POIPU, Kauai --
Theres much more to Hawaii than sun, surf and sand. Culture
vultures neednt kick the habit once they land in Honolulu and don a
lei, as all of Hawaii, from Kauai to the Big Island, is packed with
enlightening and entertaining diversions.
The Hawaii Arts
season, promoted annually by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention
Bureau, kicked off at the end of February with one-time
performances by Indias Nrityagram Dance Ensemble on Maui and then
Oahu, and a two-day civic festival celebrating the town of Waimea
one-time-only events include an April 29 tribute to
paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys, at the Kauai Marriott
Resort and Beach Club; the Diamond Head Crater Celebration on Oahu
April 1, featuring the first concerts to be held within the
volcanic crater since 1978; and the Kokua Festival ecological
benefit concert -- featuring country singer Willie Nelson, among
others -- at the Maui Arts and Cultural Centers A&B
Amphitheater on April 19.
Other top draws
this spring include the International Festival of Canoes in
Lahaina, on Maui, to run May 13 to 27, and the Merrie Monarch
Festival, celebrating the traditional island art of hula, in Hilo,
on the Big Island, April 16 to 22.
There also are
regular, ongoing cultural offerings of which vacationers can avail
themselves at any time of the year.
Following are a
concerts: Every Friday and Sunday, Doug and Sandy McMaster, who
play the traditional Hawaiian slack-key guitar and ukulele, offer
free concerts at the Hanalei Family Community Center. For more
information and dates, visit www.alohaplentyhawaii.com.
" Museum tours:
Daily and weekly tours are offered at several museums, palaces and
other attractions in the Honolulu area. For example, the Bishop
Museum, the states largest such institution, with 24 million items
from Hawaii and Polynesia, and its Hawaii Maritime Center division
offer daily tours. For more, see www.bishopmuseum.org.
The Hawaii State
Art Museum (www.state.hi.us/sfca) offers free access to the
largest collection of work by Hawaiian artists in the world, from
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Tuesday, theater buffs can take a free tour of the Hawaii Theatre
in Honolulu, built in 1922 for theatrical and film presentations,
and then closed for renovations from 1989 to 1996. The theater is
now one of the states premier venues for touring shows and
concerts. For more information on the Hawaii Theatre docent tours,
Visitors can also
tour 124-year-old Iolani Palace, the only official royal residence
in the U.S., every Tuesday and Saturday. Once home to King Kalakaua
and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, the palace was a
focal point in the former Kingdom of Hawaii. Reservations are
recommended; for more, visit http://iolanipalace.org.
slams: Head to the ARTS @ Marks Garage space in downtown
Honolulu Wednesday afternoons to listen in on free poetry slams
(competitions in which poetry is judged by audience members) and
workshops run by youth group Youth Speaks Hawaii. Beginners are
welcome. For more information, visit http://youthspeakshawaii.org.
walks/festivals: Fridays mean the arts in Honolulu. On the
first Friday of each month, locals and visitors pour into Chinatown
for late-evening access to area galleries, museums and studios. For
more, visit http://chinatownhi.com.
And on the last
Friday of every month, visiting art buffs and professionals can
head to the Honolulu Academy of the Arts for an Art After Dark
social to mix with like-minded locals. See http://artafterdark.org for more
The third weekend
of each month, the free Waikiki Artfest, featuring arts and crafts
from 75 local artisans, holds court at Kapiolani Park. The fair,
free of charge, runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; call (808)
For more on the
Hawaii Arts season, visit http://gohawaii.com/arts.
Destinations editor Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].