With its year-round beautiful weather, wonderful culture and amazing tropical sights, Maui can be the perfect vacation getaway you have been looking for. More than just its beautiful beaches, the island of Maui has a lot of unforgettable sights and experiences to offer. From nature parks and craters to a century-old tree and a town built around history, Maui will astound you once you get the chance to visit these six amazing sights on the island.
Considered as one of the most remarkable arboreal specimens in Hawaii, the Banyan Tree on Lahaina’s Front Street is quite a spectacle on its own. With a quarter of a mile circumference, the limbs of the Lahaina Banyan Tree stretch out to a vast network of branches, aerial roots, and leaves. Planted in April 1873, this once eight-feet tall Indian Banyan was planted to honor the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina. The tree then grew out branches and aerial roots and expanded through the years.
Now standing more than 60 feet high, this historic tree can now shade about two-thirds of an acre and is one of the most iconic locations in Maui. Annual celebrations and fairs are held around the tree and people and family come to visit the park to hang around and enjoy some peaceful time under the tree.
The best place for swimming and cliff diving in Maui? Kaanapali Beach. In fact, it was once named America’s Best Beach. Kaanapali Beach features white sand and crystal clear water that stretches up to three miles in front of some of the hottest hotels, resorts and condominium villages in Maui.
Apart from the top hotels and resorts affront the Kaanapali Beach, another popular attraction here is Black Rock, where cliff diving ceremonies are held every day at sunset. These ceremonies are held to reenact a feat by Maui’s revered King Kahekili.
Maui Ocean Center is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and offers the chance to get a look at what’s under the sea without going snorkeling. This aquarium and oceanography center in Maui is also host to a number of activities that visitors of all ages will surely enjoy. There are reading sessions that are great for kids, marine life and history exhibits, as well as presentations that are spearheaded by expert oceanographers.
You can also sign up for their Open Ocean Exhibit wherein you can have an immersive encounter with sharks, stingrays, and hundreds of fish. If you are a certified scuba diver, you can join the Aquarium’s Shark Dive Maui program and dive with the aquarium staff for a close encounter with up to five species of sharks.
If snorkeling is a part of your planned activities once you visit Maui, then it’s best that you do it in the Molokini Crater. Being the only marine sanctuary on the island, Molokini Crater is a favorite spot for divers and snorkelers from all over the world as it offers a one-of-a-kind marine life experience.
With its crystal clear waters, visibility is always excellent, even for distances of more than 150 feet. This marine sanctuary is a flourishing coastal reef that serves as home to more than 200 species of fish and other marine life. Snorkeling in Molokini Crater is safe and can even be a fun family activity.
Another great place for a nature trip in Maui is the Iao Valley State Park. Easily accessible by car or through tour companies, this state park is well suited for guests of all ages, with its paved steps and walkways, and with signage that provides historical information about the park. But the main reason to visit the park is Kuka’emoku, or the ‘Iao Needle.
This 1200 feet peak is known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, the god of the ocean and overlooks the Iao stream. The 4,000-acre and 10-mile long park space of Iao Valley State Park makes it an ideal attraction for people who are looking for easy hiking and sightseeing.
As the home of the dormant Haleakala Volcano, Haleakala National Park boasts a spectacular stretch of landscapes and skyscapes. Known as the “house of the sun”, this picturesque national park is located at the southeastern coast of Upcountry Maui, with its peak visible from almost any part of Maui.
If you are looking for the best spot to view the sunrise from, you’d better set your alarm so that you can wake up early and drive up to Haleakala Visitor Center. Just make sure to get in touch with the National Park Service to set up a reservation and to pay for the National Park entry fee. Apart from viewing the sunrise, Haleakala is also a great place for hiking, where you get to enjoy the out-of-this-world landscapes towards the summit, along with the different water features on the coast of Kipahulu.
With so many amazing places to visit and activities to sign up for, Maui will surely exceed your expectations when it comes to a unique tropical adventure. And to make your visit on the island more unforgettable, be sure to book a 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom oceanfront vacation rentals as your home away from home.