HI 020113-244Molokini Island,  MauiJanuary 13, 2002

Maui Activities and Adventure: A Myriad of Paradise

You’ve always considered going on a vacation to Hawaii: the lure of the islands, the mystique of the ocean, and the hospitality of the locals are unrivaled for a relaxing –or exciting – vacation destination. But how would one possibly make the most of this tropical destination? The answer is as follows; after strenuous research the top most alluring sites in Maui have been compiled so that you may maximize your vacation time and experience the full breadth of what this amazing island has to offer.

First and foremost, the natural landscape is second to none if you’re in pursuit of a beautiful island destination. There is no better way to experience the natural island beauty than to ride off into the sunset –literally. Horseback riding into the foothills has attracted everyone from newlywed couples to island explorers. And if horses aren’t your cup of tea, than why not a 50 mile drive complete with over 600 tight turns down the Hana Highway? Offering the full breadth of Maui’s landscape, this drive has been renowned by tourists the world over for its exquisite scenery.

Considering that destinations one and two were all about the journey, number three is definitely about the destination: Lahaina. Home to some of Maui’s best and most famous surf spots, Lahaina has beach spots to accommodate every skill set from beginners to your most radical shredder, and also boasts a beautifully rustic ocean-side town. After you catch a few waves in Lahaina’s beautiful beach, it’s time to head into town to check out the famous Banyan tree. Not only is this tree Lahaina’s oldest living resident, the surrounding park regularly hosts town-wide events and is an essential part of any tour. In fact, the town itself hosts many historical sites such as a 19th century courthouse, the Pioneer Inn which served as the only hotel in Maui until the 1950s, and a 19th century Fort complete with 20-foot-high walls –all within the town of Lahaina.

Once you’ve taken a day or two to explore the town and all its man-made night-life, tours, and cuisine, it’s time to take in more of Maui’s breathtaking scenery. The historic Iao Valley State Park hosts a range of different hiking trails, spanning from a mild Sunday walk to a rugged excursion to the highest peak in Maui, Haleakala. And, as an essential component for any traveler, the lush fields of exotic plants and land species offer great photo opportunities. For those who wish to pursue the artistic side of nature with a camera, the town of Lahaina not only grants opportunities for breathtaking photographs but rewards the best photos on a monthly basis. Prizes typically include Hawaii-themed nick-knacks but the grand prize has been as unique as a Pacific Whale Foundation Dinner Cruise for two.

Whether your preferred vacation speed is Nascar fast or Segway slow, Maui is ripe with destinations that have earned the island itself a world-renowned reputation for being an excellent spot to for adventure or relaxation

KA Fred Torres portrait

Ukulele Classes and Storytelling: Free For Guests!

I am the Kaanapali Alii Hotel Manager and also the Hawaiian Cultural Advisor. This Summer I will again offer my popular Ukulele Classes for keiki which often include storytelling. Classes are free for guests of Kaanapali Alii and will be offered for children ages 6-12, from June 16-August 8, 2014, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. No experience is necessary. Lessons are limited to 6 guests each day.

I have been both a student and a teacher of Hawaiian cultural practices for over a decade. I was part of the development of a “Hawaiian Sense of Place” program in continuing education & training at the Maui Community College.  I’ve also applied my knowledge of Hawaiian values and practices in a variety of corporate positions within Hawaii’s visitor industry. I was honored to study chant and Hawaiian culture with some of Hawaii’s leading kumu (teachers) and am always ready to share my knowledge when guests of Kaanapali Alii who show an interest.

As I’m teaching ukulele I often have an opportunity to talk about Hawaiian values such as kuleana (personal responsibility), kokua (care), laulima (working together), and aloha (unconditional love). I enjoy sharing music and stories with the kids. They especially like to learn ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow.’ When space allows the parents can join in. Return guests look forward to showing me their progress!

Coming to Visit? Check out these Maui travel tips!

Getting Here:

Kahului Airport (OGG) is Maui’s main airport. There are also two smaller airports (Kapalua Airport and Hana Airport) on the east and west sides of the island. Most flights will be flying into OGG, but some may fly into Honolulu International Airport before a short (30 minute) flight to one of the other neighbor islands.  The flight from the mainland United States to Hawaii is considered a domestic flight, so don’t over-pack. (U.S. weight restrictions when flying domestically is 50 pounds).

Maui Travel:

You can get around the island by bus, shuttle, taxi, or other forms of public transit. That being said, Maui is much bigger than it looks on a map. There is tons to do here, and much to explore. Leave some money in the budget for a rental car. This way you can take a day and go to Hana, or visit other remote parts of the island that aren’t possible without a private vehicle. Your foreign driver’s license (if valid) works here. But you may not use a cell phone while driving!

What To Bring?

It’s always warm in Maui, so bring your summer clothes! A light jacket or sweater is a good thing to bring for the evenings. Suits and ties are almost never worn here, so bring your casual or resort clothes.  And of course, bring swimsuits! (We suggest more than one).

Tipping and Customs:

The U.S. standards on tipping apply here as well. Generally speaking, 15-25% at a bar/restaurant/cab/room service.