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08 December, 2012

Top 5 things to do in Maui Hawaii

Beach on Maui
Maui, also called the Valley Isle, is ranked on many voting lists as one of the Best Islands in the World. After visiting Maui in April 2012, I definitely agree with that. It is a great place to have a beach or surfing vacation. In addition there are so many other things to do and see on Maui, no chance at all to get bored there. Here is my list of top 5 things to do on Maui.


Road to Hana
Road to Hana

    1. Road to Hana

The Road to Hana can be very busy, so make sure to start your trip early in the morning to beat the crowd. East from Paia you take the Hana Highway, this scenic highway is an experience on it's own! The road is sometimes quite narrow with sharp turns but I would still recommend to go with your own rental car instead of taking a tour. This way you can choose where to stop and for how long. 

My favorite stops are Keanae Park a beautiful lava rock beach (between Mile markers 16 and 17) and Wai'anapanapa State Park the famous Black Sand Beach (just passed Mile marker 32).  

Once in Hana make sure to continue your trip to Oheo Gulch, the Seven Sacred Pools (Mile marker 42), which is an incredible beautiful place and part of the Haleakala National Park. Also the Wailua Falls (Mile marker 45) are well worth a stop. To get back you have two options either you continue your way on the road around the island or you turn back the same way. As the rental car companies prohibit that you take the road around the island, most people take the same way back and so did we.  

Go well prepared and take lunch and water with you. On our way back we had dinner in Mama's Fish House, a  delicious but quite expensive experience.  


Whale Watching Tour
Whale Watching Maui

2. Whale Watching Tour

The best time to spot humpback whales in Maui is between December and April, so when you visit in this period make sure to take a Whale Watching Tour. We decided to take a tour with a motorized raft. The first 90 minutes we spotted hardly any whales and when we did spotted one it was from really far. I was already getting kind of disappointed when suddenly we heard several whales singing. Have you ever heard anything like that? It's just amazing. When the singing stopped we saw several whales coming up. It was incredible, I have never seen anything like that. It is a shame I was not quick enough with my camera to take a picture of all of them. 

When you visit Maui in another period, there will be no humpback whales cause they only come to Maui during winter time. As an alternative you can take a snorkeling tour to Molikini which is an unique experience as well. 


IAO Needle
IAO Needle

3. IAO Needle

Go hiking in the sacred historical IAO Valley and admire the famous IAO Needle. There are several trails with different difficulty levels. Make sure to bring lunch and water as there are no shops nor restaurants in the area. 


Haleakala Volcano sunrise
Haleakala Volcano

4. Haleakala Volcano sunrise bike tour

For this tour we had to get up at 2 am in the morning but we did not regret it. Our trip started in Paia where we got instructions and bikes from the Maui Sunriders bike company. They take you in a mini-van to the top of the Haleakala Volcano where the waiting starts. Make sure you dress warm cause it is freezing cold and very windy at the 10.000 feet summit. Just before sunrise some of the guides started to sing traditional Hawaiian songs, this together with a spectacular sunrise made this tour an unforgettable experience.

After sunrise, they will take you in the mini-van back down to about 6,700 feet where the real work starts. The Maui Sunriders tour is an unguided tour but we were very well prepared by the guide during our way up so we did not face any issues. It is an incredible and sometimes scary feeling to bike down with a speed up to 35 mph especially since it is really windy and there are some quite sharp bends. In addition you have to share the road with the cars. 

Stop at the Kula lodge to have breakfast and linger around in Makawao town before returning your bikes. Overall this excursion was truly amazing, what a trill! 


Lahaina Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree Lahaina

5. Visit Lahaina

Lahaina is an old whaler's village. On the main square near the Courthouse building you can find a huge Banyan tree, which was planted in 1873. You can also go shopping or visit one of the many art galleries in Front Street. 

Lahaina Harbor is very  nice as well and the starting point for many boat excursions including for the whale watching and snorkling excursion we did. 

There are many good restaurants and bars in Lahaina and there's even a Bubba Gump restaurant :-)


Mama's Fish House Beach
Mama's Fish House Beach

I loved Maui and although I usually do not visit the same place twice, I really hope to get back to Maui one day. During my Hawaiian holiday, I also visited Kauai and put together a list of my top 5 things to do in Kauai.


Freya - Holiday Nomad


30 comments:

  1. Your pictures tell so many words.

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  2. That's really impressive post. Thanks for great share..

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  3. Hello Freya,

    the photos are gorgeous! I remember my trip to Hawaii about 10 years ago. I loved it. The weather was perfect and the people friendly. I wish to go back and visit Maui next time :)
    have a wonderful Sunday, best wishes
    Duni - new follower :)

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    1. Hi Duni thanks for commenting. I would love to go back to Maui as well.
      Have a great weekend.

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  4. I especially liked the pictures. Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. Maui is in my Bucket List , thanks for this post you made me convince to visit as soon as possible :)

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    Replies
    1. It really is a beautiful island, thanks for commenting

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  6. super lovely pics!
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com/

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  7. Love Maui, always enjoy going to Lahaina and the outdoor market under the Banyan tree!

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    1. Yes it's a great place, wish I was there right now :-)

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  8. More fabulous advice for a Hawaiian trip, noted!

    Oh, and those same whales are all hanging out in Alaska in the summer! ;o)

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    1. I would love to visit Alaska one day during summer time, I heard it is amazing

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  9. This sounds like a great itinerary while in Maui! I have only been to the Big Island but I would love to visit Maui someday.

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    Replies
    1. Both islands are very different but both are incredible

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  10. Now that should be on my list of places to visit. :) Close to nature and promotes a relaxing atmosphere.

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  11. I like this very informative blog of the tour's with the pictures.Its a great piece of information,thanks a lot.Things to do in Maui

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  12. I like this informative blog with great pictures,thanks for sharing this post.Activities in Maui

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  13. I was just going through looking for old posts of your's to read. I got engaged in Maui and married in Kauai. That was back in 1994. It's built up soooo much now from what I've read and heard and that's is so sad to me. The volcano trip was one of my favorite activities and sights but the helicopter ride over the entire island I will never, ever forget! :)

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    1. WoW getting married in Kauai that is so romantic, it is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. I regret now not having done a helicopter ride over Maui but maybe next time.

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  14. Have always enjoyed traveling to Maui of all our world travels! We always like strolling Lahaina at sunset and in the evening hours. Thanks for sharing the great photos!

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    1. Definitely one of my favorite places

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  15. Lovely photos! It's my first time here on your blog and happy to read something about Hawaii while I listen to Nicole Scherzinger's "Your Love" hehe :D Cheers!

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    1. haha thanks for stopping by & have a great Sunday

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Freya - Holiday Nomad