There many wonderful things to do in Maui. Here I have listed the top seven Maui attractions.
1. Mt. Haleakala State Park
Haleakala means house of the sun. Haleakala National Park is home to many plants and creatures that can only be found in Hawaii. The volcano itself stands 10.023 feet about the sea. It’s crater is 26 miles across and 4,000 feet deep. It is said that the demigod Maui helped his Grandmother capture the sun from atop Haleakala and slow it down to extend the daylight hours.
There are many ways to enjoy the view from the summit. You can go by car, take a tour or visit the summit then ride a bike back down. This is one awesome bike ride. The sunrise is spectacular. There are a lot of great choices to tour Haleakala including the sunrise right here.
2. Road To Hana
The road to Hanais one of the best Maui Attractions, it is known as the most scenic drive in the world. This road is appx 45 miles long and travels along the eastern coastline. This winding highway contains 600 turns, 54 one way bridges, hundreds of waterfalls and many hiking spots The trip is worth it just for the lush green rainforest views and Island vistas. At the end of the highway is the sleepy town of Hana. Here you will find the Seven Sacred Pools Of Hana. There are lots of hiking trails and waterfalls here. This is definitely a must do and don’t forget your camera. The drive can be quite annoying when trying to see the view and pulling over to let others cross the bridge. If you don’t want to hassle renting a car and driving yourself, you can find inexpensive tours here.
3. Iao State Park
Iao (cloud supreme) state park located in Iao valley is home to the 1200 foot Iao Needle. This Maui Attraction is considered sacred because the clouds, rain and fresh water are symbols of the Hawaiian God Kane (The provider of life). The Iao Needle is said to represent a phallus which symbolizes the Hawaiian God Kanola (God of the underworld). For many centuries the Iao valley was used as a Royal burial ground. Many kings were buried here.
The Iao valley is a dense rainforest and is one of the wettest spots on the Island. There are many trails throughout the t600 acre park that follow the Iao stream. There are a lot of exotic flowers and little ponds along the trails.
The famous landmark Iao Needle is a 1200 foot piece of remaining volcanic rock that is covered with lush dense vegetation and surrounded by the Pu’u Kukui Crater. There is a trail that leads partway up the needle to a very nice lookout spot were you will be in awe of the panoramic views. This is one Maui Attraction not to be missed.
Molokini is a beautiful crescent shaped islet located just south of Ma’alena Harbor. This wildlife preservation islet is home to many species of exotic birds and an abundance of colorful exotic tropical fish. Molokini is well known as a perfect spot for snorkeling or scuba diving. Legend has it that the Goddess Molokini was in love with the same man as Pele the Goddess of fire. This angered Pele and she used her powers to turn Molokini to stone and lie on the ocean near Maui for eternity. This is a beautifu Maui Attraction.
There are a lot of great deals on Molokini snorkeling and scuba diving right here.
5. Maui Ocean Center
Maui Ocean Center is more than just another aquarium. This Maui Attraction is the only facility in the world that is dedicated to understanding and teaching about Hawaii’s marine life. With over 5 acres and over 60 Marine habitats, Maui Ocean Center is the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere. There is a Humpback whale discovery center and a turtle lagoon where you can view Hawaii’s green sea turtles above and below the water. As you walk around the park, you will descend from beach level to the deepest part of Hawaii’s ocean where you will see white tip sharks and Hawaii’s biggest predator Tiger Sharks. There is also a 750,000 gallon open ocean tank that you can walk through (via a glass tunnel) and experience Hawaii’s beautiful exotic marine life on all sides of you. This park is an awesome place and well worth the time and small admission fee. Find out how to get tickets here.
During Hawaii’s Monarchy from 1795 -1843, Lahaina was the Capital of the Hawaiian Islands and home to Hawaii’s royalty. After the fall of the Hawaiian Monarchy, Lahaina became the center of the Pacific whaling industry. By 1870, after the whaling industry died, Lahaina had turned into a quiet sugar plantation town. Today Lahaina is a top destination containing 31 historical sites. If you want to go on a walking tour to view these historical sites, a free map is available at the courthouse in Banyan Tree Park.
Lahaina has more than 40 art galleries and a large variety of restaurants and shops. Lahaina is also the center of Maui’s nightlife. There is a variety of shows, luaus and bars and nightclubs. Lahaina, much like Waikiki, comes to life at sunset.
7. Sugar Cane Train
The Sugar Cane Train is a vintage steam locomotive that will take you on a six mile , 40 minute roundtrip ride from Lahaina to Pu’ukolii with a short stop at Ka’anapali. This is a leisurely ride in open air coaches where you will get to see sugar plantations and sugar mills and some nice panoramic views as you cross the 325 foot wooden trestle. You can get nice views of Molokai and Lanai. From December until May, you can usually spot Humpback whales playing in this channel. This is a nice narrated look at Hawaii’s past and a must for train buffs and a great Maui Attraction for the whole family. Find more about the Sugar Cane Train here.
Copyright 2007 Discover-Oahu.com