Saturday, May 26, 2007

Makena, Maui

Makena beach turtleMakena is located on Maui, bordered in the north by the posh Wailea Resort area and in the south by the 'Ahihi Kinn'u Natural Area Reserve. Makena beach is a beautiful beach with golden sand where you can take beautiful walk through trees, watch sea turtles off to the far right side of the beach. Interested in snorkeling? Ahihi Bay, just south of Makena is a great snorkling spot.

In the vicinity is the Makena State Park, a scenic wildland beach park characterized by prominent cinder cone and large white sand beach. Activities you can participate in include swimming during calm seas, bodysurfing, board surfing, shore fishing, and beach- related activities. However, there is no drinking water. There is a popular beach is called "Big Beach" which is over one-half mile long and more than 100 feet wide. There is a lifeguard on duty but be careful as the waves can be quite big and intimidating. A visit to Makena is like a return to nature.

Tourism to Makena is often touted as ecotourism as you will see nature at its best there, but travelling involves burning of fossil fuel and CO2 emission. However, there are sites that offer carbon offset to offset the CO2 emission resulting from your travel. You can find a list of such sites at Environmental Directory.

If you plan to travel to Makena, you will need to book accommodation, and this you can do conveniently online at Information for Makena, Maui, Hawaii. At Wailea makena condos, you can chose from a list of 18 condominiums. If condominiums are not what you seek, you can also find hotels at Makena hotels

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hawaii Sport Fishing

Hawaii Sport Fishing
by: Keith Thompson

If you're coming to experience Hawaii sport fishing, you have one heck of an adventure awaiting you! Anglers from all over the world journey to these deep blues waters teeming with trophy fish. This is where you come to get the big ones. In fact the biggest fish ever caught on rod and reel was a blue marlin caught just off Oahu, weighing in at a hefty 1805 lbs.! Hawaii is so legendary among sport fishing enthusiasts that several "big-game" tournaments are held here every year, including the granddaddy of them all, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, luring fishermen from all over the globe.

Hawaii sport fishing is the home of big-game fish. Some of the species you'll encounter here are three types of marlin; blue, black and striped. It's entirely possible to hook yourself a "grander", meaning a monster fish weighing at least 1000 lbs.! Other top game fish include Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna), Ono (Wahoo), Mahimahi (Dolphin fish), and Skipjack Tuna. All of these babies can give you a reel-spinning run for your money, and an experience you'll not soon forget! In fact the tuna are among the fiercest, most tireless fighters of the bunch! Only the striped marlin is a sometimes resident, showing up only in winter. All of the others can be found year-round. Some of the best fishing spots you'll want to try would include Kona; long regarded as the best big-game fishing in the world. Oahu's North Shore is more famous for it's surfing, but it's just under the surface here where the real action begins! Actually, there's pretty much not a bad place for Hawaii sport fishing: some are just more excellent than others!

Booking your Hawaii sport fishing adventure is easy. There are literally hundreds of charter fishing boats operating here, offering you a ton of choices. Some things to keep in mind would be to consider how long you'll want to be out. Most offer half or full day trips, but also know that of you want the best chance at hooking a big-game fish, a longer trip may be called for to give yourself time to get to the best fishing grounds and keep your line in the water awhile. No experience or fishing license is required, and should you hook a trophy fish, taxidermy can be arranged. Come and experience Hawaii sport fishing and come home with a little something for that bare wall!

Copyright 2006 Keith Thompson

About The Author

Keith Thompson is the webmaster at Hawaii Vacation Directory, a top resource for your Hawaiian holiday adventure!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hawaii Spas: Healing Mind & Body with Aloha

Hawaii Spas: Healing Mind & Body with Aloha
by: Don Carter

With an incredible amount of choices for those who are into the active lifestyle, Hawaii vacation packages are nirvana for the sports-minded. But Hawaii also satisfies the flip side of pushing your body to the limit. Here, extreme sport meets extreme relaxation at the greatest collection of spas on the planet.

Hawaii resorts have raised the art of the spa to a glorious new level, offering exotic treatments such as rehydrating aloe body wraps, Hawaiian revitalizer wraps, “wisdom of roses” facials, fango mud wraps, Lomi Pohaku, the original stone therapy, Lomi Lomi massage, mango salt glow scrubs, Ayurvedic oil massage, Maluha (peace) and Uhane (spirit) Hawaiian aromatherapy, Reiki holding technique, limu exfoliation and detoxification therapy, cranio-sacral sessions, Maui sugar scrub & body wraps, and for you Starbucks lovers, the Ka’anapali coffee full body treatment.

