As a quintessential vacation destination, travelers from around the world have eagerly flocked to this island for years, making Maui’s tourism is hotter than ever. But without proper knowledge of how this island works, Maui can be quite difficult to navigate. With its ever-growing popularity, it can be quite easy getting caught up in the touristy side of things while missing out on all the unique and fun things happening on the island. But if you're willing to do the work and dig a bit beneath the surface, you'll find that Maui is bountiful, bold, and beautiful…all with good reason.
Plenty of people who visit this island tend to get stuck depending on where they find themselves situated. Although the resorts here are absolutely stunning, skip the tourist trap of Kaanapali and cozy up in a luxe beach resort at Mangolani Inn. Located in Pa'ia, a town at the northern coast of the island, this small and quaint town is home to several amazing restaurants, surf shops, art galleries, and plenty of big surf breaks near by. Mangolani Inn prides itself with tropical ocean views and an exclusive 6 bedroom property all within walking distance to Maui's best restaurants, shops, and beaches. The entire property boasts beach-like vibes with a burst of luxury feels. The tranquility of Mangolani Inn comes from their “home away from home” aesthetics. Think: mango tree hammocks, tropical fruits and flowers to pick, BBQs, hot tub, and picnic tables to enjoy the cool Maui evenings outdoors. The rooms are each intricately designed with a flare of South Eastern decor while bringing in pops of colors and furnishes resembling the authentic Hawaiian culture. The best part of staying here is that guests are able to experience the best of both worlds: a local Maui feel with a touch of luxury.
Now, of course, Maui is filled with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but it is also home to exciting farm lands, tropical greenery, and amazing plant life. The Maui Tropical Plantation is a tropical working farm and is home to the famously known Mill House restaurant. But what most people may not know is that The Maui Tropical Plantation is also home to an incredible dining event known as the Maui Chef's Table. This unforgettable culinary experience hosts weekly dinner events creating an atmosphere that resembles a dinner party among good friends and good food.
The best part is that Maui Chefs Table is all farm to table inspired, using ingredients at their peak of flavor paired with innovative techniques resulting in an experience, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The event gives both tourists and locals alike an up-close and personal look at the creative culinary process while using 100% percent fresh, non-processed food. The team here has outdone themselves with executing an incredible job at creating a special space where people can go and have the opportunity to connect with fellow food and drink enthusiasts.
But one must really prepare for their minds to be blown through whale watching with Trilogy Sailing. Every fall the humpback whales begin their southward migration from Alaska to Hawaii which results in hundreds of these magnificent creatures flooding the waters off of Maui. These sightings are so frequent and easy, they are basically guaranteed. While nothing beats the excitement of watching such spectacular animals breach their entire bodies out of the water, unlimited mimosas and bloody marys doesn't hurt either.
Check out the town of Lahaina for the afternoon and check out their lively and famously known, Front Street. Pop into the art galleries and shops, or go off the beaten path and take a glass-blowing class with Moana by Ryan Staub. If time allocates, stop by Koa’s Seaside Grill for happy hour and enjoy the ocean views over one of their delicious hand-crafted cocktails.
Ending your trip to Maui without seeing a luau would be quite the shame. An unmissable component to Hawaii is taking time to learn and experience the raw culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people. The Old Lahaina Luau has seamlessly executed a way to showcase a traditional hula and feast while storytelling through dimmed lights, beating drums, and oceanic views. Although this place attracts thousands of tourists each month, The Old Lahaina has yet to lose it’s unique and personal touch through its traditional Hawaiian performance. The entire night is filled with mouthwatering food including raw and natural vegetable dishes, locally grown purple sweet potatoes, a slowly cooked pig roast, as well as an incredible array of fresh seafood all piled on your plate, keeping you satisfied the entire night. The night is filled with an ambiance of howls, cackling, dancing and storytelling; all flawlessly executed into a performance unlike any other.
There is truly no right or wrong way to experience Maui as this island exudes a spirit of sophistication rooted in Hawaiian flare at every turn. Now of course you’ll find plenty of time for sunbathing, hiking, afternoon dips and incredible dining-- but it's when you allow time to go beneath surface that you’ll find yourself on unforgettable journey, rich in magnificent culture, history, marine life, and adventure.