Before students’ fingers even get to know the coolness of clay, just entering Ka'ala Clay and Coffee Bar is already a feast for the senses. The aroma of fresh-ground coffee emanates from the coffee bar. A bright yellow studio pleases the eyes. The whir of pottery wheels signals the creation of new bowls or vases. For the uninitiated or artists seeking new inspiration, its group or private classes focus on the intricacies of throwing clay as well as hand-building techniques and glazing. Artists can also rent out spaces where they can work on personal projects, the value of which Ka’ala’s artist owners know well: Tzaddi Pearce is a potter with more than 10 years of experience, and Matt Pearce is a potter and photographer.
The glow of flat-screen TVs and projectors dances in blues and whites off leather furnishings and acres of hardwood and brushed aluminum. At Nocturna Lounge, sharply dressed guests gain confidence as they belt karaoke classics and headbang over faux drum kits during games of Rock Band. The sprawling karaoke list includes time-tested numbers such as "You’ve Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," new songs from artists including Cee Lo Green, and obscure numbers from films including Team America: World Police. The melodies drift through an open lounge and four private suites, which shelter visitors during songs or rounds of Xbox games such as Call of Duty and Street Fighter, in which martial artists battle evil cobblestones. Customers even vie for prizes against members of Team Nocturna. In between each bout, barkeepers decant imported beers and specialty cocktails behind the icy silhouettes of a forest of bottles.
An offshoot of Roberts Hawaii, which began giving tours of Kauai and other Hawaiian islands in 1941, Hawaiian Ocean Thrills sends a variety of watercraft splashing along the sandy shoreline of Waikiki Beach. Visitors navigate the crystalline waters aboard humming jet skis, gliding banana sleds, or skipping bumper tubes. Guests can also experience the big blue at a distance in a parasail that soars over the waves and affords views of the Oahu skyline. They also swim, snorkel, and lounge on the beach, taking a break from the water to munch a sandwich or salad lunch and make sure their toes don’t turn permanently pruney.
The scorching Arizona sun beats down on Adobe Dam Regional Park, but visitors to Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix keep cool as they splash throughout more than 30 waterslides and attractions. The 35-acre facility is home to an abundance of adrenaline-pumping rides—including a towering tandem water coaster, a spiraling 45-foot funnel, and a four-story six-tube speedway—to contrast its more laid-back attractions, including an interactive playground and 700,000-gallon wave pool. The junior water park accommodates younger guests with kid-friendly funnels, rivers, and racing slides. Food and beverage carts traverse the grounds, while an onsite restaurant, cafes, and pubs fuel fun with full meals, snacks, and drinks. To ensure guest safety, a vigilant staff of lifeguards patrols the park and will swiftly kick out sharks who've shrewdly disguised themselves in bikinis and sun hats.
Natural bamboo and wood fences surround the miniature fairways of Jungle River Mini Golf, whose aptly named course pits putters against a slew of jungle-themed obstacles. Like rainforest explorers, groups of golfers hack through the wild landscape, forgoing machetes for colorful putters or spring-loaded spatulas sized to accommodate guests of all ages. Monkeypod trees, palms, crotons, and banana plants drape over the course, framing many attractions including sculptures of friendly gorillas and dinosaurs emerging from tar pits. The course also features large bridges and waterfalls that meander throughout to create sharp turns and contoured greens.
When Antonio “Trigo” Da Silva moved to Hawaii in 2007, he found a community of people who wanted to learn more about their own Portuguese heritage. That’s why he opened Adega Portuguesa Restaurant in Chinatown. There, visitors can sample traditional dishes such as Portuguese-style bean soup, Northern Portuguese–style codfish, or bitoque—a dish made by crowning a new york strip steak with brown gravy and a fried egg.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the eatery’s cooks also prepare Brazilian dishes such as feijoada, a medley of black beans, beef, pork, sausage, and bacon stewed with farofa and sliced orange. Beer, cocktails, and imported wines wash back each bite. In addition to tasting traditional foods, guests can dance to live Portuguese music or learn the native tongue in Portuguese language classes.