Matt and I have a real soft spot for Maui, Hawaii. Of course there are many reasons why it is so amazing including: the beaches, snorkeling, sunsets and Mai Tais. Also, as an added bonus it is where we got ENGAGED!! It was in the most perfect setting with my family and some of our great family friends around, at an amazing dinner by the beach at Five Palms Restaurant in Kihei. If you’re in Maui and want a delicious, fancy dinner you should definitely check this place out!
To find out what else you simply must do while visiting, in my opinion, the best of the Hawaiian islands, read our top 5 activities from the trip!
1. The Road to Hana
This one is a given and something that every guide book and website will tell you not to miss. There is a good reason for that though! I realized on this trip that it was my 12th time visiting Hawaii… My family is a little obsessed you could say. 🙂 Out of those times we have done the road to Hana on multiple occasions and it never disappoints. If you have the chance I would recommend staying the night in Hana to split up the drive because it is very long, and notoriously windy (620 curves and 59 bridges, 46 of which are one way). And even though it is only about 52 miles it can take a very long time, considering how often you stop and the stops are really the best part, complete with waterfalls and black sand beaches. We loved swimming in the pools and waterfalls which were definitely cold but refreshing as they are all fresh water. The black sand beach is a great place to stop and explore. There’s a blow hole, caves and even prime cliff jumping spots. Make sure you have enough time for the seven sacred pools at the end too. That stop is past Hana but worth the time with it’s seven clear cool pools and amazing waterfall! We managed to jump off the rocks here too 🙂
2. Kaanapali Beach
Sticking with our theme of loving to find rocks to jump off and into the water, one of our classic spots is Kaanapali Beach. This is also nicknamed Black Rock for the long stretch of black rock the daredevils like to jump off. There are even torches across the rock that the locals light every night at sunset in a special ceremony. The snorkeling here is also really great! If you swim out to where the black rock ends and around the corner there are many coral reefs and sometimes turtles will be hanging around the area. This time we were lucky enough to see sting rays hovering in the water!
3. Turtle town (Maluaka Beach)
To continue with the snorkeling and turtle theme, this spot is practically a guarantee turtle-sighting spot. If it is on our Maui bucket list to swim with a turtle you have to go here! The beach is nice too with a grass area and some steps down to the sand. Once you are in the water you need to go out past where the waves are breaking and to the left and that is where all the snorkeling and huge turtles can be found!
This is definitely the center for great shops and restaurants. You could spend hours just walking around and checking out all there is to offer here. Especially if you are interested in art there are some great art galleries along this stretch of town. If you have a big group like we did there are some really fun restaurants right on the water with awesome views! We love Cheeseburger in Paradise and Bubba Gump!
5. Bike ride down Haleakala
This was a first for me on this past trip and it was really fun! We opted for the sunrise cruise this time which meant they came to pick us up at 2:30am so this is only for the really dedicated explorer. Being able to watch the sunrise at the very top of Haleakala, Maui’s dormant volcano, is something that you will never forget though! Be prepared because even with the typical Maui heat and humidity, when you get to the top of the crater around 5:00am it is freezing! It is amazing to watch the sun come up from that spot though and a great start to any day on Maui! After watching the sunrise we took our bikes down the peak following a guide from the company we chose. He was really great and informative and even stopped us to take some fun photos. The view the whole way down is amazing and this is definitely an experience that is unlike any other on the island!
If you have any other must-do activities please share them here!! We have many others too but tried to focus on our favorites. It’s obvious that Maui is one of our favorite spots on earth and now that we can say we got engaged here, I’m sure that theory will be true forever!