Tours and Day Trips

MAUI

Notice:  Some of the roads on these excursions are windy and narrow; and some are one lane at a time.  Please do not attempt to drive these roads unless you are comfortable driving.  For all ocean activities and turtle sightings, heed all ocean safety warnings and never turn your back to the ocean.

 

 

For the most up-to-date regularions and to avoid any fines, please visit http://www.hanahighwayregulation.com/ before heading out on the Road to Hana.

 

Ocean Vodka / Surfing Goat Dairy / Kula Country Farms / Maui Winery

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/pUrWz8zk5pu

This trip takes you "Upcountry" and is great for a day when you want to see more than Maui's beautiful beaches!

 

Start with a tour of Ocean Vodka and see where this new libation is crafted. 

 

Then, stop at Surfing Goat Dairy to sample delicious goat cheese while the “kids” play on surfboards. 

 

From there, follow the map link to Kula Country Farms -  a must for fresh veggies and in October, the pumpkin patch and corn maze which the keiki (children) will love. 

 

And finally, continue on to the Ulupalakua Ranch to Maui’s winery for some wine tasting.  (Keep an eye out along the way for a tiny banana bread stand (phone booth size) which has some of the best banana bread on the island. )   The winery will be on your left.  Taste some of their local pineapple wines as you perouse the gift shop.  They offer winery tours if you are interested.  Across the street is an adorable country store that serves Elk Burgers. 

Haleakala Sunrise

Each day, dozens of locals and visitors alike greet the new day atop Haleakala - House of the Sun - Maui’s 10,000+ foot dormant volcano. Watch as the sun rise above the horizon and paint a blanket of clouds in a golden hue. Be sure to bundle up even in summer. It’s cold up there!  This requires advance booking due to the amount of people it draws.

Sunsets are just as spectacular and you are welcome to drive your own vehicle to the top and even hike down into the crater! The drive is amazing as you climb steadily on switchbacks and drive through clouds and even rainbows if you're lucky!   You can hike for days but we suggest just hiking an hour or two in (which will take a 1 ½ times longer hiking back out since it’s uphill).  Prepare for some other-worldly sites.  It is much cooler at the top of Haleakala, even during the summer.  Wear layers and bring lots of water, a hat and sunscreen.  

 

It's always a good idea to check the Haleakala website before heading up.  There are many reasons the park may close including when the summit gets its occasional blanket of snow.   

 

Makena

 

Located on the southern shores of Maui is Makena - an unspoiled landscape with narrow roads, incredible beaches, lava fields and a shoreline hike.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/xj5dgHVy6s52

 

ULUA BEACH – For snorkeling right from shore.  This beach is located in the resort area of Wailea, before you get to Makena, but it is worth mentioning since you can do some great snorkeling right from shore here.

 

FIVE CAVES (Or FIVE GRAVES - depending on who you ask) – Those with good balance and sturdy shoes may want to walk out on the lava finger beyond the small cemetery next to the house and the new construction going up.  Look off to the right into the water.  Generally giant turtles will surface every few minutes.  There may be a snorkel boat off shore. Be very careful as the lava is sharp and uneven and large sets of waves can wash in.  If the seas are rough, do not walk out.

 

BIG BEACH – It's best to go early in the day on bright sunny days – the scene will be spectacular!

 

LA PEROUSE BAY – Continue past Big Beach all the way until the road ends.  It will narrow near ‘Ahihi Kinau and then open up into lava fields.  Keep going until the road ends, past Makena Stables.  Park and hike along the coast, over the lava and coral pathway.  Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, hat and sunscreen.  Look for wild goats.  This hike is best early in the day.   Stay on the trail that goes along the shore as venturing inland is "kapu" - forbidden.

 

 

Iao Valley

Directions:  https://goo.gl/maps/sLsWjy4Psjz

 

This is one of our favorite places on Maui.  If the mountains behind your vacation home look ominous – wait for another day.  Iao Valley is best on a clear day and it is located on the Wailuku side of the West Maui Mountains. It is an easy side trip on a day you don’t want to take in too much.  It’s about a 40-minute drive from Lahaina and you can spend anywhere from 15 minutes to well over an hour here.  Follow the steps up and down, then follow the trails along the stream and take a cool dip in the water.  Read about the fierce battle that took place here.  Don't forget the camera!

