Living in Maui County: Things to Do and See in Maui County
Maui: Tropical Island Paradise
Close your eyes and picture your tropical island paradise. Have you conjured up gorgeous beaches, crystal clear waters, tropical forests, imposing volcanic peaks, and a perfect climate? If so, then your dream of island bliss can be realized on Maui, in the state of Hawaii.
Maui was formed by two shield volcanoes, whose lava flows overlapped and formed and isthmus, giving the island its cinched shape. It was settled by Polynesians in three waves. Settlers from the Marquesas made up the first two waves, which occurred before 450 CE and then in 450 CE. The third wave of settlers came from Tahiti in 700 CE, and they brought along with them the customs and beliefs that would form the key pieces of traditional Hawaiian culture. In 1778, Captain Cook became the first European explorer to see the island, though he never landed there because he could not find a suitable anchorage. In 1810, after conquering all the Hawaiian Islands, including Maui, King Kamehameha the Great proclaimed the formation of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui possesses immense natural beauty. Take an early morning trip to the top of the 10,000-foot-tall dormant volcano Haleakala to witness one of the world’s greatest sunrises from above the clouds. If you are really adventurous, attempt the bike ride back down the volcano in the early morning sun. Experience the lush, tropical rainforests of Hawaii by taking a drive down the Hana Highway. Built in 1900, the long and winding road offers fantastic vistas of Maui’s gorgeous coastlines and picturesque waterfalls along its 620 curves and from its 59 bridges. Hop on board a catamaran for a day trip to the surrounding islands of Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe or Molokini, which are all part of Maui County.
With its enchanting natural beauty and comfortable climate, Maui is the perfect place for outdoor activities and sports. Maui is famous for its pristine beaches, so much so that it is impossible to name a favorite. From resort-lined Kaanapali Beach to the quiet intimacy of Honolua Bay, Maui offers a multitude of amazing beaches, each with its own character and unique qualities. It is no surprise that Maui is a premier destination for surfing, kiteboarding and kayaking. The island’s crystal clear waters also make it a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Maui is also a golfer’s paradise, offering some of the best and most captivating courses in the world. Wailea Gold, the Challenge at Manele on Lanai, The Dunes, Kapalua Bay, and Wailea Old Blue are just some of the critically acclaimed courses that distinguish Maui as a world-class golf destination. After a morning on the green, head inland and explore Maui’s great hiking and mountain-biking trails.
This tropical locale also offers some of the best shopping and dining in the Hawaiian islands. Maui is definitely a foodie’s paradise. Restaurants on Maui take immense pride in using locally sourced ingredients, including produce from organic gardens, fresh-caught fish, and grass-fed beef from the island’s upcountry pastures. As a result, Maui’s cuisine is truly and authentically Hawaiian. After lunch or dinner, take a break and explore some of the great shops and galleries that are on the island. Stroll around Lahaina, with its beautiful banyan tree square, and enjoy the town’s charming atmosphere and wonderful galleries, featuring works by local artisans and craftsmen and pieces by world-renowned artists and photographers. Also in Lahaina is the Old Lahaina Luau, which presents the history of the Hawaiian Islands and culture through song and dance. In Kaanapali, enjoy great shopping at Whaler’s Village and learn about the island’s maritime economy at the Whaler’s Village Museum.
If something ever possessed you to leave this paradise on earth, there are direct flights available to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Portland, and Seattle on the West Coast, and to Sydney, Australia and Tokyo, Japan. Alternatively, take a 35 minute flight to Oahu and fly to your destination of choice from Honolulu International Airport.
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