Best Sushi Restaurant On Maui

Best Sushi Maui 1054Togoshi

Our pick for the best sushi restaurant on Maui, 1054Togoshi

We’re sushi fanatics. We’ve eaten sushi all over the world. We’re pretty darn picky when it comes to our sushi. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about our most recent discovery – Maui’s BEST sushi restaurant.

I’m hesitant to even let the (yoga) cat out of the bag (you’ll understand the ‘yoga‘ bit in just a moment.) I fear that once I click the publish button on this post that the -hard to get reservations- for this place will become even harder to get. But in the interest of spreading Aloha, I’m going to let you all in on our sushi secret.

No Sushi – No Life. Keep Calm & Eat Sushi!

I can’t remember how we found this place – probably Yelp or Google Maps, but it’s not in a place you’d expect to find (in our opinion) the very best sushi restaurant on Maui. The restaurant is located in a smaller strip mall off the main thoroughfare of South Kihei Road, on East Lipoa Street. None of this matters because this hidden gem will delight and you’ll believe you’ve been transported to a top Tokyo sushi restaurant decorated with a Jimmy Buffett-esque style beachy theme.

The owners clearly love the beach vibe the decor conveys and I must admit, that while it’s very busy, it does make this eatery feel less like a Japanese restaurant and more like a beach cabana! It’s fun, quirky, eclectic and very artistic, and I love it!

1054Togoshi is only open evenings and reservations are required. Seating is limited to about 9 at the sushi bar and there are only two tables (that I can tell) – one that seats four and the other up to 8. There are just the two owners, the sushi chef and his wife who is hostess, server and waitress.

This duo do a fantastic job! Warm Aloha is what you feel when you’re greeted at the door. Upon being seated you’re served water and given a hot, moist wash cloth to wash your hands with. That one feature places this restaurant high up on my authenticity scale. I absolutely love when Japanese restaurants provide this simple yet important and thoughtful touch.

The menu is perfectly adequate in it’s offerings but don’t expect to find off the wall rolls dripping in aioli sauces with crazy names like Mucho-Macho Roll or Batman Roll. Nope, here you’ll find a few of the ubiquitous rolls such as ‘Rainbow‘ and ‘Spicy Tuna‘ but the real gems on the menu are the Sashimi, Nigiri, the items on the Pupu list and appetizers.

Place your food order directly with the chef and be patient. This truly authentic sushi arrives only as quickly as the chef can prepare it and depending on the time of evening – how busy the restaurant is. Trust me, every bite will be worth any wait you might incur.

Menu!

Speaking of the menu, the rest of the menu offers Sake (listed considerately in order of dryness), Japanese beer, Wine, *Shōchū, Japanese Whisky, softdrinks and of course prepared ‘just right’ macha green tea.

*Shōchū is a Japanese distilled beverage less than 45% alcohol by volume. It is typically distilled from rice (kome), barley (mugi), sweet potatoes (satsuma-imo), buckwheat (soba), or brown sugar (kokutō), though it is sometimes produced from other ingredients such as chestnut, sesame seeds, potatoes or even carrots.Typically shōchū contains 25% alcohol by volume,[1] which is weaker than whisky or standard-strength vodka but stronger than wine and sake.

We tried the Takeno Tsuyu sake first – it’s delicious, unfiltered and very much on the sweeter side. Our second sake was the Tamano Hikari, much dryer and clear, crisp and smooth. I recommend both BUT not in the order that we tried them.

What we ordered!

Before this becomes the longest restaurant review in history, lets get down to business shall we. What we ordered!

We started off with the Yellowtail Carpacio with garlic, jalepeño, local greens, Yuzu soy and olive oil.

Next was traditional nigiri. But it was anything but run of the mill. The fish was as tender and flavorful as I’ve ever had and the sushi rice, perfectly formed was quite literally the best I’ve ever had. It was slightly warm, seasoned to perfection and just the right texture. Magnificent. I could have just eaten an entire bowl of just sushi rice! I also must say, that it is better than any I had in Japan.

My companion opted for the Rainbow Roll and for a standard roll, it did not disappoint.

I went back for more nigiri. Oh my!! Big pluses for me are the ginger, which doesn’t contain food dyes and the GENUINE wasabi the chef uses. More points in my book! All in all I tried the Hamachi, Kanpachi, Yellowtail and one other on the special menu that I don’t recall the name. Be sure to try something from the ‘Special’ menu!!

This is the 12 piece Sushi “A’ combination. Which my other companion had and said was amazing. It was so amazing that we didn’t get a photo of it before it disappeared. Photo by Wayde T. via Yelp.

And finally I opted for a spicy Hamachi roll. Decadent!


The Nuts & Bolts

We found the prices on par with the other sushi restaurants on the island (except for Morimoto Maui which is very expensive, though delightful but we left very hungry!). The portions were slightly on the smaller side but you are getting extremely high quality fish and the price reflects that.

The service is on par with what you’d expect for just two people working and doing it all. Some reviews online complain about this but I’m a ‘go with the flow’ type and it never bothered me as I didn’t find the service to be slow. In fact, the service we got was great, super friendly, we didn’t wait too long, and were generally very satisfied. This restaurant is clearly a labor of love for the owners and if you’re patient and adopt a ‘Maui Time’ mentality (I recommend that for ALL things on the island) you will greatly enjoy yourselves.

Reservations are a must! Fortunately we got in on the same day for our first visit (and yes, there was a second visit in the same week, it was that good)

Note that LAST CALL (for both food and beverages) is at 8:30 and they mean it. Though they did bend it a bit for a 2nd glass of Sake for us.

Overall, both of my dining experiences were great. The food was great and the prices what I’d expect for the quality.

Bottom line, WE LOVED IT!


So what’s the deal with the Yoga Cat?

My seat featured a very nice book entitled ‘Yoga With Cats’ which is hilarious, and propping it up is the cat, in (I believe) the forward fold position! Such a hoot!

Photos

Hours:
Mon Closed
Tue 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (closed 4th Tuesday of each month)
Wed 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Thu 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fri 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sat 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Contact: (808) 868-0307 (Call well in advance to make reservations, but DO make reservations. Walk-ins might not be seated)

Location: 95 E​.​ Lipoa St​,​​ ​S​ui​te A-104​, ​Kihei, HI 96753

Rating: ★★★★★

Prices: $$



Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do, come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide or Maui Events Calendar!


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Best Sushi Restaurant On Maui - 1054Togoshi www.AlohaCondoRental.com Vacation Rental By Owner in Beautiful Maui #BookDirect

What’s Happening On Maui In August – Special Events Calendar For 2018

What's Happening On Maui In August
What’s happening on Maui in July

We’ve got you covered for special events and what’s happening on Maui for the

Month of August.

 

Thursday August 2, 2018

Free Tahitian Dance Show – Lahaina. This ongoing event happens every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday from 6-7pm. More info here.

What's Happening On Maui In July

 

Friday – August 3, 2018

Wailuku First Friday. We’ve blogged more about this town party here. You’ll find live street entertainment, amazing food truck food, souvinirs, local hand-made goods and more. Each Friday Town Party is hosted in a different city. Click the link above to find more info.

