Destinations / GO HAWAII
ALVIN WONG, DIREC TOR OF MARKE TING AT
WAILEA BEACH RESORT An avid fitness advocate
who enjoys myriad outdoor and indoor activities,
Wong has been at the property (seeing it through a
$100 million renovation) for three years and previously worked in the industry for 25-plus years.
➺ Start the day watching the sunrise at Haleakala,
which means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian. As of
February, visitors need a reservation, which can be
made 60 days in advance for $1.50 per car at nps.gov.
➺ Book a five-line Haleakala zip line run with
Skyline Adventure tours, which starts off across
an Indiana Jones–style swinging bridge, proceeds
over 90-foot drops and continues through a forest of eucalyptus. If you can do this anytime from
Monday to Wednesday, opt for the Haleakala Bike
’n’ Zip tour, which combines a sunrise view, a bike
ride down the 21 switchbacks and the zip line tour.
Plan for lunch at Grandma’s Coffee House in Kula.
➺ Head to Oneloa, “Big Beach” in Makena on South
Maui, where the locals go for bodysurfing, picnicking
and relaxation, as it is untouched by any development
— not a resort in sight, a very beautiful and picturesque beach, two-thirds of a mile long and 10 feet
wide. If you’re feeling adventurous, just steps over a
hill is “Little Beach,” where clothing is optional.
➺ If it is whale season, November–March, you
can’t miss the wow excursion of a lifetime with
Hawaiian Outrigger Experience, where you will
learn about Hawaiian history, culture and language
as you cruise along the shores of Wailea.
➺ Ride the waterslide at Wailea Beach Resort (for
hotel guests only). Opened recently, this turny,
curvy tube of fun has taken the prize for longest
aquatic slide in the state. As part of the resort’s
NALU Adventure Pool, it measures 325 feet and
drops five-and-a-half stories back into a deep pool.
➺ You’ve burned plenty of calories even if you just
do half of all the above, so end your day by enjoying
the spectacular Maui sunset anywhere along the
southern shoreline with your favorite beverage and
JONELLE KAMAI, CULTURAL AMBASSADOR
AND CHEF CONCIERGE AT FAIRMONT KEA LANI
Kamai was born and raised on Maui and has worked
at the Kea Lani for 11 years. She has a certification
from Ola Hawaii, a program developed by the Native
Hawaiian Hospitality Association.
➺ One of the most significant cultural places in
the state is located in Hana — Hale o Pi‘ilani Heiau.
This locale is said to have once been the home of an
ali‘i (chief ) named Pi‘ilani. Pi‘ilanihale is the largest
heiau in all of Polynesia and was built in different
phases starting in the 13th century. Guided tours
are available and recommended.
➺ Heading west, Front Street in Lahaina showcases
Maui’s diverse history — you just need to know
where to look. For one, the old courthouse is now
a place to visit and learn about Hawaii’s monarchs
and missionary influence and the history of Maui’s
people. Other points of interest include the Baldwin
Museum, Hale Pa‘ahao Prison, Hale Pa‘i Museum
and Wo Hing Museum. Moku‘ula Island and
Mokuhinia Pond are also worth visiting; the former
was once home to Kamehameha III (the kingdom’s
capital was Lahaina from 1830 to 1845). The Friends
of Moku‘ula will guide you to many cultural sites in
the area on an educational walking tour.
➺ Located toward the center of the island, ‘Iao Valley
State Park is one of Maui’s most culturally significant
areas. In 1790, a famous battle happened here bet ween
the army of Kamehameha the Great and the Maui
Chief Kalanik pule. The battle became known as
Kepani wai, which means “the damming of the waters,”
referring to the bodies that floated down the river. Still,
this was also when Kamehameha met Keōp olani,
the future mother of his children and the most sacred
wahine in the kingdom. Today visitors enjoy the
nature conservancy’s trails and cool river waters.
➺ Pu‘u Keka‘a, which literally means “rumbling
hill” (aka Black Rock), is at the far end of the beautiful
Ka‘anapali Beach. Here, hundreds of years ago, Chief
Kahekili II, known for his courage and waterman
skills, made lele kawa (the act of leaping feetfirst from
a cliff into water without splashing) an exercise for
his warriors as he assessed their courage and loyalty
to him. Later, Kamehameha the Great made it a sport
and now it is a fun pastime for locals and visitors alike.
CRAIG ANDERSON, VP OF OPERATIONS AT THE
MAUNA KEA BEACH HOTEL A trained chef who
loves to be active, Anderson has been at the Mauna
Kea Beach Hotel for two years and has worked in
hospitality in the state for nearly two decades.
➺ Start off with a beach walk along Kauna‘oa Bay
at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; each lap is about a
quarter-mile. Then take a 200-yard swim out to the
iconic float. While it’s easier for hotel guests to do
this, there are about two dozen or so public parking
spots, and the morning is the best time to get one.
➺ Hike down to the beach at Waipio Valley and
then back up. It’s said to be one of the steepest roads
in the world, with a 25 percent grade; it is a mile to
the beach, so plan on about 30 minutes down and 45
back up. Get a malasada at Tex Drive In Honoka’a on
your way home; you’ll deserve it.
➺ Head to Kohala Zipline, the only all-canopy zip
line in the state (you are in treetops most of the
time). If you sign up for the Zip and Dip tour, you’ll
get to swim under a waterfall.
➺ Walk on the largest active volcano on the planet.
There are plenty of self-guided hikes to choose
from in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including
nighttime lava-flow-gazing options.
➺ Summit Mauna Kea, which entails an hour-plus
drive to a parking lot and a 7-mile hike to the top.
Opt for a stargazing tour.
➺ Hawaii Island is world famous for night diving.
Here you’ll s wim with many sea creatures — most
famously the graceful manta rays. Stay safe and get
the most from your experience by diving with a guide.
➺ Go to bed, and repeat the next day.
DONNA KIMURA, DIRECTOR OF MARKE TING,
ISLAND OF HAWAII VISITORS BUREAU Kimura
has a bachelor of arts in Hawaiian Studies with a
language emphasis from University of Hawaii at
Hilo and has been at the bureau for four years. She
started her foray into tourism more than 30 years
ago at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as a front office
cashier, when they had just started taking American
Express (payment had previously been cash or
check) and everyone was on a MAP (modified
American plan) rate, which included breakfast
➺ Uncover Hawaii history by exploring the
island’s five National Historic Parks: Pu‘uhonua o
Honaunau, Kaloko-Honokohau, Pu‘ukohola Heiau,
Planning a trip to the islands soon? We’ve asked experts — Hawaii
hospitality veterans with more than 200 years of combined experience helping guests get the most out of their vacations — to share
their best recreational and cultural tips. And yes, we let them
include at least one offering from their own home base.