The Bucket List - Visiting Maui

Scenic vistas can be seen during hikes to the highest points of Maui on a trip to Hawaii. / Contributed

U.S. News & World Report consistently identifies Maui as either the #1 or #2 “Best Place to Visit in the United States” and it has been voted “The Best Island in the World” 18+ times by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.

For good reason, this island, the second largest in size of the Hawaiian Islands, has an incredibly interesting culture, history, ecology, geology, along with stunning natural beauty.

Maui’s nickname is the “Valley Isle” and a just a few of its unique attractions are:

♦ Maui has more miles (30 miles) of accessible and multi-colored (white, red, and black) sand beaches than any other Hawaiian island. A total of 80 named beaches to enjoy a myriad of ocean activities.

♦ Lahaina was Hawaii’s first capital until 1850 when it was moved to Honolulu. It was also the center of the old whaling industry. The Baldwin Missionary House is the oldest building in Lahaina and has been beautifully restored and offers a vivid picture of the life of a missionary and his family on Maui in the early 1800s. So, obviously the island has significant history and culture.

♦ Haleakala (House of the Sun) is the world’s largest dormant volcano. It is 10,023 feet tall from the sea floor and its carter summit is 21 miles across. Sunrise views on top of this summit are beyond description and are a popular activity.

♦ The famous “Road to Hana” is 45 miles of breathtaking beauty driving along the southeast coast encountering 54 one-lane bridges and 600 hairpin turns. This 3-4 hour drive provides beautiful coastline views on one side and tropical rainforest and waterfalls on the other. This road ends (mile marker #42) at Ohe’o Gulch---The Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe’o. Beautiful waterfalls and pools in an absolutely stunning setting. Right about mile marker #41 is Palapala Ho’omau Church which was built in 1857 and is famously known as the burial ground of prominent aviator, inventor, explorer, author and activist Charles Lindbergh.

♦ NW Maui around Lahaina and Kaanapali, where most of the big resorts are located, receive less than 10” of rain per year while the area around Puu Kukui in the West Maui Mountains less than 10 miles away gets over 365” of rain per year.

♦ Honokohau Falls at 1100 feet tall is one of the highest in the world.

♦ With crashing waves, soaring hillsides, tropical landscaping, and stunning views, golfing on one of Maui’s 14 golf courses will satisfy even the most demanding golfer. Some of the top course are: Kapalua is home to the Bay and Plantation courses which are home to the annual PGA Tournament of Champions, The King Kamehameha Golf Club has an amazing course with a clubhouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

♦ Incredible cuisine is not hard to find on Maui. On Maui in 1991, twelve Hawaii chefs established Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a culinary movement that inventively blends Hawaii’s diverse, ethnic flavors with the cuisine of the world.

♦ I kind of hate to mention this just after talking about the wonderful food found on Maui, but for you trivia buffs-----did you know that Hawaiians eat more than 7 million cans of Spam per year?

This is just a small introduction to the island of Maui and some of the top places I would visit my first week. Beyond this are many other unique and wonderful things to do, see, and otherwise experience just on the island of Maui.

If you would like help planning and preparing your next vacation, contact Mike Hunter at 678-901-0993.