Maui remains one of the highly visited tropical islands all around the world. In fact, as of 2018, around 2.9 million visitors traveled to Maui throughout the year, with tourism being the major driver for the influx of travelers towards the island. This definitely makes sense, considering the many things and places to see and do on the island. And if you happen to be one of the millions of tourists who are off to visit the lovely island of Maui, here are the top 10 places that you should visit.
This aquarium and oceanography center in Maui is one of the largest collections of live Pacific corals in the world. Maui Ocean Center also offers its visitors a virtual whale encounter in the Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit and Sphere, with 20 presentations conducted daily. Its outdoor tide pools and their 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit with a 240-degree view acrylic tunnel is a great way to learn more about the beauty and significance of Hawaii’s marine life.
Haleakala, meaning the “house of the sun,” is named based on the legend that tells how the demigod Maui made the day last longer by lassoing the sun while standing on top of the volcano. If you are looking for one of the best places to view the sunrise, the Haleakala Visitor Center is where you want to be. Apart from a spectacular view of the sunrise, you can also check out the Haleakala Crater’s out-of-this-world landscape, hiking trails and the Kipahulu section’s refreshing waterfalls and stream.
Take a walk in the footsteps of Lahaina’s past and discover the story behind this town’s historical significance. The Lahaina Historic Trail is a self-guided tour comprised of 62 historic Lahaina sites that are spread throughout 55 acres of land. It took the Lahaina Restoration Foundation three decades to create the trail and preserve many of the buildings along with it, which include a number of designated National Historic Landmarks.
The pristine white sand that is spread across the long and wide beach of Maluaka makes it a favorite to many tourists. This lovely beach is also known by many names including Turtle Town, Maui Prince Beach, or Chang’s. During the early parts of the day, Maluaka Beach can be a great spot for paddle boarding, snorkeling, and swimming. In fact, because of the natural reef in this area, you can spot a number of turtles enjoying their life underwater. Aside from being a haven for turtles, there is also a variety of reef fish and sea creatures underwater that you will truly enjoy watching.
Aside from the wonderful beaches around the island, Maui also boasts miles of rolling green pastures all over, one of which is the fertile region on the southwestern slopes of Haleakala — the Ulupalakua. This less traversed part of Haleakala is known for being the home of the Ulupalakua Ranch, which runs 2,300 brood cows of Brangus and Angus breeds. This 11,000 acres of agricultural property and wildlife habitat has become a favorite destination for both locals and visitors alike. Here, you will also find the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Grill and Maui Wine, the only winery in Maui.
From spotting turtles off the coast of the Hulopoe Beach to snorkeling under the calm blue waters of the island, Lanai is sure to provide you with a number of exciting activities that you will surely enjoy. Being the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, Lanai is definitely a great place to visit if you want to go off the grid and live a laid back life for a while. With more than 89,000 acres of countryside land, 18 miles of secluded beaches and 400 miles of four-wheel-drive trails, you are sure to enjoy your stay on this lovely island.
For the best horseback rides in Hawaii, Ironwood Ranch is the place to be! In the ranch, you get to enjoy the spectacular greeneries, valleys, forests and pineapple fields located high on the West Maui Mountains while you are on horseback, accompanied by an experienced trail guide. Rides are also available for kids aged 7 years old and up, while advanced rides are available for adults 18 years old and above. Whether you’d like to ride in groups or to experience a more personalized guided ride, Ironwood Ranch is a great place to make this happen.
For the thrill-seekers, why not add cliff diving to your list of adventures in Maui? And where else can you experience the best cliff jumping than on the Black Rock in Kaanapali? Located at the north end of Kaanapali Beach, the Black Rock is also a great spot for snorkeling as the reef is host to a variety of colorful fish, reef sharks, and other marine creatures. At the same time, Kaanapali Beach is a great place to laze around, enjoy the sun or stroll, with lots of shops and stores located along the concrete walk.
Looking for a great place where you can relax and rejuvenate in Maui? Visit the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Nestled on the slopes of Haleakala, this 13.5-acre lavender farm is home to about 55,000 lavender plants of 25 different varieties. Apart from the sprawling bushes of lavender, the farm also grows hydrangeas, olive trees, proteas, succulents, and other plants. Ali’i Kula offers daily guided walking or cart tours, lavender treasure hunts, a gourmet picnic lunch, and craft classes that guests of all ages will enjoy.
Hidden in the thick bamboo forest of Ohe’o Gulch are seven-tiered pools that are connected by waterfalls — the Seven Sacred Pools. Located in a lush valley that is filled with many historical sites and hiking trails, the Seven Sacred Pools is definitely a must-visit for tourists who are looking for one-of-a-kind locations and experiences. The pools may be closed for swimming, but the trails are open year-round, with many hikers and campers visiting the area during weekends.
With so many places to visit and sights to behold, Maui truly is a wonderful tropical destination. And if you want to make your visit to the magical island of Maui more memorable, you can also bring home some of the fine arts and crafts offered by the many artisans on the island, many of which are proudly offered by Made in Maui County. Our selection of quality and authentic Hawaiian products make for the perfect souvenirs to bring home and give out to your loved ones.