Visitors to any of the Hawaiian Islands are in for a lifetime experience. But Maui, as celebrities like Steve Tyler and Oprah Winfrey have discovered, offers more of a relaxed pace.
Also known as the valley isle, Maui offers stunning contrasts between cascading waterfalls and alpine peaks to boho chic towns and award-winning resorts. But to see Maui and all its splendors requires time. The road to Hāna requires a three-hour drive—if you’re leaving from Lāhainā or Kīhei—and stretches along 50 miles past taro patches, over single-lane bridges, waterfall pools and lush rainforests. While waking up in the early hours may not seem like a vacation, seeing the sun rise atop Haleakalā is worth the effort. Known as the “House of the Sun,” Haleakalā majestically rises 10,023 feet above sea level and offers a winding odyssey of 36 miles of hiking trails, which open to fascinating landscapes (see also: Haleakala National Park: A Guide for Travelers).
To get a historical sense of Maui, Lāhainā is the portal to the past. Often called the “jewel in the crown of Maui,” Lāhainā’s history lays bare to see through its road structure and architecture, which have been carefully preserved over the generations. Before it was the rowdy whaling epicenter of the Pacific, Lāhainā was the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.
So, as author Mark Twain once said, "I went to Maui to stay a week and stayed five."