Top events in Hawaii
The Big Island of Hawaii has some of the best annual happenings in the state. The Queen Liliuokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Race (808-334-9481; www.kaiopua.org) takes place over Labor Day weekend in Kailua-Kona and, with more than 3,000 participants, is the largest race of its kind in the world. The weekend closest to the first full moon in October is when Kailua-Kona bursts at the seams for the international Ironman Triathlon (808-329-0063; www.ironman.com). The weeklong Merrie Monarch Festival (808-935-9168; www.merriemonarchfestival.org) in Hilo is the Olympics of hula, starting on Easter Sunday.