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Moon Over Maui

Author: vanhooke
Date of Trip: March 2005

Walking on an unoccupied beach in the moonlight was the best. Kaanapali is one of the top-10 most beautiful beaches, and you seldom see anyone walking it at night. During whale season, be sure and spring for a room on the water. The only problem is that you won’t want to leave the lanai to do anything else while they’re frolicking out there. I counted 22 whales from the lanai the morning we left.

Quick Tips/Suggestions:
Most rooms have a small refrigerator. Stop by the grocery store and stock it up. It’s not about food here – it’s about kicking back and relaxing. It’s much cheaper to buy your own wine and beer. Add chips, dips, nuts, cheese, etc., and it’s happy hour on the lanai. Spirits and snacks will be about $10 each. Watching the sun set over the ocean was priceless.

Best Way to Get Around:
Rental cars are a must here! You need to be able to go into town for an evening, or to the other side of the island for an afternoon.

Royal Lahaina
Following a loooong day of travel, I dug in my heels and refused to stay in a cottage– even though my husband suggested we check them out. “I want to be in the main tower!” I insisted. They must have thought I fell off the corn wagon yesterday. The luxury accommodations are the cottages. Following a good night’s sleep and a walk around the grounds, I ate crow and asked to be moved into a cottage. My husband will never let me forget this!

Kaanapali Beach Hotel
Lie around the whale-shaped pool and eat cheeseburgers hot off the grill. Throw in a topical drink (or two) and this is heaven. Ask for a waterfront room, though there is not bad room here. It’s locally owned and the only true Hawaiian Hotel here. They give art lessons, hula lessons, etc. It’s great for families. They have good restaurants, but the burgers are hard to beat.

Dinner cruise
Okay — it’s hokey but memorable. You get to see the island from the water and meet other visitors from around the country. We all went dancing together later, as the dancing on the cruise put us “in the mood”. And they even sing “the looove boat,” and if you’re having a birthday or anniversary, you’re acknowledged. The Mai Tais flow, and the food wasn’t bad. It wasn’t a four-star restaurant either, but then, it’s not meant to be.

The hula pie is to die for! This restaurant sits right on the waterfront. One time, the whales came through the harbor and we were able to see them from the open-air dining room. The food is excellent.

Moose McCullacutties
This place is fun! There is dancing at night and a breakfast that is to die for. And it’s cheap, especially the Bloody Mary’s and screwdrivers. What a way to start the day.

This is in a little shopping center right off the main drag, to your right of Pizza Hut. First, check out the Pearl Connection – I buy all my Hawaiian pearls here! One sandwich from this bakery will feed two on the beach. And they bake and supply the local restaurants with their muffins and desserts. The macadamia-nut muffin is to die for! Does it get any better than a cold beer and a sandwich on your lanai? I don’t think so.

Cheeseburger in Paradise
The name says it all – cheeseburgers in paradise. Throw in some live music, a plate of chili fries, and an alcoholic beverage. It’s right on the water.

Hyatt Restaurant
This is the best dinner show in Hawaii! The Mai Tais are the best I’ve ever had, the food is exceptional, and the show is very informative and entertaining. Whenever anyone who’s never been to a luau goes to Maui with us, we bring them here. It’s not a luau; it’s better. They do have the pig in a pit, and it is paraded like at a luau, but unlike a luau, the food is good. Allow time to walk the hotel grounds. They’re beautiful and lush. I’ve never stayed here – I think it’s too intimidating and formal for Hawaii, but enjoy visiting. I go for more laid-back accommodations.

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