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  • Writer's pictureKate

Maui

Maui...oh wowee....



"When you feel this crazy society, headin' to the strand. Take a straw to the nearest waters and remember your place. Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you've came. So which way is the wind blowin'? What does your heart say?" There is a divine spark in all things, you, me, a pillow...a juicy sunset. The beauties of the earth help us to remember that.


The nature in Maui is unbeatable. It helps you put things into perspective and appreciate the wonders we are surrounded with and how small we are in the scheme of the world. The natures lessons are repeated through the Hawaiian culture. While living on Maui I was lucky enough to learn more about "aloha." Hawaiians say aloha because they believe that "ha" is the breathe of life. As a greeting they will walk up to each other forehead to forehead and say "ha" celebrating the fact that they are both alive. If you want to celebrate life and remember the same "thing" that made red and orange sunsets also made you then maybe you come check out the magical Maui.


When traveling I am someone who loves a balance between seeing and doing and sitting and relishing (any of my close friends and family reading this are calling BS on the sitting still) if you are looking for a trip of a life time mix of both follow along :)


Where to Stay-

Let's say you have a week off, I'd break up your stay with five nights in Paia, three nights in Lahaina, and maybe one night camping if you are up for it. Paia is more local and laid back and Lahaina has majority of the resorts and sunny beaches.


Transportation-

There are buses that take you around the island but with all the exploring you'll be doing I highly recommend renting a car from the airport (Via Hopper if you are trying to avoid underage fees) or using the app Turo which allows you to rent cars from people kinda like air bnb.


When to go-

Pro tip: go in January or February these two months are WHALE SEASON! you will seriously be able to see whales everywhere and when you swim you can hear their calls when you go underwater its like living in national geographic

Paia-

Cutest town on the island! Explore all the shops and in terms of

Food-

-Cafe des amis: must go! Indian food and crepes (a couple got married and merged their cultures SO GOOD)

-Paia Bowls: acai

-Tooheys (this is actually up the hill in Haiku but it is a must, they have fresh Mexican food and live music on Saturdays)


Beaches-


-Baldwin beach: right in town, keep walking down the beach to "sprecks" / spreckles beach where there is a coral reef to swim at also at sunset there are so many turtles on the sand!!

-Hookipa beach: up the hill this beach is known for its turtles for good reason the beautiful green animals are any and everywhere


short day trips from Paia-

-so Haleakala National Park is a must visit. there are three GREAT options I can shed some light on for visiting maybe you choose one or maybe you do all three like I did because its that gorgeous

  1. Drive up for sunset, no permit needed so you can do this on your own in a rental car. the star gazing is some next level once the sun goes down. You are also above the clouds it was a rainy day so we weren't sure we'd get a sunset but luckily on the other side of the clouds was the most magnificent picture perfect sunset

  2. Book a sunrise bike tour (you do need a permit for sunrise) it is about $200 including said permit, bikes, rain jackets and fleeces also of course the guided aspect of getting a tour guide telling you stories of the land. You meet at the bike shop and bus up to the summit of the volcano, watch the sunrise then slowly bike down as a group.

  3. The most rigorous option: HIKE! Sliding sands hiking trail is a 12 mile hike. You start at the visitors center at the top (located at the second highest elevation of any national park visitors center in America!) and you eventually end at a lower visitors center so either take two cars and leave one at each parking lot of it is easy to hitch hike back up to the original parking lot. Don't be fooled it is not just dissent you are on switch backs above the clouds looking down at a crater that fun fact you can fit all of New York City in!!!


Pro tip- Makawao is the biggest town closest to the national park and it deserves its own MOMENT. there are many good boutique shops

-Makawao zen garden/ Sacred Garden of Maliko is a fun stop with two labyrinths, crystals and gardens

also you MUST go to the Makawao farmers market on Weds located at Oskie rice arena. Best market in the game.


-Waihehe Ridge Trail: about 4 miles round trip, really good half day hike its beautiful!

pro tip- if you keep driving down the road past the ridge trail there's another very unmarked trail to Makamakole Falls a gorgeous waterfall that drips into a pool perfect for swimming and its only an hour out and back including swim time


-Visit Jaws surf break, its around 3 mile round trip mini hike to one of the largest waves in the world!


Lets talk the legendary Road to Hana:

Must do! Legendary for a reason. So here comes in the optional camping. You can do road to Hana in one day but I recommend you camp in the middle and continue the road all the way. Many people will turn around at Hana but actually past Hana is some of the prettiest sights. It could be nice to do Road to Hana once your accommodation is done in Paia because if you continue along the road you can easily make your way to Lahaina whilest seeing new sights.


pro tip- you will have NO service so I recommend downloading a driving guide on Spotify that tells you when to turn off

The road is one windy path with many places to pull off. No confusing directions/ turns you just want to be sure you do not miss something because some of the sights aren't marked the best.

Some of my fav stops: (most are very short walks if any to get to from the car park)

-Twin falls (this will be the first stop if you are starting from Paia, it is a short walk to waterfall pools with a rope swing) the real winner is if you continue down the road a little further and go to the Bamboo forrest (3 hour round trip, amazing water to swim in you are swimming for half the hike underneath waterfall after waterfall)

pro tip- if you are doing Road to Hana in one day either skip Twin Falls or Bamboo forrest is such an easy drive from Paia and come do just that hike one day before you do all of Hana


-Rainbow eucalyptus

-Black sand beach

-Hamao beach

-Kailhaula red sand beach

-Waianpanapana state park/ Honokalani black sand beach

-Nahiku (a waterfall into the ocean)

-any and all banana bread stands


know that the road to Hana is about the ROAD TO you might get to Hana and be surprised how little there is there. Camp around Hana and the next day keep on the road for the most beautiful drive you might ever see.

-stop at 7 sacred pools and hike up to the 400 foot waterfall! the waterfall trail starts in the lot of the 7 sacred pools and is around an hour casual hike


continue along the road and...

pro tip: stop at the Honey farm in the middle of nowhere along the road


on your way towards Lahaina once you've made it to busier roads go to Big Beach (Mykenna) for sunset and star gazing. It is beautiful!! There are often drum circles there too.


Lahaina-

At this point in your trip you might be craving some slower days- I recommend enjoy long sun bathing days and glorious sunsets BUT here's some activities near by if your up to it

-Front Street is the down town, definitely walk around the shops here

-Burger in Paradise is pretty legendary and fun to visit at sunset it is right over the water

-Dirty Monkey and Down the Hatch are fun bars


Not Front Street yet close-

-Maui butterfly farm

pro tip: go to the pie shop right next to the Maui butterfly farm and get the chocolate macadamia nut pie. your welcome

-Honolua Bay: short walk through woods to a beautiful rocky beach

-Earth Aloha Farm: vegan food truck

-Dragon Teeth in Kapalua: labyrinth along the ocean

-if you wanted to do a day trip from Lahaina area book through Pacific Whale Foundation for a snorkel boat day to Molokini Crater


Slightly further but highly recommend day trips-



-drive up north to Olivine pools and Nakalele blow hole: the drive is slightly scary warning, along cliff sides but also provides some of the best views there's many spots to jump out of your car and give time for frolicking through green cliff sides as you pear out at ocean blow holes, water that sprays up and makes rainbows


-Ioa Valley: hike along the ridge trail past furry mountain tops in a vast open green space

-Lapareuse bay: a flat hike (hour in and back) along lava rocks that leads you to an oasis past goats and sheep where you can swim in these cool water pools


Above all, lean into the healing properties of nature especially in this magical place and enjoy the Aloha.

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