More than 24 resort hotels, on five islands, offer luxurious, state-of-the-art spa treatments with a Hawaiian flair. Take a look at my favorite spots for customized Hawaii spa vacation packages:

• SpaHalekulani – Halekulani
• Kahala Mandarin Oriental Spa Suites (voted “Best New Hotel Spa” by Departures Magazine)
• The Mandara Spa at Hilton Hawaiian Village (featuring advanced holistic health programs)
• JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko’Olina
• Na Hoola Spa at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa
• Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

• Four Seasons Resort Maui (Rated #1 Hotel Spa in the U.S. by readers of Travel & Leisure Magazine)
• The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
• Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
• Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa (Home to the world-renowned Spa Grande)

Hawaii’s Big Island:
• Four Seasons Hualalai
• Hilton Waikoloa Village
• Mauna Lani Spa at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
• Fairmont Orchid (famed for its innovative “Spa Without Walls”)
• Hapuna Prince Beach Resort
• Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

• Princeville Resort & Spa
• Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa

• Four Seasons Manele Bay

You say you’d love a spa vacation, but your other half is a golfing addict who wouldn’t be caught dead getting a papaya-pineapple body scrub? Remember – there are fantastic Hawaii vacation packages for golfers on just about every island. So while he’s knocking a Titleist around, you can indulge in Hawaiian-style treatments that will leave you glowing and gorgeous!

A Hawaii spa vacation with golf on the side, or a golf holiday with spa visits on the side – either way it works. All you have to do is sell it to him and it could be the most relaxing and rejuvenating vacation you’ve ever had!

About The Author
Don Carter is a freelance travel writer and amateur golfer who, in his spare time, acts as a consultant for travel companies that create and sell vacation packages, giving them tips on improving their client offerings and rating the hotels and sites featured in their vacation packages. He also contributes to several travel guides. Carter recently planned a golf vacation for himself and his new bride (but he sold it to her as a spa vacation with golf on the side) at Pleasant Holidays.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hawaii Whale Watching Tips For An Unforgettable Adventure

Hawaii Whale Watching Tips For An Unforgettable Adventure
by: Justin Britt

Each year, the Humpback Whales migrate around 4,000 miles, from summer feeding grounds in Alaska, to mate in Hawaii's warm waters.

During mating season, Humpback Whales are more active resulting in elevated surface activity which makes Hawaii a popular destination for whale watching. This exciting surface behavior, such as breaching and tail slaps, make for exciting whale watching in Hawaii.

As a Hawaii local and avid waterman, I have 5 simple tips that will help you get the most out of your Hawaii whale watching adventure. So before planning your next Hawaii vacation, follow these tips and you might just have an unforgettable whale encounter!

1. Plan Your Trip During Peak Months

Humpback Whales begin arriving in Hawaii in November and head back to Alaska in late May. If you have planned a Hawaii vacation during this time, you should have no problem spotting whales. However, peak Hawaii whale watching season occurs during February and March. So if you have not made your travel arrangements yet, shoot for these months.

2. Visit Islands Known For Whale Watching

Maui, Kauai and the Big Island are the most popular islands for Hawaii whale watching, so plan to visit one of these islands on your vacation. If you are visiting Oahu, you can see whales there too, they just won't be as abundant.

3. Plan A Boat Tour

Hawaii whale watching tours are ideal for seeing these spectacular animals in their natural habitat. Not only will you be in the whale's environment, but because humpback whales are curious about their surrounding, they will sometimes approach your boat. Plan a Hawaii boat tour to truly get the most out of your whale watching adventure.

Boat tours are available departing from Lahaina Harbor many times throughout the day during whale season. On the Big Island and the island of Kauai, whale-watching opportunities abound with a full schedule of tours provided by seasoned, knowledgeable guides.

Humpback whales may also be observed from land if you prefer solid ground to the deck of a boat. On Kauai the Kilauea Lighthouse, Kealia Lookout and various high-points of land in coastal areas are good places to start. Once you're in the right place, spotting the whales is easy: just look for the majestic plumes of water ("blows") rising in the air and the playful splashes made by these gigantic creatures.

