Maui Journals

Marvelous Maui

An October 2005 trip to Maui by quiltergal

Kaanapali Beach Photo, Maui, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: We are avid snorkelers, so you'll see many entries about the different locations we snorkeled, the variety of fish, and the degree of difficulty. Other activities included trips to Haleakala Crater, 'Iao Valley, Old Lahaina Luau, the Maui Ocean Center, and more.

Marvelous Maui

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
We love to snorkel, so we tried to hit as many leeward beaches as possible. The snorkeling on Maui is awesome, way better than in the Caribbean. Try one of the Pacific Whale Foundation snorkel tours. They are very well done. Visit the I'ao Valley State Park. It's small but stunning and well worth the visit. It's free, too! Haleakala National Park is also very interesting. Cost is per vehicle, and the entrance fee is good for a week and can also be used at Oheo Gulch, so keep your entrance ticket. Weather can be a bit problematic. The day we went, it looked clear, but by the time we reached the summit, clouds shrouded the top and visibility was zero. Shopping at Whalers Village and Lahaina T...Read More

Kahana Falls

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Kahana Falls Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina Town, and Whalers VillageBest Things About the Resort:Friendly, helpful staff; small but pretty swimming pool; and no pushy timeshare salesmenResort Experience:Kahana Falls is a small, relatively quiet resort in West Maui. The units are nicely appointed but not luxurious. There is a TV and DVD player in the living area and a TV in the bedroom as well. The kitchen has a full-size stove with an oven, microwave, full-size refrigerator, and dishwasher. There is also a washer and dryer and a small box of detergent. Kitchen cleaning supplies are provided. The only spices are salt and pepper. There is a dining area, but...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Kahana Falls
4260 Lower Honoapiilani Road
Maui, Hawaii
808/669-1050

Leilani's on the Beach

Restaurant | "Lelanis"

Quote:
Lelani's at Whaler's Village is beachfront. Sunsets can be stunning from there. I think I may have found the best fish tacos on the planet here. For around $10 you get two tacos both with a slab of ono on a bed of cabbage and their secret sauce. They were so good, we had to go back our last night on Maui and have them again. It can be a bit noisy, as the bistro is right by the bar. The waitstaff is very friendly and helpful, and the food came quickly.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Leilani's on the Beach
2435 Kaanapali Parkway
Maui, Hawaii 96761
(808) 661-4495

Hula Grill Kaanapali Beach

Restaurant | "Hula Grill"

Hula Grill Kaanapali Beach Photo, Lahaina, Hawaii
Quote:
Hula Grill is beachfront at Whaler's Village. You can eat in the restaurant or in the barefoot bar. We prefer the barefoot bar, as it is more casual and has a much better view of the ocean than inside the restaurant. This is important if you are there at sunset. Sunsets at Ka'anapali Beach are exquisite, made better only by a great drink and good food. What could be better than sipping a Mai Tai or Pina Colada while watching Mother Nature put on a show. The barefoot bar has tables set in sand, so don't wear anything dressier than flip-flops.Hula Grill is a high-energy place that caters to the young at heart, and the bar is usually hopping most nights. There is live music at 7pm m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Hula Grill Kaanapali Beach
Whaler's Village
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
(808) 667-6636

Kimo's Restaurant

Restaurant | "Kimo's"

Kimo's Restaurant Photo, Lahaina, Hawaii
Quote:
We had the fish tacos here with Ahi tuna. They were enormous! I couldn't finish mine. They also put a lot of cheese on them, which wasn't really a good accent for the Ahi. However, Kimo's makes the BEST Lava Flow on the island. For those not in the know, a Lava Flow is a pina colada and a strawberry daiquiri blended separately and then poured into the same glass. It makes lovely red-and-white swirls in the glass. What sets Kimo's Lava Flows apart from the rest is that they add a banana to the Pina Colada. It's just the right touch and soooo yummy. Kimos is oceanfront, and we were lucky enough to get an oceanfront table. It is in a very nice location, and there is a great wait staff.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Kimo's Restaurant
845 Front St.
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
(808) 661-4811

Cafe O'Lei

Restaurant

Quote:
Cafe O Lei can be a bit hard to find, as it is in the back of a store on Front Street. It was nearly deserted when we got there. It's pretty small, with maybe a dozen tables. For the type of restaurant it is, the menu seems a bit pretentious. We weren't terribly hungry, so we ordered from the appetizer menu. I got the Kalua pork and smoked Mozzarella quesadilla, which was quite good. Their drink specialty is the Lahaina daiquiri. It's a strawberry/banana daiquiri that tends to be a little on the tart side. It's good, but Kimo's Lava Flows are better. They are oceanfront and do have lovely views of Lahaina Harbor.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Cafe O'Lei
3673 Baldwin Ave
Makawao, Hawaii 96768
+1 808 573 9065

