Category Archives: Maui Events and Activities

Ukulele lessons with Fred Torres – free for guests

Kaanapali Alii Offers Complimentary Ukulele Lessons for Guests!


Learn a bit of Hawaiian culture,  strum an easy song, and join in the fun! Great photo ops for social media posts. Ukulele lessons for Kaanapali Alii guests (adults only this time) are led by Fred Torres, Hawaiian Cultural Advisor and hotel manager.

Every Aloha Friday from 10-11 a.m. Limited to a small group. Ukuleles are provided and lots of personal attention will be given to beginners. Sign up at the Pool Desk and gather at the Pool Pavilion. Complimentary.

This experience of Hawaiian culture is just one of many free amenities for guests of these luxurious beachfront condo rentals.

Maui No Ka Oi - Maui is the Best

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Celebrate Halloween in Maui: A Look at Ancient Superstitions

Halloween is an exciting time in Maui: Everyone joins in on the fun, and walking down Front Street in Lahaina Town is a real celebration. In fact, Halloween is one of the biggest celebrations in Maui! If you’re staying at Kaanapali Alii, joining in on the fun is easy. To prepare to celebrate Halloween in Maui, here is a look at some of the ancient superstitions in the area.

Ancient Superstitions of Hawaii

We’ve all heard the superstition that you’ll have seven years of bad luck if you break a mirror, or that seeing a black cat is a prophesy of upcoming doom. But, there are likely a few Hawaiian superstitions that you haven’t heard. Here are a few to get you in a creepy mood for Halloween:

  • Don’t Whistle at Night: If you dare to whistle at night, you might just accidentally summon the huakai po, (which translates to night marchers). These terrifying specters are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. If you happen to hear drums beating in the distance, you’d better get out of there fast – the drums signal the path of the huakai po.
  • Bring Berry Offerings: When you hike a volcano in Hawaii, it is wise to bring an offering of ohelo berries to Pele in order to rightfully proceed.
  • Arrange Chopsticks Carefully: When eating rice with chopsticks, do not leave them standing straight up in the bowl! This is how rice is offered to the dead, and doing so will bring you bad luck).
  • Sleep Away from Windows: When sleeping, don’t sleep with your head by the window, you might get your head chopped off by a demon! You must also avoid sleeping with your feet to the door – doing so can result in being dragged off by a night marcher, or you could lose your way when your soul leaves your body at night.
  • Don’t Get Cursed: Don’t take any sand or rocks from Hawaii or Maui: If you do, the fire goddess Pele will curse you, and you’ll experience bad luck until you return it.
  • Speaking of Pele: If you see an old woman on the side of the road, or an old woman wearing a white cape, offer her a ride and food and drink. The goddess Pele often shape-shifts into the form of an old woman.
  • Visits from the Dead: If you suddenly are overwhelmed by the sweet scent of flowers, don’t panic: It means a deceased family member is visiting you. Also, if you spot a black moth – definitely don’t kill it. This is your deceased loved one paying a visit.

Celebrate Halloween in Maui at Kaanapali Alii

When you stay at Kaanapali Alii, you have easy access to Front Street, which is the center of the celebrations. These spooky superstitions will have you looking over your shoulder all night! Remember to have a great time as you celebrate Halloween in Maui!

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Whale Watching in Lahaina Town from Ka’anapali Beach

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” – John Lubbock

There are certain things words simply cannot describe. Whale watching is one of those experiences. How can you capture the sight of enormous creature in its natural habitat in mere words? There something exquisitely beautiful about seeing an enormous sea creature move slowly around in the limitless blue sea. As words cannot describe it adequately, we hope you’ll enjoy this video as much as we do:

Where to Watch Whales in Lahaina Town, Maui

Maui offers excellent whale watching. In fact, in many places you can see whales from the shore. If you’re excited to simply see the magnificent creatures from a distance, this is an excellent option. The beaches of Ka’anapali are a fantastic place to camp out and keep your eyes peeled for whales! The best season for whale watching is from November through May. Here are a few things we suggest you bring along when you watch whales on Ka’anapali Beach:

  • Camera: While you likely won’t capture the magnificence of whales using your camera (unless you’re a nature photographer), it’s fun to capture the memories!
  • Binoculars: It’s fun to be able to get a better glimpse of the whales from your perch on the beach.
  • Focus: One of the best things about whale watching is that it offers you a glimpse into nature. Really focus – look at the texture and color of the skin, and how it moves in the water. You’ll likely find whale watching a very relaxing experience!

