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There’s nothing static about Hawaii Island. Thanks to a steady outpouring of lava from Kilauea Volcano since 1983, its land mass keeps growing and so does the overall dynamism of the destination.
Just when repeat visitors think they’ve seen and done it all on this vast oasis, its tourism partners come up with unique new pastimes for their guests, from lovers of luxury to rugged outdoor buffs.
But don’t take my word for it. Just check out these recent headlines from Hawaii Island and you’ll agree: it’s an ever-evolving venue for one-of-a-kind vacations.
Hawaii Forest and Trail Turns 20To celebrate its 20th year, this adventure tour company has launched a year-long philanthropy program called E Hoomaluo (“to conserve or manage wisely”). Throughout the coming year, it’s partnering with like-minded non-profit groups on fundraisers, tours and volunteer work days that visitors can take part in. It’s a great way for travelers to give back to the destination during their vacations.www.hawaii-forest.com
Hilo Grown: A New Ag-TourHawaii Agritourism Association recently introduced Hilo Grown, a new ag-adventure on the east side of Hawaii Island. Stops include Imiloa Astronomy Center, where clients learn how agriculture spread throughout ancient Polynesia. Guests also get a look at a successful flower operation, a lesson in moving foods from farm to market to table and a visit to a high tech, alternative energy farm. www.hiagtourism.org
Hilton Waikoloa Village Debuts Ice Cream ShopHere’s the scoop on the newest dining option at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Called Shaka Cones – Big Island Ice Cream, it serves locally-made confections from Tropical Dreams, dishing up 12 gourmet flavors like coconut cream and Kona coffee. Try them by the bowl or in shakes, sundaes and baked waffle cones. Located next to the Dolphin Quest lagoon, it’s open from 1-9 p.m. daily.www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com
Island Breeze Luau Adds ShowThrough Aug. 21, Island Breeze Luau is adding an extra performance each Wednesday along with its regular Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday shows. Through the songs and dances of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand, the luau presents stories, cultural practices and traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Look for it at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel.www.konabeachhotel.com
Kings’ Shops Offers Hands-On HawaiiVisitors can create tropical memories courtesy of Kings’ Shops’ new lei making classes and ukulele lessons, both offered at Hawaiian Ukulele and Guitar. Lei making takes place every Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. for $25 per person including materials. Ukulele lessons, which cost $10, take place Mondays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 7-8 p.m.www.kingsshops.com
Lava Ocean Adventures Cuts Summer RatesAs Kilauea Volcano continues to erupt, clients can sign up for a Lava Ocean Adventures boat tour or guided hike to see, hear and feel the heat from the freshest land in Hawaii. Now through August, participants receive $10 off the regular price of $160 for the Morning Sunrise tour — which departs at 6:30 a.m. — or $35 off when they book online. www.seelava.com
Mauna Lani Touts Anniversary SpecialMauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an exclusive offer on its luxurious 4,000-square-foot bungalows. Guests get a fourth night free and $500 resort credit when they book the two-bedroom ocean-side digs, which were completely renovated in 2012. Reservations must be booked by July 31 for travel through Oct. 31.www.maunalani.com
Sheraton Kona Hosts TriathlonSheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay is once again hosting the Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon, slated for Nov. 24. The hotel’s convention center sets the stage for a free sports, health and nutrition expo with informative booths and talks. Also on tap: a sunset run, kids’ swim/run and awards party with live music, food and camaraderie for volunteers, athletes and fans. www.sheratonkona.com www.lavamantriathlon.com/keauhou