The island state of Hawaii is one of the USA's most charming attractions. In total, Hawaii is home to six main islands, each with its own distinct landscapes, activities and highlights. One of these beautiful islands is Maui.
Take a holiday to Hawaii and visit Maui to discover its wonders for yourself. Just north of Hawaii Island and southeast of Oahu, it's easily accessed but offers its own range of wonderful features. Here's just some of what makes it so special.
Visit the town of Wailuku
If you arrive in Maui via plane, be sure to take the 10 minute drive from the airport to Wailuku. This township is home to plenty of shops and businesses, and its enchanting Market Street sure makes an impression. This street boasts many wooden storefronts where there is an abundance of shops, restaurants and bakeries that have been family-operated for generations.
There are plenty of gorgeous and historical attractions to see, including the Kaahumanu Church, the Bailey House and the Iao Theater, which was built in 1927.
Wailuku is also the gateway to the incredible Iao Valley region.
Iao Valley State Park
West of Wailuku is this stunning 1,600 hectare state park that was once a sacred burial ground for Hawaiian chiefs.
It's most famous for its towering rock outcrop, the Iao Needle, which stretches 365m into the sky and is covered in lush greenery. Take a hiking trail through this park to see the Iao Needle and be sure to take in the views from the lookout atop the ridge.
See other famous sites in the area such as the grounds of the 1790 Battle of Kepaniwai, when King Kamehameha I fought Maui's army. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, they fought a hard and ruthless battle but Kamehameha was victorious against Maui's forces.
Iao Valley is also home to the Hawaii Nature Center, where you can learn more about Hawaii's natural environment through interactive activities and demonstrations.
Go whale watching at Lahaina
Maui island is a hotspot for whale watching. During the winter months between December and May, Lahaina Harbor is a particularly great place to see the whales. There are shallow waters and calm conditions, which attract Humpback whales.
Whale-watching tour operators can take you out on the water to see whales playing in the ocean, breaching and blowing spouts. It's a far cry from Lahaina's past, as whales were once hunted here to near extinction. Today, there are conserved, but you can still delve into Lahaina's whaling heritage. The Pioneer Inn used to house sailors visiting the port, while the Lighthouse is the oldest in the Pacific. Then there's the Old Lahaina Prison, which used to house troublesome sailors overnight.
Kaanapali Beach and the Whaler's Village Mall also has a free Whaling Museum you can visit.
When in Lahaina, don't miss out on the chance to try a traditional Hawaiian luau (feast) at sunset.
Traditional hula and feast company the The Old Lahaina Luau dishes up these feasts right on the beach at sundown, with kalua pig cooked in Earth ovens, as well as Hawaiian taro starch and coconut pudding. After you've dined, you'll be treated to live music and skilled hula performances.
Haleakala National Park
See Hawaii's highest peak that stretches 3,055m above sea level at Haleakala National Park.
Take a stroll in this 12,000 hectare park, go horseriding across its ethereal terrain or plunge into a refreshing pool at the bottom of a thundering waterfall.
The Haleakala Visitor Center, situated 2,970m above sea level, is a great place to watch the sunrise or the sunset, which paints the sky a beautiful range of bright and bold colours.
If you're interested in travelling to Maui to experience these stunning natural attractions, talk to a travel agent today.