Has the quarantine given you a longing to once again travel freely? Has staying in the same spot day after day left you with a need for adventure? Most of us can relate to that feeling of being trapped at home, and that the idea of traveling the world seems like a thing of the past.
But there is no need to worry. Once this whole situation finally clears up, hopefully by the end of the year, there will be nothing to stop you from getting those plane tickets and flying away to the other side of the world.
Some of us travel to see historical and cultural sites first hand, while others just want to relax on a nice warm beach by the sea and bask in the beauty of nature. If you’re more interested in the latter, why not check out the Hawaiian island of Maui. Here are some places to visit and things to do while on Hawaii’s second largest island.
1. The Hana highway
Hana is the eastern most region of the island of Maui. It has all the natural beaty seen all over the island as well as some features characteristic about this specific part. While wide sandy beaches are not as common here, the coast is still a magnificent sight. Jagged, rocky areas, with beautiful natural stone formations are seen throughout the coastline. Sheer cliffs and waterfalls are dotted all over as well.
But the most interesting thing about Hana is not what you’ll find there, but what you’ll find on your way there. The Hana highway is a stretch of road that follows almost the entirety of the eastern coast.
After you land at the Kahului airport, going east outside of the city will put you on the Road to Hana. You’ll drive through thick forested coves, over tall waterfalls, climb up meandering paths up hills where you can take in the breathtaking views. There are many restaurants, towns and inns along the road as well as some hiking spots if you fell like taking a short break from driving. One could spend a full day exploring all the hidden pools, clearings and waterfalls and still not see all that this highway has to offer.
2. The Haleakala Crater
Almost the entire south part of Maui is formed by the huge shield volcano Haleakala. Its last eruption was 500 years ago, and since geological test have determined the volcano as mostly inactive, it is perfectly safe to take a walk through its enormous crater. Fans of “The lord of the Rings” might feel like they’ve stepped into Mordor, with all the rigid rocks and dark volcanic sand seen across the crater.
Inside the crater there is also a national park, with many strange, rare species of plants that only grow on the island. Hiking is a common activity among visitors. At the highest point of the volcano, which is nearly 10,000 ft high, you are presented with an incredible view. On one side you have the deep blue ocean, seemingly stretching out to infinity, while on the other side you have a clear view of the rest of the island.
If you’ve decided to stay till dusk to watch the sunset, there is no need to leave just yet. Being above the clouds and due to the low amount of light pollution, this is a great place for stargazing. No wonder there’s been an observatory built here as well.
3. Find peace
The calm atmosphere of the island has given rise to many communities of people who seek to spread peace to tourists and natives alike. Zen gardens, schools and temples to any faith can be found here. Sit on the grass, sing songs, meditate, have a refreshing drink, discover your spiritual side or just have a picnic. All these things can be done right here, on one island. sacredgardenmaui.com is one such group, and “Come, Feel, Breathe!” is the moto of Adam Glickman Maui. Maui is a place that’s known for tranquility and finding inner peace, but all of this is a lot better when you find a community that shares the same mindset. Thinking about turning a new page in life? Well, this is a cool opportunity to do so.
4. Under the water
If you feel like taking a step away from all the greenery on the land, then be ready to enter a world of blue. Scuba diving is one of the most beloved activities on the island by tourists and locals. Not only are there some truly unbelievable diving spots, but there are also organizations where you can buy all the gear you need and get the required lessons before going on your first dive. Float along the ocean floor and among the wildlife of the deep blue ocean, all while having your safety ensured by professionals.
If scuba diving isn’t for you, then why not board an actual submarine? The Maui Atlantis submarine tour takes you on a showcase of the ocean floor, its wildlife as well as a few shipwrecks which have been transformed over time by the flora and fauna. Enjoy all the wonders found under the sea all while staying cozy and dry inside the sub.
5. The culture
Displays of the local Polynesian culture are often held on Maui. Discover all the nuances of the traditional Hawaiian customs and mythology. If you’re an history buff, Maui has you covered. There are many ancient ruins with the characteristic Polynesian architecture.
The lao valley park is where the uniting king Kamehameha I defeated the Maui army at the battle of Kepaniwai in the year 1790. Nowadays the valley is peaceful and offers a variety of attractions related to the island’s history.
The Bailey House gets its name from the artist of the same last name who lived there. Today it is known as the Bailey house museum. It is the oldest museum on the island and has been operating since the 18oo’s. It hosts a variety of interesting artifacts, tools, relic and other archeological finds from the island. For those more interested in the art, there is an assortment of paintings by the previously mentioned Edward Bailey, as well as a large wooden statue of the demi god Kamapua’a.