Story by Lehia Apana
On a quest for some quality time with your sweetheart? Recharge your relationship with this itinerary for two.
9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Hawai‘i’s pineapple roots run deep. Introduced to the Islands in 1813, this sweet treat became one of the state’s largest exported crops in the early 1900s. Today, quaint Hāli‘imaile town is home to Hawai‘i’s only remaining pineapple producer. Get a taste of Maui Gold—which cultivates its namesake supersweet variety—during an outing with Maui Pineapple Tours. You’ll visit a cultivation field and hear about the crop’s history, growing techniques, and how Maui-grown pineapple was saved from the brink of extinction a decade ago—all while slurping on mouthfuls of pineapple that’s harvested before your eyes. The expanded tour package includes a thirty-minute behind-the-scenes tour of Hali‘imaile Distilling Company, and a tasting of their signature spirits, such as pineapple-infused PAU Maui Vodka, plus lunch at Hali‘imaile General Store restaurant. 883 Hāli‘imaile Road, Hāli‘imaile; 808-665-5491; MauiPineappleTour.com
1–2:45 p.m. Maui Healing Retreat offers sessions ranging from acupuncture and meditation to crystal healing and tea ceremonies, which can be experienced individually or as a personalized retreat package. For our couples-themed itinerary, my husband and I opt for a 1.5-hour session dubbed “Cultivating Harmonious Relationships.” This refreshing take on couple’s therapy is a preventative practice rather than a last-ditch effort. Biggest takeaway: A wise couple doesn’t wait until crisis hits. 505 Auli‘i Drive, Makawao; 808-870-3711; MauiHealingRetreat.com
3–5:15 p.m. Famous for its paniolo (cowboy) heritage, eclectic Makawao town is also a mecca for the artsy set. Browse the current exhibit at Viewpoints Gallery, shop for locally made treasures at Maui Hands, talk story with the artist at Jordanne Gallery, and watch glassblowers at Hot Island Glass. Makawao town is centered around the intersection of Makawao and Baldwin avenues.
5:30 p.m. Skip the wait at the popular Kula Bistro, and grab takeout instead. Italian flavors dominate the menu, including specialty panini and savory pastas that will have you devouring every last noodle. Don’t leave without a to-go order (or two) of their house-made desserts, which taste as good as they look. Then head to nearby Harold Rice Park for dinner with a sunset panorama. The park is located just above Kula Highway, and picnic tables, restrooms and other facilities make it a comfy setting. For a more rustic experience, follow the serpentine Waipoli Road all the way past Ali‘i Kula Lavender; find a spot on the grassy shoulder, unfurl a blanket, and enjoy dinner and nature’s show. 4566 Lower Kula Road, Kula; 808-871-2960; KulaBistro.com