Stand above a sea of clouds high atop Haleakala Crater. Watch a 45 foot whale surface off the coast of Lahaina. Lose count of the waterfalls outside your window as you drive the hairpin turns of Hana highway. The second largest Hawaiian island has a smaller population than you’d expect, making Maui popular with visitors who are looking for sophisticated diversions and amenities in the small, intimate towns peppered throughout the island. Maui’s unique vistas also make it a much anticipated destination. From beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world to the scenic heights of Haleakala Crater, a visit to “The Magic Isle” recharges the senses. But like every good magic trick, you’ll have to see it for yourself to believe it.
You can get around Maui by shuttle, tour bus, taxi, or public transportation. But to really experience all that Maui offers you should consider renting a car.
KULA BOTANICAL GARDEN – Opened in 1971, the garden is located on a unique 8 acre site featuring proteas, orchids, bromeliads and native plants. The natural setting provides unusual rock formations, waterfalls, ponds and a panoramic view of the valley and west Maui Mountains. You will enjoy an aviary, koi pond, bird sanctuary with the Hawaiian Nene goose, and picnic areas.
HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK – Stretching across east Maui, Haleakala National Park is home to Haleakala Crater, an active, but not currently erupting volcano, and Maui’s highest peak. Rising over 10,000 feet above sea level, Haleakala’s (‘House of the Sun’ in Hawaiian) graceful slopes can be seen from just about any point on the island. Legend has it that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun itself from its summit to slow the sun’s journey across the skies. You can travel atop the highest peaks of Haleakala Crater and walk above the clouds or you can hike across richly colored landscapes, desolate deserts, and untamed wilderness. Many visitors and locals wake up early to drive up to Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise. On a clear morning, seeing the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala is an unforgettable experience. Perhaps just as spectacular are Haleakala’s sunsets and the bright, starry skies revealed at night.
You can explore Haleakala at your own pace by car, bike, or by foot. The long, winding road to Haleakala National Park takes some time to drive up, but is well worth the effort. There are numerous hiking trails that offer solitude and scenic vistas, while guided hikes provide an expert’s guidance and insight. This is one of Maui’s most popular visitor attractions.
LAHAINA WHALE WATCHING - Gateway to some of the best whale watching in the world, the waters of Lahaina and northwestern Maui are shielded by the West Maui Mountains creating calm and clear waters for high visibility. Humpback whales are also drawn to the area’s shallow waters, less than 600 feet deep, making Lahaina Harbor the ideal spot to start your whale watching adventure.
MAUI OCEAN CENTRE – This is the largest tropical reef museum in the Western Hemisphere. Located in the Maalaea Village, near most resorts, it allows one to see, touch and explore Hawaii’s marine life including a walk-through aquarium.
OHEO GULCH KIPAHU – Located on the scenic highway to Hana, it is also known as the location fo the Seven Sacred Pools. One of the best spots to visit in Maui with its water falls, pools and lush greenery.
Others: Baldwin House Museum, Hana Highway, Kaanapali, Iao Valley, Whalers Village Museum, Wailua Cove & Kaéleku Caverns