Note: I’m posting two of these freebies a week through Feb. 13, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Links to other posts at end.
Maui’s more than a dozen farmers markets means you can find fresh produce and homemade goods every day of the week somewhere on the island.
You’ll find farmers markets in tourist towns like Kihei and hamlets like Makawao, but they’re all open on different days with different hours. The Maui County Farm Bureau and so does the Hawaii Tourism Authority have lists of some of them, with their location and hours. Here are some standouts:
Farmers Market of Maui-Kihei, 61 South Kihei Road, Kihei: In addition to fresh papaya and pineapple all year, a commercial kitchen whips up fresh guacamole, pineapple salsa and papaya seed dressing.
Upcountry Farmers Market, Kula Malu Town Center, Pukalani: It offers homemade banana bread to fresh fish to passion fruit butter from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. You’ll also find flowers, honey, fruit preserves, bread, kombucha tea, prepared foods and live music.
Hana Fresh, between mile markers 34 and 35 on the Hana Highway, just north of Hana: This farmers market at the Hana Medical Center offers certified organic vegetables, fruits and herbs plus baked goods. There’s a picnic area and a café, which serves breakfast and lunch using fresh ingredients from a 7-acre farm. Hana Health operates the stand and farm as part of its prevent care program. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Kula Country Farms, 6240 Kula Highway at Kekaulike Avenue, Kula: This fourth-generation farm and stand is famous for its strawberries. You also can pick your own strawberries and pumpkins (seasonally). It’s open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.
Note: I snapped the featured photo.
Links to the first three posts about Maui freebies:
Note: I’m posting two of these freebies a week through Feb. 13, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Links to other posts at end.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the culture of another place, than taking classes about its culture, history, food and more. Much of that can be done on Maui for free.
Take ukulele lessons from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Lahaina Cannery Mall.
The Whalers Village shopping center in Ka’anapali offers a bunch of different classes — all for free:
Learn how to make a lei — the garland of flowers given as a tradition to guess arriving or departing — at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the lower courtyard.
Watch a free movie with free popcorn on Tuesday and Thursday nights (shows start 15 minutes after sunset) at the lower level courtyard. Recent movies included “Aladdin” and “Goosebumps.” Check the weekly movie schedule online.
If you stay at the Ka’anapali Hotel, you can participate in a dozen Hawaiian cultural activities — all free for guests. (It will cost non-hotel guests $20.) Activities include lei making, hula dancing, learning to cloth print and weave with plants, learning how to play the ukulele, learning about Hawaiian storytelling and learning some common Hawaiian words and phrases and a coconut hulking demonstration.
Note: I snapped the features photos and used BeFunky photo editor.
Note: I’m posting two of these freebies a week through Feb. 13, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My first post two days ago was about free shows on Maui.
Maui has so many great beaches and hidden coves that it’s hard to make recommendations, but I’ll try.
One the west side of the island, Ka’anapali Beach is one of Maui’s longest (3 miles) and most popular beaches. Kapalua Beach is a nice crescent beach that attracts families and sea turtles. DT Fleming Beach Park (one of my favorite beaches) is great for body surfing and boogie boarding. On the southeastern part of Maui, check out Makena Beach.
Some good beginner surf spots are Lahaina’s Puamana Beach Park, the Lahiana Breakwall, Kihei Cove, Launiupoko Beach and Ka’anapali Beach.
Note: I’ll post two of these freebies a week through Feb. 13, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A trip to Hawaii doesn’t have to break the bank.
If you’re a first-time visitor or just want the biggest bang for your buck, try Maui. The island has a little bit of everything – from a volcano to rainforests to beautiful beaches.
First, look for lower airfares and vacation packages during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Once on Maui, there are plenty of free things to do and see, letting you splurge on a traditional luau or a zip-line activity for the family.
Here is the first of 10 tips: free shows.
Sunset cliff dive: This breathtaking sight is a tribute to King Kahekili, Maui’s last independent king in the 18th century. Sunset cliff diving takes place every night at Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa in Ka’anapili.
