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Big Island news you can use if you’re heading to Hawaii

Heading to the Big Island of Hawaii this fall or winter? There’s a whole lot going on in the vast land of Aloha you should know about.

The beautiful Big Island
Richard Pietschmann

Foodie fare:

  • Super Chef Peter Merriman is renovating his popular restaurant. Always the perfect place for Merriman’s fabulous food, the room is just getting better with a new front entrance, covered open-air lanai, more intimate dining areas graved with ohia hardwood floors, contemporary lighting and a cool sound system.
  • On Oct. 24, Coast Grille restaurant at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel will be coal-hot and fired up for The Grill Next Door Competition with Food Network Star finalist Nikki Martin, the "Grill Next Door" joining the hotel’s Executive Chef Peter Abarcar, Jr. and Chef de Cuisine Vincent Logan in a friendly competition incorporating ingredients from the Coast Grille garden. Guests will be treated to delicious food and specially prepared Bacardi cocktails and their votes will determine the champion. For more information, visit www.hapunabeachprincehotel.com.

New year happenings:

In January 2015, the annual Waimea Ocean Film Festival will offer nine days of award-winning films, breakfast talks, Q&A filmmaker sessions, artistic exhibits, and receptions to immerse attendees in a greater understanding of the ocean and Hawaii's culture. The festival will be held from Jan. 1-4 at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii and from Jan. 5-9 at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu. For more information, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org.

Fitness first:

Ocean Sports is launching a unique "Fitness Activity Program" at beautiful Anaehoomalu Bay in Waikoloa that includes morning and twilight beach yoga classes as well as stand-up paddleboard yoga taught on the calm waters of the bay. The company is also introducing a cultural twist to traditional water aerobics with "Aqua Hula." All fitness levels are welcome at Ocean Sports' classes, which are led by qualified fitness professionals. For more information, visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.

Hotel deals:

Aston Shores at Waikoloa, Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas, and Aston Kona by the Sea is offering 15 percent off the best daily rate from September through December 19, 2014 using Aston's promo code. For more information, visit www.astonhotels.com.

For more activities and events, visit the Hawaii Island calendar on the gohawaii.com website.

Hawaii insider tip: if you can, hop on a helicopter for an epic sightseeing tour of the Big Island (watch the video, it will take your breath away).