Maui

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Maui’s allure comes from its rich diversity of nature, which in turn affords a broad range of fun diversions. The heights of towering Haleakala and its dense jungles and waterfalls can be explored on foot, by bike, by horse, by helicopter, even by zipline. Countless tour operators offer nearshore expeditions: whale-watching, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, or simply cruising on the open sea. Even activities that don’t require much “doing” at all, like watching the sunrise from the crater’s summit or strolling hand-in-hand across an empty stretch of powdery sand, are, in the end, incredibly rewarding.

Things to do in Maui

Atlantis Submarine Tour

Atlantis Submarines’ 70-minute tour (of which, you’ll spend about 35 minutes underwater) is an excellent option for non-swimmers and non-divers who want to view Kona’s abundant marine life and amazing underwater habitat. Diving to a depth of 100 feet, the 48-passenger submarine takes guests to an expansive fringing reef where giant coral heads and tropical fish thrive. Cost is $99 for adults, $45 for children (must be 36” tall to participate).

658 Front St., HI, 800-548-6262, www.atlantisadventures.com/maui.cfm
Tags: things to do | wildlife

Cruise on a Catamaran

Sail to Molokini crater or nearby Lanai. Numerous outfitters offer full-day snorkel excursions that include breakfast and lunch. It's a great chance to view dolphins, and whale-watching is particularly good in the winter.

Paragon Sailing Charters, 5229 Lower Kula Rd., HI, 808-244-2087, www.sailmaui.com
Tags: family | cruise | editor pick | smart splurge | things to do | wildlife

Explore on Horseback

Owned by Native Hawaiians, Maui Stables offers morning and afternoon horseback tours that immerse you in both the beauty and the cultural history of the Eden-like Kipahulu region.

Maui Stables, Kipahulu, Hwy. 37, just past 40-mile marker, HI, 808-248-7799, www.mauistables.com
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | horseback riding

Friday Art Nights

Lahaina has more than two dozen galleries sprinkled amid its tightly packed boutiques and eclectic novelty shops. The crowded sidewalks on Front Street become even more intimate when they open their doors for artist meet-and-greets and special exhibitions every Friday from 7-10pm.

Front St., HI, 808-667-9175, maui.aloha-hawaii.com/dining/lahaina+nights
Tags: shopping | expensive | trendy | art | things to do

Grand Wailea Shops

High-end boutiques like Gucci and Louis Vuitton anchor the beautifully landscaped open-air promenade that houses more than 70 shops and restaurants. Wailea on Wednesdays (WOW!) is a popular free event that features live music and open-house art galleries on Wednesday nights.

3750 Wailea Alanui Dr., HI, 808-891-6770, www.shopsatwailea.com
Tags: shopping | trendy | art | boutique | things to do | eclectic

Haleakala

Rising 10,000 feet above the sea, dormant Haleakala (“House of the Sun”) is Maui’s dominating natural wonder. Hike the crater’s Mars-like terrain, coast down on a bike, or arrive before dawn to witness sunrise at the summit.

Haleakala National Park, HI, 808-572-4400, www.nps.gov/hale
Tags: hiking | biking | editor pick | things to do | outdoors

Iao Valley State Park

A variety of trails takes you through the misty, green valley where the 2,250-foot ‘Iao Needle rock pinnacle, used as an altar in ancient Hawaiian cultural rituals, hovers over the Puu Kukui Crater. 

End of Iao Valley Rd., HI, http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/maui/index.cfm?park_id=36
Tags: hiking | things to do | outdoors

Kayak

Expeditions led by Maui Eco Tours let passengers kayak out among the marine life and coastline sea cliffs.

125 Kio Loop, HI, 808-891-2223, www.mauiecotours.com
Tags: kayaking | eco-friendly | things to do | outdoors

Learn to Surf

SwellWomen, a surf and yoga outfitter on Kaanapali Beach, provides healthy, action-packed vacations geared towards women (though they do host co-ed retreats, too), complete with surf lessons, yoga classes, nutritious meals, and accommodations.

HI, 800-399-6284, www.swellwomen.com
Tags: surfing | things to do | outdoors | active

Maui Arts and Cultural Center

Located in Kahului, this is the island's biggest entertainment venue, hosting local, mainland, and international acts from Cyndi Lauper to the Shanghai Circus. It's also home to educational and cultural programs that are instrumental in perpetuating traditional arts like hula, chant, and storytelling.

