First trip or visit to Maui? You’re about to visit a place you have only dreamed about. The very idea of soaking up the rays on a tropical island or exploring a bamboo rainforest, especially on an island labeled ‘the best’? by renowned travel writers and guidebooks, it’s enough to make anyone jealous. Once you actually arrive on Maui, you’ll quickly discover there’s a lot more waiting for you here than even You expected. In fact, you might just become one of the thousands of us who find yourself suddenly addicted to Hawaii. The first time I arrived I remember thinking to myself, I didn’t know a place like this existed. That is to be expected Maui is truly paradise and it’s earned its reputation the world over.
I had traveled to 49 of the 50 United States before I ventured to Hawaii. I was 21 at the time, and little did I know what was in store for me. It was the beginning of an adventure that’s taken me on a decade long ride of adventure and both amazingly rewarding experiences and friendships. Your journey is about to begin.
If you’re like most of us, you’ll arrive in Maui’s main airport – Kahului (OGG). Many flights fly directly to Maui from the mainland, without a layover in Oahu, so try and catch one of those flights if you can. Accommodations wise, you’ll discover there are a plethora of resorts, hotels, condos, b&b’s and inn’s to fit nearly any size budget. You’ll probably end up staying in Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kihei, Makena, Wailea, or Kapalua – or if you really want to get away from it all, consider staying Upcountry near Kula or in remote Hana town. We also love the Haiku area.
We’ve included an estimate of Maui driving times for you to review before you embark on your trip. On average, expect about an hour drive from the airport to the popular Lahaina and Kaanapali area on the southwest coast.
Once the bags are unpacked and you’ve recovered from your long flight, get your exploring cap on and head out to discover all that is Maui. There are an abundance of beaches to visit (especially on the leeward coastline). Or explore the lush tropical and winding highway that is the Road to Hana. At the end is the beautiful Oheo Gulch area which features a 400ft waterfall for those who venture onto the trail to reach it – taking them and their companions through an amazing bamboo forest. If you’re looking for some amazing shopping, entertainment or dining, then Kaanapali and Lahaina are your best bets. The Iao Valley is a treat for most visitors as is exploring the incredible Haleakala Volcano summit inside Haleakala National Park – literally the ‘House of the Sun.’
As you’ve probably already garnered, there’s a lot to do on this little island. Be prepared… plan ahead. Doing your research in advance will really pay off when the times comes for you to make your visit. And, not to rub it in, but sending a pineapple or postcard to your co-workers and friends back home is always a nice gesture. Though some may be quite envious when you return with that new tan; but hey.. who can blame them.