Maui Friday Town Party

Maui’s Finest Craft Fair – Free Craft Fair at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort. This free even showcases crafts, artists and more. This is an Ongoing Event occurring on Tuesday  & Friday of every week. More info here.

Lahaina Art Night – Friday Night is Art Night in Lahaina Town. Stroll through dozens of art galleries in LahainaTown each Friday from 7 to 10 pm for special gallery shows, featured artists-in-action, and refreshments, all free and open to the public! Lahaina has earned its nick-name of “The Art Capital of the Pacific,” due to more art galleries per capita than any other American town. A walking map of participating galleries is available in Lahaina Visitor Center (open daily from 9 am to 5 pm) This is an Ongoing Event occurring on Friday of every week.

Candlelit Tours at the Baldwin Home – Step back in time and visit the Baldwin Home Museum with a tour by candle light. Tours are held every Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The Baldwin Home Museum is located on the corner of Front and Dickenson Street in the heart of historic Lahaina. $8 – Adults 13yrs +, $6 – Kama’aina, Senior Citizens (65+), Military, Children 12 years and under are FREE.  Please note that admission also allows entry to the Wo Hing Museum on Front Street.

The tours are led by experienced docents with refreshments following on the front lanai. For more information here or call 808.661.3262.

 

Saturday – August 4, 2018

Seed To Cup Coffee Festival At Maui Tropical Plantation. – The Maui Coffee Association will present their 11th Annual Seed to Cup Coffee Festival, Saturday, August 4, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.  This event is FREE and open to the public!

Coffee Brewing and Roasting will be demonstrated throughout the day and the talented Chef’s at Mill House Restaurant will be serving up coffee inspired food for sale from 11:30 am – 2:00pm.   Kohola Brewery will also be selling their Mean Bean Brew – Beer made with 100% Maui Coffee!

There will be displays and demonstrations of coffee processing equipment and many award-winning coffee farmers selling their coffees.  

You don’t want to miss the Barista Throw-down competition, sponsored this year by Maui Coffee Roasters.  The Throw-down takes place from 1:30 – 3:00 pm at Chef’s Table. Local baristas from across the state challenge one another in a head to head, free-pour latte art competition.  Lots of prizes and action!

The newest lineup of activities includes “Taste the Roast.” This interactive event was created to shed light on the many talented coffee roasters of Maui.  Attendees will gather to taste several roast profiles and vote for their favorite coffee.  All of the roasters will use the same coffee origin, just various roast profiles.  

The finale is the popular Coffee Fashion Show, showcasing hand made coffee themed costumes. 

For More info head over to mauicoffeeassociation.blogspot.com

Maui Swap Meet – Head to Kahului for the weekly Maui Swap Meet. 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Get there early!  This fantastic shopping market has everything under the Maui sun. Event is ongoing, this and every Saturday. More info here.

Up Country Farmers Market. visit www.upcountryfarmersmarket.com Or check out our Farmers Market Guide for the most extensive guide to Maui’s best Farmers Markets.

What's Happening On Maui In august

Leilani Farm Sanctuary Tours – (this and all Saturdays) Explore the farm and visit rescued animals. Kiss a Donkey, cuddle a chicken or feed the bunnies. Donation is $10. Starts at 10am More info here. Additional tours Mondays & Wednesdays at 4pm.

 

Sunday August 5, 2018

Lahaina Craft Fair. Sundays. This weekly free event showcases artists, jewelry makers and local crafts people. Located at the Lahaina Gateway Center. More info here.

 

Friday August 10, 2018

Albatross – A One-Man Play – McCoy Studio Theater/Maui Arts & Cultural Center; times vary. Friday August 10-12, 2018

Written and performed as a rollicking sea yarn, Albatross is a fast-paced stage show that explores themes of regret, isolation, and the interconnected relationship between humans and the natural world. Taking inspiration from Coleridge’s “Mariner,” an 18th century sailor who is cursed with immortality and thrust into the modern world, the play delivers a profound message about the effect of our thoughtless actions on all living things.  Tickets: $25 (plus applicable fees)

More info here.

Lahaina Second Friday. Head to the Lahaina Town Party – more info here. You’ll find live street entertainment, amazing food truck food, souvinirs, local hand-made goods and more. Each Friday Town Party is hosted in a different city. Click the link above to find more info.

Keiki Hula Performance – Everyone loves a keiki (child) hula halau performance! And The Outlets of Maui is pleased to present our keiki hula show every 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month.    The children of the Na Pua O Kapi`olani perform traditional hula. Accompanied by a live band and led by Kumu Hula Kathy Ralar, the keiki performers share their Hula as they dance their way into our hearts with the memorable stories and songs of Hawaii. More info here.

What's Happening On Maui In August
Image via Maui News

 

Sunday – August 12, 2018

Storm Drain Stenciling in Ma’alaea 9:00 am to 12:00 pm – Another opportunity for Eco-Tourism. Maui Ocean Center is gathering a volunteer team to spray paint informational stencils on storm drains surrounding the aquarium. The simple message lets people know that anything put down the drains goes straight into the ocean, while also highlighting the dangers of runoff on coral reefs. Teams of three or four will paint the stencils along the roads and around the harbor.

All are welcome! Snacks, water refills, and supplies will be provided, so bring your reusable water bottle. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. We will meet in the Maui Ocean Center parking lot nearest Hauoli Street. FREE event. More info here.

 

Friday – August 17, 2018

Makawao Third Friday – See listing above for Friday Town Parties

 

Saturday – August 18, 2018

3rd Annual Kite Festival – KAHULUI, Hawaii – The public is invited to the third annual Kite Festival hosted by the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui on Saturday, Starting at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Keopuolani Park Field #8, located right below the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

This event is Free. Kite kits to decorate with colored markers will be available for a $5 donation to JCSM. Prizes will be given to the best decorated kites and best kite fliers at 12 noon. Water will be provided. Attendees may also bring their own materials, chairs and snacks.

Anyone may bring their own kites – big or small, traditional or modern, and see them in action at the festival.

The mission of the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui is to perpetuate the Japanese culture in the community. Kite flying in Japan dates back in the 16th century as a custom to pray for good health and a bright future.

For questions about the event, call Deron at (808) 298-3352 or email jcsmhawaii@gmail.com.

Maui Calls 2018 – Annual Gala Fundraiser – In Celebration of Hula MACC  6:00 PM – 10:00 PM.

Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s signature gala event begins with a fresh flower lei greeting and Hawaiian music serenade. Mix, mingle, and taste delectable pūpū created by chefs from stellar Maui restaurants and specialty food purveyors.

Enjoy premium wines served by vintners from boutique wineries around the world and dance the night away to live music. Silent and live auctions offer the chance to bid on hundreds of items, from fabulous Hawaii staycations to “uniquely Maui” items, such as special house parties and “uniquely MACC” items, like autographed music instruments & more!

Wrap up the evening with music & dancing under the glowing roof of the MACC’s Yokouchi Pavilion.

