In a Nutshell
Maui is one the state of Hawaii’s islands. Due to the over 10,000 foot extinct volcano combined with the island’s location in the Pacific Ocean, Maui has some extreme weather changes around the island. Read more about Hawaii’s weather changes HERE.
What to Do/See
Rain Forests. The east side of the Haleakala Mountain is all rain forests; lush curvy roads zig-zagging back and forth.
The Drive to Hana… is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It would be a shame to be in Maui and miss this amazing drive!
Swimming. Waterfalls and natural swimming holes are all over eastern part of the island. When you drive along the one road [to Hana, especially], you’ll see pull-offs all along the side of the road where you can get out of the car and enjoy not only the scenery, but also enjoy swimming in the nature.
Beaches and Surfing. There are amazing beaches all over the island and they are not all the same.
-The north-eastern side of the island [if you start driving to Hana from the airport] is known for the huge waves that you see in surfing documentaries. Lower Paia has some decent sized waves, but there is a beach called “Jaws” [just east of Lower Paia] that is rumored to get over 30 foot waves, however, these waves only occur with the perfect swell, perfect winds, perfect everything and usually only in January or February.
-The eastern side of the island has pretty beaches, but since this is the rain forest side, it’s usually cloudy and/or raining.
-South of the island [towards Kihei and Makena], has big sandy beaches that most people would be more accustomed to. Makena Beach
Hiking. There are many hikes all over the island ranging from 15 minutes on paved paths or four days up the extinct volcano.
Camping. READ THIS before you stress about rules, regulations, and payments.
The island is interesting to get around. One would think that if you’re on the south-eastern shore that it’d be quite easy to get to the south-western shore by just a quick drive… well, think again. The thing is, Maui is very mountainous and there is no road to get from the south-eastern shore to the south-western shore, directly – what you must do if you’d like to do this is drive all the way back up to the north shore [to the major airport] and then back down to the south-western shore. [Side note: I was told that there is one road that connects the south-eastern shore to the south-western shore, but that this road is a private road owned by Oprah. Ridiculous.]
On a map, some cities look very close to each other so you might plan on visiting, let’s say,
Keokea and Makena Beach in the same day… but with closer inspection of a map or with a lot of frustration while driving, you’ll soon learn that the two locations that look like they’re next to each other on the map are actually about a whole day’s drive away because of how the roads are set up.
Because of this, I divided the towns and beaches up by location. If you’re planning on visiting Maui, plan your adventure by dividing your days into the regions I have specified: [refer to the map].