There are a many reasons to choose Maui for your next vacation destination. It could be to enjoy its many world-class beaches, experience its breath-taking vistas including incredible sunrises and sunsets, discover a tropical paradise, or to just relax and get away from it all.
Part of Maui's lure is that it offers such a wide variety of activities, many family-oriented. What's equally great is that new activities and tours appear almost every month. Here's a look at what's new with activities, attractions and tours on Maui and Lana'i for the fall of 2010.
- An onsite Coral Reef Naturalist Program is being offered Sundays through Thursdays at Ulua Beach. New to snorkeling? The experienced naturalist at this free information station helps you learn the names of the fish you'll see at the near-shore reef at Ulua Beach and will offer tips for reef-friendly snorkeling techniques from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Wailea's Ulua Beach. Offered by Pacific Whale Foundation with support from an award by Hawaii Tourism Authority. For info, call 808-249-8811 ext. 1.
- Four Seasons Resorts Lana'i has unveiled new experiences at the Stables at Ko'ele where guests can discover the timeless landscapes and paniolo (cowboy) history of Lana'i on horseback. The new state-of-the-art facility features an equestrian arena, offering daily rodeos and roping demonstrations. Learn how to ride rope and rejuvenate like the Hawaiian paniolos of Lana'i's historical ranching past. Saddle up at the charming country outpost in the heart of the Palawai Basin, just south of Ko'ele. From there, the ascending trails lead to various ridgelines canvassed by Lana'i's lush landscape. For more information or to make reservations, please call the Concierge at 808-565-4555.
- Grand Wailea, in partnership with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, offers guests the opportunity to join sanctuary volunteers at their Coral reef outreach station by the beach for hands-on games, activities and learn about the Hawaii's unique coral reef ecosystem, humpback whales and other protected species. Great fun for the entire family. Complimentary to residents and visitors. Call 800-888-6100 ext 51 for more information.
There's a new flock in town at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, which welcomed new members to its growing family of over 40 exotic species. Mandarin Ducks, Wood Ducks and European Mute Swans recently joined the exist>ing flamingos, African Crowned Cranes, Australian Black Swans, parrots, and the guestadored African Black-Footed Penguins. Still to come, are Chilean Black Swans, Eaton's Plumed Whistling Tree Ducks and White Faced Whistling Tree Ducks. Guests can enjoy the new additions during the resort's Wildlife Tour, conducted several times a week. For more information, call 808-661-1234, or visit the resort's website.
A new state-of-the-art telescope at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa has elevated the star-studded astronomy program. Edward "Eddie" J. Mahoney, the resort's Director of Astronomy, leads guests on an entrancing Tour of the Stars astronomy show atop Hyatt's Lahaina Tower. With three shows nightly, intimate groups can see spectacular views of little-seen constellations with the new Celestron high-definition 14-inch aplanic telescope, Hawaii's only recreational HD telescope. A special late night Romance Tour of the Stars includes champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries. For more information, call 808-661-1234, or visit the resort's website.
Explore the Maui Ocean Center through an aquarist's eyes on this interactive tour. Meet an aquarist, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour and learn how the aquarist team cares for MOC's animals and exhibits. Guests also get to participate in a supervised feeding of sharks at Hammerhead Harbor. Tours are offered at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays in October and November for $10 per person plus aquarium admission. Space is limited and fees applicable to parents and guardians accompanying children on the tour. Reservations recommended. Sign up at the aquarium's front gate or call 808-270-7088. Call 808-270-7000 or visit their website.
Join a Maui Ocean Center Ocean Naturalist guide and have a great time learning amazing facts about hammerhead sharks and green sea turtles on the Fins & Flippers tour. Guests will have the opportunity to sneak a peek behind the scenes at the aquarium and participate in a supervised feeding at Turtle Lagoon and Hammerhead Harbor. Tours are offered at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays in October and December for $10 per person plus aquarium admission. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Sign up at the aquarium's front gate or call 270-7088. For more information, call 808-270-7000 or visit their website.
