Snorkeling in the unspoiled seas near Molokini Atoll with beautifully colored fish and branching coral is a unique experience. Maui is a tranquil Hawaiian paradise that appeals to outdoor enthusiasts, history aficionados, and surfers alike. Visitors come to Valley Isle for one-of-a-kind experiences, and here are six of the best.
Explore a dormant volcano in Haleakalā National Park
Haleakal, a huge shield volcano, dominates more than three-quarters of Maui. Visitors to this national park can backpack or day walks across the volcanic scenery and spend the night within the crater. The crater’s interior is one of the most peaceful areas on the globe, and the barren terrain appears to be from another planet. It’s also a terrific spot to see native plants and animals and learn about the area’s fascinating Hawaiian culture and geology. Many visitors come here for the stunning vistas at approximately 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) above sea level.
Wander through a lavender farm in Ali’i Kula Lavender – Unusual experiences in Maui
Although lavender is not a tropical plant, the mild temperature and elevation of upland Maui provide the ideal conditions for it to grow. This lavender farm and shop have been a peaceful refuge for visitors wishing to buy organic lavender items and learn about homeopathic medicines for more than 20 years. Farm tours feature 45 species of lavender, olive trees, hydrangea, protea, and succulents, all framed by beautiful island vistas. Locals from the outer islands enjoy stopping to buy gifts for their friends and family back home.
Snorkel or scuba dive at a volcanic atoll – Unusual experiences in Maui
Once a cinder cone, Molokini atoll rests in the pristine blue waters near off Makena State Park and draws all kinds of marine life, from colorful fish to honu (green sea turtles). The eroding crater is currently a State Marine Life & Bird Conservation District and one of the most popular scuba diving destinations. Access to the waters near Molokini is restricted due to its status. The island is only accessible via one of the many organized tour companies and boat rentals.
Walk through one of Hawaii’s most famous ancient battlefields
The 4,000-acre ao Valley State Monument is home to the 1,200-foot-high ao Needle, a volcanic rock protrusion that towers above waterfalls and the ao Stream. The park has a small walking track that leads up to a viewing point and through a botanical garden with native Hawaiian plants. Because of the Battle of Kepaniwai, this valley is noteworthy in Hawaiian history. Maui’s troops made their final stand against King Kamehameha I in 1790, who went on to conquer and unite the Hawaiian Islands. According to legend, there were so many dead troops that the river was blocked and the water became red.
Witness the epic power of mother nature in Peʻahi
Peahi, popularly known as Jaws, is located on Maui’s North Shore and is noted for its enormous winter swells. Simply witnessing the breaking waves from the shore will get your adrenaline pumping. Peahi has had more of the world’s largest waves surfed each year than any other break. Every winter, the world’s best surfers flock here for the Red Bull-sponsored big wave contest.
Bike down a shield volcano – Unusual experiences in Maui
Visitors can sign up for one of the several morning bike rides down Haleakal’s slopes. The one-of-a-kind journey begins above the clouds and leads riders past spectacular views of the entire island—a fantastic photo opportunity. This activity can be combined with a sunrise viewing at the summit for a very unique start to the day.