When you picture the island of Maui in your mind’s eye, it is easy to visualize the lush greenery of the rainforest, the flowing waterfalls, the winding cliffside roads with hairpin bends that overlook the ocean, and the roadside stands selling fresh fruits and delicious local foods.
It is for precisely these reasons that visitors from all over the world flock to Maui and all of these treasures can be found on the east side of the island.
Starting in Central Maui, in Kahului, is the famous Hana Highway. The Road to Hana is over 60 miles long, and the journey can take as little as two hours to being an all-day excursion – the winding roads mean it is necessary to go slow, but the breathtaking views will make you stop and explore the surroundings on more than one occasion. With vistas worthy of a thousand photographs and local food prepared at stands on the side of the road, the journey is well worth the effort, even if it does take you all day!
As you come to the end of the Hana Highway, you find Hana itself, a haven of peace, away from the hustle and bustle of busier tourist destinations. Considered one of the last unspoiled areas in Hawaii, Hana is perfect for getting away from the crowds and indulging in some serious relaxation. Hana Beach Park is great for soaking up the sun, and local stores have a variety of unique souvenirs available as mementos of your trip.
On the Southeastern coast of Maui is the famous Haleakala National Park, which boasts one of the best spots in the world for watching the sunrise. Early mornings are often a little crowded, but with 30,000 acres of land to explore, one can find solitude among nature. The Haleakala Crater, the dormant volcano that is visible from almost everywhere on the island, stands proudly with a rich history full of legend. Hiking trails, both solo and guided, are available, as well as the opportunity to spot endangered species and a stunning variety of landscapes.
For those looking for a little more relaxation, the Pools of Oheo, or the 7 Sacred Pools, are close by. Tiered pools that are fed by waterfalls offer tranquility to visitors, and are surrounded by self-guided hiking trails – be sure to bring your hiking shoes and be prepared to get muddy!