4. Respect their space

In Hawaii, whale watching is an avid activity, and like with most outdoors activities, there are rules. Observers may not approach by vessel or by swimming within 100 yards of a whale (known as the 100-yard minimum rule). However, there is no rule that keeps whales from approaching people. Experienced leaders of Hawaii whale watching tours know how to gently approach these animals and encourage them to come closer.

5. Preserve the Humpback Whale

The humpback whale almost came to extinction in 1966 after mass commercial whaling during the early 20th century. Today there are approximately 30,000 to 40,000 humpbacks worldwide. Federal laws protect them, but there are things we can all do to help preserve this amazing animal for future whale watching generation.

* Keep beaches and waters clean and debris-free
* Participate only in responsible whale watching activities
* Support efforts to stop illegal whaling
* Support legislation, research and preservation programs
* Patronize eco-friendly companies and organizations

You can read books about whales, but with so many opportunities to see them up-close and personal, there's no reason why you shouldn't start thinking now about your next Hawaii whale watching tour. It's fun, it's easy and it's a great experience for the whole family.

About The Author
Hawaii resident and adventure traveler, Justin Britt, invites you to learn more about Humpback Whales in this Hawaii Whale Watching. And If you're planning a trip to Kauai, learn more about

Monday, May 21, 2007

Favorite Maui Luaus

Favorite Maui Luaus
by: Andrew Crawford

For any visitor to Maui, taking in a luau is an absolute must. Luaus are the most popular activity in Maui, attracting several hundred thousand visitors every year. If you are traveling as a couple, as a group, as a family or as an individual, a Maui luau offers something for everyone to enjoy. A luau offers a full evening of fun, food, drinks and entertainment, all rolled into one fun activity.

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast, typically featuring kalua pork, poi, haupia and other local favorites. Historically, a luau celebrated special occasions such as a king’s birthday, visits from foreign dignitaries or to honor an important chieftain. These parties often lasted for three days featuring dancing, drinking, eating and singing. Today there are many commercial luaus to choose from, where you can be treated like a king yourself.

There is not a bad luau on Maui, so whatever luau you choose, you will have a good time. That said, there are three Maui luaus, which will be reviewed here. They are The Old Lahaina Luau, The Feast at Lele and The Ka’anapali Beach Luau. These three luaus represent the best a luau can offer, depending on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a traditional Hawaiian experience, The Old Lahaina Luau is the way to go. Featuring only music and dance from Hawaii, this luau will take you on a tour of Hawaii from the times of mythology to the present. The goal of The Old Lahaina Luau is to provide the most authentic Hawaiian luau available on Maui. They achieve this without sacrificing any of the other great things you might expect from a luau. The food is abundant and very tasty as well. Sample from kalua pork, lau laus (steamed pork wrapped in tea leafs), poi (taro root pounded to a paste), ahi poke (marinated ahi tossed with seaweed and vegetables), sweet potato, steak, mahi mahi and much more. Be sure to try some of the excellent tropical drinks provided with your dinner or order your favorite standards from the bar. The Old Lahaina Luau is one of Maui’s most popular luaus and is often sold out up to a month or more in advance so it is best to book as soon as you know you will be coming to Maui. You can book this luau through Maui Luau Guide, which also provides more info at

For the honeymooning couple or any couple looking for a more private and romantic evening, consider the Feast at Lele. The feast is the only Maui luau offering table service for dinner. The approach here is much different from any other Maui luau. A premium bar is featured, and the food is served in courses, and offers some of the finest food you may eat during your entire vacation. The meals are prepared by award winning I’o restaurant and each course represents a different culture of Polynesia. Dinner begins in Hawaii with kalua pork, fresh fish and a heart of palm salad. The second course is from New Zealand and features Maori fishcake, while the third course represents Tahiti and features steamed chicken in coconut milk. Closing out the night, is an amazing fire knife dance from Samoa performed right before you, as you are served Samoan steak with a bread fruit, shrimp and avocado accompaniment. You will be entertained as each course is served, by the dances and songs of the island culture the dish hails from. This luau is often booked to capacity as well, and it would be suggested to book as early as possible. Tickets and more info about The Feast at Lele Maui luau are available at

