Maui is perhaps the most dramatic and striking of the Hawaiian islands, due to its amazing natural scenery. With some of the most impressive natural monuments around, it makes a great destination for anyone who wants to get closer to nature on their holiday. Of course, the sophisticated side of the cities isn’t bad either, and you can easily find plenty of cultural things to enjoy. All in all, it makes for a great destination. Here are top five recommendations for a great holiday on Hawaii’s second-largest island:
1. Iao Valley
Verdant, lush, and spectacular, this national landmark is another must-see. Various hiking trails through the valley deposit visitors at the base of the Iao Needle, a rock spire that stands 1,200 feet high. Ancient rituals were practiced here, and many tribal chiefs were buried at its base. The spirituality and natural beauty of this place is truly magnificent, and spending an afternoon exploring the length of the valley is very much worth your time.
2. Aloha festivals
What happens when you put together a two month music and culture festival attended by tens of thousands of people every year? You get the Aloha Festivals. Since 1946, this grassroots celebration has been bringing in increasingly large crowds and growing longer each year. The celebration takes place on six islands, but one of the best places to catch it is on Maui, where traditional culture showcases and fantastic live music and dance acts combine and put on something truly special.
3. Live in luxury
It’s not often that you can find affordable vacation rentals in a place as special as this. Fortunately, luxury Maui vacation rentals are available online that are surprisingly inexpensive and offer great value. Whether you choose to stay directly on the beach, or high in the hills overlooking a rainforest or pineapple field, you’ll find a degree of comfort that shouldn’t be possible within this price range. Living like this makes the Maui experience that much more heavenly.
4. Haleakala Volcano
“Wow.” That’s all there really is to say about the “House of the Sun,” the world’s largest volcanic crater. 21 miles around 3,000 feet deep, it is a massive and majestic piece of scenery. Sunrise here is particularly special, and most visitors that get up early to appreciate it count it as their favorite memory from a visit to any place in all of Hawaii. Hiking, camping, biking, and nature walks are all also available in the Haleakala National Park. Don’t miss it.
5. Attend a Luau
As clichéd as the concept of Hawaiian luaus may seem, the Old Lahaina Luau is widely regarded as the most authentic ceremony open to visitors. From the beautifully choreographed dances to the mouthwatering food, this celebration of ancient Hawaiian culture is extremely memorable. You can appreciate handicrafts, music, dance, and cuisine, all with an excellent seafront view for sunset. If you’re going to see a luau while visiting Hawaii (and yes, you should), make sure it’s this one.
Convinced yet? Culture and nature conspire to make Maui one of the most rich and beautiful places to visit in the US. It is a spectacular destination, and one not to miss. What are you waiting for?