Once you decide to travel to Maui, you may think the hardest of the decisions is made. When visiting the Valley Isle, however, you will need to decide how and where to spend your time on the second-largest of the Hawai’ian Islands. But don’t worry, this is the fun part of planning!
A visit to Haleakalā National Park has long been popular with visitors, especially to watch the sunrise over the island and the Pacific Ocean beyond from the summit. In fact, the park is so popular officials recently implemented a reservation system to watch the sunrise, so be sure and keep that in mind if that experience is on your to-do list. For a less-crowded yet still magical experience, opt for sunset instead, and stay and watch the stars (and perhaps even the Milky Way) appear and put on a show of their own.
Another iconic Maui experience is driving the Road to Hana, with its hairpin turns, stunning views and waterfalls along the way. In fact, you will take 600 turns and cross 50 bridges along the 52-mile route. Be sure to plan enough time to enjoy — the drive can be as little as three hours, or you can spend the entire day exploring. For even more time, plan to spend the night in Hana before returning to the main part of the island the following day.
On the west side of the island, the historic whaling village of Lahaina is now an island hot spot and a terrific place to shop for art in myriad galleries, enjoy local cuisine at diverse restaurants and dive into a cup of tropical shave ice. When you tire of the crowds in Lahaina, point your rental car north and make your way to the Kapalua, where it’s a bit quieter, yet with all of the gorgeous coastline you could want.
Or, head south to Kihei and Wailea, where you will find miles of sandy beaches and unobstructed views of the neighboring Hawai’ian Islands of Lanai, Molokini and Kahoolawe. Some of the island’s best resorts, restaurants and world-class golf courses are found in South Maui.
Wherever and however you choose to spend your time on Maui, it is almost certain you will find all of the rest, relaxation and rejuvenation you yearn for.