Maui Kai Unit 608 Things to Do

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Maui 608 Sailboat

Maui Kai is located on Kaanapali Beach, rated as the 2003 Number 1 Best Beach by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, the world renowned Dr. Beach (www.drbeach.org).

One of the best purchases you can make before the trip is a good guidebook. We heartily recommend Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook by Andrew Doughty. He has a good sense of humor and also know the island very well. They don’t pull any punches, if something is not good, they will tell you so.

Within walking distance are several restaurants, sundry stores and a full service supermarket. Within a five minute drive, there are two shopping areas, Whaler’s Village and Lahaina Cannery Mall. A couple more minutes away are the art galleries and restaurants of downtown Lahaina.

Some of my favorite things to do on Maui are:

  • Swim whereever and whenever you see a good beach. Some of my favorites are: Kaanapali Beach (of course), D.T. Fleming State Park, Baldwin State Park or Big Beach (all three have Lifeguards), Makena Beach, La Perouse Bay, Oluwalu, Waianapanapa State Park, O’Heo Gulch, Napili Bay and a short walk to the south along the beach from the Maui Kai, Wahikuli State Park with restrooms, showers and picnic areas.
  • If you are up to a hike, visit the Olivine Pools past Kapalua or the Bamboo Forest at O’Heo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools).
  • Do rent snorkel equipment. It is unbelievable the types of fish and coral that are below the surface at almost any point. Several great snorkel spots, include right in front of the Maui Kai, Napili Bay, Wahikuli State Park, and Honolua Bay. Mornings are usually best. Look for a low surf and coral (dark areas below the water).
  • A trip to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without a luau. There are several good ones on Maui and they all feature unlimited food, unlimited drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), music, dancing, storytelling and native arts.
  • We loved to visit the “cowboy” town of Makawao and just browse the stores there. If you get there early, try the cream puffs at the Komoda Store. One special place that captivated my daughter for several hours was Hot Island Glass, where you can watch craftsmen actually create fantastic creations from glass. Call before to find out if they are actually creating on the day you want to visit. Check out their Jellyfish! Another gallery to check out in Makawao showcases the art of Sherri Reeves, who specializes in Hawaiian watercolors. It can be found just up the street from Hot Island Glass and across from Komoda Store.
  • Another place to see jellyfish (the living kind) is the Maui Ocean Center, a great acquarium. Here you can get headsets (for a reasonable rate) and tour the aquarium hearing from the experts about all that you are seeing. This aquarium is among the best in the world.
  • Take a helicopter tour of the island to see the entire island from air, including the rain forest, volcano, pineapple and sugar cane fields
  • Leave the condo early in the morning (3 am) and drive to Haleakala for the sunrise. If you are adventurous, enjoy a bicycle tour down Haleakala (38 miles down) from 10,000 feet to sea level. Don’t worry, there is only about 200 yards of pedaling along the route. But remember to pack warm things. The altitude at the top of the volcano causes the temperature to hover in the 30’s and 40’s very early in the morning.
  • Snorkel or scuba dive to see a whole other view of the Hawaiian Islands. You can snorkel along the road at many of the beaches, but special places include Napili Bay, Honolua Bay, Makena, and La Perouse Bay. Mornings are usually best. Look for a low surf and coral (dark areas below the water). If you wish to take a tour, the sail/snorkeling trips to Molokini and Turtle Town are terrific.
  • Drive the road to Hana. The road is not as bad as you might have heard and the sights are terrific. Plan for a complete day trip on this tour. On the way, pick up a CD tour or iPhone app to help you gain the most from your trip. As you drive, stop at many roadside waterfalls and pools to swim and take pictures. A stop at the Keanae (“K-an-I”) Arboretum will allow you to see bamboo, rainbow eucalyptus and taro up close. Bring a picnic lunch to eat at Waianapanapa State Park and visit the black sand beach and sea caves. Enjoy the quaint town of Hana. Drive a bit further to O’Heo Gulch and swim in the pools or hike to see several fantastic waterfalls. You can now turn around and go back to Kaanapali the way you came or if you are very adventurous continue along this road. Be aware that the road gets very rough, unpaved, narrow and very curvy. However, you will continue through the rain forest and come into a very dry lava strewn desert with tremendous ocean views. Continuing along this road will take you to Ulupalakua, home of the Tedeschi Winery and then back to Kahului for your trip back to the condo.
  • Maui is a windsurfing capital. One place to watch wind surfers (and surfers, as well) is Hookipa Beach. It is on the Hana Highway between Paia and Haiku, just past a great restaurant, Mama’s Fish House.
  • Maui is not known as a cultural capital, but there is a great show in Lahaina, called Ulalena. It is the story of the birth of the island of Maui set to very haunting music.
  • If shopping is your game, both Lahina and Whaler’s Village in Kaanapali have lots of boutiques, art galleries and higher end merchandise. If large malls and chain stores are more your style, in Kahului there is the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center (full service mall), a Whole Foods, a Costco, a WalMart, a Home Depot, a Lowe’s, a Sports Authority and a K-Mart among other shopping delights. If vintage clothing and jewelry interest you, check out the town of Paia, which has retained a 1960’s feel. On Saturday mornings, there is even a large swap meet in Kahului with lots of booths selling everything from t-shirts and sunglasses to electronics and food.

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