Hawaii—it’s one of those destinations that’s exotic yet familiar at the same time. The United States’ slice of paradise; a group of volcanic islands that comprise a beach and rainforest oasis in the middle of the Pacific with Asian and Polynesian influences, but without the need for a passport, another language or currency conversions.
This issue we’re featuring Maui and the Big Island. Both are great places for families, especially Maui, with its many resorts and kids clubs. The Big Island offers up more adventurous exploration, such as lava tube treks, which TravelMuse featured a couple months ago. Also, in December 2008 look for the soft reopening of the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Resort on the Big Island, after a $150 million repair and renovation following its closure in June 2007 after earthquakes damaged the property. Its grand re-opening is scheduled for March 2009.
Dana Young, one of our two fabulous PR mavens, is married to a Hawaiian and loves to visit the islands with him and their children. Hana is her favorite part of Maui and says the cottages at the Hotel Hana Maui are amazing. She also says to be sure to check out the Seven Sacred Pools, black sand beach and red sand beach stops on the road to Hana.
As for the Big Island, she strongly recommends stopping at “Punalu’u for killer malasadas and delicious Hawaiian sweetbreads (onolicious!!) and the Hawaiian Style Café in Waimea. Loco Moco, chicken-fried steak, humongous portions at cheap prices—my husband wanted to eat there for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Her kids’ favorite activity was going “turtling” at night in a golf cart at the Four Seasons Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu. “The resort is totally kid friendly, and we saw sea turtle after sea turtle that night. They also have their own enclosed marine area where you can feed manta rays.”
A beautiful sunset over Hilo Bay.
For additional Maui and Big Island tips, we have 12 related articles for you this week. Our main Maui feature was contributed by Kim Westerman, former editor of Where San Francisco magazine, who shares her favorite picks for what to see and do, and where to stay. She also covers Maui’s Festival of Canoes, the Road to Hana and family activities.
Regular TravelMuse writer Kim Foley MacKinnon gives her review of three kids clubs at Maui resorts, as well as an essay on surf lessons with her daughter. Connie Motz, a Canadian travel writer, shares her family’s experience heading up to the peak of Haleakala.
Big Island Articles
The Big Island coverage was written by John Peniston, a Big Island native and Hawaii guidebook writer. In addition to his main feature, Peniston covers the best Big Island beaches, great family activities and a visit to the Mauna Kea Observatories.
To keep it all straight, read our Maui and Big Island book reviews by Sue Douglass Fliess to see which guides might be right for you.
Additional Features and Travel Advice
Now that fall is nearly upon us, it’s corn maze time! Find out where to get lost in specially designed field mazes that promise weird and wacky fun for all. Amy L. Hatch this week covers how to handle overnight delays, and Lynn O’Rourke Hayes pens a luxury column on customized itineraries. As always, we have a number of travel deals for you.
I’ll be spending the next week moving back to my beloved New York City—no, I’m not leaving TravelMuse, just giving up the healthy Bay Area living I’ve been enjoying the past 15 months—and we’ll be featuring both destinations in our upcoming issues: San Francisco on Sept. 7 and New York on Sept. 19.
With our next issue, you’ll also notice a few more changes. In addition to expanding our coverage beyond family travel to the Baby Boomer and luxury markets, we’ll be unveiling cool new features in conjunction with our appearance at DEMOfall08.
Donna M. Airoldi