Five Ways to Holiday on Maui | Go Hawaii

Five Ways to Holiday on Maui

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Maui, Hawaii's second-most visited island after Oahu, is a beautiful mix of peaks, valleys and coastlines, intriguing small towns and luxury resort areas. Maui appeals to a broad range of vacation styles and is favoured for celebrating romantic occasions, escaping the daily grind, exploring nature, sampling food delights and experiencing island life. 
Maui written in the sand

Let's Get Maui'd

Lovers flock to Hawaii for all kinds of romantic endeavours. The island of Maui is superbly set up to support weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and vow renewals of all shapes and sizes. 
 

With stunning venues like beaches, chapels and restaurants, Maui is the perfect place to say, "I do." Jump on Maui's mindful wedding trend by minimising your event's impact on the environment. Use sustainable vendors or hire an eco-friendly wedding planner, like A Maui Wedding Day. 

  

When it comes time for the honeymoon, Maui has a heavenly array of oceanfront resorts with welcome amenities, dining inclusions and spa packages. Pick a "green" property that prioritises sustainability like The Westin Maui Resort & Spa or The Fairmont Kea Lani.
 

While holidaying in Maui with your significant other, a lovey-dovey dinner is a must-do. The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, Hawaii's exclusive adults-only resort, presents a fairytale setting to dine under the stars with ocean views and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.  
 

Hawaii's dawn and dusk are prettier when shared with a loved one. Maui has excellent vantage points to witness the beginning and end of each day. See an epic sunrise atop Maui's highest mountain, Mount Haleakala (reservations required), and sunset over Napili Bay in West Maui. 

Newlyweds pass well-wishers after ceremony

Unwind with Wai (Water)

From a Native Hawaiian perspective, water is revered as the source of life and an essential element of spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. So, keep close to Maui's coastlines and feel the daily grind wash away. 
 

One of the best ways to relax in Maui is to sail. Hop onboard a Trilogy Excursions luxury catamaran departing off the sands of Kaanapali Beach to Honolua Bay. Spend the day sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling on this Discover Kaanapali tour. 

  

As the sun goes down on Maui, a unique sea excursion takes off. The Sunset & Celestial Cruise by Pacific Whale Foundation educates guests on Polynesian navigation, Hawaiian culture and stargazing. In winter, a hydrophone is used to hear the songs of humpback whales. 

  

Leave your nine-to-five far behind with an oceanside massage on Maui. Spa by the Sea at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club provides massages in a cabana, steps from Kaanapali Beach. Kamahao Marilyn Monroe Spa at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa offers treatments with ocean views. 

  

If you love the water and want to give back on vacation, volunteer for one of Maui's reef cleanups. These water-based voluntourism activities involve snorkelling or free-diving underwater to gather trash and debris, helping to restore and protect the local marine environment. 

Snorkellers exploring Hawaii

Explore the ʻĀina (Land)

Maui is engulfed in natural beauty that beckons exploration. From moonlike mountaintops to waterfall-filled forests, Maui has plenty of land-based activities to keep you busy. 

  

Haleakala National Park in southeast Maui is a hikers dream come true. Its main attraction, Mount Haleakala (a dormant volcano), features a tapestry of crater trails with other-worldly geological features. Explore Maui Nature can guide you on an unforgettable walking tour of this area. 

  

For a path less travelled, try the Honolua Ridgeline Hike with HeleWai Eco Tours. Located on Maui's upper northwest side, this trek through Hawaii's largest private nature preserve is rich in history and culture. It's a captivating journey through a rich rainforest with ocean vistas. 
 

Not all of Maui's natural assets are above ground. The Hana Highway, a famous coastal road that winds through the jungle, has hidden depths. Temptation Tours Geology Cave Tour will take you underground to Kaeleku Cavern, a vast subterranean lava tube adorned with stalactites. 

  

Another Hana Highway adventure awaits with Rappel Maui. This is a one-of-a-kind waterfall rappelling tour set in a lush, secluded valley. Gear up before stepping back over the cliff edge and down a cascading waterfall, dropping into a refreshing pool below. It's invigorating!

Couple watch the sun rise atop Haleakala

ʻAi (Eat) & Inu (Drink) Well

Eating and drinking in Maui is a true delight. There are incredible culinary experiences across the island, many incorporating local produce and products that will only leave you wanting more. 
 

Every Maui itinerary should include a luau, a cultural celebration where guests can sample authentic Hawaiian food. As one of Maui's original luau, the Old Lahaina Luau is a top pick. Watch a traditional hula show while dining on pork laulau, ahi poke, lomilomi salmon and more. 

  

Seek out Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC), a unique form of cooking in the islands that combines Hawaii's multicultural influences with local ingredients. Some of the best HRC eateries are Roy’s in Kaanapali, Merriman’s in Kapalua and Haliimaile General Store in Makawao. 
 

Maui farms are key to tasting island-grown products. Try the famous Maui Gold pineapple on the Pineapple Farm Tour at Maui Gold Plantation, and sample award-winning Maui chocolate flavours on a Guided Cacao Farm Tour at Maui Kuia Estate Chocolate. 
 

Find gourmet beverage tours at almost every Maui winery, brewery, and distillery. Drink vino made from island grapes at MauiWine, vodka distilled from Maui's organic sugar cane at Ocean Vodka Organic Farm & Distillery, and a beer brewed with coconut at Maui Brewing Co.. 

Farmer walks in a Hawaii cocoa plantation

Soak up Mokupuni (Island) Life

When in Maui, do as the kamaaina (locals) do. Connect with residents by attending live gigs, doing the rounds at Maui museums, visiting local art galleries, and supporting Farmers Markets. 

  

Tune into Maui via its music scene. The Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) is the island's premier venue to watch Maui's famous entertainers live. The best restaurants for listening to live local music include Fleetwood's on Front Street, Down the Hatch and Cool Cat Cafe. 

  

To get to know Maui better, hightail it to the historical museums. View artifacts from before European arrival at Bailey House Museum, photos dating back to Maui's whaling days at Lahaina Heritage Museum and 19th-century plantation stories at Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum. 

  

Uncover Maui's thriving creative community from resident painters, sculptors, woodworkers, jewellery makers and more. Maui Hands Galleries, Maui Crafts Guild and Lahaina Arts Society are just some of the art galleries rich with original art by Maui’s extraordinary artists. 
 

Maui's island lifestyle is reflected in its local residents, and what better place to meet them than at a friendly Farmers Market. Maui Swap Meet is the biggest open-air market on Maui, held every Saturday 7am-1pm at the UH Maui College. Shop souvenirs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. 

Aerial view of the Hale Hoikeike Bailey House Museum

No matter what type of holiday you're looking for, the island of Maui has something for everyone. 

  

Ashlee Galea is an Aussie living in Hawaii who enjoys sharing Hawaii insider knowledge and travel advice on her blogs The Hawaii Admirer and Waikiki Beach Stays.