Danny_AkakaDon’t miss the opportunity to mix with the locals at an unforgettable authentic Hawaiian cultural experience led by Danny Akaka at the Mauna Lani Resort.

Mention Danny Akaka to anyone who works at any resort on the Kohala Coast and you’ll be greeted with a smile– with good reason. Akaka is the keeper and teacher of Hawaiian culture.

This self-described reluctant spiritual leader in his community has performed 20 years’ worth of marriage ceremonies, blessings and vow renewals. Always smiling and willing to share, he took 10 minutes out of his busy schedule at his own Full Moon event to teach my kids about DestinationReviewtraditional Hawaiian greetings and the importance of HA, an exchange of breath when two people press together the bridge of their noses while inhaling at the same time. It’s a Hawaiian greeting that shares is a spiritual sharing of energy and the breath of life.

Danny runs the cultural center at Mauna Lani, giving tours to guests and visitors. He organizes a monthly gathering for locals and guests at his office, which is a historic cottage on the beach for locals and guests. You can listen to soothing Hawaiian music and hear traditional Hawaiian stories, all in an unbelievably gorgeous setting on the beach. Oh, and it’s free.


The night we were there we enjoyed a performance by DNA, a family band that crosses all types of music: Hawaiian, pop songs and cover tunes, country and some original tunes that the locals knew well. For 15 years, this event has been held on the Saturday following the full moon each month.

See more about Hawaii’s Kohala Coast:

Kohala Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island

What to Do on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii

Mauna Kea Stargazing for the Whole Family

Fairmont Orchid: Family Friendly on Hawaii

Hilton Waikoloa Village