A very quick, all-too-short guide to Maui

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Maui may be the perfect destination. It offers beautiful views, scenic drives, great food and history worthy of exploration.

If forced to identify a negative, it might be the cost. The island is a bit pricey. But, look at that view.

Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian island. While it is just home to 150,000 people, more than 2 million people visit it every year.

While it might be tempting to sit on the beach all day with a boat drink in hand, here are a few ideas of what to see and do away from the beach.

Returning from Haleakalā National Park. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Must-See Sights

  1. Sunrise at Haleakalā National Park: There may be no more beautiful view of Maui than from the summit of Haleakalā National Park. Even though clouds often obscure to the sunrise, a pre-dawn trip to the top is a favorite pastime for a visit — and well worth the early morning alarm. Pro tip: Consider this for earlier in your vacation, particularly if you are traveling from the east.
  2. Īao Valley State Monument: This state monument in Wailuku offers some of the most quintessential views of the island. In addition to its stunning views, the park is the location of the Battle of Kepaniwai, where Kamehameha I in 1790 defeated the Maui army.
  3. The road to Hana: Taking the road connecting Kahului and Hana has become somewhat of a right of passage for visitors to the island. There are scenic pull-offs, waterfalls and iconic eateries along the way. Near the Hana end, be sure to visit the black sand beaches of Waiʻanapanapa State Park.
Waiʻanapanapa State Park
A view of Waiʻanapanapa State Park. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Quick Hits

  1. Lahaina: The charming town of Lahaina holds an incredible amount of history. During the 19th century, the community was the capital of the whaling industry. Kamehameha the Great conquered the town in 1795, and it later served as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845. Sights include the Old Lahaina Courthouse and Hale Pa‘ahao, a former prison.
  2. Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum: The sugar industry has had a profound effect on the island. The museum opened more than 30 years ago and is a memorial to Samuel T. Alexander and Henry Perrine Baldwin, two early sugar pioneers and founders of a company that bore their name. The museum, located in Puunene, takes visitors on a walk through history back to the earliest days of the industry on the island.
  3. Molokini: Molokini, a partially submerged volcanic crater just off of Maui, is a popular destination for snorkelers. Even for those travelers who are not necessarily beach-goers, a snorkeling trip is a perfect way to enjoy the water.
Kula Bistro
Breakfast at Kula Bistro. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Places to Eat

  1. Mama’s Fish House: This restaurant, located in Paia, has offered quintessential Hawaiian fare, including fresh, locally caught fish, since 1973.
  2. Hali’imaile General Store: This restaurant opened in 1988 in a former general store and today dishes up modern Hawaiian dishes.
  3. Kula Bistro: Located in Upcountry Maui, this restaurant offers fresh cuisine in a family environment.
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About Todd DeFeo 1659 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.