Maui Vacations

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Don't Miss These Maui Destinations

Maui is one of the beautiful places on earth and is on many people's 'must-see' list. Nestled in the Hawaiian Islands, Maui offers great areas and resorts to satisfy any traveler's needs. Here are the popular spots.

Lahaina

Every tip to Maui should include a stop in the small historic town of Lahaina.  There's always a refreshing ocean breeze as you stroll among the art galleries and shops on Front Street.  What was historically a productive whaling village is now a wonderfully quaint place to grab a meal overlooking the Auau Channel separating Maui and the nearby island of Lanai.

Browse the Wyland and Lassen art galleries, grab a bite to eat at Cheeseburgers In Paradise or Bubba Gump and catch the cultural Ulalena show at the Maui Theatre.  Just a scenic 45 minute drive from the Kahului airport or a 10 minute drive from the resort area of Kaanapali, plan on spending a half day in the Maui hot spot of Lahaina.

Maui Lahaina

Kaanapali

What was once the beach of choice for Maui royalty is now the center of the Maui resort and beach experience.  This three mile stretch of beach has been rated the best beach in America.  Snorkeling at Kaanapali is like swimming in a tropical aquarium.  The warm, calm waters are home to the most colorful fish you can experience.

Every evening at sunset a ceremonial dive is made from the jagged Black Rock cliff on the northernmost part of the beach. Once the sun has set, you'll enjoy walking in the soft light of the tiki torches lining the paths that connect the hotels to Whaler's Village shopping open air shopping center.  Whaler's Village has enough shops and restaurants to satisfy you for days, but if you want some variety the historic village of Lahaina is a quick drive or taxi ride away. Enjoy a round of golf at either of the two championship courses or take a quick drive to the world famous PGA caliber Kapalua courses just a few minutes to the north.

Kaanapali Maui

Kapalua

When you really want to treat yourself (and you have a few extra dollars to spare), nothing beats time at Kapalua.  Home to the world class Ritz Carlton Kapalua, the beach at Kapalua has been voted the best beach in America.  The spa and accomodations at Kapalua are only matched by the premium quality of the golf courses. The Plantation Course hosts the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions every January and the nearby Bay Course is where you'll find the ladies of the LPGA Tour. After you've tested your game on the same courses the professionals compete on, take refuge on the Village Course.  Even though the three courses are located together, each course feels like it's in a completely different world of scenery and biodiversity.

Visitors in June enjoy flavors of the luscious Kapalua Wine Festival. The restaurants and shops at Kapalua will satisfy you at any time of the year, and Kaanapali and Lahaina Village are convienently located for even more activities.

Kapalua Maui

Wailea-Makena

It's no coincidence that the five star resorts settled in Wailea. The calm waves and clear water are the only thing softer than the powdery sand beaches. It could be pouring rain in Kapalua or blowing gail force winds at Kahului, but it's normally dry and pleasant just a few miles away in Wailea. The main attraction here are the resorts: The Grand Wailea Resort, Four Seasons Resort and Wailea Beach Marriott Resort.

On my last trip to the Wailea Beach Marriott I didn't rent a car, I never left the resort the entire week I stayed and I couldn't have been happier.  There are enough shops and restaurants within walking distance to the resorts that you'll want for nothing.  If celebrity watching is your thing, you have a good chance of spotting your favorite movie stars and rock stars during your stay.  Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Britney Spears, Weird Al Yankovich and whoever's TV show is on hiatus can often be found wandering the grounds or giving an impromptu performance.

Maui Wailea Makena

Maui Cruises

Traditional cruise lines like Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines have trips through the Hawaiian Islands with shore excursions in Maui. There are also dozens of sunset dinner cruises and whale watching cruises that take a few hours and then return you to dry land after a wonderful time on the ocean. Select a medium size catamaran sail boat or a larger power boat depending on the creature comforts you want while on board.

On the day of your sunset or whale watching cruise be sure to call the cruise tour operator the day that you plan on sailing. If the wind or waves come up they favor canceling the trips in consideration of comfort.

Maui Activities

  • Snorkeling & Diving: Maui offers every level of underwater sport you could ask for. Take a submarine tour if you feel hesitant to swim among the wildlife. The beaches on the west side of the island are calm, clear and among the best in the world for beach snorkeling. A quick boat trip to Molokini Crater offers what could be the best snorkel, snooba and scuba diving on the planet.

     

    maui diving molokini

     
  • Biking: There are plenty of trails ready for you to explore on a mountain bike, but Maui offers something else that's really special.  The Mt. Haleakala bike tours will drive you and a bike to the top of Maui to watch the most incredible sunrise you will ever see.  It's the only sunrise I've seen that gives you the unnerving sense that the earth is hurtling through space to view the sun.  Once the sun is up and you've caught your breath, get on your bike and coast all the way back down the mountain.

    Maui Sunrise

  • Paragliding: If you don't want to ride a bike down Mt. Haleakala you can always just jump off it.  Ride tandem with an instructor that knows how to fly a parachute off a cliff, into the winds and safely down the mountain slope.
     
  • Surfing: First time and casual surfers can find breaks along the south and west coasts of Maui that offer slow starts and gentle rides. On the east coast of Maui some of the biggest, most intense waves ever ridden on the planet provide a more serious adventure (or sightseeing). Also on the east coast near the airport is Hookipa beach, which is a world class wind surfing spot.

     

    Maui Surfing

     
  • Sailing: Rent a sailboat or book time on a boat with a crew and get into the wind.  Sail to another island like Lanai, Molokai or around Kaho'olawe, or just cruise the channels. Dinner and sunset cruises are a civilized way to enjoy the wind and sea.
     
  • Golf: Chose from fourteen courses from affordable to the best in the world. Courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Ben Crenshaw bring pedigree to a perfect climate with breathtaking scenery. Many holes on the island are either on the ocean or provide vast views across the ocean channels to distant islands. If it's rainy or windy on your golf day, look at the weather at other courses on Maui. There are many micro climates, and the weather patterns vary across short distances.

     

    Maui Golf

  • Hikes & Waterfalls: The easiest way to get in a full day of hiking, waterfalls and exploration is to take the Road To Hana.  This 50 mile road navigates through the sparsely populated eastern coastline of Maui.  Stop at the Pools of Oheo (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls and Wailua & Ke'anae Valley.

     

    Maui Waterfall

     
  • Fishing: Maui has everything you need to charter sport fishing, bottom fishing and spearfishing.  Shore fishing is also on the menu. Boats leave from Maalaea and Lahaina. It's called fishing not catching, but you've got a shot at a wide variety of powerful species including marlin,  ahi, spearfish and mahi mahi.
     
  • Luau: This is the most popular activity in the Hawaiian Islands.  Maui luaus are buffet style and offer chicken, pork, fish and steak. Expect an open bar included in your ticket price and plan your ride home accordingly.

     

    Maui Luau

Flights To Maui

Hawaii is further from anywhere else, than anyplace else! It is the most remote piece of land in the world, but it's such a popular destination that flying there is easy. From the west coast of the United States there are constant flights from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Orange County. Other regional hubs like Denver and Dallas offer non-stop flights, but don't be surprised if you connect through a west coast city. Sometimes flying to Maui through Honolulu is cheaper and has more flexible schedules, but direct flights to Kahului airport on Maui are available from the mainland and Asia. If you do fly in to Honolulu you will take a 30 minute connecting flight from there to Maui. Flights from the mainland to the Hawaiian Islands take about 5 and a half hours.

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