A ride on the Sugar Cane Train lets you learn more about Maui's past. (Courtesy of Sugar Cane Train) Many visitors in Maui make the trip to the top of Mount Haleakala for the sunrise once during their vacation.  (Brandon Tucker/GolfAdvisor) Play the Old Blue golf course at Wailea Golf Club, then do some whale watching. (Brandon Tucker/GolfAdvisor) Looking for that hard-to-find gift to take home? Chances are, you'll find it at The Shops at Wailea. (Courtesy of cdub.ca) The Maui Ocean Center is home to more than 2,000 species of fish. (Courtesy of Joe Boyd) After a morning round on the Kaanapali Kai Course, you can head to Black Rock for some snorkeling in the afternoon. (Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor)

Hawaii Travel Tip: Mixing golf and leisure on Maui



LAHAINA, Maui, Hawaii -- Sure, you're in Maui to golf. That's a given. But don't forget there's more on this island paradise than just fabulous golf courses.

Grab your clubs -- and snorkel, bike, credit cards and binoculars -- and hang on. We're going to have a whole day's worth of fun. And we do mean all day.

Golf and snorkeling

Let's start out easy. We'll tee it up in the morning on one of the two Ka'anapali golf courses (the Royal and the Kai) and then take the afternoon off from the links and head to Black Rock for some snorkeling. Colorful fish, turtles and even the occasional octopus will join you as you swim in the warm, clear waters.

Golf and zip-lining

Let's move north to Kapalua. This time you've got your choice. Play golf in the morning (at either the Bay Course or the Plantation Course) and then go zip-lining in the afternoon. Or, vice versa. Kapalua Ziplines will take guests on a high-flying tour that will stretch almost two miles. Guests can also parallel zip-line, so couples can go side-by-side.

Golf and shopping

Break out the credit cards and head to Wailea. Players can tackle one of three courses (Old Blue, Gold and Emerald) and then take on the task of spending (literally) time and money at The Shops at Wailea. If you're looking for that hard-to-find gift to take home, chances are it's here. With more than 70 shops, restaurants and galleries, make sure that credit card is flameproof.

Golf and the aquarium

Tee it up at King Kamehameha Golf Club (it's private, but players can be a member for a day) or its sister course, Kahili Golf Course, in the morning and save the afternoon for a trip through the Maui Ocean Center, which is home to more than 2,000 species of fish and lets people get up close and personal. All of the animals are from the Hawaiian island area and now call the 750,000-gallon exhibit home.

Golf and the Sugar Cane Train

Take the morning Sugar Cane Train (each ride lasts about an hour) and learn about Maui's past. Then take a 45-minute scenic drive to The Dunes of Maui Lani and play Maui's links-style course. Both are a nice trip back in time.

Golf and Outrigger canoe tour

Take a canoe tour along the Makena shoreline in the morning. The staff will join you and give you a guided tour. In the afternoon, tee it up at the Makena Golf Course, located on the southern end of Maui. Or, if the canoeing sounds like too much work, relax with a little yoga on the beach before you play golf.

Golf and whale watching

Whether you're playing golf at Kaanapali or Wailea, you can add another activity to your day -- whale watching. On the Pride of Maui trips, you'll get face to face with the whales that call Maui home in the winter months. And if that's not enough, you can also take Scuba or Snuba trips. The boats feature two observation decks, water slide, glass-bottom port and showers. Plus, you can see the whales from the golf courses as well.

Golf and biking

This one will be a long day, and you probably won't get in 18 holes of golf. It requires an early-morning wake-up call (check-in time is 3 a.m.). The Sunrise Special biking tour sees visitors watching the morning sunrise on Mount Haleakala (10,023 feet above sea level) and then biking back down to the store in Haiku around 2:30 in the afternoon. That will leave time for a nine-hole outing, but you may be a little worn out and may want to wait to play golf the next day.

Golf and a dinner cruise

This is always popular. Players can tee it up on either Ka'anapali course -- or both if you want to make a day out of the golf -- and then check in for a Maui Princess Dinner Cruise. The cruise leaves from downtown Lahaina and includes all the fine-dining experiences visitors can want, including a wait staff. The dinner choices include prime rib, mahi-mahi or half a roasted chicken (with all the trimmings). After dinner, relax with a drink (or two) and enjoy the sunset and the live music (maybe a little dancing to top off a romantic evening)?

Golf and ...

And there's so much more: windsurfing, helicopter tours, submarine tours, surfing, bodyboarding, deep-sea fishing. The list goes on. It all depends on how adventurous you want to be on vacation.

Feb 11, 2014



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Bill Bowman

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Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.