Families visiting Maui may find that the Ka’anapali Beach Luau is the perfect fit. In addition to the traditional luau buffet which serves kalua pork, mahi mahi, lomi lomi salmon, poi, island style chicken, sweet potato and much more, there is a children’s buffet featuring comfort foods such as chicken fingers, hot dogs and pizza for the finicky eater. The Kaanapali Beach Luau will feature all the dances you would expect, taking a tour through Polynesia, featuring Hawaiian hula, Maori stick fight dances, Tahitian war dances, a little Elvis and a little Don Ho, and of course a death defying fire knife dance to end out the nigh! This luau comes recommended not only based on the great food, drink and show, but also on value. At you can book this luau for $49.95 per adult with one free child (12 or under) per paying adult. This luau is also located very conveniently, right in the heart of Ka’anapali!

You can expect to pay between $50 and $110 per person depending on what luau you choose, but no matter which you choose you will be treated to a wonderful evening with plenty of food, an open bar and a great show to entertain you. Be sure to bring your camera or video to preserve the memories, as a Maui luau is an experience you will never forget. For more information on any of these luaus as well as every other luau on Maui, check out a complete guide to luaus on Maui.

About The Author

Andrew Crawford has lived in Maui for about 7 years, working in and around the Maui Activities field. He currently manages several websites, including He invites you to come see the magic that is Hawaii.

View their website at: Maui Hawaii Luau.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Marital Bliss - Honeymoon Cruise

Marital Bliss - Honeymoon Cruise
by: Colin Hartness

A Honeymoon Cruise as the name suggests offers a gateway to paradise for honeymooners away from the pressures of daily life and enjoy the bliss of togetherness. This provides an opportunity for you to start your married life in a state of togetherness by exploring the unknown and enjoying nature and life.

The Honeymoon cruise offers the comforts of a five star luxury and provides a period of unending excitement, adventure, the opportunity to get to know each other and enjoying life as nature had wanted it to be.

This is an ideal way to start a life of togetherness for fulfillment of one’s desires and daresay this is a golden getaway. The excitement of togetherness under the moonlit sky with the stars twinkling and the rustle of the water and the gentle breeze flowing from the sea is an experience, which will be etched in your memory for life.

The honeymoon cruise package usually includes:

1. Champagne and Strawberries in the Stateroom on embarkment
2. Canapés delivered to your cabin on the evening of your choice.
3. A special Honeymooner’s party
4. Honeymoon Photographs.
5. Champagne breakfast in bed

The following Honeymoon cruises satisfy the forever romantics and provide luxury unheard of:-

1. A Silver Sea Cruise is a love nest and provides Bed-breakfast, pre-dinner cocktails, a private verandah with canapés, complimentary Champagne and wine, a mini-bar stocked with the choicest of drinks to enhance your mood, delicious cuisine are the attractions of this Honeymoon Cruise.

2. Crystal Cruises are midsize luxury liners which provides all the above . Penthouses with personal butlers are also available at a nominal extra cost at this Honeymoon Cruise.

3. Wind Star Cruises offers everything you would have dreamt. This Honeymoon Cruise offers boats with which you sail away from ports at sunset and feel the exhilaration of cruising under white billowing sails. The spirited can go for scuba diving, kayaking, Windsailing, snorkeling etc.

4. Norwegian Cruise Line - The Norwegian Star is a specialty for romantic couples. Resort casual dining offers an alternative following a formal wedding at this Honeymoon Cruise. The destination is Hawaii (world’s most romantic destination) departing every Sunday and has a Wedding Chapel for intimate ceremonies and vow renewals.

The destination shall be of your choice depending upon your taste – be it the romantic hills, historical monuments, beaches, tropical rain forests etc. All the cruise ships offering a Honeymoon Cruise have exquisitely done suites, gyms, swimming pools, beauty parlors and casinos to pamper the cruiser and energize the mind, body and spirit.

About The Author

Looking for information about cruises?
Go to: What Cruises
'What Cruises' is published by Colin Hartness -
An excellent resource for Cruises!
Check out more cruise articles at: What Cruises Archives.

Friday, May 18, 2007

History of the Hawaiian Hula Dance

History of the Hawaiian Hula Dance
by: Bill McKenzie

The Hula dance is associated with Hawaii and luaus and while everyone knows what the hula is very few people are actually knowledgeable of its origin, not even the Hawaiians. According to Hawaiian history there is no information available as to who performed the first hula dance or why, however it is a common agreement that the original hula dance was performed by a god or goddess, making the dance sacred to Hawaiians. And this dance is sacred to men and women in Hawaii because the hula was danced by both sexes despite some information stating only men danced the hula. This information is incorrect and actually men and women both were involved in the sacred hula dance.

