Must Do

  • Visit Haleakala
  • Drive the Road to Hana (and drive around Haleakala on Highway 31. Ignore the blogs that say that the drive is dangerous. It’s not. Just use common sense, drive slow and honk a lot when entering blind turns)
  • Walk around Lahaina on Front Street (check out the massive Banyon Tree, and weekend vendors that sell stuff under the tree.)
  • Eat at Mama’s Fish House (It’s not cheap, but the food and drinks are good, and the views are great) (need to make reservations many months in advance)
  • Visit the Nakelele Blowhole
  • Visit Iao needle
  • Check out the turtles around sunset at Hookipa Beach park
  • Have a drink at Kapalua Plantation House

Don’t Bother

  • Luau (If you must, go see a free hula show in one of the shopping malls)
  • Star Noodle (too many good Yelp reviews, but the food was bad. The owner has clearly figured out the yelp/social media game)
  • Tedeschi Winery (Maui’s Winery) (too much to drive to get there, mediocre Pineapple wines)
  • Haleakala at sunrise (it’s equally beautiful at 11 AM, and you might not see the sunrise at all due to clouds. Do it if you must, but I would rather not wake up at 3 AM while on vacation)
  • Bicycling down Haleakala: This is a popular activity, but I have read about too many accidents because of the steep downhill road, and the fact that the bicycles share the road with motor vehicles. And its not cheap. And you have to wake up EARLY at an ungodly hour. I would skip this and just ride on safer flat streets.
  • Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge: Not much going on there
  • Baldwin Beach: Too crowded – there are other equally good options


Day 0

  • Visit the Kahului Costco after the rental car pickup to load up on waters and other essentials
  • Eat at Mama’s Fish House – if you made a reservation 3-6 months ago – I am not kidding
  • Baldwin Beach Park (skip)
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park to see Turtles
  • McGregor Point and Lighthouse
  • Papawai Scenic Lookout
  • Pick up dinner (?)
  • Check out the tunnel of Monkeypod trees after you drive past Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
  • Kaanapali

Day 1: Road to Hana

  • Mile by Mile PDF
  • Start driving – carry food and water
  • Pickup lunch at Tin Roof Maui / Geste Shrimp Truck / Paia Fish Market
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park to see Turtles
  • Ka Haku’s Smoke Shack
  • Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread (maybe)
  • Keanae Lookout (skip)
  • Waiʻānapanapa State Park – Black Sand Beach, Sea Cave (make reservations in advance)
  • Hana Bay Beach Park
  • Huli Huli Chicken
  • Kipahulu Visitor Center
    • Pipiwai Trail – Take a hike up a trail that winds through a freshwater stream and diverse forest areas with views of waterfalls and other natural features. This trail is moderately strenuous. Makahiku Overlook will give you your first glimpse of a waterfall, Makahiku Falls, at 0.5 miles in. The bamboo forest can be found about one mile in. Visitors can expect to see boardwalks and footbridges.
    • Seven Sacred Pools – This trail leaves the Kīpahulu Visitor Center and continues past a Hawaiian cultural demonstration area to Kuloa Point at the mouth of ‘Ohe’o Gulch. Here, you will find beautiful ocean views and archaeological sites. This trail is popular for viewing the Pools of ‘Ohe’o, also sometimes called the “Seven Sacred Pools.” (0.5 mi total, 80 ft elevation change)
  • The back side of Haleakala starts here. The drive around Haleakala (around the south side) is pretty straightforward. Just go nice and slow. Rental car companies scare you into thinking that the drive is treacherous – it’s not. You also do not need a 4×4. Rent your regular, garden variety rental car. Just use common sense and drive nice and slow when the road is rough (it is for a few miles)
  • Ono organic farm – optional quick stop for fruits
  • Alelele Falls viewpoint – optional quick stop
  • Kaupo General store – historic general store – optional quick stop
  • Waiakapuhi Lava Field – optional quick stop
  • Ulupalakua Scenic Overlook
  • Kula Bistro?

Day 2: Wailea-Makena, Kihei, Lahaina

  • Keawakapu Beach
  • Makena Beach, Paako Cove / Secret Cove Beach
  • Lava Fields (skip, if you have seen Lava fields elsewhere)
  • Lunch in Wailea-Makena at Monkeypod Kitchen / Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse / Sansei Seafood / Nalu’s South Shore Grill / Coconut’s Fish Cafe
  • McGregor Point and Lighthouse
  • Papawai Scenic Lookout
  • Lāhainā Banyan Court, Walk around Front Street

Day 3: Haleakala

  • Brunch at Kula Lodge Restaurant (no reservations) (no food on the mountain)
  • Leleiwi Overlook
  • Haleakalā Summit
  • Hike Pa Ka’oao
  • Hike Sliding Sands
  • Kalahaku Overlook
  • Kula Bistro / Mahalo Aleworks (no reservations)
  • Dinner in Lahaina at Mala Tavern around sunset

Day 4: North, Iao Valley, Lahaina

  • Kapalua Coastal Trail
  • Dragon’s Teeth Access trail – Makaluapuna Point
  • Plantation House at Kapalua
  • Honokohau Lookout
  • Nakalele Blowhole + Lighthouse
  • Olivine Pools trailhead
  • Lunch in Kahului at Tin Roof Maui / Geste Shrimp Truck (?)
  • Iao Valley
  • Lunch / Happy Hour at Cafe O’Lei at the Mill House – Great views
  • Lāhainā Banyan Court, Walk around Front Street

Day 5: Getaway

  • Kahana Beach Park
  • Lunch in Kahului
  • Rental Car Return

To-do for next time



Pictures taken with a Canon T3I and 18-55 and 55-250 kit lenses. No filters were used. No post-processing was done.