Headed to Maui – perhaps for one of these fantastic hotel deals we highlighted this month? This beautiful island might be famous for its wealthy residents and spendy accommodation, but springtime offers a wide range of distractions for less. From marine fun, to golf, to happy hour, here are five ideas for a more affordable Hawaiian vacation:
Maui's all about gorgeous beaches, volcano adventures, nature hikes... and wine? Perhaps a bit less expected than the typical island pleasures, Maui's Winery rests on a lush 20,000-acre estate in Upcountry. Their specialties include pineapple, raspberry, and sparkling wines. After a joyride through the nearby tree-lined roads and vibrant flower beds, stop by for a complimentary wine tasting (daily, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.) and guided walking tours to learn about the company's volcanic soil and centuries-old wine-making processes.
For another boozy good time, Ocean Vodka, an organic farm and distillery, is offering ShermansTravel readers an exclusive 50 percent off tickets for a tour through the solar-powered property on the slopes of Mount Haleakala. In just one year of opening, Ocean Vodka has welcomed more than 17,000 guests, introducing them to sustainable spirit production and, of course, tastings near the organic sugar cane fields. Love a good martini? Don't miss the dedicated Martini Garden, which shows off local garnishes like lavender, passion fruit, and strawberries. Tours are $5 with the discount; use the code SHERMANSTRAVEL through June.
Maui Ocean Center is a research-intensive marine park whose animals are all from local waters. While the $25.95 ticket doesn't provide the cheapest thrill, a free upgrade to a week pass, (typically, $34.50) is a good value (make sure you follow these instructions). The ticket grants you access to more than 60 exhibits, including a chance to see the largest live coral collection in the nation, and an "underwater" tunnel through a 750,00o-gallon habitat of more than 2,000 fish. There's also a range of complimentary talks given on site.
We like that the new happy hour at Kapalua Resorts's Pineapple Grill Restaurant runs Thursday-Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.. It's known as the "Cheers bar" of the neighborhood, if that gives any indication of the atmosphere. Hungry visitors can sip on craft cocktails and nibble on bar pupus (appetizers) for $8. If you're there in the late afternoon, linger for live music featuring local talent, starting at 6 or 7 p.m.
Fancy yourself some tee time? Pro-golfers love Wailea's Robert Trent Jones II-designed Gold course, while more recreational players gravitate toward the award-winning Emerald Course. In May, you can get the best of both worlds with a three-day unlimited pass for both courses for $450, a savings of $85 on regular rates and a savings of $45 off April rates for the same pass. While the cost is well into the triple digits here, a comparable package at Kapalua Golf, for instance, goes for $639, and three days at Kamehameha Golf add up to $510. To play a few no-frills holes, check out county courses like this one that go for $55 daily.