There are many types of Polynesian dances; however the hula is one of a kind and completely different than other dances in this area of the world. The origination of the hula was used for rituals and ceremonies, however this changed over time and eventually the hula was a dance used strictly for entertainment.

When dancing the hula individuals truly must become one with the dance and the actions, objects, or images they are imitating in their hula dance. The hula is a very meaningful dance and every movement of the body represents something. In addition to this, the hands are very important in the hula dance as well. When the individual is dancing the hula they may be imitating a palm tree, war, plants, and even animals. Because of this when the individual is dancing they are transforming themselves mentally into the object they are portraying through dance. Basically, the hula dancer is telling a story through the movements of the body and hands and as a result it is very important to watch. Chants also accompany the hula dance and while they used to be the most important part of the dance to portray what was happening they are no longer so and the movements are most important. You will notice the difference if you see a portrayal of old style hula dancing compared to new style hula dancing. While both are still hula dancing and fun to watch, the first is more ritualistic and the second more entertaining.

The hula dancers wear a costume in order to perform the hula dance. This consists of leis made of flowers around the neck or even the shoulders. A grass skirt is also used and is made of tapa and known as a pau. The dancers also wear anklets made of whale bone or even dog teeth. The whole ensemble makes up the vision of the hula dancer the whole world is aware of.

In the past, when hula was danced as a religious ritual rather than simply for entertainment the rules regarding the hula dance were very strict and individuals involved in hula dancing school were required to follow them while they were learning how to dance. Generally, students were required to follow all rules and behave properly while obeying their hula teacher in all requests. Some of the rules stated that hula students could not cut their fingernails or even their hair. Other rules stated hula students could not engage in sex nor could they eat certain foods that were forbidden. As a result, the life of the hula dancer in hula school was very strict, yet all of the rules were for a purpose that believed the students would learn to dance the hula better if they did not engage in the forbidden activities.

Today there are two types of hula, hula kahiko and hula auana. Hula hahiko is the old style that was described above and generally includes percussion, chanting, and the traditional costumes. Hula kahiko is traditional and ritualistic and the chanting tells the story more than the dance moves. However, for the more entertaining hula auna there is music, guitars, entertaining costumes to enhance the dance, ukuleles and even songs. This type of hula uses body movements and the hands to really tell the story because it is easier for tourists to understand.

While the hula dance has been around for thousands of years and always been popular it almost disappeared in the 1800s when missionaries arrived in Hawaii. The missionaries believed that hula dancing was devilish and against God and tried to convince the dancers of their wrongdoing by dancing the hula. However, King Kalakaua did not want the traditional dance of the islands to disappear simply because the missionaries did not understand what the hula was all about in the first place so he took action.

As a result, King Kalakaua developed his own group of hula dancers and encouraged them to learn the hula dance, the old style hula, and fortunately the hula did not disappear and still remains a very important dance of the islands and even today there are hundreds of hula schools on all the Hawaiian islands that teach the hula dance, old style, to the students. Even today many of the hula schools have strict rules like the old hula schools implemented.

There are even hula schools and groups that teach old style hula dancing to people on the mainland so while hula remains an important part of Hawaiian culture the culture is spreading and many people show an interest in learning how to hula dance.

When you visit Hawaii, no matter what island you visit, you will certainly see plenty of hula dancing from old style to the newer and more entertaining hula and regardless which one you like the most you should definitely attend festivals or dances that exhibit both styles so you can see the performing arts of the island and learn about the culture, history and the people of Hawaii. You never know, you may learn a few hula moves yourself.

About The Author

Bill McKenzie is reservation manager for Wailua Bay View, oceanfront Kauai Vacation Rentals. He has personally researched and experienced many of the Hawaiian activities and destinations as described above. Please visit Wailua Bay.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Maui and Molokai by Air

Maui and Molokai by Air
by: Andrew Crawford

Maui is one of my favorite places in the world. I have been lucky enough to live here for about seven years, and have explored the island extensively. Recently, I was given the opportunity to take a ride on an a-star helicopter and see Maui and Molokai from the air. It was completely amazing to see the areas of both islands that I had never seen before. The only way to see many of these places is by helicopter, since dense foliage and steep mountains protect them, and they were certainly some of the most beautiful areas I have experienced in Maui.

