How Maui Families Enjoy Summer on the Best Island in the World

How Maui Families Enjoy Summer on the Best Island in the World

Summer is here!

Why do visitors flock to Maui every summer to relax, rejuvenate and experience local hospitality, unmatched by any other island destination in the world? Is it the stunning beaches, incredible hiking trails, wide variety of ocean activities, world class restaurants, resorts, arts communities, friendly residents full of the Aloha Spirit? Yes, all the above linked together, encircle visitors like welcoming arms. In fact, many visitors return to become permanent residents or dream about that happening for them someday. To underscore this phenomenon, according to the annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards that select the top twenty-five islands in the world, Maui has come out No. 1 for twenty consecutive years.

Up past Kula in Upcountry Maui, ‘Ulupalakua, Kanaio holds beautiful vistas of the land before it and the ocean of South Maui beyond it. Kanaio; a place where you can enjoy summer on the best island in the world.
Photo: Vince Bagoyo, Jr.

Millions agree there is no better place to spend the summer with your ‘ohana than here on the island of Maui. Following are some of many reasons shared by both visitors and residents who find Maui to be extraordinary and enjoyable.

• The road to Hāna with its many beautiful cascading waterfalls along the way and the black sand beach at Wai‘ānapanapa, where cabins must be reserved in advance.
• Sunrise at the summit of 10,000 feet above sea level atop Mount Haleakalā requires blankets and hot beverages to keep warm for viewing. Being a National Park, rangers take charge of guests at the Visitor Center and hikers may reserve cabins of your choice for overnight quarters for a fee.
• In Kula, a leisurely Saturday morning stroll on Thompson Road with a breakfast of my favorite Upcountry omelet on the outdoor veranda overlooking the valley at Grandma’s, is often followed by lunch at the Lavender Farm or O‘o Farm, and if still energized, dinner at the Bistro or Kula Lodge, ending the day with coffee and dessert at the fireplace.
• Enjoy surf, sand, and sea at Big Beach in Mākena, or Kā‘anapali Beach in Lahaina, recently ranked as the No. 1 beach in the USA by TripAdvisor, or cool off in the shade of the largest banyan tree in the USA, imported from India, which takes up one city block, near the Old Lahaina Lū‘au, famous for its local crafts, authentic food and fine entertainment, especially during the whale watching season that peaks from December–April.
• Very serious surfers, even some world champions, face challenges daily on the swiftly moving, crashing waves at internationally renowned Ho‘okipa Bay on the way to Ha‘ikū, boasting productive farms and pastures.
• Picnic in the afternoon with a barbecue at Kama‘ole Beach in South Maui, against the backdrop of sunset, a spectacular display of myriad colors waning as the sky begins to darken with the flicker of stars and the moonrise.
• Watch or march in the July 4th parade in Makawao followed by a rodeo with the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) and pause at numerous art galleries and eateries.
• Learn about tiger, gray and white tip sharks at the largest aquarium in Hawai‘i, the Maui Ocean Center, where certified SCUBA divers may swim with the sharks.
• Visit the ‘Īao Needle at the State Park next to the County’s Kepaniwai Heritage Park in ‘Īao Valley, Wailuku, to experience the cultural village of houses built and maintained by the families and friends of the earliest immigrants to the islands, like the newly-renovated Filipino nipa hut (Bahay Kubo), alongside replicas of houses in Japan, Korea, China, Portugal, the Hawaiian Hale, and the missionaries from New England, and a variety of pavilions where families gather to celebrate special occasions.

These are just a few sites and activities you may want to experience this summer with your family—there may be more I failed to mention. Set aside time with your loved ones to enjoy what Maui has to offer. Go for a swim at your favorite beach. Go for a walk at the Wailea boardwalk or at Kealia Pond. Summer will not be the same without savoring authentic local cuisines on the island, offered by well-known chefs who truly understand the culture and local palate like Joey’s Kitchen in Nāpili and Whaler’s Village in West Maui; Tante’s Island Cuisine and Sheldon Simeon’s Tin Roof in Kahului and Tiffany’s in Wailuku.

And the best feature about these famous restaurants is you just go and be yourself. There is no need to dress up—shorts, T-shirts and tank tops are okay but you need to wear flipflop slipahs. To cool off from the warm summer breezes, of course you visit Ululani’s for shave ice!
A Very Happy Summer to All!