Maui’s Tourism – Where it all began

Kā’anapali Beach on Maui’s beautiful western shore has been a favorite playground and resting place for Island residents and visitors alike for a thousand years. In ancient times, Kā’anapali, which means “rolling cliff” in Hawaiian, was a royal retreat for the rulers of Maui who delighted in the perfect three-mile stretch of white sand beach, the gentle waves, warm sunny days, and the inspiring backdrop of the majestic West Maui Mountains. Kā’anapali Beach, on Maui’s beautiful western shore, has been a favorite playground and resting place for Island residents and visitors alike for a thousand years. In ancient times, Kā’anapali, which means “rolling cliff” in Hawaiian, was a royal retreat for the rulers of Maui who delighted in the perfect three-mile stretch of white sand beach, the gentle waves, warm sunny days, and the inspiring backdrop of the majestic West Maui Mountains.

Nestled along one of Hawai’i’s most beautiful beaches are the hotels and condos of Kā’anapali Beach Resort.

This magical spot is steeped in culture: On the three-mile long beach, Maui’s royalty surfed, raced their outrigger canoes, feasted at luaus that lasted for weeks. Where the Kā’anapali golf courses now grace the land, they played ‘ulu maika, a form of lawn bowling with heavy lava balls. It even was used in ancient times as a training ground for Hawaiian warriors in the art of warfare. 

Now, in contemporary times, people who love the tropical ocean and beaches gather from all over the world to play golf on the same fields, romp in the same surf, or bask under the same sun along the sweeping beaches to enjoy the natural beauty that is the foundation of Kā’anapali Beach Resort. Before the opening of Kā’anapali Beach Resort in 1962, Maui was a quaint “outer” island, and few visitors found their way here from the bustling city of Honolulu. Front Street’s Pioneer Inn was Lahaina’s only hotel, and it was an intrepid traveler who made his or her way here. But in 1962 everything changed. Kā’anapali Beach Resort splashed onto the travel scene as the world’s first fully master-planned destination resort. And Maui was suddenly placed on the map as a world travel destination.

All that exists here now has its genesis in the foresight of its original planners and developers. The official opening date of Kā’anapali Beach Resort was December 1962. Robert Trent Jones’ world-famous Royal Kā’anapali Golf Course was christened then, as was the private Royal Lahaina Beach Club, the first structures to be completed in the new resort. More hotels, sensing the potential of Kā’anapali, came in quick succession – Kā’anapali Beach Hotel, Sheraton, Marriott, Hyatt Regency, Westin – all building state-of-the-art hotels featuring tropical elegance. That was only the beginning. Over the years, Kā’anapali has become an extraordinary Hawaiian playground for vacationers from around the world. Its draws – nearly constant tropical sun and great weather, great beaches and surf, fabulous hotels and condominiums, challenging golf courses, and lots of traditional Hawaiian aloha – would prove to be irresistible to sun and fun seekers the world over. It forever changed the landscape of resort development and created the concept of a luxury vacation at a resort that was a destination in itself.

Temptation Tours provides a number of island excursions originating in all Ka’anapali Beach Resort locations.

Maui’s Whale Season Gets Everyone’s Attention

Our humpback whales are returning. They have begun arriving in Hawaiian waters a bit earlier than usual this year. The first were spotted in mid-October near Maui. Soon scores will be arriving almost daily as the Central Pacific herd gathers in Hawaii’s warm and peaceful waters for their winter renewal and to entertain locals and tourists alike. The first arrivals are the younger, faster swimmers who seem eager to get here in anticipation of the warm water, sunny skies, and, of course, the opportunity to meet and court members of the opposite sex. The later arrivals are the older, slower animals, and last year’s mothers traveling with their calves. The last to arrive, probably in December are the pregnant females coming to calf in the Islands’ warm waters.

The newly arrived whales seem to announce their arrival with infrequent puffs of breath and spend the first days of their Maui visit just resting.

The newly arrived whales seem to announce their
arrival with infrequent puffs of breath and spend the first days of their Maui visit just resting.

While at “home” in our warm and protected waters they will birth the next generation of these magnificent creatures, teach their young how to play, navigate, and bond with others, practice their singing and courting rituals, and the fortunate ones will breed to produce next winter’s offspring. In November and December, except for a few infrequent breaches, tourists and locals alike have to be satisfied with seeing occasional spouts or large, shimmering black backs rising briefly among the waves. 

Pods of two and three whales seem to patrol the shoreline, checking out their familiar haunts, exploring new places, and, probably looking for familiar “faces” or appealing potential mates among their fellow tourists from above the Arctic Circle. Then, in the peak season – January and February – and with their strength restored after the long 3,500 mile swim (their version of jet lag?), a new exuberance begins showing itself. The infrequent leaps turn into multiple, full body flights above the waves and they are beginning their impressive pectoral fluke slaps – loud and very showy attempts to perhaps draw attention to themselves? – and certainly human crowd pleasers.

After a while the whales begin to show their exuberance with breaches and other acrobatics.

They also are gathering and reforming into larger, new pods to play, tour, and enjoy the warm water and weather. Then, usually by mid-April, as quickly as they arrived, they are gone. Returning to their summer feeding areas. And they are missed by all who feel the energy they bring to Hawaii’s waters.
Many of Temptation Tours excursions take routes along Maui’s western shore and provide opportunities to view the whales.