What you should know about Maui: The Island
If you don’t believe in magic then I bet you have no other option than to believe in the magical power of the Maui Island when you get to see it. From the scenic slopes to its heavenly beaches , a visit to the Magic Isle recharges the senses. But like every good magic trick, you’ll have to see it for yourself to believe it.
Discover your own reasons to love Maui as you stroll the seaside streets of Lahaina and the lovely beaches of Kaanapali. Feel the mana (power) of Haleakala National Park or discover the arts and culture of Kahului and Upcountry Maui. From championship golf courses to the scenic road to Hana, your vacation on the “Valley Isle” promises to be unforgettable. It’s no wonder why thousands of humpback whales migrate to Maui’s warm waters year after year.
Stand above a sea of clouds high atop Haleakala. Watch a 45-foot whale breach off the coast of Lahaina. Lose count of the waterfalls along the road as you manoeuvre the hairpin turns of the Hana highway. One visit and it’s easy to see why Maui in Hawaii is called “The Magic Isle.” Though second in size among the Hawaiian Islands, the Maui Island is first in people’s hearts. Repeatedly at the top of the “best island” surveys of consumer travel magazines, Maui possesses a magic that lingers in the heart and grows.
Getting to Maui
Kahului Airport (OGG) is the Maui’s main airport. There are two smaller commuter airports as well: Kapalua Airport (JHM) in West Maui and Hana Airport (HNM) in East Maui. Many airlines offer non-stop flights direct to Maui. You may also fly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu before heading to Maui on a short, 30-minute flight. There is also daily ferry service to and from the nearby islands of Lanai and Molokai.
Getting around on Maui
You can get around Maui by shuttle, tour bus, taxi, or public transportation. But to really experience all that Maui offers you should consider reserving a rental car in advance from the Kahului or Kapalua Airport.
The main airport on Maui
The main airport on Maui is Kahului Airport (OGG). There are smaller commuter airports in Kapalua (West Maui) and Hana (East Maui). It’s about a 45-minute drive from Kahului Airport to Lahaina. Both Molokai and Lanai are served by their own airports.
Pack a hearty appetite because Maui offers an exotic blend of savoury dining. Indulge in the flavours of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, made from produce, picked right from the farms of Kulaand and fish caught fresh from the sea. Try a traditional Hawaiian meal at a sunset luau or get off the beaten path to try some local favourites in small towns like Wailuku and Paia. In Maui you can feast on everything from haupia to hamburgers. Learn more about Maui restaurants in Kaanapali, Kahului, Kapalua, Kihei, Lahaina and Wailuku. Visit www.gohawaii.com or www.worldtraveland.com
There is a wide range of accommodations on Maui, including resorts, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and condominium rentals. You’ll find resorts and hotels of every size and budget in Kapalua, Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kihei, Makena and Wailea on the sunny western coast as well as one resort in Hana in East Maui. Whether you’re looking for a 5 Diamond resort or a seaside cottage, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Maui. Learn more about Maui hotels, bed and breakfasts, condominiums, hostels, vacation rentals, Kapalua vacation rentals, Kaanapali hotels, Kapalua hotels, Kihei hotels, and Hana hotels. Visit www.gohawaii.com or www.worldtraveland.com
Activities: Places to be on Maui
From Luau to land adventures, fine art to fine dining, Maui has a wide range of activities to make your vacation unforgettable. From whale watching to surfing, you’ll have plenty of chances to experience an array of outdoor adventures on Maui.
On Maui, you’ll have plenty of chances to try an array of outdoor adventures you’ve never experienced before. Snorkelers will be rewarded with unforgettable sights in Molokini’s luminous waters. See your first humpback spout as you whale-watch from Kaanapali Beach . Or feel the rush of your first surf lesson off the shores of historic Lahaina .
On land, horseback ride atop Haleakala: Maui’s highest peak. You can even take your first helicopter ride to see breathtaking views of Maui’s pristine valleys and waterfalls.
Plan your trip during one of Maui’s many special events. Experience one-of-a-kind cultural performances, stage shows, musical events and sports competitions throughout the year on Maui. But if you didn’t have enough time to do it all, you can always come back for more. For most visitors, their first adventures on this miraculous island are rarely their last.
Some places you should consider visiting on the Island includes:
Haleakala National Park, Maui
Stretching across Maui’s southern and eastern coastline, Haleakala National Park is home to Maui’s highest peak. Rising 10,023 feet above sea level, Haleakala’s graceful slopes can be seen from just about any point on the island. Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian, and legend has it that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun from its journey across the sky as he stood on the volcano’s summit, slowing its descent to make the day last even longer.
