The Road to Hana, Iao Valley, and snorkeling at Molokini Island were some of my favourite things to do in Maui. Other favourites include our daytrip to the Island of Lanai, our tour of the Hana Lava Tube, hiking the Pipiwai Trail, and our helicopter tour. If you didn't get a chance to check these out, I'd highly recommend them for your next trip!
Our trip to Lanai was part of a snorkeling trip - in addition to some great snorkeling, we were fortunate to see tons of dolphine and whales on our trip across the channel between Lanai and Maui.
I'm not sure if the guided tour of the Hana Lava Tube that we took is still available, but I do know that the self-guided walking tour is still running. I'd highly recommend that anyone driving the Road to Hana take the time to check out the Hana Lava Tube - it's very cool!
The Pipiwai Trail is a great hike - we took a guided tour from Hike Maui. It was worth it for us since our guide was extremely knowledgeable, and was able to show us some stuff that we would never have seen on our own.
The helicopter tour was a major splurge for us, but worth it! We'd never been on a helicopter before, but we totally loved it! The only negative thing about it was that I got a bit motion sick - this shocked me since I never get motion sick - if I do this again (and I certainly hope to!), I'll be taking some anti-motion-sickness meds beforehand!
-- (November 10, 2009) on Maui
Kaanapali Beach is my absolute favourite beach! It is just fabulous! We liked the part just north of Black Rock best though - it was less crowded than the more southern portion. That being said, if you like to people watch, the part south of Black Rock would be perfect!
And Lahaina - this was one place that we didn't intend to spend much time in - we normally like to do stuff like hiking, snorkeling etc. - but it's just such a cute little town with so much to see, that we ended up enjoying ourselves quite a bit in Lahaina! The shops of Front Street are so colourful, that it's hard to resist doing some browsing - and the art galleries were great too! We almost splurged on a beautiful piece in one of those galleries, but then we "came back down to earth" and passed since it was a bit out of our league budget-wise. The Courthouse Square Banyan Tree in Lahaina - now THAT is a huge tree! It's amazing to me that one single tree can cover an entire city block like that.
Next time we're in Maui, we'll be heading back to Lahaina for sure - now that we've been there, we know there is still so much more to see and do.
-- (November 10, 2009) on Kaanapali/Lahaina
Driving to Hana is truly a MUST-DO activity for any trip to Maui! I must say, you have taken some gorgeous pics - when we drove the Road to Hana, we didn't take nearly enough of them ourselves! The next time we do this drive, we want to spend one night in Hana - that should give us more time to check out all the sights (last time we did this, we drove to Hana and back all in one day).
The black sand beach is on my to-do list for next time... your pics look like Waianapanapa. And the Red Sand Beach - I just HAVE to see it! Your pics reminded me of how BADLY I want to see that one!
The tropical foliage is awesome to see for someone like me who doesn't live in a climate that is even remotely tropical. I thought those trees whose trunks look like a woman in a skirt were cool. Your pic of that one looks just like the ones we saw near the Pipiwai Trail.
-- (November 10, 2009) on Road to Hana
You took some beautiful pics!
I'm assuming that's the northwest coast? Due to the car rental agency restrictions, we didn't get a chance to see that! How did you find the driving there? I've heard it can be scary in parts.
-- (November 10, 2009) on North Coast of Maui
You are so right about Mt. Haleakala's summit feeling like another planet!
We drove up there on our last trip to Maui, and were so glad that we did. My main regret is that we didn't allow any time for hiking through the crater. I think it would be amazing to try that - plus, it would be physically challenging due to the higher altitude, but I figure that would just add to the fun!
From your pics, it looks like you did some hiking in the crater - I'm envious! :) We didn't want to get up early enough to see the sunrise like so many others do, but I think it worked out for the best. We avoided the worst of the traffic that way, and the views were still beautiful (plus we got a bit of extra sleep!).
-- (November 10, 2009) on Haleakala
We just loved snorkeling at Molokini Crater! The views were truly breathtaking!
We had booked a trip that was to go to Turtle Town and Molokini crater, but due to cloudy waters at Turtle Town, we ended up spending all of our snorkel time at the crater. I was a bit worried that we'd get bored if we spent too much time snorkeling at one place, but this ended up being a needless worry - we truly had a great time!
It was amazing to see so many fish all in one place - we found that the best way to get close to the fish was to just lie still in the water, and allow ourselves to just drift... the fish seemed to get much "braver" this way, and would swim right up to us - it was awesome!
I'd highly recommend that anyone on a Maui vacation make time for a snorkel trip to Molokini crater! Yes, you can snorkel off many of Maui's beaches for free, but I can honestly say that since the experience of snorkeling at Molokini was SO different from that, it was 100% worth every penny!
-- (November 5, 2009) on Molokini