Think the wedding was tiring? You can exhaust yourselves with all of Maui’s fun.
LAHAINA, Maui — If you think the wedding was exhausting, wait till you get to the honeymoon.
Whale watching. Zip lines. Luaus. Snorkeling. Driving a hairpin road on the edge of seaside cliffs while your beloved new spouse clutches the armrest in terror.
Maui, often named the most beautiful island in the world in travel polls, is so overwhelming in its charm that honestly, it’s a bit intimidating. There are so many choices here that honeymoon couples may be tempted instead to just collapse on a beach chair and shut their eyes.
For energetic couples who would rather do things than sit around holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes, the possibilities are endless.
• Whale watching (Maui is the winter home of giant humpback whales from November to May.)
• Scuba lessons or snorkeling on Molokini (day trip)
• Helicopter tour (amazing sights not reachable by car or foot)
• Strolling Kaanapali Beach
• Lahaina nice dinner and luau
• Eat gelato and watch windsurfers in Paia
• Sunrise at the dormant Haleakala Volcano.
Maui tourist info: gohawaii.com/maui
Except that they might be missing something.
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“We are not really big planners,” said Lacy Ruether, of Grande Prairie, Alberta, whom I met with her husband, Kris, at scenic Twin Falls on the Hana road. Married just three weeks, they were in Maui for a 10-day honeymoon to rest after their big wedding back home.
“We did book snorkeling, and a luau, and we’re going to go golfing, and today we’re on the road to Hana,” she said. “We’re up at 7 or 7:30, but we want to take our time.”
Take their time? With that schedule?
“Just plan one thing a day,” said Kris calmly.
His wife nodded. “Plan so you don’t need a vacation from your vacation.”
Hawaii is the land of honeymoons. As part of a record 8.3 million visitors last year, more than 624,000 were honeymooners, up 4.3 percent from 2013.
Here in Maui the scenery alone is so romantic that you feel as if you are starring in your own exotic movie. Lush greenery nestles against crashing waves. Dreamlike islands in the distance seem imported just for the visual effect. Towering resorts line the West Coast with its sugar-sand beaches, while more modest lodgings are scattered on the north shore and inland.
In Maui, every couple I met looked like they were on their honeymoon.
One couple who were holding hands looked just like they were just married, but it turned out they’d been wed 25 years.
Then on a whale watch near Lahaina, I ran into Chad and Jen Berg, of St. Paul, Minn., who qualify as almost newlyweds. Married just two years, they were on their first trip to the Aloha State.
Standing near the swaying rail of a catamaran, humpback whales spouting and leaping nearby, Chad said romantic Maui was definitely worth the 12-hour journey from Minnesota.
Nearing the end of their 10-day trip, the Bergs had driven the Road to Hana. They’d been snorkeling, shopping and on a North Shore scenic drive. They’d gone golfing. And to the beach. And out to dinner lots of times. Now they were on a whale-watch boat. The only thing they’d run out of time for was renting a moped.
Is there anything they regretted? Chad Berg nodded.
“When we come again,” he said, “we will try to chill more.”