Given the proximity to Hawaii from the mainland US west coast and the recent flight deals, we hope sharing Maui highlights from our trip will help you plan yours.
1. Mt Haleakala — Sunset or Sunrise
Sunrise on Mt Haleakala is suppose to be more spectacular than the sunset, but it is also suppose to be more crowded (and you would have to get up very early in the morning). For these reasons, we opted to go up there for sunset, which turned out spectacular. You can also consider staying up there a little longer to watch the night skies (if you do this, don’t forget to dress warm because it gets cold and windy really fast).
2. Black Rock Snorkeling
Everyone who knows Thorsten knows he loves turtles. The very first thing we did in Maui was to try and find them. No more than 10 steps into the water at Black Rock, we were able to claim success in spotting one.
If you go, we recommend going early and staying close to the black rocks that the turtles like to feed on (we saw three of them there one morning). We optimized for this by staying at the Sheraton right there so we can go snorkeling early every morning without a tour and grab breakfast afterwards. Plus, we wouldn’t need to worry about parking.
3. Dip in Swimming Hole
Road to Hana is a must. There are plenty of hikes to do and waterfalls to see. But our absolute favorite was jumping into this swimming hole on the road. So definitely don’t forget your swimsuit (and a plastic bag to put your car keys in) before heading out.
4. Hana Backroad Drive
Although there are narrow roads, one lane sections, and lots of blind turns, the scenery was breathtaking and made the sometimes stressful drive much worth it. There were long straight stretches along the way where we were the only ones in sight and were awed by the scenery surrounding us — vast mountain ranges on the one side and ocean on the other.
5. Nakalele Blowhole
We went to see the blowholes, but discovered along the way that the hike down was equally as fun and the surrounding views were also a highlight. So leave plenty of time for this stop.
6. Waialohe Point — Keanae Lookout
If you want your stereotypical picture of Hawaii, make this detour to the Keanae lookout with palm trees behind black rocks and clashing ocean waves.
7. Kuloa Point Trail
1/2 mile loop meandering through thick forest, past 7 Sacred Pools, and great lookout point to soak in the coastline view.
Some other points of interest that didn’t make the list but worth considering if you have enough time to spend in Maui.
A secluded black sand beach to sunbath and/or picnic on.
If you were making the Hana backroad drive, don’t rush through it and miss this cove where you can take a dip in the cove and admire the sunset colors.
Lookout near Punalau Beach
Stop for great coastal view on top of a cliff.
It is right by the side of the road. Can get crowded, but worth a quick stop.
Kapalua Coastal Trail
Accessible black rocks to picnic or sunbath on.
Essentials — Where we ate and stayed
Poi By the Pound
Delicious local food. Some of our favorites were the lau lau, poke, and poi.
Miso Phat Sushi
When we went, there was a 1 hr wait. So we put our name down and walked to Maui Brew Pub to pick up some 6 packs for dinner (and the beach next day). Their light beers paired perfectly with the sushi.
It was perfectly located on Black Rock beach were we can go snorkeling early every morning without a tour and grab breakfast afterwards.
We were hesitant to book it at first since it was a big resort and there are more luxurious accommodation in Wailea, but the location made it worth it for us. The room they gave us in Building 6 was secluded from the main resort and we didn’t see any children in that section.