“Better of Hawaii” 2012: The choice by HAWAII Journal for the most effective dishes, locations that you need to see, cool issues

The 2012 Best of Hawaii issue of HAWAII Magazine is out now! This year, the 20 pages of the annual feature are filled with HAWAII magazine staff picking everything from our favorite spots in Hawaii to food to activities and various fun things to do, from fascinating objects to pursuits that are just too amusing to be removed from the list.

In the past few years, HAWAII magazine’s Best of Hawaii was often based on a combination of personnel selection, selection by various Hawaii experts, and numbers from ballot papers filled out by our readers. Last year we decided to give the entire Best of Hawaii 2011 to our reader ohana. When the vote was taken, readers made the calls. And the results were impressive. The readers of HAWAII magazine even taught us a few things about our own island backyard.

Among the “best” lineups in this year’s Best of Hawaii edition? The 2012 Best of Hawaii feature in our September / October issue contains a total of 111 selections of the best restaurants, snacks, attractions, fashion statements, cool things and more. Below are tips for six categories.

Check out the other 105 tips in the new edition, available in print in bookstores and kiosks across the country, or at the Apple iPad kiosk.

• STUFF – Best place for Hawaii memorabilia, Tin can mailman

When you step into Tin Can Mailman you will likely wonder where all that “stuff” came from. We can assure you that everything is authentic as owner Christopher Oswalt (pictured above) only buys real items and sends those who try to sell him fakes. For those of you looking for a vintage aloha shirt, old restaurant menu, or a 1950s hula girl lamp, now you know who to really see in Honolulu.

– – Best Made in Hawaii slipper, Colleen Wilcox Art

For years, the bright designs and swirls of color that reflect the ambience of the deep blue have been featured on local artist Colleen Wilcox’s canvases. Now you can take the same fun and flirtatious pictures everywhere with Wilcox’s rubber slippers (picture left).

– – Best comfort food, Spam Musubi Pillow from Girl Scouts of Hawaii

The Hawaii Girl Scouts who deliver us some of our favorite cookies just made it even better by selling us something even more irresistible. Spam Musubi pillow – yes we said pillow (pictured below). Snuggle up to this plush version of your favorite take-away snack. With a strip of black “nori seaweed” wrapped around a terrycloth rice cube and topped with a strangely realistic spam pillow, it’s fun without calories.

• LOCATIONS – Among the picks for Best Places in Hawaii to See Sports That Don’t Surf is Makawao, Maui (Rodeo)

Put on your boots and head to the Makawao Rodeo, which will be full of Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) fans. The Makawao Rodeo has hosted a July 4th weekend event for 57 years, including parades and rodeo competitions – all with a Hawaiian twist.

• EAT – Best Highway Diner, 1950’s Highway Fountain Diner

The inclusion of local favorites like Loco Moco, Mac Salad, and Kalbi Meat with 1950s Diner Food makes for some ono dishes. With a jukebox, wall-clad memorabilia, and of course an Elvis Presley room, no trip to the Big Island is complete without stopping by this place in Laupahoehoe. Phone: (808) 962-0808.

• FUN – Best place to masquerade as James Bond in Hawaii, Jetlev Flight Experience

OK, maybe we couldn’t get our hands on some of Bond’s cars or failed gadgets. Still, what we acquired is pretty cool. When traveling near Oahu’s Maunalua Bay, you may notice the soaring Jetlev. (Left picture) With 250 hp marine engines in a water sports jetpack, adventure seekers are offered a potentially exciting 30-minute ride. How does it work? Put simply, seawater is pumped into an attached 33-foot hose and then back out, which puts the lucky wearer of the Jetlev device up to 30 feet above the water. Sea Breeze Watersports Hawaii will accompany almost everyone over the age of 18 who would like an imaginary position in the “Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

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