Oh my, oh Maui! This recent trip was truly a Getaway from L.A. to remember. A group of friends and I recently flew from L.A. to Maui, Hawaii to attend one our good friends’ wedding (#LucilleLuau) on Friday, July 1. Since we were flying out to attend this wedding (which was truly so beautiful, full of love, and a ton of fun!) we all decided to extend our stay and turn this trip into a longer vacation. Maui is one of five Hawaiian Islands and is approximately a 5-hour flight from Los Angeles. It’s the second largest island in Hawaii and has a population of about 160,000. It’s known as the “Valley Isle” and millions of people visit Maui each year for its beautiful white sandy beaches, picturesque sunsets, and adventures galore. GoHawaii.com shares, “From the scenic slopes of fertile Upcountry Maui to beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world, a visit to the Valley Isle recharges the senses. But like every good magic trick, you’ll have to see it for yourself to believe it.” Sounds pretty special, eh?
My friends and I are all adventure seekers and love trying new things, so we scheduled a variety of activities throughout the trip. I definitely wish I would have had more time to relax on this trip (the only real “relaxing day” we had turned out to be pretty stressful/a downer because there was a fire in Maui and we were stuck in Lahaina from 2:00pm-9:00pm and then it took us 5.5 hours to drive 15 miles…Yikes!). The next vacation I go on I’m going to better balance adventurous activities and relaxation (spa day, anyone?) because the introvert in me was pretty wiped out by the end of the trip. The activities we participated in were AWESOME, though, and I am so grateful to have shared these beautiful experiences with some of my best friends. Below you will find an overview of the sights I’d recommend seeing in Maui if you are planning a trip here, and I hope the information presented is both interesting to read and helpful to you!
Things To Do in Maui
Snorkel In Napili Bay
If you’re looking for a calm, not-too-crowded, picturesque beach for relaxing, snorkeling, and grabbing a delicious bite to eat afterward, I’d recommend checking out Napili Bay. Apparently it’s somewhat of a “secret spot” in Maui and cannot be seen from driving on the main road. We went snorkeling and the waters were much calmer and clearer here than they were at some of the more popular beaches in Maui that we visited. I saw a variety of fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors, but unfortunately, didn’t see any turtles here. There are definitely some that hang around here, though, because the majority of my group I was with saw and swam with them! I loved how quiet and peaceful the beach was, how there were very minimal waves, and how crystal clear blue the water was. On two different occasions on this trip we visited the Sea House Restaurant at Napili Bay, and it was delicious (although somewhat pricey) both times. It was super easy to walk right up and grab a table with a beautiful view – no reservations are needed and they have an awesome happy hour from 2:00pm-4:30pm daily.
Click here for more detailed information about Napili Beach in Maui (you do not need to stay at the resort to visit the beach – as long as you park on any of the nearby side roads and not at the resort).
Click here for more information about the Sea House Restaurant.
Road to Hana
The Hana Highway is a 64-mile-long stretch of Hawaii Routes 36 and 360 which connects Kahului with the town of Hana in east Maui, full of incredible stops and sights along the way. It was a bit difficult for me to put the greatness of Road to Hana into words. So, instead, I will share with you some information from the Road to Hana website:
"The Road to Hana is more than just a great drive through a beautiful area of Maui. Most visitors tend to zip to and from Hana with a checklist of sights to photograph. This is the wrong way to do it. Do your due diligence beforehand, decide on a few locations that look the most intriguing, and take your time at each location.
In order to truly experience Hana, it helps to know more about the history and legends of the area. You may find out that there are legendary stories associated with each spot where Gods have left their mark and historic battles have been fought.
Transport yourself not only to Hana, but back in time to the historic moments and legendary tales that shape the islands."
Road to Hana was the activity I was most excited for in Maui. I had seen this drive featured on travel shows, adventure and tourism blogs, and on social media, and each and every time I saw something new, I would become fascinated with this drive and all of the beauty it’s home to. My only disappointment from this trip to Maui is that we did not spend nearly enough time here. It wasn’t our fault, though, because we were super delayed on our trek there due to the fire I mentioned previously. We aimed to depart from our condo by 8:00am but ended up leaving around 12:30pm because we were so drained from the day before. This drastically cut into our exploring time (aka: hours of sunlight) so we had to settle on only seeing a few key sites. This adventure was entirely worth it, and the drive was SO green and lush and the sights truly incredible. From the warm sandy beaches, to stopping by fruit and coffee stands on the side of the road, to some badass hikes, to jumping into natural pools – there is truly somethin’ for everyone on the Road to Hana, and I just wish I could have experienced more of it. I hope that if you get the chance to visit, you have more time to explore (and drive safe out there! The roads sure are windy), and I hope you enjoy reading more on the incredible sites we visited on the Road to Hana below.