Hula shows: The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel offers a free hula and Hawaiian music show every day, except Mondays, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Lahaina Cannery Mall offers free hula shows. Check the mall’s calendar for dates and times.
Hawaiian music: Listen to a musical performance from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel lobby.
Note: The featured photo at top of a sunset cliff dive at Black Rock in Ka’anapali is by Andre Gaulin via Unsplash.
Plenty of bays and lagoons, off-shore reefs, lava rocks and sea life make snorkeling on the Hawaiian island of Maui a real treat. Here’s a list of the five best beaches to snorkel:
1. Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach is one of Maui’s longest beaches (three miles) and most popular beaches. Located in West Maui, it once was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty. There are many resorts along the beach, but you can easily find spots that aren’t crowded. On the north end of the beach is Black Rock, a renowned snorkeling destination. You also can check out smaller Kahekili Beach, an extension of Kaanapali Beach separated by lava rock and a hotel. Named for Maui’s last king, Kahekili Beach offers good snorkeling, but watch for strong currents.
2. Napili Bay
Napili Bay faces a resort area, it’s not as busy as the Kaanapali Beach area. Napili is good for snorkeling when n the surf isn’t rough. Sea turtles (honu) often visit reefs just off the bay shore.
3. Honoloa Bay
For those who don’t mind a bit of a drive and adventure, head to under-the-radar Honoloa Bay. Pros: Because Honoloa Bay is part of a Marine Life Conservation District that bars fishing, there always is plenty of sea life and coral if you swim out a bit from the beach. The left side of the beach is best for snorkeling. Cons: The shore is very rocky and narrow, so it’s not a place to lie and read a book. The shallow water is murky. Parking is farther away and can be difficult. There’s no sign for the beach; look for mile marker 32 off Honoapi’ilani Highway and cars parked along the side of the road at an S curve just after Slaughterhouse Beach. Walk along a marked path to the bay.
4. Kapalua Bay Beach
Along a protected bay in northwestern Maui near the historic whaling port of Lahaina, Kapalua Beach (in the featured photo by me at top) is a great place for young kids to snorkel. The tide pools, lava rock and sea creatures and two offshore reefs make for some fun snorkeling. Two sea turtles played in the shallows when I visited. During the winter, you may see whales in deeper waters.
5. Keawakapu Beach, Ulua Beach and Polo Beach
I’m cheating here by combining three beaches in Wailea in South Maui, but starting with Keawakapu and traveling south, each beach is less two miles from the previous one. They all have great snorkeling and bathrooms and showers (at the south end of Keawakapu Beach).
Go to the southern end of Keawakapu Beach, which is just under a mile long, to snorkel amid patches of reef. Quarter-mile Ulua Beach offers easy snorkeling at its rocky north end. Warning: Parking at Ulua can fill up early. Two sandy crescents make up Polo Beach, which faces the Polo Beach Club and the Fairmont Kea Lani hotel. When the waves are small, snorkel around the rocky point at the north end of the beach.
Visiting outdoorsy Maui, you might not think sitting in a car would be that much fun.
But driving the famous, heart-stopping Road to Hana is a different story. It’s one of the world’s most scenic drives.
With 620 curves and 59 bridges, most of which are one lane, the 64-mile Hana Highway is not for wimps. The reward is beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, waterfalls, swimming holes and stunning vistas along Maui’s eastern coast. Everything is so green because this is the wettest part of Maui, sitting on the windward side of Maui’s volcano, Haleakala.
Many people start the drive on Maui’s northeastern coast in the town of Pa’ia and drive clockwise for 53 miles on Highways 36 and 360 to the town of Hana, but it’s worth continuing for 11 more miles to remote Kaupo. From there, you can continue on the Piilani Highway (Highways 31 and 37) for a loop through Maui’s interior. The paved road turns to dirt with potholes, but I’ve driven the entire loop and it’s not that bad.
