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Dining deals in Hawaii, the Oxnard strawberry festival and wine tastings

April 19, 2010 |  5:40 am

--Fourteen world-class resorts hug the rugged coastline of Hawaii's Big Island. Scores of pricey, high-end restaurants cater to the well-heeled guests staying in them. So what's a budget-conscious family supposed to do in the face of the $35-a-person breakfast buffet? Go broke? Not if we can help it. Catch the aloha spirit with us, as we share secrets about great meal deals on the Big Island. We teamed up with local food experts to bring you 20 Big Island meals for less than about $20, just as we did in our earlier surveys of Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Once again, we concentrated on the restaurants where locals dine for inexpensive, traditional Hawaiian fare. And we included a couple of places to splurge where the ambiance is pure tropical paradise.

--One grape vine yields four to six bottles of wine every year, and each glass of wine is the product of half a pound of grapes, according to the Napa Valley Visitors Information website. Check out the grapes firsthand — especially if you are seeking a starter tour of Northern California’s wine country — with a package that gives you a night in San Francisco and a daylong bus tour stopping at three wineries. Read more here:

--Strawberries will be the stars when one of Southern California’s top festivals takes place May 15 and 16 in Oxnard. The family-friendly California Strawberry Festival will feature concerts, celebrity cooking demonstrations, craft booths, pie-eating contests and rides. Organizers say the event, held at Strawberry Meadows of College Park, has helped raise more than $3 million for various charities in its 26 years, while paying tribute to the region’s agriculture. Details here:

At the Kona Brewing Co., the daily special features a slice of pizza and a salad. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)