Event info here.

 

Sunday – August 19th, 2018

Beach Clean Up – Malama Land & Sea:  Join Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii and MOC Marine Institute to help up clean trash and litter from one of Maui’s beaches. The day may also include a volunteer snorkeling cleanup targeting marine debris such as discarded fishing line and weights, conditions permitting.

Questions/RSVP: afonarow@mauioceancenter.com or 808.270.7059  For beach location info visit their website

Help them make this cleanup a zero-waste event! Bring your own reusable coffee mug and water bottle to enjoy free coffee and water refills. Hearty snacks will be provided. Please bring your own bucket for trash, along with a pair of reusable gloves. Wear sturdy shoes, sun-protective clothing, and a hat. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

More information on participating in a Maui beach clean up, read our blog post here.

 

Friday – August 24, 2018

Into The Woods Musical presented by MAPA LIVE. at the MACC.  August 24 – September 02, 2018A story filled to the brim with a feast of fabled characters … a little mystery, a lot of irreverent humor, and touch of seduction. A journey into the woods — and into our hearts.
 
Edgy, whimsical, and wickedly funny, Into the Woods is an enchanting musical adventure that goes beyond “happily ever after.” Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children under 10.

Event info here.

Kihei 4th Friday – We’ve blogged more about this town party here. You’ll find live street entertainment, amazing food truck food, souvinirs, local hand-made goods and more. Each Friday Town Party is hosted in a different city. Click the link above to find more info.

 

Sunday – August 26, 2018

• Henry Kapono & Friends at the MACC – A&B Amphitheater, 5:00 pm show; 4:00 pm gates open.

Henry Kapono and a star-studded line up of Hawai‘i’s most popular entertainers will come together with an evening of music, laughter, and stories as they share the hit songs and celebrate the soundtrack of Hawaii. The evening features and epic lineup of Hawai‘i’s top entertainers: Kalapana, Jerry Santos of Olomana, Keola Beamer, Na Leo Pilimehana, John Cruz, Brother Noland, Robi Kahakalau, Alx Kawakami, Blayne Asing, Josh Tatofi, Kalani Pe`a, Kimie Miner, Landon McNamara, Mike Love, Paula Fuga, and Starr Kalahiki.

More info here.

 

• Traveling Plate Maui “In the Kitchen” – Guests will get to work side-by-side Maui’s favorite chefs as they help create a locally sourced dish. Guests will travel from chef station to chef station learning skills and having fun along the way. While the chefs put the final touch on their dishes guests will then enjoy a mixology demonstration. We will end the night savoring the fruit of their labor by sample each dish created alongside adult libations and a silent auction. For those who only want to join as “taste testers” we will offer a limited amount of “Taster” tickets that will include arrival at 5pm for the Mixology Demo and entry to the reception.

Event and ticket info here and here.

 

• Monthly Beach/Marine Debris clean up at Ka’ehu beach.  Wailuku, 9 a.m. to noon.. Join the SHARKastics for a memorable day of learning, sharing and cleaning up the island we love so much.

SHARKastics has been spearheading cleanups at Ka’ehu on the 4th Sunday of every month since July, 2012.  This bay and coastline are important for many species including nesting sea turtles! More and more debris is always washing ashore, so we need your help.  It’s heaps of fun!​ FREE event.

Read about our adventures volunteering with SHARKastics here.  For more info check out their webpage.

 

 

Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,

come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide or Maui Events Calendar!

 

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Maui Travel Guide to receive the latest travel tips, special events and to find out what's happening in our Island Paradise! * Your privacy is paramount to us. We will never share or sell your information! *

 

 

 

What's Happening On Maui In August - Special Events Calendar presented by www.AlohaCondoRental.com Vacation Rental By Owner in Beautiful Maui

25 Of The Best Rainy Day Activities On Maui

Best Rainy Day Activities On Maui
The Best Rainy Day Activities On Maui

You come to Maui for the ocean, beautiful scenery, fantastic restaurants, relaxing atmosphere, amazing activities and to have a relaxing vacation. You most likely don’t expect it to rain!  But sometimes it does!  During this 2018 winter season, Maui has seen an unusual amount of rain. That much rain can put a hitch in your ‘sunny beach time‘ giddyup!  Not to worry, we’ve put together the most extensive Best Rainy Day Activities on Maui guide to help you find something wonderful to do while it’s raining!

We chose to buy our condo on the ‘dry’ side of Maui. Kihei is considered the desert area and though we do get rain, it’s generally short-lived. Even still, this year we saw some torrential downpours and I actually bought an umbrella on Maui for the first time.

It’s hard to rely on the weather forecast because the weather can change in a matter of minutes. You just have to adopt a ‘live in the moment‘ attitude and Ho’o Nanea or go with the flow.

Parts of Maui get rain every day, or nearly every day. The Hana side is the wettest side of the island and rain is expected over there. Maui is made up of hundreds of micro-climates and if it’s raining in one area, generally speaking one can find sunshine on another part of the island.

Let’s take a look at all the activities and adventures you can take in when it rains on Maui.  These are, of course, listed in no particular order.

1. Head to a sunnier part of the island.  Well seasoned Maui travelers know that if it’s raining in Lahaina, come to Kihei – it’s probably sunny. If your plan was to lay on the beach and soak up some rays or snorkel and play in the ocean and Mother nature has other ideas, then have a look at some of Maui’s web cams to see if there’s a dryer spot you can lay your towel down and have a swim. (TIP– when you’re homesick for Maui, you can visit the webcams while you plan your next trip!)

2. Take in a Free Hula/Polynesian Show. There are several places that offer free live Island style entertainment, not just hula but other types of free things to do such as Ukulele lessons, crafts etc. Check out these places for free activities Shops At WaileaLahaina Cannery MallQueen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center (Kahului).

Photo by www.hawaii.com

3. Shop Till You Drop.  There’s no shortage of shopping to be found on Maui and since we just mentioned three of the largest shopping malls on Maui, you might as well do a little shopping while you’re there. Look specifically for Maui Made products so that you’re supporting the local economy and artists. A few other places to take in some shopping is the open-air Kalama Shopping Market (Kihei), Kahana Gateway Shopping Center  (Lahaina) and Maui Mall (Kahului).

4. Island Art Party in Kihei.  Talk about a custom island souvenir! Get in touch with your inner artist. (From their website) Put on apron…Order a drink…have a seat…it’s time to paint and party! No experience necessary. Just follow along as a Partista ( Party Artist) provides step-by-step instructions in creating the featured painting. More info here.

5. Take in a movie.  Maui has 3 movie theaters (one in Lahaina and two in Kahului) and one slated to open soon in Kihei.  If you’re like me, you never seem to find time to make it to the movies at home. If it’s raining, go take in a movie and most likely by the time the show is over the rain will have stopped.

6. Visit Maui Ocean Center. Come face-to-face with sharks, stingrays, turtles, and thousands of vibrant tropical fish at Maui Ocean Center – The Aquarium of Hawaii!  Read our post on visiting the Maui Ocean Center.

