When choosing a vacation destination and you are looking for a place with a little bit of everything don’t overlook choosing Maui as your top choice. The second largest island in Hawaii, Maui has it all. Food, nightlife, farmers markets, whale watching, fantastic Maui beachfront rentals and so much more.
Of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui has the third highest in population and is the United States 17th largest island yet still retains the charm and allure of island time and the lifestyle. The diverse landscape and mix of geology, topography and climate make this an interesting place sitting in the Pacific Ocean to visit. Once you get over the logistics of simply getting to the island, everything is easy. Locals are friendly and the great thing about being on an island is if you are unsure or get lost, usually people can easily help direct you to where you want to go. There is a strong sense of pride and culture to be felt on Maui and one can’t help but be engulfed by all the wonders of the island.
Here are a few things not to miss so you can have an awesome Maui vacation:
Go Whale Watching
Maui is famous for being one of the best places in the world to watch humpback whales. Every year several thousand whales migrate from Alaska to the Au’au Channel in West Maui from December to May to breed and nurse their young. These shallow, warm waters give excellent conditions for what essentially becomes a humpback whale nursery. Generally January through mid-March is the peak whale watching time and one of the best things is viewers can often accomplish their goals of whale watching for completely free. A great spot where humpback whales can be seen from shore is between Ma’alaea and Lahaina at Papawai Scenic Lookout. The parking lot is not very big so make sure you are polite and courteous and don’t block the road way. During peak season quite frequently whales can be seen breaching. Bring a pair of binoculars for the best viewing opportunities. You can also pack a picnic or bring dinner from one of Maui’s famous food trucks (see below) and enjoy sunset at Papawai as well.
Eat at the Food Trucks
Long before food trucks were ‘a thing’ on the main land, food trucks were and are a normal part of life on Maui. Visitors can find food trucks dishing up Mexican, Hawaiian, BBQ, wood fired pizzas, gourmet grilled cheese and just about any other ethnic cuisine you can imagine. Many of the food trucks here do offer some sort of ability to sit down if you are looking to eat right on the spot. One of the cheapest eats for a food truck is at Horhito’s Shrimp Tacos in Kihei next to the triangle and here they offer $2 tacos! Some of the food trucks pay a monthly rent fee to stay at the same spot while others travel around the island to events like the Friday night town parties of the Maui Swap Meet. A few local favorites are Like Poke in Kahului, the Mediterranean Grill in Haiku, Kinaole Grill in Khei and Big Beach BBQ in Makena Beach State Park, although you really can’t go wrong trying any food truck you see.
Stay in Awesome Accommodation
Maui has no shortage of awesome accommodation. Many savvy travelers are realizing the perks of renting either a house or villa and getting away from the traditional booking of a hotel room. For those travelers looking to get away, truly relax and have all the creature comforts of home yet also a touch of luxury to remind you are on vacation, beach front rentals are the way to go. For those traveling as a group or as a family, splitting the cost of a nice place can be surprisingly affordable. Plus, when you book a place right on the beach you have the luxury of not having to go anywhere if you don’t feel like. You’ve got the beach right at your foot steps and what could be better than that?!
Go to the Swap Meet
Occurring every Saturday from 7 am until 1 pm the Maui Swap Meet happens at the University of Hawaiian Kalului. Hailed as one of the best deals on the whole island it’s hard to argue with the $0.50 cent entry fee that includes unlimited reentry and free parking. Over 200 venders sell fresh produce, soaps, art and crafts, massages and shaved ice. It’s a big event. At this market it is often possible to bargain. To increase your odds of a successful barter, try to haggle with the vendors that are farther away from the entrance. If you want to blend in with the locals make sure you bring reusable shopping bags, a big water bottle and plenty of cash. You can easily spend a few hours pleasantly strolling up and down the rows. If it’s a sunny day don’t forget to bring a hat. If you can’t make to the Swap Meet, there is a farmers market going on somewhere on the island every day.
As you are looking for places to spend your next perfect vacation don’t overlook the island wonders of Maui. There is so much to see in this oasis wonderland and no matter what you will be sure to make memories to last for a very long time.