Maui Recommendations

First, I’d recommend getting a copy of the Maui Revealed tour book.  It’s essential!

Here are our favorite stops and activities on Maui:

  • Join a snorkel tour of Molokini, a little crescent atoll off the west side of the island.  We had a great experience with Seafire Charters.
  • Sunrise Bike Tour at Haleaka, the dormant volcano on Maui – stop at Kula Lodge for breakfast on the way down.  You wake up stupid early and have to dress for the coldest day of your life but the view is worth it if the sun comes out.  The bike trip is almost entirely downhill.
  • Big Beach/Little Beach (Makena Beach), south of Wailea, this is one of my favorite beaches.  Little Beach is clothing optional but if you don’t mind the naked people, the sunsets here are amazing.
  • Mama’s Fish House – high quality seafood restaurant
  • Paia – cute little town with cafes, shops and restaurants that’s worth the stop
  • The Four Falls of Na’ili’ili Haele – my FAVORITE adventure on Maui, hiking through bamboo forests to see several waterfalls
A trip to Maui is not complete without making the drive to Hana.  It’s a windy 3 hour drive that’s incredibly scenic with lots of photo stops.  Hana itself has incredibly diverse beaches.  Check out the Wai’anapanapa Black Sands beach on the way in, Kaihalulu Red Sand beach and Hamoa (all white sand!) Beach.  If you can afford it, spend a night in one of the bungalows at the Hotel Hana.  There’s no light pollution so make sure to check out the unbelievable night sky and staying over means you’ll have that whole side of the island to yourself in the morning before the tourists start driving in.

I recommend driving back via the southern end of the island instead of returning the way you came, especially if you have a 4×4.  It has its bumpy parts but the other side of the volcano is a great contrast.

Almost everything above is about the east half of Maui which I prefer.  The west is also interesting.  Lahaina is the big tourist area with lots of art galleries but can be very busy.
Outside of Maui in Hawaii, I can think of two places that shouldn’t be missed:
  • Pearl Harbor Memorial (Oahu)
  • Volcano National Park (Big Island)
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