Old Lahaina Luau

Attraction

Old Lahaina Luau Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
This luau is the best of three I have attended. Honestly, it's not to be missed. The location is beachfront on Front Street in Lahaina Town. You are greeted at the entrance with a fresh-flower lei and a mai tai. Seats are reserved, so there is no standing in line for hours to assure a good seat. The open bar is amazing. They are real drinks with real booze, not the wimpy things most places try to pawn off as a mai tai. You can choose from at least a dozen different drinks, so I tried as many as possible. The food is excellent. My only criticism would be that the Kalua pork was a tad on the dry side but still very tasty. The grounds are very nice and simulate a Hawaiian village. There are local crafts ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Old Lahaina Luau
1251 Front St.
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
(808) 667-1998

Pacific Whale Foundation

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Pacific Whale Foundation - Molokini Snorkel Trip"

Pacific Whale Foundation Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Molokini Crater is an amazing place to snorkel. The water is super-clear, though a bit colder than beach reefs. There is a pretty good variety of fish and other critters. Towards the end of our hour there we had a white-tipped reef shark swim under us. That was pretty exciting and worth the $65 right there! The Ocean Odyssey is a large cat with a big engine. It only takes about 20 minutes to get from Ma'alaea Harbor to the crater. I did a Molokini trip a year ago with a different company, and it took over an hour to get to the crater. From Molokini we cruised to Lanai. That took approximately an hour. Just outside Manele Bay we came across a pod of spinner dolphins. They were sooo coo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Pacific Whale Foundation
Kealia Beach Plaza
Maui, Hawaii 96753
+1 808 879 8811

Ka'anapali Beach

Attraction | "Kaanapali Beach"

Ka'anapali Beach Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Ka'anapali Beach is a huge beach. It is fronted by a dozen or so resorts, along with Whaler's Village shopping mall. It can be quite crowded at times, so this isn't the beach for relaxing. It's also known as Dig Me Beach, if that tells you anything. There is great snorkeling at Black Rock at the north end by the Sheraton, but like the rest of the beach it can get very crowded. I swam out around the point and saw two sea turtles snoozing on the bottom. On our last day we snorkeled there and a spotted eagle ray swam right under me. That was pretty cool. At times this beach has a wicked undertow and big swells. It can be challenging getting in and out of the water without getting knocked...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Ka'anapali Beach
Ka'anapali, Western Shore Of Maui
Maui, Hawaii 96761
(808) 667-5900

Honolua Bay

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Honolua Bay Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Honolua Bay is the West Maui Holy Grail of snorkelers and divers alike. It is part of a marine preserve located at the northernmost tip of West Maui. It is situated in a transition zone between the windward and leeward sides of the island and displays weather patterns unique to both. When conditions are prime, the snorkeling and diving is supposed to be awesome. The summer months are supposed have the most consistently excellent conditions, as there are very few northern swells at that time of year. Getting to Honolua Bay can be an adventure in itself. There is no public parking or facilities of any kind. In fact, it’s not even marked. As a result, it’s very easy to miss the turn-off; in fact, we d...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Honolua Bay
North of Kapalua
West Maui, Hawaii

Maluaka Beach

Attraction | "Maluaka: Great snorkeling w/o going to Molokini"

Maluaka Beach Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
This is the reef the snorkel tour boats take you to when they talk about snorkeling at "Turtle Town." Boy, they aren't kidding. There are turtles everywhere here. Big ones, medium sized and little ones. I also saw a small free swimming octopus. Several different kinds of moray eels and Picasso triggerfish. This was also the only snorkel spot where we saw saddleback butterfly fish. There is public parking, showers, restrooms, and a nice picnic area. The beach itself is quite nice, with a great view of Molokini. It can get a little crowded, as the beach is shared with the Maui Prince hotel.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Maluaka Beach
Makena Beach Resort
South Maui, Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center

Attraction

Quote:
Who would think you could spend 4 hours at an aquarium? Well, we did. It was kind of a drizzly day, so we thought this would be a good activity. It was amazing. As a former owner of a saltwater aquarium, I can attest to how difficult it is to maintain perfect water balance in a closed system. The Maui Ocean Center is doing everything right. The fish all look very healthy and well fed. The water for the size animals it houses is pretty clear. We are one of those geeky fish couples who know all the names of the fish without looking at the card. There is a hammerhead shark tank, a turtle tank, a jelly cylinder you can walk around, and the giant community tank that has everything from the tiniest damsel f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Maui Ocean Center
Highway 30 at Ma'alaea Harbor Village
Maui, Hawaii 96793
(808) 270-7000

Iao Valley State Park Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
On the day we were there, 'Iao Valley was misty and mysterious. It's a hard place to describe. Technically it is what is left of the central caldera of the West Maui volcano. As you stand there and look around, you know you are in an ancient place with a lot of history and legend. It is the valley where the people of Maui took their last stand against Kamehameha the Great in 1790 and lost. It's not very far out of Wailuku and well worth the visit. I'd like to spend some more time there in the future.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 7, 2005