Also - click here for all of the information you need to know about the Road to Hana!
ROAD TO HANA: Pipiwai TRAIL
The Pipiwai Trail is a 4 mile (takes about 2.5 hours total) roundtrip hike that takes you to Makahiku Falls, up through the majestic Bamboo Forest and finally up to the beautiful, lush, 400-feet tall Waimoku Falls. This trail is truly the greenest trail I’ve ever experienced and some moments of it were absolutely breathtaking, making you feel like you were in Narnia or some sort of fairy tale.
The trail was pretty muddy and somewhat rainy when we went, so I would suggest wearing comfortable hiking shoes and comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. I also can’t forget to share with you a very important tip: bring bug spray! My friends and I forgot to put bug spray on before the hike and this was a big mistake. About a week later I still had itchy and uncomfortable bug bites lining my calves and thighs. Also, keep in mind that each car will need to pay $20 to enter Haleakala National Park, where the head of the Pipiwai Trail is located. Since this trail is at the end of Road to Hana, this is a great spot to start with. After you complete this hike you will then be able to assess how much daylight you have left and then can map out the rest of the stops and adventures for the duration of the day.
Click here for more information about the The Pipiwai Trail.
ROAD TO HANA: BAMBOO FOREST
As you begin your trek through the Pipiwai Trail, after about a mile you will encounter the Bamboo Forest. Don’t worry about missing it – once you see it, you will see it! There are large bamboo stalks (some up to 100 feet tall) as far as the eye can see – or at least for 0.5 miles. This was truly one of the most incredible sights I’ve seen and experienced. Being completely surrounded by tall bamboo stalks makes you feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of a Tarzan movie…or the rainforest, which I guess isn’t too far off base! Make sure you stop to look up as you trek through the bamboo forest – the way the stalks grow their prickly leaves at the top and all come together is quite the sight to see. I was surprised at how dark and quiet it was in the Bamboo Forest, as the bamboo stalks shade you almost entirely from the sun. I am so glad we hiked through the Pipiwai Trail – the Bamboo Forest isn’t a sight I’ll be forgetting about anytime soon.
Click here for more information about the The Pipiwai Trail, which is where the Bamboo Forest is located. Click here to read more information about the Bamboo Forest.
ROAD TO HANA: Waimoku Falls
As I mentioned previously, the Pipiwai Trail ends at the beautiful, lush, 400-feet tall Waimoku Falls. You can’t do much at the waterfall except for admire its beauty because there is no swimming permitted at the bottom of the falls (safety first, my friends). This is a great spot to take some pictures with your friends, re-apply sunscreen/bug spray, hydrate, and eat a snack before hiking back down the same way you came in.
Click here for more information about the The Pipiwai Trail.
Road To Hana: Wai'anapanapa State Park
I had never before been to a black sand beach, so I was REALLY excited to check out Pa'iloa Beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park on the Road to Hana. Upon entering the park, I pretty much fell in love at first sight! The black sand found on this beach comes from lava and volcanic rock, and it was much thicker than the sand you’d find on a typical beach. I loved how lush and green it was at Pa'iloa Beach, right up to the black sand and beautiful glistening turquoise waters. It’s interesting to note that the translation for Wai'anapanapa is "glistening water" or "water flashing rainbow hues” – and the name surely does not lie. As you walk onto Pa’iloa Beach, you will see “lava tubes” that you can climb through (large, natural cave-like rock formations), large rocks that you can trek up if you so desire, incredible jagged coastline views, and plenty of beach to kick back and relax on with your group. If you stopped here earlier in the day it would be an ideal picnic spot!
From the Hana Highway, you will turn onto Wai’anapanapa Road and follow this to find plenty of free public parking available in a large lot. Click here to read more information about Wai’anapanapa State Park.
Overall, this Getaway from L.A. trip to Maui, Hawaii was full of beautiful sights, fun adventures, good times, and great friends. I’d highly recommend you vacation to Maui if you get the chance, and I hope you found this blog post helpful. Until my next Getaway From L.A. adventure - bon voyage, my friends!
WANDER BEYOND THE CITY LINES...
As much as I love to explore L.A., it's good for the soul to getaway every now & then. Join me as I escape from the city to explore new locations, both locally and globally!
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