Maui Celebrates the Year of the Rooster

If you will be visiting Maui in late January or early February of 2017, there are some fun events you and the family won’t want to miss, focusing on the Chinese New Year.  Join in the party celebrating those born under the sign of the Rooster, who are said to be confident, observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented. 

Maui is honoring the Year of the Rooster in 2017 on both sides of the Island at Kahului and Lahaina.  The free events ring in the New Year with spectacular fireworks, Chinese entertainers, kids’ activities, cultural displays, traditional music, craft and food booths, and lots more. 

Lion Dance - Maui

Lion dancers will be a highlight of the Chinese New Year’s celebrations being held on Maui late January and early February 2017, the Year of the Rooster.

One of the highlights of the day will be the lion dancers, which are a good luck tradition for the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated worldwide.  Maui has a significant population of Chinese descent and the Lion Dance is very popular among them and visitors, alike.  During the day, dancers dress in whimsical, colorful, lion-like costumes, with one person at the head of the feline outfit and another in the rear as the tail.  A loud drummer often accompanies the dancers and excites the crowds.

Chinese New Year activities in Kahului will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Maui Mall.  It’s a great way to observe and take in some of the history and tradition of the Chinese people.

Lahaina’s historic Front Street is the site of the Chinese lunar event Friday, February 3 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  At 5 p.m., a special Shaolin martial arts demonstration will also be held in the Wo Hing Museum lawn on Front Street.

The Royal Lahaina Resort on famed Kaanapali Beach is just minutes from Lahaina Town and a great location from which to headquarter as you enjoy the celebration and the many other Maui activities.

 

Maui Snorkeling is Unsurpassed

Of all the wonderful things to do on the Valley Isle, snorkeling is one of the most popular.  With over 120 miles of coastline with more than 30 miles of beaches, the entire family can enjoy swimming with the thousands of colorful sea creatures that inhabit the blue Pacific around the Island.

Turtle-Reef

Maui’s colorful reefs offer an amazing array of sea life.

The best snorkeling beaches are on Maui’s south and west facing shores, which are protected from the trade winds by the Island’s mountains.  The waters are warm, clear and calm, perfect for discovering the abundance of tropical fish that live among the magnificent coral reefs.

One of the best snorkeling spots is Honolua Bay with a variety of marine life second to none.  The sheltered Kapalua Bay offers perfect snorkeling from a terrific beach.  Another of the favorites is called Turtle Town Maui at Maluaka Beach. 

Golden sand, Kaanapali Beach, which fronts the Royal Lahaina Resort, is world renowned and a snorkeler’s dream at nearby Black Rock.  This volcanic promontory juts out into the ocean creating an ideal spot for sea turtles and hundreds of other fish that cruise the reef below.

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Snorkelers will find hundreds of fish species of all colors and shapes, darting among the reefs.

If you want to venture out farther, a quick boat ride to Molokini, just off Maui’s coast, is where you’ll find perhaps the clearest water in all of the Islands and an incredible array of sea life.  You’ll drop anchor just off shore to enjoy Maui’s unsurpassed underwater world.

The Activities Center at the Royal Lahaina Resort can make any of the arrangements and guide you to all of the many of the other snorkeling spots on the Island.  

 

 

 

 

Experience the Top of the World on Maui

Haleakala

Haleakala Crater on Maui presents a spectacular array of colors and shapes as the sun rises up the dormant volcano: a must do experience.

One of Maui’s most popular attractions is a trip up and down its famous, dormant Haleakala Volcano.  As many as two million visitors a year experience the 27-mile trek, which features an informative van tour from the quaint, ocean-side town of Paia up the 10,023-foot mountain and a spectacular bike ride back.

There are a number of tour companies offering the most popular sunrise and day tours. The early sessions start with pickups before 4 a.m. to ensure you can greet the sun as it climbs up over the mountain, creating a spectacular array of colors and shapes along the volcano and its 7-mile crater.  The day tour, which starts later in the morning, includes everything the early birds receive, except the sunrise itself; still an amazing experience you will long remember.

This is what’s called “Upcountry Maui,” a beautiful part of the Island that you will learn about on the ride up the mountain.  Your guide will provide an interesting narrative going through the area’s history, Hawaiian culture, geography, and unique animal and plant life.  You’ll also get some helpful hints for your later descent and your guide will point out various shops and restaurants you may want to visit on your way back.

