Aloha Maui!

I arrived in Maui at Hawaiian Airlines.  Baggage claim is in an open-air part of the airport and nice tropical breezes are blowing through the area. Also, visiting Maui requires that you rent a car if you want to explore. If so, you will want to be sure to book the car in advance as the selection can be sparse if you wait to the last minute – bags, check! car, check! I am off to the Four Seasons on Maui!

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Balcony view from the Four Seasons.

The Four Seasons Maui is amazing. Despite the hotels age, it is still a very beautiful hotel! The rooms are opulent, the location and grounds are amazing on the ocean front in Wailea, the restaurants are amazing, and I feel like I am truly in paradise. There is an adult only pool that I took advantage of during my stay here that has a great view of the ocean. Watch for Whales from late November through May with most appearing December through March. For dinner, I dined at Spago, a fusion of Hawaiian and California cuisines at the hotel. The food and service here is amazing as one would expect at the Four Seasons.

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Enjoying the view at the Four Seasons Maui.

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Relaxation time at the Four Seasons Maui.

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Pool time at the Four Seasons.

Next, I moved on to the Fairmont Kea Lani. My room has a balcony with amazing views of the ocean and sunsets. I enjoyed the beach and walking trail along the ocean several times. There is an open-air bar on the main level where you can enjoy delicious appetizers and drinks and catch the breathtaking Maui sunsets. I enjoyed my stay at this hotel and the service here was great. Note, if you can get a good price on a package that includes breakfast, I recommend taking it.

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I found my own private beach.

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A gorgeous day at the beach at the Fairmont Kea Lani.

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Having a blast in the surf in Maui.

Each day, I walked along the Wailea Beach Path. This path runs in front most of the hotels in Wailea along the ocean and has outstanding views. I did a little jogging here to stay in shape and enjoyed the ocean views. Along the path is the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Hotel. I recommend checking out the grounds here as they offer many water features, ponds, fountains, pools, statues, and flowers. The grounds here are gorgeous!

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The grounds at the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Hotel are beautiful.

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The fountains at the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The next day, I took a little trip down Makena Road toward Makena State Park.  There are some amazing spots along the road. Just past Mana Ohana Kai Organic farm there is an excellent snorkeling spot where you can see tropical fish, exceptional sea life including the giant Leatherback Sea Turtle.  These turtles can grow to be up to seven feet long!

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Reflecting on the Hoapili Trail.

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On the lava flows in from of Haleakala.

Next, I continue down Makena Road to the Hoapili Trail. Here I see lava flows from the last eruption of Haleakala. The lava flows add a nice contrast to the green sides of Haleakala and are very expansive. The beaches and rock formations along the ocean here are beautiful and make for great picture taking. Around every corner are deserted beaches, tide pools, and beautiful vistas. This area is very peaceful and beautiful and with few tourists.

The next day I take the road to Hana on the other side of the island. On my way, I stopped at Haiku-Pauwela to buy some bikinis – Maui obviously is a great place to partake in one of my favorite things to shop for. I continue my drive on the “wet-side” of the island and it is very green and lush. Drive with both hands on the wheel as this is a very curvy and narrow road with steep drop-offs. Here you will find many beautiful waterfalls, dramatic vistas, jungle, and flowers. I stopped to have a fruit smoothie and enjoyed the drive. On the way back, I stopped at Ho’okipa Beach Park to check out the big waves, surfing, and dramatic sky at sunset.

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Along the road to Hana.

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This tree seems different than all the rest!

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Taking a break on the road to Hana.

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The view along the road to Hana.

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Sunset at Ho’okipa Beach Park.

That night I enjoy dinner at Mama’s Fish House. This restaurant is a “must do” for any visit to Maui and should not be missed. The food and service here is excellent! The restaurant also has a really nice “Hawaiian” ambiance with Polynesian décor and beautiful ocean views. Be sure to book in advance as this is a very popular destination. If you are unable to get a reservation, try having lunch or dinner at the bar. This restaurant is also on the way to and from the road to Hana.

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The food at Mama’s Fish House was delicious!

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Getting ready for a nice dinner at Mama’s Fish House.

The next day, I went on a whale watching trip with Kai Kannani Sailing Charters. For this trip, you board a catamaran from the beach next to Makena State Park. The day was unusually still with little to no breeze and hot but I was able to see several magnificent humpback whales and dolphins as well. If you are in Maui in winter, definitely take one of these trips to see these incredible whales. If you are into diving, check out Molokini crater. This unique spot inside an ancient volcano crater offers lots of sea life and sharks!

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Whale watching trip with Kai Kannani Sailing Charters.

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Whale watching in Maui.

During my visit, I also enjoyed The Shops at Wailea and do some more bikini and clothing shopping. This shopping center has some cool and unique stores and completes my visit to this tropical paradise – my visit was magical!

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Another gorgeous sunset in Maui.

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