Maui Newsletter: June 2024

Summers on Maui are No Ka Oi

Summers on Maui are No Ka Oi

Summers on Maui are No Ka Oi

Aloha Family & Friends
Last week we received word that Ka’anapali Shores currently has 100% occupancy for their two-bedroom suites; this week we found out that the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort is now over 96%.

So- what does that mean? It appears that the summer crowd is beginning to roll in again. And you might be asking, what does that look like this year?

On any given day, we’ll see the families lining up at Papi’s Ohana bakery and pizzeria in Honokowai, anticipating the best cinnamon rolls ever, warm and straight out of the oven. And we’re serious on both parts of that – the line is long and can often run out the door and through the parking lot. The good news is that it moves quickly AND the cinnamon rolls are incredible-dangerously delicious.

After getting their fill of these delectable pastries, the happily stuffed groups will load everyone into their rental cars and head out to explore our lovely island.

One of the favorite spots for visitors and locals alike has become the Maui Ocean Center. Their motto, E HI‘I A MAOPOPO KAHO‘OHA‘OHA‘O ANA A ME KA HŌ‘IHI NO KAI, translates as “to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life” fits the Center perfectly. It’s educational, informative and most of all – a lot of fun! In addition to various exhibits and displays, there are outdoor habitats for turtles, the mesmerizing gigantic aquarium and of course the 3D Sphere Experience.

Whether spending the day at the Maui Ocean Center or touring the sights, all typically return to their accommodations before heading out again for a quick snack or dinner. We’ve found that this year, maybe more than ever before, visitors are doing their research to support small, local businesses, especially when it comes to dining out. From oceanfront dinners at Mala to the more local flare and stellar cocktails at Joey’s in Napili or even back to Papi’s Ohana for a pizza “to-go”, these smaller venues appear to be thriving once again. And we couldn’t be more pleased to see this. For many of our community-minded small businesses, this might be just the summer boost they were hoping for. For us, it’s just another example of why summers on Maui are No Ka Oi.

Aloha, Greg & Leah

Kaanapali Luxury Living Maui Newsletter June Market 2024
Kaanapali Luxury Living Maui Newsletter June Market 2024

Maui’s annual crop of locally grown watermelon has us experimenting with this sweet summer treat. Here’s a refreshing twist on one of our warm weather favorites: Watermelon Panzanella!

Country Panzanella With Watermelon Dressing



  • ½ pound piece of skin-on watermelon, seeds discarded
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil


  • ½ loaf day-old ciabatta, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 loose cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 pounds watermelon, rind discarded cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 packed cups)
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes (about 1¾ to 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch-wide wedges (about 5 loose cups)
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber (about ½ pound), trimmed, halved lengthwise then sliced ¼-inch-thick (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small red onion (about 4 ounces), peeled and sliced (about 1 loose cup)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
Country Panzanella With Watermelon Dressing

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan; set aside.

  1. Make the dressing: Using a coarse grater set over a medium bowl, grate the watermelon flesh then rind, grating the rind all the way to the skin. (You should have about 1 cup grated watermelon.) Discard the firm skin. Add the sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; stir to dissolve the sugar and salt grains. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, mustard, thyme leaves, red-pepper flakes, ground black pepper, vinegar and oil. Whisk together (or transfer to a mason jar, cover and shake vigorously). The dressing makes 2 cups, and will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week; shake before use.
  3. Make the salad: Heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a small sheet pan, toss the cubed bread, olive oil, thyme and sea salt together. Spread in a single layer and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until toasted and golden brown.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Drain any excess liquid before adding the toasted bread cubes and half the basil. Drizzle with ¼ cup of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Divide among individual bowls, if you like. Top with crumbled feta, remaining basil leaves and spoon additional dressing over the top.


Country Panzanella With Watermelon Dressing Recipe NY Times Cooking