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Maui, Molokai, and Lanai
Three Unique Experiences

The Hawaiian islands of Maui, Molokai,and Lanai and close to each other, but each offers a very different experience.

The three islands that make up the county of Maui offer the visitor opportunities to experience the diversity of Hawaii without ever having to unpack a bag or check in a rental car.

The geographical placement of these islands makes it possible to wake up on Maui, spend the day sailing and snorkeling off Lana`i, and be back in time for a sunset lu`au on the beach at Wailea. On another day you can hop aboard a ferry from Lahaina harbor and enjoy the day exploring the rainforest on the east end, or touring the remote and mysterious Kalaupapa peninsula.

Maui county is the only part of Hawaii that allows you to travel, one to the other, by boat. This special point of view lets you see the islands as the first discoverers did -- with its magnificent mountains rising out of the azure sea.

The history of these three islands has been entwined for generations. Lana`i, once called the "Pineapple Island" for its rolling plantation fields, is the newest resort star. During its plantation days, even many Hawaii residents were unfamiliar with its charms. Today, two luxurious hotels, surrounded by championship golf courses, attract vacationers.

There are no high rises on Lana`i. The small town of Lana`i City has no stop lights, and the biggest event of the year could be the senior prom at the high school. Instead, activity is based around family life and activities such as hiking, hunting, golfing, fishing and beachcombing.

One tour operator will rent you a Jeep to explore the island's rugged terrain on your own, or they'll pack a lunch for you and let you explore Lana`i's uncluttered shoreline.

If visiting Lana`i's resorts are of interest, plan to enjoy the green lawns and award-winning restaurant at The Lodge at Koele, or spend a day at the spa, or on the golf course at the Manele Bay Hotel.

Moloka`i is just 20 minutes from Maui or Oahu, but it is a lifetime away in other respects. Along Moloka`i's north shore, cliffs rise from the sea and dip into intensely verdant valleys. On the west side of the island, Papohaku beach stretches white sand for three miles, becoming the longest in the islands.

Moloka`i is about outdoor adventure. It is possible to sign up for a guided hike on the east end into lush Halawa Valley, or experience the remote world of Kalaupapa National Park.

Returning to Maui is a little like returning to the "mother ship" after an explorative jaunt. Maui has it all. The historic small towns of Makawao, Paia, and Wailuku, the enchanted valleys filled with waterfalls and legends, the winding road to Hana, the grasslands of cattle and Hawaiian paniolo, the fabulous resort hotels from which you face the sunset each night with a mai tai in your hand.

Let the crashing surf get to you. Smell the smells -- the scent of plumeria from a lei or the garden outside, or suntan lotion that smells of coconut and banana on warm skin. Give in to the magic of Maui.

Article Courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau

See also:
- More Maui Articles

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