You can drive the Road to Hana in one day, returning the same way, or you can stay overnight in Hana or another town to drive back the next day. You also can book a tour and let someone else drive.
I’ll note that there are many waterfalls on the Road to Hana and I only mention a couple below. Parking is tough at many of the falls, so you may have to settle for drive-by views. There are many other fun stops — from beaches to hikes to local fruit stands — and it’s a beautiful drive even if you never leave the car.
Starting in Pa’ia, many visitors drive clockwise to Hana and back the same route, but you can loop through Kaupo and back through eastern Maui’s interior. (Sheryl Jean with Google Maps)
Here are some of my favorite spots:
1. Ke’anae Aboretum: It’s worth a walk through this free small state-owned 6-acre park to see some of the 150 varieties of exotic flora, such as bananas, ginger and rainbow eucalyptus. Look for remnants of an historical lo’i, traditional terraces for planting taro.
2. Wailua Valley State Wayside: This little park offers views of the Ke’anae Valley, Ko’olau Gap and the Wailua village and the rim of Haleakala.
3. Hana Lava Tube and Kahanu Garden: After a volcanic eruption, the outer layers of molten lava flows cooled first and hardened into tunnels, forming Maui’s largest lava tube. To reach the lava tube, take a left on Ula’ino Road around mile marker 31 and drive about four miles. Don’t forget a flashlight. Farther down Ula’ino Road is Kahanu Garden, run by the nonprofit National Tropical Botanical Gardens. There, you can see Pi’ilanihale Heiau, a lava-rock temple that’s the largest in Hawaii. Both stops charge a fee.
4. Waiʻānapanapa State Park: This is a must-stop around mile marker 32 before Hana town. It’s an easy walk to the park’s highlight: the dazzling Pailoa black-sand beach, a dark crescent framed by bright green naupaka shrubs and the azure ocean. The park has many other natural wonders, including Hawaii’s largest wild hala tree grove; freshwater caves with sapphire-blue water; seabird colonies; a lava tube; natural stone arches; and blow holes. Ke Ala Loa O Maui/Piilani Trail(3 miles round trip) starts beyond Pa’iloa and traverses lava-rock fields and hala trees to the cliff shoreline at Pailoa Bay, with spectacular views of the coast and Haleakala’s slopes. Along the way, you may see gravesites, low stone walls and a temple inland. Stop at the boulder beach and return the same way, or continue along to Hana Bay. Plan ahead to camp here.
5. Hana: This coastal town is where you’ll want eat, drink or stay overnight. Visit the Hana Cultural Center & Museum to learn about the history of Hana and East Maui. For more action, head for the shallow waters of black-sand Hana Bay for great snorkeling, especially for beginners.
6. Hamoa Beach: South of Hana just past mile marker 51, turn on Haneoo Road to find calm waters at this crescent-shaped beach consistently named one of best in the world. (Skip the first beach, Koki Beach, which has strong rip tides.)
7. Wailua Falls: Named Maui’s “most photographed waterfall,” it plunges 80 feet down a cliff into a green pool. You’ll also see fantastic views of Ke’anae Valley, Ko’olau Gap and the rim of Haleakala’s crater. The falls are inland, along a bridge about 5 miles after Hamoa Beach. Park after the bridge.
8. Kīpahulu: The remote Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park 12 miles past Hana is home to ‘Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail and Waimoku Falls (hike two miles to the falls). When water levels are safe at ‘Ohe’o, you can swim in many of the pools. The area is rich in history, with many ruins and ancient sites. Check the National Park Service calendar for activities, such as guided walks and ranger talks. There’s a visitor center and camping.
9. Palapala Ho’omau Church: This 1857 limestone coral church is better known as the burial site of aviator Charles Lindbergh. He moved to the Kīpahulu area in 1968.
