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Connor from Chicago asked

Maui attractions

My girlfriend and I are going to Maui over Thanksgiving and we've never been there before so we have no idea where to start. We're both pretty atheletic so adventure attractions are good, but we want a couple of romantic places, too. We're taking this trip so we can get a little sun before the Chicago winter starts, so anything outdoors is good.


6 Answers
answered first by
Bekah from Los Angeles

You're going to my favorite part of the world! Here are some of my favorite places to go there in no particular order:

Lahaina area. So much fun to stroll along the boardwalk with ice cream from LaPeers. Galleries for the art enthusiast. The major take-off spot for most ocean expeditions. Look for the gigantic banyan tree.

Tedeschi Vineyards - Maui's Winery - Spent a great afternoon here. Not a fan of the wine, but the grounds are idyllic. Great spot for a picnic under age-old trees.

Kaanapali Beach - This beach is heavenly. You can also catch a Trilogy catamaran tour here -- a definite must while on Maui. Take the sunset tour that includes a stop on Lanai.

Maui Uplands - Please, please, please I know everyone loves Maui's beaches, but don't miss out on the romance of Upcountry. Catch the rodeo. Stroll through Makawao and eat a donut on a stick. Then take in all the art galleries.

Haleakala Summit - Who knew there were moonbeams! That's what I discovered during my first visit to Haleakala. Take a coat for the summit. It's cloudy and chilly up there.

Wailea Beach - Sunsets are great here, but paddling around with honu,
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, in an outrigger canoe is unforgettable.

Piiholo Ranch Zipline - really cool ziplining place. 

Wailea Blue Golf Course - I know I'm supposed to talk about how great the golf is here, but... watching films from the fairway during the annual Maui Film Festival is dreamy.

Keahiakawelo - This stark, red moonscape of boulders and lava formations often referred to as Garden of the Gods. Hike at sunset to watch the rocks change colors with the sun.

Iao Valley State Park - This is actually in close proximity to the airport.

Maui Ocean Center - There's a snack bar for grabbing lunch in the rain that provides views of the busy harbor.

Waianapanapa State Park - Gorgeous, uncrowded black sand beach. Grab some veggies from a roadside stand and picnic under the shoreline trees.

By the way, you can take the Ferry from Lahaina to Lanai. Anyone who knows me is aware I get motion sickness at the drop of a hat. Didn't turn green during the entire trip from Maui to Lanai. Smooth ride with dolphins chasing alongside for entertainment.

Hookipa Beach - Could spend endless days watching the kite/windsurfers here. Someday, will enlist the services of HST for some lessons.

Ali'i Kula Lavender - One of my favorite things to do on Maui is attend the lavender tea at AKL followed by a site tour. The views from this mountaintop attraction can't be beat. Parking next to gigantic sunflowers adds a dash of magic to a visit. Can be hard to find the turn. Don't despair; you'll find it.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park - The park can only be accessed by helicopter, foot, or mule. As the park requires special permission for entry, a Damien Tours guide provides bus tours of the property. A bit of learned history -- Moloka‘i’s residents were removed from the island between 1865 and 1895, followed by the establishment of two settlements where people suffering from Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy, were placed in forced isolation from 1866 until 1969. The tour includes St. Philomena Catholic Church, the honorary gravesite of Joseph De Veuster, known as Father Damien, a beloved Belgian priest who devoted his life to the settlement. The tour pauses in Judd Park for a picnic, above which the stunning North Shore Cliffs National Landmark, the world’s tallest sea cliffs, tower 2,000 feet above the Pacific. 

Molokai - This 2.9-mile journey descends 1,700 feet and has 26 switchbacks. Gotta admit, it was probably during this ride I learned I had a fear of heights. My mule didn't seem bothered by the sheer cliff drops. I, however, was holding on for dear life. Was told they match the mules personality with that of the riders. My mule was a snacker. If only online dating matches were as accurate. 

