Haleakala – House of the Sun
|Haleakala is one of Maui’s most popular visitor
experiences with magnificent views of the island (s) and incredible breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.Haleakala is the largest dormant volcano in the world at over 10,000 feet elevation with an awesome 7 mile long crater…big enough to hold the entire island of Manhattan.Driving time is about 2 hours from Kahului. Give yourself extra time on busy days. Traffic and parking can take extra precious minutes before sunrise.
Remember to take a jacket with you. For weather conditions and sunrise (5:45am in summer and approx 7:00am in winter) and sunset times, call 808 877-5111.
Hiking consists of 36 miles of hiking trails with campsites and cabins. Call at least 90 days ahead for a cabin reservation and necessary permits.
Haleakala National Park Headquarters is at 7,000 elevation with an information desk, maps, etc.
Haleakala Visitor Center is at the top (almost).
|Beginning February 1, 2017, visitors in personal or rental vehicles wishing to view sunrise at Haleakalā National Park will need to make sunrise viewing reservations ahead of time at recreation.gov. Online reservations are now available up to 60 days in advance of your sunrise visit. The cost is $1.50 per car. Before February 1, 2017, sunrise viewing parking spaces will continue to be available without advanced reservation, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Visit the Haleakala National Park Sunrise Reservations page for more information.
Road to Hana
The most spectacular coastal drive in Hawaii
This famous, memorable scenic road is abounding in natural beauty and
views. You will experience waterfalls, jungle, fruit and flower stands,
one-lane bridges, streams, spectacular ocean views, ferns, bamboo,
exotic tropical flowers and foliage, and lush rainforests. There are
over 57 one-lane bridges and 600 turns on this quaint road.
It’s only about 30 miles to Hana from Haiku, but it’s about
a 2 ½ hour’s drive straight through. But DON’T DRIVE
STRAIGHT THROUGH or you’ll miss the whole trip. Hana per se is
not worth the drive. The sights and stops along the way are what’s
There are enough stops, views and side trips to take 2-3 days. Consider spending the night in Hana and make sure you have reservations in advance.
Traffic is heaviest going to Hana between 10-noon. So get an early start. Return traffic is heaviest between 3-5pm. If you get in a slow train of traffic, that’s an excellent prompt to pull over ASAP and enjoy your surroundings, the view, the air and Be Here Now.
Pick up a CD that narrates the “Road to Hana”, which informs you and helps you enjoy and not miss this memorable journey.
Have a good trip!
Maui’s North shore
The Real Hawaii
Your trip to Maui wouldn’t’t be complete if you didn’t visit the beautiful North Shore… more rural, natural, tropical and green.
The North Shore abounds with scenic country roads, quiet pastoral settings and is off the beaten path. You’ll travel over one and two lane bridges and in and out of tree filled gulches (beautiful valleys) throughout this gorgeous terrain.
Typical North Shore weather is mostly sunny skies with clouds blowing through by gentle trade winds…keeping the air fresh and clean…with just enough showers. Vibrant rainbows are the icing on the cake.
• PAIA (&Kuau) Surfing and windsurfing capital of the world. There are lots of great boutique shops and restaurants. Manas… Maui’s largest health/ natural gourmet market/deli is in Paia. How do you think
the surfers stay so healthy? At the end of Kuau is famous Mama’s Fish House in a truly beautiful oceanfront setting serving some of the best fresh dishes you could imagine. Just down the road is Ho’okipa Beach Park, famous for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
• HAIKU This is where rural/tropical Maui starts…a great place to
live and be.
• Haiku is conveniently located just 10 minutes to colorful Paia or Makawao (art center) both with excellent shops and restaurants. Haiku has three old pineapple and guava canneries converted into shops, studios, restaurants, etc.