The Road to Hana

Here is a turn-by-turn map to all the stopping points outlined below: https://goo.gl/maps/qcBw36akjmm

 

This is on almost everyone's Maui to-do list and we definitely recommend it.  Here are some tips from the locals:

  1. Leave early and take your time. It is the journey, not the destination that highlights this trip.
  2. Pull to the side of the road when you can and let the locals pass. That way, when you want to pull over for a better look at the many waterfalls along the way, you don't have someone right on your tail.  
  3. Bring a cooler, beach chairs, towels and a thermos of coffee for the ride home. 
  4. Make stops along the way. 

 

Here are our suggestion stops:

 

First stop - the Kuau Store just beyond Paia.  Load up on sandwiches, snacks and drinks before you get too far in. Don't waste your time at Twin Falls.  There is a much cooler waterfall to hike to in Hana ¬ Waimoku Falls.

 

Around mile marker 12, stop at the Kaumahina State Wayside rest area for a bathroom break and to stretch your legs overlooking the ocean and cliffs still to come!

 

Just before the turn off to Keanae, there is sharp turn to the left and a small parking area.  Park there then follow the pathway at the turn you just past to see some beautiful rainbow Eucalyptus trees.

 

Back in the car, take the left down to Keanae.  Stop at Auntie Sandy's for a shave ice or some banana bread that is usually still warm!  Then, continue past Auntie Sandy's to the end for some dramatic crashing waves.  Do not get too close and never turn your back to the ocean!

 

Back up on Hana Highway, you will pass the Halfway to Hana stand.  This is another place that has delicious banana bread in case you didn't get enough at Auntie Sandy's.

 

Just past Halfway to Hana, turn left onto Wailua Road and park in the church parking lot on the left a little ways down Wailua Rd. Although this church is beautiful, the Coral Miracle Church is located behind the small house.  Note:  This next part involves private property and things could change without notice so always be respectful.  Having said that, each time we have gone in the past, we were invited under the carport (if anyone is home, they will likely come out and invite you through) and to the right between the towering tropical plants to the Coral Miracle Church.  Take a moment to appreciate this magical place!  Step inside, sign the guest book, leave a donation and write a prayer for the alter if you like.  Look out the windows beyond the cemetery to the ocean.  Then, at the entrance to the church, look toward the mountain across the street and look for the waterfall coming down the hillside.  This is a stop that most people miss on their visit to Maui!

 

Head back onto Hana Highway and continue toward Hana.  Turn left into Wainapanapa State Park and follow the parking lot to the far left to park. At the bottom of the steps, there is a sea cave you can enter on the right.  Duck down to get in but you can stand up once inside.  Wainapanapa is a great place for a picnic and there are bath houses and showers. Hike all along both sides of the beach for great views and a peek at the blow hole!

 

Then, turn left back onto Hana Highway to enter the tropical hamlet of Hana.  Follow the signs to the beaches if you like or continue on a few miles past Hana to this other entrance to Haleakala State Park (Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o Gulch).  Park here and walk down to the Seven Sacred Pools of 'Ohe'o and then cross the street to the start of the Pipiwai Trail that leads to Waimoku Falls. This is a minimum 3-hour round trip hike.  It is relatively easy with the hardest part right at the beginning.  Once at the falls, take your photos and enjoy the site but do not venture beyond the signs.  Remember those rocks at the bottom were once at the top!

 

Many locals prefer to continue in the same direction to return home instead of turning around and going back the way they came.  If you choose this route, keep in mind the beginning of this road (just beyond Haleakala State Park entrance) is along a rocky cliff and is one¬lane in areas.  The road eventually widens and taking this route gives you another perspective of the island that most visitors never see. 

 

This route takes you up into Kula and then down Haleakala Highway where it intersects with Hana Highway near the Kahului airport. 

 

If you are hungry, enter "Makawao Road" into your GPS and stop for dinner at Polli's, a popular Mexican restaurant with great food or, head down to Paia (which you passed through earlier on the way to Hana) for more restaurant options including Café Mambo, Flatbread Pizza, Milagros, or Paia Fish Market – which are all excellent. 

 

Either way – whether you turn off for food or keep going – you will end up back on Hana Highway either in Paia or in Kahului near the airport.  Turn left (west) onto Hana Highway to head back to your vacation home.

 

Allow all day for this trip.