Whale Watching Tours in Lahaina

If you want to get a more up-close and personal experience of whales, going on a whale-watching tour may be a good choice. There are countless places to choose from! Spend some time researching different companies, and deciding what time of experience you are looking for. A good place to start is by reading reviews of whale watching in Lahaina on TripAdvisor and other review sites. Look for companies that are highly rated!

Need a Place to Stay? Kaanapali
Alii Resort is the Best Choice

If you’re looking for accommodations near Lahaina Town, Maui, Kaanapali Alii Resort is an excellent choice. When you stay in one of our condos, you’ll have much more space than a hotel room (our condos are 1,500 to 1,900 square feet). And, you’ll be minutes away from the whale watching and other activities that Ka’anapali Beach and Lahaina Town provide. You’ll have access to our private, lighted tennis courts, as well as unlimited and complimentary use of our new fitness center and yoga studio. Kaanapali Alii resort will be your home away from home in Maui!

Book your trip to Kaanapali Alii now!

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Ali`i Kula Lavender – Sustainable Aloha on Maui

For years when I had trouble sleeping, I would place some lavender under my pillow and surely drift off to a peaceful sleep. Lavender has long been associated with rejuvenation and relaxation so well as its vibrant hue. Lavender also has homeopathic properties that may aid with a multitude of issues such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and intestinal problems. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic ingredients in lavender are said to be effective in the treatment of minor burns and bug bites.

So it’s no surprise that the Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm has soared in popularity since Ali`i Chang planted the first herb in 2001. Raised on Oahu by his grandmother, Alii Chang grew to be an accomplished farmer, agriculturist, garden and botanical purveyor. Alii chose lavender, or as he liked to say, the lavender chose him, because the herb flourished in the drought-like conditions of Kula. The lavender plant has origins in the Mediterranean and North African regions and is not native to the Hawaiian Islands but adapted well to the Haleakala slopes.

The Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm doesn’t just grow the herb on the property but promotes a way of life that is purposeful, full of tranquility and grace, called Sustainable Aloha or the Lavender Lifestyle. The farm is committed to Aloha and sustainability through education, awareness and outreach. They offer daily walking tours with a guide that explains the background of the farm and the future objectives of Ali`i Kula. For the kids, and the young at heart, there is a Lavender Treasure Hunt that is not only a great way to discover new and exciting things about the farm but is also a great way to spend the day outdoors.

With a little advanced planning you can request a golf cart tour where you can sit back, relax and visit exclusive places on our entire 13.5 acre property. With 24-hour notice, you can make the most of the farm’s ambiance and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch tailored to your taste, which includes potato chips, a beverage and lavender-infused dessert. Throughout the year, Ali`i Kula Farms conduct craft classes that utilize the beautiful and fragrant lavender herb. Check their calendar often for special events and class details.

The Alii Kula Lavender Farm is a working farm that produces bath and body products, culinary treats, spices, beverages apparel and specialty items that all feature lavender. The items can be purchased online or at the many stores that carry their products on Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and on the Mainland.

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Whale Festival in Maui

Breathtaking as they breach the surface of the glistening waters off the Maui coastline. Through winter and spring, the majestic humpback whale migrates from their northern home in Alaska to mate, calve and nurse their young. During whale season, guests can witness this magnificent mammal in its natural habitat; more than 12,000 whales migrate to Hawaii every year. The Maui Whale Festival, celebrating its 35th year, is held to honor the fascinating humpback whale as well as raise awareness to the challenges they face. The event is free to the public.

Days of Festivities

The festival’s activities start on Friday evening with “Whales under the Stars” held at Kalama Park. Pacific Whale Foundation’s Founder and Executive Director, Greg Kaufman will lead an interactive presentation that includes stories and insights from his more than 35 years in the field of preservation and ecotourism. Though the event is free, there is limited seating. You can make a reservation or bring your own lawn chair and blanket.

Parade of Whales

Saturday morning begins the festival with the Parade of Whales. At 9am the parade will follow South Kihei Road to Kalahama Park. Comprised of delightful characters and floats, the Parade will also play host to local celebrities and politicians with a surprise Grand Marshall. The parade is announced by local DJs from KPOA and prizes are awarded to participants in several categories.

Whale Day at the Park

This year’s festival will take place at Kalahama Park in Kihei. The day will be filled with live music, traditional performances, a dance party, food booths, local artisans, information kiosks of non-profits looking to protect Maui’s marine life and habitat as well as a carnival for the kiddies. You can also enter the Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta – a fast-paced race of rubber whales, vying for the finish line.

