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Trip List by lwj

Must Do's Highlights of Maui

Aug 20, 2006  Over 25 years of family travel to Maui with two children (now young adults) who still love the place!
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 41 votes

You name things to do on Maui, we've probably done them! We have our favorites... things to do, places to go, "must do's" for guests, favorite restaurants (both high end and "hole in the wall" kinds)

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Lahaina, Wailuku, Paia
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Theater, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • 1. See Ulalena by Maui Theatre
    Ulalena by Maui Theatre, Lahaina, Maui

    Broadway-style show with an island feel. Put together in the format of the Cirque du Soleil shows, it tells the history of the islands and its people while weaving in the legends of the islands through song and movement. Visually stunning at times, the music is wonderful and sometimes thrilling. My suggestion for seating is to avoid the far right side of the theatre. The orchestra can overpower the show. The left and center sections are more desirable.
    Should be experienced at least once.

  • 2. Visit the Maui Ocean Center
    Maui Ocean Center, Wailuku, Maui

    Get close-up to the colorful reef fish, sharks, turtles and rays without getting wet!
    Great for the kids or adults who cannot snorkel or scuba. You can learn about Hawaii's aquatic life and how early Hawaiians fished and gathered food from the sea. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon or two... especially if the weather is not great.

  • 3. Drive to Hana and beyond

    Enjoy the scenic drive. Waterfalls, tropical rainforest....... an all day trip with 617 curves. Beyond Hana is O'heo gulch/ 7 Sacred Pools area. (There are actually more than 7 pools and they are NOT sacred). Tropical rainforest begins a few miles past Paia.... photo opportunities all along the road, very curvy and narrow but worth the drive. At Waiapanapa State Beach, you will find a black sand beach. Beyond O'heo about a half mile on the left is a small church where Charles Lindbergh is buried in the churchyard on a cliff above the sea. The road beyond this is supposedly recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicles but the road has been improved and actually is not that bad. It can be driven with caution in a regular vehicle as long as there is no rain (flash floods can sweep a car off the road). You can discover remote villages, old churches and lava fields. Small tour buses drive this road, so a passenger car should do well.
    UPDATE: as of October, 2008, the road past Kipahulu has been reopened after having been closed for 2 years.

  • 4. Snorkel/ scuba Maui's beaches and shores

    Maui has many areas to snorkel or scuba.
    - La Perouse Bay (south of Wailea/Makena): in the lava fields. Experienced swimmers here. Can get tricky. Morning: dolphins swim in. Kayaking in this area is the best way to get to remote areas like the "aquarium" and the "fish bowl". Effective 8/1/08: Area has been closed by BLM due to overuse and reef damage.
    - Honokahau Marine Reserve/ Honolua Bay northern Maui): Blue, green, and yellow coral. Sea turtles. Sheltered bay with a rocky beach. Creek flows into the bay causing there to be a lot of sediment for about the first 25 to 40 yards from shore. There is more to see on the left side of the bay. (Note: In winter, there may be large waves.)
    -Black Rock on Kaanapali Beach (at the Sheraton Maui): Beyond the cove, along the seawall there are 3-4 turtles along the bottom. I have also seen rays and numerous reef fish in this area. Snorkeling is generally better in the morning.
    -Kapalua Bay: Sheltered bay, calm waters. Great area for those just beginning to snorkel.
    -Molokini: Reached only by boat. Can get crowded with all the tours that go there. Better in the early morning than the afternoon or late morning because the water becomes cloudy and the wind starts up in the afternoon.

  • 5. Laugh at Warren and Annabelle's Magic Show

    Warren and Annabelle's Magic show is a magic show with a comic flair. A fun evening's entertainment beginning with the "ghost" (Annabelle) in the parlor who plays the piano and takes requests while the audience has appetizers, dessert and drinks. You then move to the theatre where the magic begins. Warren has an amazing act, but his interaction with the audience will have you rolling in the aisles!! About 3 1/2 hours long, you must be 21 to attend the evening magic show with Warren. There is another show that children may experience earlier in the day. I would highly recommend this show to anyone who would like to begin the evening eating good food and then spend the rest of the evening with a smile on your face from laughing.

  • 6. Explore Haleakela

    Drive to the top for great sunrise or sunset views and photos or bike down the dormant volcano from the top or from the park entrance: cost varies according to the time of day and the distance ($40 to $150). See the rare Silversword plant and the Nene goose, the official State Bird of Hawaii. The intensity of the colors in the crater change from dawn until dusk. You can also hike into the crater... it is eerily quiet and colorful.... what one might expect Mars to look like. Remember that the elevation at the top is over 10,000 feet so take it easy and give yourself plenty of time because it is harder hiking back up!

  • 7. Mama's Fish House
    Mama's Fish House, Paia, Maui

    Sure it's high end, but if you're gonna splurge ONCE on your trip, then this is the place!
    And who else deserves it more???
    Located on the outskirts of Paia, this restaurant has an incredible view of the ocean. The dining area is kept cool by the tradewinds, open hinged windows and the ceiling fans. Reservations are recommended. There is complimentary valet parking.
    We started with the Poke with roasted Kukui Nuts and Maui onion. I was NOT disappointed.
    Our entrees included the Opah with caramalized Maui onions and avocado over Jasmine rice. It was perfectly prepared, light and moist with a slight crispness on the outside. The Ahi had a teriyaki glaze with sugarcane skewers and was prepared as this fish should be cooked, rare (if it is overcooked, it becomes too dry and flaky). It was good, but the opah was better, by far.
    Fresh salads and other appetizers are creative and numerous on the menu.
    The desserts are also numerous and creative. We had the cheesecake with the fruit compote.
    A couple of cups of Kona coffee finished off our incredible dining experience.

  • 8. Kimo's Restaurant
    Kimo's Restaurant, Lahaina, Maui

    Among the many restaurants in Lahaina, Kimo's is one of our favorites. Located on the ocean side of Front Street, you get a great view of the sunset.
    A Caesar salad or a regular salad with muffins and bread, is included with your entree.
    One of our favorite dishes is the Opah Kimo's style. It is the similar to the Duke's style preparation in Waikiki. Prepared with a garlic, lemon and sweet basil glaze, it is sweet, light and moist... this dish is one of the best.
    If you are tired of seafood or are looking for some beef, try the 32 oz. prime rib on the bone.... you can eat it alone if you are REALLY hungry, or it can be shared between two.... There is also a smaller Molokini cut on the menu. The prime rib is tender and VERY tasty... I've had it and I was impressed.
    There are also ribs, shrimp, chicken and lobster on the menu.
    Service is attentive and the crew is friendly.
    For dessert, I cannot say enough about the Hula Pie! It is not for those on a limited calorie intake, but it just may be worth a diet detour. The Hula Pie can be shared among several diners or one can see how much you are able to stuff before you have to surrender and lay down your spoon!!!!