Sometimes our crazy lifestyles prevent us from being able to do the amount of research we need to before we set off on our adventures. Why spend hours upon hours searching for things to do when you visit Maui, when I can lay everything out for you that is worth your time. Heads up- if you are a climber I would recommend picking up some climbing tape before you go. Maui for anyone who is not familiar with that place is an island in Hawaii. It is a peaceful island with an abundance of exhilarating activities to enjoy.

Maui is a place where you will be happy all the time. I do not know of any reason you could be sad during your vacation in Maui. Maui is located way out in the Pacific Ocean and the ocean by the way is very warm to swim, snorkel and surf in. Maui has very different weather across the whole island. If it suddenly starts to rain on the north end of the island, most likely the south end will be sunny! When it rains in Maui it only rains for a few minutes. How do you think it stays so lush? The tropical climate needs a bit of rain to rejuvenate all the plants and flowers. Maui is hot year around. It has a beautiful climate. If you come from a cold climate, this would be the perfect destination to escape the winter.

Since Maui is in the United States it runs on the American Dollar. Now that you have a bit of a background on Maui, let’s get into the fun stuff and see what there is to explore on the island.

  1.    Doors Off Helicopter Tour-
  2.    Haleakala Volcano Tour-
  3.    The Road To Hana
  4.    Snorkeling Tours
  5.    Beaches
  6.    Surfs Up
  7.    Iao Valley State Park
  8.    Attend A Luau
  9.    Check out the Coffee and Fruit Plantations
  10.                  Stroll through the Lavender Fields

Now let me elaborate on why I have chosen these activities as my top 10 favorite things to do in Maui. Once you read about each activity, you will be sure to want to explore more!

The doors off helicopter tour is as exciting and thrill seeking as it sounds. You are literally flying around Maui in a helicopter with no doors on it. This makes for the best landscape pictures and the best experience of your life! If you are afraid of heights, this is the perfect place to conquer those fears. There are some restrictions with this tour- in regards to not allowing you to bring a big camera up with you just for safety reasons. You are allowed your cell phone to take pictures though! With Maui being a decent sized island, there are many different island tours you can take. I would recommend doing the west side of the island tour and over around Molokai. You will then get to see what Molokai looks like too! You are killing two birds with one stone.

Haleakala Volcano Tour is a tour of the dormant Volcano in Maui. You will want to get up bright and early- and by early I mean 2:00 am to catch your tour group and drive to the top of the volcano, which is 10,000 ft. above sea level. One neat fact is that this is the fastest climb to 10,000 ft. above sea level anywhere in the world. You want to arrive early to be able to take pictures with you head above the clouds. It’s all apart of the experience. Then you will watch the sun rise and if you are feeling adventurous- you will have booked a biking tour down the volcano. This is a very popular tour to do on Haleakala. Its approx. 50 km down, but you are basically just sitting on a bike since it’s all down hill. You do not have to do a tour for this one, but it is recommended because driving up to the volcano includes quite a few hairpin turns- especially that early in the morning when you might not be as alert as if you were in the afternoon. You do not have to go to see the sunrise; it is open until 4:30pm. However I would recommend watching the sunset and being up in the clouds because who doesn’t like seeing a beautiful sunrise on vacation.

The Road To Hana is a must when visiting Maui. It’s not so much about the road in general- even though you will have to conquer close to 700 hairpin turns; it’s mainly about the activities along the way. From twin waterfalls to jumping off cliffs to black sandy beaches and stands selling delicious banana bread to adventures upon adventures. There are many organized tour groups that you can book if you want to relax on a bus or shuttle. If you want to go at your own pace, this would be the best time to rent a convertible and explore on your own time. This way if you want to spend two hours at the twin waterfalls, you can spend two hours. Or if you want to stop for lunch a bit later, you can! Each of course has their pro’s and con’s. A few things you should check out on The Road To Hana is: Paia Town, which is the last town on the way, the twin waterfalls hike, halfway to Hana stand, Kahanu Garden and the ‘Seven Sacred Pools.’  These are a few of the main attractions when following The Road to Hana.

Now let’s talk about the snorkeling in Maui. One of the best places to snorkel in the world is the Molokini Crater. The Molokini Crater is located approximately 2.5 miles off the south shore of Maui. The crater is an underwater volcano islet and that is rare as there are not many volcanic islets in the world. I highly recommend you experience this on your trip to Maui. You don’t have to snorkel in that particular location; snorkeling all over the island of Maui is amazing. With the abundance of sea turtles and fish- you will be in complete shock. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear to Maui.

