetarium show, live music enhances a celestial tour. Sea Life Park, another landmark attraction, now invites guests behind the scenes during its Oceanic Institute tour.
A recent addition to the evening scene, Big Kahuna Luau takes place on a highland estate with coastal views and cultural fun, food and entertainment.
During Island Art Party’s Paint and Sip gatherings, clients wield paintbrushes and wine glasses. Haliimaile Distilling’s new tours and tastings showcase products like vodka made with pineapple.
New water activities call to adventurous visitors. Hawaiian Paddle Sports features tours in traditional outrigger canoes. The intimate Snorkel Safari from The Snorkel Store explores the coastline with a maximum of eight guests. Trilogy Excursions’ adults-only Captain’s Sunset Dinner Sail features candlelit meals at sea.
On land, Grand Wailea resort’s cultural tour — which will launch in May and be open to the public — takes visitors to significant sites around the resort. Two new upcountry hikes await clients at Piiholo Ranch Adventures.
As the sun sets, check out Kaanapali Beach Hotel’s new Legends of Kaanapali luau, or head to Lahaina for Burn’n Love, an Elvis revue.
The surging eco-tour trend finds a perfect home on Hawaii Island. Companies tapping that market include Hawaii Forest & Trail, which just added three tours departing from its new Hilo headquarters. Hawaii Outdoor Guides’ new Waikoloa Dryland Conservation tour focuses on endangered native plants and lets each guest personalize a rare tree seedling.
The Farm, Fork and Fire tour from KapohoKine Adventures stops at Hamakua Mushrooms and Volcano Winery. It also includes a cooking demonstration at Volcano House and a sunset tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The island’s newest luau, Voyagers of the Pacific, regales guests with food and drink and Hawaiian stories, songs and dances at Royal Kona Resort.
Foodies can feed their passion on two new Tasting Kauai tours; one focuses on the north shore, and the other covers the south. Each tour includes great meals and interaction with Kauai farmers, chefs and artisans.
A new addition to McBryde Garden is a domed stick sculpture created by environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. Visitors can venture inside the 25-by-25-foot circular structure. Its creation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.