Maui is the second-largest island in the chain that makes up Hawaii. The island is essentially two volcanoes connected by a valley. The volcano in the northwest is dormant. Haleakala, the volcano in the east, which makes up 75% of the island, last erupted in the 16th century and is presently inactive. The mountain is over 10,000 feet high. The volcano is number one on our list of the best things to do in Maui.
The top of the volcanic crater provides a spectacular panorama of the island below. Haleakala National Park may not be at the top of the world, but you may think it is. You can drive up or take a tour. Walking tours of the crater are available. An experience not to be missed is the sunrise from Haleakala’s top.
The Iao Needle
A few miles west of Kaluhui, the remnants of a volcanic throat soar 1200 feet above a lush, green valley. The Iao Needle is also covered in vegetation. An easy walking trail leads from the parking lot to the Needle with spectacular views of the Iao Valley State Monument.
The Road to Hana
The 52-mile long road to Hana follows the coastline of northeastern Maui. More curves and waterfalls than you can count, and 59 bridges across small to significant waterways provide incredible views. This may be the most scenic highway in the country. The speed limit is 25mph, but the trip takes a long time because of all the stops you’ll make. You’ll have to be selective about which waterfalls to look at closely. A stop at Wai’anapanapa State Park to see the black sand beach is definitely worth the time. There are local entrepreneurs with stands along the road, selling produce, carvings and other craft items, handmade jewelry, and food. Try the banana bread. Of course, you must see Ohe’o Gulch and the Seven Sacred Pools.
On the west coast of the island are numerous beautiful resorts and beaches and the historic town of Lahaina, the former capital of Hawaii and the whaling trade’s former global center. Maui is a magical place, where the locals are still friendly, the scenery is gorgeous, and the food is fantastic.