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Maui Activities: 11 Things to Do on a (Sigh) Rainy Day in Maui

by Marcia Yudkin

Yes, it does occasionally rain in paradise. Rain is far more likely in the winter months on Maui than in spring, summer or fall. Also, rainfall varies greatly on different parts of the island, with the wettest area (about 300 inches per year) being along the road to Hana, while the driest area (only 12.63 inches per year) is Kihei in South Maui.

1. Visit the Maui Ocean Center. This indoor/outdoor aquarium lets you observe many forms of marine life native to Hawaiian waters, including giant sea turtles, brightly striped tropical fish, octopuses and hammerhead sharks. 

2. Go shopping. Three recommended shopping areas are The Shops at Wailea (ultra upscale), Queen Kaahumanu Center (Americana with a Hawaiian accent) and Paia (small town with a colorful hippie atmosphere).

3. Go swimming. As long as it's not thundering and lightning, there's no reason you can't swim in the rain on Maui. The water is still warm, after all. Or go soak in the outdoor hot tub at your condo complex. Many showers in Maui are brief affairs - 10 minutes of droplets and then the sun reappears. Relax!


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4. Read a best seller on your lanai. Most lanais are covered and sheltered from the rain. If you're staying at a condo complex, ask if they have a book exchange shelf, something that's common in Hawaii. People leave behind books they've finished reading, and you can help yourself without charge to a good used read.

5. Sign up for a spa treatment. Nearly all the resorts offer various forms of massage, including the Hawaiian-grown lomi lomi massage, which is reputed to restore the heart and soul as well as the body. You don't have to be a guest at the resort to buy their spa services.

6. Watch for whales. From December through April, humpback whales abound in the waters between Maui and Lanai. You can spot them from shore with the naked eye by scanning the sea slowly from side to side, staying alert for spouts of water, large splashes and black forms darting or waving above the surface of the water. If you see tour boats stop in one spot for a while, they're definitely watching the wildlife, and scan around the boats to see if you can, also. Bring binoculars and an umbrella with you to while away the rain.

7. Explore caves. Raft tours to the Kanaio Sea Caves beyond Makena leave rain or shine. Ditto for the tour of Ka'eleku Caverns (also known as the Hana Lava Tube) near Hana. 

Reserve a comfortable, well-equipped South Maui beach condo for your upcoming visit to Maui.

8. Zip Indiana Jones-style. Maui has at least half a dozen zipline courses, which provide the thrill of zipping in a safety harness above exotic rain-forest terrain. Except for torrential or lightning rain storms or exceptionally windy conditions, ziplines proceed despite rainy weather.

9. Take a submarine ride. Watching the previous submarine surface and experiencing your own heading down toward the bottom of the ocean is a real kick, although the marine life down there might be a bit less colorful and plentiful than you expected.

10. Watch TV. Seriously! Channel 7 educates you about Maui culture, sites, cuisine and activities. Channel 16 covers surfing and Hawaiian food. Local morning and evening newscasts on the local affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS provide tantalizing windows on local life.

11. Dine out. If there's a Maui restaurant you've had your eye on, head there for dinner or lunch while it's raining. Call for reservations first in case everyone else has had the same idea!

P.S. If you experience heavy rain in the winter, look up carefully at the summit of Haleakala, the extinct volcano that rises more than 10,000 feet above sea level. You may be lucky enough to see snow up there! 

Copyright 2011 Marcia Yudkin.  All rights reserved.

Maui Banyan Condo Rental  |  1215 South Kihei Rd. #O-432  |  Kihei, Hawaii 96753

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