Hawaii’s heavenly shores are a haven for sun seekers from across the globe. While many retire to the golden beaches of Honolulu, the island of Maui is equally enticing. The second largest island in Hawaii, Maui boasts an incomparable natural landscape. Every inch of the island is fringed with glorious beaches, alongside green valleys and abundant rainforests. From red sand beaches to ancient volcanos, here are our favourite ways to experience the beauty of Maui.
Haleakala National Park
More than a million tourists flock to visit this natural wonder every year. Home to the world’s largest dormant volcano, the park stretches out across 30,000 acres. On a clear morning, you can witness a spectacular sunrise at the peak of Haleakala or visit in the afternoon to view the sunset. Either way, you will be in awe of the incredible surrounds. Take a drive along the winding coastal road, marvel at the lush tropical rainforest and keep an eye out for fresh water pools and the stunning Waimoku Falls.
A historic town that has transformed into a Maui hot spot, Lahaina is home to dozens of unique shops and restaurants. Take a stroll along the lively front strip, browse the dozens of art galleries or sample authentic local cuisine at one of the fine restaurants. For a taste of Hawaiian culture, enjoy the award-winning show, Ulalena, at the nearby Maui Theatre. In the winter months, whale watching cruises will set sail from Lahaina Harbour.
Lao Valley State Park
Nature enthusiasts will be in heaven upon stepping into the grounds of the Lao Valley State Park. Dense jungle will surround as you hike through verdant valleys to find soaring mountain peaks. Follow the paved path to one of the park’s most recognizable landmarks, the lao Needle. This towering grass-covered rock formation points to the sky, rising 1200 feet from the valley floor.
Maui Ocean Center
Situated in Maalaea, the Maui Ocean Center holds the title for the nation’s largest tropical reef aquarium. Boasting hundreds of marine species with over 60 exhibits, you can take the time to learn about Hawaii’s underwater ecosystems. Catch a glimpse of stingrays, sea turtles and sharks from the underwater tunnel or enjoy a live feeding show. This is a great activity if you have the kids or grandkids in tow.
The island’s most popular drive is the road to Hana, along Route 320. A sleepy coastal town, Hana offers a glimpse of laidback Hawaiian life but it’s the drive itself that will truly captivate. Appreciate Maui’s stunning beauty as you meander along the coast and through the lush rainforest. Take the time to pull over and appreciate the scenic views or capture the perfect photo. Popular stops along the way include the Twin Falls, Wailua Overlook, Wai'anapanapa State Park and Ho'okipa Beach.
King Kamehameha Golf Club
Golf aficionados will be in paradise at the spectacular King Kamehameha Golf Club. Admire the island’s incredible landscape as you enjoy a round of golf on the immaculate green. Nestled amidst the West Maui Mountains, the 18 hole course is quite challenging with rolling fairways, wide water hazards and unexpected curves. Although the club is private, you do have the option of being a member for a day.
Without a doubt, Maui’s biggest attraction is the breathtakingly beautiful beaches. Kaihalulu ranks as one of the most popular attractions, not because of its white sand but rather its striking red shores. One of the few red sand beaches in the world, this isolated natural gem can be hard to reach but it’s worth the effort. Just be warned, the rough waters are not suitable for swimming.
Kula Botanical Gardens
Established in 1968, the Kula Botanical Gardens encompasses eight acres and showcases hundreds of indigenous Hawaiian flora and fauna. Browse the expansive gardens and appreciate many colourful flowers, exotic plants, amazing rock formations and cascading waterfalls. Notable attractions in the garden include the koi pond, orchid house, fuscia house, tiki exhibit and the bird sanctuary.
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