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GOLF-MAUI Activities Desk
There's more to do on Maui than just Golf
Maui Must-Sees & Must Dos

Bird of Paradise flowers are found in Maui's rain forest along the way to Hana.If you are planning your first trip to Maui, you're sure to have many questions on what to do and see during your stay. What are the "must sees" and "must dos" for even a short stay. Maui offers lots of exciting adventures, beautiful cream sand beaches, tropical rain forests and of course, 18 sunny golf courses to play. We have the best Luaus, Diving and Snorkeling, Kayaking, Helicopter Tours, Biking Down the Volcano, Surfing, Horseback Riding and great Shows.

But what are the sights and activities that are unique to Maui and shouldn't be missed? Here are our picks for the most exciting, the most popular and most rememberable things you can do during your Maui stay.

One of many waterfalls reachable from the Road to Hana.The Road to Hana
The trip to Hana is perhaps the #1 must do on Maui. This 52-mile drive from Paia to Hana takes you through Maui's rain forest and some of the most breathtaking views on the island. The trip is not about getting there, but seeing everything along the way. Pick up a guide book or the Hana Guide audio cassette so you don't miss the best stopoffs.

Allow plenty of time for the trip
Leave early, around 7 or 8 to have plenty of time for stops and to get back before dark... this is a road you don't want to drive at night. The road is narrow and winding and for several miles hugs the cliffs 200 ft. above the ocean. The speed limit is 10 mph and in some places you may think this is excessively fast. It's about a 4-hour drive including stops at scenic overlooks and waterfalls.

Lava and sand cover the beaches of the Hana coast by Mark Dahmke.
Photo by Mark Dahmke

Rocky beaches
You should arrive in Hana around lunchtime. If you picked up a picnic lunch when you passed through Paia in the morning, find a spot with a view. If not, the Hana Hotel has a lovely restaurant with wide ocean views and good food. Next to the Hotel is Red Sands beach, a secret local spot, sometimes frequented by nude sunbathers. It's a short hike over rocky coastline and it's best to be an experienced hiker to get there.

Seven Sacred Pools at KipahuluThe 7 Sacred Pools
From Hana, it's another 10 miles (along much better road) to the Seven Sacred Pools in Kipahulu. These are a series of pools, one above the other, connected by waterfalls... fun swimming if you can take the cold water.

Take the backdoor home
Going home leaves you with a choice. You can go back the way you came, or continue on around the back of the mountain. There is a 7-mile "bad patch" where you'll have to navigate around lava rocks, but it's shorter and at the end is the Tedeshi Winery on Uluapalakua Ranch where you can taste some local wine and take a break in your trek.
The Road to Hana will leave you with lifelong memories. Don't miss it.

Sunrise from the top of Mt. HaleakalaHaleakala at Sunrise
This is another full day adventure and the views are spectacular, like going to the moon. The drive is about 3 hours from Kihei and 4 hours from Kaanapali side. Arrive about ½ hour before sunrise for the full effect. You can also ride up to the summit in a van for the sunrise and then ride a bike back down the mountain... an exciting adventure! See Bike Down the Mountain for info and prices.
Haleakala crater spreads before you like a moonscape.Seeing the sunrise on Haleakala is like a view from the space shuttle. The summit is at over 10,000 feet so bring warm clothes or blankets. It's cool up there. The air is noticeably thinner at this altitude too so don't overdo the exercise.
The hike in and out of the crater is about 2 or 3 hours and you should be in good shape. Going down is easy and the way back is only tough at the switchbacks and the end. The Silversword plants and views are spectacular. Stop by the Kula Lodge on the way back for a coffee or lunch and take in the flowers of Kula Botanical Farm and the local Upcountry feel.

The sweep of Big Beach.Big Beach, Little Beach
Makena's Big Beach is one of the biggest and most beautiful in the Hawaiian islands. This special beach has warm tropical water and the southern swells are fun for body surfers. Be careful as some big swells can injure the careless. Little Beach is just over the hill where the nude bathers go... so be advised.
It's wise to leave your valuables in your room as there are occasional car break-ins in the parking lot. But take a few cold drinks and enjoy the Big Beach at Makena.

Marriott Luau in WaileaLuaus
When you come to Hawaii, you MUST take in a Luau... it's practically a State law... and Maui has some of the best feasts in the islands. All luaus have three things in common... all you can eat, all you can drink and sparsely-clad dancers for your viewing pleasure. Cost runs from $60 to $100 per person.
The most famous is the Old Lahaina Luau on the West side. On the South side, our recommendation is the Wailea Marriott Luau... at an affair featuring "all you can eat & drink" driving distance might be a consideration. For something really spedcial, check The Feast at Lele... private tables and service, plus the food and dance from 4 Hawaiian islands.