The park is comprised of over 30,000 acres of public land, has three separate visitors’ centres and covers a range of natural environments. You can travel atop the highest peaks of Haleakala, hiking above the clouds and horseback riding across otherworldly deserts. As the park stretches out to the coast towards sea level you can even visit lush tropical areas full of waterfalls and streams.
Many visitors and locals wake up early to drive up to the Haleakala Visitor Centre (9,740 feet), the best spot to watch the sunrise. On a clear morning, seeing the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala is an unforgettable experience. Even those who’ve witnessed the event many times say they’ve never seen the same sunrise twice. Perhaps just as spectacular are Haleakala’s sunsets and the bright, starry skies revealed at night.
The long, winding road to the summit of Haleakala takes some time to drive up, but is well worth the effort. There are numerous hiking trails that offer solitude and scenic vistas, while guided hikes provide an expert’s guidance and insight. You’ll discover more endangered species here than any other park in the National Park Service. You may even spot a Nene (Hawaiian goose) or a blooming ahinahina plant (silversword) on your visit. Visitors can also camp here, with two separate campgrounds and cabins available.
Iao Valley State Park, Maui
Towering emerald peaks guards the lush valley floor of Iao Valley State Park. Located in Central Maui just west of Wailuku, this peaceful 4,000-acre, 10-mile Long Park is home to one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This iconic green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks Iao stream and is an ideal attraction for easy hiking and sightseeing.
Aside from its natural tropical beautiful, sacred Iao Valley has great historical significance. It was here in 1790 at the Battle of Kepaniwai that King Kamehameha I clashed with Maui’s army in his quest to unite the islands. Even with Iao Needle serving as a lookout point, Kamehameha defeated Maui’s forces in a ferocious battle that ultimately changed the course of Hawaiian history.
There is a well-marked, paved pedestrian path leading from the parking lot to view Iao Needle and the ridge-top lookout provides incredible views of the valley. The needle is sometimes covered in clouds, so an early start is your best bet for a good view. Families can also take a rainforest walk or explore interactive exhibits at the Hawaii Nature Center, which is also located within Iao Valley. Restroom facilities are available
Lahaina Historic Trail, Maui
Lahaina is a town of major historical significance. Once the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, a busy whaling port and a plantation settlement, you can follow the Lahaina Historic Trail (Ala Moolelo O Lahaina) to walk in the footsteps of Lahaina’s past today.
This self-guided tour takes you to significant sites throughout 55 acres of Lahaina, many of which have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Look for the informative bronze plaques around and about Front Street, pointing out dozens of important points of interest.
Walk the trail and you’ll see a fascinating blend of influences covering Hawaiian history, the whaling era, the missionaries and immigrant plantation life. The Baldwin Home was the two-story house of Protestant missionaries in the mid-1830s. Hale Paahao, the “stuck-in-irons house,” was a jail for rowdy sailors in the 1850s. Structures like the Wo Hing Temple and the Lahaina Jodo Mission highlight the influences of Chinese and Japanese immigrants in Maui.
To get a historical walking guide highlighting all 62 historic sites, visit the Lahaina Visitor Center in the Old Lahaina Courthouse located between the Banyan Tree and Lahaina Harbor.
Lahaina Jodo Mission, Maui
Travel just north up Lahaina‘s Front Street and you’ll discover the Lahaina Jodo Mission.
This serene destination looks and feels more like Japan than Maui, featuring one of the largest statues of Buddha outside of Asia.
The mission is a replica of an authentic Japanese Buddhist Temple. Explore these peaceful grounds and you’ll discover a towering pagoda and an enormous bronze Buddha statue, 12 feet high and roughly three and a half tons. The statue was installed in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. The grounds and buildings of the mission are open to the public and voluntary contributions are accepted.
Maui offers little in the way of risks to health although holidaymakers taking part in water sports or other outdoor activities expose themselves to a degree of danger. There are no vaccinations required for visiting the island and no water borne diseases present. Standards of hygiene are high in the preparation of food and drink in public establishments.
Both Hawaiian and English are classed as official languages in the state of Hawaii although the latter is more commonly spoken these days. On Maui, some residents speak Hawaiian Creole English, a pidgin form of regular English that can sometimes be difficult for the unaccustomed ear to understand.
Now that you know, what more are you looking for in a vacation? Could it be an outdoor adventure? A romantic sunset cruise or better still, a family excursion that will always be remembered, the Maui Island is definitely the place to be.
Visit the magic isle for an experience of a lifetime.