Surfing Goats and Ocean Vodka

GoatThe Surfing Goat Dairy and Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery are more or less next to each other in an out of the way place upcountry off the lower Kula Highway. The Surfing Goat Dairy makes great goat cheese, and the Ocean Vodka Distillery makes a great vodka. Both have tours, although one is more suitable for families with small children and the other for adults. You can probably guess which is which.

Surfing goat signSurfing Goat Dairy has three types of tours: Casual ($8 for kids, $12 for adults), Evening Chores and Milking Tour ($14 for kids and $17 for adults), and Grand Dairy Tours ($28 per person). Check their website (www.surfinggoatdairy.com) for details. We did the casual tour. It might be okay for small children, but $12 for adults is WAY overpriced. You can get close to some cute goats, sample a little cheese, and see their small-scale operation without taking the tour.

A surfing goat

A surfing goat

The Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery is right around the corner from Surfing Goat Dairy. Their tour is $10 for anyone 12 and over. Adults get a sipping sample and an Ocean Vodka shot glass at the end of the tour. There’s also a tour with lunch that costs $25. See their website (www. oceanvodka.com) for details.

The store at the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm

The store at the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm

Ocean Vodka

GETTING THERE
The easiest way to get to Surfing Goat and Ocean Vodka Distillery is by way of the lower Kula Highway (Highway 37). Look for signs for the Omaopio Road between mileposts 9.5 and 10, head downhill and follow the curvy road until you see signs for Surfing Goat Dairy. Stop there or keep on the road for about a quarter mile until you see the driveway for Ocean Vodka. You can return the way you came or continue downhill. If you do the latter, Omaopio Road soon intersects and becomes Pulehu Road. This is a shorter return trip, but it takes you past the land fill which is briefly stinky. Take your pick.

Wailea Coastal Walk – Ulua Beach to Polo Beach

Wailea Coastal Walk revisedIt’s an easy mile and a half stroll on a paved path from Ulua Beach to Polo Beach. Of course, unless you take two cars, it’s a mile and a half back. At a leisurely pace, it takes about 35 minutes each way without stops.

On the other hand, you probably will stop. The views are beautiful. You’ll see turtles bobbing near the shore. The beaches have great snorkeling, swimming, boogie boarding, and sunning. Wear your swimsuit, take a backpack chair, bring snorkel gear. Make a morning or afternoon of it. Bring water and sunscreen.

The walk starts at Ulua Beach on the pathway in front of the exclusive gated community, Wailea Elua Village. As you walk, you’ll pass most of the major Wailea resorts and several condominium complexes.

Start at Ulua Beach

Beginning of paved walkway

2 Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach (great snorkeling)

3a Approaching the Mariott

Approaching the Mariott

4 Approaching Wailea Beach

Approaching Wailea Beach

5 Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach

6 Wailea Point

Wailea Point

7 Approaching the Fairmont

Approaching the Fairmont Kea Lani

8 Polo Beach

Polo Beach

There are public restrooms and outdoor showers at Ulua Beach. Polo Beach has restrooms, showers, and picnic tables at the public access point.

When is the best time of year to come to Maui?

There is no best time of year to come to Maui, but different times of year have different opportunities, costs, and somewhat different weather. Let your preferences be your guide.

One of the great attractions on Maui is whale watching. The whales start arriving in late October and November and are present in their thousands sometime in December. The most spectacular displays are usually in January, February and March. You can see impressive sights from shore, and even more amazing views on a whale watching cruise.

Whale calendar with dates

High Low SeasonThe HIGH season runs from a few days before Christmas until spring vacations for schools and universities. Most accommodations, including ours, are more expensive during high season. An even higher premium is charged for the days around Christmas.

The spring and fall tend to be quieter times. There is more room on the beaches, in restaurants, and at tourist destinations. There are more families with children in the summer.

Avg Rain and Temp on MauiThe average high and low temperatures near sea level vary by less than 10 degrees over the course of the year, but the extremes in summer are hotter than those in winter. You’ll see local school kids waiting at the bus stop bundled up for the “winter” weather when morning temperatures are in the 60s. Water temperatures change even less: the average low water temperature is in February and March at 74 degrees Fahrenheit; the average high (in August/September/October) is 79/80 degrees.

Rainfall is a different matter – both by time of year and location. Every month the average number of days of rainfall is less on the south coast of Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena) than in the northwest by Kaanapali and Kapalua.

Dale Zarrella – the Eye of an Artist

Dale Zarrella’s next project is a statue of Mother (now Saint) Marianne of Molokai. Mother Marianne arrived at Kalaupapa (the leper colony) on Molokai in 1888 after Father Damien contracted leprosy. She tended the dying Father Damien then took over his work for the remainder of her long life. The statue of Marianne will join Dale’s life-size statue of Saint Damien in the Father Damien Museum in Honolulu.

On the left is the Monkey Pod tree trunk that will become Dale's next statute. The image on the right  shows Dale's plaster study for Marianne superimposed over the tree trunk. The half-size plaster study is enlarged here to give an idea of what will emerge from the wood.

On the left is the Monkey Pod tree trunk that will become Dale’s next statue. The image on the right shows Dale’s plaster study for Saint Marianne superimposed over the tree trunk. The half-size plaster study is enlarged here to give an idea of what will emerge from the wood.

Click here, here, here, and here, to see other examples of Dale’s work.

South Kihei Beach Walk

South Kihei Beach Walk MapSouth Kihei has some great beaches where you can walk for miles. This 90 minute walk starts and ends at Charley Young Beach, across the street from our condo at Maui Vista. The round trip is about 3 miles – so the pace is leisurely.

