For LGBT lovebirds who want to fly west for the winter (or friends not shy about impersonating a happy pair), the Makena Beach & Golf Resort on Maui has introduced a Pride Romance Package especially for the gay and lesbian community. Book from now until December 23, 2010 and get guestroom accommodations (Pacific or Mt. Haleakala view), breakfast for two, a framed keepsake map to/of nearby gay-popular Little Beach, and a Hawaiian sarong, all priced at $189 per night (double occupancy, resort fee and tax exclusive). Nothing quite says escape like the sun and sand of Hawaii's Valley Isle.
Located away from the urban hustle of Kahului and Wailuku on the secluded southwestern coast, yet still convenient to the day-trip excursion points of Lahaina and the take-your-breath-away tropical lushness of the road to Hana, the 1,800-acre resort's hiking trails, dual pools and jacuzzis, tennis courts, 18-hole golf course and oceanside location provide ample opportunity for relaxation or a la carte beach activities. Makena State Park's Big Beach (a pristine often uncrowded local favorite) and Little Beach (an un-sketchy nudist option), less than a mile away, offer sun-seeker bliss.
Off resort, despite having no full-time gay bar, Maui boasts the busiest gay scene next to Oahu (its official state color is pink, after all); just don't expect much rowdy, en-masse carousing. It's more about sleepy charm and overall gay-friendliness, although DJs and dancing at Gian Don's Italian Bistro in nearby Kihei on Wednesday and Saturdays, and neighboring Ambrosia for Ultra Lounge Monday, are places to try your luck. Visit Maui Pride or Both Sides Now for slim up-to-date listings.
Sunday afternoon's party on Little Beach is an only-in-Maui experience and also the queer highlight of the week. Drum-circles, fire-dancing, and music organically erupt as a mixture of gay and straight, young and old, nude and not-nude revelers swim, dance, and commune in the crimson glow of the setting sun. An extraordinarily welcoming hippie luau of sorts, it's pure island magic.
For more gay-specific on all the Hawaiian islands, pick up The Out Traveler: Hawaii guidebook, well-researched by former long-time resident Matt Link. To book the Pride Romance Package click on this link (select the tab "Select a Room Inclusive Package") or call the Makena Beach & Golf Resort at 800-321-MAUI or 808-874-1111.
Check out our Maui Travel Guide for general trip-planning information.