Hawaiian native, the magnificent Moorish Idol can be found off Molokini.Get Wet and Wild
With clear warm water all around, ocean activities are Maui's most popular. You can bathe on Maui's miles of uncrowded beaches, surf, boogie board, snorkel and even SCUBA dive from the shore. There are also deep sea fishing and bottom fishing boats for charter or share. And then there's parasailing off Kaanapali in the summer when the whales are away.

More ocean fun
Get away from the hotel pool and out on the ocean for some of Maui's best fun.
Ride the wind on a sailing catamaran to Lanai.
Dine and dance on a sunset cruise on Maui's largest yacht
Learn to surf... in just one hour, guaranteed
SCUBA night dive for a real experience
Surf a kayak or visit the exotic wildlife up close and personal

Exploring the lava caves with Blue Water Rafting.SPECIAL!
Raft into the lava caves

For a real above and underwater thrill, take one of the many snorkel or dive boats out to the reefs. Perhaps Maui's most unusual water activity is the rafting/snorkeling trip to the caves of Kanaio. These lava caves and arches were formed over 200 years ago when molten lava exploded from Haleakala and poured into the sea. For more, see our feature story,
The Lava Caves of Kanaio & the Molokini Abyss

A Sunshine helicopter over the "moonscape" of Haleakala crater.Tour Maui from the Air
To really absorb the scope of Maui you must take to the air. There are several helicopter tours that will take you for a bird's eye view of Maui's wonders. Look into the huge Haleakala crater or the resorts of Kapalua and Kaanapali on the shore of the West Maui Mountains and even fly to Molokai. Most operators give you a videotape of your flight, which includes your in-cabin reactions. Be prepared to spend about $200 minimum for a 1 hour flight, but the memories are well worth the price.
For tours and prices see Helicopters.

A spectacular sunset view from Haleakala.Be a Paniolo
Maui is not all wahinis in wafting grass skirts. Cattle and horse ranching has been one of Maui's prime enterprises since the old plantation days. Upcountry, Makawao is like a town from the mainland's old west. Cowboys here are called paniolos and if you'd like to be a Hawaiian cowboy, try out some of the horseback riding on the island.
The best views are from the Makena Stables ride which goes up Haleakala's gentle southern slopes. There's plenty of running room and terrific views of La Perouse Bay and the lava fields below. More info on horseback rides at Makena Stables.

'Ulalena, Maui's favorite productionLight Up the Night
Nightlife on Maui is varied and plentiful. Not only do all of the big resorts have one or more nightspots with live entertainment, but smaller bistros in Kihei and Lahaina offer local entertainment in an intimate setting.
In Kihei, for example, you can dine New Orleans-style while you listen and dance to some hot jazz at Yorman's by the Sea in Menehune Shores. Near Longs Drugs, Boccalino's also offers dining and dancing and the Tradewinds poolside bar at the Maui Coast Hotel offers the same.
Down at the Blue Course in Wailea, you can spend the evening at Mulligans on the Blue dining on Irish cooking and listening to the entertainment. On Sundays there's dancing to an Irish band. Learn the Irish Jig in Hawaii!
For a real treat, see Maui's longest running show 'Ulalena. This vast production chronicles the history of the island in original music and dance... a must see!

Planning and Booking Tips
Getting as much fun as possible into your Maui vacation requires some advance planning. For example...
A Rainbow Wrasse and a pair of Moorish Idols glide below Molokini.• Don't book a luau on a day you're playing twilight golf... luaus all begin at 5 pm and you are sure to miss the "soup course."
• It's smart to plan the sunrise bike down the volcano or a sunrise trip to Haleakala for the day after you arrive. You need to start around 3-4 am to reach the summit in time to get the full effect of the stars fading away and the crater coming into view at your feet, which is easier when your body is still on mainland time (3-6 hrs earlier than Hawaii).
• Leave your good camera in the room and buy a disposible underwater camera for beach and boating trips.
• Book your activities as far in advance as possible. The most popular get filled up fast. If you wait until you arrive the activity you want may be booked solid. Book in advance and don't miss out.
• For information and booking see Maui's Top Twelve Adventures.

To book Discount Golf or Adventures use these online links
or call, Toll-Free 800 981-5512 , or in Hawaii, 808 875-GOLF (4653)

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