June 27, 2010

Top 10 Hawaiian Experiences

Here's my top ten list of favourite Hawaiian experiences.  We spent two weeks in Hawai'i and ended up visiting four of the islands.  I would recommend Hawai'i to anyone and look forward to traveling there again.

10. The afternoon and evening we spent in Lahaina, Maui, where we shopped on Front Street, had dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and watched the evening show, 'Ulalena, presented by Cirque du Soleil. Great steak and great entertainment.

9. Fred's Mexican Cafe, Kihei, Maui.  Watch out you don't fill up on the basket of freshly made taco chips and the margaritas because the entrees are super-sized.  I had mouthwatering shrimp, fish and calamari tacos, and at a great value too.

8. The shopping at Ala Moana Center, Honoloulu, Oahu.  J Crew on the Islands, Banana Republic flagship store, Coach, the awesome and huge Victoria Secret store, shoe stores aplenty.  What more could a girl ask for!

7. Makawao and area.  In Makawao proper you can see glass blowing at Hot Island Glass and there are numerous small little trendy shops like Pink, where you can shop for clothes, antiques, jewelry, spices, etc.  We lunched at the classy and contemporary Haili'imaile General Store, Maui...I had the blackened Ahi Tune Wrap with refreshing and zesty coleslaw, accompanied with glass of Conundrum and finished with a generous slice of chocolate truffle layer cake. Yum yum.

6. The Road to Hana.  Although I was not a fan of being in a tour bus and having to sit at the back of the van...we were able to go completely around Haleakala, instead of turning back at Hana from whence we came.  Highlights were the pineapple winery, the black sand beaches, and the Sacred Pools at Oleo Gulch. 

5. Watching the body board surfers at Sandy Beach on Oahu.  They were too cool for school...or just plain crazy.

4. The scenic views and snorkeling at Hananuma Bay on Oahu.  You have to pay a fee to enter the park but the setting is amazing and the snorkeling is pretty good too...and so is the beach!

3. The sunrise at Haleakala on Maui.  The drive was slow and twisty up the volcano in the pitch dark early morning (3:00 AM) to to watch the sunrise at 5:45 AM. Beautiful scenic views at the top and through the drive down.

2. The changeable landscape at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island .  We also experienced a 25 degree change in weather from the top of the Chain of Craters Road to the bottom...refreshing at the top and baking hot at the bottom.

1. The Trilogy catamaran sail from Lahaina, Maui to Hulope Bay, Lana'i and back. A full day trip.  We saw hundreds of spinner dolphins on the way to Lana'i, snorkeled in the Hulope Bay Nature Preserve, were provided breakfast, lunch, snacks and a late afternoon barbecue.  Great people, great sailing, beautiful sunset. A perfect day.

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