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First-Day Strategies for your Maui Vacation!

If your trip to Maui is coming up soon, we know you’re in the process of packing, making plans, researching tours and activities, and so much more! While you may have every day of your vacation scheduled out, don’t forget your arrival day! Here are some tips to make sure your plans go smoothly from the very moment you first step onto the Valley Isle:

Know Your Airport

While the vast, vast majority of flights from both inter-island and mainland destinations will land at Kahului Airport (OGG), a select few smaller, inter-island flights might just land at Kapalua Airport (JHM). Make sure you know where you’re heading into!

Hungry?

If you’ll be landing around a meal-time, or if you’re anticipating the in-flight food to be not so great, you might want to research some dining spots that are on the way to your destination, so you won’t be stuck with drive-thru—unless that’s your preference, of course! Guests heading to Wailea resorts might consider a breakfast or lunch stop at Nalu’s South Shore Grill, or may wish to kick off their vacation with Happy Hour at Monkeypod Kitchen. Heading to the West Side? Grab breakfast or lunch at Leoda’s in Olowalu, or stop by Kaanapali’s Sangrita for some tasty appetizers and beverages!

Map it out!

If you’re planning to use your phone’s GPS when you arrive to make your way to your accommodations, keep in mind that things happen, and you might not have it available when you need it most! Before you leave, hop on Google Maps and print out (yes, we’re going old school) a map or directions to your hotel or resort. This will also give you a good idea as to how much time it’ll take to get to where you’re staying!

Stock Up

If you’re staying in a condo with a full kitchen, or you just like to have your favorite snacks on hand for a fun hotel-room movie night, stop by Costco, Walmart, or Target near the airport for everything you need—and everything you might have forgotten!

Checking in?

If you’re not sure, call your hotel before you arrive and ask what time check-in is. More than likely, even if you arrive before check-in time, they can store your luggage, park your car, and allow you to use the pools and facilities before you get settled in your room. Have a tote-bag or backpack handy with swimsuits, sunscreen, and your wallet, so you’ll be ready to relax and take a dip, without having to scramble around in your luggage!

A perfect Maui vacation begins when your plane touches down on the runway, so be ready to enjoy it from the fullest as soon as you get here! A hui hou!

Maui’s Best Educational Attractions

While you’re on Maui, you might not think about much other than beaches, mai tais, and naps under palm trees. While it’s great to relax and give your brain a break, if you have a craving to expand your horizons a bit while you’re here, there are plenty of ways to do it!

  1. Maui Ocean Center – We’ve mentioned Maui’s aquarium several times, as it’s a great place for kids, vacationers looking to escape a rainy day, or the site of one of Maui’s biggest and most comprehensive souvenir shops. One of the reasons we like it, though, is because it’s definitely an educational goldmine when it comes to Hawaii’s marine life! Listen to naturalists speak daily about sharks, stingrays, and other amazing sea life, or visit some of their interactive exhibits and learn about whale feeding, dolphin anatomy, and environmental research.
  2. Bailey House Museum – Another spot we’ve covered a bit is the Bailey House Museum, one of Maui’s oldest and best-preserved historic homes, nestled in lush, quiet Wailuku. Here, you’ll find artifacts, artwork, and plenty of information from pre-contact Hawaiian life, to the missionary era, and beyond. If your Hawaii-Certified Tour Guide piqued your interest in Hawaiian History during your tour with us, your next stop should definitely be the Bailey House Museum! Check out their elegant gift shop as well for books, hand-crafted jewelry, artwork, and more.
  3. Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum – Now that the sugar industry has left the Island of Maui, it’s more important than ever to remember this huge part of our history. Sugar and its production brought over countless immigrants from around the world, and they and their descendants are who make up a pretty big percentage of Maui’s residents. At this unassuming museum, right in the heart of Puunene (Maui’s sugar capital), learn all about sugar’s history, how it was processed through the years, and the huge significance of its cultivation on the Valley Isle.

These aren’t the only spots to feed your brain on Maui—be sure to check out the Makawao Museum (included on our Haleakala Sun-Trek tour), the Hui No’eau (a non-profit art center), and of course, the Hana Cultural Center. Whether you go on a “Museum Tour” of Maui, or just bring back some cool facts about Hawaii’s ecosystems and culture from your Road to Hana adventure, we do hope you’ll return home with a deeper appreciation of Maui’s people, plants, animals, and culture!