7. Check out a live show.  Live entertainment can be a great way to ride out the rain storm.  One of my all time favorites is Ulalena, Ulalena is a world-renowned Hawaiian theater production dedicated to telling the story of Hawaii’s people. Burn’n Love the best Elvis show this side of Las Vegas [Edited to say that Burn’n Love has closed it’s doors and is no longer, much to the sadness of the fans that truly loved the show – I’m leaving the video up for all to see how fun it was]! The Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku offers live plays and entertainment. If you dig magic, then go see Warren and Annabelle’s Magic Show.

8. Get the royal treatment at a Spa. Who doesn’t love a massage?  Go ahead and pamper yourself, you’re on vacation. (TIP– Check groupon.com for a coupon)

9. Try one of Maui’s Escape Rooms. What is an escape room you ask? An escape room is an interactive adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Great activities for families, friends, birthday parties, celebrations and even businesses because they rely on team building exercises. At the time of this posting, there are presently 5 different escape rooms to try on Maui.

10. GlowPutt Golf. The original Glow in the Dark Miniature Golf Course.  A staple in the Hawaii entertainment landscape for more than 10 years. Check it out.

Best Rainy Day Activities On Maui

Maui is made up of hundreds of micro-climates and if it’s raining in one area, generally speaking one can find sunshine on another part of the island.

11. Wine Tasting and Winery Tour.  Head upcountry (drive safely) to Maui Wine and enjoy sipping some island made pineapple wine or try one of their sparkling wines!  We love Maui Winery and have posted about them before.  More info here.

12. Watch channel 7 – The Maui Visitor channel on TV.  If you’re the type that never can sit still, embrace the vacation mentality and why not just lay back and watch a little TV. The Maui Visitor Channel always has fantastic,  informative shows. Pour yourself your favorite beverage and kick back! It’s ok to be doing nothing, you’re on vacation!

13. Stay in, Play Games, Enjoy Family Time!  In our crazy-busy lives we don’t often stop to just enjoy family time. There are plenty of games in the TV cabinet so why not pull a few out and have some family play time.  You won’t regret it!

14. Read.  Along that note of staying in and just relaxing, why not pick up a book from our lending library (there’s one available at the lower pool), or from our condo selection of books (take one, leave one) and kick back and relax.  We have several guide books for you to read and you can spend the time planning your next Maui adventure.

15. Try your hand at GlassblowingMoana Glass in Lahaina. Wow, here’s a cool activity rain or shine. Check out the finest glass art and glassblowing experiences where you can blow your own glass pieces – now there’s a souvenir!  (TIP– Check groupon.com for a coupon, at the time of this posting there was a $50 off coupon)

16. Makai Glass. Speaking of glass blowing, if you’re upcountry doing one of the other rainy day activities, why not also try Makai Glass studio. They have a cool observation deck where you can watch the action take place below.

17. Go Museum Hopping.  Maui has lovely museums and a rainy day is the perfect time to go explore them.  Here’s a list of Maui museums and historical houses. Another not listed at that link is the ‘Story of Hawaii‘ Museum located at the Queen Ka’ahumanu shopping center in Kahului. More info on the museum here.

18. Visit Maui’s historic towns. Head upcountry and do some exploring around Maui’s quaint and historic towns. Visit Paia, Makawao, Kula.  Bring your umbrella and don’t worry if you get a little wet. You’re in Maui – and if you’re lucky enough to be in Maui, you’re lucky enough!  These sweet towns offer wonderful opportunities for strolling, shopping, and dining.

It’s raining and the kids are driving you nuts! Get out there and find an adventure. There’s no shortage of things to do on Maui even when it rains!

19. Visit Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center.  If you’re upcountry doing #18 on our list, then you’re just around the corner from the Hui No’eau VAC. Check out their art exhibitions, do a guided tour or pick up a handmade one of a kind piece in their artist’s shop.  Stop in for a visit. More info here.

Best Rainy Day Activities On Maui

20. Explore Front Street Lahaina.  Take your umbrella and head over to Lahaina to walk up and down Front Street.  Lahaina boasts many art galleries, restaurants, shops, museums and of course the Banyan Tree. You’ll find plenty to do even if you do get wet in the process. You won’t be sorry – Maui rains are like a warm shower.

21. Visit Dan’s Greenhouse.  If you’re in Lahaina, hey, why not hit up Dan’s Greenhouse for a live souvenir! Dan’s is located across from the south-east corner of Lahaina’s famous Banyan Tree and sells exotic plants. But the fun comes in the form of parrots and pigs! Dan’s specializes in exotic flora and fauna! More info here.

22. Take a submarine ride adventure. Lahaina is home to Atlantis submarine – if the weather isn’t too bad and just drizzly, then this might be a good option. Not so good if it’s storming.

Atlantis Submarine Ride Maui

23. Try out a new cafe or restaurant.  Maui has no shortage of great cafes and restaurants and a rainy afternoon is a perfect time to venture out and eat. Here’s your chance to go visit a restaurant, either nearby or across the island that you’ve never tried before.

24. Go visit the penguins at the Hyatt Regency.  The Hyatt in Lahaina is host to half a dozen African black-footed penguins and they’re quite a site. Daily penguin feedings happen every morning at 9:30 am in the Penguin Habitat in the Atrium Lobby More info here.

25. Chase a Rainbow!  The saying goes ‘No rain, no rainbows’ so why not make the best of the rain and find a rainbow. Maui is know for it’s stellar rainbows and the pot of gold at the end IS the island of Maui!  Go out and chase!

Maui rainbow with Palm Tree

Bonus Activities & Updates

We’re bringing you updates to the list as we find more fun stuff to do while you visit Maui – And.It.Rains!

Bonus #1 – Let the kids (big kids too) bounce off some of that energy at Ultimate Air Trampoline Park. An indoor trampoline bounce-o-rama! More info here.

Do you have a favorite rainy day activity for Maui? Leave us a message in the comments section below and let us know!

Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,

come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide or Maui Events Calendar!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Maui Travel Guide to receive the latest travel tips, special events and to find out what's happening in our Island Paradise! * Your privacy is paramount to us. We will never share or sell your information! *

Best Rainy Day Activities On Maui - www.AlohaCondoRental.com Vacation Rental Maui

Save Money On Your Next Vacation -The Importance Of #BookDirect

Save Money On Your Next Vacation #BookDirect
Save Money On Your Next Vacation #BookDirect

Save Money On Your Next Vacation. Today Is Guest Education Day where we share The Importance Of #BookDirect!

February 7, 2018 marks the first Vacation Rental Industry-wide campaign to bring awareness to our guests and guests of ALL worldwide vacation rentals by owners. The industry has chosen a simple hashtag to represent what it means to work directly with owners of Vacation Rentals – #BookDirect.

February 6, 2019 – UPDATE!  #BookDirect is working. Our guests are saving hundreds of dollars by booking directly with us, the vacation rental owner, an not using booking sites that charge fees!

For many years Online Travel Agencies (OTA) and online booking sites have been charging guests ‘convenience’ or ‘booking’ fees with little to no added value in the way of products or services. It’s simply a way to line the pockets of corporations with your hard earned dollars.

