Must Do

  • Visit Haleakala (Do the Sliding Sands hike)
  • 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)
  • Visit the Makai Glass creations studio in Hali’imaile / Makawao
  • Visit the Nakelele Blowhole
  • Visit Iao needle
  • Check out the turtles around sunset at Hookipa Beach park

Should Do

  • Try some Maui Brewing Company brews (I didn’t particularly like them, but you might)
  • Try some local fruits like Pineapple, Sapodilla, Mangoes, Custard Apple
  • Visit Paia town
  • Visit the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm: we skipped it, you should visit. The views are supposedly spectacular

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

To-do for next time



Day 1: Haleakala

  • Drive to Haleakala – go for the sunrise of you really care that much
  • Do the Sliding Sands hike
  • Drive back to the hotel. Spread out on the beach / by the pool

Day 2: Lahaina, Napili Bay, Dragon’s Teeth, Kapalua Plantation Golf Course and Restaurant, Nakalele Blowhole

Day 3: Drive to Hana, and around Haleakala

  • Waikamoi Nature Trail
  • Keanae Lookout – look for Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread shack – excellent banana bread for the drive
  • Waianapanapa State Park
  • Red Sand Beach
  • Wailua Falls
  • Ohea Gulch, Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls
  • 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)
  • St Joseph’s Church
  • Tedeschi Winery

Day 4: Iao Valley, Kahului, Upcountry

  • Hawaii Nature Center
  • Iao Valley State Monument
  • Eat at Mama’s Fish House – make reservations in advance
  • Hookipa Beach Park / Lookout – look for turtles
  • Makawao

Day 5: Kihei, Wailea, Makena

  • Kealia Pond Natl Wildlife Refuge
  • Keawakapu Beach
  • Maluaka Beach
  • Makena State Park
  • Little Beach, Big Beach
  • Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve


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