Lucky you! You’ve scored a trip to Maui for Thanksgiving!

But, what to do on Turkey Day when most locals are spending time feasting with family? Here are our top 5 ways to spend Thanksgiving on Maui:

Turkey Trot: If you’re willing to get up early—very early—then, this event is for you (you may still be on “mainland time” anyway). The event is presented by Valley Isle Road Runners and starts as early as 7 a.m. Runners can choose between two different races: a 16.2 mile race which starts at 7 a.m. or an 8.6 mile race which starts at 8 a.m. Both races are held at Rice Park in Kula, HI. Before you start the race, you must “guess” your time and register that time. The 1,2 and 3 place winner depends on how close you come to your guessed time. No smart phones or any timing device is allowed. And, don’t forget your donation to the Maui Food Bank! Go to www.virr.com to register.

Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise: The Pacific Whale Foundation hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise every year that includes a bountiful meal, plus whale-watching of course! Choose between a 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm  or 5:30 pm departure (the 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm cruises often coincide with the sunset). The cruise departs from Lahaina Harbor, and all guests are guaranteed outdoor seating. The cruise includes live music and cocktails (wine, local microbrew beer, Mai Tais and other tropical mixed drinks, along with soda and juice), plus a buffet featuring all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. 
The dinner is prepared by award- winning Three’s Bar and Grill. It’s a mix of traditional favorites, with some Hawaiian and island-style influences. Click here for details.

boats in lahaina harbor

Photo: Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

The Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise departs from Lahaina Harbor and takes guests along the coast for a scenic ride and delicious meal.

Thanksgiving LuauWhat better way to enjoy Thanksgiving than with dinner and Polynesian dancing? On Thanksgiving Day, many luau venues add turkey to their menus, so guests can feel “at home” even while they’re away from home. Other venues replace the traditional kalua pork dish with turkey (some even cook the turkey in an imu, which is an underground oven). You’ll find one festive luau at the Westin Maui in Kaanapali. There, you’ll find a traditional Thanksgiving menu with turkey, stuffing, and yams, among other delicious favorites. You can book a hotel room at the Westin Maui in Kaanapali through Hawaii Aloha Travel. Just ask your travel professional about tickets for the hotel’s Thanksiving Luau. Or visit here to find out more.

Dinner at the Resort or Restaurant: Because Maui is such a visitor destination, most hotels and restaurants are happy to provide a traditional Thanksgiving feast on Turkey Day. Fairmont’s Kea Lani, Grand Wailea , and Four Seasons resorts located in Wailea all offer special Thanksgiving menus and specials. The Ritz-Carlton, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, the Sheraton, and the Westin Maui in Kaanapali also offer Thanksgiving meals to guests.

makena beach on maui

Photo: Hawaii.gov

One way to celebrate Thanksgiving is with a picnic at one of Maui's many scenic beaches.

Picnic on the Beach: You came to Maui for the scenery, right? So, why not enjoy a picnic on the beach Thanksgiving Day? Many stores, restaurants, and resorts will package a Thanksgiving meal for take-out. Or, since many condos feature fully-stocked kitchens, you can always cook your meal and take it with you. If you shop at Foodland, you can even receive valuable “coupons” on your shoppers card (Makai card). If you earn enough “coupons,” turn one in for a free turkey! Either way, you’ll have no trouble finding a picnic spot on one of Maui’s famous beaches for your Thanksgiving meal. And, you can go for a swim right after to burn off the calories!

Thanksgiving on Maui can be as busy or relaxing as you want it to be. And, it can be as traditional or exotic as you wish. So, enjoy your day and give thanks you’re on Maui over the holidays!

 

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