Welcome to day 3 of our 30 days of lock down and vacation blogs. We began in Ireland, moved to Jamaica yesterday, and today we are all the way across to Maui, one of the most diverse and sought after Hawaii islands. We will try to tackle Maui and her neighboring islands by region.
Start with Lahaina, the launching point for whale-watching and snorkeling tours, deep sea fishing and sunset cruises. Lahaina is also one of the more economical seaside towns on Maui. Front Street is the place to visit with over 40 art galleries and loads of great eateries.
Kapalua, on the northern tip of Maui, has a great condo style resort and Ritz Carlton hotel that rise into the mountain along side golf courses. Kaanapali as well has great golf courses, but also white sand beaches and plenty of ocean front hotels and condos. Whalers Village has fun restaurants, live music and local shops. Napili has a cluster of boutique hotels and condos around a sparkling turtle-filled bay. Love this quaint area.
Napili and bay
WEST MAUI & NORTH SHORE
A trip to Maui is not complete without venturing on the Road to Hana, with over 600 hairpin turns and 59 narrow bridges. You will go the through the gauntlet of experiences on the road: pounding surf, waterfalls, a rain forest, dramatic scenery, and the chill town of Hana at the end. Along the way you will pass through Paia, definitely worth the stop. This is the last place to fill up with gas, food and drinks as you set off for Hana. Very cool town for unique shops, fish tacos, natural smoothies and much more. Say "aloha" to Willie Nelson.
The Road to Hana.
This is a great spot for whale watching November through May, but for a closer look at Hawaii underwater marine life large and small definitely take the family to Maui Ocean Center! Wailea is your upscale destination for resorts and gourmet cuisine. Just beyond this upscale paradise lies Makena, an underdeveloped beach area perfect for chilling under an umbrella or a game of beach volleyball. Just two miles off Maui's southern shore lies Molokini, the small crescent shaped volcanic crater, home to colorful fish, eels, rays, and green sea turtles. Like the Road to Hana, Molokini is a must!
Maui's interior teams with botanical gardens, waterfalls and small towns. The highlight here is Iao Valley State Monument, which features a rock pinnacle 1,200 feet high, plus a cool mountain stream, hiking trails and natural pools. Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is nearby.
Jay at Iao Valley
I have one word for you - Haleakala. Rising to an altitude of over 10,000 feet, you seem a world away from the oceanfront resorts. On a clear day you can view neighbors Lanai, Molokai, and even Oahu. This is the land of a lunar-like surface with little vegetation but plenty of volcanic rock. Be careful for the climate change - you are way up there. There are sunrise tours here as well as van tours up, and you bike ride down, all the while taking in fabulous views.
Haleakala National Park
MAUI HAS NEIGHBORS TOO
Maui has neighbors. The off-the-beaten path islands of Molokai & Lanai. Molokai is certainly that. Life is simple. No fast food or stop lights, but loads of rugged scenery, like 2,000 foot sea cliffs, and the home of Saint Damien who cared for those with Hanson's disease (leprosy), to which he ultimately fell to. Tip: You have likely never seen so many stars at night from any other location. Amazing!
Cliffs of Molokai
Lanai is quite similar but does boast a couple of very upscale resorts, The Four Seasons Resort Lanai (where I had the single most delicious meal of my life), overlooking beautiful Hulopo'e Bay (a protected marine reserve), and Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Koele, set amid pine-covered mountains in a higher elevation.
Well there was a very quick peek at Maui, Molokai and Lanai. There is so much more to them. I kid you not, ULTIMATE VACATIONS is truly expert at Maui, with several of us having visited all three islands repeatedly, individually and by way of Maui hosted events . We have flown here and visited by cruise ship. We have visited both neighboring isles by ferry and by puddle jumper. We have in depth guide books we supply for our clients to be prepared to get the most out of their Maui vacations.