The Valley Isle
Ah, the magic of Maui… is it any wonder that the humpback whales choose Maui as part of their annual migratory route?
With white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, Maui is ideal for sunbathing, snorkeling, and snoozing! But once you’ve gotten enough sun, Maui’s also a great place for shopping and sightseeing. The old whaling town of Lahaina is home to many quaint shops and eclectic art galleries. On the opposite side of the island, the long road to Hana will lead you to the waterfall-fed pools at Oheo Gulch, a perfect place to stretch your legs and take in the view. After touring the island, you may need to unwind in Wailea with a pampering spa treatment. It’s no wonder visitors return here year after year.
Facts: Population 117,644, Area 727 sq. miles
The “Magic Isle” produces sugar, pineapple, cattle, and horses. The 10,023-foot Haleakala is the largest dormant volcano crater in the world. Lahaina was Hawaii’s capital before 1845, and still has some of the atmosphere of an old whaling town. Nearby are the Kaanapali and Wailea resort areas and golf courses. Hana and Iao Valley draw many visitors.
Flower: Lokelani (Pink Cottage Rose)
Island Color: Pink
Be careful or you’ll be hooked. As the natives say, “Maui no ka oi” – Maui is the best!
Family Fun: While famous around the world as an unforgettable honeymoon destination, Maui also offers an abundance of family-friendly attractions too. Take a trek through a bamboo forest and scout for rare tropical birds. Spend each day on a different beach. Hike down an ancient path, or straight up a volcano. Take a road trip to the other side of the island, or take a glass-bottom boat ride to a whole new world. And be sure to check out the wonderful Maui Ocean Center, featuring a 750,000-gallon, open-ocean tank with a walk-through acrylic tube.
Several of the larger resort hotels provide supervised activity programs for young guests, giving them a unique opportunity to experience Hawaii’s culture. And many hotels and resorts offer special family rates that often include free accommodations and meals for children under twelve.
Adventures: From brilliant pearl white to stark volcanic black, the sands of Maui beaches are as varied as the people who come from around the world to enjoy them. And here you will definitely find a beach that suits you perfectly. Some beaches are so small and tucked away you’ll need an experienced guide to help you find them, while others — like famous Kaanapali or Wailea — are ranked among the best beaches in the country. And when you’ve had enough fun in the sand, a world of water activities awaits you. Snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing, boogie boarding, skimboarding, jet-skiing, catamaran cruises, deep-sea fishing, and charters of every kind can be found on Maui.
Golf: For many of the sport’s most avid fans, the words “golf” and “Maui” are virtually synonymous. Nowhere else in the Pacific quite so blue, the fairways so green, and the sunlight so perfectly golden. Maui boasts over 15 golf courses, several of which are ranked at or near the top of the “world’s best” lists. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a more dramatic setting for these 18-hole masterpieces, with fairways abutting ancient lava flows, tees surrounded by palm groves, and greens arched by rainbows created in the ocean mist. The island is home to several public and resort courses and is the setting for many of the world’s most famous professional tournaments (you never know when you might bump into a legend in the clubhouse).
Photo courtesy: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson – Maui
Text & Facts courtesy: HVCB