Where to stay:
Definitely stay around the Kaananapali Beach! The resorts and hotels are a little more expensive here but traffic can cause delays in Hawaii so in my opinion it is the best to stay around this area so you are able to make the most of your trip. This area has most to offer in terms of the touristy things as well as the authentic feel of Hawaii.
Here is the link for some hotel options:
Here are some things to see/do (in no particular order) in Maui:
– Kaanapali Beach – beautiful beach to enjoy swimming/sunset etc.
Does Kaanapali Beach need any introduction? I think not! With three miles of white sand and crystal clear water, this beach is not one of the most famous beaches in the world for no reason!!
– Whaler’s Village at Kaanapali Beach – Must go! Loved this place, shops etc.
This place is bustling with activity! The beachside mall with boutiques, restaurants, a whaling museum, hula lessons among other activities was definitely one of our favorite spots to spend the evenings at.
– Papawai Point Lookout
This scenic overlook is a great way to break the drive on the way to Kaanapalli from the airport.
– Downtown Lahiana:
- Front Street
- Canary Mall
- Luau must-see show – Old Lahiana Luau: http://www.oldlahainaluau.com/
The number-one attraction is definitely all the buzz in this area. Great restaurants, happening night-life, bars and so many shops ranging from trinkets to exquisite local hand crafts; from cheap jewelry to masterpieces of fine art. All in all, an absolutely must visit for an evening of some waterfront downtown fun!
A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is accompanied by lots of Hawaiian music and hula dancing along with yummy authentic Hawaiian food.
– Haleakala Sunrise
Haleakala, known in ancient Hawaiian as “House of the Sun”. This one is a 100% must do! Book a tour, best done via your hotel concierge. The sunrise tour to the peak of Haleakala, Maui’s sleeping volcano is an experience of a lifetime. Up at 10,023-foot (3,055-m) summit to experience Haleakala National Park at dawn along with the views of sweeping island vistas from the Pu’u Ula’ula Overlook are one you’ll remember for the rest of life.
The tour picked us up pre-dawn from our hotel and we were energized with coffee and pastries as we made our way to Haleakala National Park. While we were waiting, our guide recounted local Hawaiian legends and myths surrounding the volcano. Once the sun started rise, we were all speechless while the locals sang praises of the Sun God.
No matter what season you visit Maui in, definitely pack warm clothes coz its COLD up there! It’s so so very chilly that we even took the comforter and blankets from our hotel along to keep warm but were still cold. Seriously!
– Hana Highway
This is another must-do tour destination. In my opinion do not drive this yourself, not only because it’s risky and secluded but also because whoever drives will not be able to enjoy a 100% since the roads winding up and down are not only narrow in general, but at some places so narrow that it becomes a single lane. Most of the rental companies do not even allow you to drive all the way there, so it’s best to take a tour.
The tour takes up a full day just because there so many sights and stops to make because it’s beauty is something that you just can’t experience anywhere else. From scenic waterfalls, panoramic views, to black sand beaches and fresh water pools, there is just so much to do and see that you will not notice how quickly the day passed away witnessing everything that Hana has to offer. And to top it off, there’s Coconut Water involved!!!
– Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach
Stop on the Road to Hana Adventure Tour, this is a part of the Wai’anapanapa State Park. This black sand beach is one of a kind and looks like a living postcard from heaven. Besides the outstanding scenery there are hikes, a blowhole, ocean caves, sea arches, islets, cliff diving opportunities and even fresh water pools, camping, cabins and so much more to enjoy!
– Pools of Oheo (aka Seven Sacred Pools)
Stop on the Road to Hana Adventure Tour, this is a spectacular sight, definitely not to be missed. You will be greeted with beautiful waterfalls and pools in an absolutely stunning setting.
– Town of Pa’ia
Stop on the Road to Hana Adventure Tour. This little town has some shops, restaurants and make for a good stop to grab a bite or even just stretch your legs.
– Kaewakapu / Kihei Beaches
These are some good beaches, on the other side of Maui. We spent a day driving around the island and these beaches were the ones we chilled at while exploring. We also came across a straw/trader’s market that had a great collection of souvenirs, chimes, dresses etc.
– Molokini Crater and Turtle Bay Snorkeling
We took a day excursion, booked via Pride of Maui Tour, where we snorkeled and the hubby also did SNUBA! Make sure to book a tour earlier in the day, since the wind and waves are usually calmer and the fish are also more active at that time. On the way to Molokini Crater keep an eye out for larger marine life and during the peak of whale season which is Dec-April you will most probably also be able to spot whales.
– Iao Valley
The day we were out and about exploring the island, we drove up to visit the Iao Valley and the paved walkways make it an easy destination for older folks as well.
– Maui Ocean Center Aquarium
This was another stop on our self-exploration day. The aquarium, in all honesty, is like any other, but the coolest part was that it had Green Sea Turtles! The only other way you get to view them is snorkel/SCUBA or SNUBA! So if you are not up for those, definitely stop by the ocean center to view them.
Gosh! This post reminded me of all the fun times we had and I am so ready to go back! You go ahead and plan your vacation while I go to the hubby and coax him into taking me back to paradise… Soon, very soon!
Here’s some good websites to get you started:
So what are you waiting for?! Go ahead and plan a trip to paradise!