After spending some time soaking in the beauty of Maui, Kristen Sarah of Hopscotch the Globe shares what makes this Hawaiian island so special and why you need to experience it for yourself:
When I think of the perfect definition to experience paradise, I think of Maui. This Hawaiian island is located in the middle of the Pacific and has everything you can dream of. When you think of Maui, one of the first things that may come to mind is the perfect honeymoon destination or romantic escape. After spending five days on this island solo, I would have to agree with the assumption that Maui is for couples. However, solo travellers should still consider the island when thinking of where to travel next.
Regardless of if you’re with a partner or alone, renting a car in Maui is a must if you want to get the best out of your island experience. Once you’ve picked up your car, the following three places are a must see:
Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm
The Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm in Maui is a place to spend the afternoon to relax, rejuvenate, and renew. The drive up to the farm is beautiful and peaceful. Once you arrive at the farm, the gatekeepers welcome you with big smiles. As soon as you step out of your car, you inhale the most amazing aroma of lavender and quickly feel relaxed. As your eyes wander around the property, you realize that fields of purple flowers surround you. Not only is the farm home to a variety of lavender plants but also other colourful flowers, interesting herbs, and delicious vegetables. You have the option of joining a guided tour of the farm or exploring on your own, but either way should be enjoyed slowly.
After spending some time smelling then various types of lavender and taking in the stunning views, a visit to the lavender shop is a must. If you’re a lavender lover like myself, I would recommend being extra cautious with your spending money. You can get anything from lavender coffee to lavender scones, lavender body butter to lavender pet shampoo. Whatever your heart desires, the lavender shop has something for you.
The Road to Hana
I could write an entire article dedicated to the Road to Hana. It is like the Machu Picchu of Maui; you cannot go to Maui without experiencing it. So, roll the windows down, turn the Hawaiian tunes up and follow the Hana Highway up the 68-mile long mountain road.
To really experience Hana, you need more than a day to really take your time and soak it all in. However, if you really must do the Hana Highway in a day, go just before sunrise and return after sunset. Taking the Hana Highway up to Haleakala is the most popular option. Watch the sunrise while standing among the clouds at a 10,000 feet elevation. It’s truly a stunning sight to see.
The great thing about the Road to Hana is that although it can be very busy with tourists, there are little secluded gems to be found. I ended up parking my car on the side of the road and walking into the forest for 30 minutes before stumbling upon a beautiful waterfall. There was only myself and another couple there, but for the majority of the time, I got to have this experience to myself. It was magical. I can’t tell you exactly where it is because I don’t know, but I am positive you can find your own hidden gem.
Old Lahaina Lu’au
Visiting Maui isn’t complete without experiencing a Lu’au. A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. I got the chance to experience this Hawaiian tradition at the Old Lahaina Lu’au. When you enter the Lu’au, you are immediately lei’d by a man or women while beautiful Hawaiian music combining stunning vocals accompanied by a ukulele play in the background. You are then given a welcome drink and taken to your table.
Be sure to cab it to Old Lahaina Lu’au because your ticket includes all you can drink as well as the buffet and show. Go all out trying the various tropical alcoholic beverages garnished with beautiful flowers and delicious fruit. Before the buffet opens, guests may gather around the dirt pit, as the kalua pig is unearthed from the “Imu”, our traditional Hawaiian underground oven.
The buffet consists of traditional Hawaiian cuisine including: Ahi Poke (marinated raw Ahi tuna), Big Island Sweet Potato, Maui Style Mahi-Mahi and of course, Kalua Roast Pork, Laulau (Pork wrapped in Luau leaf steamed to perfection).
After dinner and upon sunset, the evening’s main entertainment begins. The show tells the story of the Hawaiians beginning with the history of the Polynesian migration, then to the ancient Hawaiian Hula, followed by the evolution. The show includes captivating Hula dancing by both the men and the women.
Maui is definitely a little piece of a paradise waiting for you to discover. The above is only a taste of what you can see and do on the island. Maui has so much to offer, that it may just be one of those places you will have to visit more than once.
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