travel connection Aloha Experience the state of Give the
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HAWAII TOURISM AU THORI TY
By Kate Parham IT’S NO SURPRISE that Hawaii, with its pris- tine beaches, gorgeous mountain views and relaxing lifestyle, is one of the world’s top travel destinations. But it can be tough to de- cide which island to visit first. (Hint: The best Hawaiian vacation involves stops at several islands.) So The Costco Connection sat down
with two Hawaii experts—Les Enderton,
executive director of the Oahu Visitors Bureau,
and Keli‘i Brown, director of public relations
for the Maui Visitors Bureau, to take the
guesswork out of planning a Hawaiian vacation. Here’s what you need to know.
CC: Oahu is the perfect place if you like ...
LE: To experience a complete island getaway.
There’s so much to see and do, with a very
complete range of activities, sights, great
places to stay and eat.
Costco Connection: Oahu is home to the
state capital, the legendary waves of the North
Shore and Waikiki Beach. But what makes
Oahu truly different from the other islands?
Les Enderton: What’s really different is the
town-and-country effect. Honolulu is a major
city with close to a million people, but it’s surrounded by country. You’re always 10 minutes
away from a beach, a tropical rain forest, the
mountains or the city.
Ulua Beach, Maui MAUI VISITORS BUREAU
CC: Oahu is known for its …?
LE: Dining scene. People travel on their stomachs, and we recognize that. We’ve got tons of
restaurants outside the tourist areas, and a
large element of choice. From lunch trucks to
five-star, James Beard Award winners, like
Alan Wong’s, Town and Roy’s.
CC: And what about Maui?
KB: The humpback whales who visit every
winter to mate and give birth.
CC: On a recent trip to Maui, I really enjoyed
taking in the beauty at Haleakala National
Park, snorkeling with the sea turtles and driving
the winding Hana road. What are some of
Oahu’s most popular attractions?
LE: Travelers really love to see the USS
Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor, which is
the largest natural harbor in Hawaii and the
only naval base in the U.S. to be designated
as a National Historic Landmark. The USS
Missouri Memorial is also really popular.
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CC: Maui, the second-largest island, is home
to incredible beaches, Haleakala and the winding road to Hana. But what really sets Maui
apart from the other islands?
Keli‘i Brown: Maui combines the best of
Oahu—top-tier shopping and restaurants—
and one of our remote and more relaxed
islands, like Kauai. You can watch [the] sunrise atop Haleakala in the morning and be
lying on the beach sipping a mai tai by noon.
We have incredible lush and verdant valleys,
spectacular sunsets and fantastic beaches.
CC: In Maui, certain hotels cater to different
travelers, with romantic, luxury resorts, more
family-friendly spots or remote spots to really
unplug and relax. Do the same rules apply
LE: Definitely, we’ve got something for
everybody. You can stay at an economical
hotel or condo, or really go the limit at [a]
luxury resort. Some specialize a bit more in
CC: What are some of your favorite dining
spots in Maui?
KB: My personal favorites include Ko at the
Fairmont Kea Lani, Pineapple Grill, Lahaina
Grill and Sarento’s on the Beach. C
CC: Fill in the blank: Maui is the perfect place
to visit if you like ...
KB: Pristine and accessible beaches.
Kate Parham is a freelance food and travel
writer living in Washington, D.C.
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