Throughout November, Maui Ocean Center will show gratitude for all U.S. Police, Fire, Lifeguard and EMT personnel with 50% off general admission! These brave rescue personnel will enjoy aquarium admission at $11.25 plus tax for seniors and $12.75 plus tax for adults and one guest; rescue personnel must accompany guest. Valid identification must be presented upon purchase for the discount. The Wave of Gratitude offer is not combinable with any other discounts. For more information, call 808-270-7000 or visit their website.
Be sure to have your Christmas list ready for a visit with Scuba Claus and his Elf Helper in the Maui Ocean Center's Open Ocean exhibit throughout the 12 Days of FISH-mas, December 14 through December 25! Scuba Claus and his Elf Helper will make their appearance in the Open Ocean exhibit at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to host exciting Dive Link presentations at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. A special dive mask will allow Scuba Claus to communicate with guests and answer their questions about the sharks, stingrays and fish in the open ocean. For more information, call 808-270-7000 or visit their website.
Want to learn more about Hawaii's whales, dolphins, coral reefs, sea turtles, monk seals and sharks? With support from an award from Hawaii Tourism Authority, Pacific Whale Foundation has published a series of Hawaii wildlife guides available free to visitors and the public. You can pick up your copies at Pacific Whale Foundation's Ocean Stores at 612 Front Street in Lahaina and at the Harbor Shops at Ma'alaea. Schools, libraries, hotels and agencies are invited to request copies in quantity for distribution to the public. For information, call 808-249-8811 ext. 1 or visit their website.
The Pacific Whale Foundation is offering a weekly Island Rhythms cruise where guests can dance to popular reggae tunes on their beautiful catamaran while enjoying a sunset over the Pacific. This Pacific Whale Foundation cruise is offered every Friday from Ma'alaea Harbor and features local reggae sensation Marty Dread who acts as DJ, vocalist and master of ceremonies. He gets everyone up dancing! Marty has released numerous solo and group albums, been nominated for Na Hoku Hanohano awards and performed around the world. For reservations, call (808) 249-8811 ext 1 or visit their website and click on "ecotours" and "evening cruises".
Zero gravity beach chairs is fast becoming a hot favorite amongst resort guests staying at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Newly introduced as a beach amenity, the chairs offer easy comfort to sun worshippers planning a relaxing beach day. Available for daily rental, the chairs are easily converted into full-stretched positions for lazing in the sun. Whether one prefers to hang out on Ka'anapali Beach mere steps away from the resort or head out and explore other beaches around Maui, the chairs can be folded for easy transportation.
A holiday in Hawaii is often incomplete without traditional activities such as hula lesson, flower lei making and 'ukulele lesson. Guests at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa not only enjoy these activities through the Westin Destination Club Program but also delight in trendy activities such as "wii bowling" and "aqua poker". Organized by the resort's Director of Fun Jack Stone, aqua poker is offered at the adults' swimming pool overlooking the warm Pacific. Families with children too have their share of fun through "slide races" and "minute-to-win-it" games at the resort's outdoor pools.
No summer visit is complete to Maui without surfing the warm Pacific. Located oceanfront at the Aloha Pavilion of The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Island Style Adventures Surf School offers a refreshing surf experience. In addition to surf lessons, the school also arranges stand-up paddle lessons, a new sporting adventure that has become a rave among local residents and visitors to Maui. Lessons can also be paired with lunch at the resort’s ‘Ono Bar & Grill to satisfy the well-deserved appetite. For reservations, call 808-244-6858 or visit their website.
- Keiki (Kids) Camp is a fun interactive child enrichment program, available for kids ages 6 to 12 on Trilogy Excursion's Discover Lana‘i trip. The program includes a visor, eco-coloring/activity book, certified naturalist counselors, tide-pool exploration, snorkeling and beach time! Educational and entertaining, it is designed so that children are accessible to their parents. Along with our regular dinner, we offer hot dogs for the kids and, dessert on the sail home! Limit is six children per counselor. For more info, call 808-874-5649 or visit their website.
- A hotspot for complimentary cultural entertainment and activities, Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants celebrates the island lifestyle in and around a grand Center Stage. Stop by for Polynesian hula and Tahitian dance shows in the evenings and join in to learn more about Hawaiian arts and crafts during the day. A free-admission Whalers Museum deepens island understanding with a colorful slice of whaling history, while the whole Village quickens during a variety of exuberant annual festivals. For details, visit their website or call 808-243-2290.
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