Q: Spring break is coming up and I’m dying for a fun getaway for my 12-year-old son and I. We could use 3 or 4 nights in the sun. Is there any place kind of all-inclusive where we can lie by a pool and drink frozen drinks but is not tacky and won’t be overrun with spring breakers? Too much to ask? We will be coming from the west coast. Thanks! — Dawn P.
A: Hi Dawn, I’ve got one word for you: Maui.
There are easy direct flights from the West Coast. No all inclusives, but there are a number of hotels with tons of activities for your tween, good dining options, and golden sand and umbrella drinks for you.
The Grand Wailea on the south end of Maui has fun water slides for your son and a civilized beach and luxurious spa for you. It’s a Waldorf Astoria Resort property with lots of perks, but also super family friendly. Plus they have a great kayaking and stand up paddle-boarding that you and your son could do together.
Or if you stay in the central Lahaina/Kanaapali area, you would be able to walk to lots of restaurants and shops and not need a car (giving you an all-inclusive feeling without the restrictions of having to eat on property every night). The Westin Maui is a great choice in this area. It’s right next to Whaler’s Village, an outdoor shopping center with dining and entertainment, a perfect spot for teens and tweens. The beach is gorgeous and the best snorkeling on the island is there, too, by the Sheraton (it’s called Black Rocks), which you can get to easily from the hotel (it’s a sister property).
I know a luau may sound tacky, but Old Lahaina Luau is authentic and fantastic and it’s really worth doing, I promise. It was a highlight of my family’s trip to Maui and it will be for you as well. Tip: Definitely book in advance. It sells out, and your seat is better the earlier you book (we did the “traditional” sit on the ground seats and had a load of fun).
Rent a car for the day and go up to Haleakala (an inactive volcano, now a national park), which I highly recommend, too. There are phenomenal views, but don’t kill yourself getting here for sunrise, which many visitors insist on doing (it’s cold, and it’s too dark to see anything until after the sun comes up, when it’s packed). Go up mid-morning and it won’t be crowded and the rangers will have more time to spend with you.
(Did I mention I’m the editor of Frommer’s Hawaii? It’s another great resource for planning a Maui trip.)
Have a great vacation!
Email Melissa at email@example.com
Photo Credit: VisitMaui/Maui Tourism