Editorial Clips

TaketheDirtRoadBig Island Traveler: Take the Dirt Road

The Big Island is truly a playground for any outdoor enthusiast. There are many ways to explore the island, but one of the lesser-known methods is mountain biking. Hawai‘i plays host to numerous trails, but Mana Road is by far one of the most beautiful, hugging the base of Mauna Kea Mountain and cutting through the pastures of Parker Ranch. It’s more of a distance ride than a technical stomach wrenching single track, and, as such, is accessible to both the aggressive and casual rider. Read More

JewelsoftheIsleBig Island Traveler: Jewels of the Isle

Decorating humanity for millennia, it is believed that beaded jewelry dates back around 90,000 to 100,000 years. The adornments were made from the marine mollusk shells of the Nassarius. Throughout the ages, artisans have drawn inspiration from their environment, seeking to enhance society with the beauty of the natural world. Styles and trends have cycled, but one constant remains—embellishments inspired by nature are as popular now as with the first Nassarius shells. With an array of inimitable products, the artistry of crafting unique and breathtaking jewelry is an industry that is continuously growing in Hawai‘i today. Read More

BroughttotheSurfaceInnov8: Brought To The Surface

More than a means of providing sustenance to family and friends, spearfishing is a practice that floats free from time, age, relation and race – a hidden world that grants passage to only a select few. Yet it remains firmly rooted in the terrestrial plane, for all must return to where they belong in order to share their consummate treasure.

The ability to provide a valuable resource to those you care for bestows great honor upon the procurer. With 42 years of diving experience and thousands of waterlogged hours, David Ayau laughs when I ask him what he loves about spearfishing. “Honestly, what’s not to love about it?” Read More

StoriesSetOnCanvasInnov8: Stories Set On Canvas

Kira Kamamalu Lee is a spirited Hawaiian artist whose paintings possess a life of their own, becoming inspired companions to the spaces they inhabit. She focuses primarily on figures, drawn to human mutability and varied emotional expression. “With a person, there is so much to say,” Lee says of her work, and without a doubt, her subjects speak silent volumes on immobile walls. Owning her art is like inviting a friend, a discerning aunty, or an innocent child over for dinner.  Read More


Big Island Traveler: Talk Story

Twilight at Kalahuipua’a, or Talk Story as the locals call it, is a monthly gathering of kama’aina (locals) and tourists alike that celebrates the tradition of storytelling through music, dance and the spoken word.

The Eva Woods Parker Cottage, a small hale (house) situated on a narrow scruff of land between the Kalahuipua’a fishponds and the Pacific Ocean at the Mauna Lani Bay Resort, is the ideal setting for this intimate night of entertainment and history. Read More


Big Island Traveler: Get On Board

Stand Up Paddling has been a rising star of the aquatic sports scene for years. Interest has skyrocketed, and the wide variety of applications makes this athletic activity both accessible and attractive to people of all sporting backgrounds and geographies. Some use it as a cross-training tool, while others make their living at it on the pro tour.

Stand up paddling has become a platform for racing, surfing, channel crossings, environmental awareness, and, recently, yoga. Read More


Big Island Traveler: Blue Lagoon

Situated on the Kohala coast, Kiholo Bay is like a convention center for beauty, wildlife, wilderness and history, dropped in the middle of a deserted lava field. From tire-melting Highway 19, amidst the barren landscape, one can spot a stand of palm trees pressed against a gradient of turquoise thought only to exist in fiction and fairy tales.

It’s possible to take in the view from the lookout by mile-marker 82, but why would you press your nose to the glass of an aquarium when you have the opportunity to swim with the fishes? Read More

UntamedPointInnov8: The Untamed Point

The Big Island is a vast wilderness of varied landscapes, and the area around Ka Lae, also known as South Point, is no exception. Ka Lae causes those present to stand in awe of nature’s palpable power, cloaked in the tingling energy of the untamed terrain. A wind swept and wild expanse, it takes the breath away.

