Maui: Natural Beauty and Outdoor Adventure.

Maui: Natural Beauty and Outdoor Adventure.

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Maui is the 17th largest island in the United States and the second-largest of the state of Hawaii’s islands, measuring 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2). Molokai, Lanai, and the uninhabited Kahoolawe are the other three islands that make up Maui County, and Maui is the largest of them all. Maui’s 168,307 inhabitants in 2020 made it the third-most populous Hawaiian island, after Oahu and Hawai’i Island. Kahului, the island’s economic and financial center, is the largest census-designated place (CDP) with a population of 26,337 as of 2010.


The county capital of Maui, Wailuku, is the third-largest CDP as of 2010. Khei (containing Wailea and Makena in Hawaii) is one more prominent location. Other notable locations are Makawao, Pukalani, Pia, Kula, Haik, and Hna. Kihei (which includes Wailea and Makena in the Kihei Town CDP, the island’s second-most populous CDP), Lhain (which includes Kanapali and Kapalua in the Lhain Town CDP), and Hna. A Polynesian demigod gave Maui its name. It was formed by the two volcanoes Puu Kukui and Haleakala, which form the east and west peninsulas and are joined by an isthmus that resembles a valley and is 7 miles (11 km) wide, giving Maui the moniker “valley isle.” Polynesians arrived on the island for the first time around 700 AD. A Hawaiian chief named Piilani constructed an enormous road network as well as Piilanihale Heiau, the largest stone temple on the island that is still in existence. The island was conquered by Kamehameha I in 1795. Both whalers and missionaries started to visit in the early 1820s. As the sugar industry expanded in the 1860s, whaling started to diminish. A century later, tourism took the place of sugar.

Travelers are drawn to Maui by its revitalizing combination of outdoor recreation and scenic beauty.

Outdoor Adventure

Maui is first in the world for outdoor activities. Just watch the zipliner launch into the lush greenery. Or the mountain biker blasting past pine and eucalyptus. With pathways that wind through lava flows and bamboo woods, hikers also have it pretty nice. Surfers tear over the waves, windsurfers skim whitecaps, and snorkelers float among coral and reefs teeming with fish.

The most well-known activities on the Valley Isle, including travelling the Road to Hana, haven’t even been mentioned. observing the sunrise at atop Haleakal. In Makena Bay, kayaking while keeping an eye out for humpback whales

Natural Beauty

The golden sands of Keawakapu Beach the Haleakal mountain’s scruffy green flanks. Wailua Falls’ elegant beauty for many years, people have flocked to these beautiful views. Funny thing is, though: every time you think you understand Maui’s breathtaking scenery, a new surprise view emerges. These unanticipated moments of beauty are the ones that stick in your mind. The ahinahina (silvers-word), maybe, is setting up a position on a bleak crater slope. Or the lava along the Keanae Peninsula, which for a brief period of time appeared to be protecting rather than menacing. Also at Polipoli, there is the Waiakoa Loop Trail. Unbelievably beautiful—until the newborn boar snuffles into view.

Food & Drink

Image via Maui Basics

The food scene on Maui is excellent, adding to the island’s allure. The best thing, though? No matter the scenery or the activity, a mouthwatering supper is never more than a short drive away. Unless you’re looking for dinner at 8 o’clock in Hana, but we’re getting off topic. Restaurants are embracing locally sourced food, from Upcountry veggies to grass-fed beef from the ranch down the road, from ramshackle food carts to white-linen dining rooms. And the cuisine of the region? Although the names—loco moco, shave ice, and kalua pork—might sound strange, we assure you that the flavours are sumptuous and delectable, and the amounts are usually substantial.

