After being constantly on the move for the past seven (7) months traveling around SE Asia, we elected to settle down a bit and rent a condo for 2 months at the Masters on Kaanapali Hillside. After eating out three meals a day for 7 consecutive months, it was great to finally be able to cook our own food. We have been on Maui for over a month now and we have not gone out for a single meal.
In years past, on all of our previous trips to the Hawaiian islands, we would hop on the 5-6 hr. flight from where we lived in Las Vegas. These flights were simple and painless. For this trip, we departed from Ft. Lauderdale and found the flight to be a bit on the long side. It takes a minimum of 5 days just to get into the rhythm of the island and feel completely relaxed. Therefore, considering the long flight from the east coast, I feel that you would need at least two weeks minimum to effectively assimilate into extreme chill mode on the Hawaiian islands.
In the past, we had spent extended time on three of the four (4) larger islands (Kauai, Maui and The Big Island of Hawaii) and loved all three. We have never really given Oahu a fair chance as we only briefly visited the touristy and congested Honolulu/Waikiki area on the south of the island. We both hated it as it just did not feel like Hawaii. To be fair, I understand that the North Shore of Ohau is supposedly alot more appealing.
Being able to spend an extended period of time on the Hawaiian islands will allow you to really dig down and experience island life as if you were a local. By renting a condo in a residential area, it’s nice to see Maui outside of the luaus, resort pools and all the other touristy crap. You would think all the islands would be similar but amazingly they each have their own distinct feel to them. I’ve never been to a place where nature is so in-your-face. Standing on the shoreline and watching giant waves beat the living shit out of the sand, rocks and me, is just a reminder the islands are just a piece of rock in a gigantic world of ocean. Maui is heaven. However, it’s not for everyone. But if you come here with the right expectations of low-key living, right attitude, and right balance of relaxation and curiosity, you will really dig it. I have learned more about what really matters in life here on the Hawaiian island than any place else on this planet. It is just such a cool place and could easily see it as a home base in the future.
We have been to just about all the highest rated beaches in SE Asia, and I would say the beaches on the Hawaiian islands remain my true favorite. The water here is turquoise and clear and the sand is golden. The beaches are all public, so even at “exclusive resorts,” you can still walk up and sit your ass on the beach and enjoy the day. There are around 80 beaches on Maui, so if think you’ve seen it all, you probably haven’t.
When in Maui, we always base ourselves on the West Side, in the residential area of Kaanapali. The reason being, it has the largest concentration of Maui’s best beaches. You can literally drive 1- 10 minutes and land on one of about 8 awesome beaches each with a completely different vibe and surf.
WEST SIDE BEACHES –
Big Doug Favs – (from south to north)
Airport Beach (aka Kahekili)
Secret Beach – (in front of Honua Kai Condos)
OTHER WEST SIDE BEACHES –
SOUTH SIDE BEACHES –
Big Doug Favs-
Makena (aka Oneloa) Big Beach
Little Beach – Sunday Beach Party.
NORTHERN BEACHES –
Baldwin Beach Park (Paia)
Ho’okipa Beach (Surfing & Windsurfing)
EAST SIDE (HANA AREA BEACHES) –
Wai’anapanapa State Park
Red Sand Beach
We will be in Maui till mid-July and then heading off to Saratoga Springs to wager on the ponies at the ‘August Place to Be’ with my fellow degenerates. It is then back into travel mode as we embark on our 2nd leg (Year 2) of our round the world journey.
Videos- Makena Beach (aka Big Beach) & Little Beach Sunday Beach Party (Maui)