Why do the Road to Hana

When we talk to people vacationing on Maui, we love hearing about their plans. Between surf lessons, ziplining, and helicopter tours, though, sometimes people wonder if the Road to Hana, Maui’s famous Hana Belt Road from Kahului to the remote village on the Eastern shore, is worth taking a whole day out of their precious vacation. Believe us—we get it! But, on the other hand, we have spent the last thirty years getting to know every twist and turn in this famous road, and sharing it with our guests is our number-one passion! Here’s why we think you should experience the Road to Hana during your Maui vacation!

History Around Every Turn—all 617 of them!

From the Kings that walked through the rainforest of East Maui, to the ahupua’a maintained by the ancient Hawaiians, from the paths and bridges built by Maui’s first immigrants, to the historic port at Hana Bay—the Road to Hana is painted by Maui’s rich history, and your Hawaii-Certified Tour Guide is there to share as much of it as possible with you and your group of like-minded travelers.

Experiences You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

When you join us on the Road to Hana, you’ll get experiences you won’t find at your resort! If you want to jump in a waterfall, tour a working tropical flower farm, dine at the historic Hana Travaasa, or even dip your toes in the water at a black-sand beach, the Road to Hana has experiences you won’t forget at every stop!

Fresh Fruit, Coconut Ice cream, and, duh—Banana Bread!

Okay, okay, sure—you can have banana bread anywhere, but why do people line up for beignets at the Café du Monde if they can get a donut anywhere? That’s how people from all over the world—us included—feel about the banana bread found along the Road to Hana! You just gotta try it! And of course, don’t miss the fresh fruit sold via honor system at roadside stands, and stop by Coconut Glen’s for some amazing (vegan) coconut ice cream!

Of course, if you opt for more pool, spa, and beach time, we totally understand! The Road to Hana is one of the most amazing experiences in the world—let alone Maui—and if you don’t do it this time, we’ll be here for the next time you travel our way! See you on the Road to Hana!

Our Most Romantic Maui Tours!

Now that the kids are getting ready to head back to school, not as many families will be heading to Maui, and it’s the perfect spot for couples to have their own special, romantic getaway. What’s more romantic than one of the most beautiful islands in the world, complete with pristine beaches, lush rainforest, and miles of breathtaking coastline? If you’re here for your honeymoon, destination wedding, anniversary, or even a spur-of-the-moment trip with that special someone, you should definitely check out two of our most romantic adventures: our Haleakala Sun-Trek and our Hana Ultimate.

Haleakala Sun-Trek

One of our favorite tours, this is the perfect way to spend a day on Maui seeing the peaceful, serene side of the Valley Isle. Begin with an early-morning hotel pick-up, and before anything else, your Tour Guide will take you right to the Kahului Heliport for the first flight of the morning over Haleakala, the beautiful, moon-like dormant volcano, illuminated by early sunshine for an incredible sight. Then, touch down and settle in for a no-host breakfast at Café Mambo, in quirky, colorful Paia. Afterward, tour Makawao Town, the perfect quaint cowboy town for strolling hand-in-hand, away from your busy resort. Toast each other and get an unforgettable distillery tour at Ocean Vodka, where you’ll sit down to a picnic lunch on their beautiful grounds, and then watch goats frolicking in the afternoon sun at Surfing Goat Dairy, where you’ll enjoy a tasty flight of their award-winning goat cheese. This adult-centered tour is the perfect way to get a taste of Maui with like-minded, discerning travelers, a Hawaii-Certified Tour Guide, and of course, your special someone.

Hana Ultimate

The classic, most upscale Road to Hana tour on Maui is back, and guests are over the moon about it. From being picked up at your hotel’s front door, your Tour Guide will take you right to Café Mambo, for a relaxing, run-of-the-menu breakfast. Then, sit back in the comfort of a Luxury Limo-Van, and enjoy the winding Road to Hana, with romantic photo ops around every corner. Join your sweetheart for a dip under a waterfall, learn about some romantic Hawaiian legends from your Hawaii-Certified Tour Guide, and of course, enjoy the beautiful Travaasa Hana for a four-course luncheon. On your return home, see some beautiful, lush plant life, more cascading waterfalls, and if luck is on your side, a brilliant rainbow to make a perfect East Maui day even better.

Whether you’re planning every moment of your Maui vacation, or are looking to surprise your sweetie with an unforgettable luxury tour, we’ll be thrilled to have you on board during your romantic Maui getaway!

Shopping on our Luxury Maui Tours

One thing that visitors to Maui love to do is shop—and for good reason! Maui is home to many local artisans, crafters, and unique goods that visitors love to buy for themselves as mementos of an incredible trip, as well as share with their friends and family when they return. When you join Temptation Tours, you may have the opportunity to support local Maui businesses and come home with some incredible treasures!