10. Kaupo: Lush rainforests give way to drier and rockier landscapes when you reach this remote ranching area. Under the shadow of the Haleakala, you can take a challenging hike up (or down) the steep Kaupo Trail and Kaupo Gap to the crater with panoramic views of the Big Island. Stop at Kaupo General Store for a trip back in time and to stock up on supplies.
11.Alii Kula Lavendar Farm: This 13-acre farm and store in Kula is home to about 55,000 lavender plants and 25 varieties. Entry is $3, or $12 for a 30-minute walking tour.
12.Maui Wine: Yes, even outback Maui has a winery. This winery on Ulupalakua Ranch makes pineapple wines, small-production estate wines and sparkling wines. Each day, it offers two free tours and tastings for $12 or $16 in the King’s Cottage tasting room, which was built in the 1870s for Hawaii’s King Kalākaua. It also offers a $40 reservation-only tasting in its historic “Old Jail,” the former office of Captain James Makee, one of Hawaii’s pioneer planters. Maui Wine offers a cheese and charcuterie boards or grab lunch at Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill across the street.
Hawaii has joined the list of places around the world restricting travel due to overtourism.
Such restrictions are becoming more common in areas of high historical or natural significance, including Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Machu Picchu (Peru) and Santorini (Greece), which are inundated with visitors, especially at peaks times like summer. Such places are limiting the number of visitors, regulating short-term housing rentals and increasing fees to preserve the very features and ambiance tourists flock to see and, in some cases, protect travelers who take high risks in the quest for Instagram photographs and social media clicks.
What does it all mean for you if you plan to visit Hawaii? Travel restrictions may require travelers to make some changes, including planning farther ahead, making reservations and paying new fees.
To help visitors understand why such actions are being taken, Hawaii has implemented various educational campaigns.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority recently rolled out the “Kuleana (responsibility) Campaign” for its eight islands. Short educational videos feature Hawaii residents talking about cultural etiquette, highlighting topics such as land and water safety, conservation and “pono (righteous) tourism.” Some airlines will show the videos on arriving flights and the Hawaii Tourism Authority can post videos automatically on visitors’ social media feeds thanks to geo-targeting technology.
Here are some island-specific highlights:
Earlier this month, Hawaii closed a cliff face in the Lihau section of the West Maui Natural Area Reserve for up to two years to protect native plants. Rock climbers had installed hardware and footholds into cliffs, affecting threatened and endangered plants, such as the Maui chaff flower and Menzies’ schiedea, according to the Maui News. Climbers who hiked through the area to reach the cliff also trampled West Maui’s only known population of yellow hibiscus.
Visitors to Maui can pledge to behave responsibly by taking the Road to Hana Code of Conduct. The 64-mile Road to Hana has 620 curves and 59 bridges that meander through broad beaches, dramatic cliffs, lush rainforests and waterfalls on the eastern side of the island.
Earlier this year, Oahu passed a law restricting the number of short-term rentals outside of their resort areas of Waikiki, Ko Olina and Turtle Bay.
The new reservation and shuttle system began in June, when both state parks reopened after being closed for 14 months due to severe flooding. It’s part of Hawaii’s Hā’ena Master Plan to reduce overcrowding and better protect its resources.
You can book park entry, parking and the shuttle on the Ha’ena State Park Reservation website. The current fee for bicycle or walk-in entry is $1 per person. The current parking fee for a non-Hawaii resident is $5 per vehicle, which includes park entry. The North Shore Shuttle offers park-and-ride service, including park entry and a “Hop On Pass” to stop at sites along the way, from two locations (Princeville and Hanalei) for $11 per person.
Island of Hawaii
The Hawaii Visitors Bureau promotes safe travels by encouraging visitors to take the nine-part Pono Pledge to treat the island with respect and not disrupting the environment or endangering yourself or others. “I will not take what is not mine leaving lava rocks and sand as originally found” is an example.
Who is the man with a long white beard in December?
In many countries, there are two answers to that question.
Santa Claus delivers gifts at Christmas on Dec. 25.