There was a time (before Expedia paid 4 BILLION dollars to acquire it) when VRBO.com was the vacation rental industry leader. In the beginning, VRBO was a simple plan really that became immensely successful.  Create a website where owners can pay a subscription fee to list their vacation rental. Guests pay nothing, but sign up to find rentals in the destination of their vacation, a matchmaking service if you will. But four billion dollars of stockholder money needs to be repaid and Expedia is doing that on the backs of vacationers like you and me. The booking fees are created using a mysterious algorithm and can range from 7 to 18%.  Vacation Rental owners do not collect this fee. Needles to say, we don’t list or advertise with VRBO (or any site that collects fees from guests.)

Guest Education Day #BookDirect

 

At Kihei Hale O Maluhia, we NEVER charge booking fees and NEVER list or advertise with websites that do either.  We think guests would agree that they’re looking for the best travel deals and want to spend hard earned money on activities, eating out or shopping. Not paying fees.

So today we ask that you share with your friends the hashtag #BookDirect. Help spread the word that the true value in travel lies with working directly with owners. After all, who knows our condo better than us? Certainly not an agent in a call center half-way around the world.

Guest Education Day #BookDirect

Benefits of #BookDirect

Book direct and save: Did you know that it’s not just VRBO that charges these outrageous fees. Airbnb, HomeAway and TripAdvisor also add hundreds of dollars of fees to your booking total?

When you book direct, you have direct contact with the manager or owner: When booking a vacation rental, peace of mind is important. Want to know if there is a grill, a kayak, 24/7 service, a grocery store close by? When you book direct, you can find out many of these important questions and more before you commit to booking.

The best price isn’t on the OTAs: Unlike hotels, OTAs and aggregators (like Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and FlipKey) don’t have the best price for travelers. In fact, you can save hundreds by booking direct and booking local.

Many of the best vacation rentals aren’t event listed on the major sites: Because of the cost of using the big sites, the best vacation homes with the highest demand cannot be found on the big websites. For example along North Carolina’s beaches, alone, only 30 percent of the homes for rent can be found on the big websites. By limiting your search to the aggregating websites, you might be missing out on the best vacation home for your family or group.

Mangers and owners have intimate knowledge about the destination: They can direct you the best rental for your needs and send you to the best activities, restaurants, and area service providers.

If you have special needs, a manager or homeowner can help: Looking for help with your family’s special needs or are you celebrating a special event like an anniversary or birthday? An owner or manager can work with you directly to help with any of your individual needs and give you these assurances before you commit to a booking.

During non-peak travel times, managers and owners have special offers available: From events and activities to special rates to onsite services, with direct communication with managers and owners, you get insider knowledge and the best offers.

The Evolution Is NOW

The travel industry is evolving to meet the needs of travelers and we recognize that and are evolving too. Destination marketing is really a key to survival for owners in a sea of rentals that are popping up.  We’ve partnered with www.VacationSoup.com a breakout leader in the travel industry.  The approach is simple, Owner contributed travel content driving travelers to destinations. As vacation rental owners, we know our destination better than the OTA’s and we love to share this insider information with our guests. We want our guests to have access to the latest and greatest things to do, places to see, activities to try and we post about it regularly. All of our blog posts are share with Vacation Soup, we’re part of the ‘ingredients’ that make it so immensely successful.

A few weeks ago we wrote a post ‘Best Money Saving Travel Tip‘ about saving money by booking direct. Essentially we were just ahead of this industry wide campaign to bring awareness to travelers looking to save money.

Travel Outside Of Maui

We know that our guests travel to places other than Maui and we’d like to share a few of the listing sites we’ve partnered with that DO NOT charge booking fees and allow direct contact with owners, saving you $$.

• TIP – When searching for a Vacation Rental, seek out regional listing sites!

Listing Sites with NO BOOKING FEES

www.VacationSoup.com

www.vacation.rentals/

www.vhrnetwork.com

www.homeescape.com

www.houfy.com/

Alternately, many vacation rental owners who are transitioning away from the big listing sites are still listed there but can be found by doing a simple Google search using the unit #, name of the vacation rental or looking the owner up on Facebook.

And finally, Facebook has seen an explosion in regional groups where owners and guests can chat about rentals available and things to see and do at the vacation destination. Simply search for groups using your desired destination as the keyword.

While we don’t advertise on this listing site, you can see that their parody really sums it up in a comical way.

 

 

 

 

Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,

come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide!

 

Save Money On Your Next Vacation #BookDirect - www.AlohaCondoRental.com Vacation Rental Maui

She Screams Because She Paid Booking Fees With VRBO #BookDirect
Keep Your Money In The Bank When You #BookDirect
INSERT PINTEREST TEXT HERE
Sip Cocktails With The Money You Save When You #BookDirect For Your Vacation Rental
They Are Extatic - They Saved Money When They Booked Direct For Their Vacation Rental #BookDirect
INSERT PINTEREST TEXT HERE
They Are Happy Campers - They Saved Money On Their Vacation Rental #BookDirect
They Are Jumping For Joy Because They Didn't Pay Booking Fees- Book Your Next Vacation Rental Direct With Owners #BookDirect
They Got An Extra Day At The Beach Because They Didn't Pay Booking Fees- Book Your Next Vacation Rental Direct With Owners #BookDirect
She's Smiling Because She Didn't Pay Booking Fees- Book Your Next Vacation Rental Direct With Owners #BookDirect

Free Poynesian Show

Polynesian Show
Polynesian Show

Take the family and go enjoy a Free Polynesian Show at the Shops at Wailea. This cultural performance will honor the many beautiful dances of Polynesia which includes Hawaiian hula, Tahitian and Samoan performances.

About Polynesian Dance (from Wikipedia)

Hula dancing is a complex art form, and there are many hand motions used to represent the words in a song or chant. For example, hand movements can signify aspects of nature, such as the swaying of a tree in the breeze or a wave in the ocean, or a feeling or emotion, such as fondness or yearning. Foot and hip movements often pull from a basic library of steps including the kaholo, kaʻo, kawelu, hela, ʻuwehe, and ʻami. There are other related dances (tamure, hura, ‘aparima, ‘ote’a, haka, kapa haka, poi, Fa’ataupati, Tau’olunga, and Lakalaka) that come from other Polynesian islands such as Tahiti, The Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Aotearoa (New Zealand); however, the hula is unique to the Hawaiian Islands.

Polynesian Show

About the Shops At Wailea

The Shops at Wailea is located in the heart of the prestigious Wailea Resort community on the beautiful island of Maui. The center features over 70 shops and restaurants including distinct luxury brands, local favorites and fine art galleries.

The gathering place for locals and visitors alike, offering free monthly signature events, cultural activities and some of the island’s best entertainment.

Driving Directions
From within Wailea Resort

Take Wailea Alanui Drive to the intersection of Wailea Ike Drive and look for our monument signs.

From Pi’ilani Highway

Take Wailea Ike Drive toward the ocean until you reach the traffic light at Wailea Alanui Drive. Turn either right or left onto Wailea Alanui Drive. Entrances to the center are located immediately following in either direction.