1 Cameron Way, HI, 808-242-7469, www.mauiarts.org
Tags: nightlife | theater | live entertainment | things to do | performing arts

Open Market

Check under Lahaina's landmark banyan tree (the largest in the U.S.) to see if local artisans have set up tables to sell their handicrafts - jewelry, carvings, weavings, and more. There's no set schedule, but if you happen to catch it, they peddle unique gifts you won't find at generic souvenir shops.

Between Front St. and Wharf St. at Courthouse Square, HI, 808-661-0111
Tags: family | budget | shopping | editor pick | great value | things to do | souvenirs | crafts

Road to Hana

Maui’s winding Hana Highway is more about the journey than the destination. Discover countless waterfalls along this breathtaking 35-mile coastal drive, which deposits you in rustic Hana town.

Hana Hwy., HI, www.hanamaui.com
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | outdoors | road trips

Scuba Dive with Sharks

The Maui Ocean Center (aka "The Hawaiian Aquarium") offers over 60 exhibits and scuba diving in a 750,000-gallon tank with (well-fed) sharks. The awe-inspiring Living Reef exhibit's prism-like walls are a sight to behold, composed of 40 aquariums containing living corals (the largest collection in the nation), moray eels, and indigenous white-spotted tobies.

192 Ma’alaea Rd., HI, 808-270-7000, www.mauioceancenter.com
Tags: things to do | wildlife | adventure | diving

Skyline Eco-Adventures

If you’ve ever wanted to swing from tree to tree like Tarzan, Skyline’s zipline tours provide the perfect opportunity. Choose to zip through a stunning eucalyptus forest on the slopes of Haleakala (a 2-hour tour) or traverse the tree-lined valleys of Kaanapali (a 3.5-hour journey), enjoying views over the gulches, cliffs, and lush vegetation as you soar between 25-150 feet above the earth.

2580 Kekaa Dr., HI, 808.878.8400, www.skylinehawaii.com
Tags: eco-friendly | things to do | outdoors | tour | adventure

Tee Off

Kapalua Resort's two 18-hole championship golf courses are a golfer's paradise. The Plantation Course is the perennial home of the PGA Tour's Mercedes-Benz Championship, and Kapalua is one of Hawaii's best golf resorts.

Kapalua Resort, 800 Kapalua Dr., HI, 877-527-2582, www.kapalua.com
Tags: golf | editor pick | trendy | things to do | resort

The Maui Crafts Guild

A bright yellow wooden storefront in Paia town marks the location of Maui's lone artist-owned-and-operated art cooperative, established in 1982. Inside, you'll find treasures like glass beads, kimonos, baskets, pottery, ceramics, textiles, wall hangings, and handmade paper, all locally crafted with personal attention to detail.

69 Hana Hwy., HI, 808-579-9697, www.mauicraftsguild.com
Tags: shopping | moderate | smart splurge | things to do | souvenirs | crafts

The Old Lahaina Luau

No trip to Hawaii is complete until you've tried poi at a traditional luau. The pounded taro paste is accompanied by other Hawaiian favorites: kalua pig, lomi salmon, haupia. Old Lahaina Luau's authentic hula show presents the evolution of the dance as it reflected different eras of Hawaiian history.

1251 Front St., HI, 800-248-5828, www.oldlahainaluau.com
Tags: family | nightlife | editor pick | things to do | culture | culinary | performing arts

Ulalena

Broadway meets Lahaina: Ulalena reveals Hawaiian history through powerful music and choreography, incorporating Hawaiian chant and mythology. The award-winning stage performance awakens the senses, and bold aerial feats a la Cirque-du-Soleil add to the excitement.

878 Front St., HI, 877-688-4800, www.ulalena.com
Tags: nightlife | theater | things to do | culture | performing arts

Whale-Watching Cruise

West Maui forms a shallow basin with neighboring islands Lanai and Molokai that attracts some 3,000 mating and calving humpback whales from October through April. To get a closer look, try the cruises arranged by Pacific Whale Foundation.

300 Maalaea Rd., Suite 211, HI, 800-942-5311, www.pacificwhale.org
Tags: things to do | outdoors | wildlife | whale watching

Whalers Village

Grab a cocktail on the beach at sunset or a bite at the international food court after a shopping spree at the many island-themed shops, jewelry stores, and boutiques. Families can enjoy the artifacts and learn about the history of whaling at the free Whalers Village Museum.

2435 Kaanapali Pkwy., HI, 808-661-4567, www.whalersvillage.com
Tags: family | shopping | trendy | things to do | souvenirs | eclectic

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