Maui is arguably the most colourful island of Hawaii and here is a Vacation Guide for it. The Maui Hawaii Vacation Guide takes you on a journey to experience the breathtaking spectacle of raw beauty, kayaking, whales and a pulsating night life. The sheer variety of activities on offer set in a heavenly location makes Maui an intoxicating proposition. A sneak preview of Maui Hawaii Vacation Guide contains a walk up the world’s largest dormant volcano, whale watching, authentic Hawaiian luau, Art week, Ulalena the theater, snorkeling, surfing and even a magic show!
Maui is well connected by Air through Kahului Airport. Car Rentals are the best way of getting around in Maui as there is no public transportation system. There is no better place than Maui to drive around in a convertible!
Maui has a violent past, as it was formed by 2 volcanoes- Haleakala and Puu Kukui. From a sugar and pineapple growing island, Maui has emerged as a premier destination in Hawaii for adventure seekers, beach bums, professional surfers and leisure tourists.
Haleakala or "house of the rising sun” is the world’s largest dormant volcano. A national park has been created that stretches from the summit of Haleakalā volcano to the Kīpahulu coast. The summit is 10000 foot high and is the highest point in Maui. It provides vantage views of the skyline, volcanic landscape and eco system. Kipahulu at the other end of the national park provides an experience of lush rainforest, freshwater stream and pools.
Backpacking is a fun way to explore the Haleakala area. In fact the Makawao Public Library (808-573-8785) offers a backpack kit for its patrons. It includes exploration tools, books, binoculars, a camera, and an activity sheet packet.
Wilderness cabins are a great way to spend a night at Haleakala! There are 3 of them maintained by the National Park Service. Reaching the cabins is another adventure! The approach involves a hike of 3.7 miles to Hōlua, 5.5 miles to Kapalaoa, and 9.3 miles to Palikū. Reservation is required and can be made 90 days in advance by calling (808) 572-4400 or (808) 572-4400 or visiting https://fhnp.org/wcr.
Food, water, sun protection and war clothes need to be part of the essentials to be carried. end_of_the_skype_highlightingThe Haleakala Park headquarters and the summit can be reached from Kahului via Route 37 to 377 to 378. The drive will take around 1.5 hours.
Haleakala also has the only Astronomical Research Observatory of Hawaii. It is located at a height of 1/3rd up in the Earth's Atmosphere and hence provides splendid views for Astronomers.
Kipahulu at the other end of the national park provides an experience of lush rainforest, freshwater stream and pools.
One of the best Maui experiences is an authentic Hawaiian Luau. The feast is usually comprises kalua pig cooked in an earthen oven, poi and haupia. There is plenty of entertainment in the form of dance and music. The experience covers Hawaii's rich history, an ocean view and sunset.
One of the best places for an authentic Hawaiian Luau is at The Old Lahaina Luau. It is located behind the Cannery Mall in Lahaina, West Maui. At $100 it is a little expensive, but in my opinion worth it. Booking needs to be done well in advance. Seating in the front is premium and on the floor while back rows have chairs. I was uncomfortable on the floor, so stiff folks like me might prefer the chair at the back!
Maui is a great place to spot Humpback Whales especially between December and April. During their migration from Alaska to the Bering Sea, the Humpback Whales stopover at Maui to breed. The best spot for whale watching in Maui would be at Pali Lookout. So ensure Pali Lookout is a part of your itenarary of your Maui Hawaii vacation. It is located between Wailuku and Lahaina on Highway 30.
Lahaina is famous for its colourful past. It was a favorite among the whaling community as well as missionaries. You can imagine the combination of puritanical missionaries in a lusty port of the Yankee whaling fleet! The missionaries set up the first printing press at Hawaii and are also credited with introduction of a written form of the Hawaiian language. A key attraction in Lahaina is Carthaginian, a replica of a 19th century whaling vessel. It was a wooden hulled ship that used to deliver freight between New England, Hawaii, and China in the 19th century. The replica on display is a mini floating museum on whaling and worth a visit during your Maui Hawaii vacation.
