Wowee, Maui

Maui is one of those places where you can spend time relaxing in a resort or diving off cliffs and hiking volcanoes. Whatever option you choose, Maui is not a place you will be horribly disgusted by the scenery you see. We headed to Lahaina on the west side of the island and set up digs for 5 nights, which in my opinion was perfect, though I wouldn’t ever complain if I had to stay anywhere longer.

While you are in Maui, there are some non-negotiable activities that must be ticked off

Must See
Waterfalls
While everyone you speak to will suggest doing the ‘Road to Hana’, which is beautiful in its own right, it also requires a large chunk of time. If you are pushed for time and would rather not sit in traffic all the way to Hana, maybe consider ‘Twin Falls’. It is only 90 minutes from Lahaina and has easy access from the car park on the side of the road. The secret is to keep walking to the second fall, which is less crowded and more hidden, making it feel like you are in a scene of ‘The Beach’, apart from the less than perfect paradise of course.

Black Rock
This is a popular spot for cliff diving as many visitors descend from all the other hotel beaches down to Black Rock just near the Sheraton. Who can resist a huge rock to jump off? Well, me, but it’s just not my thing, I’d rather take photos.

Must Do
Snorkel and swim with turtles
This was my number one priority on this trip and was nothing short of amazing. Snorkel sets are a dime a dozen in Maui and can be picked up at your hotel or various small rental shops near the beaches for a small fortune. Head to any of the sweet snorkeling spots such as Kapalua Bay or Black Rock and find yourself a few Honu’s (Sea Turtle in Hawaiian). Watching these guys glide effortlessly through the water like they own the joint (mainly because they do) is mesmerizing. Just remember they are protected animals and shouldn’t be touched or harassed.

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Surf or Stand Up Paddleboard
If you come to Hawaii and spend 99% of the time in the water, you have done it right. This is surfing and paddle boarding heaven and you will not be searching far for a place to rent a board or two for the day. And if you aren’t sure whether to jump on a board, ask yourself why the hell not? When will you be back in Hawaii with a chance to surf? Paddle boarding is also a great core and arm workout for those who don’t feel like face planting into a wave of sand every 5 seconds. At least that’s what I know I would be doing if I tried my hand at surfing.

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Road trip
If you can tear yourself away from the beach for a day, I highly recommend exploring other parts of the Island. Of course, the popular ‘Road to Hana’ is on the most lists, but try a trip to Paia, a small town with a local vibe and some great food to try. You might even see local resident Willie Nelson.

Must Eat
Mama’s Fish House
This may be Maui’s best restaurant and a landmark in itself. It is quite pricey but well worth it! I had the Sashimi for an appetizer and Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi stuffed with lobster and crab for entrée! Also, don’t forget to order a cocktail or two. They are pretty special.

Shaved Ice
There are many places to pick up the popular ice treat in Hawaii, but Ululani Shave Ice is only available in Maui and boasts the largest flavor menu. It’s the perfect ‘beat the heat’ treat when water just won’t cut it.

Must Stay
Sheraton Maui Resort is one of those hotels where you can literally step out of your door and walk a few meters to the beach. In my opinion is was the best beach and it seems like many agreed with me as many trekked down from other resorts.

Most of all enjoy the friendly Hawaiian spirit that radiates around the island…and get a good tan.

Aloha and Mahalo

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

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