Maui Vacations Aren't What You Think
By Caitlin Moore
Some people have certain ideas about Hawaii; it’s touristy, it’s expensive, it’s just plain tired…While it’s true that many people visit the Aloha State, you have to see for yourself whether or not the stunning beaches, tantalizing trade winds, and unforgettable sunsets have been used up by all the people who have visited, or whether they are on such a level as to rise above the labels usually attributed to high-traffic destinations. Here’s a hint: if you do things right, you won’t be disappointed by your visit to Hawaii.
One thing that would start you off on the right track would be to visit Maui. Yes, this island is a tourist hotspot, but there are plenty of hidden treasures and untrammeled portions of beach that will make you think twice before calling this place boring or predictable. With over 30 miles of sandy shoreline fit for swimming, surfing, and snorkeling, there’s bound to be a bit of beach for you to call your own. Join the crowds for a scuba dive or head off on your own for a snooze, either way you probably won’t find much reason to complain.
Specifically, make note of Kaanapali Beach, which has been named one of the world’s tops, and D.T. Fleming Beach Park, another expert’s favorite. Plenty more big names exist, but don’t be shy about trekking off in search of someplace different, someplace that is literally off the beaten path. Rumor has it that these hidden gems do exist, but their supreme beauty will want you to follow the lead of so many others and keep their delights to yourself. See them, experience them, and then conveniently forget where they were. Until your next visit, that is.
Maui beaches are also good for whale watching during the months of December through May, so get out the binoculars or, even better, charter a yacht to take you out towards the action. These massive mammals have a certain elegance that cannot be easily described, so here’s wishing you the best of luck in catching a glimpse of these exciting inhabitants of Maui’s waters.
If you arrive on the shores of this magical island feeling more than a little world-weary, make some time to properly pamper yourself at one of the high-class spas. After a facial or a massage you’ll be seeing things in a whole new way, a way that will include no memory of cubicles, computer crashes, or traffic jams. And, though it is definitely a popular thing to do, the golfing in Maui is so good that you’ll forgive yourself for being a cliché when you tee off on the most gorgeous course you’ve ever seen.
Another attention worthy feature of the island is its 55 mile Hana Highway. Characterized by its crazy corkscrew twists and turns, this stretch of road is challenging yet rewarding. Park a careful driver behind the wheel, crack open the window for some fresh air, and gaze out the window as you navigate your way through one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever experience. Make a few stops to fully appreciate the culture and the scenery, and congratulate yourself with a Mai Tai once you make it to the end.
The list of unique, hardly-monotonous activities goes on and on, so hopefully you haven’t yet written Maui off as the same old stuff. Sea kayaking, eco-tours, Polynesian shows, art galleries, and a goat dairy should all keep you busy for a few days without ever feeling that you’re being herded around in a bland tour-like atmosphere. Maui invites you to explore the world at your own pace and with your own goals in mind, so pack a lunch and set out for a rainforest hike or lie back in a hammock, either way you’re doing the right thing.
To really do the right thing, avoid the standard step of booking a hotel. That doesn’t mean you should set up a tent on the beach (although that would definitely be a way to do things differently), rather, consider reserving a vacation rental. A funky, one-of-a-kind property will suit your taste to rebel against the norm, and the privacy that goes along with your beach side villa will satisfy your need for escape.
If you’re willing to give it a try, Maui will be the kind of vacation that breeds little complaint, besides the fact that it will have been far too short. Reserve a flight, pick out a winner from the array of Maui Vacation Rentals available online, and then prepare to forget every stereotype you’ve been foolish enough to believe about Hawaii. You’ll have plenty of time to form your own opinions once you’ve slipped off your shoes and taken a deep breath of fresh Maui air.
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