Maui

Maui

Maui is the perfect combination of tourist hub and traditional Hawaiian culture.  The island is a picturesque landscape from North to South.  There are many experiences not to be missed by any traveller.

Things you MUST see/do:

Ka’anapali Beach – The three mile long white sand beach in the northwest corner of Maui, Ka’anapali Beach is surrounded by crystal clear water.  Located all along this stretch of beach are many beach resorts like the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, and the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, as well as some condominium villages.  There is a neat show at dusk on the Black Rock just outside the Sheraton Maui Resort.  If you are looking for a sun and beach location, this is where you want to stay.  There is also the open air shopping and restaurant area known as Whalers’ Village located along this stretch of beach.  Here you can shop for many different things, including new swimwear, and the world famous Hawaiian Pearls.  The best thing to do is to go to the Hula Grill, dine on the patio (in sand) and watch the sunset!

Haleakala National Park – The Haleakala National Park towers over the entire island.  It is possible to drive up to the summit and get many spectacular views over the island and surrounding ocean on the way up.  Make sure to travel up to the top of the summit to see the views down towards the crater and check out the Haleakala Observatory (a leader in astronomical studies).  There are trails that depart from here to travel down into the crater of the now extinct volcano.  This can be a difficult hike, so be prepared, but can give unmatched views of the crater itself.

Lahaina – The town of Lahaina is located just south of Ka’anapali Beach.  It is not as large and developed as other towns on Maui such as Kihei or Kahului, which makes it a nice low key location to wander around. There are some nice shops, sights and some great waterfront restaurants.

Wailea – Wailea located south of one of Maui’s largest towns, Kihei, Wailea is the location of many of Maui’s ritziest resorts, including the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa and the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui.  These are very nice resorts that are worth a visit.  There is also a mall for higher end shopping, if you are looking for nice items.  A little further south from Wailea is Big Beach, one of Maui’s longest stretches of white sand beach.  Big Beach is still relatively undeveloped and open to the public.

Iao Valley State Park – A beautiful, lush tropical setting, Iao Valley State Park is the location of a tropical garden, some nice hiking trails, some fresh water pools and the Iao needle.  It is free to enter all parts of the park and all are worth visiting.  The Iao Needle is a natural rock pillar covered in green foliage that was used by the ancient Hawaiians during ceremonies.

Honolu’a Bay – Located on the rugged North Shore of Maui, Honolu’a Bay is a nice secluded beach that is popular for its surfing, snorkeling and scuba-diving.  The beach is not white sand, but large rocks that are easy to lounge on.  The snorkeling and diving are great in this spot for coral, tropical fish and the odd green turtle.  If driving to Honolu’a Bay, get directions because the spot is not labelled very clearly.

Travels4Couples highly recommended EXPERIENCES:

Go Ziplining up Haleakala – When traveling up Haleakala; why not take some time for a thrill ride that will not soon be forgotten.  Skyline Eco Adventures set up the first ever zipline course in the United States on Haleakala.  There are five lines to zoom along and a swinging bridge to walk across, while taking a nice walk through the forest.  We recommend booking well before the travel dates, as the zip tours book up well in advance.  There is a second location to zip line near Ka’anapali if interested.

Go Whale Watching (Seasonal) – The Hawaiian Islands are home to many migratory humpback whales during the winter.  They travel to the oceans surrounding the islands to mate from December to April.  The whales tend to surface quite often and there are some spectacular scenes for visitors.

Snorkel – There are few places in the world that have better snorkeling than the Hawaiian Islands.  We recommend snorkeling near Black Rock on Ka’anapali Beach (almost always turtles around), and at Honolu’a Bay.

Drive the Road to Hana – This experience can be considered an “adventure” tour as much as a scenic drive.  The road to Hana and beyond to the O’heo Gulch is mainly a one lane road (or no “lanes”) and there are many one lane Bridges to cross.  At certain points along the drive there is not enough room to pass on-coming traffic for mile long stretches.  It is clear why they sell signs and bumper stickers that say “I survived the Road to Hana.”  However, aside from the adventure there are many waterfalls and pool areas.  Just pull off to the side of the road and get some amazing pictures, or go for a swim.  The trip takes a minimum of 2 hours each way and there are plenty of places to stop along the way, so leave lots of time.  Along the road, we recommend stopping at the Black Sands Beach (with the Blow hole). 

Swim the Seven Pools – O’heo Gulch is located beyond Hana on the road to Hana.  O’heo Gulch is the location of a series of waterfalls and pools leading from the Pipiwai Stream.  It is a sacred tradition to walk up to the highest pool and swim each pool down to the ocean side seventh pool.

Eat at Mama’s Fish House – Mama’s Fish House is set in a picturesque location right next to the ocean, just east of the town of Paia.  They have some great seafood dishes and tropical drinks and the scenery cannot be beat.

Try the Tropical Drinks – With so many wonderful tropical fruits being readily available in the Hawaiian Islands they have mastered the art of drink making.  They have numerous different types of drinks available to try (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).  Make sure to try many different drinks while in Maui, particularly the Mai Tai.

Travels4Couples #1 ROMANTIC thing to do in Maui

Do a Sunset Catamaran Cruise – One of the truly special things to see in Hawaii is the sun setting into the ocean.  There are not many places in the world that are completely unobstructed by land (including islands) for a sunset into the ocean.  The best way to see this sunset is on the water.  In Hawaii, the most popular way to cruise is on a catamaran.  We highly recommend taking a sunset catamaran trip where the cruise starts in daylight and finishes after the sunset.  If it is the right time of year, combine the cruise with some whale watching.  As a bonus, some companies include drinks and appetizers on the cruise.  Grab the best tropical drink and snuggle up to that special someone on a catamaran to watch the sunset.  It really is paradise!