As the clock strikes midnight we will say aloha to 2021 and what a year that has been.
From COVID-19 to Carissa Moore making history, there has always been Something is happening in the islands. And if you’re not up to speed with local news – or just want to see what Hawaii’s biggest events have been in 2021 – then this article is the perfect way to catch up with yourself.
1. Hawai’i reopens despite COVID-19
Even though we would like to ignore it, COVID-19 continues to be a threat to our community. At the end of 2021, Hawai’i had some of its highest COVID-19 infection rates since the pandemic began almost two years ago. However, despite COVID-19, businesses, hotels and the community at large have found ways to reopen for visitors and locals. With vaccination cards, restaurants can once again allow diners to sit in their restaurants. Hotel staff can fill vacant rooms after complete disinfection, a process that has been refined and improved by our upscale hospitality industry. And once again, visitors mingle with locals on beaches, in bars, and along hiking trails.
READ MORE: Travelers Attention: It’s a New Hawai’i
2. Carissa Moore makes history
Shining light on a dowry year, Carissa Moore made history by winning the gold medal in the first-ever Olympic surf event. Not only that, but Moore also won her fifth World Surfing Championship title, closing the gap between herself and current world record holders, Stephanie Gilmore and Layne Beachley, both of whom have seven under their belt. active. We can only expect more great things from Moore in 2022.
READ MOORE: Hawaii’s Carissa Moore Wins First-Ever Women’s Olympic Surfing Gold
3. Rainbow Drive-In turns 60
Sixty years. Three generations of owners. Countless satisfied customers. Rainbow Drive-In, opened in 1961, has been the place to go for local comfort food and affordable plate lunches on O’ahu – and on October 2, 2021, hit the 60-year mark. One of Hawaii’s oldest and most beloved local businesses, Rainbow Drive-In has expanded its locations to five on the island of O’ahu and seeks to maintain the family-owned restaurant for many years to come.
LISTEN: Aloha Will Travel Episode 70
4. Return of the lava lake of Halema’uma’u
After a brief hiatus in its eruptions, Halema’uma’u Crater has seen many events throughout the year 2021, leading to some outstanding videos and photographs of the newly filled lava lake. Visitors to Hawai’i Island can once again enjoy the natural spectacle by visiting Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, where Halema’uma’u Crater is located.
SEE: These 10 photos really show the awesome power of the Kīlauea eruption in 2021
5. Hanauma Bay launches online reservation system
Launched on April 26, 2021, an online system has been set up to limit the number of visitors and locals who can enter Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve. One of Hawaii’s first steps in the fight against overtourism, this measure was put in place to preserve the beauty of our natural wonders and to ensure that future generations can enjoy them for decades to come.
READ MORE: Hanauma Bay on O’ahu Launches Online Booking System
6. The fate of the Ha’ikū stairs has been decided
The future of the Ha’ikū Staircase, also called the Stairway to Heaven, met with a unanimous decision in favor of its removal. Although the staircase has been closed to the public since 1987, countless intruders and thrill seekers have climbed to the top of this perilous staircase for years, and Honolulu officials have had enough.
7. Lifeguards are now working more hours in O’ahu
Hawaii’s lifeguards are some of the best in the country. So it’s heartwarming to know that they will be on duty longer to ensure the safety of our visitors and local residents. As of July 11, their hours have been changed from 7 am to 7 pm, extended from 9 am to 5:30 pm Of course, you can help them to facilitate their work by staying out of the water if the conditions seem too much to you. difficult. Always remember, when in doubt, do not go out.
READ MORE: Lifeguards are now working more hours on O’ahu
8. A blizzard has arrived
You read that right, a Snow storm. While Hawaii hasn’t seen too much bad weather in 2021, everything changed in the first week of December. Every Hawaiian island has been besieged by torrential rains, high winds and, on the Big Island, a blizzard. Sure, heavy snowfall has only happened on the peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, but how often do you see a blizzard warning in the state of Hawaii?
READ MORE: High Surf, Blizzard Watch and more as Cold Front moves through Hawai’i