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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
By October 2010, Hawaii's population was more than 1.3 million with the majority of residents living on Oahu. Nine percent are Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, almost 40% are Asian American, 9% are Latino, and about 25% Caucasian. Nearly a fifth of the population list two or more races, making Hawaii the most diverse state in the United States.
Food in Hawaii is a reflection of the state's diverse cultural makeup and tropical location. Fresh seafood, organic fruits and vegetables, free-range beef, and locally grown products are the hallmarks of Hawaii regional cuisine. Its preparations are drawn from across the Pacific Rim, including Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Thailand—and "local food" is a cuisine in its own right. Don't miss Hawaiian-grown coffee, either, whether it's smooth Kona from the Big Island or coffee grown on other islands.
Te Au Moana means "ocean tide," which is all you need to know about the simply gorgeous backdrop for this south Maui luau. The evening begins with lei making, local crafts, and an imu (underground oven) ceremony. The tasty buffet serves local staples, including a plethora of desserts like carrot cake, macadamia-nut brownies, and key lime squares. The performance seamlessly intertwines ancient Hawaiian stories and contemporary songs with traditional hula and Polynesian dances, concluding with a jaw-dropping solo fire-knife dance. www.marriotthawaii.com.
The Westin Maui Resort and Spa's oceanfront Aloha Pavilion provides a picturesque setting for this Polynesian feast. Seating is family-style. A buffet of traditional dishes such as pickled ahi tuna, fire-roasted teriyaki beef, and Molokai sweet potato with coconut precede the dessert spread. The performances originate from the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Samoa, and although the costumes may not be as elaborate as elsewhere, the pulse-raising five-member fire-knife dance is a thrilling highlight. Tickets can be pricey for some. www.westinmaui.com.
This is a hearty comedy with amazing sleight of hand. Magician Warren Gibson entices guests into his swank nightclub with a gleaming mahogany bar, a grand piano, and a resident ghost named Annabelle who tickles the ivories. Servers efficiently ply you with appetizers (coconut shrimp, crab cakes), desserts (chocolate pots de crème, assorted pies and cheesecakes, crème brûlée), and cocktails, while obliging a few impromptu song requests. Then, guests are ushered into a small theater where magic hilariously ensues. Since this is a nightclub act, no one under 21 is allowed. www.warrenandannabelles.com.
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