Pacific Whale Foundation

World Whale Day and the Maui Whale Festival is presented by the Pacific Whale Foundation. The non-profit was founded in 1980 to advocate for whales and other marine life through research, education and awareness. The organization is international and continues its global efforts to protect the ocean wildlife and their natural habitat.

Stay and Play

When planning your trip to attend the festival, discover the best in Maui Vacation Rentals at Kaanapali Alii near Lahaina. The resort boasts accommodations that are nearly 4 times as large as a standard hotel room, a tropical pool and activity center, steps away from Kaanapali Beach and amenities that make your vacation a paradise retreat.

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An Experience of a Lifetime: Whale Watching in Maui Hawaii

Maui is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque resort areas in the world. The natural beauty attracts visitors year round but there is so much more to do and experience on our stunning island. If you are looking for some things to do in Maui during your stay, the whale watching is some of the best in the US. The fall starts the humpback whale season as they migrate from Alaska to Hawaii during the colder months. More than 12,000 whales move into the tropical waters, most arriving in Maui. Whale watching in Maui is an experience of a lifetime.

The Whalers Village Museum showcases the lives of the whalers through tools and artifacts, pictures and one of the largest collections of scrimshaw in the country. Maui, and specifically Ka’anapali, has a rich history of whaling. In the early to late 1800’s, the surrounding area was populated with young boys and men living on schooners throughout the migration. These sailors crafted intricate relics carved from the ivory and bone of the hunted whales.

The museum, located in the Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants, is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Maui. Adults and kids alike will enjoy the Whale Talks, Marine Walking Tours and Free Movies that the museum offers to its visitors. Better yet, walk out to the Whalers Museum’s bridge and witness for yourself the majesty as the whales breach the surface, frolic and flap their tails. For a closer encounter and more intimate experience there are plenty of local companies that operate guided whale watching tours in Maui.

In 1992, Congress named this area of the Pacific a National Marine Sanctuary to ensure that the humpback whales could continue to safely mate, calve and nurse their young. Presently, the museum works in concert with local groups to protect and preserve the whale population.

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The Road to Hana

“It’s about the journey, not the destination”, is a fair motto and philosophy of the beautifully, adventurous road to Hana. This 55 mile drive along the Maui coastline serves up gorgeous views, such as cascading waterfalls, lush rainforests, and the surreal Maui coastline as the Pacific gloriously collides into white sands or steep, rock cliffs. This road truly shows off the natural beauty of Maui.

For most, the journey starts in Kahului. From here, it is 55 miles to the final destination, Hana. Starting from here has been noted to take all day, if one does the trip right. It is recommended for one to plan out the stops and sights to see before beginning the drive. Taking the time to truly see and learn about Maui is what makes this drive memorable and worthwhile. Yes, it is a gorgeous drive even to just whip through. But there is much more to experience. Take your time, plan ahead, and enjoy the journey fully.

There are numerous stops on the trip that are worthwhile to see. Twin Falls is one of them. This spot is around the two mile marker going from Kahului to Hana. At about the 21 mile marker, the Wailea overlook or Waikani Falls, boasts more spectacular views and perfect photo opportunities. More stops include, Wainapanapa State Park, Hookipa Beach, and the Seven Sacred Pools. The Seven Sacred Pools are one of the most popular attractions on the island, to avoid heavy crowds, visit the pools as early as possible- before noon. Also, weather may cause the pools to close, so check in with the ranger station to be sure about the park’s opening.

A full day should be set apart to truly enjoy the road to Hana. Bring snacks, lunch, drinks, a camera, and good company. If there is any proneness to motion sickness, maybe bring some Dramamine as well, go slow and allow for time outside of the car to recuperate. Remember, it’s about the journey not the destination. See it fully, friends.

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Windsurfing Maui

Maui offers one of the widest range of recreational activities for tourists and residents. With its’ pristine beaches, mild weather, and fun loving culture, it’s the birth haven for fun in the sun. One of the most sought out after activities to do in Maui is windsurf. For those who don’t know what this is, essentially it is the use of a wind sail attached to a surfboard that propels a surfer across the surface of the water. Your feet slip into a binding, your hands grasp onto the shaft of the sail, and the sail catches onto the wind and guides you along the water.

There are numerous beaches in Maui that offer this recreational activity. The majority of windsurfing takes place on the North shore. The North shore is known for powerful north east trade winds that bring perfect waves sailing up and down the center of Maui’s shore. The beaches on the north side include Hookipa, Camp One, Sprecks, Sugar Cove, and Kanaha. On the south shore of the island, the beach Kihei offers windsurfing areas as well. At these beaches, one can find ideal places that allow for windsurfers to fully enjoy the sport.

