Eating House 1849, a plantation-inspired concept by James Beard Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, opens at the Kapolei Commons (about 10 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas).
The restaurant pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage with a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who opened one of the first restaurants in Hawaii back in the mid-1800s. Peter called his restaurant the Eating House and used what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers, and fishermen.
Chef Roy Yamaguchi blends the easy feeling and simple flavors of a plantation town with the innovative modernity of stylish cuisine. The kitchen will be headed by executive chef Randy Bangloy, who was most recently the sous chef at Roy’s Ko Olina. The Waipahu High alum is a graduate of Leeward Community College’s culinary program.
For more information, visit http://www.eatinghouse1849.com/.
Take a 2-hour walking tour to explore the history, culture, and food traditions of Honolulu’s Chinatown (about 30 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas). The tour is on April 23, 2017, from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Shop the markets and learn about seafood, fresh produce, and traditional foods. Visit bakeries, noodle factories, specialty shops, temples, and historic sites. Sample local foods such as poke, roast pork, look funn noodles, and tropical fruits. Bring your shopping bags with you so you can buy fresh produce, noodles, and specialty products.
After the walking tour, you will enjoy a 5-course family-style lunch at one of Chinatown’s finest restaurants. Meal cost is included in the tour price and can accommodate any food restrictions.
For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/slow-food-oahu-chinatown-food-tour-and-lunch-tickets-32809042730?aff=es2.
Are you a morning person? Up before the dawn? Then you may want to roll out of bed, jump in your car, and head down to Sandy Beach Park (about an hour from the Ko Olina Beach Villas).
Due to the massive shore breaks, this southern beach is popular with experienced bodysurfers. President Obama has been known to frequent this special locale. You can watch the sun rise from the beach or head down to the tide pools as the waves come rolling in.
The beach is located between Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park to the west and Makapu’u Point to the east along Kalanianaole Highway.
Looking to add more outdoor adventure to your Ko Olina Beach Villas dream vacation? Perhaps a relaxing bike ride taking in the tropical views sounds good to you? Or you may prefer to practice your balance atop a paddle board while watching the fish swim beneath you in the cove? Or sitting down and paddling in a kayak as you soak in the waves, sun, and fun is more your speed? Any or all of those options are available to you.
You can contact a gear rental company who will deliver to and pick up from the resort. Hawaii Gear Rental will deliver bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, and more. For more information, visit http://www.hawaiigearrental.com/.
If you are specifically looking for bikes, you may find better prices and a wider selection from Hawaii Bikes. They also deliver to and pick up from the resort. For more information, visit http://www.hawaiibikes.com/islandwide-delivery.
You can also go to the Disney Aulani and rent a paddleboard by the hour. For more information, visit https://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/activities/aulani-beach/makiki-joes/.
The famous Hula Pie at Duke’s Waikiki, about 45 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas, has become a social media superstar. According to Instagram’s rankings, Duke’s Waikiki is the most geo-tagged restaurant in Hawaii.
The legendary Hula Pie is a colossal wave-resembling slab of macadamia nut ice cream pie over a chocolate cookie crust, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with fudge, and topped with even more macadamia nuts. It’s the perfect dessert to share with one or more people. Just don’t forget to share a picture of it on social media before it disappears.
For more information about the menu, hours, and location, visit http://www.dukeswaikiki.com/.
The Ukulele Picnic, about 35 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas, will offer two stages of live entertainment featuring well-known Hawaiian and Japanese ukulele performers. On February 12, 2017, entertainers will share their talent and aloha from 9 AM until sunset.
Admission to the picnic is free. Along with the all-day entertainment, exhibitors will show ukulele-related displays and guests can explore booths featuring Hawaiian crafts, food, activities for kids, and a luxury ukulele raffle.
Parking is available and free shuttle service will be provided from Waikiki. There will be inflatables for the kids and all are encouraged to bring mats for lawn seating.
For more information, visit http://www.ukulelepicnicinhawaii.org/en/index.html.
Each year, about 30 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas, Chinatown opens its doors and streets to host a Chinese New Year spectacular. Enjoy a parade featuring the traditional lion and dragon dance, Kung Fu exhibitions, music performances, and countless ethnic dishes made especially for the occasion.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii hosts the event at Chinatown Cultural Plaza (100 N. Beretania Street) on Friday, January 20 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, January 21 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This year, Chinese New Year is on Jan. 28, and 2017 is the year of the Rooster.
For more information about the celebration, visit https://www.hawaii.com/event/chinese-new-year-celebration/.
The Ko Olina Marina Activity Center offers an array of ocean adventures, and a pick-up service from the Ko Olina Beach Villas. You may struggle to decide which experience to try first – whale watching (December to March), snorkeling tours, private fishing charters, or a romantic sunset cruise.
Whale watching excursions leave twice daily (morning and afternoon). Get your cameras ready, because you’ll be seeing whales, dolphins, green sea turtles, and flying fish. When you do meet up with the dolphins and whales, the captain will stop the boat so you can enjoy their antics while the knowledgeable crew tells you everything you want to know about these amazing and beautiful creatures.
While on a snorkeling tour, you may see and snorkel with some of Hawaii’s endangered species and natural sea life (monk seals, sea turtles, spinner dolphins, or spotted eagle rays). You will enjoy exceptional snorkeling along the Wai’anae Coast’s untouched coral reef teeming with beautifully colored tropical fish.
If you fancy yourself a fisherman, here’s your chance to book a private charter and reel in aku (skipjack tuna), aku (yellow fin tuna), ono (wahoo), marlins, or swordfish. The thrill of reeling in one of these fish will be unforgettable.
Experience a stunning Oahu sunset from your boat – dripping red and orange that makes the ocean look as if it is on fire. It is truly awe inspiring. Add in snorkeling among some of the world’s most colorful fish, dolphins, turtles and a wonderful buffet, you will know you’re in paradise.
For more information about activities available at the Ko Olina Marina, visit http://www.koolinamarina.com/activities/.
The Kealia Trail is a series of 19 switchbacks above Dillingham Airfield, about 45 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas. As you ascend, you are surrounded by beautiful “fallen rocks” and fauna, leading you to a covered picnic table at its climax. Each switchback allows you to see breathtaking vistas of the airfield and surrounding mountainous area.
The trail is not crowded, dog friendly, and provides some shade along the way. Some spots are exposed to the sun, so a hat and sunblock is smart. Remember to bring lots of water and a snack to enjoy when you reach the covered picnic table.
After the picnic table, you can continue up the service road (this road connects with the Kuaokala Access Road) to have a view of the west side of the island. But if you just hike the Kealia Trail, there is a beautiful view of the north shore.
For more information about the Kealia Trail, visit https://hawaiitrails.org/trails/#/trail/kealia-access-road–trail/163.
Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline, about one hour from the Ko Olina Beach Villas, is famous for its heavy swells that can reach up to 30 feet, breaking over shallow, rocky coral reefs at high speeds to form barreling curls of water. The season for Hawaii’s big wave surfing is in the winter, from November to February. Head to Pupukea, a town on Oahu’s North Shore, to revel in the spectacle of those who take on the pipeline.
Top surfing professionals take on the waves every year in the Van’s Triple Crown, which is a professional surfing title in Hawaii to set apart the three Hawaii events from the established international professional surfing circuit. These events honor the best surfer in Hawaii’s big and powerful surf. The three events are the Pipe Masters, the World Cup of Surfing, and the Hawaiian Pro.
For more information about the Van’s Triple Crown surfing competitions and their calendar of events, visit http://www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/2016/calendar.