The day started early, at about 6:30 am with a trip to Bad Ass coffee for the necessary wake-up ingredients. I love the coffee there, especially the 100% Kona dark roast, which is rich in flavor and not a bit bitter. An early morning start meant I would avoid the possibility of tradewinds making my flight bumpy, and avoid heavy morning traffic on the trip from Lahaina to Kahului. The drive went well, taking about forty minutes to arrive at the heliport, and we were lucky enough to see a couple of whales along the way.

Upon arrival at the heliport, I was shown to a waiting room where a video helped prep me for some of the sights I would see and some of the security procedures to expect. After about five minutes one of the crew came in and gathered our group for a quick safety briefing. The briefing covered all of the important things to know, interspersed with a bit of humor to keep things rolling along. I was pleased to learn that we would be outfitted with headphones which reduce the helicopter noise and give us an opportunity to talk with our pilot guide.

I have to admit I was a little nervous boarding the helicopter. I have never ridden a helicopter before and did not know what to expect. Lift off was a breeze and I hardly even noticed as we left the ground just how quickly we were gaining altitude. The first sights you notice are the airport, heliport and Kahului harbor. A large cruise ship was docked at the harbor, and it was really interesting to see how big those things actually are, as it dwarfed the cars and trucks parked in the harbor area.

Passing over Wailuku Town and Waiehu golf course, we headed into the mountains and valleys behind Iao valley. I have hiked through Iao many times, and the views are amazing, but they never could have prepared me for what I was about to see. We buzzed through a narrow valley with our pilot pointing out different plants and telling us stories about the history of the area. Passing over a mountain ridge, the next valley opened up ahead of us, revealing an amazing number of small and large waterfalls as we approached an area referred to as “the Wall of Tears”. This is a 4,000 foot tall wall that is literally covered with small waterfalls of every type and height imaginable.

Flying out of the West Maui mountains, the helicopter crosses over Honokahau Valley giving a magnificent view of Honolua and the Northern West Maui resorts. Crossing the ocean, the dark outlines of humpback whales could be seen just below the weater. On this trip I was not lucky enough to see any whales breaching or right on the surface, but I am sure it is not uncommon. The first area we visited on Molokai after crossing the channel were the towering sea cliffs along the north eastern coast. The pilot informed us that these were some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world, and showed us a couple of secluded homes built in the mountains, which were mostly only accessible by helicopter, what a way to live, at least you don’t have to worry about unexpected visitors.

After viewing the sea cliffs, we moved over to Kalaupapa where Father Damien once oversaw a community taking care of the victims of leprosy. The pilot was well versed in the history of this area and offered many interesting facts and stories. Molokai is not a highly populated island, and it was nice to see the vast wide-open spaces of this area. Leaving Kalaupapa, we flew up through another area, and just as we passed over the ridge, it looked like the bottom had dropped out of the world. It took my stomach away for a second, but once I regained my balance the view was gorgeous. Right below us, there was a pack of axis deer, which we startled and were now running across a great open field. It immediately reminded me of those old Marlin Perkins’ Mutual of Omaha shows I watched when I was a kid. I felt like I should be hanging out the window talking about the migratory habits of antelope in the Serengheti or something. It was pretty neat at any rate!

With the trip almost over, we headed back over the channel for a brief look at Lahaina town, and the West Maui mountains where we saw a few mountain goats grazing along the sheer cliffs that shifted from brown to a lush green the further in we went. It was time for my nerves to take over again as we made our approach to the heliport for landing. Again, I was amazed as the landing was featherlight, and offered absolutely no drama. Overall, I would have to say, I don’t remember a really bumpy moment on this trip at all.

I would have to say, that this trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have hiked and traveled all over Maui through my years living here, and I saw areas and sights that I had no idea existed. Some visitors may think that this is a really expensive activity, but at I found trips starting at less than $100 per person. To pay a hundred dollars for a memory that will last a lifetime that doesn’t seem so bad at all. If you want to see the unexplored Maui that many will never have an opportunity to see, a helicopter tour is definitely the way to go.

