Hawaii: How to Experience the Spirit of Aloha
Hawaii is my second home. I look forward to visiting every year and these are some of my favorite experiences, as well as inspiration for my next trip back.

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Hear Hawaii’s Musical Greats at Kani Ka Pila Grille

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“Drinks by the pool” has a lovely ring to it doesn't it? To those of us who are “old-time kama'ainas,” it reminds me of a simple era when grownups bedecked in Ray Ban Cats and Lauhala label ensembles would wander over to our house to enjoy a drink and a weekend sunset as bright as the glowing red cherries in their Manhattans. While the sweet Hawaiian music spun on the old stereo, we kids played in the pool until dark.

Those simple days are long gone for me, but I can still find a casual place with pool-side drinks and fantastic Hawaiian music that re-creates that special feeling of being happy right where you are. The Kani Ka Pila Grille (Hawaiian for “let’s make music”) at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach is a “must visit” for tourists and locals alike. Serving breakfast, all-day dining, and tropical drinks daily, the real draw is the top-notch live entertainment by some of Hawaii’s greatest island musicians and hot new talent. The lineup is a “who's who” of contemporary Hawaiian master talent every evening from 6 to 9pm: Cyril Pahinui ( pictured), Kawika Kahiapo, Kaukahi, Manoa DNA, Sean Naauao, Weldon Kekauoha, Brother Noland, and more. Nibble on some ono pupu or dinner while listening to the best live Hawaiian music in town.

Tip: In expensive-to-park Waikiki, you get four hours' valet parking for only $6 in the evening with drink or pupu purchase. At lunch valet is free for four hours 11a.m. to 3p.m.

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by Michelle M. Winner
AFAR Local Expert
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