Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands and the second most
visited tourist destination in Hawaii behind Waikiki.
Cruise ships dock at either Lahaina or Kahului. Lahaina is a tender port, but the location can’t be beat. Most larger cruise ships dock at Kahului, which is located near the airport.
The historic whaling town of Lahaina is the second most visited spot on
Maui after the beaches. Once a busy whaling village, the town today is filled with tourist shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don’t miss the huge Baynan Tree.
Take a drive and visit the Haleakala Crater. Several hundred years have
passed since the last volcanic activity occurred within the crater. The visual horizon in many places in the park is up to 115 miles out to sea. On clear days, enjoy the panoramic view of Molakia and Lania. Even cloudy days offer amazing rainbows and moonbows. For views of the extinct volcano crater, visit the Haleakala Visitor Center, located near the summit of Mt. Haleakala.
WHALE WATCHING WITH THE PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION
Maui is known as one of the world’s best whale-watching spots. Humpback whales migrate to Maui in large numbers every fall to mate, give birth and care for their young. The Pacific Whale Foundation offers whale-watching cruises from December 1-May 15. The organization has a 99% sighting sucess rate on their cruises and offers a free cruise in the unlikely event that you don’t see any whales.
MAUI OCEAN CENTER AQUARIUM
Here visitors can see spectacular live coral displays (the largest in the
nation), garden eels, lionfish, colorful Hawaiian wrasse, green sea turtles,
sharks, rays and more. All of the marine life is alive and from Hawaii. The
Maui Ocean Center aquarium is open 365 days of the year, from 9:00 a.m.
In 2003, Kaanapali Beach in West Maui was named the “Best Beach in
America” by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (Dr. Beach). This 3-mile stretch of
white sand, breaking waves, and swaying palm trees is what Hawaii’s all
about. The waves can be rough at times, especially in the winter, so be
forewarned and keep an eye out for small children. Don’t miss the sunset
diving ceremony at Black Rock near the Maui Sheraton. Kaanapali Beach is
located 45 minutes from Kahului port, and ten minutes from Lahaina.
HIGHWAY TO HANA
A visit to Maui would not be complete without a visit to Hana. But don’t let the distance in miles fool you. The trip to Hana is a long drive so allow a full day.
There are 500 curves and over 50 single lane bridges, plus you’ll need to
allow extra time for any stops. Every curve brings another breath-taking
sight, waterfalls, rainforests, and rainbows.