Paradise Found: Wonderful Ways to Bring Hawai`i to You

If you’ve ever visited Hawai`i, chances are you experienced a feast for the senses. After the return-trip home, you likely scrolled through gorgeous photos and sifted through other souvenirs that conjured up amazing memories of your time spent here. And it’s only natural that subsequent thoughts have likely centered on when to book another trip. Until that day comes, here are some ways you can surround yourself with some of the sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and fragrances that can evoke Hawai`i all over again. If you’ve always wanted to visit the Islands, but haven’t (yet), these suggestions can help bring the feeling of Hawai`i into your home, serving perhaps as inspirational reminders to keep working your way toward that goal.

Make Room for Hawai`i

You can add hints of Hawai`i into just about any indoor space. Hang artwork on what you consider the main feature wall, so whenever you step into the room, it catches your eye and makes you smile. is an outstanding online source. Search “Hawaii” and an array of artwork appears. You can customize your search by:

Another work of art that can be displayed year-round is a Hawai`i-themed calendar. Put one up in your home office or your kitchen, so you can be reminded every day that your vacation is coming soon. (Hang in there!)

Right before bed, after you cross each day off that calendar, curl up with a good book that features Hawai`i as its intriguing main character. Basically Books, based here in Hilo, has a wide variety of page-turners. You can even order your map of Hawai`i so you can start brushing up on the lei (sorry, lay) of the land. If you have kids, get them excited too about the trip with activity and coloring books.

Also be sure to pop over to Pop-Up Mākeke, a centralized online marketplace (mākeke) that supports over 400 Hawai`i businesses. The Home category is nothing short of phenomenal, featuring everything from drink coasters (to get you thinking about happy hour poolside) to candles (to fill your room with a fragrance that’s a favorite in Hawai`i), and much more. Check out the Bath & Body page too, which includes lovely scented soaps and more for the lua (bathroom).

Select a Scene

Hawai`i looks fabulous in real life—and on screen! The Islands have been the backdrop to so many movies and TV shows. On a personal note: Even growing up as a kid here in Hawai`i—and really to this day, to be honest—I’d get that “chicken skin” (goosebumps) moment whenever I’d hear the instrumental (and now iconic) theme song to the original “Hawaii Five-0.” The show’s opening credits also featured a montage of quickly edited scenes of Hawai`i, with Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett atop Honolulu’s Ilikai Hotel. It’s still one of my favorite moments. And, of course, throughout the 12 seasons, “Book ‘em, Danno!” was often heard, eventually becoming one of the most famous catchphrases in television history. With a subscription to Paramount +, you can revisit the classic or the remake to get you excited before you “Book ‘em…”—your airfare, that is.

Do Yourself a Flavor

Watching a TV show or movie set in Hawai`i is even more enjoyable when you’re partaking of fresh, high-quality goodies from Hawai`i. Since 1977, Big Island Candies has been handcrafting gourmet confections right here in Hilo. Shop at for buttery shortbreads and baked treats such as mouthwatering brownies, plus premium chocolates and local favorites. Before the show starts:

If you’ve visited Hawai`i before, and you’re missing it, then you can imagine people who are from here and move away—for college, a job on the mainland, or another reason—are probably missing Hawai`i too. Our Gift Baskets or our special Gourmet Perk assortment make thoughtful care packages, bringing them a bit—and a bite—of Hawai`i.

“Listen to the Whispering Wind of the Island”

When you’re relaxing in the living room, music is one of the best companions. Create a playlist of Hawaiian music to help put you in a paradise state of mind, which may also prompt the pleasant physical reaction of chicken skin. The catalog of Hawaiian music over the decades includes truly talented artists. There’s too many to name, so we thought we’d suggest (in no particular order) some musicians and songs to help you populate the playlist:

  • Gabby Pahinui: “Leahi;” his rendition of “Hi`ilawe;” “Hilo E” with the Sons of Hawai`i
  • Olomana: “Ku`u Home O Kahalu`u”
  • The Brothers Cazimero: “Home in the Islands;” “Ka Wailele `O Nu`uanu”
  • Keali`i Reichel: “Kawaipunahele”
  • Robi Kahakalau: The title of this section is a lyric from “Kaua`i Nani La;” “Pi`i Mai Kanalu”
  • Kuana Torres Kahele: “Ulili E”
  • Amy Hānaiali`i Gilliom: “Hale`iwa Hula”
  • Darlene Ahuna: “Akaka Falls”
  • Josh Tatofi: “Pua Kiele”
  • Kimie Miner: “Bamboo”
  • Raiatea Helm: “Ahulili”
  • Israel Kamakawiwo`ole: “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World;” “White Sandy Beach of Hawai`i”
  • Ku`uipo Kumukahi: “Hawai`i Pono`i;” “Paniau”

Add a Touch of Aloha (Attire)

On casual Fridays, sport fashionable aloha attire to the office, or on the weekends, unwind around the house or in the backyard with clothes to keep you feeling—and looking—cool. The fashion brand Tori Richard® believes “Resort is a State of Mind”® and proves that with its selection of styles for men, women, and kids. One of its menswear collections incorporates Tradewind Technology™ and includes its classic print Daybreak in the mix. (I was fortunate to get my hands on the short-sleeve Daybreak print in dark blue a while back, and it still fits and feels fantastic thanks, in part, to the Enhanced Stretch feature.) For women, perhaps initiate your ensemble with these tops and tunics. And when you arrive in Hawai`i, you can visit Tori Richard stores, located on Kauai, O`ahu, Maui, and here on the Big Island, to pick up a few more pieces before you head back home.

It sure felt good to share these ways to bring Hawai`i right to you, as you continue planning for a trip one day to the Islands to experience a feast for the senses.

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