Are you planning a trip to Maui? I’ve visited this island a few years ago to celebrate my birthday, and truth be told I’m overdue for another visit for this perfect vacation destination. For me, there’s a difference between travel and vacation, and Maui offers a perfect mix of both. Never been to Maui, or Hawaii? If this place is high on your bucket list, you’re not alone. As the second largest island in Hawaii, Maui is packed with things to see and do.
If you are planning a trip to Maui, your question will not be what to do but what to do first. There are so many great sights to see, things to do, and places to go that you might feel you can never see and do it all in one trip. And that’s exactly why I need to go back, soon. Here’s a list of ten things you definitely shouldn’t miss while in Maui:
You can’t visit Hawaii without seeing a luau and Maui knows how to do them right! Even some of the hotels that you might stay at in Maui have great beachside luaus as well as restaurant and resort package deals. Luaus will feature authentic Hawaiian food such as kalua pig, poin and haupia (coconut pudding) and usually a buffet spread of more familiar foods.
2. Go biking
I’m more of a motorcycle person, but if you don’t mind some physical activity, you should see Maui from a bike. There are even bicycle tours that let you go from one end of the island to the other. There are downhill bicycle tours and slow-paced tours that let you see the farms and small towns of Upcountry and the beaches down at Paia. There are places all over the island of Maui for you to rent bikes.
3. Fine dining
There are fine places to eat and dine all over the island. Many fine, experienced chefs from all over the world have come to Maui to work their magic in the restaurants on the island.
There are fabulous trails that take you literally all over the island. You can even hike in the Haleakala crater, or see waterfalls, plunge pools and other wonders of nature.
I splurged a little and rented a convertible to enjoy some of the scenic drives on Maui. The Hana Highway is a 56 mile stretch of 54 bridges over winding lava shore, through old plantation towns, past miles of beaches and through towering forests. You might also want to take a drive to the summit of Haleakala. Haleakala crater appears like the surface of an alien planet and the views of Maui from the summit are amazing.
6. Go for a snorkel (or dive)
Maui is the best place to visit the underwater world of Hawaii. Snorkelling options are available by simple walking into the water – the marine life is amazing. There are many different locations for diving and there are two marine conservation areas. Molokini is a partially submerged volcanic crater offshore of Wailea. Both Lahaina and Ma’alaea have glass bottom boats and a pleasure submarine to let non-swimmers share in the beauty of underwater Maui as well.
7. Whale watching
Have you ever been whale watching? From November through April each year, Maui welcomes the humpback whale and you can join in the celebration and catch some whale-watching of your own. The endangered species comes here to Hawaii to mate and it’s truly a sight like no other – with any luck right from your own lanai.
Where would your vacation be without some shopping? With so many shops and stores to choose from, you simply can’t see Maui without leaving with some fantastic souvenirs. Don’t miss the Kona coffee! There are many shops in Maui that contain specialty items unique to Hawaii and Maui.
Don’t miss the many historic locations such as Lahaina, old Hawaiian churches, the whaling history museums and much more. There is so much to learn about the island and so much to see, you will wonder if you have enough time to do it all!
10. Swimming (and again, snorkeling)
Since you are on an island, you must spend some time at the beach and go swimming. I already mentioned the snorkelling, but the marine life is so amazing it deserves to get mentioned twice. You’ll enjoy snorkeling at many great locations, some accessible right from the beach. Maui has over 80 beaches and over 120 miles of coast to choose from!
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