Things to do in Maui | Exploring Maui Hawaii
Maui played a pivotal role in the early history of Hawaii. Like other Hawaiian islands, Maui was first settled by seafaring Polynesians around 700AD. However, up until 1795, Maui and the surrounding ‘islands of fire’ were ruled by several disparate kingdoms.
Using guns seized from European explorers, Kamehameha the Great, founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii, conquered Maui in 1795. This resulted in the unification of Hawaii. However, unification did not erode Maui’s rich history or culture.
Family Things to do in Maui
Maui is rich in living history. Families visiting Maui can, therefore, immerse themselves in local history and culture, while participating in a wide range of distinctly Maui activities.
In Lahaina, Maui, local whale hunting traditions evolved in the 1820s, into a vast European and American led whaling industry. Thankfully, these days are long behind Lahaina. However, families can still learn about the history of the area, while participating in stunning (and eco-friendly) whale watching excursions.
Whale Watching Maui Activities and Cruises
Short cruises from Lahaina and nearby Maalaea on Maui, depart almost daily for stunning sights like the Molokini crater and Honolua Bay. Moreover, during winter, 4,000 to 5,000 humpback whales migrate to Hawaii. This makes Maui one of the best places in the world for not only world-class snorkeling and diving but sea life ecotourism also.
Immerse Yourself in Nature at Waianapanapa State Park
Like on other Hawaiian islands, family things to do in Maui, mostly center around drinking in spectacular scenery, and tropical mountain surrounds. With this in mind, one of the best places for family hiking on Maui is indisputably Waianapanapa State Park.
Covering 122-acres, Waianapanapa State Park is home to magnificent stone arches, blowholes, and the remains of the King’s Highway, which once encircled Maui. Even better, families can camp in stunning locations within the park. However, it should be noted that a permit is required to do so.
Maui Activities – See the Sunrise from an Active Volcano
The Big Island of Hawaii is famous for its active volcanoes. However, it’s not really a good idea to take families right into active craters. On Maui, though, it is possible to scale the island’s 10,023 ft Haleakala volcano. Moreover, many visitors do so to watch the sunrise over Maui each morning.
Scaling Haleakala takes people above Maui’s cloud line for unforgettable sunrise and sunset watching. Doing so is also safe, thanks to the fact that while active, Haleakala has shown no signs of erupting for over 200-years.
Best Things to see in Maui – The ‘Iao Valley
Located just minutes away from urban centers like Kahului and Wailuku, the ‘Iao Valley is perhaps Maui’s most must-see natural attraction.
Due to the striking beauty of towering ‘lao Valley rainforest walls, Hawaiian chiefs were historically laid to rest in this area. Moreover, even when overcast and raining, the ‘lao Valley resonates with remarkable natural beauty which will imprint on family memories for a lifetime.
Maui is a paradisaical island. However, families do need to watch out for some distinctly Maui dangers.
Shark attacks, jellyfish stings, and poisonings by plants and insects can happen. Moreover, the latter are somewhat commonplace, as many people assume that Maui’s abundance of wild fruit is all edible. Sadly, not all wild fruits are safe. Families should, therefore, be extra vigilant around curious young children.
It should also be remembered when visiting Maui, that permits are required to visit many state parks. Also, parks like Haleakala don’t offer refreshment or rest stop facilities. In this case, always take a good stock of provisions when visiting, and always be responsible and take refuse with you when you leave.