Planning a trip to Maui is incredibly exciting. There are so many opportunities for adventure, education, exploration and excitement that it can be overwhelming to plan your itinerary. This is especially true if this is your first visit and you’re not entirely aware of what the island has got to offer its many annual visitors. In this brief guide to Maui adventuring, we’ll give you eight things that you should seriously consider adding to your plans.
On the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, there is no shortage of things to do. There is certainly much more to do than we will list here, but you should consider this list to be a starting point for your Maui vacation planning.
More commonly known as the Road to Hana, Highway 360 is an incredibly scenic route to take when visiting Maui. The drive costs you nothing except for the cost of fuel and takes you by many stunning natural features of the island, including breathtaking waterfalls and lush rainforest landscapes.
Most visitors will begin their drive near the airport, in Kahului. From there, motorists will have a full day that’s rich in opportunities for exploration and sight-seeing. This is the perfect way to kick off your trip – with a relaxing drive.
There is no better way to view Maui than from the bird’s eye perspective. For anywhere between $100 and $400 (depending on the tour you’ve chosen and the duration of your flight), you can view Maui from the leisure of a helicopter. What draws so many people to this option is the fact that helicopter tours allow visitors to see things on the island of Maui that cannot be witnessed by foot, car or boat.
While you’re in Maui, you should take every opportunity to see the island from different perspectives. We’ve already discussed helicopter tours as a means of doing this, but there’s another way to see Maui: from underwater. Beginners can sign up for beginner’s snorkeling sessions that allow them to get an up close and personal look with colorful reefs, fish, sea turtles and other marine life that can only be found off the shores of the Hawaiian Islands.
Found right in Haleakala National Park is the world’s largest dormant volcano, which stands at an impressive 10,000 feet above sea level. You can see Haleakala from anywhere on Maui but viewing the island from the summit is a one-of-a-kind experience. We recommend booking in advance to reach the summit for sunrise or sunset, when the view is at its most colorful and beautiful.
Unlike other areas of Maui, the summit of Haleakala is quite cold. Make sure to dress appropriately!
The black sand of Wainapanapa gets its unique coloring from volcanic sediment. Many visitors stop by this beach to get a look at the beach before moving on to the first item on this list: the trip down the Road to Hana. There is also a marked hiking trail that is accented by freshwater caves, which makes this state park an incredible beauty in the Hawaiian landscape.
Maui is home to 14 incredible golf courses, some of which were constructed with the input of golfing legends like Arnold Palmer. Kapalua’s Plantation Course is especially renown for its incredible views and challenging golfscape. The Plantation Course also has great amenities, including dining and a top-notch golf shop.
For first-time visitors and anyone who is thrilled to increase their knowledge of Hawaiian culture, attending a real luau is a must! Maui is host to the Old Lahaina Luau, one of the most popular luaus in the entirety of the Hawaiian Islands. If you can pay the entry fees, you will find an incredible experience awaiting you. The ceremony has received many accolades and awards for the music and dancing that drives thousands of tourists to the performance each year.
Though this park is small, at its heart lies something enormous: one of the biggest banyan trees. The tree was transplanted on Maui after being brought over from India in 1873. It is over 60 feet tall, standing as a true testament to the strength and beauty of nature. If you visit during the right time, you might even get to get a look at the works of local artists! Art in the Park is a very popular attraction for locals and guests of Maui alike.
Visiting Maui is an incredible experience, a privilege that you should appreciate and therefore enjoy to its fullest. The second largest Hawaiian Island features cultural hotspots, stunning views, and many opportunities to adventure and explore. When planning your Maui itinerary, you should definitely keep these eight bucket list items at the back of your mind.