A weekend in Oahu just wasn’t enough. (Heavens, but winter sure does drag on.) Part two of DailyCandy Goes to Hawaii uncovers even more island charms.
Maui is the Julia Roberts of Hawaii. Popular, pretty — you want to hate her. Then you get to know her and discover she’s totally cool. So why fight it?
Ka’anapali, one of the world’s most beautiful sugar-sand beaches, awaits at The Westin Maui Resort and Spa (2365 Ka’anapali Parkway; 808-667-2525). Gorgeous Napili and Kapalua beaches are a stone’s throw away. Aston Maui Lu (575 South Kihei Road; 808-879-5881) in Kihei is a great, campy budget option. The pool is shaped like the island.
Forget packing. Get a tropical kit at Sisters & Co. (Shops at Wilea, 3750 Wilea Alanui Drive, #A-35; 808-874-0003). Island couture? Yes, it exists. At Maggie Coulombe Maui (505 Front Street; 808-662-0696). Don’t miss her Tahitian pearls, which come in amazing hues of gold, blue, black, brown, and violet.
Former L.A. music bigwig Joe Gannon traded big concerts (Kiss, Blondie) for a grill in the tropics. Joe’s (131 Wailea Iki Place; 808-875-7767) serves his island faves. For the local scene (fresh sushi with live karaoke), hit Sansei Seafood Bar & Restaurant (Kihei Town Center; 808-879-0004).
On Sundays at sunset Little Beach at Makena State Park turns into a mini Burning Man with upwards of 500 revelers dancing around a drumming circle.
The Big Island, namesake in the chain, is the expanding frontier. Literally: You can safely see one of the world’s only active volcanoes, which adds a few feet of land to the island every month.
Volcano House (Crater Rim Drive, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; 808-967-7321) offers lovely accommodations right on the hot spot. Clean up your karma in a tree house at Kalani Honua Oceanside Eco-Retreat (Pahoa Beach Road, 808-965-7828).
The country’s top spa is at the Four Seasons Hualalai (100 Kaupulehu Drive; 808-325-8000). Yeah, it costs a small fortune, but you’ll be pampered into oblivion.
Hit Luquin’s (15-2942 Pahoa Village Road; 808-965-9990) in Little Pahoa for tasty Mexican. When driving the beautiful Hamakua coast, stop for a malasada at Tex Drive In & Restaurant (45-690 Pakalana Street; 808-775-0598). What is it? Imagine a warm, deep-fried ball of dough filled with chantilly, chocolate pudding, or guava jelly and rolled in sugar. Add a cup of Kona and it’s a paradise to rival the one you’re already in.
The two-hour drive along the Hamakua Coast between Hilo (the wet, green side of the island) and Kailua-Kona (the dry, sandy beach side) is one of the most beautiful anywhere. Get fruit and snacks for the road at Hilo Farmer’s Market (Kamehameha Avenue and Mamo Street).