The Hawaiian Islands over the past couple of decades have become more and more commercialized and that’s not a bad thing. Unlike the Caribbean Islands that I have visited, the Hawaiian Islands have a strong support structure, making it easier to find unique places to eat, attractions to enjoy and even the much needed 24-hour pharmacy. While you might not think all the items on this list are “like a local”, my local friends from the area have all done these activities and take their visitors to them as well. With that in mind, here are my favorite Maui things.
1. Sunrise Haleakala Bike Tour
This is by far my favorite thing to do in all of Maui. First enjoy a sunrise breakfast on top of Haleakala volcano crater. Remember to bring you camera, because the panoramic sunrise view from over 10,000 feet is something you will want to document. Then cruise all the way down to sea level on your bike, enjoying the view and weather. Altogether, you can have the bike for 8 hours, making for a fun day of tooling around the island. Book Here
2. Acai Bowl From Baya Bowls Food Truck
I am mildly addicted to acai bowls and all the locals swear by the Baya Bowls food truck. It is a great price and everything is super fresh, like picked that morning and sliced open when you make your order. This is a must try for breakfast or a sweet treat that will not knock you off your diet.
3. Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is one you will never forget and should not be missed while in Maui. The drive is not for the fearful, with 60 miles of winding roads with one lane bridges, hairpin turns, and rocky cliffs, you’ll want to make sure you get plenty of rest the night before. It is also a raw and lush drive, with waterfalls, black sandy beaches and local shops. Every local will tell you to NOT drive home in the dark, so this is a trip you need to take early in the morning and leave by 2. (Stop Ideas)
4. Little Beach
Nudity! Yes I said it. If you want to go to a nude beach in Maui this is your spot. To access the beach, you must first park at Big Beach and then walk to the North end of the beach. There you will find a rocky outcrop of an old lava flow, follow the trail until you see the Little Beach sign and there you go. FYI, this place does get crowded, but this place is worth a stop. For more info, check out this site.
5. Le Perouse Bay
Get away from the crowds by driving down to La Perouse Bay. Driving down a small, bumpy road with few cars and views unobstructed by hotels. The rocky lava landscape is wild and raw and a very different energy from the beautiful sandy beaches of Kihei. There are many snorkeling places however afternoon wind makes early morning the optimal time to enjoy this activity. The spinner dolphins love coming out to play at dawn, so a sunrise visit might be your best bet, just make sure to have tennis shoes on.
6. Iao Valley State Park
Towering emerald peaks guard the lush valley floor of Iao Valley State Park. Located in Central Maui just west of Wailuku, this peaceful 4,000-acre park is home to one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This iconic green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks Iao stream and is an ideal attraction for easy hiking and sightseeing.
7. Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach
This is a great stop to make, while on the road to Hana. The beach is beautiful with a cave and off-shore small islands nearby. There is a path along the cliffs that goes in both directions. While walking the north path, make sure to watch the turtles feeding on the rocks below. Eventually you will end up at the blow hole. Once you stop for your photo op, continue on the path, to take a very peaceful stroll on other black sand beaches throughout the Hala forest. FYI, the beach can get crowded in the summer with many tour buses stopping to let folks spend some time on the beach, so taking the time to go to the second black sand beach maybe worth the time it takes to get there. Here is in more info on the beach.
8. Sailing the Ocean
There is something wonderful about being on a sailboat. While sailing one yourself is my personal preference, there are tons of places that take you out on the ocean and show you the “ropes” so to speak. If you want to go snorkeling, think about combining the two activities with this boat.
9. Mama’s Fish House
Nestled in a beautiful coconut grove on a secluded white sand beach, this converted beach house restaurant is a memory of old Polynesia on Maui’s North Shore. Every day they serve outstanding fresh catch lunches and dinners. The coolest thing about this place is that all their fish is locally caught in Hawaiian waters, with menus printed twice daily to credit the local fishermen. The Polynesian Black Pearl is a must for any chocolate lover!
10. Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm
Gazing out over the blue Pacific from the purple lavender meadows, this breathtaking view alone, is worth the trip. Each day they offer walking tours of the grounds, but in my opinion meandering around on your own is the best, with the winding paths taking you through gardens filled with lavender, hydrangeas and other or flowers. I suggest getting a cup of tea and seeing the sights.
What is your favorite Maui attraction? Leave a comment blow.