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Hawaii (Big) Island
Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
At this great annual celebration, roughly 30 breweries and 25 restaurants offer samples of their craft beer and ale. There's also live music, fashion shows, and home-brewer contest. The event is usually held on the grounds of Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. www.konabrewersfestival.com.
For legitimate theater, the little town of Waimea is your best bet. The Kahilu Theater regularly hosts internationally acclaimed performers, interspersed with a variety of top-notch national and regional acts. In a recent season, Terence Blanchard, Ben Vereen, and the Martha Graham Company shared the calendar with modern dance performances and traditional Hawaiian dance shows. www.kahilutheatre.org.
This is a splendid seven-theater complex, and there are several pre- or post-movie food options at the Keauhou Shopping Center.
Screening art films during the week and more mainstream releases on weekends, the Honokaa People's Theater is the largest cinema on the Big Island, featuring a 50-foot screen, as well as a huge stage and a dance floor. Hula competitions, concerts, and other special events are held here. www.honokaapeople.com.
Jazz, country, and rock bands perform at this popular place, so call ahead to find out who's on the bill. Outside you might see people dancing in the sand to Hawaiian songs. The crowd is slightly older and better behaved than at Lulu's across the street. www.huggos.com.
While the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel's clambake gets all the acclaim, Let's Go Crabbing at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is tastier, and at a fraction of the price. Held every Friday night on the hotel's terrace, the all-you-can-eat buffet features everything from prime rib and roasted breast of turkey to Washington mussels, steamed Manila clams, excellent shrimp salads, and corn-and-crab bisque. Expect an array of crab offerings, including wok-fried Dungeness crab and chilled snow-crab claws. Homemade ice cream is the star attraction of the dessert bar, which features hot fudge and other toppings. www.princeresortshawaii.com.
With screenings at Hilo's Palace Theater and Kainaliu's Aloha Theatre, this festival has been blazing trails in the exhibition of Asian and Pacific feature films since 1981. It runs for about 10 days in late October. www.hiff.org.
Blue Sea Cruises offers a classier alternative to the booze cruise, with a buffet dinner, tropical cocktails, live entertainment, hula show, and open dancing. The focus is on the sunset and the scenery, with the chance to see spinner dolphins and manta rays, as well as whales from November to May. You can also enjoy what's below the surface through the boat's glass bottom. www.blueseacruisesinc.com.
Every February, Hilo throws a big free party complete with live music, food, and fireworks to commemorate this holiday. There's a smaller celebration along Alii Drive in Kona. www.downtownhilo.com.
If you're looking for live music and dancing, you can find it in Kawaihae at the Blue Dragon. Almost every night of the week you can hear live music, including jazz, R&B, and Motown grooves.
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