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USATourist News Magazine

September 2008 - Maui & Kauai, Hawaii

In this issue:

Welcome to the September 2008 issue of USATourist News Magazine. This month we are traveling to two of the six Hawaiian Islands: Maui and Kauai, and giving you tips on how to see more than one island during your stay.

Meet Maui

Westin Hotel Maui

The Westin Maui Resort offers a luxurious experience.

Maui is the second largest Hawaiian Island and has appeal for everyone from families, to the adventurous, to honeymooners. Maui has three airports: Hana Airport (HNM) is located on the east shore, Kahului Airport (OGG) on the northern edge of Maui's "land bridge," and Kapalua Airport (JHM) on the west coast. The towns of Lahaina and Kaanapali draw the most tourists and are loaded with resorts, restaurants and attractions.

Maui Myth and Magic

Ulalena is an amazing theatrical show depicting Maui's myth and magic performed at the Maui Theatre in Lahaina. The show captures spectators' attention through Hawaiian chants, dance and unique and thrilling performances. A fascinating part of the show is when the performers involve the audience by having them make "the sound of rain" (you have to experience this for yourself).

Upcountry

Maui has two extinct volcanoes. Mt. Haleakala (House of the Sun), is the larger of the two at 10,000 feet and home to what is called "Upcountry". A scenic drive takes explorers up and into a cooler climate with many interesting stops along the way. Alii Kula Lavender Farm Tour takes visitors on a stroll through the delightfully scented gardens. In the gift shop visitors can browse through the variety of lavender products then sit on the deck and enjoy lavender hot tea or tea and scones (all made with lavender).

Tedeschi Winery is renowned for its sweet, yet refreshing Maui Splash pineapple wine. The tasting room is located in the King's Cottage and is one of Maui's most historic structures. It was built as a "getaway" in 1874 for King David Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani, Hawaii's last reigning monarchs.

The surprisingly charming and award-winning Surfing Goat Dairy is where famed surfers' colorful boards line the dairy. Visitors can tour the farm or simply "hang loose" under a covered sitting area and enjoy a variety of the dairy's 25 cheeses.

Tip: Even though Hawaii's temperature is mild, the sun is intense. Don't forget your sunscreen!

Swim with Sharks

Maui Ocean Center is the island's incredible indoor and outdoor aquarium with over 60 exhibits. Are you scuba certified and over 15 years old? If so, you can take part in the Shark Dive in the 750,000 gallon Open Ocean exhibit. Swim with 20 sharks, stingrays and thousands of tropical reef fish.

Westin Maui

When I arrived in Maui the man driving the rental car shuttle asked what hotel I was staying at. I told him the Westin Maui. He said, "You won't leave the grounds." It's true. You can easily spend your entire stay at this resort. The hotel sits on Ka'anapali Beach and overlooks the two islands Lanai and Molokai. During the summer months parasailing and snorkeling are offered right in front of the resort. During winter months motorized boats are not allowed in the water to avoid disturbing whale migration.

The pool area is a tropical paradise with slides, waterfalls and an adults-only pool. The Heavenly Spa truly is heavenly with locally inspired treatments such as the Hawaiian "Lomi-Lomi" Massage. The spa also sells and use products from the Ali`i Kula Lavender farm in Upcountry.

The onsite Wailele Polynesian Luau does away with the buffet style and instead serves the dinner family-style (large platters) at each table. Attendees can relax and watch the performance as the sun sets beyond the stage. All beverages are included, so don't forget to try some of the signature Hawaiian drinks like Mai Tai, Blue Hawaiian, or the Westin Sunset.

Kauai

Kauai's combination of lush landscape and little development have led this island to be known as the Garden Island. Kauai has two airports: Lihue Airport (LIH) on the southeast coast and Port Allen Airport (PAK) on the south shore. Kauai has one main road encircling three-fourths of the island and connecting the towns. The island has unlimited outdoor activities from hiking to waterfalls to zip-lining and of course the water activities of snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.

Oceanfront park in Kauai

On the shores of Kauai you will find some beautiful beaches and parks.

Some of the island's attractions include Kauai's Kilohana Plantation, a former 1930's sugarcane estate. The Plantation Railway takes passengers on an excursion around the estate. Twice weekly is the Luau Kalamaku (a sit-down feast centered around a roast pig). Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," is located on the west side of Kauai. Helicopters offer spectacular views of the island. The Wailua River is the only navigable river in Hawaii. Kayaking, water-skiing and boating are popular on the river. Smith's Riverboats take passengers on a journey with stories of folklore, hula dancers and Hawaiian chants to the Fern Grotto, a beautiful hidden natural lava-rock cave concealed in a rainforest and draped with ferns. A slight trickle of water falling before the cave is a reminder of the massive waterfall that once fell from above.

You can see all of the islands

Jungles, beaches, volcanoes, and waterfalls are just some of the splendor of these lands making it the most exotic State of the United States. During my most recent visit I met many tourists who were visiting more than one island. Some visitors were taking several weeks and traveling to each island. Hawaiian Airlines offers inexpensive inter-island flights and Alakai, the Hawaii Superferry ship, offers daily morning roundtrip and afternoon around trips (four days a week) between Oahu and Maui. The ship seats up to 800 passengers and carries about 200 vehicles.

For more information on the islands follow these links: Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. For all of the islands visit Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures and languages. The one thing I learned while visiting the Islands is how the locals appreciate the effort visitors make of attempting to learn the local language and terms. Here are a few to get you started:
Aloha - This is the most common greeting on the Islands. Aloha has many meanings but generally means "good spirit."
Mahalo - Thank you
Pupus - Snacks or appetizers
Poi - Pig

Have you been to Hawaii or would you like to? Stop by our forums and share your experiences or tell us where you would like to go.

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Aloha!

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair

All photos by Jeff Blair ©USATourist.com


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