Parking
FIRST HOUR OF PARKING IS ALWAYS FREE!

3 ADDITIONAL HOURS FREE, WITH MINIMUM PURCHASE!

More information about Parking

The Shops at Wailea

Looking for other FREE Hula or Polynesian Shows? Here are a few others to try:

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui
Wailea, HI 96753
874-8000
More info HERE
Daily, 5:30 p.m.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel
2525 Kaanapali Pkway.
Kaanapali, HI 96761
661-0011
More info HERE
Daily except Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Lahaina Cannery Mall
1221 Honoapiilani Hwy.
Lahaina, HI 96761
661-5304
More info HERE
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m.

Maui Mall (look for Sundays, Cultural Sunday at Center Court )
70 East Kaahumanu Ave.
Kahului, HI 96732
871-1307
More info HERE
Sunday, 11 a.m.

Whalers Village (Monday & Saturday)
2435 Kaanapali Pkway.
Kaanapali, HI 96761
661-4567
More info HERE
Wednesday: 7pm – 7:25pm
Saturday: 7:30pm – 8pm

Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,

come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide or Maui Events Calendar!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Maui Travel Guide to receive the latest travel tips, special events and to find out what's happening in our Island Paradise! * Your privacy is paramount to us. We will never share or sell your information! *

Free Polynesian Show | Put On By The Shops At Wailea - www.AlohaCondoRental.com Vacation Rental Maui

The Ultimate Maui Farmers Market Guide

The Ultimate Maui Farmers Market Guide
The Ultimate Maui Farmers Market Guide

We’ve put together The Ultimate Maui Farmers Market Guide. Your island guide and a map of Maui Farmers Markets to help you find the freshest, locally grown fruits and vegetables while visiting Maui.

 

 

Knowing how to shop like a local will enable you to cook the best island fresh meals made from locally grown and organic produce. And you’ll be supporting the local community and eating the freshest island grown ingredients! Maui is blessed with a year round growing climate and though some fruits and veggies do have seasons, you’ll always find something unique and exciting to try!

One of the reasons our guests stay at a fully equipped condo is to enjoy a few meals in. Our condo is just steps to the two gas BBQ grills available and we’ve just installed a brand new 5-burner gas cooking range and offer every imaginable kitchen gadget to prepare your island style meals.

All Farmers Markets are also listed on our Maui Events Calendar should you wish to see Farmers Markets listed by a particular day of the week.

Download your printable take-along copy of The Ultimate Maui Farmers Market Map here!

Farmers Markets of Kihei (South Side)

Lipoa Street Farmers Market

This little market has some great vendors but it’s still on the small side. Even still, you’ll find a nice variety of goodies.

Days: Saturdays

Times: 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Location: 95 E. Lipoa Street, Kihei, HI 96753

More Info

 

Farmers Market Maui

Located on the north side of Kihei near Sugar Beach. This is an ongoing market open most days and serving up lots of local style fresh produce, baked items, hummus, cheese and more. Most days you can buy a cold, fresh coconut, opened with a machete to order and sip right out of a straw! Best stuff ever! One item not to miss from this and the Lahaina sister farmers market is the Lilikoi Cream Cheese. Lilikoi is passion fruit and supposedly this is the best on the island. Try it on a bagel, fresh banana bread or homemade French Toast!

Days: Monday-Fridays

Times: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: 61 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753

More Info

The Ultimate Maui Farmer's Market Guide

Farmers Market by the Church/Iglesia (aka Rowena’s)

Days: Wednesdays & Saturdays

Times: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: 1794 S Kihei Rd. Kihei, HI 96753

Contact: 808.572.9697

More Info & Yelp link

 

Yee’s Orchard

While you won’t find everything you might find at another Farmers Market, you will find the most diverse selection of fruit at Yee’s Orchard. Yee’s has been selling and growing their own varieties of fruit for over 60 years. Their mango selection can’t be beat! They get my vote for most delicious!

Days: Most days, closed Mondays & Fridays

Times: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: 1165 S Kihei Rd., Kihei, HI 96753

More Info

 

Farmers Markets in Central & North Maui

Kahului/Wailuku area

Queen Ka’ahumanu Center Farmers Market

The center courtyard of this central Maui mall is transformed into a local-style farmers market three days a week. You’ll find an array of locally grown fruits and veggies as well as other farmers market fare. You can also find more information about this farmers market on our Events Calendar

Days: Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday

Times: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: Queen Ka’ahumanu Center 275 West Ka’ahumanu Avenue Kahului, HI 96732

More Info

 

Maui Swap Meet

This is the quintessential outdoor Maui market. You’ll find everything here from craft goods to t-shirts to souvenirs and more. Along the back row of vendors you’ll find tons of locally grown food. This is a great market and so much more than a ‘swap meet’. Check out our listing on our Events Calendar

Days: Saturdays

Times: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: 310 Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, HI 96732

Entrance fee is $0.50, a total bargain!

More Info

Lanakila Club Market

I haven’t tried this market yet but will soon. From their website they offer the following description; “Packed with energy and freshness – Hale Ku’ai is a training program that prepares members for employment in the retail of food items and produce. Most of the produce is marketed on the day it is delivered; and priced to be affordable to those who would not normally purchase fresh produce. The Open Market is intended to promote wellness. Come check us out…there is something for everyone.”

Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays

Times: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: 1977 Main Street Wailuku, Hawaii 96793

More Info

 

Kumu FarmsThe Ultimate Maui Farmer's Market Guide

This small store sells a wide variety of local fresh fruits and veggies at reasonable prices.

Days: Most days, Closed Mondays

Times: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy., Wailuku, HI 96793

More Info

 

 

 

La’akea Farm Stand

This is another market I’ve not yet tried. From their website; “Our Country store vends locally grown organic produce and hand made gifts to the public providing meaningful work for our participants as it creates social integration within the greater Maui community.

The Country Store offers a bounty of fruits and vegetable to the participants, staff, and the local community.”

Days: Tuesday – Saturday

Times: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: 639 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779

More Info

 

Farmers Markets on the West Side

Napili Farmers Market

From their website; “The Napili Farmers Market offers fresh Maui-grown produce, as well as locally-made, unique products, such as Hawaiian honey, fresh juices, cultured macadamia nut spreads and dressing, along with handmade jewelry, artisan crafted organic kombucha, baked goodies, vegan sushi, hair clips, popsicles, cold pressed juices, essential oils, organic and naturally leavened bread, massage and live Hawaiian music!”

Days: Wednesdays & Saturdays

Times: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: 4900 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

 

 
 

Farmers Market & Deli Maui (Lahaina)

Days: Outdoor Market open Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Times: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Deli/Store Open 7 days

Times: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Location: 3636 Lower Honoapi’ilani Rd Lahaina, HI 96761

More Info

 

Oluwalu Open Air Market & Juice Stand

Nice stop on the way to Lahaina or after a morning of snorkeling at Mile Marker 14 (Oluwalu). Lots of fresh tropical fruit, cold coconut water, smoothies and more.

