Kūha‘o Zane’s artistic eye informs his Hawaii Island favorites, from small boutiques to large cultural events.
● Hana Hou An island boutique like no other, Hana Hou has a selection of authentic gifts, including vintage and handcrafted items by master artisans, Tahitian pearl and Ni‘ihau shell jewelry, and several local clothing lines. “They have some of the most beautiful lauhala [pandanus leaf] woven hats,” Zane says.
● Palikū Surf Located just a few doors down from the flagship store, the surf shop is one of Sig Zane Designs’ newest storefronts. Zane and his dad, Sig, who’s an avid surfer, offer a collection of hats, flip-flops, T-shirts, board shorts, surfboards, and fins. Many items are collaborations with surf companies, such as Hurley and Firewire Surfboards.
● Merrie Monarch Festival Held every spring, this weeklong event includes three nights of competition among hālau hula (hula schools). “Merrie Monarch is that time when Hilo is literally brimming with excitement,” Zane says. Though tickets to the competition are required and sell out months in advance, other events are free, including a hula exhibition, which is opened by Zane and his family’s hālau.
● Hā‘ena Beach The Puna district is known for its rocky coastlines, but Hā‘ena Beach, also called Shipman Beach, is an exception. Park at the end of Beach Road and it’s an easy 2.5-mile hike to the sandy shores. Zane says it’s believed to be the site of the first ever hula.
● Kahilu Theatre A community theater and educational center for the arts, Kahilu Theatre is a cultural hub for the entire island. “I really like the curation of their gallery space,” Zane says of the facility’s rotating roster of exhibits. The theater’s gallery has featured everything from landscape photographs to contemporary creations of kapa, a fabric made from tree and plant fibers.