• The Haiku Pineapple Cannery, now know as Haiku Marketplace, is home to a grocery store, Haleakala Bike Co., hardware, pharmacy, video and several very good restaurants. Across the street in the old Guava Cannery is Haiku Center are restaurants including VegOut (vegetarian restaurant), Haiku Gym, and other miscellaneous shops. Minuets away on Haiku Road is Pawela Cannery with Café, artists and surf related shops.
Maui’s sunny coast…great beaches, beautiful sunsets, world class resorts, shopping, golf, restaurants and spas.
South Maui is divided into three areas – North Kihei, South Kihei (key-hay) and Wailea/Makena. The best beaches, restaurants and shopping are in South Kihei and Wailea. This is the preferred beach/resort area.
Maui’s best beaches start at Kamaole I, II and III and continue south into Wailea, and even further to Makena (Big Beach).
Almost all of the vacation condominium resorts in Kihei are along South Kihei Road…even the pricier oceanfront resorts. That doesn’t mean all the units front the road. Many, such as ours are in buildings back away from the road, so they are quiet. The best ones have an ocean/sunset view, hear no road noise, and have been recently furnished and decorated.
The further south you travel the more expensive the accommodations become. Wailea, adjacent to South Kihei, has many world-class resorts and condominiums. You can enjoy the endless selection of world-class restaurants, up-scale shops, beaches, spas, golf and the beautiful grounds and architecture of these resorts, simply by visiting them. All of the resorts have visitor parking.
Reservations are recommended, since Maui Lu’aus are a very popular
attraction and some of the Lu’aus are offered on limited days.
OLD LAHAINA LU’AU This is one of the most popular and authentic
lu’aus with excellent food, show, and ambience. You’ll need
to book this luau well in advance. It is oceanfront in Lahaina. For reservations
call toll free 800-248-5828 or 808-661-5577. The web site is www.oldlahainaluau.com.
FEAST at LELE This lu’au is more intimate and romantic featuring
a sit-down dinner of five epicurean courses from the Pacific. A royal
tour of the cuisine of Polynesia with music and dance of four Pacific
islands. The gourmet menu was created by Maui’s award winning
chef James McDonald. Call toll free 866-244-5353 or 808-667-5353. Visit
DRUMS OF THE PACIFIC Oceanfront on Kaanapali Beach at Hyatt Regency
Maui Resort featuring a cast of 18 dancers and musicians performing songs
and dances of their ancestors throughout the South Pacific. All you can
eat dinner buffet. Call toll free 800-667-4727.
ROYAL LAHAINA LUAU Located at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali, Oceanside along Kaanapali Beach. Traditional Hawaiian celebration of food, dance and stories of Hawaiian legends. Call for reservations 808-661-3611
WAILEA SUNSET LUAU At Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort. Traditional Hawaiian Luau in Oceanfront gardens overlooking spectacular sunsets. For reservations call 808-891-7811 or the hotel 808-879-4900.
WAILEA’S FINEST LUAU at the Wailea Marriott. Oceanfront setting. Winner of the Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau Kahili Award for perpetuating the essence of Hawaii. Imu and Torch lighting ceremony. For reservations call 808-874-7831.
Always take caution and observe the signs that are up at the beaches
describing the current ocean conditions. If you do not see the signs,
ask the lifeguard about the conditions.
Large waves are very powerful. Do not stand up to a large wave. The
force of the wave can pound you against the bottom. Dive under the wave.
Watch the waves for a few minutes before entering the ocean.
They are variable from smallest to largest every few minutes.
All beaches are usually more calm and best before 11:00 am. Sometimes
after 11, it can get windy when the trades start for the day.
There are three main areas on Maui that have many excellent beaches.
South Shore Beaches
In South Maui (Kihei, Wailea and Makena), the excellent beaches start at KAMAOLE I and go south toward Wailea.
The three KAMAOLE Beaches are unbeatable for soft sandy, gentle beaches, calm water, good swimming, excellent views and perfect sunny climate. They have paved parking, lifeguards, showers, picnic tables, grills, rest rooms and grassy park areas.
