For our 15 year anniversary several years ago, Matthew and I traded-in some hotel points and booked our first trip to Maui. The warm breeze, beautiful waters and scenic coast quickly told us we would be back again (…and again) (… and again) (…and ‘let’s go ahead and plan ‘Road to Hana’ for next year’s trip too’)!
During the past three trips, we’ve learned a lot about Maui! If you missed “Maui on a BUDGET,” you can see it HERE.
But, for now, let’s talk about some of my FAVORITE things to DO in MAUI!
- Walk the Beach
I’m going to give you 3 hard-to-believe facts:
1. ALL of these photos are quick-shots off my iPhone. (I mention this to prove how GORGEOUS Maui really is! No Photoshop or fancy camera needed.)
2. ALL of these places were areas we stumbled across during beach walks. (No planning or searching for beautiful spots.)
3. These ALL felt like our private, secret spots. One of the wonderful things about Maui is how private it feels.
- Enjoy the FOOD
As I wrote HERE, you can save a lot of money and STILL experience wonderful the wonderful food of Maui! My favorite spots are the FOOD TRUCKS and Kihei Cafe!
(Suggestion: Bring cash to Kihei Cafe and pay extra for banana and macadamia nuts on top of the already-amazing french toast! The line looks long, but moves fast!)
- Ho’okipa Beach Park (in Pa’Ia)
If you LOVE sea turtles, make this trip a priority! You’ll see turtles all over the island, but this place seems to be their favorite spot to hang-out.
- ‘Iao Valley
If you’re a rule-follower, you may only be here an hour. But if you’re willing to get dirty and ignore “Do Not Enter” signs, this could be a FUN day-trip!
(Suggestion: Do not be a rule-follower.)
Even if you’re not a big fan of
TRYING TO STAY ALIVE IN COLD WATERS WHILE BIG WAVES KNOCK YOU AROUND AND YOUR CHEAP MOUTH PIECE GETS FILLED-UP WITH WATER ONCE AGAIN‘snorkeling,’ you absolutely MUST snorkel in Maui!
I’m sure there’s more to see than the beautiful sea turtles, but that’s reason alone to spend hours in the clear, beautiful Maui waters.
(Suggestion: Wear water shoes!)
- Haleakala National Park
Many bike. Others take tours. But we just woke-up super-early, grabbed the hotel robe (because we didn’t pack for cooler weather) and drove our rental car. Expect a crowd as you witness “the best spot to watch what may be the most spectacular sunrise on earth. As the sun peeks over the horizon, an ever-changing swirl of color and light dance across the vast sea of clouds.”
(Suggestion: Bring warm clothes and get there early.)
- Whale Tour
If you’re lucky enough to be Maui when the whales visit (November-May), you’ll CERTAINLY see them from the beach. However, it was REALLY special to be in their domain and witness them up close.
(Suggestion: Although we were happy with our large boat, we heard smaller water-crafts were better for being eye-level and getting a little closer.)
- Resort Amenities
The beauty of Maui has nothing to do with where you sleep at night. However, if you have the opportunity to spend a little extra, cash-in some travel points or use a promotion, I would highly recommend Marriott’s Wailea Beach Resort. The excellent customer care and adult-only infinity pool overlooking the ocean were just two of the reasons why it’s always a highlight of our week.
(Suggestion: Save money by “treating” yourself to a nice resort 1-3 nights. Moving around to a less-expensive hotel also lets you experience other parts of the island.)
- Helicopter Tour
Any helicopter ride is fun, but can you imagine hovering over the base of some of the most BEAUTIFUL waterfalls in the entire world? Well, that’s what you’ll get if you take a helicopter tour of Moloka’i!
I’ll be honest… my expectations were too high. Because of what I’d seen in movies and dreamed-up in my head, I envisioned sitting in the sand with a huge pig in the ground in front of me… all while fire was being tossed around by gorgeous natives with real straw skirts.
(Suggestion: If you go, expect a good show and a long-wait to a decent buffet.)
- Drive Around!
I’ve yet to find a part of Maui’s coastline that isn’t remarkable! If you have a rental car, take a day to simply explore the coast.
- Enjoy YOUR View!
Yes, Maui is one of the most BEAUTIFUL places in the world, but, honestly, my BEST moments in Maui are of the person I got to share my memories with.
If you’re lucky enough to visit this amazing place with someone you love, don’t over-plan and simply enjoy the person beside you!
(SUGGESTION: Bring a Blue-tooth speaker, a fun playlist and take time to simply take in the view!)