Get Away for the Winter: Hawaii, Maui

Get Out of the Cold

In previous essays we?ve looked around Oahu and the Big Island. It?s time to focus our eyes now on Maui.

Just like with the Big Island, you can fly direct to Maui by way of Kahului Airport, or fly to Honolulu and catch a commuter flight over. Looking at prices about a month ahead of time, the price of flying direct to Maui can be about the same as flying to Honolulu, but if you don?t book ahead, flying to Honolulu first looks to be the more economical way to fly.

Maui surf

Once you rent a car at the Kahului airport, head south on highway 380, then south and west on highway 30 and after only 24 miles (a good deal of which will be along the ocean) you?ll end up in Lahaina, where you can find the Best Western Pioneer Inn. Yes, it isn?t fancy, but for your first couple of days, it won?t matter, as you?ll be busy out at sea. Plus, it?s only $120 a night for the spring, which will allow you to spend your money on fun activities.

Fun activities like snorkeling at Molokini Crater. For $100 each, you can take a sailboat with Trilogy Tours to this premier snorkeling destination and maybe watch a few whales while on the sea. As added bonuses, you start the day with homemade cinnamon rolls and lunch is BBQ teriyaki chicken.

Or maybe instead of looking at fish, you want to catch them and eat them. Start Me Up sport fishing charters leave from the Lahaina harbor and you can choose as much as an eight hour trip or as little as two hours. Boats leave at 5:30 am, so you can enjoy the sunrise at sea as you move toward your fishing destinations. If you get tired of fishing, you can go in the air-conditioned cabin and maybe fit in a nap as the waves rock you to sleep. That way, you?ll be plenty rested when you hook into a marlin, kawakawa or ono.

Then again, there?s always room for days of golf. The Kapalua Plantation Course offers greens fees for $268 (or $88 if you play during late afternoon) so you?ll be happy you saved some money on the hotel room. Still, for $268 to play the same course as they play for the PGA Tournament of Champions, it seems like a pretty decent deal.

Once you?ve finished saving money on your room because you?ve been busy doing other stuff, head over to Huelo Point Lookout for accommodations that you won?t want to leave. The Rainbow Lookout has four lanais (patios) with views of the ocean and waterfalls. Plus there is an outdoor shower for two under the stars. Why they call it an ?aquarium,? I?m not sure, but be sure not to step on the little treasure chest inside the shower.

Once in this hotel, maybe the only reason to leave would be to go to Haleakala National Park to do a little hiking and exploring the island from trails around it?s highest peak. Or you could just hang out at the hotel and hike next time. My bet is that once you?ve visited Maui, you?ll be sure to return.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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