Alii Kula Lavender

At Alii Kula Lavender, you’ll find virtually countless hand-made, lavender-based goods, such as candles, lotions, tea—even lavender steak rub! Their simple, purple packaging makes Alii Kula Lavender’s unique products unmistakable, as well as that irresistible, fresh lavender scent.

Makawao Town

Several of our tours include a jaunt into Makawao Town, Maui’s history-rich cowboy town that’s home to some seriously incredible shopping. From upscale, trendy boutiques to hand-made local art shops, you’re sure to find the perfect gift or souvenir for anyone—or yourself—on the peaceful streets of Makawao.

Kula Marketplace

If you join our Haleakala Sunrise tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit one of Maui’s quaintest, most iconic souvenir shops, Kula Marketplace. From jams and spreads (get the lilikoi curd—and thank us later!) to wine and stationery, Kula Marketplace has that small-town, country feel that is undoubtedly All Maui.

When you join Temptation Tours during your Maui vacation, not only will you take in the sights and experiences that this island has to offer, but you can also take home gifts and goods made with love and aloha—Maui memories that will last forever!

Hana Sky-Trek: The Original Road to Hana Combo Tour

When you’re looking for activities on Maui, you’re probably trying to maximize your Maui experience, and still leave plenty of time for relaxing, dining, golfing, and all the other incredible reasons you decided to make Maui your vacation destination. For those who might be short on time but still want plenty of adventure, the Hana Sky-Trek is the best way to experience the Road to Hana, a helicopter experience, and more!

Central Maui Convenience – While checking in at the heliport in Kahului is a bit of a drive, plenty of our guests make a day of it by combining their Hana Sky-Trek adventure with another Central Maui experience before heading back to their resort, hotel, or condo. Folks who take the 7:00 AM tour, finishing at around 1:30, like to take a trip to Iao Valley, enjoy dinner at the famous Mama’s Fish House, or visit the incredible Maui Ocean Center after their tour. If you’re taking the 11:15 tour, done at 5:30, head down early and fit in some fun activities before your check-in!

Two Tour Guides – With not only your Temptation Tours guide leading your day, but also your licensed helicopter pilot, you’ll get perspective, stories, and insight from two Hawaii-Certified Tour Guides! Your pilot can point out geological features, huge waterfalls not visible from land, and possibly even Haleakala Crater from an amazing new vantage point! On the Road to Hana, your Temptation Tours driver-guide will fill you in on the culture, history, and plant life unique to East Maui.

Incredible Experiences – We know that when you’re coming to Maui, you’re looking for waterfalls, black sand beaches, and incredible ocean views. While any Road to Hana tour—or just driving yourself—can offer all of those, combining it with top-notch helicopter partners, a tasty picnic lunch, and of course, the unmatched comfort of our custom-built Limo-Vans makes the Hana Sky-Trek a truly five-star luxury Maui adventure.

Call us, and book the original, award-winning Hana Sky-Trek tour for your Maui vacation today!

Maui’s Favorite Hidden Gems

Once you arrive on Maui, you may have your itinerary planned perfectly—down to the last surf lesson, lunch reservation, and tee time. Or you might have just landed with a general idea of where your hotel is, and nothing else set in stone. Neither way is better, but if you’re the latter, we’re here to help with your last-minute Maui stops that you can’t miss!

Surfing Goat Dairy – We can’t stress enough how fun and informative it is to visit this locally-owned, working goat farm. Not only do you get to visit with some super friendly goats (and even feed them!), you’ll also get an insider’s look on how the farm operates, from brand-new baby goats to the process of making goat milk into delicious cheese. And yes, Surfing Goat Dairy makes some of the tastiest goat cheese you’ve ever had! Enjoy a flight of cheese during your visit and get a feel for the multitude of flavors that complement Surfing Goat Dairy’s incredibly creamy, smooth cheeses. Join our Haleakala Sun-Trek, and you’ll have a chance to tour this highly-reviewed Maui institution!

Ali’i Kula Lavender – While you might think that a lavender farm sounds a little out-of-place on a tropical island, the town of Kula, on the misty slopes of Haleakala, is the perfect spot for delicate, fragrant lavender to thrive. Tour their acres of lavender fields, relax in their peaceful succulent gardens, and browse their lavender-centric gift shop for a surprising Maui experience that’s miles away from the nearest beach! On our Summit Lavender Sojourn, travel to Ali’i Kula Lavender and other popular Maui landmarks in the comfort of a Luxury Limo-Van, and the relaxation will last all day.

