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While the annual Aloha Festivals tend to grab the spotlight in September, Oahu brims with other ways to savor Hawaii’s unique culture and history.
Event: Scratching the Art ItchWith a rotating roster of 700-plus talents displaying their individual visions, Kakaako’s monthly ART + FLEA (ArtandFlea.com) connects an eclectic mix of patrons with creatives “doing what they love.” Count on a cool vibe generated by exclusive, one-time pop-up stalls; interactive workshops; art exhibits; and “Mori Live Sessions” featuring local musicians.
Insider Tip:“First Fridays at the Hawaii State Art Museum are a fun, casual way to mingle with local artists and art lovers. Visitors enjoy being able to listen to live music performances while wandering through the museum galleries and experiencing contemporary art about Hawaii.” — Karen Ewald, Hawaii State Art Museum Director
Activity: Walking the WalkFrom Our Lady of Peace Cathedral’s Gothic design to the Hawaiian Renaissance style of Iolani Palace, AIA Honolulu’s Saturday morning Architectural Walking Tour (AIAHonolulu.org) showcases the fascinating facades that compose Honolulu’s Downtown and Capital districts. As an intriguing contrast, the open-air Hawaii State Capitol bucks tradition with distinctive elements symbolizing the 50th State’s water, royal palms and volcanoes.
Culture: First Friday FunCelebrating Hawaii’s visual and performance artists, the Hawaii State Art Museum’s (SFCA.Hawaii.gov) First Friday draws families and foodies to the Hawaii Capital Historic District. As garnish to the complimentary scene, aficionados can peruse permanent displays of Hawaiian art, plus temporary exhibits — including “Accession,” which features recent acquisitions by the Art in Public Places Collection.
Culinary: Sipping SugarcaneKunia’s Manulele Distillers (KohanaRum.com) blends spirits and history by sharing meticulously crafted small-batch Ko Hana Agricole Rum at the farm-to-bottle source. Daily tours include tracing Hawaii’s ko (sugarcane) history, strolling through heirloom gardens and comparing white and aged rums in the distillery’s tasting bar.