Traveling south from Kona, this destination is a magnificent sight. It juts out from the land and rises hundreds of feet above the black lava plain below. Read More

InthePresenceofGiantsInnov8: In The Presence of Giants

Stand-up paddleboarding along the coast is a remarkable approach to experiencing the Hawaiian reefs and wildlife, but during whale season it is beyond spectacular. In the winter months, humpback whales migrate to the shallow, warm and protected bays of Hawai‘i to breed and give birth.

The Big Island is one of their favored destinations, as are Maui and Kaua‘i, and during the peak months of February and March these gentle giants come so close to shore they can be seen from the beaches. Read More

AnAncientAdornmentInnov8: An Ancient Adornment

The art of tattooing can be traced to ancient Polynesia, has been a recognized form of personal, cultural, and artistic expression for centuries and part of the Hawaiian culture since its inception. Tahitian in origin the word “tattoo” means ‘to mark the skin with color’. The Hawaiian term for tattooing is Kakau and the expression kakau i ka uhi means ‘the tattooing of the mark’.

Unlike the intricate curvilinear designs of some Polynesian cultures, traditional Hawaiian motifs consisted of simple geometric shapes and linear patterns. Read More

SoulWriterInnov8: Soul Writer

Leon Toomata, a New Zealand native, better known by his stage name “LT Smooth”, left his home for Australia at the age of 19. After 10 years of gang banging and drugs, he checked into a Catholic convent rehab center and constructed a new life centered on music. He slowly rebuilt his life, playing out in Australia and traveling the world when, in 2001, he found his resting spot on the Big Island of Hawai’i. “There’s a reason why I’m still alive, there’s a reason why I’m still here, and every day I wake up and I’m thankful,” says Toomata. Read More

HanaleiAfterDarkInnov8: Hanalei After Dark

If you find yourself in the sleepy surf town of Hanalei past 10pm, you might think martial law is in place ordering all businesses closed by 9:30pm. It’s less martial law than island practice – early to bed, early to rise. But even islands have night owls, and Iti Wine Bar can rescue you from an evening of staring at the ceiling, begging your unwilling eyes to close. Read More

GaryYoungInnov8: Aged In Wood

Gary Young, a SoCal native, began surfing in 1963 on a board he and his dad shaped from a Walker foam blank. Surfing, as it has a tendency to do, made an indelible mark on Gary, and he continued his board shaping education throughout his adolescence. Although surfing remained an integral part of his life, it wasn’t a viable career choice in 1970, and he found himself designing circuit boards for an electronics company in Northern California.

Predictably, corporate America didn’t jive well with Gary’s sensibilities, so he hung up his suit for good… Read More

RanchtoRodeoKe Ola: Ranch to Rodeo: Hawaii’s Paniolo Culture

Folks from around the world associate Hawai’i with sun, sandy beaches and surfing, but they are often unaware of the importance, impact, and prevalence of ranching on the islands. Paniolo culture, and the families that have grown up within it, is a quiet yet integral fixture to life in Hawai’i – and has been for nearly 200 years.

Ranching and rodeos can be overlooked, even amongst those who live here, but anyone who’s ever attended a rodeo knows that they have a strong and loyal following. The paniolo are the heartbeat of our hills. So why don’t you see famous Hawaiian cowboys whoop-hollerin’, and riding bulls…  Read More

Shouse_StorySUP Connect: The Shouses, a Paddleboard Love Story

BIG ISLAND, Hawaii – What are the chances that a girl from Oregon and a guy from Arizona hear the call of the ocean so deeply that they move to Hawaii – separately – fall in love, and become two of the most beautiful ocean ambassadors around? Pretty good, if you’re the Shouses.

