Local Faves & Raves with Sonny Lim


Name: Sonny Lim

Occupation: Musician

How long have you lived in Hawai‘i: All my life.

Favorite beach: Anaeho‘omalu Bay (A-Bay). My childhood summers were spent here before most of the resorts were even built!  Parker Ranch used to have cabanas along the beach where the employees and their families could camp. We fished and dived up and down the coast. I still do!


Favorite food: I would have to say poke. There are so many different types of poke made with a lot of different fish—I just love it! Hawaiian Style with pa‘akai (Hawaiian sea salt), ‘inamona (candlenut relish), limu kohu (seaweed), and some chili peppers is my favorite!


Favorite snorkel spot: I would have to say from Anaeho‘omalu Bay to Puakō. There are a lot of diverse reefs, fish, and sea turtles to look at and the beach access is public friendly. If you (are) looking to dive for fish to eat—now, that’s a secret!


Favorite drive: Kohala Mountain Road (Hwy 250). The green pastures with views from the mountains to the sea and Maui in the distance is just mesmerizing.



Favorite hike: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. It is amazing to see how over the years, after the old lava flows cool, new forest life emerge and cover the barren lava fields and the cycle of life begins again. Or, hiking to see the active flow and all the fury of Pele (Hawaiian goddess of fire) flowing into the sea near Puna.


Favorite custom/tradition: Passing on to my children what was taught to me by my parents. The way of mālama (to take care, nurture) and kuleana (responsibility). Caring for the land and the sea, the tradition of gathering (hunting, farming and fishing), to the knowledge of music and hula. To make sure it continues on.


Favorite Hawaiian band/CD: I have too many to list! From Aunty Genoa Keawe, Gabby Pahinui, The Mäkaha Sons of Ni‘ihau to my ‘ohana (family)—the Lim Family. I grew up my whole life around Hawaiian music! I am a fan of traditional to Jawaiian (Hawaiian style reggae) and beyond. A lot of people don’t know that I was once a member of The Mā kaha Sons of Ni‘ihau. I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award with them at the 2010 Nā Hokū Hanohano Awards and will receive the same award this year with my 'ohana, the Lim Family! I guess I love all the music of Hawai‘i!


Favorite place to take your guests: Waipi‘o Valley. It has so much history and legends and to see Hi‘ilawe Waterfall and the taro patches then hang out at the beach...so relaxing!


Favorite place to catch the sunset/sunrise: Sunset at Hāpuna Beach Park. During the summer the sun sets directly in the middle of the beach’s horizon! Sunrise—on top of the summit of Mauna Kea. On a clear day, the first light over the horizon hits the summit and you can watch it go down the mountain and light up Hilo and Puna. So humbling to see!


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