Maui, Hawaii

Category: Maui to-do

First time paddle boarding!

Today was the day – my first day of stand up paddle-boarding (SUP)! It was awesome! My sister and brother-in-law are really into SUP and brought their inflatable boards along (more on that in another post).

I’ve always wanted to try, but have been too chicken to try on my own. I’m not a great swimmer and figure going with a stronger swimmer and near life guards can only be a win-win situation for me.

Look what we saw!

Just joking! I took this picture when we stopped at Eskimo Candy after for an ahi poke bowl (so good). We did have 5 turtle and 3 spotted ray sightings though! How cool is that! (though I suspect it was just one ray that we crossed paths with several times).

Getting ready to come in! I paddled from Kamaole 1 to 3 beach, on the way back my sister gave me a ride! Next time I’ll try standing!

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On Maui and looking for something to do!

What to do when you’re bored of the beach? Well… the internet is a fabulous resource for to-do ideas.

at one of the ends of Kamaole II beach in Kihei

Here are a few informative websites – with many more to be found!

Calendar Maui – has a rather extensive list of all sorts of activities. They are sorted by date, you’d be surprised what you find! This website is geared towards locals, which you might enjoy if you want a break from doing the “tourist-thing”!

Maui Arts and Cultural Center – located in Kahului across from the University of Hawaii campus (near the docks). There’s a list of concerts, exhibitions, film festivals.

Go Hawaii’s Maui Events Calendar – more geared towards tourists

Have you seen the 101 Things To Do On Maui magazine (you can find a free copy in those free magazine stands you pass when going for walks in touristy areas)? It’s also available online….

Maui Goodness has a list of ‘fun things to do on Maui to give our viewers locally preferred options’

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Free Coral Reef Information Station at Ulua Beach

Ever wonder just what kind of fish that was you saw snorkeling? Check out the free coral reef information station at Ulua Beach, hosted by the Pacific Whale Foundation. They are there Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays between 8 and 11:30am.

Ulua is a great beach for beginner snorkelers. We have friends who call this their ‘afternoon beach’. Afternoons can be windy at Kihei beaches (free exfoliation, anyone?). Ulua Beach offers some shelter from the winds. This beach is in front of the new Andaz Hotel and the Wailea Elua condo complex. Remember, all beaches in Hawaii are open to the public. There is a beach access right past the Andaz Hotel with some parking.

Have fun!

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Stargazing up high on Haleakala!

Have you checked out Maui’s volcano, Haleakala? Just looking at it from the base it doesn’t look so impressive. But its gentle slopes rise to 10,023 feet above sea level (approx. 30,000 feet from its base on the ocean floor). The crater valley at the top is impressive to look at, whether you drive up for sunrise or during the day to look around or go for a hike.

For my next drive up Haleakala I want to go at night. I’ve heard so much about the stargazing up there. In fact, one of the world’s largest telescopes can be found on Haleakala (sadly in a high-secure area, I’m not aware of any telescope tours). But you can still see the stars! Just make sure you bundle up warm and bring food and warm drinks (there is none to buy inside the national park). 
Alternatively, you can go stargazing with a local astronomer Jan Roberson from Maui Stargazing who brings her high-powered telescope and will explain what you are seeing.
courtesy of Jan Roberson of Maui Stargazing

Our friends Dan and Angie connected with Jan from Maui Stargazing last spring. Jan brought her telescope and they had an amazing time checking out galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and planets on Haleakala. Dan is an amateur astronomer – this was one of the highlights of their trip!

Jan meets guests in Pukalani, and then you follow her up Haleakala to 6500 ft elevation. You enjoy the sunset while Jan sets up her 12
inch aperture Dobsonian telescope, and as the dusk settles, she point out the
constellations and brighter stars and planets. Once it’s totally dark, you observe galaxies and nebulae, as well as open and globular star clusters. The
observing sessions last from 60 to 90 minutes. You can then either follow her back down to Pukalani or stay. Haleakala National Park is open 24 hours a day, though the visitor centers are not.

Jan has jackets, hats and gloves for those on her tours to borrow, but you definitely want to wear your warm mainland clothes when going up.

Check out this neat time-lapse video of the sky seen from Haleakala. Don’t you want to go?

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Roller rink in Kihei

When’s the last time you were at a roller rink? Kihei has its own roller rink and skate park at Kalama Park. The roller rink is open for public skate Wednesdays from 6-8pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 6-9pm. Didn’t bring your skates? You can rent them for $5. Bring some socks! The volunteers at the concession stand also have some limited snacks and cold drinks for sale. Wednesdays can be slow, Fridays and Saturdays are busier.

Kihei’s oceanfront roller rink
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Helicopter Ride!

Today I went on my first ever helicopter ride! Our tour was of the West Maui Mountains (an extinct sunken volcano) and the island of Molokai. I’ve been so curious to fly over the West Maui Mountains and peer down into those lush crevaces. I’ve also really wanted to see the Molokai sea cliffs (the world’s tallest), so this was the tour for me!

We booked with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. The office ladies were friendly, our pilot Glenda wonderful! I highly recommend it!

Here are a few cell phone camera shots to tease you.

Our Blue Hawaiian helicopter with a ground crew member

Leaving from Kahului heliport, heading West

A beautiful bay on Molokai

The famous sea cliffs on Molokai (in parts these are up to 3000 ft tall)

Back on Maui: heading into a gorge near Lahaina

Did you know there are crop circles on Maui? This one next to Hansen Road

What a cool experience! I want to go again!!

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How about a massage while on Maui?

A Maui vacation is supposed to be relaxing – and depending on your itinerary it can be. However so many people we meet are go-go-go during their Maui trip, they have only so many days and want to make sure they get it all in. That’s not fun! How about taking it a little easier and planning another trip in a year or two instead?

One of our guests recently had a massage at our Maui Kamaole condo. She has used this massage service before and highly recommends them. So I asked for the information to share with you.

The massage service is called Na Alii Massage – no worries, you don’t have to remember how to spell that for the website, just type in My Maui Massage and it will take you there. Our guest has been having massages from this place for several years – they service Kihei/Wailea but also the Lahaina/Kaanapali area. Need more convincing? Check out their reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor.

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Call to all golfers!

Yesterday I spent my morning at a seminar up at the King Kamehameha golf course near the Maui Tropical Plantation. It sure is beautiful driving up there, admiring the view of the Central Maui valley. As I drove up there I was again reminded that I never write anything about golf. I don’t golf and I don’t know anything about golf.

map of Maui’s golf courses

So here’s a call to action for all my readers! I’d love to know – which golf courses do you love on Maui? Submit a comment below or shoot me an email and I’ll post it for you!

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How about a pineapple plantation tour?

here’s my one Maui Gold pineapple –
imagine fields of pineapples!

I learned something new today! I did not know that you could go for a tour at the Haliimaile Pineapple Plantation. Did you?

One of my fellow Maui bloggers, Maui Goodness, just wrote a blog about this – check it out! Or book a tour with Maui Pineapple Tours. It’s a bit pricey, but the Tripadvisor reviews sound good.

Here’s your chance to learn all you ever wanted to know about growing pineapples!

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Best Luau on Maui….

Once a year readers of one of the local papers (Maui News) are asked to rate local restaurants and activities. The latest ‘Best of Maui 2013’ was published September 1, 2013.

According to readers of the Maui News, here are the rankings for best lu’aus.
1. Old Lahaina Lu’au (Lahaina)
2. The Grand Lu’au of Honua’ula (Grand Wailea)
3. The Fest at Lele (Lahaina)
What’s your take? What is your favorite luau? And what is your favorite part of a lu’au? I’d love to know!
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