To view specific Maui Helicopter Tours try:

About The Author

Andrew Crawford has lived in Maui for about 7 years, working in and around the Maui Activities field. He currently manages several websites, including He invites you to come see the magic that is Hawaii.

View their website at: Maui Hawaii Luau

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Hawaii Vacations: 7 Hot Shopping Spots

Hawaii Vacations: 7 Hot Shopping Spots
by: Donna Monday

If you love to shop, here’s some “must see” places to visit while you’re in Hawaii.

Hilo Hattie’s – World famous Hawaiian store where you can buy high quality clothing and souvenirs--to keep Hawaii close to you always.

Ala Moana Center – This mall has over 200 shops and is the largest open air shopping center in the U.S. This place has everything and you’ll find very beautiful merchandise. The food court is big and offers a wide variety of great eats.

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet – This is the best bargain in Hawaii. For an entrance fee of 50 cents, you can find tons of bargains on all kinds of goods. It’s open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Also, it can get a bit hot, so dress appropriately.

Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center – This shopping center is right in front of the Pink Palace Hotel. You’ll find boutiques, places to buy t-shirts and souvenirs, restaurants, and a post office.

DFS Galleries (DFS Galleria) – This is a great place to shop for U.S. and foreign tourists. You can find designer goods and cosmetics with no sales tax. While it’s designed mainly for overseas visitors, U.S. visitors can shop on the first couple of floors.

Chinatown – Here’s a place where you can find inexpensive goods and foodstuffs like pastries, exotic fruits and fresh fish. The Hing Mau Store is highly recommended. The area also has a Costco and Sam’s Club.

Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center – They offer a free tour where you can learn about the history of this company and how they make coral jewelry. Of course, you can also buy beautiful jewelry there as well.

About The Author

© Donna Monday

Cruise the beautiful Hawaiian Islands – even if you’re on a budget

Last Minute Hawaii Cruise

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hawaii Vacations: 10 Great Adventures

Hawaii Vacations: 10 Great Adventures
by: Donna Monday

Here’s some Hawaiian vacation activities that are sure to create great memories for a life time.

What: Hawaii Snorkeling
Where: Ohahu – Waikiki Beach
Who: Paradise Cruises
Description: If you’d love to get up close and personal with beautiful tropical fish, then a snorkeling cruise is something you can’t miss. You’ll climb onboard The Starlet and head out to the Kewalo Reef, with the famous Diamond Head as your backdrop. The fish have been hand fed, so they’re plenty friendly. This is a very nice excursion if you are a snorkeling novice. Other activities include windsurfing, kayaking, a floating trampoline, and a water slide. Relax on deck while sunbathing. A BBQ lunch is included.

What: Hawaii Luau
Where: Ohahu
Who: Germaines Luau
Description: Imagine being a guest at a grand Hawaiian luau. As you sit comfortably amongst new friends and old, you watch the royal procession enter with fanfare, and witness the imu ceremony—see a roasted pig raised up from the ground. Then you dine on traditional Hawaiian dishes like poi and haupia, as well as, Mainland favorites like fried chicken and tossed salad. After your scrumptious meal you sit back and enjoy the wonderful Polynesian entertainers featuring dancers from Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji and Samoa. Many consider this the best luau in all of Hawaii.

What: Swim with the Dolphins
Where: Ohahu
Who: Dolphin Excursions
Description: You’ve fantasized about it. Now it’s time to do it. You’ll be taken out on a boat with about twenty or so other dolphin lovers off of Ohahu’s western shore. There you’ll see plenty of spinner dolphins frolicking in the early morning seas. You’ll be given expert snorkeling instruction so that even beginners can slip into the water and swim amongst the sea’s friendliest inhabitants. As a bonus, you may get to see whales, sea turtles and other exotic sea life.

What: Experience Polynesian Culture
Where: Ohahu
Who: Polynesian Cultural Center
Description: Learn about the rich history of Polynesian cultural traditions at this popular Hawaiian attraction. See live demonstrations of carving tiki statues, dancing with fire knives, barefoot tree climbing, and the IMAX™ presentation of: “Coral Reef Adventure”. In the afternoon enjoy the spectacular Pageant of the Long Canoes, a live reenactment of Polynesian cultural history on floating platforms. Top it all off with a Polynesian review show featuring dancers and native drummers.