Okay, be prepared for this topic. Beaches in Maui is the hot topic for sure. From white sand beaches to surfing/high tide beaches to black sand beaches, to the best snorkeling beaches to the 100’s of little beaches all around the beautiful island of Maui. If you love going to the beach, you will feel like you went to heaven when you come to Maui. There are even beaches with black cliffs that you can jump off into the Pacific Ocean. Read my list below for the beaches that correspond with each activity:

SURFING BEACHES:

  •      Honolua Bay
  •      Hookipa Beach
  •      Peahi Beach
  •      The Cove
  •      Kaanapali Beach
  •      Paia Bay
  •      Thousand Peaks

SECRET SNORKELING SPOTS:

  •      Honolua Bay
  •      Kapalua Bay
  •      Turtle Town Maui
  •      Maluaka Bay
  •      Kaanapali Beach
  •      Molokini

BEST BEACHES FOR SWIMMING:

  •      Kaanapali Beach
  •      Napili Bay
  •      Makena Beach State Park
  •      Hamoa Beach
  •      Charlie Young Beach
  •      Koki Beach
  •      Kapalua Bay
  •      Baldwin Beach Park
  •      Honolua Bay

For more information on each one of these beaches visit: http://www.prideofmaui.com/blog/maui/best-beaches-maui.html

The surfing was basically born in Hawaii, so what better place to hit the waves then in Maui. If you have never surfed before but wouldn’t mind learning, don’t worry because there is a lot of surfing lessons in Maui with some talented instructors. They are happy to help teach you the basics to surfing and they will physically go out in the water and help you. One tip- download Groupon the app if you plan to go to Maui because you can get discounts on surfing lessons, amongst other wonderful deals for snorkeling and catamarans and other fun stuff.

Iao Valley State Park is the perfect place to go unwind in nature. The mountains and views are spectacular and the flowers are out of this world. Please bring your camera with you because there are many picturesque views that need to be captured. You will climb up the mountain a little bit to get into the valley, and then there are many different trails and gardens that you can walk around and explore. I would recommend bringing sandwiches or picnic stuff to enjoy a nice picnic in the valley.

When you think of Hawaii, let’s be honest- what do you think of? The ocean, surfing, sandy beaches, mai-tais, and maybe the odd luau? Attending a Luau is almost a must in Hawaii. The traditional Hawaiian culture is all about their luaus. Why not experience a bit of the culture while you are in Maui. There are many different luaus in Maui and some come with dinner. It all depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. They also range from $80.00 USD to $200 USD.

How cool is it seeing how coffee is made and different tropical fruits? Super cool if you ask me. Going to a coffee plantation is unlike anything you have seen before- well that is if you have never been to a coffee plantation before. However, going to a coffee plantation in Maui is so much fun! Why not grab some coffee on the way out too since you now know how it’s made. With the fruit plantation you will get to see how a coconut is husked and get some samples as well. Not a bad way to spend a couple afternoons. You will need a break from the sun at sometime on your vacation. This is a good activity to do if it’s overcast. If you were checking out the fruit plantation- I would recommend doing it the same day you plan on going to Iao Valley State Park. Depending on where you are staying on the island, it makes it more convenient to visit places that are close to each other. Maui is not a super big island, but it does take time getting from one place to another especially with the traffic. In rush hour traffic can be backed up for miles. Don’t worry, it’s nothing if you are coming from a big city like NYC, but it does add some extra time to your travels.

Maui in fact has one of the most beautiful lavender fields you will ever walk through. If you have never dreamed about walking around a lavender field, I suggest you start too! Then go ahead and live your dream. Why not pick your own lavender or bring home some with you! Lavender packets make the perfect island gift for your friends and family and yourself included. Lavender packets also make the perfect luggage gifts and closet stuffers. This will help keep your clothes smelling fresh everyday, including the ones in your luggage.

Well, there you have it! You have now learned about all the fun activities I highly recommend doing when you go to Maui. It’s important to pre-book some of these activities like the Volcano Tour, The Helicopter Tour, and the Luau. You can book the tours once you arrive or you can have everything lined up for when you get there. It’s up to you how you want to go about it. Sometimes you get better prices if you call the businesses and sometimes you get better prices when you book online. It all depends on the tours- even talking to a tour rep can save you a bit of money too! I wish you well on your Maui adventures, and keep in mind if you plan on going surfing, that it is important to monitor the waves and make sure that you do not put yourself at risk. There are numerous signs and people around that can help you out with the surfing conditions so do not be afraid to ask a local. They know the most about this island because they are from there, so any advice they can give you will be good advice!