As a native Texan on a fixed income with steadily increasing bills, the idea of going to Hawaii has been a tantalizing dream but far from reality. This year, with the Left Coast Mystery Convention scheduled in Hawaii, the impossibility of going has been more obvious than ever. I suspect the issue has become even more pronounced for many possible attendees.

But, the dream lives on. Hence, the travel guides are always fun to look at while hoping for the lottery numbers to finally pay off. This one, released by “Lonely Planet” last September is another good one from the publisher full of lots of information and stunning color photographs.

The book opens with a short chapter on the “Best Maui Experiences.” Suggestions for things such as the best location to luau “Old Lahaina Luau” or the best treats “Komoda Store & Bakery” and the best beach “Big Beach” along with the best hike “Sliding Sands Trail” and numerous other best things and best places are listed. In each case there is a color photo, a very short description and a page number that will take readers to the longer listing and explanation found elsewhere in the book.

“Island Itineraries” begins on page eighteen with suggestions for various mileage lengths or days available for exploration. Color maps are included and there are references to the additional itineraries at the start of each regional section that are in more depth.

The third chapter is on “Outdoor Activities & Adventures.” It covers where you can do what in alphabetical format. From “at sea” to “ziplining” the book has got you covered with locations, types of activities, plenty of information and as always plenty of color photographs.

This leads to a ten page chapter on “Green Maui.” Environmental issues are important on the islands and this is where readers learn about steps being taken, options available, and what can be done by tourists and others to protect the fragile environment of the islands.

Beginning with page fifty-one, the book is divided into regional sections. “Lahaina” begins this part of the guide book with a brief history on the culture, some maps, and suggested tours and things to do. This same format is used throughout the regional parts which are labeled as “West Maui, Central Maui, South Maui, North Shore & Upcountry, East Maui, The Road To Hana” and “Haleakala National Park.” The park section includes many pictures of fascinating Sliding Sands Trail and the Volcano Crater.

The regional section concludes with a nearly thirty page chapter on “side trips” covering “Lana’i & Moloka’i.” Lana’i is covered again as it was in the beginning of the regional section before moving on to location such as the “Polihua Road,” the “Munro Trail,” and “Kalaupapa National Historical Park” among others

Short chapters on the “History & Culture” of the area, foods, “Festivals & Events” and planning your trip are near the end of the book. A directory of resources and general information along with an eight page index close out the travel guide.

Comprehensive and flashy, this book certainly creates the impression that it is outlining all the usual places and things and not covering real hidden gems that many tourists don’t know about. Additionally, the type face is extremely small and as such is very hard to read. Both could be addressed simply by expanding the book somewhat.

Despite those concerns, this is a good book. Written by Glenda Bendure and Ned Friary, this travel guide is a colorful and highly informative book sure to help you plan and enjoy your trip. It may not be the only book you want for the trip but it certainly is a strong start.

Maui: Includes Moloka’i and Lana’i
by Glenda Bendure and Ned Friary
Lonely Planet
http://www.lonelyplanet.com
September 2008

ISBN# 1741047145

Paperback

304 Pages

$19.99

As a member of the Amazon Vine Program this material was provided to me in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2009

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