Queen Ka'ahumanu Center is the island’s premiere shopping and entertainment destination. The home of Maui’s only department stores, Sears and Macy's, plus more than 100 shops and restaurants, from cool island-style boutiques to such national names as American Eagle Outfitters, Pacific Sunwear, Foot Locker and Borders Express. It's the place where Maui folks and Maui visitors get going with a gourmet cappuccino, savor fabulous cuisine at Ruby’s Diner or Koho Grill & Bar, or chow down on fun international fare in the Queen’s Market Food Court. And it's where you can enjoy hot Hawaiian music on the Queen’s Stage, and treat yourselves to an ice-cream and a movie. So join them for some real local aloha.Steppingstone Playhouse, home of Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA)is located on the second floor near the Macy's home department.
Regarded as one of Hawaii's best luaus, this West Maui spectacle has been featured in National Geographic Traveler and many other publications. It recently moved to a new, larger location, which is modeled after an old-fashioned village and specially designed to showcase the ancient arts featured onstage. Entertainment includes musical presentations, hula dances, craft demonstrations and more. A lavish buffet featuring roasted pork is accompanied by tropical drinks. Check out the website for more information.
Top-notch entertainment and perfectly prepared cuisine make this a premiere Maui attraction. A little island history: Lahaina used to be known as Lele. In those long-ago days, gala royal feasts were held along the beach. They featured the best food, music and dance of the island. This is a reconstruction of the ancient royal celebrations. Executive Chef James McDonald presents a mouth-watering array of specialties representing all the regions of Polynesia.
In the early days of Hawaii's Western colonization, trains were used to haul sugar cane from one spot to the other. Eventually, more modern forms of transportation became popular, and today almost nothing can be seen of the original Hawaiian railroads. However, the tracks between Lahaina and Ka'anapali are still functional, and the cherry-red Sugar Cane Train still travels them regularly. A dinner ride is available during the week; check out the website or contact Sugar Cane Train for more information.
Wailea, in South Maui, is one of the most breathtaking resort communities in the world. The air is perfumed with island blossoms, the beaches (all of them public-access) are white sand, and the resorts are architectural wonders. Marvel at the palatial Eastern-themed Fairmont Kea Lani Resort or the understated elegance at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Shopping in this area is decidedly upscale. The best place to go is The Shops at Wailea, which offer high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co, to name a few.
Pristine white sands are synonymous to beaches but Pailoa Bay's Honokalani Black Sand Beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park breaks free from this cliché. As its name suggests, this beach is lustrously black thanks to the deposition of lava around it. The beach, in reality has no sand but smooth pebbles of dried lava form its seashore that is bordered with a turquoise oceanic arc. A gorgeous wonder of nature which brings forward an array of colors, the Honokalani Black Sand Beach is ideal for sun bathing, camping and its adjoining wilderness has exciting hiking trails too.
Known as the 'Valley Isle' for the lush vales etched between its towering volcanoes, the island of Maui is unlike any other. Verdant jungles sprawl across the landscape and meet the sparkling sea edged by sandy beaches. Flowers bloom in riotous color and their fragrance lingers well into the night, when stars litter the sky like so many fragments of sea glass. Here on the island of Maui, relaxation is a way of life - not simply a goal or idea. Visitors to the second largest Hawaiian island can indulge in walks along the beach, delicious seafood, and the pampering of a lifetime at one of the island's many spas. The more adventurous can explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the jungle, clamber past lava flows, soar through the treetops on a zipline, barrel through waves on a surfboard, or dive to the depths of the crystalline ocean where awaits a forest of corals. There are also museums, fine dining, golf courses and some stellar beachfront resorts. Maui is a paradisiacal island that never ceases to astound.
Guide Randy shares a wealth of natural history, geological and botanical lore, and island folklore while leading hikers through Maui's magnificent wilderness. Several half-day and full-day hikes are offered, many to areas not usually visited by tourists. The "easy" three-mile Haleakala Waterfall Hike is appropriate for children. Several treks in the West Maui Mountains explore more remote, rugged, rainforest terrain. Snacks and minimal gear is included in tour prices. Discounts are available; check out the website for more information.
Upcountry is a different world, and this garden area is as up as you can get without traveling to Haleakala. In the serene botanical gardens, a wide variety of plants and animals flourish. Relax by a trickling stream or examine the strangely beautiful blossoms known as protea. While most of the garden is handicapped-accessible, the pond in the ravine is not. The works of local artisans and craftsmen are displayed at the gift shop. Children under 6 can enjoy free admission.
This dive company has been a part of the Maui diving community for more than ten years and, during that time, has consistently made customer satisfaction a priority. The goal is that every dive lives up to customers' expectations. To that end, divemasters are prepared to meet every reasonable request. More than 20 dive sites are available through Ed Robinson's, so customers do not have repeat experiences (unless they so choose, of course). Certification courses and private charters are also offered.
Combine a snorkel cruise with a trip to Molokini and a detour at nearby Turtle Town (home of the sea turtles), and you have got an irresistible excursion. This company only takes small groups and is operated by a Coast Guard Captain with almost 20 years of experience; he and his crew take pride in their ecological awareness. The Seafire is new to South Maui, and is highly recommended by tour guides if you are staying in Kihei or Wailea. Call for prices and to make reservations.