Donica is originally from Waterloo, Oregon, an hour and a half from the frigid and unforgiving coast where she taught herself to surf at the age of 17. Abe is from Arizona, the real life Rick Cane, and spent his childhood flip-flopping between the West Coast and the East Coast every two years, submerging himself… Read More

Trazzler: Travel Destination Micro-Articles

Mingling With Longtime Locals
Apple_JacksBlink and you’ll miss Apple Jacks Inn, a local pub at the edge of La Honda, it looks like it was made in a wood shop, dropped into place, then filled with characters from a novel. Located beside a creek and pushed up against giant redwoods, a steady stream of smoke puffs from the chimney of its potbelly stove. Seats carved from giant trees decorate the porch where the clientele congregate for fresh air and conversation. Far from cliché, this place is the real deal and if you get up the gumption to have a conversation with some of the locals, they’ll tell you stories better than fiction.

Standing in Awe of a Surfing Pioneer
Mavericks_SurfshopWhether you’re looking to buy a new big-wave gun or have a history lesson from Jeff Clark—the guy who surfed one of the gnarliest surf spots on the planet alone for 15 years—head to Mavericks Surf Shop. Tucked back in the industrial marina area of Princeton-by-the-Sea, you can find it by following the inconspicuous signs propped up on various signposts. There’s an old painted Chevy Blazer signaling your arrival. It’s part museum, part surf shop and all interesting.

Taking a Walk Through Surfing History
Surfing_MuseumIn a lighthouse smaller than most New York City apartments, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum manages to thoroughly cover nearly 100 years of surfing history. It smells of surf wax and nostalgia, housing vintage photographs and boards from every generation. The museum traces the origins of surfing from Hawaii through its migration to Santa Cruz, quite a leap if you consider the difference in water temperature and lack of neoprene, and outward to the world, becoming the sport it is today. Run by donations, volunteers and a genuine love of surfing, the museum remains true to the humble surfer spirit. Stop by, you’re sure to learn something.

Pitching a Tent at Butano State Park
Butano_SPDon’t be fooled by the grassland entrance, you’re about to wind your way into a densely forested redwood park. As you climb, the air changes – cool, fresh and peaty – and every surface is a shade of burnt sienna or green. There are several camping options, from car camping to packing it in 5 miles to trail camp, and there are enough sun-streaked trails to keep you walking or mountain biking for weeks. It’s refreshing, being surrounded by so many layers of forest, and there is no lack of wildlife or edibles to encounter in this bountiful and energized park.

Stepping Through the Cellar Door
Bonny_DoonThis is not your rich uncle’s wine tasting. Located next to the Swift Street Courtyard, the Bonny Doon Tasting Room sets itself apart from the other wine rooms on the block. It has a cozy art-loft warehouse vibe, and with a $5 tasting flight is hard to pass up. The wines are diverse, the labels are fun (snip a few off the rolls to take), the staff is knowledgeable, and the food in the recently opened Cellar Door restaurant is delectable. They have several biodynamic wines and the snake on the tasting room wall is meant to give everyone good dreams, which you’re sure to have as you float home from this unique experience.

Digging the Spirit of Agriculture
Farmer_JohnsThe San Mateo Coast in autumn is blanketed by fields of bright orange pumpkins spread across the land in striking contrast to the brown hills, fir forests and open ocean. There are many farms that offer pumpkin picking, hayrides and face painting, but Farmer John’s Pumpkins offers something more. Farmer John places your hand on the heart of agriculture; giving you an educational experience that opens your mind to the land that feeds you. Kids and adults alike adore the farm, riding the tractor into the fields and getting a history lesson in the Sioux teepee. It’s a unique destination that bridges the gap between that pumpkin pie and the hands that grew it.

And if you can’t get there during pumpkin season, there’s a good chance you’ll run into Farmer John riding his tractor down main street delivering fresh produce to the restaurants. Be sure to say hello, and ask him what’s fresh this season.