 

Most of the walk is on sand but there are a few places where you’ll want sandals.

 

Don’t forget the sunscreen and be sure to carry water.

 

 

Charley Young Beach

Charley Young Beach

 

 

Start at the north end of Charley Young Beach near these rocks.

About halfway down the beach, Charley Young becomes Kamaole Beach Park I.

Note that all three Kamaole parks have lifeguards, restrooms and showers.

Kamaole Beach II

Kamaole Beach II

 

 

Take the sandy path at the south end of the beach and use the short public access pathway on the makai (water) side of the Royal Mauian Condos to get to Kamaole Beach II.

Check the water as you pass the Royal Mauian. You can often see turtles swimming and feeding off the point.

 

Kamaole Beach III

Kamaole Beach III

You may want your sandals at the south end of Kamaole II as you climb the short slope to the large grassy park of Kamaole III.

On the weekends, this park is a favorite place for local families to host children’s birthday parties.

You can walk through the park on the grass or return to the beach.

 

 

6 - Kihei boat ramp

Kihei Boat Ramp

The south end of Kamaole III is about a mile from the start of this walk. You can turn around here or put on your sandals for an entirely different experience.

If you continue on, stay on the paths that crisscross this natural area – it’s a nesting habitat for the Wedge-tailed Shearwater. You’ll soon see the jetty at the Kihei Boat Ramp.

 

7 - south of boat ramp

Path from the boat ramp to the Kihei Surfside

Walk under the shade trees on the makai side of the boat ramp parking lot. Cross the boat ramp and look for the path just to the right of the paved driveway with the “Do Not Enter” sign.

As you round the corner of this short delightful path you’ll come to the grounds of the Kihei Surfside resort. The public access pathway is next to the water.

Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach

 

Continue on the boardwalk past the tall Mana Kai Maui Resort and the 5 Palms Restaurant to the north end of Keawakapu Beach.

Turn around here or, if you’re really ambitious, stroll down Keawakapu Beach. It’s another mile to Ulua Beach – just past the last bit of sandy beach in the distance.

Maunalei Arboretum and Mahana Ridge Trail

UNFORTUNATELY, CONVENIENT ACCESS TO THIS HIKE IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE. HERE’S THE INITIAL WRITE UP:

This lengthy but mostly shady hike takes you through beautiful and diverse vegetation with occasional spectacular views into the lush West Maui Mountains and out to the blue Pacific and the islands of Lanai and Molokai.

Entering Maunalei Arboretum

Entering Maunalei Arboretum

The first mile of this 6.5 mile hike is uphill – not steep, but always up. The remainder is mainly downhill with short uphill stretches. Parts of the trail may be muddy, so wear appropriate walking/hiking shoes. You’ll be in the shade until the last mile or so where the sun can feel very hot. If it has rained recently, there may be slippery places. Allow 3+ hours. Bring snacks and plenty of water.

View of the watershed

View of the watershed

IMG_1036 IMG_1041

View to the ocean

View to the ocean

IMG_1055 A free shuttle takes you from the Kapalua Resort Adventure Center to the trail head. There is no other way to get there except by hiking the trail backwards, which is not recommended. Call the Adventure Center (808 665-4386) for driving directions, departure times, and to reserve a place on the shuttle. The trail ends at D. T. Fleming Park and beach, a short walk from the Adventure Center where you left your car.

D. T. Fleming Beach

D. T. Fleming Beach

 

Longs Drugs – Not your average drug store

longsdrugs

Groceries at the drug store?

At first glance, Longs Drugs in North Kihei seems like any other chain drug store, but slow down and take a closer look. Long’s has a local feel – particularly around the outside aisles. There are MANY Maui products at generally good prices.

 

 

Maui Beef2Check out the grass fed Maui raised beef at the back of the store. The ground beef is a full two dollars per pound less than the few other stores that carry it. Directly across from the beef coolers are shelves with locally grown produce at about half the cost as grocery stores. While prices are decent, see our blog on Rowena’s Farmer’s Market. Her produce variety and prices are even better.
Maui Burger Buns2

 

 

 

 

Don’t overlook the Hawaiian bakery products up front near the check-out stands, including some whole wheat buns to go with that Maui beef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

roselani-ice-cream2

 

 

Also up front are half-gallons of awesome made-on-Maui Roselani ice cream (Mac nut is our fave, but the Kona Mud is pretty darn good also.)

 

 

 

Melona BarsAnother family favorite are the unbelievably delicious Melona Bars (go for the honeydew or mango.) Melona bars are actually made in Korea, but are not usually available on “the Mainland”. We won’t kid you, the non-sale price for ice-cream will send you into sticker-shock. If you’d prefer cheaper prices, see our posts under the category “Shop Like A Local.”

 

 

 

 

In other areas of the store, check-out the popular Maui Babe tanning lotion, flip-flops called Locals, books on Hawaiian fish, birds and cooking. There’s even a center aisle with many Hawaiian food products such as hot sauces, spices and dry goods. On Fridays, Longs receives a few bunches of world famous Hawaiian Protea flowers and sells them for just $6.  There are also tons of souvenirs, but they’re pretty much the same as what you’ll find at ABC Stores and WalMart…convenient, but nothing special and a bit higher priced.

Bring the whole family and let everyone explore the store. You’ll be amazed what they come up with. You can’t go wrong with Longs. It’s a local favorite and it’s not your average drug store. Hint: Longs is part of the CVS chain. If you don’t have a “club card” just ask for one and they’ll give you the sale price.