I’m Irish: I have pale skin and I burn easy. Not really conducive to sitting around at the beach all day for a week. Plus, I love adventure. I love to have new experiences, explore and really get out there. I’m not one that likes to sit around when there are sights to see. I can read on the plane or when I’m at home.
Here are my top 10 experiences from a week in Maui:
Drink beer at Maui Brewing Co. They don’t have a ton of beers on the menu but they have something for everyone, including some guest taps, homemade root beer and cider. I had a sampler tray of four deliciously dark beers. The food is also pretty good. We opting for onion rings and nachos.
Hike Waihe’e Ridge Trail. It’s winter in Maui, which means it rains on and off. The good news is you also see a lot of rainbows. Certain parts of the island are drier than the hills that take you near the wettest spot in the world (sometimes second wettest). It may have been one of the muddiest hikes I’ve ever done but the views were spectacular. You feel like you are on top of the world. It’s so quiet and the clouds are so close. It’s also a study in the different colors of mud. Quite interesting to see the range. I never knew there could be so many different dirt colors.
Eat at Leoda’s. They have great food that isn’t centered around meat. This is great for me since I’m a selectetarian (somedays I select to have meat but most days I don’t). They have wi-fi, beer and coffee. What more do you need? It’s like being home in Portland…but warmer.
Join a canoe club. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings you can join Kihei Canoe Club or another club for a fun adventure. For a small donation they’ll teach you how to row in an outrigger and take you out into the water with their crew. Let you swim around. If you are lucky you also get to see some wildlife. Perhaps, a turtle or two, some dolphins or, if you time it right, whales. for us, we saw three turtles.
Hike the Pīpīwai Trail. To me the most spectacular spot on the island is the bamboo forest on this trail. There’s a really cool waterfall (400-foot Waimoku Falls) at the end but to me, the magic spot was in the bamboo. The wind in the bamboo and the tranquil noise you hear when they hit together. It’s really peaceful.
Watch the sun rise at Haleakala. Rivaling the bamboo forest for my top pick on the island was watching sunrise above the cloudy mountains. Before dawn the air is crisp and the silence is welcome. After the sun rises there are many hiking trails you can take down into the valleys.
Swim with the fishes. We went snorkeling at La Perouse Bay but there are several other spots on the island plus boating trips you can take.
Visit a red sand beach. It’s like a rainbow of sand on the island. It’s really cool to see them all: white, brown, red, black. The red sand beach we visited was a short hike along a cliff and some lava rocks. I’m sure it’s less of a secret than it felt like.
Visit a black sand beach. We went to the Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park. The greens of the plants and blues of the water were just stunning against the black rocks. Truly a sight to see if you’ve never seen black sand.
Drive around the whole island. Between Hana and La Perouse Bay there is some stunning terrain that most folks will never see because the rental car companies forbid it. If you are not in a rental and you want to see some really cool farm land. I highly suggest the route. The road is narrow and not paved all the way so be warned.The terrain of Maui is so varied and interesting that I don’t see how you could just sit at the beach. Unless you go to all the colored beaches. That’s fun too. But the terrain in between the beaches or inland or upcountry are worth a visit too. Spectacular scenery, rich in the history of the islands’ formation.