If you’ve been to Maui, or if you’ve read a Maui travel book, you’ve probably encountered the phrase “Maui no ka oi” – Maui is the best.  In case you’re thinking it’s just travel writer hype, let me share why I think it’s just truth in advertising.

My husband and I have been to every Hawaiian island except Niihau, and have spent lots of time on most of them.  And we’ve concluded Maui is the Goldilocks of Hawaii.  Oahu offers luxury resorts and great food and lots of activities for tourists – but it’s so crowded in Honolulu that one friend of ours calls it “LA with better sand”.  Kauai is lush and green and laid back – with a wonderful but limited set of options for dining and activities. Hawaii (the Big Island) has volcanoes and lave fields, and the ultra-resorts of the Kohala Coast, with lots of wide open spaces, but most resorts are situated in the somewhat desolate feeling lava fields of the west side, with limited beaches, and driving to find the tropical side of the island is an all day marathon.

Maui is the best of all worlds. It has beautiful, wild spaces – Haleakala (both the summit and the crater are spectacular), the bamboo forest near Hana, the I’ao Valley. It has some of the most superb beaches in the world – Keawekapu Beach, Kapalua Beach, Ka’anapali Beach  (and many others that DON’T all start with K!). It’s the best spot in the entire United States for whalewatching – travelers lucky enough to stay in an oceanfront unit at someplace like Papakea can watch the whales for hours from the comfort of their own lanai.  Surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing are all extraordinary.  And it also has fabulous dining – from the hyper-gourmet experience at Merriman’s to the “so close to the water you may get wet” casual farm to table fare at Mala Ocean Tavern.

Come along as we explore the island that we call our second home.