BY Neal Broverman
July 08 2011 3:00 AM ET
No Ka Oi Adventures, operated by gay nature-lover Wade Holmes, is an affordable way to explore Maui’s diverse beauty. No Ka Oi—meaning “the very best”—features half a dozen trips involving hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. Holmes’s excursion on Maui’s famous Road to Hana, a windy and gorgeous drive along the island’s north coast, includes several dips into roaring waterfalls and half-submerged caves. NoKaOiAdventures.com
Hawaiian Paddle Sports is run by another handsome tour guide. Alas, Tim Lara is not gay, but he knows where Maui’s turtles congregate. A kayaking trip with Lara will not only expose you to the gorgeous south coast of Maui, with views of nearby islands Molokini and Kahoolawe, but includes snorkeling that almost guarantees you a face-to-face with the island’s friendly sea turtles. HawaiianPaddleSports.com
Maui sunsets are glorious—seeing one on an Alii Nui catamaran off the western coast is sublime. The short cruises, about two to three hours, include an open bar and food in the reasonable price for a romantic and singular experience. AliiNuiMaui.com
Some of Hawaii’s best dining options are on Maui. In the charming hippie town of Paia, check out Café de Amis and its delicious crepes (42 Baldwin Ave., 808-579-6323). The amazingly lush upcountry is home to Grandma’s Maui Coffee, with homemade baked goods and sandwiches—it’s the ideal place to stop for grub on your way to the Haleakala Crater (9232 Kula Highway, Kula, 808-878- 2792). Back in Kihei, don’t miss Joy’s Place in a nondescript shopping center. Joy’s hearty vegan fare will help you power through whatever Maui adventure awaits you (1993 S. Kihei Rd., 808-879-9258).
For more images of Maui, check out the following pages.