The great thing about Maui is the wide range of activities — whether you like to snorkel, hike, sunbathe, bike, or even shop. Certain activities book early, such as horseback riding and biking down the volcano.
The Kai Kanani was good for $49.88 early morning snorkel including a continental breakfast. They leave from Wailea so its a shorter boatride (less seasick) http://www.kaikanani.com/ Molokini was much better than Turtle Town. Its a good intro. to Molokini if you haven’t been there before. The Kai Kanani offers continental breakfast (muffins/coffee/soft drinks) along with snorkeling equipment. The crew was friendly and we even saw some dolphins along the way to Molokini. I plan on going for the all morning trip next time.
Black Rock is a nice place for beginners since its on a sandy beach. You’ll see a nice variety of fish when you swim towards the “Black Rock” side where coral is still abundant. There is limited parking available next to Whaler’s Village (left side of the shopping center) You can park at the Whaler’s Village for 3 hours with a minimum $10-$15 purchase (ABC store is great for that)
Another good snorkeling spot is Kapalua Beach. Its a little tricky to find though, you have to drive through Kapalua Bay resort in order to reach the small parking lot. Access to the reef is a little more difficult since the beach has a lot of rocky areas along with sand. Stick with the lighter areas (sandy) and you will be able to venture out to the shallow bay. We saw a wider variety of fish here than Black Rock. As for the beach, the sand was very nice. If you aren’t a snorkeler, this beach would be nice place to relax. This beach is rated one of the top 10 beaches in Hawaii, so its definitely earned its rating.
If you prefer to buy your own gear, Costco has great prices for a full set (mask, snorkel, and fins) for ~$40. They usually have the snorkeling set either by the front entrance or in front of one of the aisles.
Kmart has more variety for snorkeling gear, while Walmart has better prices. If you need a life jacket, Kmart has a good selection.
Anti-fog: You can use baby shampoo mixed with water as an anti-fog for the mask.
Maui has various shopping locations around the island. The Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is a typical indoor mall with Macy’s and Sears anchors. Whaler’s Village on West Maui has higher end stores and good restaurants (e.g. Hula Grill) If you are renting a condo, I recommend getting a Safeway shopper card to take advantage of the sales they have. Groceries are pricey! I’ll elaborate more on the shopping experience section soon..
If you are a huge scrapbook fan like Daynah, then you need to visit Island Paperie. It has one of the largest selection of Hawaiian scrapbook supplies. They have many different paper designs not found at mainland scrapbook stores.
Hawaii is a great place to take photos. If you can afford a digital SLR, this would be a good opportunity to get one. The nice part of having a SLR is that you can purchase filters/lenses to optimize your photos.
I highly recommend getting the circular polarizer filter for getting those postcard-esque photos of the ocean. It basically filters out the reflection from the sunlight so you will get clear views of the coral/water underneath the ocean. Another filter I recommend getting is the Natural Density (ND) filter for getting nice portrait photos behind a sunset/etc.
Great photo locations:
1) On the Road to Hana there are several waterfalls (make sure you use a tripod and set the exposure setting to slow)
2) Haleakala volcano. The morning sunrise is a great photo opportunity if the weather conditions cooperate. If its not cloudy, you will have a great view of the island. I would reschedule the visit if its windy or raining.
3) Sunset on the west side of the island.