Tag Archives: Things to do on Maui

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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Hiking on Maui

IO Valley - Hiking

In Hawaii, summer means hiking trails, incredible views and a great way to tour the Islands on your own two feet. Maui’s hiking trails allow you to experience the beauty of the Magic Isle. For an easy hike, visit historic Iao Valley State Park. This paved trail offers fantastic valley views. For a more difficult hike try the Pipiwai trail to 400-foot Waimoku Falls in the lush Kipahulu section of Haleakala National Park. Visit the Kipahulu Visitor’s Center for more information.

 

Or you can hike atop the scenic summit of Haleakala, Maui’s highest peak. Take the Halemauu Trail or the Keeneheehee (sliding sands) trail down from the crater and see volcanic landscapes, mountainous wilderness and rare endemic plants like the ahinahina (silversword). Visit the Haleakala Visitor’s Center for more information on guided and self-guided hikes.

For more information contact the National Park Service at (808) 572-4400.

 

When hiking on Maui, be sure to be prepared with these essentials:
– Good hiking shoes with tread
– Light pants to keep cool or shorts (but beware that you may get scratches from branches)
– Light shirt to keep cool
– Light rain jacket and mosquito repellent (especially if you are going into rainforests or valleys)
– Backpack with enough water, lunch and sunscreen (depending on length and intensity of hike)
– Cell phone

For longer, tougher hikes you may want to also include:
– Work gloves
– Sweater
– First Aid Kit
– Additional water and food
– Flashlight
– Compass
– Map

 

For safety reasons, DO NOT hike alone if at all possible, but if you must, make sure to tell someone where you are going. DO NOT drink water from freshwater ponds or streams you may encounter during your hike. Avoid entering streams or ponds with open cuts. Stick to the trail and follow trail head markers to avoid getting lost. With a little preparation, your Maui hike will reap unforgettable rewards.

 

 

 

Thank you to our friends at Hawaii Visitors & Conventions Bureau for the content.

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My Alii Photo Contest is now LIVE!

February 2013 winner

Kaanapali Alii guests are inspired to snap photos all day long of Maui’s delicious food, natural beauty and all the special moments shared with friends and family!  So every month we open another “My Alii Photo Contest!”

 

Each monthly winner is determined by a popular vote of people just like you who visit the website and click on “Vote” next to the photo that you like best. Check January’s winning photo from Jennifer of Livermore, CA who captured stand up paddleboarding against a blazing Maui sunset. And notice the runner up winning photo of a gecko on a brilliant yellow hibiscus. So you see the subjects are limited only by your imagination and unique experiences on Maui.

February 2013 runner up

Monthly prizes change but have included gifts such as a Hawaii coffee table book by professional photographer Douglas Peebles, a logo beverage cooler and more. Of course everyone is shooting for the Grand Prize for 2013 – a 5-night stay in a fully furnished luxury condo at Kaanapali Alii.

 

Click here to go to the My Alii Photo Contest area of our website to enter your photos and vote for your favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whales are here in Maui

Whale

Breaching Whale

Did you know that Lahaina was once the royal capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom before it was moved to Honolulu in 1845? At that time is was also the center of whaling in Hawaii (1825 to 1860). During that time, Lahaina was known as the Pacific’s most significant whaling port. At its peak, whalers were hunting thousands of whales each year—to the point of near extinction. Today, conservation has helped to save whales and increase the overall whale population – and Maui is the best place to see them.

It is whale season now (until around April) so this is a great time to visit Maui and experience the amazement of the majestic North Pacific Humpback Whales. There are many reasons Humpback Whales spend the summer in Maui. They come to breed and give birth but they also put on a great show. If you want to see these amazing creatures up-close then treat yourself to scenic ocean views as expert guides take you to the best spots to observe whales playfully surfacing, tail slapping, or blowing spouts in the air. But remember – regulations prohibit boats from approaching within 100 yards of a whale and you should never swim with or touch whales or any other marine mammals.

A great way to find a whale watching tour is to visit Lahaina Harbor. A short drive from Kaanapali Alii you will find whale watching kiosks lining the harbor with a variety of whale watching options. There you will find a wide range of whale watching tours from charter boats to passenger rafts. Tours last roughly 2-4 hours long and some even offer early bird specials.