You can get down the mountain on your bike in about an hour and a half, if you push it, but most visitors take their time and leisurely explore their magnificent surroundings, breathtaking views, and incredible scenery.  You can’t get lost and the slope of about a 5 percent grade with switchbacks allows for a comfortable, downhill speed.

If biking is a bit too much, but you would still like to take in stunning Haleakala and its majestic ocean and mountain backdrops, van-only tours are available that cover all of the elements of the two-wheel excursions.  In other words, you get the same bike tours without the bike.

Once you have come down the mountain, you will want to do a little sightseeing, beaching, gallery hunting, shopping or dining at some great restaurants in Paia.  This charming town is the perfect end to a terrific day. 

The Activities Center at the Royal Lahaina Resort can make all of the arrangements for this grand Maui experience that takes you to the top of the world.

Catching Some Rays on Hawaii Island

Hawaii is known for its sunny weather, but did you ever think about catching some rays under water?  We’re talking about the gentle manta rays; ocean giants with wingspans that can reach 20 feet or more.  And Hawaii Island, along the Kona Coast a short drive from the Royal Kona Resort, is one of the best spots to snorkel or scuba dive with these amazing leviathans.

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Snorkeling or scuba diving with fierce looking, but gentle, manta rays is an amazing life experience off the coast of Hawaii Island all year round.

The mantas may look fierce and even eerie, but they are quite friendly and only eat tiny plankton, which is gathered through their large, gaping mouths.  Unlike stingrays, mantas have no stingers and they are found most often at night feeding in about 30 feet of water off the coast.

In the evening, spotlights are used to illuminate the plankton, which attracts the mantas.  The graceful mantas glide under the water in swooping patterns, as they take in their dinners.  It’s an experience of a lifetime to snorkel or scuba within inches of the mantas as they swim right up to you, just missing contact. These close encounters are breathtakingly exciting, but try not to touch the mantas.

To get to the best spots, it’s a good idea to go on an organized boat tour around sunset.  Some tours leave from the harbor just north of Kailua-Kona. These tours are available year-round and, depending on plankton abundance, you may meet up with just a few mantas to over a dozen on any given evening.

If you are a scuba diver, you will need to present your certification card to dive with the mantas.  Snorkelers have no restrictions and just about anyone can enjoy this unique experience. 

The Activity Center at the Royal Kona Resort can make all of the arrangements and let you soak up some magnificent rays . . . under water.

 

Maui: A Class by Itself

Maui is a favorite vacation destination for countless reasons. For the visitor who wants to scuba dive or snorkel or surf, it doesn’t get much better than right here on the Valley Isle.  But, for those who want something a little different, Maui offers an amazing array of other adventures and fun stuff; some of which you may not find anywhere else on Earth.

Maui paddle boarding

The fantastic water activities on the Pacific off of Maui are popular year-round, including paddle boarding, kayaking, cruising, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, and much more.

Here, you can paddle your way around the ocean in an outrigger canoe or kayak to take in the magnificent coastlines.  You can helicopter over the vast landscapes, lush rainforests, and water falls. 

Explore Maui’s undersea world in a real submarine. Go spearfishing, deep sea fishing, clay target shooting or wild pig hunting. Take out a jet boat or charter a sailing vessel or enjoy ocean rafting. Experience heart-pounding zip line adventures high above many of the most beautiful parts of the Island.  Take Segway or bicycle tours, including rides down Haleakala volcano.  Do the famous winding road to Hana and see the grave site of legendary aviator Charles Lindberg.

Visit an aromatic lavender farm or tour local distilleries. Take walking, eco, and cultural tours. You might even catch rock and roll icon Mick Fleetwood at his restaurant and club in quaint Lahaina Town, which is lined with art galleries, shops, and other eating and entertainment establishments. Tantalize your taste buds with culinary tours of many of the fine restaurants on the Island and don’t miss the exceptional Royal Lahaina Resort luau and Polynesian show. 

Signature RLA hi-res

The Royal Lahaina Resort on famed Kaanapali Beach is the perfect location from which to explore the many fun, exciting, interesting, and unique activities on Maui.

There is definitely no lack of things to do on Maui—for all ages.  Of course, you can always simply lounge on the soft, golden sand, such as at famed Kaanapali Beach that fronts the Royal Lahaina Resort.  Maui is in a class by itself.  The Activities Center at the Royal Lahaina Resort can set you up and guide you to your perfect vacation on Maui, whatever you like to do. 

