Hawaii. This one word evokes images of lush green valleys and dramatic vistas, palm trees swaying in the wind, and sandy beaches fronted by brilliant blue ocean waves. It inspires imaginations, and sets vacation dreams in motion. The archipelago of Hawaii has long been a popular vacation destination for many. And with no wonder!
Come along for a snapshot of this family’s week-long adventure on the ever popular Hawaiian island of Maui. This amazing island offers something for everyone, no matter your vacation style. It is an island that screams family vacation, with its sun-drenched beaches, volcano hikes, scenic coastal drives, and of course, those amazing sunrises and incredible sunsets!
1.Catching Sunrise at Haleakala National Park
Start the day off with sunrise across Mount Haleakala, high up in Haleakala National Park. Watch how the early morning light plays off the surrounding landscape. Even on a cloudy misty morning, sunrise across the summit can be spectacular, with slivers of oranges and yellows peaking through breaks in the clouds. Once the sun has risen, pick up a nearby trail for an early morning hike along lava lined trails and past huge cinder cones.
You’ll probably have to get up early for this adventure. Reaching the summit can take one to two hours, maybe more depending on where you are staying. Sunrise on Mount Haleakala is also a very popular activity, so arrive early to score a prime sunrise vantage point. An early arrival also allows for some world-class star gazing on a clear night.
2. Building Sand Castles on Ulua Beach
A trip to Hawaii is not complete without experiencing its spectacular beaches. With so many beaches to choose from, there’s no right or wrong beach. Just pick one, and head on over for an afternoon on a sun drenched beach, building sand castles along the water’s edge.
Sun, surf, and sand are what this island is all about. Creating memories of a lifetime are sure to happen upon Ulaa Beach, or any other beach you sink your toes into. Don’t forget the snorkeling gear! Who knows what might be swimming by.
3. Hiking the Waihee Ridge Trail
Located in the West Maui Forest Preserve, the Waihee Ridge Trail is a fairly challenging 5 mile hike that winds its way through dense greenery, up steep inclines past Makamaka’ole Falls, and along ridges with dramatic views of Waihee Gorge and Makamakaole Gulch.
Those who take on the challenging 1,500 feet climb all the way to Lanilili Peak are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the Waihee Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, one can even see as far as the island of Lana’i, off in the distance.
The Waihee Ridge Trail is located just off the Kahekili Highway, about 7 miles past Wailuku. It may not be the easiest to find, but for those who tackle Waihee Ridge, this simply means less people share these amazing views with!
4. Driving The Scenic Kahekili Highway
Kahekili Highway is a scenic coastal drive so adventurous, so challenging that it comes with a warning. This drive is not for the faint of heart nor the novice driver. Those that do venture along this twisty, white knuckled 20+ mile drive from Wailuku to Honokohau Bay are in for the drive of of a lifetime. So why take on this challenging, difficult drive?
Two words. Astounding vistas! The Kahekili Highway drives through some of the best scenic views on all of Maui. Though the road may be harrowing at time, the views by far make up for it. Read more at Experiencing The Scenic Coastal Drive of Kahekilie Highway.
5. Day Tripping To Hana
A day trip to Hana along Maui’s eastern shore is a day sure to be jam packed with family fun and adventure. From black sand beaches to roadside fresh fruit stands, amazingly lush scenery, spectacular 400 foot high waterfalls, adventurous hiking trails and refreshing swims, all can be found along the Hana Highway.
Explore an underwater cave and take a walk along a black sand beach in Haianapanana State Park. Enjoy a tasty lunch of local cuisine in the tiny town of Hana. Continue on to Haleakala National Park and Oheo Gulch. Pull over at Pipiwai Trail for a 4 mile hike to the incredibly scenic Waimoku Falls, where water spills over a sheer cliff 400 feet above!
As one of Maui’s top tourist attractions, the Hana Highway may be crowded at times. It is also a narrow, winding road filled with hairpin turns and one-lane bridges, and not the easiest of roads to drive. But what awaits along the way make it all worth while. Besides, who’s in a rush when you’ve got all these gorgeous views to look at! Stay tuned for more on our adventures along the Hana Highway in a future post.
6. Experiencing Ocean Paddleboarding
A trip to the Hawaiian Archipelago isn’t complete without a paddleboard experience! This highly popular water sport may look easy, but looks can be deceiving. Paddleboarding is a bit more challenging than it looks. No matter! Whether a full stand is achieved, or one simply floats along atop the board, the views alone are worth an ocean paddle board adventure.
Surfing more your style? No problem! There’s plenty of options for surf lessons as well. Paddleboarding and surfing are both very popular activities here in Hawaii, and you won’t need to go far to find a surf or paddleboard school that suits your skill level. Go for it!
7. Following The Ancient King’s Highway
Hoapili Trail, also known as The King’s Highway, is an ancient Hawaiian trail once reserved for Hawaiian royalty. It is a rough and rugged trail that stretches for 12 miles along Maui’s southern coast. Though 12 miles may be a bit daunting for most, the 2 mile hike to Keoneolo beach is the just right length to experience this almost lunar-like trail across fields of lava rocks where ancient Hawaiian royalty once walked.
The nearly deserted Keoneolo Beach is your reward for taking on those challenging 200 year old lava beds. Bring a snack, sit back, and enjoy the peace and solitude of this area. Listen for nearby song birds. Experience a part of Maui that most visitors rarely venture to.
8. Relaxing Fun In The Sun
What kid, what adult, doesn’t enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the pool? End any adventurous day poolside, soaking up the sun or enjoying a race down a water slide. Leave behind the daily grind back home, and rejuvenate for your next Maui adventure.
This is what Maui is all about. Enjoying incredible weather in whatever activity or adventure that suits your family style. It’s just the place to create those magical family moments you will treasure for years to come.
Have You Been To Maui, Hawaii?
The island of Maui provides the foundation for a perfect family vacation. There is just so much to experience here! Sadly, as is true for most vacations, the sun has set upon our glorious time in Maui. For us, one week was surely not enough time to soak in all this island has to offer. Oh, to return again, and to finish the adventures!
I think this photo pretty much sums up a wonderful week spent on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Don’t you?
How about you? Have you been to Maui? What were some of your favorite moments and adventures? Did you too feel that one week was just not enough time here? Do share!
Read more about our Maui, Hawaii adventures at:
- Experiencing The Scenic Coastal Drive of Kahekili Highway
- 3 Favorite Day-Trip Worthy Adventures Along The Road To Hana
Images by C.Biederman