To explore more of Lahaina’s whaling past, the harbor offers many opportunities  (delete “there”) as well. Echoes of the past can be found from the modest Lahaina Lighthouse (the oldest lighthouse in the Pacific) to Hale Paahao, the Old Lahaina Prison, where rowdy sailors were rounded up for the night in the 1850’s. A short stroll from Kaanapali Alii is Whaler’s Village with an extensive Whaling Museum that is free to the public.

These are just a few of the reasons to give yourself time to explore the fascinating town of Lahaina. And there’s no better place to stay than Kaanapali Alii where all the adventures of Lahaina Town are just a stone’s throw away!

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Conde Nast Traveler votes Maui “Best Island”

If you have been waiting for just the right time to visit Maui, according to discerning travelers and Conde Nast Traveler, there couldn’t be a better time than right now.

This month, CNT confirmed what we have always known – that Maui ranks first. For an incredible 19th time, our humble island ran away with the title “Best U.S. Island” in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards. Maui scored a 92.1, almost three full points higher than second place winner, sister-island, Kauai, which scored an 89.3.

From our incredible beaches to our sumptuous local cuisine, to site seeing, shopping, golf, spas – Maui has everything you could hope for when planning your vacation. Come visit us at Kaanapali Alii and see just what we are all about for yourself.


MAUI, Hawaii – For an unprecedented 19th time, Maui captured “Best U.S. Island” (formerly “Best Pacific Island”). With a score of 92.1, Maui bested all other island and city destinations named to the poll with the publication recognizing Maui as “tops in the world” in its 25th annual CONDE NAST TRAVELER Readers’ Choice Awards.

In the same Best U.S. Island category, sister island Kauai placed 2nd (89.3) while third place honors went to Kiawah, SC (88.8). Oahu came in 4th (87), St. Simons, GA placed 5th (85.7) while Lanai and Hawaii Island tied for 6th (85.1). According to the publication, the Readers’ Choice Awards are a unique and trusted source of advice globally for its range and depth thanks to America’s most discerning and demanding travelers.

“While the natural beauty and gracious aloha of our people make this possible, our individual scores reveal our guests appreciate Maui’s varied offerings – fantastic hotels and resorts, incredible dining experiences and myriad activities, both on land and ocean,” stated Terryl Vencl, executive director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. “While there are abundant adventures at hand, we know our guests relish the freedom to be as active or relaxed as they choose. I believe this coveted award speaks to that. We are truly honored.”

Other top island destinations worldwide included winners in the following geographical categories: Caribbean/Atlantic (Bermuda, 87.2), Australia & The Pacific (Bora Bora, 86.7), Canada (Vancouver Island, 82), Asia (Bali, 81.8) and Europe (Bozcaada and The Turkish Aegean Islands, 80.8).

Maui’s score once again surpassed all other top destinations globally beating out every “Best City” category winner including U.S. (Charleston, SC, 86.7), Africa (Capetown, 84.8), Europe (Florence, 83.3), Asia (Bangkok, 83), Canada (Vancouver, 81.9), Australia & The Pacific (Sydney, 81.7), Central & South America (Buenos Aires, 76.1), Caribbean & The Atlantic (Gustavia, St. Barts, 71.1) and Mexico (San Miguel De Allende, 71.1).

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa added, “This award belongs to all the people of Maui and especially the residents of our visitor industry. ‘Maui no ka oi’ or ‘Maui is the best’ is a common Hawaiian refrain. Today, we can hold our heads high as we all celebrate this wonderful honor together.”

In the “Top 25 Hawaii Resorts” category, Maui County dominated with 11 properties honored; four of the top five are Lanai and Maui resorts. Leading the way is Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele (96.2) while Hawaii Island’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai placed second (95.2). At #3 is Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay (94.7) while Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea ranked 4th (93.9) and Wailea Beach Villas 5th (93.7).

Other Maui resorts honored include #9 Fairmont Kea Lani (89.8), #11 Honua Kai Resort & Spa (87.5), #15 Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (87.1), #16 Travaasa Hana (86.5) and #17 Grand Wailea (86.4). The 23rd ranking went to Westin Maui Resort & Spa (82.1) and Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (82) placed 24th.
Hawaiian Airlines also ranked as a Top U.S. Airline placing third (61) behind 1st place Virgin America (79.6) and 2nd place Jet Blue (68.8).