There are a few outdoor activities that are listed here
  • Piilanihale Heiau & Garden of Kahanu
  • Keawakapu Beach
  • Waiʻanapanapa State Park
  • Wailea Beach
  • Three Bears Falls
  • Big Beach
  • Kapalua Beach

Image via Hawaii state parks

Piilanihale Heiau & Garden of Kahanu

Image via Maui

It is located close to Hna, Maui, and is the largest complete heiau in Hawaii (and possibly all of Polynesia). The stone platform is 289 feet by 565.5 feet and has a height of over 40 feet. Piilanihale Heiau is a stepped lava rock platform that is almost the size of two football fields. Eight smaller walls, three enclosures, five platforms, two upright stones, and 22 pits make up the interior construction. The longest wall is the north one, which is 565.5 feet long. With a maximum height of about 43 feet, it is also the tallest wall.

This location combines a 294-acre ethnobotanical garden with the beautiful Piilanihale Heiau, the largest temple in all of Polynesia, making it arguably the most significant stop on the entire Road to Hana. A tour that is a must-do gives intriguing facts about the amazing bond that the ancient Hawaiians shared with their surroundings. The finest chance in Hawaii to fully comprehend traditional Hawaiian culture before interaction with the West may be right now. Amazingly, hardly many people go there. The 450-foot-long Piilanihale Heiau is a massive lava-stone platform. There is no question that this magnificent temple was a significant holy place, yet its past is clouded in obscurity. Construction, according to archaeologists, started around AD 1200 and continued in stages. The grand finale was created by Piilani, the chief of Maui in the fourteenth century who is also credited with building many of the coastal fishponds in the Hana region (Piilanihale means House of Piilani).

The temple is located in a section of Kahanu Garden, close to the water. The greatest collection of breadfruit species in the world, with more than 120 kinds, may be found at Kahanu Garden, a branch of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, which also manages the Allerton and McBryde gardens on Kauai. Because of its high nutritional value and status as a staple food in many diets, breadfruit is essential in the fight against world hunger. The garden also has a hand-crafted canoe home that is another trip back in time, as well as a living inventory of what are known as “canoe plants,” those necessities of traditional life brought to Hawaii in the canoes of Polynesian explorers.

Keawakapu Beach

Image via Kirt Edblom

This dazzling length of beach is stunning from dawn to dusk. Keawakapu, which stretches from south Kihei to Wailea’s Mokapu Beach, is less noticeable and set back from the main road than Kihei’s famous roadside beaches to the north. In addition to being less busy, it’s a terrific spot to relax and take in the sunset.

 Keawakapu is a favourite for sunrise yoga and wake-up strolls due to its cushion-soft sand. The ocean is the ideal location for a day’s end swim. Go to the rocky outcrops at the beach’s northern and southern ends in the mornings for the best snorkelling conditions. Look out for humpback whales in the winter as they get close to the coast here.

There are three places to access the beach, and each one has outdoor showers. Drive south on S Kihei Rd until it comes to an end at a beach parking lot to access the southern end. At the intersection of Kilohana Dr. and S. Kihei Rd., there is a parking lot close to the beach’s centre. To access the beach access walkway, cross S Kihei Rd. Beach parking is available at the northern end in a sizable access lot to the north of the Days Inn.

KEAWAKAPU: “Ke-awa-kapu” means “holy (or forbidden) harbour” in Hawaiian. Between Kihei and Makena, the coastline region is referred to. Although it is unknown why this place was given its name, the ali’i canoes used it frequently in the past as a landing and launch location.

Waiʻanapanapa State Park

Image via Maui photographers

Hana, Hawaii’s island of Maui, is home to the 122-acre (0.49 km2) state park known as Waianapanapa. 53 miles (85 km) east of Kahului, Maui, it is situated at the terminus of Waianapanapa Road off the Hana Highway at mile marker 32. Hawaiian names for neighboring fresh water streams and dazzling lakes include “glistening fresh water,” or “Waianapanapa.” The campground provides camping amenities, such as a small lawn where campers can set up their tents and a nearby public restroom.

Several times a year, the park’s tide pools become crimson. Although local legend claims it is the blood of Popoaleae, a mythical princess who was slaughtered in a nearby lava tube by her husband, Chief Ka’akea, scientists claim that it is because of the entrance of little shrimp.

