Maui is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and that’s not just because I live here. Maui No Ka Oi (Maui is the best) is how the locals brag about their island. For 20 consecutive years, Maui has come on top in the annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards that selects the “Top 25 Islands in the World.” Truth is, however, that if you are fortunate enough to have visited all the Hawaiian islands, you’ll have a tough time deciding which one to like best. Here are some reasons to fall in love with Maui:
One of the main reasons to fall in love with Maui is undoubtedly its gorgeous beaches. Volumes have been written about Maui beaches and their diversity. From white to black and red sand, from snorkeling to windsurfing and swimming, Maui has over 30 miles of unbelievably beautiful beaches. If you are a beach lover, you may never get past the stretches of sand to explore the rest of the island, but you should.
With its odd mix of history, fancy restaurants, art galleries, T-shirt shops and fine jewelry stores, Lahaina is the typical old-time sea town turned tourist spot. The number-one attraction in Lahaina is the restaurants and night-life.
Probably the most famous landmark in Lahaina is the Banyan Tree. Planted in 1873, the tree was brought from India and was only 8′ high at the time of planting. It now has a dozen main trunks and spreads over an acre.
Maui sunsets are just spectacular. There are several excellent spots to catch a perfect Maui sunset, like Kaanapali Beach, Napili Bay Beach, or Kimo’s Restaurant in Lahaina. Just grab a Mai Tai and join the crowd.
The Sunrise at Haleakala
One of the most uplifting and memorable experiences in Maui is watching the sunrise from the Haleakala Crater, 10,000 feet above sea level.
The Iao Valley State Park
Iao Valley is one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks. The beautiful deep sacred valley is a peaceful lush area with tropical plants, and bright, natural pools. The ‘Iao Needle’, a natural rock pinnacle once used as an altar, raises high presiding the entire valley.
The Garden of Eden Arboretum
The Garden of Eden is located on the way to Hana, on a high plateau overlooking the ocean. The grounds are dedicated to the rare rainforest species of trees. That garden also features a wide variety of unique flowers and fruits.
The Road to Hana
If you want to discover Maui’s hidden natural beauty, you should consider driving to Hana. The road is carved into the cliffs of one of the most beautiful tropical rainforests in the world, full of hidden waterfalls, bamboo forests, and miles of untouched jungle that will take your breath away.
If you think Hawaiian dining means a luau of pork, pineapple, and poi, you should consider again. Food in Maui is very creative, are ono! Most restaurants are using mainly local fresh products and, of course, the fresh fish. Restaurants range from small places where the locals gather for dinner, to very fancy 5-star fine dining with world class chefs and sophisticated dishes.