Before that, people in many countries in Europe — from Belgium to Russia — celebrate St. Nicholas Day. It’s Dec. 6 in some western European countries, such as Belgium and Germany, and Dec. 19 in Eastern European countries, like Ukraine.
Many people in those countries celebrate both St. Nicholas Day and Christmas.
Unlike Santa, St. Nicholas was a real person born in the third century in what’s now Turkey. He was a bishop who became a Christian saint in the late 10th century.
In Germany, St. Nicholas Day isn’t a public holiday, but it’s celebrated widely with cheer. On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, or Nikolaustag, which is tonight (Dec. 5), children in Germany put out their boots or hang stockings outside their door. On the morning of Dec. 6, children (who have been good) wake to find their boots or stockings filled with chocolate, cookies, nuts or even small gifts like a scarf.
St. Nicholas Day has a dark side. A folkloric helper called Knecht Ruprecht in Germany or Krampus in some Central European countries often accompanies St. Nicholas to punish naughty children.
The half-goat, half-demon creature usually is portrayed as dark and hairy with horns, cloven hooves and a long, pointed tongue. You can see why this pagan mythological figure inspired a yuletide horror movie called “Krampus” in 2015.
In comparison, St. Nicholas often is portrayed as an elderly, benevolent soul in Western Europe, with a long, white beard, wearing a bishop’s mitre (a tall headdress) and holding a hooked staff.
Note: The featured photo at top is by Ben Kerckx via Pixabay.
It’s that time of year again, when we travel far distances to be with family and friends for the holidays.
Whether you’re flying or driving, space is at a premium. Packing light is a priority.
Here arefive tips on what not to pack and how to better pack what’s necessary:
1. Leave your toiletries at home. Whether you’re in a hotel, AirBnB or a relative’s house, chances are they’ll provide shampoo. If you can do without your favorite brands for a few days, leave behind your soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other common toiletries. You also can buy them at your destination. If you must have a certain brands, carry the travel sizes. That will not only save room in your checked bags but it meets TSA regulations for carry-on bags. Also pack smaller sizes of other items, such as a hairbrush.
If you must pack toiletries, bring the item on the left, which is smaller than 3.4 ounces. (Sheryl Jean)
2. Think like a European. Do you really need six complete changes of clothes and five pairs of shoes for a four-day trip? Recycle your clothing.That’s what Europeans do. Pack color coordinates items to mix and match pieces of clothing. Your relatives may not even notice you wore the same blues two days ago if it’s underneath a sweater.
3. Roll, don’t fold. You’ll save room your luggage by rolling your clothing instead of folding them flat. That method also reduces wrinkles and makes it easier to see what’s in your bag. I was rolling long before Marie Kondo recommended it.
4. Pack for the weather. Check the weather forecast for your destination before you pack. If there’s no chance of rain, don’t pack an umbrella and raincoat. If it’s supposed to snow, replace high heels with boots and wear them on the plane. Always wear your heaviest items when flying to free up more room in and reduce the weight of your luggage.
5. Don’t duplicate. If you have an e-reader, do you need to bring books? If you have a smartphone, do you need a travel alarm clock? Do you need both a tablet and a laptop? Pick technology or go Old School, but not both, and don’t duplicate your technology.
Note: The featured photo at top is from took a pic via Pixabay.
Whether you’re planning to ski or visit family, winter provides an opportunity to warm up with some craft beer. And Idaho is the perfect place to do so.
Idaho’s brewery scene has seen heady growth over the last few years. Boise, the state capital and Idaho’s largest city, and the surrounding area are home to more than 20 breweries.
While Boise is known for Northwest IPAs made from hops grown in Oregon and Washington, local brewers like to experiment with new styles and flavors, so there promises to be something for everyone. On two recent visits, I found citrus-infused ales, chocolaty stouts and interesting flavor profiles using Hibiscus, Vanilla and tea.
