Maui is one of the most scenic vacation destinations in the world, which is why we get so many returning visitors. If you’re tempted to spend most of your vacation lounging by the pool at your hotel or spending your days on the beach, that’s understandable, but there’s so much more to see and do on the island, taking time to explore is worth it! You can see Maui’s most breathtaking vistas by car, by helicopter and by boat, depending on which option appeals to you and your fellow travelers the most. With that in mind, here are our Top 5 Sightseeing Tour suggestions.
1. Haleakala Crater
The summit of Haleakala stands an impressive 10,023 feet above sea level. Make the long drive up its towering slope and you will feel like you’re on top of the world. The drive itself boasts dramatic sights, but there’s nothing quite like the summit. On clear days, you can see far out into the ocean where the neighboring islands of Hawaii, Lanai, Molokai, Kaho’olawe and Molokini rise up from the blue. The sunrise is a magnificent experience, and so is the night sky. There are few places on Earth where you can see the stars with such clarity. Just make sure you bundle up, because the elevation is cold, and can drop below freezing at night. This is a day trip, so you’ll want to fill your gas tank before you go.
Spend a day driving along the winding road through Hana and you’ll find yourself immersed in lush, emerald green jungle where there are more waterfalls than you can count. Some plunge from towering cliffs, while others fan out on their way down gentler slopes. On sunny mornings, their spray creates a myriad of dazzling rainbows. During certain stretches of the drive, you’ll get stunning ocean views as well. Mid-way along the journey around East Maui, you’ll find the quiet town of Hana, where you can pick up drinks and snacks. Considering the length of this remarkable trip, you’ll want to bring food with you from the start, and you’ll need a full tank of gas.
3. Maui Wine, Ulupalakua Vineyards
This drive will take you up on the lower slopes of Haleakala to Ulupalakua, a quiet agricultural area that feels like a world unto itself. Perched above South Maui, you’ll get to soak in those gorgeous views of the ocean and the neighboring islands of Molokini and Kaho’olawe as you make your way to the vineyards. When you arrive, you can explore the historic King’s Cottage, join a tour, and do some wine tasting. It’s a good spot for finding unique gifts to bring to friends and family back home, like specialty wines, food items and other treats.
4. Helicopter Tour
Sightseeing by car is economical, but the driver has to focus on the road. If you have a small group and you want everyone to make the most of the mesmerizing Maui sights, a helicopter tour is a great way to go. Multiple tour companies can take you up to see the island from a rare perspective, and there are several different kinds of tours that you can find. Some of the options include tours of the whole island of Maui, certain parts of Maui, and even combinations that include flying over the island of Molokai.
5. Sunset Dinner Cruise
Last but not least, if you’re an ocean lover, you can take in the magnificent sight of the West Maui coastline aboard our Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise. While you soak up the beauty of the surrounding ocean and the majestic mountains rearing up in the distance, you get a delicious dinner served by friendly waitstaff, and an evening of live entertainment. Watching the sunset from the ocean is a magical experience, and so is watching thousands of twinkling stars appear in the inky night sky. The silky surface of the water off West Maui’s coastline tends to be quite calm, and our craft are specially designed to give you the smoothest possible ride. If you join us between December and May, humpback whale sightings are a regular occurrence. In a way, the ocean makes the island, so when it comes to sightseeing, a cruise like this is hard to beat.
If you have the time and the ability, choosing one or more of these sightseeing excursions really is worth the effort. You’ll likely take your most captivating pictures on one of these journeys. In fact, if you have the time and the means, you might just want to do all five trips! Just make sure you get the rest and relaxation you need on your vacation, too! If you’re interested in other activity ideas, we suggest a Maui Snorkel Tour. For other ideas, you can always browse through our past blog topics and check in each Friday for our latest. Mahalo!