Shave ice an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. Shave Ice is mostly credited as being "Hawaiian" but is actually Japanese in origin. It does look like a snow cone but the ice is shaved into a soft texture that resembles snow while a snow cone is crushed ice. This snowy texture is perfect for absorbing the flavored syrup, instead of it pooling at the botton of the cup.
Personally I think this is a must have for anyone visiting Hawaii, It really is a treat and comes in so many different flavors.
The Kukui nut lei is made from the Kukui Nut Tree.The Kukui Nut Tree is also known as the Candlenut Tree and in ancient Hawai’i the nuts were burned to provide light and the oil also has many cooking and medicinal uses. The nuts are used also in necklaces (leis) and bracelets. The colors of the nuts can be black, brown or white and often painted with decorative colors.
The meaning of kukui is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. During our travels to Hawaii my wife has bought several Kukui nut leis for herself, friends and family; it makes a great souvenir gift.
When in Hawaii, definitely try a Lava Flow. The Lava Flow is a delicious drink made from Rum, pureed strawberries, coconut cream and coconut milk. It basically tastes like a Strawberry Pina Coladad but better. My wife loves these Lava Flows and has to have them whenever we are in Hawaii. Her favorite place for a Lava Flow is the Plantation Bar at the Hula Grill Waikiki and the Beach Bar at the Hula Grill in Maui; according to my wife they make the best ones since they use fresh coconut milk.
When in Maui; try some of the locally produced Rum. There are many varieties available from several Rum producers on the island. My wife and I enjoy trying local products when visiting an area.
The Maui Rum is produced from the local sugar can and is available in just about any store that carries liquor. Both my wife and I enjoy Rum drinks so finding so local rum to try is always a highlight for us.
When you land at Kahului Airport and head to baggage claim you will find racks of free local guides, magazines and maps. The local maps and guides are quite helpful and often have coupons for shops, restaurants and activities in the area. Some magazines are region specific such as for Lahiana, Wailea, Hana, etc.
We always pick up some of these at the aiport as well as some you find on the local streets. We have always found them quite helpful.
There are significant issues about native Hawaiian rights and who is a native to Hawaii brewing in the islands. These are analagous to the Indian rights issues on the mainland. While the 'Aloha' spirit abounds, just remember that not everyone is as eager to have you on the island as the shopkeepers, concessioners, and hotels are.
One good way of keeping up with the local issues is to visit the Maui News online ( http://www.maui.net/~mauinews/newsnew.htm ) before travelling to Maui or read the paper while there.
It was so hot when we finally got to Lahaina. The first thing we did was park the car and get some shaved ice. Its everywhere and it definitely cools you down. We found this little place near Kamehameha school. It was great but messy.