The thought of lying on sun soaked beaches regularly named “the best” by travel magazines is enough to make any of your friends jealous… But once you arrive on Maui, you’ll see there’s so much more for them to envy.
Once you’ve settled in you’ll want to explore Maui’s sweeping canvas of attractions. The western, or leeward side, is the drier side of the island and features Maui’s world-famousbeaches including the beautiful Kaanapali Beach, home to a nightly sunset cliff diving ceremony. West Maui is also home to historic Lahaina, where you can find great shopping, dining and entertainment.
The eastern, or windward side, of the island is the wetter side of the island, home to the lush Iao Valley and the scenic road to Hana. The cool, elevated slopes of Haleakala are where you can find the farms and gardens of Upcountry Maui and the soaring summit ofHaleakala National Park. There is so much to see and do on Maui it’s best to plan ahead. Just don’t forget to send your friends a postcard.
The island of Maui has a coastline of about 120 miles (193 km). Maui beaches come in all forms and colors – there are gorgeous white sand beaches, black sand beaches and even red sand beaches offering great swimming, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing and kayaking opportunities. Generally speaking, the beaches on Maui’s south and west shore are best for swimming and snorkeling. Beach sand in Hawaii comes in all kinds of shapes and colors. Read more about Hawaiianbeach sand composition.
Ka’anapali Beach, Napili Bay and Wailea Beach are some of the most popular among visitors, while Ho’okipa Beach is known as one of the world’s windsurfing meccas. Then there is Jaws (Pe’ahi), one of the most popular big wave surfing spots, located on Maui’s north shore, where waves frequently reach monstrous heights up to 70 feet (21 m) in the winter months.
For many reasons, Maui is an ideal choice for golfers when planning a Hawaii golf vacation. In addition to being a favorite spot for honeymooners and romantic getaways, there are few better things to do than play some of the Pacific’s most spectacular golf courses.
Maui’s topography is dominated by the West Maui Mountain range and the 10,000-foot-high Mt. Haleakala volcano, joined by the Kahului Isthmus, where the majority of locals reside in the main port city of Kahului. No matter where you are on the island, golf is right around the corner.
Carved into the landscape of Maui are a variety of natural wonders spanning spectacular beaches to otherworldly volcanic vistas.
Haleakala National Park
The barren volcanic landscapes found at the higher levels of elevation of Haleakala National Park are in sharp contrast to the sand and surf of Maui at sea level. Known as the “house of the sun,” Haleakala has more endangered species than any other park in the National Park service.
The iconic emerald peak of Iao Needle is located in Iao Valley State Park in Central Maui. One of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, this sacred and historic spot features paved trails offering beautiful valley views.
Road to Hana
The 52-mile road to Hana is known as much for its scenic views and waterfalls as its twists and hairpin turns. Beyond the timeless small town of Hana is the beautiful Pools of Oheo. These pools, fed by cascading waterfalls are the perfect reward after a long drive.