Every year, the most discriminating travelers in the world pick the world’s superlative hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, islands, and cities. In its 25th incarnation this year, the Readers’ Choice Awards are vaster and more compelling than ever before, featuring more than 1,300 properties and places that are truly the cream of the crop.

The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau is a subsidiary of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in North America. The HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

The islands of Maui Nui (Maui County) offer three very distinct Hawaiian experiences. World-class resorts, award winning cuisine, championship golf, exquisite natural beauty and the islands’ host Hawaiian culture have propelled Maui Nui into the limelight. For more information, go to www.visitmaui.com or call 800-525-6284.

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Wailea Wine and Food Festival



If you’re visiting Maui during the first week of December, you will definitely not want to miss the Maui Wine and Food Festival.

December 6th through the 9th, nationally renowned vintners and sommeliers will collaborate with Wailea’s inspired chef’s to Celebrate the Crush at Wailea Resort’s first ever Wailea Wine & Food Festival. The absolute best of the winemakers’ art will be paired with the culinary talents of Wailea’s Master chefs on the sunny shores of South Maui.

Events include wine seminars, tastings, presentations and special culinary events in honor of all things grape and great! Come sip fine wine and savor our extraordinary cuisine, Oceanside on Maui.

Tickets are available but can only be purchased online through the Festival website at www.waileawineandfoodfestival.com.

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XTERRA World Championships

On October 28th, The Ritz Carlton Kapalua will play host to the 12th annual XTERRA World Championship. The world’s premier off-road triathletes will compete in what is best described as a tropical roller-coaster ride through pineapple fields and forests.

Only 800 athletes will qualify to complete in this final event in the XTERRA triathlon series which totals over 100 in over 100 individual off-road triathlon races held in 16 countries and 30+ U.S. States, and combines a 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) rough water swim, a 29.5-kilometer (18.3-miles) mountain bike and a 9.8-kilometer (6.1-miles) trail run.

For all the important information regarding the XTERRA World Championships, please visit www.xterramaui.com.

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Kaanapali Fresh – Taste the best Kaanapali has to offer

This weekend, our friends at Kaanapali Beach Resort Association will be hosting the first annual Kaanapali Fresh, an unparallelled three-day culinary experience, designed to highlight Kaanapali as the premier destination for exquisite cuisine, experiences and activities.

Beginning Friday, August 31st and running through Sunday, September 2, you will have the opportunity to sample locally sourced culiary masterpieces created by some of Maui’s most talented Executive Chefs, including locally born and raised, Chef James Domingo of Leilani’s On the Beach and Culinary Institute graduate, Matt Dugan of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.

Kaanapali Fresh will offer many diverse activities, all designed to allow you to experience Kaanapali’s finest.  Choose from an upland visit to Kaanapali Coffee Farm, Champagne Sunday Brunch at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, or a mixology lesson with Chandra Lucariello, Director of Mixology for Southern Wine and Spirits of Hawaii.  There is a little something for everyone.

If you are visiting us this weekend, Kaanapali Fresh is an a once in a lifetime event that you will not want to miss.

For more information, or to view the schedule of events and pre-purchase tickets, visit the Kaanapali Fresh website.

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Celebrate Japanese Obon this Weekend


Obon is the Japanse Buddist tradition that sets aside a time to honor family and loved ones who have passed away.

Traditionally celebrated in the summer, Obon is a holiday during which family members return to their ancestral homes to visit and pay respects.

Over the past five hundred years, Obon has evolved into a social and cultural event.  Celebrations are happy and joyous occasions and include the dance of Ben Odori, which symbolizes and celebrates the sacrificies the ancestors have made on our behalf.  It is said that during the dance, the spririts of the dead dance among us.

Visitors and tourists are welcome and encouraged to participate.   Join the Wailuku Hongwanji Mission this Friday or Saturday nights at 7:00 PM to experience Obon for yourself.

Wailuku Hongwanji Mission
1828 Vineyard St
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793

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