The Sugarcane Train ride is a memorable journey and is a must do during your Maui Hawaii vacation. As the steam engine chugs through sugarcane fields you get splendid views of West Maui Mountains and Kaanapali golf course. A must see event at Lahaina is the "Friday Night is Art Night”. Artists assemble in galleries and people get to see their work and interact with them.
Maui is also famous for its Theatre. A strong recommendation from Maui Hawaii Vacation Guide would be a show of Ulalena. It is a traditional form of theater which delves in people, nature and mythology. The history of Hawaii is told through acrobatic feats, hula, and dance and with colourful costumes and lighting.
Another highly recommended activity at Lahaina is the Warren and Annabelle's Magic show. Warren Gibson is an impressive magician while Annabelle is the ghost of the widow of a whaling captain from Lahaina who left for sea and never returned! It is 4 hours of captivating magic and laughter and something unforgettable about your Maui Hawaii Vacation Guide.
Maui Tropical Plantation is worth paying a visit. A guided tour is offered about the various crops that are grown in Maui like pineapple, banana, sugarcane, coffee, papaya, avocado and coconut.
There is a gift shop also in the plantation. Lahaina is also the favourite haunt of shopaholics! The Cannnery Mall is a popular shopping destination. Hilo Hattie store is where people head to for aloha wear, gifts, jewelry, t-shirts and Hawaiian memorabilia.
IF you love snorkeling and surfing then Honolua Bay is where you need to head to. Snorkeling and Scuba diving through the reefs will take you to a world of colorful fish, sea turtles and corals. During the winters, experienced surfers gather at Honolua bay in Maui. The pros are attracted by the hollow and powerful waves of Honolua Bay that offers incredibly long rides.
Peahi or Jaws is the infamous surf spot near Hookipa where 40-70 foot monster waves are created by winter storms. In fact surfers are towed into the waves through jet skis to keep up with the speed! Lesser mortals can head to the bluffs above the bay where you get vantage view of the pros in action.
Travelers Tips for Snorkeling & KayakingIf you are a first time snorkeler as I was, you will need a little getting used to the mouthpiece for breathing. Practice in the hotel pool before going into the ocean. If you are a first time Kayaker, then it is prudent to wear waterproof footwear.
A must do while at Maui is a morning drive to Hana. In this trip, the journey is the destination! There is nothing particular waiting for you at Hana. But the route is scenic and it is fun to stop at the various waterfalls and beaches that dot the entire stretch.
The flora and fauna is incredible and the drive ends up as quite a memorable one. Do pack food and drinks as not much is available on the way. The common thing to do would be to return from Hana on the same road. However there is an alternate road which is narrower, scarier but more fun! You need to keep driving past Hana. It is worth attempting for a memorable drive back.
Get a map and details of all the stops along this road . You will not have enough time to stop at every stop - so plan your stops ahead of time based on your interests. Drive alongs CDs are also available and prove to be useful. Remember to wear or carry your swimming constume along with walking shoes and waterproof shoes. This will help you indulge in any waterfall you fancy along the way!
Twin falls after mile marker 2 is a must do. It is a short trek from the road and you have to wade through waist deep water to get to the fall. What can be more fun?! Black sand beaches along the way are unique and deserve a stopover. The Oheo Gulch or Seven Sacred Pools is located at mile marker 42. They are a part of a national park and a great experience. End the trip with arguably the best food served in Hawaii, at Mama's fish house! It is Fine dining and so will need decent clothes!
No visit to Maui is complete without sampling Loco Moco, the local's favourite Hawaiian dish made of rice, hamburger patty, gravy and fried eggs!
Towards the end of your Maui Hawaii Vacation you will realize what the local people meant when they said "Maui no ka oi". Maui is the best!
For my travelogue on Submarine Tour of Hawaii, visit Hawaii Vacation on Submarine
For my travelogue on Kauai, the oldest island of Hawaii, visit Kauai Hawaii Vacation Guide.
For my travelogues on weekend getaways from New York, visit Holiday Ideas from New York.