Days: 7 days

Times: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Location: 820 Oluwalu Village Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

More Info

The Ultimate Maui Farmer's Market Guide

 
Upcountry Farmers Markets

Upcountry Farmers Market

From the website; “What you will find at our market:“-Fresh locally grown organic produce -Coconut -Macadamia Nuts -Fresh Caught Fish -Tropical Flowers, Plants, & Trees -Maui Grown Coffee -Lilikoi Butter -Raw and Vegan prepared foods -Exotic prepared foods -Thai and Indian, Many new offerings weekly”

Days: Saturday (rain or shine)

Times: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Location: 55 Kiopaa Street (Kulamalu Town Center), Pukalani, HI 96768

More Info

 

Maui Nui Farms Farmers Market

“Maui Nui Farm is a 40 acre farm in Kula, Maui on the slopes of Haleakala. The farm grows such crops as lettuce, zucchini, squash, brocolli, bok choy, bananas, papayas, strawberries, gold potatoes, avocadoes, and also flowers such as protea, tuberroses, gardenias, haliconia, water lilies, and orchids. There is always a selection of fresh produce available.

Days: Thursday-Sunday

Times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: 151 Pulehunui Rd, Kula, HI 96790

More Info

The Ultimate Maui Farmer's Market Guide

 

Kula Country Farms

From their website;“Kula Country Farm Stand is a happy place where our community and visitors alike to the island of Maui may enjoy one of the best views on the island, a little bit of conversation, and some of the freshest produce that will keep everyone coming back again and again. Famous for our Annual Fall Pumpkin Patch and our fresh strawberries picked daily and sold all year long, Kula Country Farm stand offers fruits and vegetables that are only locally grown and harvested fresh then stocked on the shelves daily.”

Days: Monday – Saturdays (Closed Sunday)

Times: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Saturdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Location: 6240 Kula Highway, Kula, HI 96790

More Info

The Ultimate Maui Farmer's Market Guide

 

East Side & Hana Farmers Markets

Hana Farms

From their website; “Hana Farms is located on the lush north eastern coast of Maui, Hawaii, on the famous Hana Highway. We grow a large variety of exotic tropical fruits and spices and produce a variety of products made exclusively of local ingredients. We have developed a large local network of small suppliers all growing, harvesting, and processing fruit in our isolated tropical paradise. Our goal is to encourage and support our local agricultural entrepreneurs and the local economy by marketing and exporting locally grown and produced products.”

They are also quite famous for their 6 varieties of Banana Bread.

Days: 7 Days

Times: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Location: 2910 Hana Hwy, Hana, HI 96713

More Info

 

Hana Fresh Farm Stand
From their website; “Freshly picked, certified organic vegetables and fruits from Hāna Fresh Farm are sold at the Farm Stand and are incorporated into our menus. Relax and enjoy your meal in the Farm Stand’s shady picnic area or take it with you to your own special spot.

Your purchases from the Farm Stand support the health and wellness of the Hāna community.”

Days: Monday – Friday (Closed Weekends)

Times: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location: 4590 Hāna Highway, Hana, HI 96713

More Info

 

Twin Falls Farm Stand

Roadside stand offering refreshments and island grown fruits and more to ‘The Road To Hana’ travelers.

Days: 7 Days

Times: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: 6300 Hana Hwy Haiku, HI 96708

More Info

 

ONO Organic Farms

From their website; “ONO Organic Farms of Maui, Hawaii is a family-owned and operated, certified organic, hand-picked, tropical fruit, coffee and cacao farm located along the world-famous “Road to Hana”, on the southeastern slopes of Haleakala volcano, on the Hawaiian island of Maui.”

Days: 7 Days

Times: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Location: At their roadside market next to the gas station in Hana town.

(tours also available at their farm)

More Info

 

All Farmers Markets are also listed on our Maui Events Calendar should you wish to see Farmers Markets listed by a particular day of the week.

 

Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,

come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide or Maui Events Calendar!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Maui Travel Guide to receive the latest travel tips, special events and to find out what's happening in our Island Paradise! * Your privacy is paramount to us. We will never share or sell your information! *

The Ultimate Maui Farmers Market Guide

Maui Coral Reefs – The Essential ‘Pono’ Guide

Maui Coral Reef Safe Suncreen
Maui Coral Reefs – The Essential ‘Pono’ Guide

Two of Maui’s top activities are snorkeling and diving, and more specifically, snorkeling and diving Maui’s coral reefs. Today I’d like to present you with our Maui Coral Reefs, The Essential ‘Pono‘ Guide so that you can make the most out of your snorkeling, diving and ocean activities that involve Maui’s amazing reef ecosystem. This is a topic I feel very strongly about so bear with me as this is a longer than normal post.

scuba snorkel school of reef fish

Let’s start with some facts about the coral reef system in Maui.

• 80% of U.S. reefs are found in Hawai‘i.
• 25% of Hawai’i’s marine species are endemic (found nowhere else on Earth).
• Hawai‘i has the highest rate of endemism* for any large-scale reef ecosystem in the world.
• The Kumulipo (Hawai‘ian creation chant) identifies the coral polyp as the first form of life.
• Hawai‘i hosts about 40 species of hard, reef building corals.
• Maui’s coral reefs support over 400 species of fish.

And the most important fact
In the past two decades, 25% of Maui’s surveyed corals have died, while 50% of Maui’s reefs are currently declining.

Pride of Maui’s images tell the story, it’s very disheartening.

coral-reef-kaneohe-bay

*Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country

Knowing all of this, it’s clear that Maui’s coral reef system is something special indeed and it’s our responsibility to protect and care for it.

So what exactly is coral and the reef system? According to Maui Nui Marine Resource Council,

“Coral reefs are made up of millions of living, breathing animals known as coral polyps. Related to jellyfish and anemones, coral polyps have a single opening surrounded by tentacles that are use to capture food. There are two types of corals: hard corals and soft corals. Hard corals – known as reef building corals – excrete a hard, protective “cup” of calcium carbonate (limestone). This rigid skeleton forms the framework for coral reefs. Soft corals (for example seafans) do not build calcium carbonate skeletons and are not considered reef builders.”

But more than this, the reef ecosystem consists of not just the coral but the sea life that co-exists with it including fish, sea turtles, invertebrates and mammals.

 
And why are coral reef and the reef systems so important?

clown fish sea anemone“Coral reefs are considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. Dubbed the “rainforests” of the sea, reefs play a critical role in maintaining natural diversity and providing a home to thousands of species.
Corals also support healthy human communities, and are responsible for providing:
• Food
• Recreation
• Tourism (economics)
• Medicine
• Protection from large storm and wave events”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coral reefs are considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. Dubbed the “rainforests”

Embrace ‘Pono’

So let’s discuss what we can do as visitors to Maui when enjoying this amazing, fragile living organism. Here’s where the ‘pono’ comes in. In Hawai‘i, ‘pono’ is an overarching principle that essentially means to do what is right or proper.

