On my very first trip to Hawaii, I was told by an native Hawaiian (and there are not that many true native Hawaiians left these days) if you want to ensure a safe return back to the islands, when you leave to toss your lei but first remove them from the string and then toss the petals into the ocean.
Each of the Hawaiian Islands has their own color and flower. Maui's island color is: Pink and the flower is the: Lokelani (Maui Rose).
Well now after countless visits back to the Islands of Hawaii I make sure that when we arrive everyone gets a lei and that upon our departure we toss the petals into the ocean and thank the spirits of the islands for their hospitality.
Funny enough, I knew this flower as the Frangipani, but I learned on this last trip to Maui that Frangipani is actually a species in the genus Plumeria. So Plumeria frangipani is the flower I've long adored and anyone who's been to my apartment would know why. For those of you who don't know, I have a poster on my wall of a beautiful woman's torso with this flower attached to the sarong around her waist. It's a lovely picture and an even lovelier flower.
Having visited in the summer this time, the Plumeria was in bloom everywhere. Last time, we visited in February and I never a saw a single one (but we saw whales that time). Keep your eyes peeled for them as well as most resorts have them planted (they're small trees actually). Some private homes have them too. You can by them at the airport to give it a go at home. I bought 6. 2 for me, and the rest for others.
The Silversword is a beautiful plant found only within the high elevations of Haleakala National Park on Maui. It can be recognized by the silver-colored hairs it has around it's base, and the large flowering stalk it produces at the end of it's life. They can grow as high as 6 ft. tall, and their life span ranges from 15 to 50 years. They only produce flowers once, after which they die. By the 1920's, silverswords were brought to near extinction due to introduced cattle and goats, as well as humans taking them for various ornamental purposes. But conservation efforts have increased their quantities greatly to this day.
This very famous flower has become a mainstay of the flower industry. Most mixed bouquets will include this beautiful flower and fortunately, a visit to Maui will undoubtably include a few of these lovely flowers. Most resorts have them planted, but you do see the random ones growing in people's yards. At the airport, you can by some seeds to try and plant this flower for yourself. Good luck, I'm sure it's not an easy flower to grow.
The Kukui nut lei is made from the Kukui Nut Tree.The Kukui Nut Tree is also known as the Candlenut Tree and in ancient Hawai’i the nuts were burned to provide light and the oil also has many cooking and medicinal uses. The nuts are used also in necklaces (leis) and bracelets. The colors of the nuts can be black, brown or white and often painted with decorative colors.
The meaning of kukui is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. During our travels to Hawaii my wife has bought several Kukui nut leis for herself, friends and family; it makes a great souvenir gift.
Shave ice an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. Shave Ice is mostly credited as being "Hawaiian" but is actually Japanese in origin. It does look like a snow cone but the ice is shaved into a soft texture that resembles snow while a snow cone is crushed ice. This snowy texture is perfect for absorbing the flavored syrup, instead of it pooling at the botton of the cup.
Personally I think this is a must have for anyone visiting Hawaii, It really is a treat and comes in so many different flavors.
The Mai Tai first came a popular cockatial in the 1950's and 1960's. The popular Elvis film Blue Hawaii featured this Tiki inspired drink. I am a big fan of Mai Tai's and love having them when visiting Hawaii. I've had them at almost every bar or restaurant I have visited and served in a variety of glasses from highball to interesting Tiki heads and coconuts. My favorite Mai Tai's so far have been at the Tiki Grill(Oahu), Hula Grill(Oahu & Maui) and the Pikake Terrace(Oahu).
A Ma Tai is composed of: white rum, orange curacao, Ogeat syrup, rock candy syrup, lime juice and dark rum.
When in Hawaii, definitely try a Lava Flow. The Lava Flow is a delicious drink made from Rum, pureed strawberries, coconut cream and coconut milk. It basically tastes like a Strawberry Pina Coladad but better. My wife loves these Lava Flows and has to have them whenever we are in Hawaii. Her favorite place for a Lava Flow is the Plantation Bar at the Hula Grill Waikiki and the Beach Bar at the Hula Grill in Maui; according to my wife they make the best ones since they use fresh coconut milk.
Some of the oldest trees in the world, definitely the largest I've ever seen (not tallest, largest), the banyan trees in Maui are immensely beautiful. Their roots span out in aerial patterns that until seen with one's own eyes, can only exist in one's imagination. This one pictured here was along the Pipiwai Trail up to Waimoku falls. It's a great marker along the trail. Especially on the way down. Banyan trees are without a doubt, the most ancient looking trees one will ever see.
One of the things that you must do when you visit Maui is take the trip to Hana. It's a trip back in time and at the same time an ecological wonder as you pass through many ecosystems (coastal, mountains, tropical forest). The driving is slow (it can be an all day trip) but the sights that you see and the people that you meet make this a worth-while adventure.
Once you reach Hana, get out and explore the town (they have a very nice beach), then hop back in the car and continue on past Hana to see more. But please be warned that after about 20 more miles of driving, the road can get very treacherous and car rental companies explicitly forbid you to travel past certain areas.
I suppose this really isn't a cultural tip but I couldn't think of any other place were this might be applicable. However, I think it very important to mention because when you're driving through Maui, the experience is that much better if you have great music playing on the radio. For that, tune your radio to 99.9 FM for today's top pop music. We liked the station very much and we felt it had a good variety of what's in.
Any trip to Maui is not complete until you have traveled the road to Hana. This part of Maui is totally different from the touristy side of the island as you travel along the infamous Hana Highway as it hairpins its way through one of Hawai'i's most beautiful tropical rainforest.
The mileage to Hana isn't too bad (the roundtrip from Kahului is 126 miles and 175 miles from Lahaina), but the road is narrow, driving is slow, there are many 1 lane bridges and the scenery is very seductive.
Once you get to Hana, explore the town then continue on (about ten miles) to Ohe'o Gulch. A few miles past Ohe'o Gulch is the burial site of Charles Lindbergh located at the Palapala Ho'Omau Congregational Church.
When you arrive on Maui, you'll hear references to things like "aloha spirit" and "island time." What this means is that you've arrived in a place with its own unique pace and lifestyle. People on Maui are kind, polite and not in a hurry. Slow down, take a deep breath and you'll soon be on your way to encountering the Aloha Spirit.
You will want to drive more slowly on Maui than you would at home. This is partially for safety reasons and partially just to respect the slower pace of island life. You will actually see signs along the roadside reminding you that this is not the Mainland and to slow down.
Smile and wave to those you pass. Don't be impatient. Maui is a special place!
When in Maui; try some of the locally produced Rum. There are many varieties available from several Rum producers on the island. My wife and I enjoy trying local products when visiting an area.
The Maui Rum is produced from the local sugar can and is available in just about any store that carries liquor. Both my wife and I enjoy Rum drinks so finding so local rum to try is always a highlight for us.
Stones used to be stacked near the entrance to the trail leading to the blowhole on the north end of the island (about 5 miles beyond Kapalua).
Many that passed this way wondered what the purpose of the stones were when in actuality, there was no "purpose" but they sure looked great.
It is unfortunate that the trail to the blowhole has been fenced off. The force of the water coming up through the blowhole helped create many of the rocks and stones that were used in the stacks.
We have stayed at Napili Point Condos six times and are returning again this February for a month....more
What a lovely little facility this is. Maui Oceanfront in Kihei has been recently taken over by Best...more
1533 Uakea Rd, Hana, Hawaii, 96713, United States
Good for: Solo