For your visit to Maui, take a dive on the wild side. Mother Nature's wild side, that is -- on the Kahekili Highway on the northeast coast. This back-to-nature experience will take you past rolling pastures, tumbling waterfalls, exploding blowholes, crashing surf, and jagged lava coastlines.
Greeting the Rising Sun from Haleakala's Summit
Bundle up in warm clothing, fill a thermos full of hot java, and drive up to the 10,000-foot high summit of Haleakala to watch the sky turn from inky black to muted charcoal as a small sliver of orange forms on the horizon.
Exploring a Different Hawaii: Upcountry Maui
On the slopes of Haleakala, cowboys, farmers, ranchers, and other country people make their homes in serene, neighborly communities such as Makawao, Kula, and Ulupalakua -- worlds away from the bustling beach resorts. Maui's only winery is located here, offering the perfect place for a picnic.
Watching the Windsurfers
World-championship contests are held at Hookipa, on the north shore, one of the greatest windsurfing spots on the planet. Sit on a grassy bluff or stretch out on the sandy beach, and watch the world's top-ranked windsurfers twirling and dancing on the wind and waves like colorful butterflies.
Driving Through a Tropical Rainforest
The Hana Highway isn't just a drive -- it's an adventure. Stop along the way to plunge into icy mountain ponds filled by cascading waterfalls, gaze upon vistas of waves pummeling soaring ocean cliffs, and inhale the sweet aroma of blooming ginger.
Hunting for Whales on Land
No need to shell out megabucks to go out to sea in search of humpback whales -- you can watch these majestic mammals breach and spyhop from shore. The humpbacks arrive as early as November, but the majority travel through Maui's waters from mid-December to mid-April.
Hiking to a Waterfall
There are waterfalls and then there are waterfalls: The magnificent 400-foot Waimoku Falls, in Oheo Gulch outside of Hana, are worth the long drive and the uphill hike you have to take to get there.
Challenging the Greens at Ka'anapali Golf Course
All golfers, from high handicappers to near-pros, will love these two challenging courses. The North Course is a true Robert Trent Jones, Sr., design, with an abundance of wide bunkers. The South Course requires more accuracy on the narrow, hilly fairways.
Snorkeling at Black Rock
Four-mile-long Kaanapali stands out as one of Maui's best beaches, with grainy gold sand as far as the eye can see. The best snorkeling is around Black Rock: the water is clear, calm, and populated with brilliant tropical fish. Stick around for a short torch-lighting ceremony at sunset, which ends with a diver leaping off the rock into the ocean below.