editor-200x300Trekker backpacks. I’m referring to the Google kind. As it turns out, the folks at Google Maps have taken one small step away from their Street View cars and one giant leap into Hawai’i’s roads never traveled (at least by vehicles) via portable “Street View Trekker” equipment. In fact, the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau was the first group ever outside the Google realm to borrow the wear-on-your-back, high-tech tool. I only hope it engages my wanderlust to physically seek out the various beaches, trails and forests that will soon be viewable online in all its 360-degree glory, rather than satisfy the curiosity of something I prefer not to be—an armchair traveler. After all, there’s nothing better than the genuine article, right?

Just ask this issue’s cover subject, Christine Taylor. For her, a holiday visit to Kaua’i more than a decade ago quickly morphed into a vacation routine year after year. She and husband Ben Stiller would stay at the very same vacation rental so often, that they finally purchased the island property. Since then, they have made the Garden Isle their home away from home. Taylor talks story with writer Yu Shing Ting in “The Simple Life” on page 74.

Kaua’i isn’t the only Hawaiian island that’s been garnering attention. As you may have heard, there are big, BIG plans set for Lana’i, but blueprints and future visions aside, we check out a sleek dining venue that’s up and running at Manele Bay. Writer Noel Pietsch Shaw gives us her take on Nobu Lana’i’s creatively prepped Japanese fare on page 120.

Over in Kona, there’s a different kind of experience to be had aboard the Kona Aggressor II. From daily dives to gourmet meals come breakfast, lunch and dinner, the liveaboard ship gives a whole new meaning to the term “water play.” It’s just one of the vessels you’ll read about in this issue’s immersion story (“Ship Shape,” page 114).

Back on O’ahu, we showcase our own version of island beauty. You’ll find the latest from the likes of Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen and Lanvin—just to name a few—shot in style amidst the lush forests off of Nu’uanu Pali Road (“Into the Mystic,” page 82). Meanwhile, we help the guys get out of dress code oblivion in our men’s fashion pages. What’s the definition of “aloha crisp?” Turn to page 94 and find out.

And while our fashion features highlight the clothing and wares of some of the world’s top designers, there’s one local label that has brought Hawai’i designs to the world since the 1950s—Tori Richard. Allison Schaefers sits down with company president and CEO Josh Feldman to find out what makes him tick, and how he’s kept the Tori Richard name alive, well and more successful than ever before. Read what he has to say in “Designer Genes” on page 85.

As you can see, there’s much to explore, experience and appreciate here on the islands. Note to Google trekkers: you’ve got your work cut out for you here—there’s a lot of ground to cover. Enjoy the issue.