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Comes to Maui

If you’re golfer or foodie or wine lover and you’re visiting Hawaii October 14-16, 2016, don’t miss the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Maui.  There’s a golf tournament, gourmet dinners, culinary demonstrations, locally grown produce, and special events, such as the Battle of the Brunch and Clash of the Ramen.

Wine

Wine pairings with delectable food offerings from many parts of the world will delight even the most sophisticated palates. Top chefs come together on Maui October 14-16, 2016.

Top chefs from Hawaii and the U.S. mainland are featuring some spectacular creations, while wine makers are complementing the tasty experience to delight every palette. There’s even an online silent auction to bid on some of the world’s most coveted wines, travel packages, and more.

It all begins October 14 with the 19th Annual Roy’s Golf Classic, hosted by famed restaurateur Roy Yamaguchi. The venue is the Kaanapali Golf Course next to the Royal Lahaina Resort right on the beautiful Kaanapali Beach.  With amazing views of the Pacific, the scramble event pairs a great golf experience with top chefs, pros, and celebrities, mouthwatering foods, and tantalizing liquid refreshments. A gourmet dinner prepared by Roy’s finishes off a wonderful day.

 

On the 15th, the free Grown on Maui Farmers Market opens from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Whaler’s Village just a short distance from the Royal Lahaina Resort.  From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is “Scandal – The Dark and Stormy Underbelly of Cocktails,” which tracks the mysteries surrounding famous drink exposes. “Kaanapali: a Chef’s Paradise” takes you on a gourmand’s adventure from 6 to 9 p.m. with Hawaii’s finest seafood, meats and produce, plus a bit of the grape.

 

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Amazing culinary creations will abound at the Food & Wine Festival on Maui.

Your epicurean journey ends October 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with “Soaring Palates,” featuring a number of chefs serving up their specialties representing the East and West coasts, the Pacific, and Japan.

Be at the heart of all of the delectable activities at the Royal Lahaina Resort.  For more information on the Festival events, go online at www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.

Da’ Feta Mo’ Betta on Maui

Visitors come to Maui for a variety of reasons.  The incredible sand and surf, amazing scenery, world-class resorts, and colorful history and culture are all draws to the Valley Isle, but cheese?  Located on the beautiful slopes of Haleakala is the Surfing Goat Dairy that just might be worth the trip, as well.

surfing goat logo

The Surfing Goat Dairy on Maui produces over 30 gourmet cheeses and offers great tours that are fun and tasty.

For the past 10 years, German expatriates Thomas and Eva Kafsack have been making award-winning cheeses on their 42-acre dairy farm that is home to more than 100 goats. The Kafsacks produce over 30 different, gourmet cheeses, many of which have attained international acclaim.

Some of the cheeses are made with the world’s most expensive ingredients, such as the rare Perigord truffles and even 23K gold flakes!  Others feature rich oils, spices, farm herbs, and fruits.  In all, the variety presented begs to be sampled.

This AgTourism, state-of-the-art, working dairy also offers some fascinating tours and hands-on experiences everyone in the family can enjoy.  They have daily, paid “Casual Tours” of their operation. They also conduct “Evening Chores & Milking Tours.” On Saturdays, they have the “Grand Dairy Tour,” a two-hour event that includes feeding and milking goats, plus demonstrating how the cheese is processed. 

The Activities Center at the Royal Lahaina Resort on picture-perfect Kaanapali Beach can show you the way.  To learn more about this fun, unique and delectable Maui experience, go online to www.surfinggoatdairy.com 

Down on the Ranch on Hawaii Island

Once past the magnificent Kohala coastline and away from the massive black lava fields, Hawaii Island offers many unique adventures for visitors. One such experience is found in and around the quaint town of Waimea.

This vibrant community is set in the green, rolling hills of the Island and is the home of paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys), astronomers, farmers, business and medical professionals, educators, country stores and restaurants, schools, and Parker Ranch.

Founded in 1847 by John Palmer Parker, the ranch comprises about 250,000 acres, making it one of the oldest and largest spreads in the United States. Because Parker rid the Island of wild cattle that were troublesome to the native population and destroyed their crops in the early 1800s, King Kamehameha I granted to him land that would become Parker Ranch.

The last owner of the massive property was actor and sixth generation heir Richard Smart, who died in 1992.  The ranch was then placed in the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust, which, today, oversees the large-scale cattle and farm operations.

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Parker Ranch on Hawaii Island is one of the oldest and largest spreads in the U.S. Rodeos and wrangling contests are often held at the ranch.