Iao Valley State Park
Iao Valley Road
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
No phone available

Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series

Attraction | "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert"

Quote:
The concert series is every Wednesday evening at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua. Hawaiian slack key guitar is the music played in Hawaiian backyards throughout the islands. It is open tuning, unlike traditional guitar tuning. Many songs are sung in the Hawaiian language. It's very beautiful and earthy. As you sit and listen, you really get the feeling you're sitting in George's backyard listening to him and his Ohana playing the old songs and creating new ones together. George is the host of the concert series, and there is a different guest player every week. The Ukulele Boys are fabulous, nephews of George I believe. I have seen this show twice, and the boys have stolen the show both times. They can do...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series
Napili Kai Beach Resort, 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd.
Maui, Hawaii 96761

Kapalua Bay

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Kapalua Bay is truly a natural wonder. It's a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay with very well-developed coral heads. It can be a little tricky getting in and out, as there are some large rocky areas at the water line. Just look for the light-colored water. That indicates a sandy bottom and makes your entry into the bay much easier. The variety of fish at Kapalua is far greater than Molokini, and the water is a bit warmer. You can swim way out to the outer reef without danger of getting sucked into the Tahiti Express. We saw three varieties of moray eels, a pair of turtles wedged into holes in the outer reef, and HumuHumus too numerous to count, same with Yellow tangs. There were huge Blue Cavalle (in...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2005

Kapalua Bay
Ka'anapali Beach
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761

Olowalu

Attraction

Olowalu Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Olowalu can't really be classified as a beach. It's kind of a wide spot at Mile Marker 14 that dives off into some very thorny trees. Make sure you wear your flip-flops or watch carefully where you walk, as there are thorny twigs buried in the sand. There are a couple of tiny spots that have sand, but the road is so close, you can barely hear the waves over the traffic. The snorkeling is okay, but you have to swim quite a ways out to see anything good. A lot of the coral has been killed by brown algae. The coral is also pretty close to the surface, and I worried about damaging it and myself as I skimmed across it. There is a deeper sand-bottomed channel that snakes in and around the coral heads. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 9, 2005

Olowalu
Mile Marker 14
Maui, Hawaii

Kahekili Beach

Attraction

Quote:
This is a great spot for beginning snorkelers. It's calm and protected, with very easy entry. It doesn't have the variety of fish Kapalua does, but I did see my first turtle here. The reef goes way out. The facilities are very good. There are two covered pavilions with picnic tables, restrooms, a shower, and public parking. There is a nice sandy beach for just hanging out. This is definitely a family-friendly spot.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 9, 2005

Kahekili Beach
Highway 30
Maui, Hawaii

Lahaina

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Lahaina Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Lahaina buzzes with a happy energy. The setting is lovely, and no matter how busy it is, you always feel relaxed. Lahaina loosely translates into “cruel sun.” I’ve been there in the summer, and that’s no lie! The trade winds that keep the rest of the island cool and comfortable flow around the north and south ends of the island, missing Lahaina completely. The summer season in Lahaina can be stifling. It is situated on a natural harbor and, at one point in its long history, served as a whaling port and the royal capitol. Lahaina is quaint and has retained much of its historical charm. The harbor is a hub for many different boating activities. There was a fishing tournament going on while we ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 10, 2005

Lahaina

Maui, Hawaii

Haleakalā National Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Haleakala National Park"

Haleakalā National Park Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Our trip to Haleakala National Park was kind of a mixed-bag due to weather. When we left our condo the weather was clear, but by the time we reached the summit a lenticular cloud had formed at the top, reducing the visibility to zero. That said, the trip was still very worthwhile. You’ll travel up through Kula, which sits at about 3,000 feet. Kula has some spectacular views to the leeward and windward side of the island. The road is very windy. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for mountain bikers coming down from the summit. If you are in a convertible, I would recommend you put the top up before you go. You’re going from sea level to 10,023 feet, and 80°F to 50°F. Dress accordingly. At certa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 12, 2005

Haleakalā National Park
Po Box 369
Makawao, Hawaii 96768
(808) 572-4400

Wailea Beach

Attraction

Wailea Beach Photo, Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
Lovely Wailea! There's something here for everyone. We saw our first Picasso Triggerfish here, actually several of them. Also seen and noted were adult Rock Mover Wrasses. There also seemed to be an abundance of green male Bird Wrasses. This is a great beach, with easy entry pretty much anywhere. The better snorkeling is to the south, around the rocky outcropping. It's a great beach for swimming, sunbathing, and just doing the beach thing. There is public parking, showers and restrooms. Public access is between the Grand Wailea and the Four Seasons.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 16, 2005

Wailea Beach

Maui, Hawaii

About the Writer

quiltergal

quiltergal
Jacksonville, Oregon

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