Also known as the 'valley island', Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands after Big Island and spans over 700 square miles in the North Pacific Ocean. It consists of 2 volcanoes-dormant Haleakala towering 10,000 feet above sea level in the east, and the extinct West Maui Mountains. It was first inhabited by Polynesians from Tahiti around 450 AD.
Lush tropical rainforests, cascading waterfalls, stunning verdant peaks and valleys, and sprawling turquoise waters make Maui a nature lover's paradise, but it doesn't stop there. The food scene is bustling with an abundance of farm-to-table restaurants, the locals are friendly, and the rich traditional Hawaiian culture is certainly something to be experienced and immerse yourself in. For those seeking the true spirit of "aloha" (compassion, love, peace, and respect) this island's a little slice of heaven.
WHERE TO STAY
Admire the views from your private lanai or relax at one of 4 infinity pools at The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort where the rooms are immaculate and the staff gracious.
Named by Travel and Leisure as one of the top hotels in the world, Hotel Wailea is an adults- only resort spread out over 15 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Suites are large with ocean views and the intimate setting is perfect for those seeking a romantic getaway.
The Four Seasons at Wailea has all the touches you've come to expect from the brand with the added perk of being in the center of tropical paradise. Dine at Wolfgang Puck's Spago or splurge and book their 'Serenity Pool After Hours' to enjoy a personalized moonlit meal and private access to the infinity pool.
If a boutique hotel's more your cup of tea, the Paia Inn is the perfect place to unwind in Maui's hippest surf town of Paia. Chic digs, a great restaurant, and its central location make for a great stay.
FOOD & DRINK
Start your day with a "cup from the end of the rainbow" from Grandma's Coffee House, a 4th-generation family-run business serving up organic coffee and delicious comfort food.
Voted "Best Breakfast in Maui" by Hawaii Magazine, Kihei Caffee serves local fare in a diner-like setting beginning at 5 am daily.
Lahaina Grill, a contemporary bistro voted the island's best restaurant 27 years in a row, is a must-visit while in Maui (make sure to make reservations in advance). For the freshest Hawaiian daily catch snag a table at Mama's Fish House, a landmark restaurant with a gorgeous interior reminiscent of old Polynesia. Sip on Mai Tai Roa Ae ("the very best") while delving into an unforgettable meal.
Pacific'O is a farm-to-table restaurant with panoramic ocean views serving up the best in locally sourced grub. Their drink menu includes "farm-to-bar" libations made with ingredients from O'o Farm where organic produce for the restaurant is grown.
THINGS TO DO
Experience a spectacular sunrise from Maui's highest peak, Haleakala, with a Sunrise Tour. Don't forget to bundle up-the summit can be frigid but the breathtaking views are worth it! Or you could choose to take a Sunset and Stargazing Tour to view the cosmos through a telescope from above the clouds.
For a beach day filled with snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and watersports galore visit Ka'anapali Beach. If you're adventurous you can cliff dive at Black Rock or opt to watch the nightly cliff diving ceremony hosted by the Sheraton, a tradition honoring the last chief of Maui.
Hike the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park to see some magnificent waterfalls, bamboo forests, and a giant banyan tree. And of course, a trip to Maui would be incomplete without experiencing a luau. There are plenty to choose from including Drums of the Pacific Luau, Old Lahaina Luau, and The Feast at Lele.
NOT TO BE MISSED
ROAD TO HANA
Take a drive or guided tour along the famous 'Road to Hana', a scenic 64-mile long highway that spans from Kahului to Hana. The roadway has 59 bridges and over 600 winding curves with views of some of Maui's most dramatic and spectacular natural wonders.
Map out your route and make plenty of stops along the way making sure not to miss: the Garden of Eden Arboretum, Kahanu Garden, Wai'anapanapa State Park, Wailua Falls, Coconut Glen's for vegan ice cream, and Aunty Sandy's for banana bread!
Have you been to Maui? What are your favorite restaurants, things to do, and places to stay? Let us know in the comments!
For more articles like this one, make sure you're signed up for our newsletter below!