Ai’anapanapa, which means “glistening waters,” refers to the crystal-clear mineral water found in the cave pools here. It will make you feel spotless. On the right side of Pailo Bay, there is a natural lava arch that is surrounded by low, rocky cliffs and a coastal trail that includes old lava stepping stones and a blowhole. From the parking area, it takes only five minutes to reach two magnificent lava-tube caverns.

The park does not have any eateries, markets, or vendors, although it does include restrooms, camping, and cabin amenities, as well as the occasional fruit stand.

Wailea Beach

Image via Maui Photographers Organization

Wailea is a posh resort area in South Maui that spans 1,500 acres of land with breathtaking ocean views and is well-known for its five exquisite, crescent-shaped beaches and outstanding golf courses. The area is three times the size of Waikk and emits a sense of seclusion, tranquilly, and freedom. Five hotels, including lavish resorts like the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, are tucked away in the hamlet. Additionally, this resort community is home to elegant individual residences and intriguing condos.

Wailea Beach, which was crowned “America’s Best Beach” in 1999, Polo Beach, which offers good swimming and snorkelling, and Ulua Beach Park, which is frequented by walkers and joggers in the early morning and late at night, are some of the area’s most well-known beaches. The 54 holes of championship golf that have made Wailea so well-known are spread throughout the Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold, and Wailea Emerald courses.

At this glittering strand, which front the opulent Grand Wailea and consistently opulent Four Seasons resorts and offers a full menu of water sports, you can sunbathe like a celebrity. The beach has a gentle slope that makes it an ideal place for swimming. Around the rocky point on the southern end, there is good snorkelling when the water is calm. There is a calm shorebreak that is appropriate for bodysurfing most afternoons. Divers can descend to Polo Beach by following an offshore reef after entering the water at Wailea Beach.

Between the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons resorts is the beach access road, which has a parking area.

Three Bears Falls

Image via flash floods

A group of falls that is particularly well-liked since it is picturesque and placed next to the road like a drive-through.

Because there aren’t many places to stop and park, most people drive up, take a picture, and then leave. There is a small parking area approximately 1/10 mile past the falls if you’d prefer more than a drive-by look (though you will have to walk back along the narrow road with no shoulder.) You can take a short stroll down from the road and swim at these falls when the flow is safe (as in the images). From the bridge, there is a somewhat shaky drop down to the trail (left side mauka or makai the bridge, so pick your poison!). You *definitely* don’t want to slip, but once you get over the first few steps and have your footing, the rest of the track is much more forgiving. Assess your abilities and the quality of the landing areas when you’re there.

The triple cascade that cascades down a sheer rock wall on the inland side of the road, 0.5 miles past the 19-mile sign, gives this wonder its name. Catch it after a downpour, and the cascades combine to form a single, powerful waterfall. After the falls, there is a little amount of parking up the hill to the left.

A steep, ill-defined path starts on the Hana side of the bridge and descends to the falls. You can either proceed carefully or just take in the scenery from the road because the stones are slick and coated in moss.

Big Beach

Image via Maui Guidebook

This undeveloped beach, which is considered the best on Maui, is the jewel of Makena State Park. It is known as Oneloa in Hawaiian, which means “Long Sand.” In fact, the golden sands are as broad as they come and extend for more than a mile. The turquoise colour of the water is stunning. Kids can be seen boogie boarding here when the waves are calm, but other times the shore breaks can be dangerous and only fit for skilled bodysurfers who get flung around rapidly in the clear waves.

There are stations for lifeguards here. Bring your own drinking water as there isn’t any provided.

This was the location of an alternative lifestyle camp known as “Hippie Beach” in the late 1960s. Until 1972, when authorities eventually forced everyone out, the tent city was in operation. Climb the short trek to the nearby rocky outcrop that separates Big Beach from Little Beach for a panoramic view of the coastline.

One mile past the abandoned Makena Beach & Golf Resort is the turnoff to the main parking lot. A portable restroom is located here. A further parking lot is 440 yards to the south. Don’t leave valuables in your car in either lot because thefts and cracked windshields are possible.