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Paddleboarding in Maui

Hawaii

Hawaiian Treat: Six Ways to Experience Oahu and Maui

By: Leslie Lang

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    Hawaii

The islands of Oahu and Maui offer mouthwatering cuisine and unforgettable vacation activities set in beautiful tropical locations.

Oahu, Hawaii's third-largest island, is well known for its capital city Honolulu, famous surf beaches along the North Shore and an endless variety of local and award-winning restaurants. Maui, a separate island, is known as “The Valley Isle," and offers visitors many opportunities to experience Hawaii's scenic beauty and laid-back atmosphere.

Enjoy Fine Dining in Oahu

Roy's Waikiki is one of Hawaii's most famous restaurants, and can't be missed during a stay on Oahu. Chef Roy Yamaguchi's restaurant is known for its ambiance, excellent service and award-winning cuisine, appropriately called “Hawaiian-inspired Euro-Asian." The menu focuses on fish and seafood, with dishes like macadamia nut-crusted opah with Kona cold lobster sauce, and misoyaki butterfish with a sweet ginger wasabi beurre blanc. There's also a tasting menu with wine pairings for each course, and dessert can't be missed – the hot chocolate soufflé with raspberry coulis is a favorite.

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Relax at a Local and Organic Favorite

Goofy Café is a casual spot in Honolulu with surf and beach decor. As noted on its menu posted right on the wall, Goofy's motto regarding ingredients is “Local First, Organic Whenever Possible." The café serves breakfast all day as well as lunch and dinner. You'll find local-style dishes, such as an avocado "bowl" with ahi tuna served raw, garlic shrimp and muffins made from taro. Ingredients determine the menu at this surfer's cafe, so there is always something fresh to try.

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Land in Lahaina: Maui's Gateway to Adventure

Lahaina Town is the perfect starting point for exploring Maui. Lahaina has a unique history, too – island kings and chiefs used to live in the town, and in the mid-19th century it became a seaport for U.S. whaling ships. The town still maintains that era's look, and today’s visitors can enjoy kayak and stand-up paddleboard tours as well as many other ocean activities. Experts and beginners are both welcome, and private lessons are offered. Explore Maui by paddlearound the shoreline or go out in a kayak with a guide who will lead you to the best spots to quietly and privately whale-watch.

Mountains overlooking boats at anchor in Lahaina Harbor

Mountains overlooking boats at anchor in Lahaina Harbor
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Taste Fresh Pineapple at the Source

Taking the Maui Gold Pineapple Tour is a great way to experience Maui's natural landscape. The hour-and-a-half pineapple bus tour of a scenic upcountry Makawao farm shows you how pineapple is grown, harvested and packaged. You will get to taste fresh fruit from the field, and you'll take some home, too. You can choose to add on lunch at the elegant The Hali'imaile General Store restaurant, or a tour of the Hali'imaile Distilling Company. The distillery produces the only vodka made from pineapple as well as Sammy's Beach Bar Rum, developed for rock musician Sammy Hagar.

The pineapple, a symbol of wealth, welcome and good fortune

The pineapple, a symbol of wealth, welcome and good fortune
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Sip Local Beers at Maui Brewing

After your adventures, spend an evening at Maui Brewing Company in Lahaina. The brewpub features a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., showcasing its handcrafted ales and lagers. It's also known for adding beer as an ingredient to as many food items as possible. The brewpub uses local meats, greens, vegetables and cheeses wherever it can – even the ketchup and mustard are made in-house. All beers are made at Maui Brewing Company's brewery in Kihei, which offers tours and its own Tasting Room.

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