The Hawaiian Islands enjoy a fantastic location in the Pacific Ocean. This hot spot affords them access to huge expanses of water, gorgeous weather patterns, and the lushest vegetation I have ever seen. But is the long flight from the mainland worth it? I admit to thinking that Hawaii was merely a playground for honeymooners, a tropical extension of continental America. Now I know… it's so much more!
As with all islands of modest size, Maui is begging to be experienced by yacht. The entire island's coastline presents a landscape full of drama. From the upscale resorts of Wailea in the southwest to the buzzing town of Lahaina in west Maui; from the Road to Hana's epic start in Paia to the scrubland cliffs of Mt. Haleaka's south side, you will see a world of beauty in one trip. It's unfortunate that few, if any, crewed charter yachts are available for vacations here and guests are oftem limited to day trips.
Maalaea Bay accommodates small yachts while larger vessels berth at Lahaina's harbor. Maalaea is quieter but hosts the island's aquatic center as well as a slew of boats to take visitors on ocean excursions. However, if you're on a private chartered yacht, you won't need to look further than your own captain and crew to get to the amazing exposed crater at Molokini or the shoreline of Makena in order to go snorkeling and sea turtle sighting.
Lahaina is in west Maui and juts out like a nob sticking off the rest of the island. This part of Maui sees more action than the rest. Front Street has a concentration of shops and is where I was fortunate enough to see the annual Kamehameha parade (complete with live ukulele strumming, horses wearing leis, and locals toting banners). This is also the place to take a surfing lesson, which I highly recommend.