It could be all summed up in one word…..Can you guess what that one word might be?
Since I had lived on Oahu for four years with my parents as a young teenager and had traveled there several times over the years, I felt this would be a fun time to give some helpful hints for exploring the islands. First step is to plan ahead. I know this sounds simplistic, but you should figure out with your travel partner what are your combined ideals of a great vacation. In my case, my travel companion Donna was super easy to work with in finding common ground of what we wanted to explore.
The second step is to take advantage of your friend’s experiences that have been to Hawaii. This begins with finding the right place to stay. I have found VBRO to be a nice internet site that I have utilized, but some folks I know have had unlucky experiences with it. To be honest with you, my all time favorite way is to talk to others that have stayed at places on the island. Since I was looking for a beach front property, I went with a suggestion from a close friend. If you want cost effective, staying across the street from the ocean is great. The beach is only a few minutes to walk to especially on Maui! Since I am get older, I feel like it is OK to splurge. Who knows if I will be back.
We stayed on the south side of Maui known to the locals as Kihei. It is a lovely part of the island and is rated number one in some guide books for Maui’s beaches. Another area that I would recommend to stay near is the town of Lahaina or the west side of the island. It is a populated area, but has groovy sites to peruse.
The third step is to find the right beach. Kihei is nice because of the dunes that protect the swimming. We were given a hint to go to mile marker 14 between Kihei and Lahaina for snorkeling. We weren’t disappointed. The water is calm and easy to maneuver. Needless to say, you may be picking up that I am not an avid sportsman that is looking for giant surf! Do not stop reading because I do have the spot for you!
Great surfing was noted on the roads leading toward Hana on the Kahului Airport side. Make sure you have your map as some really great surf is noted right before you come to the town of Paia. For those of you who know how to feel the ride of the wave, I suggest this area. It is away from the more resort area of Kaanapali, but by all means you should really go there too! There is not anyone stopping a surfer from checking out every place that shows “shaka” waves!! If you are wondering what shaka means, let me explain. It is the universal Hawaiian surf culture sign for friendship and comradeship. I loved showing the “shaka” sign to my friends as a kid living on Oahu.
The fourth step is to decide what sites you want to spend time exploring. Visiting the quaint town of Lahaina close to the beach was quite appealing to me. It’s a leisure way of feeling the sense of the culture and ideals of Maui. This town was a perfect place to spend a day of enjoying the unique stores, scenery, and the amazing Banyan Tree that is next to the historic courthouse.
We also stopped for lunch at the Lahaina Fish Company with a view of the ocean. Eating locally is highly recommended especially if you want to enjoy authentic Hawaiian food. Make sure to also try some homemade ice cream or shave ice. Lastly, by all means if you have some family that asks you to bring something special back, shopping in Lahaina is tops in my view.
Stay tune for my next post with Whale Watching photos. Go here to see some of them right now. As a side note, I want to share a photo of my dad visiting Hawaii in the early 1950’s as a young GI. My family has a long, rich history of enjoying the islands. Mahalo ( thank you in Hawaiian) for reading.
Please go to my photography page . This page is Instagram. You may need to sign up for a free account, but it is actually an easy way to see some great photography.