It’s hard to believe a little over a week ago I was sitting on the beach enjoying a Mai Tai for happy hour! Hawaii was nothing short of amazing and totally worth the long trip there. While we were in Maui we spent lots of time on the beach and exploring. Here’s my review of the different activities to do in Maui.
Sunrise on Haleakala
On the second day there, we decided to do the drive up Haleakala to watch the sunrise. This is a very popular thing for tourists to do in Hawaii and I’m really not sure why it has so much hype. Yes, watching the sunrise was nice, but there are way too many downsides for me to ever want to do it again. You will have to get up at 2:30 in the morning and drive 2.5 hours in the dark to the top of a 10,000 ft. mountain. At the top of the mountain there’s a big parking lot full of cold tourists wrapped in beach towels and comforters stolen from hotels. Everyone sits in the brisk sub 40 degree air waiting for the sun to pop out. Once the sun rises everyone rushes right back to their car and drives back down the mountain. I rushed back to the car and promptly turned on the seat warmer that we were laughing about when we picked up the car at the airport. On the way home there’s a cool place to stop at for breakfast called the Kula Lodge. This was probably my favorite part of the Haleakala experience. There was a fire to warm up by and I had a nice stack of pineapple macadamia nut pancakes.
Sunrise at Haleakala
Hawaii is all about surfing! This was definitely one of my favorite things that we did. We took a lesson through Maui Wave Riders and it was excellent. They gave you rash guards, booties, a surfboard and an instructor to share with three other people for two hours. If you’ve never tried surfing before this place is great and they make it super super easy to catch a wave. Bonus: I didn’t see any sharks. YAY!
Black Rock Beach Snorkeling
This activity takes the cake for the best thing to do in Maui. Want to see sea turtles? Go here! Black Rock beach is located at the Sheraton hotel. Drive right on up the the lobby and have a guy valet park your car. If you go have lunch or a drink at the bar then they will validate your parking and then you only have to pay five bucks. Better yet? Simply ask the guy at the bar to validate your parking and skip the $50 lunch. 🙂 Every time we came to the beach we saw turtles! They come right up to the shore and swimming with them is amazing. The first time we came here we didn’t see any at first but as soon as we got out of the water, people start pointing to turtles. The Sheraton also has a sweet pool with a mini water slide and bean bags to float on in the water. They tell you the pool is for registered guests only but as long as you don’t lay your own hotel’s towels out on a chair no one will know you’re not staying there.
Swimming with Sea Turtles
Road to Hana
This was another somewhat disappointing activity. Everyone will tell you that you need to drive the road to Hana and I’m not really sure why. It was a nice drive with lots of waterfalls to see and a cool beach that has black sand. However, it is a LONG drive. And the destination? Not so awesome. We spent three hours driving to Hana expecting a cute little town when we arrived. Instead we got an overpriced popsicle made with real fruit from a stand next to the road. There’s maybe a convenience store and a restaurant and that’s about it. Probably not worth the three hour drive.
Black Sand Beach
North Side of Maui
This was another drive we took and I thought it was much better than the road to Hana. You will still see the beautiful Hawaiian landscape, but it’s about half the length of the road to Hana. On our drive we took a nice walk along the rocks by the seashore, saw a blowhole and got some delicious banana bread from a treehouse stand next to the road. Sounds like a good day to me.
North shore of Maui
We had two favorite restaurants in Maui, and they were both located right next to each other. They’re called I’o and Pacific’o and they were right on the beach and “farm to table restaurants”. Such a great place to watch the sunset and have a nice dinner. They were both pretty pricey but at Pacific’o we got more food than we could possibly eat. Also, all food is expensive in Hawaii and you’ll just have to get over it.
Sunset dinner at I’o
So that’s my mini review of Maui. If you get the chance, you should definitely go! The 12 hour flight really didn’t feel that long and if you’re lucky you’ll be on one of Delta’s planes that doesn’t charge for movies. Yes, some of them charge and some of them don’t… But definitely go to Maui and you’ll see sea turtles and rainbows every day!