Explore Hawai‘i with a variety of outdoor experiences this fall season. Travelers visiting the island can choose from a variety of adventures and attractions, including snorkeling with manta rays, helicopter or driving tours, checking out stunning natural wonders such as volcanoes and waterfalls, or attending local festivals and events offering unique experiences only happening on Hawai‘i Island.
Here are a few things you can experience on the island of Hawai‘i this fall.
Help remove invasive plant species preventing the growth of native Hawai‘i plants in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park by volunteering with the park’s Stewardship at the Summit program. Happening several times each month, your volunteer work will often happen in the shade of the forest canopy accompanied by the sweet sounds of native Hawai‘i honeycreepers like the ‘amakihi and ‘ōma’o. You’ll take a moderate, mile-long roundtrip hike from the Kīlauea Visitor Center to the forest area where the day’s work occurs. Participants are encouraged to wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants, bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.
Mauna Kea Resort offers guests opportunities to experience beach and ocean activities just steps away from their rooms, as well as an opportunity to experience their newest helicopter adventure with Blue Hawaiian Adventures. Mauna Kea Resort and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters have partnered to launch the new VIP Heli-Experience, offering its guests exclusive and personalized helicopter charters. Beach and ocean activities include outrigger canoeing, snorkeling, sailing and even a manta ray night swim with Manta Ray Advocates. Guests can book the Manta Night Swim for a private nighttime snorkel experience with the beautiful marine animals as they “dance” in illuminated waters. For more information, visit https://www.maunakearesort.com/.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park guests are invited to learn the traditional Hawaiian way of making poi from the root of the kalo (taro) plant on September 13 at the ʻŌhiʻa Wing (across Crater Rim Drive from Kīlauea Visitor Center). The process of creating poi involves cooking the kalo root then pounding it into the familiar paste. Park ranger Keoni Kaholoʻaʻā will share his knowledge of kuʻi kalo (pounding taro) and stories of his ‘ohana (family) connections to the island’s Waipiʻo Valley where kalo thrives and is farmed by local families. The poi-pounding experience is part of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s ongoing ‘Ike Noʻeau (Experience the Skillful Work) Hawaiian cultural programs, co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participation is free, but park entrance fees apply. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
Action Tour Guide, a self-guided driving tour around the island of Hawai‘i, offers road-trip guidance for visiting the island’s volcanoes, rainforest hikes and beautiful beaches. Drivers utilizing the tour can begin their road trips from either Kailua-Kona on the island’s west side or Hilo International Airport on the east side and see the best of the island’s scenery and places. For more information, visit https://actiontourguide.com/place/big-island-hawaii-south-selfguided-driving-tour/?aff=33.
The public is invited to attend the next Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park After Dark in the Park event, which will feature U.S. Department of Agriculture research biologist Dr. Steven Hess discussing both the difficulties of reversing the devastating effects of alien species in the park and the successes that have resulted in the dramatic recovery of some native species. The talk, set for September 12 at 7 p.m., is part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s ongoing After Dark in the Park programs and is co-sponsored by Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Attending the talk is free, but park entrance fees apply. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
Hana No‘eau Hawaiian Arts Festival is dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture and arts, offering Hawaiʻi-based master artists and producers a venue to share their talent. Hana No‘eau spotlights creativity in the visual arts, literary arts and performing arts that link the past, present and future. The event features the works of some of Hawai‘i’s finest artisans and producers of Hawaiian arts and crafts alongside cultural demonstrations and entertainment. The festival is set for August 18 and 19 at the Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium in Hilo, and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://namakua.com/hana-noeau-festival.
The Mauka Makai Drag Show is set to return to the Honoka‘a People’s Theatre for a second annual edition on August 26 at 7:30 p.m. The fundraiser for the Honoka‘a Business Association features colorful costumes, banter, music and dance routines. Folks arriving early can grab dinner from multiple food trucks near the theatre from 5 to 9 p.m. Attendees are also invited to stick around after the show for a meet-and-greet with performers and opportunities to snap selfies with favorite entertainers. The Mauka Makai Drag Show is expected to sell out quickly so buy tickets online soon at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-mauka-makai-drag-showtickets-652347337447?aff=oddtdtcreator.
Nā‘ālehu Theatre is presenting the second annual Aloha Shirt Festival, Vintage Era Exhibit and Fashion Week Hawaiʻi at the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa, on September 29 and 30. The Aloha Shirt Festival brings both traditional and contemporary wearable arts together in a celebration of Hawai‘i's contributions to the fashion industry. The festival will feature some of Hawai‘i's top musicians and designers in runway showcases of vintage aloha wear, and include sales and appraisals, music and entertainment, and exciting fashion runway shows featuring vintage and repurposed clothing. It will also include contemporary designers, fashion collections and wearable art designs, traditional and cutting-edge workshops, a pop-up marketplace, speakers and presentations, hair and make-up shows, local food and beverages, and even manta ray watching. The fashion-forward festival is an awardee of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Community Enrichment Program, which supports community projects, festivals and events throughout the state. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.AlohaShirtFestival.com.
The VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will host the very best female professional triathletes from around the world on October 14 in Kailua-Kona. The 140.6-mile triathlon is the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit, over its many years producing stellar athlete achievements, inspirational participants and emotional performances. Among the sport’s pinnacle global events, the IRONMAN World Championship’s unique course takes athletes into the waters of Kailua Bay, alongside the sunny Kona and Kohala coasts, and traverses vast landscapes of hardened lava. The race is an awardee of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Signature Events Program, which supports community projects, festivals and events throughout the state. For more information, visit https://www.ironman.com/im-world-championship-2023.
The 16th annual Run for the Dry Forest is set for October 28 at Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve in support of the conservation and restoration of dry forests in Hawai‘i. Puʻuwaʻawaʻa, once considered one of the state’s most botanically rich forests, is home to some of Hawai‘i’s last remaining native dry forest acreage. The public is invited to enjoy the race, cheer on the runners, and spend time in the event’s educational booths and on the preserve’s interpretive trail. Organizers of the family-friendly event will also be giving away prizes. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Puuwaawaa.
Kōkua Kailua is a festive, family-friendly outdoor marketplace and monthly village stroll on Historic Kailua Village’s Ali‘i Drive. The event happens on a designated Sunday each month, closing busy Ali‘i Drive to all vehicular traffic from Kailua Pier through Historic Kailua Village to Hualālai Road, from 1 to 6 p.m. The event includes nearly 100 vendor booths showcasing the work of local artisans and crafters, and includes merchant and food booths, and live musicians. For more information, visit http://historickailuavillage.com/kokua-kailua/.