Two of the ranch’s historic homes are open for self-guided and private tours, featuring family heirlooms, antiques, artwork, and everyday ranch life artifacts.  There is also a visitor center in Waimea that presents information on the early days of the community.

Horseback riding and game-managed hunting excursions are also offered year-round on the ranch.  And there is an arena, where Hawaii Island paniolos often compete to demonstrate their horsemanship and cattle roping abilities.  Every 4th of July and Labor Day, the ranch hosts its own rodeo that draws thousands of visitors and participants.

The Activities Center at the Royal Kona Resort can guide you to this interesting part of Hawaii Island, where you can find unusual beauty in the windswept grasslands and an entirely new perspective of Hawaiian life here.

 

 

Adventures in Paradise: Hawaii Island

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Green sea turtles are often found on the black sand beaches of Hawaii Island, basking in the warm sun.

All of the Hawaiian Islands are unique and certainly beautiful, but the youngest of them all—Hawaii Island—is truly special.  No place else on Earth gives you an opportunity to swim with manta rays, horseback ride, rodeo or go on a cattle drive.  Here, you can whale watch, walk through magnificent lava tubes, see molten lava streaming into the ocean, experience a black sand beach, and watch green sea turtles basking in the warm sun.  You can marvel at a 420-foot waterfall, gaze at the galaxies from one of the best vantage points on the planet, learn how famous Kona coffee is made or visit unbelievable ancient and historic sites.

And this is just the beginning.  If golf or beaching it suits you, Hawaii Island has some of the best in the world.  If art and crafts turn your head, you will find an amazing array of paintings, sculptures, glassware, and distinctly hand-crafted jewelry and wooden koa bowls in many places around the Island.

You will also discover a number of museums that contain art exhibits and artifact collections from the 1800s, such as at the famed Lyman Mission House in Hilo.  Water sports and deep sea fishing are renowned here.   Even the Ironman Triathlon challenges athletes each year at this destination.

luau, Royal Kona Resort, Hawaii activities

The exciting “Voyagers of the Pacific” luau and show at the Royal Kona Resort is not to be missed.

Then, there are the luaus and shows, such as the spectacular “Voyagers of the Pacific” at the iconic Royal Kona Resort of gorgeous Kailua Bay.   The East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo is a terrific location to take in some live performances of the Island’s finest artists, singers, and dancers. 

There is a lot more to see and do on Hawaii Island, but let’s just say this is an incredible place to explore. With your headquarters during your stay at the Royal Kona Resort, we can guide you and help you discover new adventures of almost any description; memories you will cherish forever.

Maui’s Top Five Beaches

Hawaii is truly a beach lover’s Paradise, where there are hundreds of sandy spots to enjoy the warm sun and almost limitless water activities. On Maui alone, there are 40 beaches that offer something for everyone, but we’re going to look at what are generally considered the top five; some among the finest in the world.

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Famous, 1.5-mile stretch of Kaanapali Beach fronts the Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui, where the golden sands and water activities are among the best in the world.

Let’s start with our own Kaanapali Beach that fronts the Royal Lahaina Resort. This famous, 1.5-mile stretch of golden sand was once a retreat for Hawaii’s Alii (royalty). Today’s visitors can enjoy everything from lounging around to sandcastle building, surfing, volleyball, catamaran sailing, boogie boarding, snorkeling, scuba, and much more.

A few hundred yards from the Royal Lahaina Resort is Black Rock, which separates Kaanapali from Kahekili Beach. This is an ideal snorkeling and scuba diving spot; however, underwater lava rocks and strong currents make it dangerous for swimmers.  On the other hand, the nice sand beach is a great place for picnicking.

There is a fine swimming spot close by in Lahaina at Napili Bay. The large expanse of golden sand and calm waters are made for families wanting to spend the day at the beach.

Moving south, Keawakapu Beach is sandwiched between Wailea and Kihei.  This secluded spot is a great getaway from the more populated beach areas.  Here, you can count on good swimming conditions year-round.  There’s also great snorkeling near a close-by reef. Plus, the soft, white sand is ideal for the sun worshipers and sandcastle builders.

To the north of the Royal Lahaina Resort, is Kapalua Beach with its beautiful sand and protected bay, which is surrounded by swaying palm trees and lava rock.  With its gentle surf for swimming and the fun tide pools, Kapalua is a favorite of families with young children. During the winter months, you can often see huge whales making their way to deeper waters.

You really can’t go wrong with Hawaii beaches and Maui has some of the best.