A little while back now, last April, we snuck off to Maui for a week, and it was HEAVENLY! Now I say snuck off because I was about to graduate university, and Guido and I were both ridiculously busy with work, so it was an awesome little break in the midst of craziness!
We had an incredible time, and the only downside really was that we couldn’t stay longer! Next time I would love to stay for 10 days or even 2 weeks, because 6 days went by WAY too quickly. Nonetheless, in those six days, we had a blast, so I thought I’d share my must-do activities in Maui!
We did A LOT of snorkeling! We were in the water every day, and we loved it! We rented gear from our hotel, but you can rent snorkeling gear from tons of local shops. Our top snorkeling places in Maui were definitely the black rock right down the beach from our hotel (on Kaanapali beach), Honolua Bay, a 15-minute drive away from our hotel (in the opposite direction of Lahaina), and lastly, Molokini Crater (see next tip!).
2. Sail on a Catamaran
This spectacular idea was snagged from the lovely Jillian Harris from her Hawaii tips, and let me tell you – it did not disappoint! We went with Sail Trilogy for their day tour to Molokini crater, and it was gorgeous! We were fed lunch on the boat, went to two snorkeling spots and had cocktails in the afternoon. Such a fun day! When booking our tour, we upgraded to include a SNUBA excursion on our trip, and it was so worth it! It’s basically scuba diving, but without all the gear, as the tanks of air are floating above you. Guido and I spend the entire 30 minutes the full 10 feet underwater (the furthest depth that our breathing apparatuses would let us go)! We saw sea turtles, took a ton of photos, and swam along the ocean floor!
3. Walk around Lahaina
We stayed in Kaanapali, but Lahaina – a great little ocean-side, historic town – was only a 10-minute drive from our hotel, so we meandered over on a few occasions to check out all the little shops and restaurants. For dinner one night we ended up at Kimo’s, where we had a gorgeous view of the water, and delicious plates of fish. I would definitely recommend trying to make a reservation though if you can plan ahead of time, because then you get a table with the best view! Another stop in Lahaina that I loved was the enormous Banyan tree in Banyan Court Park. It’s this tree that grows roots down from it’s branches, and this one is so old that it’s grown to the fill up the entire block!
4. Road to Hana
The road to Hana was a full day trip, especially since it was on the complete opposite side of the island from out hotel, but the drive was worth it because it was just breathtaking! Also, pick a few key places to stop and take in, because if you try to stop at every mile marker or destination, you’ll never get it all done in one day! And the road to Hana is NOT a road you want to be driving along in the dark. Here are my top four must sees:
- Twin Falls (Mile Marker #2) – This was our first stop of the day, and we had a DELICIOUS banana bread and pineapple smoothie at the little snack truck. We walked around for a short while, but never actually made it to Twin Falls. It was the first stop of the day and we were worried we wouldn’t have enough time. But for next time, we’ll walk the 2km loop and go see the falls!
- Kahanu Boatanical Garden (Mile Marker #31) – These gardens were absolutely breathtaking!! We spent a good hour walking around them, learning about all the different plants and trees, and taking in the stunning views!
- Black Sand Beach, Wai’anapanapa State Park (Mile Marker #32) – Another stunning spot along the road to Hana! The beach was so cool – the sand truly is black! There were some great caves to explore as well, and a few walking paths around the black sand beach where we got some incredible photos!
- Bamboo Forest + Waimoku Falls (Mile Marker #42) – This was our last stop of the day, and I’m so glad we saved some time for this hike. At one point, the bamboo in the forest is so high that you can’t see the sky – it’s wild!! Then at the top you get to a beautiful waterfall! Safety note: I had done a fair amount of reading, and you have to be VERY careful around these waterfalls as little rocks can come off the cliff façade, so don’t stand underneath them. As cool as it may be (and there were people doing it while we were there), it can be extremely dangerous! After our hike we walked down towards the Seven Sacred Pools, but unfortunately it wasn’t the right time of year so we couldn’t walk down to them, the path was closed off. But the view from there was still absolutely gorgeous, and you could see the pools from above!
5. Nakalele Blowhole + Heart Shaped Rock
One afternoon, we took about a fifteen-minute drive past Kaanapali beach (away from Laihana) to see a blowhole and heart shaped rock – two amazing sights! There’s a longer hike/walk if you stop around mile marker 37, but we parked just past mile marker 38 and walked right down from the road. The blowhole was super neat! Be careful not to get too close, as people have been sucked into it, and there are no guard rails. But the scenery is just gorgeous and there are some great photo ops with that little heart shaped rock!
6. Old Lahaina Luau
What a fun night out the Old Lahaina Luau was – we had a spectacular time! We bought our tickets a few weeks in advance online, as I’ve heard they can sell out during peak times. We arrived and they put real flower leis on us, and then we walked around the event space where they had photographers, artists selling carvings, a live demonstration about how the meat is cooked for dinner, and lots of things to keep you entertained! Definitely such a great experience eating the yummiest food, drinking piña coladas from the open bar, and sitting on a pillow to eat our dinner and enjoy the incredible dancing and show!
7. Have dinner at the Sea House Restaurant at Napili Kai Beach Resort
There are a handful of restaurants along the beach in Kaanapali, but let me tell you, they’re a fortune! Especially for the kind of burgers and fries that you’re getting. I came across this restaurant online, so on our last night before heading to the airport, we went to check it out. It’s on this GORGEOUS, private, secluded beach, and full of windows so you see the ocean and sunset while you eat. The food was also absolutely delicious as well! We had a surf and turf, scallops, desserts, and drinks (and all for the same price as the burger joints near our hotel!). I definitely recommend making a trip over to this great little restaurant!
Well there you have it! A few must-see’s and do’s in Maui! We had SUCH an incredible time, and I honestly can’t wait to go back! It’s a very quick flight over from Vancouver, and before you know it you’re in paradise! My only regret really was not being able to stay longer – HA! Next time it will be divine to stay longer and enjoy the sunshine and beaches! 🙂
Do any of you have other activities to do or sights to see in Maui? I’d love to hear them! Have to start planning for our next trip!! 😉