Top Maui Attractions Every Visitor Simply Must See
Aloha! Don’t you love just saying it? Maui was one of my all-time favorite get-aways. For me, Maui just can’t be beat. Pack the sunscreen and get psyched! You’re almost there!
With the fresh lei around my neck, the first thing I craved was some Hawaiian fresh air and a walk on the beach. I barely put the suitcases in my room before my flip-flops led me to the surf and soft sand between my toes.
The sunsets that are now screensavers on my computer aren’t from some online source, they are from my camera! They are all at once peaceful, stunning, bright, majestic, soothing, and truly breathtaking.
One of the best parts of the entire week, for us, was how everyone – everyone! – stopped, gravitated to the water’s edge, and enjoyed the sunsets at the end of the day. The resort workers, the servers, the tourists, locals, couples, cyclists, joggers, walkers, families, and even the jaded teenagers – we all just paused and watched the sunsets like they were movies.
I highly recommend a sunset tour out on the water, and there are other fantastic tours to consider during your stay in paradise, as well:
South Maui Sunset Cruise
This five-star-rated two-hour long cruise really delivers. Pack your sunglasses and camera and get ready to enjoy an experience of perfection. With a glass of champagne or the signature island Mai Tai, you will enjoy some delicious appetizers, the company of a small group of like-minded tourists, and stunning views of the shores of Wailea.
This particular cruise departs from the docks of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort. While there is plenty of parking available, there are also shuttles from lots of nearby resorts. The boat sails right around 4:00pm each day. There are many others to pick from as well; bring the guides to the beach, and enjoy perusing just the right one. Some are more fun and casual, while others are bit dressier and include a lovely dinner.
Watch the sunset from water’s edge or a sunset cruise? This is the biggest dilemma of the day when you’re in Maui.
Get A Bird’s Eye View
Have you ever ridden in a helicopter? Most of us haven’t, and for a tour of this spectacular island, there’s a pretty huge “Wow!” factor if you’re taking in the views on a private air tour. There’s no better way to see the waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes, sea cliffs, and mountains. Yes, it is pricey, but this is one that’s worth the splurge.
Take note though: go with the weather. If you book far in advance, you’ll be locked in. (Cancellation fees are pretty steep if you cancel within the week.) It’s almost better to wait until you get to the island, study the forecast, and pick the clearest, quietest day. You’ll want to avoid the windy days, and they actually will cancel the tours if the wind is too strong. If you can’t get a tour when you want it? Well, you might just have to go back next year!
Bucket List #27: See Maui’s “Wall of Tears” from a Helicopter
Snorkel or Snuba
What the heck is snuba?! It’s a mix of snorkeling and scuba, of course. Here’s the secret though: We almost went with the upgraded snuba choice, but we decided to hold off and see how deep the area was in which we were snorkeling. It was pretty shallow, and had we upgraded, it wouldn’t have been worth it. We didn’t need the extra equipment. I was all ready to try this new adventure of snuba-ing, but – the waters were only about five to six feet deep, and we were WAY off shore. So cool!
We had great luck with Maui Classic Charters, and they were friendlier on the wallet than a lot of others. The snorkeling trip that we went on provided a lifetime of memories, and really, those colors? The bright coral and fish? It’s all pretty incredible and absolutely worth the experience! The three hours of snorkeling was plenty, and our really fun crew even provided delicious burgers, chips, and drinks during our mid-snorkel break.
The most popular spot is Molokini Bay, which is the top of an old volcano, and I’m sure that’s great. But the day we went, the waves were a bit high, so our captain took us to another location, and it was awesome! Tell Captain Chris that “Val from NY says Aloha!”
Dolphin and Whale Watches
December through April is the known whale season, and many charters actually guarantee up-close views of whales. Humpbacks are on the way from Alaska to the warmer waters around Maui, and they are something to see.
If jumping in the water isn’t your thing, this is a fantastic choice to get out on the water and soak in the views, as well. A lot of these options include an open bar and light appetizers or even a BBQ lunch or dinner.
The best meal I’ve ever eaten in my life was at Mama’s Fish House on Maui. Hands down, if you’re heading to Maui, you must put Mama’s on your to-do list. Trust me on this one. I still dream about it!
But if you’re in the mood to go get out on the seas and catch your own dinner? Hitting the ocean on a fishing charter is such fun way to do it! The crews are cool, easy-going, family-friendly, and experienced. All gear is provided, and it’s just a great sense of adventure. You’ll come off this boat rethinking your entire life-path. These people have it goin’ on!
Enjoy a Pineapple Popsicle
Okay, so they aren’t as cold as a popsicle, but the locals have the coolest way to enjoy pineapple! Curious?
If you need a break from the beach and water, and you feeling like a drive of the island, stop into a pineapple plantation. Let your taste buds do the happy dance with the freshest bite of fruit you’ve ever had.
Mahalo, and enjoy this spectacular island!
About The Author: Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, education, and online shopping and services.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia cc