Although Maui has long held the reputation of being a party haven, there is life beyond the bars and night spots on this scenic Hawaiian island. Truth be told, Maui has a lot of offer anybody who enjoys the outdoors, from scenic drives and garden walks to diving and kayaking. And the good news is, there are many accessible options. A good way to get an overview of the island is from the air, and Sunshine Helicopters offers a number of accessible flight-seeing tours. Wheelchair users are transferred to a portable lift to board the helicopter and then transferred to the helicopter seat for the tour. Th e staff is excellent in regard to accessibility issues, so, if you’ve ever dreamed of fl ying in a helicopter, this is the place to give it a try.
Flights range in length from 30 minutes to an hour and tour choices include West Maui, Hana/Haleakala or a Circle Island tour. Although other Maui helicopter services advertise accessibility, they are only able to accommodate wheelchair users because Sunshine Helicopter graciously lends out their boarding device; so, in the end, it seems only fi tting to patronize the business that invested the time and money in accessibility. Back on the ground, if you’d like a look at the plants and flowers of Maui, then head over to the Maui Tropical Plantation.
Although visitors are free to roam the gardens of this 60-acre plantation on their own, the narrated tram tour is a good option for slow walkers and wheelchair users, as it covers a lot of ground and offers an interesting commentary on Hawaii’s native plants and most popular crops. The coconut-husking demonstration near the end of the tour is worth the price of admission by itself. Th ere is ramp access to the tram and barrier-free pathways to most of the garden areas. Slow walkers can also take their manual wheelchairs with them; however the ramp on the tram cannot accommodate scooters.