What: Horseback and ATV Tours
Where: Ohahu
Who: Kualoa Ranch
Description: Tour the beautiful island of Ohahu on horseback. They have three types of horseback tours: 1) One Hour Ride: Explore the southern half of the ranch surrounded by an 800 year-old fishpond; 2) Two hour ride: Explore the northern part of the ranch and see WWII bunkers, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean; 3) Cowboy Experience: A crash course on how to herd cattle. ATV Tours: Explore the countryside on an ATV.

What: Hawaii Submarine Tour
Where: Ohahu, Maui, Kona
Who: Atlantis Submarines
Description: Explore the ocean depths and learn about the Pacific’s beautiful and exotic sea creatures on a U.S. Coast Guard approved submarine tour. See tropical fish, sharks, sea turtles, eels, shipwrecks and more up close. A unique and educational experience the whole family can enjoy. The subs are spacious and air conditioned, and go down to a maximum depth of about 125 ft.

What: Hawaii Military History Tour
Where: Pearl Harbor and Other Sites
Who: Home of the Brave
Description: Honor the brave service of U.S. military members in Hawaii. This tour begins at historic Pearl Harbor. Other stops include: Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Army Barracks, Fort Shafter, Punchbowl National Memorial, Downtown Honolulu, Home of the Brave Museum and Gift Shop.

What: Hawaii Day Hike
Where: Honolulu
Who: Department of Land and Natural Resources
Description: Put on your walking shoes, grab some water and head on over to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Here you can find free hiking trail maps. Decide on what trails you’d like to see and spend the day exploring some of Hawaii’s most beautiful places. Some popular destinations are: Manoa Falls Trail, Waikiki Historic Trail, Koko Crater, Makapuu Lighthouse, and Kaena Point.

What: Learn How to Surf
Where: Ohahu
Who: Hans Hedemann Surf School
Description: Learn to Hang 10 on Hawaii’s most scenic beaches. Discover the techniques of surfing in a safe environment from trained professionals. They offer private, semi-private, or group lessons. In a couple of hours, you’ll be standing up on a surfboard and riding your first wave!

What: Volcano Hiking Excursion
Where: Honolulu - Diamond Head
Description: Diamond Head is a dormant volcanic crater that is very popular with tourists. Hiking up Diamond Head will take you about 45-60 minutes and will lead you along a changing and challenging terrain that ends in a long, steep set of stairs. Once you get to the top, the view is magnificent. Keep in mind that you must be in shape to attempt the full hike up. There are places to rest, but no facilities. The trail can be hot, so go very early in the morning—and bring water.

About The Author

© Donna Monday

Cruise the beautiful Hawaiian Islands – even if you’re on a budget

Last Minute Hawaii Cruise

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hawaii Vacations: 7 Great 4-Star Hotels

Hawaii Vacations: 7 Great 4-Star Hotels
by: Donna Monday

Here’s several 4-Star Hawaiian hotels that offer first-class accommodations and beach front views.

Sheraton Moana Surfrider – This historic hotel has been lovingly restored and maintains it’s circa 1901 charm. Located on Waikiki beach, it offers high tea and sunset buffets.

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa – Located right across the street from Waikiki beach. It’s also within walking distance to attractions such as: Diamond Head, Kapiolani Park, Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Aquarium. Features a restaurant with live Hawaiian music and a health spa.

The Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach – Right in the middle of Waikiki Beach, it’s close to restaurants, shops, and entertainment activities. Has high-speed Internet access and art by Hawaiian artists.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa – Beachfront hotel featuring lush tropical gardens, ponds, waterfalls, health spa, restaurants, an underwater exploration submarine, Friday fireworks, and a variety of nightly entertainment.

Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki – Features rooms with floor to ceiling windows and overlooks the boats of the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. Stroll to Ala Moana Beach Park. Shuttle to 27 hole championship golf course.

Royal Hawaiian – This hotel’s nickname is the Pink Palace of the Pacific for it’s pink color scheme. Enjoy a private beach and the Royal Hawaiian shopping center nearby. Features boating, surfing and an oceanfront luau.

Kahala Mandarin Oriental – Tucked away on a secluded beach, this resort is popular with celebrities. Features spa rooms, soaking baths, private gardens and lots of pampering.

About The Author

© Donna Monday

Cruise the beautiful Hawaiian Islands – even if you’re on a budget

Last Minute Hawaii Cruise