Locals and tourists are going bananas for Banán’s nondairy, banana soft serve creations available at four Honolulu locations (about 45 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). Visitors can enjoy up to seven different flavors offered in nine different creations, including floats. One of their signature items is a Papaya Boat, which allows guests to eat their dishware.
They use locally sourced foods and buy at least 90 percent of their ingredients from the Islands. This approach ensures the freshest and most flavorful product for consumers and supports local farms and suppliers, It also helps the environment by reducing the need to import food and burn additional fossil fuels. Banán closes the food waste loop by returning their banana peels and other food waste to Waiahole and Waianae farms, which helps feed the pigs or make compost.
For more information about their menu, locations, farm suppliers, and more, visit https://www.bananbowls.com/.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honolulu offers an architectural walking tour of Downtown Honolulu every other Saturday (about 30 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). It is a special experience for visitors to explore downtown Honolulu through the eyes of an architectural historian.
The walking tour visits the restored Hawaii Theatre, Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, St. Andrews Cathedral, Washington Place, State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Honolulu Hale, Kawaihao Church, Mission House Museum, Aliiolani Hale, the Kamehameha Statue, and more.
The tour must be booked ahead ($15 per person) and runs from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM (check in at 8:45 AM). Tour group sizes range from four to twelve walkers. Comfortable walking shoes, water, sunscreen, and an umbrella are recommended.
For more information, visit https://www.aiahonolulu.org/?WalkingTours.
Celebrate all things mango, Hawaii’s most precious fruit, at The Mango Jam Honolulu (about 30 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). This two-day event offers visitors a taste of island culture by featuring various types of live entertainment, food and craft booths, a beer and cocktail garden, and a farmer’s market full of fresh island produce including the magnificent mango. There will also be a mango cook-off (sweet and savory) and a mango barbecue cook-off between local celebrity chefs.
The event starts on Friday, June 29, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Festivities continue on Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Entry is free and free parking is available at the city’s municipal parking lot and nearby Kalanimoku building.
For more information, visit http://www.mangojamhonolulu.com/.
The Arch Project Climbing Center offers 2,000 square feet of climbing surface and a custom 16-inch-thick padded floor in Waipahu, about 25 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villa. The center supplements the Arch Project Hawai‘i nonprofit that organizes beach and hiking trail cleanups, holiday food drives, and screens documentary films about sustainability. They also support other nonprofits, including 808 Cleanups; Big Brothers Big Sisters; the anti-sex trafficking organization, and Ho‘ōla Nā Pua; Project Hawai‘i Inc., which provides support for homeless children.
“Climbing builds confidence and evens the playing field between gender, age, height. We’re just trying to get people enthusiastic about climbing and taking care of the community.” says creator Nathaniel Lam.
The gym features an amphitheater-style wall designed by Futurist Climbing and built by WALLTOPIA and provides a wide range of angles to climb on while challenging both beginners and experts.
For more information about pricing, visit https://www.archprojectclimbing.com/.
Take a guided ATV tour of scenic valleys and remote areas rarely visited by others, only 50 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. Visit iconic Hollywood filming locations, explore some of Kualoa’s secret spots, and take in sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.
Kualoa Ranch offers one or two-hour tours on single passenger or multi-passenger ATVs. Tours cross streams and cut through jungle trails, rain or shine, so be sure to wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and sunscreen.
For more information about pricing and booking a tour, visit http://www.kualoa.com/oahu-tours/atv-tours/.
Localicious celebrates locally-sourced ingredients and raises money for agriculture education in Hawai’i schools. For the entire month of March, participating restaurants feature one or more dishes marked with a Localicious logo featuring some kind of locally grown, caught, or raised product. Several Ko Olina Resort restaurants are taking part in Localicious, including La Hiki Kitchen at Four Seasons Resort (pictured dish Ulu & Kona Cold Lobster Salad).
