There are many places to love on Maui, and all of the Hawaiian islands, for that matter. A few really do stand out so we’ve compiled a list of our picks of the top ten magical spots on on the Valley Isle. While there are SOOO many more, these are definitely worth a visit!
1 – Haleakala Crater: Possibly one of the most spectacular sunrises (or sunsets, for that matter) you will ever witness will be at Haleakala National Park. According to the National Park Service, the park “vibrates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people.”
Also a haven for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else, this is truly a magical spot on Maui. Whether you visit on a guided tour or spend some time hiking and camping the crater, you will find your body, mind and spirit renewed!
Visit this link to find out more: http://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm
2 – Molokini Crater: This is a very special spot, as you will only find about 6-8 places like it in the WORLD! A volcanic cinder cone that has eroded over the ages, the island is now a Marine Life Conservation District and Seabird Sanctuary.
Located 3 miles off the shores of Maui, it is famous for having incredibly clear water with visibility exceeding 100 feet almost every day. Home to brightly colored tropical fish of which these waters are home to around 250 species, and it is possible to see monk seals, manta rays, spotted eagle rays and much more, this is also a fantastic snorkeling spot …. probably one of the best in the state of Hawaii!
Want to give it a try with the pros? Visit http://www.fourwindsmaui.com
3 – The Sacred Garden: A nursery, peace sanctuary, retreat center, botanical garden, school, creativity center and a temple, the Sacred Garden is the happy home of a variety of plants, Living Shrines, Fairy Gardens and great ideas.
Home of two walking labyrinths, meditation gardens, marblequanyin and picnic or sitting areas. Inspiration, creativity, beauty and peace are the undeniable themes of the garden.
FREE and open 7-days a week for the public to enjoy … come out and see what moves you!
Please visit: http://sacredgardenmaui.com
4 – Haiku Mill: While not open for the public to simply visit, this is worth a mention as one of the my favorite places for events … especially weddings.
Surrounded by Old World elegance, ornate hand-picked treasures and fragrant jasmine and gardenia blossoms, guests are swept away in the spirit of old world charm and romance.
Find them at: http://www.haikumill.com/
5 – Maui Lavender Farm: I know I’ve mentioned this in a couple of other places; however, this is hands down one of my most beloved spots to spend a lazy afternoon after hiking in the crater!
Situated on the upper slopes of the mountain, you get a little bit of everything … beautiful breezes, stunning panoramic views, numerous places to just “hang loose”, meditation gardens, fields of a variety of lavender plants and even a little gift shop with the most divine offerings from food and beverages to bath and body products for people and even their pets.
Enjoy lavender lemonade and a scone while sitting amidst fragrant fields in one of the many seating areas that have been built around the property while you watch the clouds roll by and the Pacific waters far below … ahhhh!
Visit their site at: http://www.aliikulalavender.com
6 – La Perouse Bay: Haleakala’s last display can be seen on Maui’s southeast shore at La Perouse Bay . It’s estimated that this eruption occurred about 1790 and is part of the old King’s Trail.
While not a park, there is a monument here and if you know what to look for, the
remnants of a long ago Hawaiian history and those who called this area home.
Be careful where you walk and pay attention … that pile of rocks may well be the
ruins of a long gone hale or house.
This is also a popular surf spot but is NOT for the novice surfer. It is easy to be washed upon the sharp lava rocks … quick way to ruin a day! Watch for a while and decide whether or not to enter the water. There are days that this can be a beautiful spot to swim.
There are many sights to see and even some other places to swim along the way, so take your time, take plenty of drinking water, wear sturdy shoes and SUNSCREEN!!!
7 – Nakalele Blowhole: This relatively easy hike does require sturdy shoes (sneakers are OK) since the trail can be steep and there are some loose rocks here and there. From the parking area, walk across the open area and start picking your way down the rocks.
While there is no real trail to this location, you will see the cars parked,
usually a lunch truck and other hikers. It’s not easy to go too far in the wrong
direction thanks to a long drop down off the cliffs.
Eventually, the rocky terrain flattens out and you’ll see a large wet area in the rocks surrounding the blow hole. Do keep your distance and NEVER turn your back on the ocean!
While the best time to go is at high tide and when the surf is up, the water coming up must also go down and people have, unfortunately, been sucked down with it. Let a good zoom-lens get the close up shot and enjoy the show.
8 – Twin Falls: I was first introduced to this wonderous locale shortly after coming to Maui (unfortunately, several times after having been to Hana). I was also lucky enough to visit with friends who knew the area well. On any trip up the Hana Highway, this is an absolute MUST DO!
It is pretty hard to miss, as there is a local, VERY colorfully painted fruit stand in
the parking lot, usually fairly full of cars. Don’t make the mistake of letting this turn you off … trust me. The area is large, the lot is small and it is generally uncrowded!
Also allow yourself TIME. All too often, people on their way to Hana miss so many of the most amazing spots on the island as they rush through, get some cool photos of a waterfall and maybe take a quick swim.
Always remember, when headed up the highway, Hana is simply a destination and a sleepy little village… there is much real beauty is on the ROAD to Hana and beyond!
While this is an open area, there are people lucky enough to call this land home. A visit to the following site is helpful: http://www.twinfallsmaui.net
9 – Pipiwai Trail: Located on the back side of the slopes of Haleakala, this trail can be found a bit past Hana. This is one of my favorite hikes for may reasons. The 4 mile loop trail winds along numerous falls, which are all fed by one 400 ft massive fall so there are small pools and waterfalls all along the way and home to Banyan trees, a massive bamboo forest and so much more!
Don’t forget the more well-known 1/2 mile loop lower trail that has come to be known as the Seven Sacred Pools. Perfect for swimming and sunbathing but wear aqua shoes as the rocks are pretty slippery when wet.
To best prepare for your day, visit the National Park Service at:
10 – The Bamboo Forest at Kipahulu: Part of the Pipiwai trail, following the board walk will lead you through a bamboo forest so tall and so dense that daylight struggles to penetrate. Before reaching the spectacular Waimoku Falls, this magical bamboo forest is something that you’re unlikely to forget. Step off the path (just a few steps), soak it all in and you’ll see what I mean!
While there are numerous places on the island that would be considered awe-inspiring and absolutely beautiful, these are some of our staff picks. Get out there and explore … you might find some places that will stay in your heart well past your vacation, if not forever!
Read the guide books but also look at reviews from other travelers and talk to people (both locals and visitors) and find your favorite spots. Feel like sharing them with us? Please do!