Wave Watching at The Lane in Santa Cruz
Steamer_LaneHost to the Cold Water Classic, ‘The Lane’ is a Santa Cruz surfing landmark. It is notoriously heavy, cold, and not for the beginner or faint of heart. There is a list of rules carved on a wooden plaque at the top of the stairs and a host of locals happy to enforce them. When there are waves, and even when there aren’t, the place is alive with surfers cruising by on bikes to check the swell and chat with guys just out of the water. The waves are perfect peelers; just watching them sends you into adrenaline saturated surf fantasyland. But, if you are a beginner and looking for a mellower wave, just down the street is Cowell’s – friendly, gentle and teaming with learning surfers of all ages.


Celebrating Spirit With Costumes and Sweat
Bay_2_BreakersBay to Breakers, in existence for nearly a century, is not only one of the world’s largest footraces, but a salute to the eclectic nature and creative spirit of The City. It’s as though someone turned Halloween into a team sport, soaked it in glee, and then held a parade. Every third Sunday in May, the participants begin the 12k race at the bay and end at the beach. However it’s not only for the serious competitor; costumed groups of delighted citizens pour in at every point on the route to join the masses of dancing penguins, laughing fairies, and ecstatic super heroes. But beware; you may need to dodge the Spawning Salmon, who ‘swim upstream’ every year.

Browsing Through Eclectic Goods
Spanish_TownAre you in the market for an enormous tin dinosaur? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect Tibetan singing bowl and a vintage net float? Spanish Town, the original name for Half Moon Bay, is a little outdoor shopping area with three eclectic and unrelated stores. The front shop hosts goods from Nepal and smells of incense and tranquility. The shell man, who delights in sharing his passion for these previously owned homes he sources from around the world, has a shop in the center bay. And as you head toward the last store, the sound of a hundred fountains greet and invite you to take a stroll through the bazaar of brightly painted pots and unique sculptures. There’s something for everyone in Spanish Town.

Picking Up a Board and a Burrito
Linda_MarPacifica State Beach is a long stretch of sand just off Highway 1. It offers waves for every skill level, and is a breeding ground for future surfers. Beginners usually stick to the protected cove at the south end of the beach, foam boards and enormous smiles decorating the waves, while the advanced surfers go north where is it a bit more exposed. It’s a consistent beach break with beautiful views, but, be warned, it can get heavy in the winter. When hunger signals a session complete, you can pick up a couple burritos at the world’s only beachfront Taco Bell.

Discovering Dogtown in Venice Beach, California
skateIf you want to dive deeper into Venice Beach culture, tear yourself away from the boardwalk sideshow and head down to the skate park off Windward Ave. Venice is more than Muscle Beach and White Men Can’t Jump; it is the birthplace of modern skateboarding. Representing the ultimate in hooligan artistry and subculture celebration, skateboarding remains an integral part of the creative counterculture for which Venice is known. The new park has been open just over a year and plays host to mini-groms, professional riders, and salty life-long Venetians. It represents the past, present and future, and whether you skate, people watch or enjoy a deeper look into the city beat; it’s worth stopping by to appreciate.


Grabbing a Bite with Bikers Alice’s Restaurant
At the crossroads of Hwy 84 and Skyline, Alice’s restaurant plays host to bikers and hikers that ride through every weekend. It used to be a general store during the area’s logging years and it maintains the axe swinging vibe of that era, with a leather twist. They have a large outdoor patio with picnic tables, and a typical diner counter with cowhide barstools nearly rubbed hairless from use. Friendly and family owned with a huge selection of burgers, their handcrafted root beer on tap begs for a scoop of ice cream and a long, long spoon.


Winding Your Way To Whitehouse Creek Beach
There is no loud sign marking the trailhead to Whitehouse Creek Beach, just a turnout adjacent to Hwy 1 and a modest green path cut through the waist-high marshland grasses. It’s a short walk to the bluff where the stairs beckon you to to the sand and tide pools below. Or you can hang a left and walk along the Atkinson Bluff trail for an elevated view. This area is best around sunset when the wind starts to lay down, and the wildlife comes around to salute the day. You’ll often see deer and bunnies often on the path, seals lingering just off shore and an unforgettable spray of color in the sky as the day surrenders itself.

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