One dollar from each dish goes to support all of Hawai’i Agricultural Foundation’s various education programs, including Veggie U and Kids Cooking Local. So far this year, the campaign has raised more than $170,000 to provide about 70 public schools statewide with garden kits and structured agriculture-related curricula.
Other participating resort restaurants include Mina’s Fish House at Four Seasons Resort, ‘Ama ‘Ama at Aulani, and Roy’s at the Ko Olina Golf Club. Nearby Kapolei restaurants collaborating with Localicious are Eating House 1849, La Tour Cafe, Limon Rotisserie, and Plantation Tavern.
There are a multitude of Honolulu restaurants joining forces with Localicious this year and many others across Oahu. For a full list of participating restaurants, visit http://localicioushawaii.com/oahu/.
Do you have a need for speed? You can test your racing skills at K1 Speed in Kapolei, only 15 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. This location offers individuals of all ages the thrilling experience of indoor go-karting. You can race against the clock or against a friend with up to 12 drivers on the track at one time.
Surprisingly, these electric carts can reach speeds of up to 45 mph while racing around a Grand Prix-style go-kart track. Safety is important, so racing helmets, head socks, and instruction for first time racers is provided. There are safety barriers around the track and the staff oversees every race to ensure individuals are driving safely and obeying the rules.
For more information about pricing and hours, visit https://www.k1speed.com/hawaii-location.html.
A popular breakfast cafe in Kapolei, only ten minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, is My Cafe. They serve breakfast and lunch all day until closing (2:00 p.m.). Call ahead seating is recommended. Their pancakes are legendary. If you can’t choose between the Cookie Butta Luva, Lilikoi, or Chocolate Taro Haupia pancakes, you can get their famous Flight of Pancakes. You will find yourself using native words like “lani” (heavenly) and “ono” (delicious).
They cover all of your standard breakfast needs, such as bagels, scrambles, french toast, breakfast plates, omelets, benedicts, and lighter breakfast fare (fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, etc.). They also offer some uniquely Hawaiian dishes, such as Loco Moco and Fried Rice.
If you’re looking for lunch, they’ve got that covered too. Sandwiches, salads, paninis, acai bowls, and smoothies. Something for everyone. You may be a “malihini” (visitor), but you’ll feel like “ohana” (family).
For more information, visit https://www.mycafehi.com/contact.
In the winter months, huge swells visit the North Shore of Oahu and bring some of the best waves in the world (about 55 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas). The top surfers across the planet arrive for some of the most exciting surf competitions on earth.
Because surfers are at the mercy of the waves, their competitions work differently than other sporting events. Since coordinators can’t predict the exact surf conditions, there are date windows given for each contest. For example, the window for the Billabong Pipe Masters is December 8 to 20, 2017. During that window, weather and wave conditions are closely monitored and contest officials decide every morning if the contest is on or off. If you’re on Oahu during a contest window, visit the website of the contest host every morning to see if the competition is on.
Take binoculars for optimum surf viewing. Pack snacks, as most competition locations have minimal food (if any at all). Bring your own shade (umbrella/tent), as the sun can still be quite hot in the winter. If you bring an umbrella/tent, be courteous to others and keep it low or set up to the side. Bring a camera (bonus if you have a telephoto lens).
To check surf conditions for all shores, go to www.SurfNewsNetwork.com. For event status, updates, and conditions, call 808-596-SURF.
This year marks the 8th Annual Rice Fest, which will take place on Auahi Street fronting Ward Centre (about 55 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas) from 3 PM to 9 PM.
Visitors will experience Hawaii’s culinary and cultural diversity with live musical entertainment (taiko drumming and ukulele performances), celebrity chefs, and uniquely-Hawaiian eating contests (poke, loco moco, and SPAM musubi).
Most importantly, this event will support Lanakila Meals on Wheels who help feed Hawaii’s hungry seniors. They will be accepting monetary and rice donations all day long at their booth.
Festivities are free. For more information, visit http://ricefest.com/.