While we know that three of the primary drivers behind Maui’s declining coral reefs are 1) Land-based pollutants, 2) Over-fishing and poor enforcement of fishing regulations and insufficient ‘resting’ (kapu) sites that protect marine life by providing time and space to recover from these stressors and 3) rising ocean temperatures, there are two lesser known extremely significant drivers, chemical sunscreens and recreational overuse. Hawai‘i’s tourism industry brings thousands of people into contact with its reefs. Uninformed and unsupervised divers and snorkelers who touch or accidentally trample living corals can have a cumulative and significant impact over time, especially when concentrated in small areas. Further, studies show that the use of chemical based sunscreen products are actually causing ‘coral bleaching’. To give you some insight, the film, ‘Reefs at Risk’, released earlier this year, raises awareness of the harm that certain chemicals, like Oxybenzone, do to Hawaiʻi’s reefs.

 
Let’s have a closer look at Sunscreen use.

As we mention in our ‘Maui Beaches’ guide;  Sunscreen is an absolute necessity in Maui. We’re close to the equator and the sun is intense. Sunburns are no fun so apply early and often.  Maui reefs are experiencing a tremendous amount of damage and coral bleaching due to the chemicals in sunscreen. Please do your part to preserve our beautiful reef systems for generations to come and avoid sunscreens containing the ingredients
• Oxybenzone
• Butylparaben
• Octinoxate
• 4-Methylbenzylidine Camphor

Generally speaking ‘Natural’ sunscreens are best. Look for brands that contain titanium or zinc oxide instead of chemical sun-block. You may have trouble finding natural sunscreens in the chain stores but we’ve found that Down To Earth natural market in Kahului and Hawaiian Moons in Kihei (just next door to our condo) both offer a wide selection of natural sunscreens. ABC stores are now carrying a small selection of reef safe sunscreens.

According to The Guardian, “hundreds of sunscreen products use oxybenzone, including those made by Coopertone and Banana Boat. Some manufacturers have started to produce sunscreens marketed as “reef friendly”, but scientists warn that, like the labels “healthy” and “natural” for food, there is little to no regulation over such claims and consumers should check ingredients.”

And in January of this year, Hawaii state senator Will Espero introduced a bill which would ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawaii (except under medical prescription) to the state Congress. Espero argues that a ban is important to preserve the state’s tourism industry, because Hawaii relies heavily on tourists attracted by its coral reefs.

It’s no secret that the personal care product industry is pushing back and lobbying against legislature banning these products. The multi-billion dollar industry argues that significant other factors are causing reef die-off and their products have tested safe for reef. Regardless of which side of the argument you find yourself, it would seem prudent to err on the side of caution and discontinue using these chemicals when a more natural and more effective sunscreen is available.

Which Sunscreen then?

babo botanicals zinc spf 30On a very personal note, I’ve used sunscreen religiously on my trips to Maui over the last 25 plus years. I’ve used all the name brands containing a plethora of chemical ingredients, and without fail every year I would break out in a ‘sun rash’ if I exposed my skin too long while wearing chemical sunscreens.  Finally, about 4 years ago, I switched to a zinc based natural sunscreen. I bought one made specifically for babies as they have such tender skin, my reasoning was that it had to be better and more gentle than what I could (at the time) find in Maui.

The first year I used Babo Botanicals with an SPF 30 factor.  It was the first time ever that I didn’t end up with a rash and my skin was beautifully bronzed. I never burned despite the intense equatorial sun and I’ve been a convert ever since. I’ve put together a list on Amazon.com of the Zinc and Titanium dioxide based sunscreens that I have personally used with great results.  At the time I started using Babo, I had no idea about the dyeing coral. I’m glad I switched when I did.

Another brand that I’ve had great luck with is Stream2Sea – they make a tinted sunscreen with 30SPF that works wonderfully – especially if mixed with Maui Babe coconut oil browning lotion.

Finding these brands or similar Zinc/Titanium dioxide on Maui is not the challenge that it was even 4 years ago.  They can be easily found at Down To Earth Market  in Kahului, just a mile or so from the airport (we stop here upon arrival and stock up on select organic groceries) or head to Hawaiian Moons Natural Food store, just a 5 minute walk from our condo. Both carry several great brands in both lotions and convenient sprays (SPF lip balm too!)

 
 
What can you do?

Here are ways you can protect this amazing island and world asset while visiting Maui;

• Wear Reef-Safe sunscreen reef-safe-sunscreen
• Wear a sun protective rash guard.
• Be a responsible snorkeler, diver or watcher of ocean life.
• Don’t walk on the coral. Remember, if it’s SAND it’s ok to STAND. Walking on the reef can kill the coral animals that inhabit it.
• Prevent pollution by carrying your trash out when visiting Maui beaches. Even better, practice some island Aloha and pick up ANY trash you find on the beaches. Even the smallest piece of plastic. It all adds up.
• Don’t feed the fish. They have a very specific diet that helps them fit into their environment.
• Never harass fish, let them come to you.
• NEVER take or pick coral.
• Don’t drag kayaks or surfboards over the reef
• Leave only bubbles.

Here are a few easy to use resources on best practices while snorkeling or SCUBA diving.

 

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s infographic makes it easy to follow ‘Pono’ reef etiquette. CORAL.ORG has produced two excellent guides for snorkeling and SCUBA.snorkeling best practices

 

 

diving best practices

 

 

On a more global scale, you can help prevent coral reef destruction by heading over to view the Coral Reef Alliance page on What You Can Do.

coral reef pencil urchin

Alternately, view Maui Nui Marine Resource Council ‘Get Involved’ guide. Mauireef.org’s simple statement says ‘Saving Maui’s reefs comes down to taking action on a personal level. Educating yourself, friends, and family about the issues that are threatening Maui’s reefs is a first major step. We also encourage you to research ways to minimize your ecological footprint. For example, switching to reef safe sunscreen and avoiding the use of harsh chemical cleaners can go a long ways towards improving reef health.’

 
 
 
 
 
 Live Sustainably

What does that mean? Well, it means reducing your carbon footprint in an effort to reverse the effects of global warming. Extra heat from warmer temperatures puts stress on the coral, which leads to bleaching. Bleaching is the loss of color from tissue, causing it to expose its skeleton. How can you reduce your footprint?
✓ Recycle to limit the amount of pollutants in our landfills
✓ Compost your biodegradable waste in your garden
✓ Plant a rain garden to absorb polluted runoff
✓ Avoid pesticides which can runoff and end up in our ocean
✓ Conserve water—careful water usage means that less runoff will end up in the ocean
✓ Buy sustainable seafood
✓ Become an advocate for reef conservation
✓ Be a pono (responsible) fisher, taking only what you need
✓ Avoid buying items that are made from coral or other marine life

These are but a few of the important steps we can take to preserve not only our coral reef systems but our Mother Earth as a whole.

two butterfly fish coral reef

 

Talk to us!

What steps have you taken to help ensure the coral reefs are around for future generations. Join the conversation in the comments section below and let us know what you’re doing or if you’ve found a great ‘Reef Safe’ sunscreen brand!

Maui Coral Reefs essential pono guide

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