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12 Hours In Maui With Island Air

A few weeks ago, our friends over at Island Air asked me to participate in a 12-hour island hopping adventure. The goal? To showcase just how easy it is to travel to one of Island Air’s neighbor island destinations (Lihue, Kahului and Kona). I wanted to be sure to fill the 12-hours with a ton of stuff that I had never experienced before on the the Valley Isle.

I got to choose the neighbor island and a friend to bring along. Maui would be my 12-hour muse and fellow Exploration: Hawaii photographer, Joel, would be my adventure mate.

Our flight was scheduled for 8:29 AM on a Saturday morning. After a quick stop for coffee, we drove over to Honolulu International Airport. The Island Air terminal is located at the Commuter Terminal. This is perfect for neighbor island day trips because the parking is located just a few steps from the check-in counter and boarding gates. Parking is $15 per day.

By the way, tons of charging stations at the Island Air gate waiting area and free Wi-Fi…yippee! Also freely available for Island Air customers: coffee and the morning newspaper. You are set.

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9:14 AM

We landed just before 9:15am, making the actual flight time slightly over 30 minutes, or so. It really was a quick flight. Eager for some adventure, we quickly picked up our rental car from Alamo and we were off…

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10:00 AM

Two of our favorite Maui friends were waiting for us at the Maui War Memorial Stadium. Our first adventure took us to the Waihee Ridge Trail, about a 30-minute drive from Kahului Airport. Along the way, we could see the cloud covered Haleakala in the distance. It was a misty Saturday morning, so we expected to get a little wet…and that was perfectly fine.

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12:47PM

After building up our appetites on the Waihee Ridge Trail, we decided to swing by TINROOF, the “new generation mom & pop shop” by Chef Sheldon Simeon (or, Chef Wonder, if you prefer).

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It was packed at TINROOF so we drove to Keopuolani Park, just next to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center to enjoy our lunch. The food was oh…so…good. We all agreed that the mochiko chicken was pure win.

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2:35 PM

Of course, a shave ice stop was in order…and when you’re in Maui, you’ve got to hit up Ululani’s for their take on Hawaiian shave ice. We visited the Kihei storefront. Be sure to take advantage of the holes in the tables.

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4:02 PM

After our sweet fix, we made the 30-minute drive to La Perouse Bay. The drive to the bay itself is an adventure. The shore is a bit rocky here, so swimming isn’t recommended. However, enjoy the lava rock coastal trail that wraps around the bay.

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While we were there, we drew in the sand…

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5:41 PM

To end the day, we simply sat and enjoyed the sunset at Po‘olenalena Beach in Wailea.

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9:00 PM

Alas, by 9:00pm we found ourselves back in Honolulu. And just like that (and two Island Air Guava Punch drinks later), our 12-hour neighbor island adventure hop full of firsts was over.

Thank you, Island Air.


Itinerary Index

Honolulu International Airport
300 Rodgers Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96819
Phone number (808) 836-6413.

Kahului Airport
1 Keolani Pl, Kahului, HI 96732
Phone number (808) 872-3893.

Waihee Ridge Trail
From Kahekili Highway (340), turn up Maluhia Road and go 0.9 miles. A sign on a fence marks the trail head.

Maui War Memorial Stadium
700 Halia Nakoa St
Wailuku, HI 96793
Phone number (808) 270-7389

Tin Roof Maui
360 Papa Pl
Unit Y
Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 868-0753

Keopuolani Regional Park
700 Halia Nakoa St
Wailuku, HI 96793
Phone number (808) 270-7389

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
Kihei, Maui
61 South Kihei Rd.
Kihei, HI 96753

La Perouse Bay
End of Makena Road.

Po‘olenalena Beach Park
Located between the Kea Lani Hotel and Makena Surf condos and is near the intersection of Wailea Golf Club Drive.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.

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