There’s a reason Maui is one of the top vacation spots in the world. Its natural beauty, breathtaking beaches, world-class cuisine, and aloha spirit all make for the perfect island escape. And if you’ve ever been, you know that there’s just something about Maui that feels magical … which is probably why this Hawaiian island got the nickname “the Magic Isle.” Here are 6 of our favorite magical spots in Maui.
Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is one of the world’s most beautiful scenic drives with many waterfalls, beaches, and lush coastal views along the way. Because it is a popular tourist attraction, the road from Paia to Hana can be crowded, which makes the drive slower with tight turns and single lane bridges. However, in 2018 the Road to Hana became a loop road, making it easier to travel in reverse from Haleakala National Park to Hana and then through to Paia. If you prefer not to drive the Road to Hana yourself, there are tours that can take you by van so you can simply sit back and enjoy the trip. You should plan a full day traveling the Road to Hana as it could take 10-12 hours. Some recommend traveling to Hana and staying one night to take your time and enjoy all the sights. Highlights include Twin Falls, Bamboo Forest, Black Sand Beach, Upper Waikani Falls, Red Sand Beach, Hana Lava Tube, Kahanu Garden, and the Seven Sacred Pools. And don’t forget to stop at Aunty Sandy’s before 2pm for fresh baked banana bread!
Take your time to research the Road to Hana before your trip so you can plan your day and ensure that you see the sights that interest you the most. Don’t forget to pack some snacks!
Mama’s Fish House
Young Californians, Doris and Floyd Christenson, visited Maui in 1959 shortly after Hawaii became a state. At that time, there were no resorts and only deserted beaches. They were informed that Tahiti and the South Pacific were an undiscovered paradise and were determined to live on an island in the Pacific. After purchasing a 38-foot boat, they sailed along the California coast for a year preparing for the long voyage. Once ready to sail across the Pacific, they had amazing adventures traveling to Marquesas, Tahiti, and New Zealand for the next few years. Every night while at sea, Doris would prepare a hot meal for dinner in her small galley using her 2-burner stove and folding oven. While they were in Tahiti with their two children for six months, they received letter from friends informing them that Maui was being developed as a major tourist destination. After four years living aboard the boat, they decided that they needed to return to Maui and open their dream restaurant, Mama’s Fish House. It quickly became a favorite of locals and was known for good fresh Maui fish. The fisherman would bring the fish directly to the restaurant to be prepared and served. To this day, they still print the name of the fisherman on the daily menu along with where the fresh fish was caught. Can’t get fresher than that! Mama’s Fish House became more than just a local favorite when Doris began to incorporate old Polynesian recipes, and this magical spot for lunch and dinner soon became world-famous.
Due to the high demand, you will need to make your reservation 3-6 months in advance. We recommend dining at sunset for the most incredible views.
Stow your tackle box and see what Mama’s Fish House has to offer.
Haleakala Sunrise and Downhill Bike Ride Calling adventurers and explorers! This tour will pick you up at your hotel around 2:00 am in the morning and take you from sea level to 10,000 feet in elevation to enjoy the breathtaking sunrise atop Mount Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano in the world. Dress in layers because it will be windy and cold at the summit before sunrise. After the sun rises, a guided tour by van will take you down to about 6,500 feet in elevation, where a 26-mile bike ride down Haleakala through the town of Kula will begin. Along the ride, you will view the beautiful coast of Maui which leads to the historical town of Makawao. There, you will step back in time with old western architecture, a meal at a local restaurant and explore shops to grab some souvenirs. Afterward, the bike ride continues through pineapple fields on the way to the ocean in Paia town.
Not feeling quite as adventurous? You can still take a sunrise tour without the bike ride down. Your tour van will take you back down the mountain where you’ll stop for a traditional Hawaiian breakfast.
Strap on a helmet and get ready to ride on the Sunrise Summit & Bike Tour
Or take it easy on the way down with Valley Isle Excursions
Old Lahaina Luau
Bring your appetite for this fun-filled evening of food and entertainment that will delight all your senses and showcase Hawaiian culture. An orchid flower lei is presented to you to start your evening. Take photos of the colorful sky as the sun sets on the beach and the tiki torches are lit signaling the beginning of the luau festivities. Food will flow to your table with this five-course meal, and the premium bar is open for the evening. Enjoy the sounds of the ukulele and local musicians. Once the beat of the pahu drums begin, get ready to be transported back in time through the storytelling of the island by the hula dancers and performers. It is such a memorable evening of food, entertainment, and Hawaiian culture.
When making your reservation, you can choose from standard dining table with chairs or opt for the first row closer to the action, seated on cushions at a low table.
Bring your appetite and get lei’d at the Old Lahaina Luau
Hali’imaile Distilling Company Tours
The Hali’iMaile Distilling Company is a small-batch distillery located in what is commonly referred to as the ‘pineapple region’ of Makawao on the island of Maui. It makes Hawaiian spirits such as Pau Maui Vodka, Mahina Premium Rum, Paniolo Blended Whiskey, and Fid Street Hawaiian Gin using native fruits and botanicals…even Kona coffee is an ingredient used to infuse their rum! The distillery offers 30–45-minute tours Monday - Friday for visitors of all ages with a tasting of up to 3 spirits (only for visitors 21 years of age or older).
Get a little taste of the Hawaiian spirit at Hali’imaile Distilling Company
Maui Pineapple Tour
Right next door to the Hali’imaile Distillery is the Maui Pineapple Tour. Visit the Hali’maile farm to tour a working pineapple plantation. On your tour, which lasts about an hour and a half, you will travel through the pineapple fields by bus and learn about the history, culture and harvesting of the pineapple. Once back at the facility, you will be shown the process of testing, sorting, and packaging the pineapple before you are given a boxed pineapple to take home with you.
Travel through fields of golden fruit at the Maui Pineapple Tour
We hope these activities and tours on the island of Maui inspires you to plan your next Hawaiian getaway. Did we miss anything? If you have a Maui experience you would like to share with us, be sure to reach out to email@example.com. Hearing from you will make our day!
By Staff Contributor