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Make the Most of Your Trip to Maui

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Maui and had such an amazing experience! The island is breathtaking and certainly something you need to see in person to take in its full beauty. This post is long overdue, but I couldn’t let any more time pass without sharing with you some of the main attractions and excursions I went on. If you’re headed to Maui or planning a trip in the future, make sure you add a couple of these, if not all, to your itinerary.

Haleakala National Park- This is a dormant volcano 10,023 ft above sea level! The view from above the clouds is like living in a dream. This mountain is so huge you can see it from anywhere on the island. The drive up is incredibly scenic with multiple photo opps along the way. We arrived at the summit just about an hour before the sunset, enough time to grab a decent spot to sit, relax and observe. Although, I have been told, if you’re trying to catch the sunrise a reservation will be necessary. The ground is completely covered in red dirt and rock. People will say it feels like you’re on Mars when you’re up there and I would agree. Because of the high elevation there are lower levels of oxygen. For me it was immediately noticeable upon getting out of the car. Be sure to take your time walking through the rock and up any stairs to avoid overexertion. Overall, it’s a beautiful place to bring a beer or some wine and just enjoy the peaceful, majestic views.

Snorkeling at Molokini- Now this! This was my absolute favorite part of the trip. I had never been snorkeling before and the Molokini waters were absolutely gorgeous. It was like swimming in an aquarium. The water was crystal clear and full of life. We snorkeled in 2 locations at Molokini and then took an ieducational tour around the crater. We then headed to Makena where more sea turtles are present. We were able to spot one 500 lb turtle, probably over 100 years old. It was an experience I never knew I needed. We were served some delicious barbecue on the boat, prepared by Captain Dan, with unlimited beer and wine the entire time. The whole trip was about 6 hours, including the boat rides to and from each island. I would without a doubt recommend Snorkel Molokini! They have several different tours to choose from. We chose Reef Adventures which is perfect if you want to be in a small group. The experience will definitely feel a little more authentic. The instructors were very informative, and I felt completely safe under their watch. Even if you’ve never snorkeled a day in your life, like yours truly, this is the place to go.

Kaanapali Beach- While in Hawaii, I stayed in a resort in Lahaina. Right across the street from the resort was a small almost private beach for those lodging nearby, but because the waters at this beach were a little more still, we ventured out to find more exciting beaches to visit.  We stumbled upon Kaanapali Beach, just about five minutes from Lahaina. Kaanapali was larger with a lot more action for surfing or boogie boarding. We also pulled out the goggles and did a little snorkeling near the rocks, not recommended when strong waves and currents are present. The beach also had easily accessible restrooms, shaded picnic tables and grills, perfect for midday lunch.

Black Sand Beach- Located in Hana, the Black Sand beach otherwise known as Honokalani Beach is certainly a sight to remember. Between the dark sand and massive light blue waves, it is picture perfect. The views only get better when you climb the short trail to the top of the cliff where you can watch the waves crash against the rocks and look down at all the people having the time of their lives in the water. The waves do come in pretty strong, so venture out at your own risk. Don’t miss out on this experience on your trip to Maui!

West Maui Parasail- One of the last activities I did on the trip was parasailing! The experience was far from what I expected it to be. I thought I would have this huge adrenaline rush, when in reality, it was 10 minutes of pure peace and silence, smoothly gliding through the air. I’m assuming this may have been different if the waters were choppier, but I guess we went on a pretty clear morning. Of course, there is no escaping the gorgeous Maui views and from 1200 ft in the air you can see it all so clearly. There was an 800 ft option as well, but for 10 more dollars what’s an extra 400 ft. You might as well go for it! You get to enjoy the hour-long boat ride while other travelers take their turn in the sky. The transition from person to person was very smooth and the instructors on the boat were super friendly throughout the trip. I surely recommend West Maui Parasail if this is something on your bucket list! Just look for the yellow smiley face parachutes.

Down the Hatch- I went to multiple restaurants while in Maui, but the one that I would most highly recommend is Down the Hatch! I wish I had the chance to try the whole menu. I went during brunch and ordered the Fried Rice Plate, which was mouth watering good and reasonably priced, unlike a lot of other restaurants on the island. There is also live music playing and from what I’ve heard, a pretty poppin night scene. It is located at Banyon Court, home to Banyon tree, a historical landmark in Lahaina. There are also a ton of souvenir shops surrounding the restaurant and it’s right across the street from Lahaina Harbor, where parasailing takes place. Kind of a one stop shop for a full day of activity. The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, &Dives hosted by guy Fieri on Food Network (so you know its tasty). Be sure to make time for this spot!

I hope these recommendations will help you plan the time of your life in Maui. I surely wasn’t able to experience all there is to do on the island. Here a few more activities that I wish I could’ve made time for. A couple of them require far in advance booking so learn from my mistakes and plan ahead!

  • Old Lahaina Luau - Book in Advance!

  • Mama’s Fish House - Book in Advance!

  • Punakea Palms Coconut Farm Tour

  • Pineapple Tours

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