Munro Trail - The 12-mile roundtrip Munro Trail takes adventurers through an ironwood forest, rainforest and alongside Ho’okio Gulch, a stronghold for Lāna‘i’s warriors during a battle in 1778 against Chief Kalaniopuu’s troops from the Island of Hawaii. Plan a stop along the trail on the island’s highest peak, Lāna‘ihale, for panoramic views of the neighboring islands

The Challenge at Manele Clubhouse - Stunning, red rock cliffs overlooking the Pacific.

Kaiolohia Bay - Over the years, numerous ships met their demise in the treacherous currents along Kaiolohia Bay including Liberty, a WWII concrete oiler that remains grounded on the reef today. Though the area is unsafe for swimming, the 8-mile beach is perfect for treasure hunting. Unearthed treasure will most likely consist of glass fishing floats, shells and sea glass. Close-by are the ruins of an old lighthouse as well as the Kukui Point petroglyphs that date back as far as the 15th century.

Garden of the Gods - Moonscape meets Flinstones. Yes, this is Lanai, not outer space. Go just before sunset to watch the rocks change colors with the setting sun.

Halawa Valley - The sacred Halawa Valley has a gorgeous beach. However, a more intimate encounter with the area can be had with the Halawa Falls Historical Hike to the 250-foot Moaula Falls.The two-hour tour runs three times a day and, like the falls hike, can be booked through Moloka‘i Fish & Dive. Visitors get a healthy dose of culture, history and perspective on the relationship between Hawaiians and the earth.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lahaina (city)
  2. Tedeschi Vineyards - Maui's Winery (attraction)
  3. Kaanapali Beach (attraction)
  4. Maui Uplands (attraction)
  5. Haleakala Summit (attraction)
  6. Wailea Beach (attraction)
  7. Piiholo Ranch Zipline (attraction)
  8. Wailea Blue Golf Course (attraction)
  9. Keahiakawelo (attraction)
  10. Iao Valley State Park (amusement park)
  11. Maui Ocean Center (attraction)
  12. Waianapanapa State Park (attraction)
  13. Ferry from Lahaina to Lanai (attraction)
  14. Hookipa Beach (attraction)
  15. Ali'i Kula Lavender (attraction)
  16. Kalaupapa National Historical Park (attraction)
  17. Molokai (island)
  18. Munro Trail (attraction)
  19. The Challenge at Manele Clubhouse (restaurant)
  20. Kaiolohia Bay (attraction)
  21. Garden of the Gods (attraction)
  22. Halawa Valley (attraction)
likes (9) thanks
answered by
mark from United States

We love Maui and include it on every visit to the islands!  I hope you will love it too!

One of the neatest hikes we've ever done is the Bamboo forest hike across the street from the Pools at Ohe'o which is about 5-7 miles past Hana.  We'd leave around 8am from Kaanapali (where we usually stay) and get to the parking lot for the 7 sacred pools around 9:30-9:45.  Parking fee is nominal and bathrooms are right there.  After you take about 30-45 minutes to watch the divers jump off the bridge into one of the larger pools, you might want a dip yourself in the (very) cool water or wait until you get back from your hike.  Also, where the water meets the ocean is a small, beautiful black sand beach.

So you cross the street and pick up the trailhead to do the Bamboo forest hike. It's pretty well marked and a nice hike.  About 2/3 of the way into the hike you walk through a bamboo forest and when the wind moves the bamboo it sounds wonderful.  Take a camera with video recording capability to catch the 'bamboo wind chime' sounds, very cool.  About 10 minutes after the bamboo forest you're rewarded coming up to a very high waterfall, which many people take a dip under.

This hike is one of many that we've taken on Maui but it is our favorite due to the added locations you see to and from the hike (Hana, 7 sacred pools, road to Hana, etc.) One thing that is important: take mosquito spray as they are bad on this hike and wear something that you can get wet or bring a swimsuit!