Ka’eleku Caverns – Caverns? On Maui? Yep—on the Road to Hana, this little-known “hidden gem” is sure to be the highlight of any East Maui tour. Formed by a lava flow from Mt. Haleakala, these caverns are actually lava tubes that sprawl beneath the rainforest. From cool tunnels to a lava “cathedral,” you’ll get views of Maui that not many people even know are possible! Our Hana Cave-Quest is the perfect way to visit this incredible Maui attraction.

Hookipa Beach Park – This famous windsurfing spot is popular with locals and tourists alike, and offers some incredible coastline views right in Paia—the quirky, surfer town full of fun shops, galleries, and eateries. What’s even better about Hookipa is that it’s frequented by some of Maui’s most relaxed residents—green sea turtles! Get views of massive waves, daring windsurfers, and yes, the famous turtles on your stop at Hookipa after your Hana Picnic tour.

Ocean Vodka – Yep, there’s a vodka distillery on Maui, and it makes some of the best spirits in the island from organic sugar cane and desalinated ocean water, hence its name! While you’ll find these awesome round, blue bottles in grocery stores state-wide, having a chance to tour their facilities is a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Right next door to Surfing Goat Dairy, you’ll visit this famous spot on our Haleakala Sun-Trek for an unforgettable culinary adventure!

There are plenty of places on Maui that are off the beaten path, and we’d love to show you all these and more! Call us today, and we’ll help you find (or plan) your perfect Luxury Maui Adventure.

We Did it Again!

Wow! We couldn’t be more honored to have received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence again for 2017! It truly means the world to us that visitors to Maui take the time to join us, and the experience really pays off for them! Here’s what TripAdvisor reviewers loved this year!

Small Group Experience

Visitors to Maui, this special, peaceful island, don’t have a “big bus” tour in mind when they’re out exploring the scenery. They’re looking for intimate, small-group adventures where they have a chance to visit off-the-beaten-path locales, bond with their traveling companions, and make new friends, all in a group of no more than eight per tour.

Luxury Limo-Vans

Almost every review has mentioned how relaxing and comfortable it is to travel around Maui in one of our custom-built Luxury Limo-Vans. With individual leather captain’s chairs for each guest on board, large, panoramic windows, and plenty of space to kick back and relax, our Limo-Vans make the Road to Hana and the journey to Haleakala truly fantastic.

Unique Experiences

The Road to Hana, including a waterfall swim, and even the option for a tour of the famous Ka’eleku Caverns, is truly special with Temptation Tours. Guests also adore our Hana Sky-Trek tour, where they can join a Limo-Van ride one way, and a helicopter tour for the other! Of course, who could forget Haleakala, the famous dormant volcano? Our Sunrise tours garner rave reviews almost daily, and the beautiful, peaceful Summit Lavender Sojourn tour is also a guest favorite!

Delicious Meals

From the post-sunrise breakfast at the Kula Lodge, the elevated meals on our Hana Ultimate tour, and of course, our Pacific Rim Cuisine picnic lunch, guests are well-fed on board every one of our adventures! No box lunches here, either—our picnic lunch is served on crystalline plates, with real flatware and cloth napkins, a true hallmark of our award-winning service!

Hawaii-Certified Tour Guides

If you read our reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere, you’ll notice that most reviewers mention their Tour Guide by name, as the center of their amazing experience. Our Guides are highly trained, incredibly experienced, and are veritable experts in many different aspects of Maui and Hawaii. When guests return, they’re always eager to request their favorite Tour Guide by name, and even first-time visitors are welcome to request a particular Guide based on their stellar reviews and recommendations. Whichever Guide leads your tour, you can rest assured that they’ll be a wealth of knowledge, a careful driver, and, by the end of the day, probably a great friend!

Hundreds of guests have shared their incredible experiences with us on TripAdvisor, and we invite you to do the same! We can’t thank you enough for helping us to receive this incredible recognition from the most trusted travel review site there is, and we can’t wait to see what you share with their readers after your Luxury Maui Adventure!

Maui Fourth of July Activities

 

Are you visiting Maui for the July 4th holiday? If so, you’re in luck! In addition to the exciting events always going on around our unique and diverse island, Maui doesn’t disappoint for the biggest holiday of the summer!

