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Most beautiful places to visit in maui, 2023
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Its nickname is "The Valley Isle," which describes its geography as a large valley between two dormant volcanoes — Haleakala in the east and Mauna Kahalawai in the west. Haleakala's name means "House of the Sun," and it's the largest dormant volcano in the world at 10,023 feet high, 4,000 feet deep, and 21 miles across its crater. Mauna Kahalawai, an eroded volcano, is referred to as the West Maui Mountains. Maui is known for its beaches, with over 120 miles of shoreline and 80 beaches — more than any other island in Hawaii. Maui's beaches vary from gentle surf to crashing waves, with fine white sand and even rare black and red sand beaches near Hana. Kahului Airport is located in Central Maui on the northern edge of the land between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. Five regions define the island. West Maui is home to the resort areas of Kaanapali, Kapalua, and the town of Lahaina. The resort communities of Kihei, Wailea, and Makena are located in South Maui. The road to Hana and Haleakala State Park are in East Maui. Upcountry is located on the higher elevations around Haleakala, where farms, dairies, and ranches take advantage of the volcanic soil and wetter weather. In Central Maui, Iao Valley State Park offers hiking trails, forests, and running streams. With warm waters, swaying palm trees, and the towering Haleakala volcano, Maui is a paradise on earth. Few places can match the island’s postcard-perfect scenery and year-round good weather, and Maui packs a lot into a small package. Take a road trip to Hana, dive beneath the waves to observe sea turtles and tropical fish, or get an introduction to traditional Hawaiian culture. And let’s not forget the numerous options for adventure-minded visitors, who can choose among surfing, hiking, zipline courses, and other tropical experiences.
#1- Kaumahina State Wayside Park
This 7.8-acre park is a popular stop along the Road to Hana, with several hiking trails, covered picnic facilities and scenic views of the coast. There are dozens of native Hawaiian plants and birds to see as you walk through the forested area, so take a break from the drive and get some perspective from an overlook of the Ke’anae Peninsula and the nearby village.There are several scenic spots to catch views of the bright blue sea and the winding coastline. Trails lead down to the ocean and loop back around, so there’s space to stretch your legs while enjoying the tropical environment here. Bring your walking shoes, your camera or binoculars and a picnic to enjoy some time at this park on your way up to Hana.
#2- Maalaea Harbor
Maalaea Harbor is the starting point for many of Maui’s top snorkeling adventures, sunset cruises, fishing, and whale-watching excursions. Conveniently located between the Kahului Airport and the Lahaina and Kaʻanapali resort areas, the port’s integral role in the island’s water sports means it is rarely left out of a Maui vacation itinerary.
#3- Oheo Gulch
The Oheo Gulch is a vibrantly green valley that has been naturally created by centuries of rain forest streams. Also called the Kipahulu Area, these lush lands became part of the Haleakala National Park in the 1940s. The main draw for visitors is the many tall waterfalls that feed into groups of large, tiered natural pools, sometimes called the Seven Sacred Pools of Oheo. Swimming in the fresh water is popular when water levels are safe.Two streams, the the Palikea and Pipiwai, are the source of all of the water in this area. Visitors can hike the two-mile Pipiwai Trail (3-5 hours roundtrip) along the streams with view of the pools. Along the trail, there is one tranquil natural pool that can be less crowded than the Seven Sacred Pools area. The path ends at the 400-foot-tall Waimoku Falls, and you can always cool off in the pools after finishing the hike.
#4- Molokai Island
Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth largest island, is only 10 miles (16 kilometers) across at its widest point. The small island packs a big punch in terms of natural beauty—it’s home to the world’s highest sea cliffs and longest continuous fringing reef. It’s often considered the most Hawaiian of islands, thanks to its largely Native Hawaiian population.
One of Maui’s first resort towns, Kaʻanapali consists of high-rise resorts lining idyllic white-sand beaches. While the world-famous Kaʻanapali Beach is the draw of this West Maui tourist hub, you can also stay busy with pursuits such as shopping, golfing, whale watching, and ziplining.
#6- Honolua Bay
Located on Mau’s northwestern coast, Honolua Bay is a designated Marine Life Conservation District. Sheltered by cliffs on two sides, it’s a popular snorkeling and scuba diving spot, known for the abundance of marine life in the calm, turquoise waters. In the winter, it’s also home to some of the best surfing waves in Maui.
#7- Haleakala National Park
Haleakala’s summit stretches 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above Maui’s world-renowned beaches. Vast swaths of its slopes—33,000 acres (13.4 hectares) from summit to sea level along the Hawaiian island’s southeastern coast—are protected within Haleakala National Park, where visitors hike, bike, camp, and catch sunsets (and sunrises) of a lifetime. Now considered a dormant volcano, Haleakala last erupted sometime between the 15th and 17th centuries.
Paia is a small town in the heart of Maui’s famous North Shore. The town is primarily populated by surfers and hippies, and the spot has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. Visit to relax by the beach and do some world-class surfing, and enjoy the town’s surf shops, healthy restaurants, music venues, and other low-key attractions.
#9- Waiʻanapanapa State Park
Home to the black-sand Paʻiloa Beach and underwater caves, Waiʻanapanapa State Park is one of the jewels of the Road to Hana. Located just outside of Hana at the end of the perilous Hana Highway, the park’s trails, caves, and ancient burial sites are a welcome reward for those who make the long drive.
#10- Pipiwai Trail
Immerse yourself in the best of Maui’s rain forest, as you hike through bamboo along a tranquil stream. Set in Haleakala National Park, the Pipiwai Trail takes you about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) round-trip to the base of the stunning Waimoku Falls.
#11- Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park
A pleasant stop on the road to Hana, the Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park offers the chance to take a scenic break from the long drive. Stretch your legs on its dirt path to nearby waterfalls and natural pools. The farther you're willing to walk, the taller the waterfalls become and many people bring a picnic to enjoy as a part of this diversion.Totaling five acres the area here is lush with tropical plants which, with the sound of the waterfalls, create a distinct rain forest feel. Picnic tables are set against scenic backdrops, and fish and tadpoles are visible in the shallower pools. Watch for wild birds and mongoose. The walking paths here are not rigorous, but a refreshing dip in one of the pools is a highlight for many on a hot day.
#12- Haleakala Crater
Dubbed “House of the Sun” by native Hawaiians, Haleakala Crater is the world’s largest dormant volcano and the highest peak in Maui. Set in Haleakala National Park, here you can see a lunar landscape, admire cinder cones and endangered silversword plants, and trek wild hiking trails.
For most, traveling to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. A quiet town nestled on the Maui’s eastern shores, Hana would not be on the tourist map if not for the Road to Hana—known as one of the world’s most scenic drives. That said, the town of Hana is a tranquil escape and an excellent base for exploring the region.
#14- Molokini Crater
When was the last time you had a snorkel adventure inside of a sunken Hawaiian volcano, or enjoyed a freshly cooked BBQ lunch on the deck of a sailing catamaran? Thanks to its calm, crystal clear waters, bright coral reef, and 250-plus species of tropical fish, Molokini Crater is the most popular spot for snorkeling tours on Maui. Spend a day on a snorkeling tour as you explore the protected marine preserve and come face to face with some of Hawaii's most colorful marine life.
#15- Road to Hana (Hana Highway)
Tropical foliage, black sand beaches, rushing waterfalls and incredible views are the calling cards of the legendary, winding Road to Hana. The famous roadway along Maui’s North Shore (also called the Hana Highway) includes 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 bridges and is known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
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