While you're out that way, if you drive a couple miles down the road, you will come to a small church where Charles Lindbergh is buried.  The church is super quaint and very picturesque but the neat thing is that behind the church is a very small picnic area with a couple of tables and a FANTASTIC overlook of the ocean toward the east.  We usually end up here after the  hike with a picnic lunch.  Finding the entrance to the church is a bit tricky but worth it if you are adventurous. Here is a link that describe is and how to get there:

My last recommendation is something we did on our last trip in June that I've never done before.  I bought a new Olympus underwater camera because I like to snorkel.  Some of the best snorkeling is around Black Rock (Kaanapali) where we were staying, but the absolute best and super fun thing I did this trip was to book a sail/snuba tour with Trilogy tours.  They leave right off the beach in Kaanapali and take about 1 hour to get to a secluded bay (early in the a.m.)  I had 30 minutes of snuba and never imagined how much fun and how many turtles and beautiful fish I'd see.  If you've never done this before, and you like snorkeling, I'd really recommend you try.  Tip: ask for a wet suit top on the boat! It keeps you warm and helps with floatation.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pools at Ohe'o (attraction)
  2. Black Rock (attraction)
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answered by
Angela from San Francisco

I'd suggest renting a car and taking Road to Hana first. You can hike in and around the Seven Sacrad Pools which are part of Haleakala National Park. You could stay in the area overnight then return. There are also a number of places to pull off and hike on the Road to Hana. The hikes vary in difficulty and will take you to some hidden waterfalls otherwise not seen. We stayed at the Westin at Kaanapali Beach where you can do a variety of water activites. If you want to snorkel a day trip Molokini Crater is fun. Going to Haleakala Summit for the sunrise is worth getting up at 4am. If the conditions are right it is a beautiful sight to see. You can bike down the crater afterwards or hike around the park. Also, as cheesy as it sounds we really enjoyed the Luau at the Westin. Just realize upfront it's about entertainment and not true Hawaiian history. The food was pretty good as well. One thing we didn't do, but I would love to do next time is a stargazing boat excursion at night. The stars are amazing in Maui and I think that would be a great experience.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Road to Hana (attraction)
  2. Kaanapali Beach (attraction)
  3. Molokini Crater (attraction)
  4. Haleakala Summit (attraction)
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answered by
Brett from Long Beach

Rent a bike and go to the  Haleakala Visitors Center. It's very touristy but the view down the mountain is pretty incredible. Some people get freaked out by the ride down, but I actually enjoyed the bike ride down ( though you do fear for your life every time you hit the brakes, hoping they work).

Then there's the  Road to Hana. It is long but worth it. Don't just stop at Hana, though. Keep driving and you can see Lindbergh's grave as well as the Seven Sacred Pools. Just don't expect much in Hana - it's all about the drive. (And if you're feeling lucky, keep driving along the south side of Haleakala to get back. That's the road the rental car companies say you can't take, but if the weather is good, you'll be just fine.)

Comments (1)

While it's been several years since I've been there, there's a great spot to snorkel by the Black Rock next to the @Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. Lots of turtles there. It's not a hidden gem, so expect to see lots of people there, but it's worthwhile.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Haleakala Visitors Center (attraction)
  2. Road to Hana (attraction)
  3. Seven Sacred Pools (attraction)
comments (1)
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answered by
Mary from Bozeman

Hana and the Hana Hwy are a must when on Maui! Especially if you're looking for a romantic place, you can't beat spending a few nights in Hana and exploring the area.  Highly recommended that you don't do a day trip, you simply won't have enough time to enjoy it.  Plenty of historically significant spots, beautiful beaches, and a more secluded feeling than the bigger towns on the island. Just be careful driving!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hana (city)
  2. Hana Hwy (attraction)
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answered by
amery from Chinatown New York

If you guys are looking for some romantic places then Hawaii offers you plenty of it. And I must say Maui is the best one. I visited there during my along with my friends. It's fabulous and has nature charm and enhancing beach spots, dramatic alluring mountains like the West Maui Mountains. It makes it the most glorified and famous place among the tourists. Maluaka Beach is a nice destination for enjoying the sunset on the shining water. It was just incredible. I really enjoyed snorkeling, swimming, hiking. Maui offers plenty of fabulous places around it. 

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Maui (attraction)
  2. West Maui Mountains (attraction)
  3. Maluaka Beach (attraction)
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