For traditionalists looking for a fireworks show, make your way down to Front Street, Lahaina on July 4th for Maui’s only aerial fireworks exhibition. Front Street will shut down to traffic, so if you can find some parking (hint: head over early, especially if you’re coming from South or Central Maui), bring your walking shoes and enjoy the food, shopping, drinks and more before enjoying the show!

If you’re looking for a truly unique Maui experience, check out one of our favorite events of the year, the annual Makawao rodeo. Because the Fourth falls on a Tuesday this year, the festivities for the Makawao Rodeo will begin on Thursday, June 29th and run through Sunday, July 2nd. Every day features different events, competitions, and exhibitions, and will conclude with a parade through Makawao Town. If you’re a rodeo lover, and especially if you never expected to see one on Maui, then this beloved event is not to miss!

Smaller neighborhood events will be happening around Maui! And don’t forget to check out First Friday Wailuku on July 7th for a great chance to mingle with Maui locals, eat some amazing local food, and shop for Maui-based products that you won’t find anywhere else!

See you in July!

Where to Stock Up for your Maui Vacation!

More and more travelers are foregoing traditional hotels when they come to Maui, and instead, taking advantage of vacation rentals, condos, and the now-ubiquitous Airbnb option! With all of these comes a unique money-saving option: a full kitchen! Most spots are even stocked with dishes and cookware, so all you need to bring is the food. Even if you’re planning on checking out some of Maui’s many fabulous dining options, you can save some cash by cooking some meals at your home-away-from-home on the Valley Isle. Where to shop? Here’s the scoop on some of our favorite places to stock up on necessities before checking into your accommodations:

Costco

If you take a trip to Maui’s Costco, located in Kahului, you might notice that you’re not the only vacationing family heading there for groceries. Costco is a favorite stop of plenty of Maui visitors, especially those that visit our island each year. If the place you’re staying offers a grill, Costco’s a great place to get steaks, seafood, veggies, and even hot dogs to toss on the barbecue! If your stay is more than a week, Costco will not disappoint with great prices and fantastic selection for your family’s time on Maui. Also, you’ll find the best prices on pineapples, papayas, and other tropical fruits, for those relaxing breakfasts on the lanai!

Whole Foods

Yes, even Maui has a Whole Foods—and you gotta check it out! You’ll find a unique selection of organic local produce, plenty of tasty snack foods, and even some grab-and-go sandwiches if you’re ravenous when you land. Located in Kahului in the Maui Mall, you’ll find Maui-made selections in every aisle—from local honey for your tea, to locally-distilled and bottled spirits and beers! Whatever you need for your time here—whether you’re planning an elegant gathering or a casual movie night—you can find what you need at Maui’s Whole Foods.

Mana Foods

If you want to take a quick jaunt to nearby Paia after landing in Kahului, check out one of Maui’s most established and beloved local grocery stores, Mana Foods. Unlike Costco and Whole Foods, Mana Foods is unique to Maui, and boasts more local products than almost any other store. If you’re planning on cooking your favorite meals while you’re here, check out their amazing “bulk room” for the best prices on herbs, spices, and grains—and stock up on local granolas too! Unlike other grocery stores, you’ll find Mana’s produce department last, and save room in your cart! If you’ve got an adventurous group, pick up some fruits and vegetables that you might not find at your local grocery store back home—soursop, red bananas, dragonfruit, and if you’re really gung-ho, pick up a giant jackfruit while you’re there! As a bonus, if anyone in your party is vegetarian, Mana has a great selection of vegan and vegetarian staples like tofu, tempeh, and more plant milks than you can believe! See you there!

Safeway

If you’ll be staying in Kihei or Wailea, you’ll love the huge, well-stocked Safeway off Piilani Highway. Complete with a Starbucks, a sandwich station, and more, this Safeway has everything you’re used to back home—and your Club Card works too! Find the basics and more at this amazingly clean and friendly store, and you might prefer it over Costco if you won’t be staying for more than a few days. And if you need a mid-week replenishment, Safeway’s just a short drive from the Wailea area, or anywhere else on the South Side of Maui.

Times Supermarket

This grocery store in Honokawai is a local favorite, and apart from groceries, you can find beach gear, sunscreen, and other vacation necessities here, for a lot better value than your hotel’s sundry shop. Whether you’re staying in Lahaina or Kapalua, Times is just a short drive away. We love it for its amazing selection of Mexican grocery items (plan a taco night!) and its great prices on wine and spirits.

Wherever you are on Maui, there’s a place for you to get what you need to relax and enjoy your vacation—without having to eat out for every meal!