Over 2 million tourists visit Maui--the second largest of Hawaii's major islands--each year. It is no surprise, as Maui is home to some of Hawaii's most stunning landscapes, thick tropical jungle and, of course, endless surf and sand. For outdoors enthusiasts, Maui is a paradise. The best things to do on Maui put visitors close to nature and allow for an escape from the hordes of tourists, even if just for a few hours.
Haleakala National Park
Maui's Haleakala National Park covers over 30 thousand acres where visitors can hike through the wilderness area, swim in waterfall pools, or camp in the tropical rainforest. The park's main feature is the dormant Haleakala volcano. Visitors can hike to the volcano's crater at the summit 10 thousand feet above see level. From there, visitors can see out over the ocean and watch the sun rise and set. The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (the visitors' centers are closed on Christmas and New Year's Day).
Haleakala National Park
P.O. Box 369
Makawao, HI 96768
The Hana Highway
The 68-mile Hana Highway is Maui's most scenic and beautiful drive. Visitors drive along curving roads that take them through tropical rainforests, into mountains, over bridges and along the ocean. At many points, visitors can park their car and hike to the jungle to swim in rivers, pools and amongst waterfalls, hike to an ocean overlook or lay on the beach. When driving the Hana Highway, use caution as the road is built along cliffs and is very curvy, and try not to drive on it at night due to the nature of the road.
The ocean surrounding Maui is one of the best places in the world to view humpback whales as they breed there from December to May. Four times a day the Island Marine Institute offers cruises to view whales. If no whales are spotted, then all visitors get to go again at another time to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures. The boats have been equipped with underwater cameras so guests can see the whales swimming below the sea and then listen to them sing on the onboard hydrophones. Proceeds from the cruises go to the Island Marine Institute's research.
Island Marine Institute
1036 Limahana Place, 3E
Lahaina, HI 96761
Article Written By Patrick M. Lind
Patrick M. Lind has been freelance writing since 2007 and has worked as an editor and journalist for ChicagoSporting.com. He received a Master of Arts in history from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East.