When people picture paradise – pristine waterfalls, lush green coastline, rainbows over the horizon – they may not realise that most of the things they dream about can be found in one place: Maui!
The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui County also encompasses the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai, which together are known as “The Magic Isles.” Of course, let’s not forget that Maui’s beaches are continually ranked among the most beautiful in the world.
Overwhelmed? If you’ve opted for one of our luxurious Maui vacation rentals, let us help you narrow down your options. Here are our Top 10 things you should absolutely do before you leave Maui:
1. Helicopter Over Maui and Molokai
Molokai is home to the tallest sea cliffs in the world and Hawaii’s longest fringing reef, meaning much of it can only be fully appreciated from above. Molokai’s undisturbed nature reserves and signature Hawaiian macadamia farms make it a haven for ecotourism. What better way to experience its unspoiled rainforest coastline than with an unbeatable bird’s eye view?
2. Hike to a Waterfall
Maui’s rainforests are famous for their wealth of spectacular waterfalls. In East Maui, the Pools of Oheo, aka the “Seven Sacred Pools,” are a series of picturesque waterfalls that cascade gradually into the ocean. Here you can sunbathe, swim or simply admire this wonder of nature. For the more ambitious, a few hours hike up the Pipiwai Trail will lead you to the spectacular 400-foot Waimoku Falls.
3. Attend a Luau
Maui’s sunset luaus are more than an opportunity to observe beautiful local dance – they're a chance to try delectable Hawaiian dishes! After a satisfying meal of smoky, salty kalua pig cooked in an earth oven (“imu”), settle down to live traditional music and hula performances. No Hawaiian vacation is complete without one!
4. Spot a Humpback Whale
Maui’s warm waters attract hundreds of humpback whales between January and April, and the clarity of the water makes them easy to spot. Whale watching tours are a favorite activity of tourists in the historic Lahaina Harbor, once a whaling village in the 19th century. Hawaii is now dedicated to the conservation of this beautiful species, which can sometimes be spotted right from the windows of our villas in Maui!
5. Come Face-to-Face with a Volcano
Known for its spectacular sunrises, Haleakala is actually a dormant volcano. The crater at the summit of its nearly 10,000 foot peak holds the key to the island’s name – according to legend, the demigod Maui captured the sun from the summit in an attempt to slow its journey across the sky. If you come for the sunrise, pack a sweater and a full tank of gas – the early mornings can get quite chilly!
6. Snorkel in Molokini
Discover an entire underwater world of sea turtles, tropical fish and shimmering coral on the southwestern coast of Maui. Molokini is a small, crescent shaped island, and one of Maui’s most popular snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. The coral reefs off this semi-submerged volcanic crater are so lively and captivating that it has been named a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District.
7. Learn to Surf
With Maui’s profusion of beaches, there’s no excuse for not picking up a board and shouting “Surf’s up!” Surf schools abound in Lahaina, and calmer waters like those in Kihei have smaller waves suited for beginners. If you’re still reluctant, you can always head to Honolua Bay or Hookipa Beach Park, where daredevils surfers (and windsurfers) perform dazzling feats. Close by, stop by Peahi (also known as “Jaws”) to watch the pros take on the most ferocious waves in Maui each winter.
8. Browse Lahaina’s Art Galleries
On top of being a whale-watching destination, Lahaina is a hot spot for regional cuisine and entertainment. This historic seaside town is within walking distance of several of our Maui villa rentals and has earned much of its character from its energetic art scene. Brimming with jewelry, sculpture, and carvings, you’re sure to find the perfect Hawaiian momento. Don’t forget to browse its prestigious galleries, as they showcase the talents of some of Hawaii’s best artists.
9. See the Iao Needle
The Iao Needle is a 1, 200-foot peak covered in emerald foliage rising up from the Iao Valley. Surrounded by the West Maui Mountains and overlooking the Iao stream, this lava remnant has great historical significance and definitely makes an impact. Iao Valley State Park is located in Central Maui and is a great place to spend the day hiking with family or viewing the interactive exhibits of the Hawaii Nature Center. As Maui’s most iconic landmark, the Iao Needle cannot be missed.
10. Take the Road to Hana
Starting in Kahului, the road to Hana is Maui’s most scenic drive and the ultimate Hawaiian road trip. Meant to be savored and stopped along as often as desired, it is often visitors’ favorite Hawaiian experience. Pack a lunch, rent a car, hit the winding 68-mile stretch of highway and don’t look back. Through lush, tropical rainforest, countless bridges and hairpin turns you will see Maui’s hidden treasures and come home with a photo album full of memories.
I hope you enjoyed these Maui travel ideas! For more about our villas in Maui visit our website or call today to speak with one of our Maui villa specialists.
To speak with a Maui Villa Specialist today call 1-877-993-0100