You’ll need at least a week to savor Maui’s best experiences. I recommend splitting your vacation between East and West Maui, starting with sultry, sunny beaches and ending in the rejuvenating rainforest. I’ve designed this itinerary around a stay in West Maui for the first 3 days, but it works just as well if you stay in Wailea or Kihei. To minimize driving, move your headquarters to lush East Maui on Day 4. Stay at one of the island’s charming B&Bs or the exquisite Traavasa Hana resort.
Day 1:Arrive & Explore West Maui
After checking into your hotel, head immediately for one of West Maui’s prime beaches . After a reviving dip in the ocean, spend a couple of hours walking around the historic old town of Lahaina . As the sun sets, immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture at Old Lahaina Luau .
Day 2:Sail to Lanai
You’ll likely wake up early on your first morning here, so take advantage and board an early-morning trip with Trilogy, the best sailing/snorkeling operation in Hawaii. You’ll spend the day (breakfast and lunch included) sailing to Lanai, snorkeling, touring the island, and sailing back to Lahaina. You’ll have the afternoon free to shop or nap.
Day 3:Sunbathe in South Maui
Take a drive out to Makena State Beach Park and soak in the raw beauty of this wild shore. On the way, pay a visit to the sharks and sea turtles at the Maui Ocean Center , in Maalaea. Linger in South Maui to enjoy the sunset and dine at one of the area’s terrific restaurants.
Day 4:Ascend a 10,000-Foot Volcano
Head to the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakala, the island’s massive dormant volcano. Witnessing the sunrise here can be phenomenal (as well as mind-numbingly cold and crowded). Hiking in the Haleakala National Park is awe-inspiring any time of day. On your way back down the mountain, stop and tour Upcountry Maui , particularly the communities of Kula, Makawao, and Paia. Plan for a sunset dinner in Paia at Mama’s Fish House . Stay at a nearby B&B or the chic Paia Inn.
Day 5:Drive the Hana Highway
Pack a lunch and spend the entire day driving the scenic Hana Highway . Pull over often and get out to take photos, smell the flowers, and jump in mountain-stream pools. Wave to everyone, move off the road for those speeding by, and breathe in Hawaii. Spend the night in Hana .
Day 6:Relax in Heavenly Hana
Take an early-morning hike along the black sands of Waianapanapa State Park, and then explore the tiny town of Hana . Be sure to see the Hana Cultural Center & Museum , Hasegawa General Store, and Hana Coast Gallery. Get a picnic lunch and drive out to the Kipahulu end of Haleakala National Park at Oheo Gulch . Hike to the waterfalls and swim in the pools. Splurge on dinner at the Travaasa Hana hotel .
Day 7:Relax & Shop
Depending on how much time you have on your final day, you can relax on the beach, get pampered in a spa, or shop for souvenirs. Spa-goers have a range of terrific spas to choose from, and fashionistas should check out the boutiques in Makawao and Paia . If you have time, check out the gardens and waterfalls at Iao Valley.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.