Maui – Sheer Beauty by Nate and Jennifer Manning

The Hawaiian island of Maui is widely known as one of the most beautiful destinations on planet Earth. Its luscious green peaks and pristine beaches are nothing short of breath taking. Upon landing at the Kahului Airport on the northernmost coast of the island and hearing the tranquil sound of live Hawaiian music at baggage claim, it becomes clear why this is a treasured vacation spot of many people. This busy father, husband and businessman found it to be the perfect sanctuary to escape from daily burdens and worriment.

In addition to an exquisite seascape, the quaint port-town of Lahaina offers a perfect place to search for a memorable keepsake or to simply embrace the true Hawaiian culture. A quick walk down Front Street or a stroll past the famous Banyan Tree will quickly orient you to the laid-back feel of the native islanders. My wife, a true introvert, often found herself gabbing with the locals due to their innate ability to connect with those who surround them. The Banyan Tree in the center of Lahaina is a perfect portrayal of the deep-rooted Hawaiian kin that reside on the island of Maui. Planted in the year 1873, this local historical token has grown to completely enwrap the Lahaina town square.

Stunning accommodations are “a dime a dozen” around the Island of Maui. However, the Honua Kai Resort and Spa near Kaanapali on the East coast is exquisite beyond belief. Clear blue relaxation pools lined with colorful green landscape makes for the perfect relaxation spot. Upon waking up each morning, we quickly found ourselves drawn to the oversized lanai (balcony) to bask in the astounding views while enjoying a breakfast prepared in our fully equipped kitchen. The thought frequently came to mind – “Why would I ever leave this place?”

During one of our daily explorations of the stunning Island, we wandered to one of Maui’s best-kept secrets – Slaughterhouse Beach. Hidden from the view of the coastal highway and tucked away in a beautiful cove, this beach is perfect for a day of relaxation. The high-towering rocks that surround you are topped with palm trees, which gives this beach the perfect ratio of shade and sunlight.

The luxuriant green hills that constantly surround locals and travelers alike are hard to ignore. We heard about a short hike through the hills that led to a dream-like waterfall which we attempted one afternoon. At the front end of the picturesque “Road to Hana” is a small trailhead called “Twin Falls”. A small, tree-engulfed shack which welcomed us provided a variety of juices that perfectly complemented the short one mile hike that followed. During walk through a thick forest of bamboo trees, the sound of falling water will slowly began to surround. Upon arrival at the falls, we found a calm 10-foot-deep pool of crisp-cool water being replenished by a steady waterfall. The sound of the crashing water was enough to put us in a Hawaii-induced relaxation coma.

As we sat in our seats at gate seven of the Kahului airport awaiting our red-eye Delta flight back to the mainland, I couldn’t get my mind off the sweet smell of the Maui Air. My mind is frequently taken back to our precious time on the Island. Now returned to the reality of an office, frequently as I lift the water glass from my bamboo Maui coaster I find myself asking, “Why am I not back in Maui?”