Maui lies west of the Big Island of Hawaii and is separated from it by the so-called Alenuihaha Channel. It is approximately 68 miles from Oahu as the crow flies. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, stunning sceneries, surfing spots, and a wonderful climate. Maui is also the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago with an area of 694 square miles inclusive of 120 miles of coastline. After Oahu, Maui is the most visited island in the tropical Hawaiian archipelago. The weather in Maui varies quite strongly due to its mountainous landscape though as a whole, it is still relatively in line with all the other Hawaiian Islands.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to spend your entire stay in Maui, there are various Maui beach house rentals that will definitely turn your dream escape into reality with its relaxing ambiance and spectacular scenery. Let’s plan ahead for your next getaway. Here are the best attractions that you must-visit when you’re in the paradise of Maui.
1. Haleakala National Park
This national park is located on the slope of the inactive Haleakala Volcano which is approximately 10,023 foot high which covers areas from the summit to the ocean. Visitors are allowed to look into the dormant crater. From the summit, it surely offers spectacular panoramic views over the entire island. Many visitors come up here to see the sunrise.
The drive up here is also impressive. There are sites along the way that are worth visiting like the Seven Sacred Pools of the Oheo Ravine and even the Makahika and Waimoku Waterfalls. For those who want to see different species of birds, head to the short trail at the Hosmer Grove where some of the original species of the Hawaiian birds are seen.
2. Iao Valley State Monument
This valley lies west of Wailuku. Hawaiians usually visit this place for pilgrimage in honor of their gods. Today, there are several well-maintained paths that will lead you to this beautiful valley. It is also a popular destination for excursions.
In the middle of the valley, you’ll see the Iao Needle, a pointed lump of basalt. It reaches 2,215 ft. above sea level. It is a unique overgrown rock that was usually used as an altar in pre-historic times. A legend says that the demi-god Maui confined an unwanted suitor, then the water sprite Puukamoua, of his beautiful daughter, Iao and been wanted to kill him. But Pele, known as the fire goddess, ordered Maui to turn him into stone. Hence the needle appear.
This valley is said to be full of manas, known as the Hawaiian gods. On the left side of Iao Needle, you’ll find Pali Eleele, a dark black cliff.
3. Maui Ocean Center
This center houses a collection of Hawaiian corals, reef fish, green turtles and even stingrays in a series of well-designed aquariums. One of the highlights here is the glass tunnel through a shark and ray tank. It allows visitors to sit and think of the varied life around them. There are also other displays available in the center where it explains how the Polynesians who settled Hawaii used the sea and also the life cycles of the humpback whales. These humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from December to March.
Apart from those, this center also showcases many pieces of original art. If you want to buy one, there is a store in the area that sells varied items like original works of art with an exceptional quality ideal for those serious collectors.
4. Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach
It is a 4-mile beach that lies in western Maui and is still part of the town of Lahaina. It is known as the Maui’s finest beach. Here, you’ll find numerous shops, restaurants, golf courses and other numerous forms of entertainment for tourists. If you’re looking for a good variety of stores and dining options, head to Whalers Village, a prominent open-air shopping center.
5. Hana and the Hana Road
Hana, a remote village, lies in one of the most thinly-populated districts in entire Hawaii. Knowing its isolated position, this place features lush fields and gardens, the result of the huge amount of rains, being the characteristic of the east coasts of the remaining Hawaiian Islands.
One of the highlights for those who are coming to Hana is the drive to the village. The Hana Road located on the eastern Windward side of Maui starts at the town of Pa’ia. It traverses rainforest inclusive of waterfalls which makes it a glaring contrast to the almost desert conditions that can be found everywhere on the coasts. The distance between the town of Pa’ia and Hana is roughly 40 miles with only a single lane bridge. It approximately takes four hours of driving, round trip but it is inclusive of scenic view that will definitely surprise you at every turn.
6. Waianapanapa State Park
This is a remote area with beaches, rugged coastline, hiking trails, and even camping facilities. This is the perfect spot to simply enjoy the beauty of nature. It features a black lava beach at Paiola Bay which is worth visiting. Just a reminder for those unfamiliar with the surf conditions, kindly refrain from swimming in the strong waves.
It is located on the south of Kihei and has developed into a tourist destination being home to the lovely Keawakapu Beach. It is indeed one of the nicest beaches on the island. Here, you’ll find various shopping centers and golf courses to entertain other visitors that are looking to spend some time off the beach.
8. Makena Beach
It features a beautiful stretch of white sand and known as the largest beach on the island, also the perfect place to roam around while appreciating the entire stunning surrounding. The ocean here can sometimes be rough and is not ideal for swimming. Makena Beach is sometimes being referred to as Big Beach.