Steals & Splurges


Sara Smith

steal-full-moonAh, that Maui vacation you saved for—wouldn’t it be nice to have your money go as far as you do? Here are ten penny-pinching tips for having food, fun, and a fabulous time on the Valley Isle—and ten more worth breaking the bank for.

Steal: Full-moon Tide-pool Exploration
Pacific Whale Foundation
$10/adult, $5/child • 7 to 8:30 p.m.
249-8811 •

Discover South Maui’s nightlife! Led by a marine educator, you’ll explore tide pools for sea stars, octopi, urchins and more. Adults and children six and older. Held on September 12, the night of the full moon. Call for later dates.

Splurge: Shoreline Night Dive
Extended Horizons Dive Company
667-0611 •

View shoreline sea life in a whole new light. This guided nocturnal plunge off Ka‘anapali’s famed Black Rock or nearby Airport Beach reveals a different world of color and movement. Dive lights provided.

Steal: Lahaina Heritage Museum
Free • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
648 Wharf Street

Once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom and birthplace of ali‘i (royalty), later a raucous whaling town, Lahaina has a history worth catching up on. Located in the Old Courthouse, between historic Banyan Tree Park and Lahaina Harbor.

Splurge: Ultimate Seafari
Trilogy • $199/adult, $99.50/child
7:45 a.m. to 5 pm daily • 874-5649

Be a raucous seafarer yourself. Climb aboard with the Coons, a sailing family that has been charting Lahaina waters since the ’70s. You’ll cross the ‘Au‘au Channel, set foot on the Island of Lana‘i, enjoy blue-water rafting, snorkeling, and of course, Trilogy’s famous cinnamon rolls.

Steal: Haleakala Hike
Haleakala National Park • $10/vehicle

A ten spot gains outdoor enthusiasts three days’ access to a mountaintop wilderness with more than thirty-four miles of hiking trails through forests and moonscapes. Two campsites (permit required). Hoof in enough food and water and get wild yourself.

Splurge: Haleakala Heli-Hike
Maui Eco-Adventures &
Sunshine Helicopters
$334*/person • 661-7720

Tour Haleakala by helicopter, touch down at a private landing pad, then be shuttled up to Sliding Sands trailhead for a four-to-five-mile hike. Breakfast, lunch and door-to-door service included. Four-person minimum. *Price may vary with fuel surcharges.

Steal: Wailea Beach Walk

Stroll this one-and-a-half-mile oceanfront path for a good workout or a sunset stroll. Size up five different white-sand beaches, spy on resort pools, and watch for whales or the occasional celebrity. Access at Wailea Beach.

Splurge: Cabana Dining
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa
$300–$750/ person • 875-1234

Complete the Wailea experience by booking dinner in grand style. Watch the sunset from your private oceanfront cabana, nosh on lavish cuisine, and be waited on hand and foot. Want an evening to really remember? Opt for the custom nine-course Platinum menu.

Steal: Maui Swap Meet
Saturdays, 7 a.m. to noon

Two quarters take you on an international journey amid chow fun, tropical blooms, mustard greens, clothes from Nepal, used books, and just about every homemade craft under the sun. In Kahului at Pu‘unene and Kamehameha Avenues.

Splurge: Artists of Maui Program
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea  Free admission
Daily, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. • 874-8000

Treasure hunt among works of a more elite nature. Each day a different group of juried Maui artists and artisans display their wares in the resort’s lower lobby. You’ll find hand-turned exotic hardwoods, fiber arts, hand-blown glass, designer jewelry, ceramics, paintings and more.

Steal: Pa‘ina Food Court, Maui Community College
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Discover tomorrow’s culinary stars today. Maui Culinary Academy’s student-run food court is open to the public when-ever school is in session. Nicoise salads, homemade soups, and grilled items are all at reasonable student prices.

Splurge: ‘Aipono Awards Wine Dinner Series
242-8331 •

Support culinary education a different way with this savory series of benefit dinners. Each year, Maui N¯o Ka ‘Oi partners with readers’ favorite restaurants for six superb wine dinners. Treat yourself to masterful food-and-wine pairings and excellent company.

Steal: Lomilomi Massage
Green Ti: $95 • 80 blissful minutes
242-8788 • 40 North Market Street

This tiny Wailuku healing center is a local secret. Walk in or call for an appointment for this uniquely Hawaiian massage.

Splurge: Lomilomi Massage
Waihua Spa at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
$200 • 80 minutes • 665-7079

Hide away from everyday stress in a lava-rock cave conveniently outfitted with a hot tub and wet-and-dry steam rooms. Treatment rooms pamper with heated massage lotions and robe warmers.

Steal: Lodge at the Hawai‘i Nature Center
Sliding scale • 244-6500

Trade a few volunteer hours for a place to stay on Maui. Your modest accommodations include bunk-style rooms in an old hotel with 1950s charm and a scenic view of ‘Iao Valley.

Splurge: Deluxe Sea Ranch Cottage
Hotel Hana-Maui • $695/ night
248-8211 •

Experience nature in a more refined environment—from the sprawling lanai of your plantation-style cottage, overlooking the rugged Hana coastline. Spacious seating areas encourage relaxing, reading, and simply taking in the area’s unspoiled beauty.

Steal: Third Annual Maui ‘Ukulele Festival
Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Free admission • October 19, 2 to 7 p.m.
242-ARTS (242-2787)

Spread a blanket on the grass and be treated to an afternoon of Hawaiian music by virtuosos from across the Aloha State.

Splurge: Mahogany Concert ‘Ukulele
Mele ‘Ukulele • $329
244-3938 •

Inspired? Become a ‘uke virtuoso yourself. First stop: Mele ‘Ukulele for this solid-wood beauty, perfect for the serious student. Next: Find a teacher. Ask for Mele’s list of instructors to find one near you.

Steal: Ulua Rubber Slippers
Long’s Drugs • $5.59

A perennial favorite, these rubber slippers have gallantly served islanders’ feet for decades. Keep it real with classic black, or go for a little bling with the glitter straps.

Splurge: Lomi Women’s Slipper
OluKai • $65

These ergonomically designed slippers will truly uplift your sole. With its sneaker technology and fashion styling, Lomi is part of the beach-friendly Makai Collection, constructed of sand- and water-resistant materials.


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