Rocky points, good for snorkeling, separate these three beaches and all South Maui Beaches.
Going south, the next great beach is KEAWAKAPU. Another great swimming beach, not as crowded as the Kamaoles because it is not as easy to access with private homes fronting the beach. This beach goes south for a L-O-N-G distance. It goes all the way to a rock outcropping that separates it from MAKAPU Beach, where you can keep on walking to ULUA Beach and WAILEA Beach and on and on. You can walk on the beaches or on the public access pathways in front of the luxury oceanfront resorts and condominiums.
The most popular area of KEAWAKAPU is the north end. Park on the tree shaded lot on the corner of Kilohana and So. Kihei Road and walk across the street and slightly to the right to the beach access and shower area (no restrooms).
There are many more great beaches on south at the Wailea resorts. These beaches MAKAPU, ULUA, WAILEA and POLO have marked public access and paved parking, showers and restrooms. They front some of Maui’s best luxury resorts and condos. If the public parking lots are full, you can try parking at one of the resort’s visitors parking area and walk to the ocean.
South of Wailea is MAKENA’S Big Beach and Little (clothing optional) Beach.
North Shore Beaches
If you like to surf, windsurf, kiteboard, bodyboard, or just watch, the North Shore has the best beaches for you. There are also some great calmer (reef protected) swimming beaches. There are not condos or hotels along North Shore Beaches, just a few houses.
Starting just north of the main city of Kahului is KANAHA Beach, famous for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
BALDWIN BEACH. The main entrance to BALDWIN Beach is just past the Sprecklesville Golf Course on the makai (ocean) side of the road. Look for the sign
H.P. Baldwin County Beach Park.” If you are coming from Paia side, it’s about a one-minute drive. This is a very long, natural, pretty beach with areas for swimming and bodyboarding.
The central area has waves and is good for bodyboarding. If you walk to the east end (face ocean and walk to your right) you’ll come to a calmer area without waves which is good for swimming or just playing and relaxing in the ocean.
It’s a 10-15 minute walk to the west (Kahului) end of the beach called “Baby Beach”. It is a gentle beach with a protective reef in front of it. Great for swimming.
HOOKIPA BEACH…world famous windsurfing beach also kiteboarding and board surfing. Travel east through Paia with its excellent shopping boutiques and restaurants toward Haiku. After Paia, it’s about a 5-minute drive until you see the sign Hookipa Lookout. Turn left and park at the lookout or drive down to the beach and park.
The colorful windsurfers are there starting around 11:00 am when the trades start.
Occasional kiteboarders are here too, but most kiteboarders are at Kanaha Beach.
West Maui Beaches
KAANAPALI, NAPILLI, KAPALUA There are many great beaches at all three of these destinations. There is a beautiful scenic drive along the ocean to Lahaina. Lahaina town is a shopper’s paradise. There are many resorts featuring fun shopping, restaurants and good beaches.
The largest and most popular beach is KAANAPALI. The best beach area is in front of the Kaanapali Beach Hotel and the Sheraton Maui Hotel and Whaler’s Village Shopping Center (paid parking at shopping center). www.whalersvillage.com
There are also beautiful beaches at Napili and Kapalua.
KAPALUA BAY and BEACH is home to two luxury resorts…Kapalua Bay Hotel and Villas and the Ritz Carlton.
KAPALUA BEACH is a crescent-shaped, white sand, palm tree lined, coral reef protected beach. It is very beautiful
and popular. There are public showers, restrooms, and a concession shop. This beach has been voted “best beach” by several travel magazines.
NAPILI BEACH. Almost twice as long as Kapalua Beach. Napili Bay fronts several condominiums complexes. It is a beautiful bay for swimming and snorkeling. There are two public accesses off of Lower Honoapi’ilani Road. One from Hui Drive beside the Napili Sunset Condos and one from Napili Place, just past the Napili Shores. Parking is on the street.