If you don’t have the gear for windsurfing or are only going to be in Maui for a short amount of time, renting is a clear choice. There are multiple locations and shops that offer rental equipment. One can easily find options for windsurfing lessons as well, if one is needing a little extra help getting started. There are multiple websites of shops that offer rentals, pricing, and locations to best suite your needs if one is wanting to research that before arriving to the island.

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner windsurfing in Maui is a purely fun option.  Ideal beaches and locations, numerous options for rentals, and offered lessons make it an easy and fun way to spend the day out on the water and in the Hawaiian sun. Catch some rays, catch some waves, and catch some wind, adventurers!

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Get-A-Way to Maui for Romance and Adventure

Maui sunset

Have a magical romantic getaway in our luxury condos on Maui!

As the wet season sets its sun on our beautiful island, we are getting ready to enjoy warm tropical evenings brought by the long summer – which we islanders call the dry season. Most travelers don’t realize that one of the best times to visit Maui is actually right now. During this time of year, the weather is reliable, rates are lowest, and the island vegetation is lush. It’s the perfect time for a romantic spring getaway in one of our luxury condos on Maui. To celebrate this special time of year, we’ve made a list of romantic Maui activities that you and your significant other can enjoy while visiting us.

 

Haleakala Crater Sunset

There is really nothing like seeing a Maui sunset from the top of Haleakala Crater. The sky lights up with a medley of bountiful colors that are sure to reflect the feelings you hold for your significant other. Curl up under a blanket and watch the night hoku (stars) come out. The view of the Milky Way is absolutely alluring when watched from the protection of the crater.
 

Snorkeling and Scuba

The island of Maui has plenty of hidden treasures, especially underwater. There are plenty of amazing areas to snorkel, or even scuba around the island if you are so inclined. See colorful marine life up close, and at the same time, have an unforgettable experience.
 

Take a Trip to East Maui

Taking the Road to Hana is one of the most unique and rewarding experiences on Maui. Frolic in the abundant waterfalls while navigating rich bamboo forests. This part of the island is old and ancient, peppered with black, red, and gold sand beaches throughout tropical rainforests. Nothing will take your breath away like this untamed part of Maui. Take a full day and enjoy one of the most untouched tropical paradises that the island has to offer.

 

 

 

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Spot a Humpback on Your Maui Getaway

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What Are Humpback Whales (Kohola)?

Kohola (Hawaiian for humpback whale) is a large species of baleen whale. Males usually range between 40 and 50 feet long, and weigh around 90,000 pounds! Their immense size makes their graceful movements even more impressive, as it’s not uncommon to see these beautiful creatures “breach.” Breaching (also known as “cresting”) occurs when a humpback propels at least 40% of its massive body out of the water. No one knows why Kohola breach, some scientists think it may help them “scratch” itchy skin, while others believe that Kohola breach for fun. Either way, seeing a Kohola breach is one of the most fantastic things to experience when visiting Maui.

 

Why Do the Whales Visit Hawaii?

We don’t actually consider the humpbacks as visitors, but “kamaaina.” This means native born. North Pacific humpback whales are born in Hawaiian waters. The vast majority of them come to our beautiful paradise to breed, calve, and nurse their young. It’s a long, dangerous journey that is over 3,000 miles and two months in length. But when they visit, the Kohola stay for an extended vacation. They usually stay from December to May. Some Native Hawaiians believe the Kohola are “aumakua,” or family guardians. They bring warm tides, and are treated with honor and respect.

 

How Can I See a Whale?

Humpbacks can be seen across all of the Hawaiian Islands, but the best viewing spot is in the Aua Channel, a shallow length of water between West Maui (Lahaina and Kaanapali), Lanai, and Molokai. People travel from across the entire globe to see the Kohola frolic and play in our warm waters. If you want to see the whales up close, there are several whale-watching tours that guarantee a humpback sighting. For safety of the Kohola (and the sightseers!), all watercraft must stay at least 100 yards from any whale. But even at that distance, the power and grace of these gentle giants is incredibly impressive. If boats are not for you, their breaches can be seen from land. Bring a pair of binoculars with you when you visit, if you get lucky you may even get to see one spout!

 

Save Our Whales

Although the Kohola once roamed the seas in high number, decades of whaling and fishing has depleted their population. Now, the Endangered Species Act protect whales from hunting, harm, or disturbance. In the early 90s, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was established to help protect these beautiful creatures and their habitat. This sanctuary extends from the shoreline to a depth of 600 feet. If you come visit, please treat the Islands and oceans with the same respect that you would treat your own home. Mahalo.

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Ronald Lundberg

 

 

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