Here are seven craft breweries I visited and liked, but there are many more to try:
Founder Collin Rudeen sources ingredients sourced from local farmers. Its November beer list included 15 choices – from Golden Trout Pale Ale to Black Cliffs (Stout) to cider. Boise Brewing has received four medals from the Great American Beer Fest and Black Cliffs one a gold medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup.
Visitors will see large ceramic mugs lining the walls of the downtown Boise taproom. They belong to Idaho residents who are part owners of the brewery. I like that it’s one of a handful of community-owned breweries across the country. In fact, 6-year-old Boise Brewery is in the midst of a third Idaho Public Offering to raise capital to make improvements to its downtown Boise taproom and possibly open a second taproom.
Owners Jerry and Susie Larson spent 30 years home-brewing and experimenting before deciding to open the brewery in 2016. Its early November tap list of 14 options includes Lollygagger Lager, Naked Sunbather Nut Brown Ale (winner of a 2018 silver medal from the North American Brewers Association) and Sunstone Hazy IPA (New England style). Located near the Boise Airport, the taproom has a laid-back vibe and features live music, trivia nights, games and Comedy Open Mic Nights on Mondays. You can order from a food truck.
Is there a better combination than beer and pinball? That’s what you’ll find at Woodland Empire, which specializes in IPAs with its “Mixtape Series” and twists on classic styles like its current Thunder Chicken (smoked Porter) and Count Chocula (chocolate cereal milk Stout). Its Mixtape offering in November was Twined & Twisted (Kristall Haze IPA). Former Austin, Texas, musician and homebrewer Keely Landerman, her husband Rob, and Tom Dolan started making artisan beers in small batches in 2014. They started amassing medals in 2015: winning five medals through 2018. At the downtown Boise taproom, you can play on retro pinball machines order tasty food from Manfred’s Kitchen next door for delivery to your table.
Founder Mike Francis left his Boeing engineering job to study brewing at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology. He first worked at Seattle’s Schooner Exact Brewing before opening Payette Brewing in 2010. He named the brewery for French Canadian fur trader François Payette, whose moniker graces many Idaho landmarks. It offers many year-round and seasonal brews, such as Flyline Vienna Lager, Pistolero Porter and Sofa King Juicy Mango Hazy IPA. Its all-ages taproom allows well-behaved pets. Customers can order from rotating food trucks and take a free brewery tour on Saturdays.
Husband-and-wife team James Long and BreAnne Hovley started the brewery in the Boise suburb of Garden City with help from Kickstarter in 2015, Two years later, they opened a second taproom in downtown Boise, which draws a hip, youngish crowd. You won’t find its beers outside of the two taprooms, which adds to the allure. Using Old World-brewing styles, the brewery specializes in limited batch sours, Bourbon barrel stouts and barley wines, but it also makes traditional beers, Belgian ales and experimental styles such as Ice Cream Ales and a Candy Gose series. Boise customers can order food for delivery from Calle 75 Street Tacos. You won’t find this beer outside of its taprooms.
Barbarian Brewing has an extensive selection of brews. (Sheryl Jean and BeFunky)
Technically, this is a brewpub opened in 2013 by the Bend, Ore.-based brewery, but Boise brewmaster Shawn Kelso (aka Big Daddy) does make beer on site. Its known for big IPAs – like Idahop and Freak Alley – but its menu of 22 beers on top in early November also includes Swill (American Radler), Apricot Crush (Sour), Cream Ale and the seasonal Pray for Snow (Winter Ale). The open, industrial-style brewpub is a popular spot to watch sports on big-screen televisions. 10 Barrel Brewing operates five other locations in California, Colorado and Oregon.
Sockeye Brewing, 12542 West Fairview Ave., Boise, and 3019 North Cole Road, Boise.
Sockeye is Boise’s largest brewery. Founded in 1996, it now has two Boise locations with full-service restaurants. Along with its flagship Dagger Falls IPA, you’ll find Woolybugger Wheat, Angel’s Peach Amber and seasonal brews like Winterfest. This award-winning brewery doesn’t take itself too seriously with its motto “Drink like a fish!”