That is one of the best island to go to in Hawaii proper now

Anybody who’s ever deliberate a Hawaii vacation — and has been challenged with selecting one (only one) island for a getaway — may in all probability profit from a flowchart diagram that asks you a sequence of questions and, voila, reveals which Pacific paradise could be your private favourite.

You need world-class browsing, you say? Go to Oahu, significantly the North Shore, which churns out large waves. Enamored by lava fields? Hawaii, aka “The Huge Island,” is looking; it’s dwelling to Kilauea and Maunaloa, two of the world’s most energetic volcanoes. A sucker for tenting amid untamed pure magnificence? Observe your wild coronary heart to Kauai, which is nicknamed the “Backyard Isle” for its riveting panorama of serrated mountain edges, cascading waterfalls and valleys so lush that Pantone ought to identify a shade of inexperienced after the vacation spot.

Actually, every of Hawaii’s six largest islands have beautiful and distinctive attributes, which is why interisland flights are positively value exploring. However for somewhat little bit of every part on one piece of land, the 728-square-mile island of Maui delivers on many Hawaiian highlights: surf, iconic seashores, waterfalls, volcanoes, championship golf programs, tradition, culinary traditions and extra. Plus, there are many only-in-Maui experiences available, together with scuba diving at a submerged volcanic crater, touring a dairy farm the place playful goats romp round on surfboards, and braving the scenic Road to Hana drive, a serpentine route with 620 turns, 5 dozen slender bridges and limitless magnificence.

A view of Kahakuloa Head and Kahakuloa stony seashore from the Kahekili Freeway on Maui.

Peter Unger/Getty Photos

As Hawaii’s second-largest island, Maui provides itineraries that may be curated for every type of vacationers, from romantic sunsets on the summit of Haleakala for {couples}, to kid-friendly actions like swimming lessons with mermaids and turtle snorkel excursions, to serene jungle hikes and waterfall-rappelling expeditions for probably the most adventurous vacationers.

Right here’s extra on why Maui is likely to be one of the best island to go to in Hawaii proper now, plus concepts for what to do and see while you’re on the “Valley Isle,” the moniker given to an island that’s flanked by mountains.

The 4 Seasons Maui at Wailea was used throughout filming of HBO’s “The White Lotus” because the backdrop for an idyllic Hawaiian resort.

Brittany Anas for Hearst

Why Maui is having a second 

So far as visitation numbers go on the islands, Maui doesn’t get as many vacationers as buzzy Oahu, however its variety of vacationers surpasses different fashionable islands like Kauai and Hawaii, in line with tourism figures. The numbers released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority present that the variety of guests to Maui was up 4% in September 2022 when in comparison with the identical month in 2019, earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic skewered tourism stats worldwide.

One attainable motive that Maui is having a second could possibly be the viewership of HBO’s “The White Lotus” anthology sequence that was set on the island throughout its first season and scooped up 5 Emmys in 2021.

Actors together with Murray Bartlett, Jolene Purdy, Natasha Rothwell and Lukas Gage in HBO’s “The White Lotus” in 2021. The primary season of the sequence was set at an idyllic resort on Maui and should have helped increase tourism on the island.

Mario Perez/HBO

The present tantalizes viewers with drama, sure, but additionally vignettes of deep-blue waves lapping golden sand and palm timber nodding within the breeze. Mike White’s satirical sequence about white privilege and wealth premiered simply as wanderlust was mounting amid the pandemic. With journey largely on maintain, folks had an opportunity to not solely dream up the place their subsequent getaway could be, but additionally pause to think about the influence that journey has on native communities and the way they may make future journeys extra significant.

As journey rebounds, Hawaii tourism officers are encouraging Maui guests to attach with the vacation spot in a purposeful manner via voluntourism applications, with the concept being that your relationship with the island grows even stronger while you malama (give again). With that in thoughts, the Malama Hawaii Program provides volunteer opportunities for tourists, together with Maui-based initiatives like serving to the Pacific Whale Foundation to wash up the shoreline.

An aerial view of the luxurious 4 Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea reveals why it served because the filming location for HBO’s “The White Lotus” throughout its first season.

Picture Courtesy: 4 Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

You possibly can keep on the precise “White Lotus” resort

For anybody entranced by the great thing about the seashore and resort scenes in “The White Lotus,” you possibly can reside out a real-life (drama-free) trip on the lodge that didn’t encourage the present, however did present the filming location: The Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, which is perched on a coveted stretch of Wailea Seaside.

The glam ocean-front resort options an adults-only infinity pool that provides front-row views of fiery orange sunsets and plush cabanas designed with fine-art photographer Grey Malin’s aerial seashore pictures.

The resort has additionally made a reputation for itself as a culinary vacation spot with eating places like Wolfgang Puck’s seafood-centric Spago, the open-air, torch-lit Italian restaurant, Ferraro’s, and Duo, which boasts a decadent menu with “land” and “sea” sections. Plus, there’s a breezy foyer the place company can get pleasure from sushi rolls and cocktails to the sounds of reside music.

The waterfall pool at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea offers cabanas for guests to enjoy at poolside.

The waterfall pool on the 4 Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea provides cabanas for company to get pleasure from at poolside.

Picture Courtesy: 4 Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

The 4 Seasons additionally provides wealthy cultural programming like lei making, outrigger canoeing expeditions that always embody sea turtle recognizing, block print artwork lessons, and after-dusk star talks with a Hawaiian navigator who shares how Polynesian wayfinders used stars and wind to navigate the huge Pacific Ocean. Artwork markets are additionally hosted on the resort, with native makers promoting gems like authentic seashore pictures transposed onto shiny surfboards.

Different Maui resorts are providing new packages and distinctive providers, too, together with a lately launched Ohana New Parents Package at Marriott’s Wailea Seaside Resort, which features a keep at a sundeck suite that comes with a crib, diapers and different necessities to make child’s first trip as stress-free as attainable for everybody. And for those who’re planning to suggest, the island’s Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa provides two unique packages catered round that milestone, full with a proposal concierge who will assist make the second go off flawlessly.

As resorts like these will show, Maui is the most costly of the Hawaiian Islands, with average daily hotel rates north of $600 and the highest-priced resorts within the luxurious stretch of Wailea. For vacationers searching for extra budget-friendly stays, there are many choices that embody smaller boutique lodges, the Best Western Pioneer Inn, and the Banana Bungalow Maui Hotel and Hostel, which provides free expeditions that rotate each day, like a visit to Lahaina, which was as soon as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and an all-day outing to Haleakala Nationwide Park. You should definitely check Airbnb for Maui rentals that supply charges as enticing because the views.

A humpback whale jumping and splashing in the ocean. These majestic giants can be seen off the shores from any island of Hawaii.

A humpback whale leaping and splashing within the ocean. These majestic giants could be seen off the shores from any island of Hawaii.

marcelozippo/Getty Photos/iStockphoto

Why winter is one of the best time to go to Maui

As temperatures plunge within the continental U.S., it turns into a great time to plan your go to to The Valley Isle. Whereas the island has micro climates, with their very own distinctive climate patterns, guests can anticipate it to stay a balmy 78 levels through the summer season months, with temps dipping about 10 levels at evening.

Sunshine and heat apart, winter is nice on Maui, particularly for nature lovers. Along with the majestic sea turtles that play peekaboo with you whilst you’re snorkeling or swimming, it’s the time of 12 months that North Pacific grey whales make their winter commute from Alaskan waters. December to March is prime time for whale watching, with some sightings coming as early as November.

Though humpback whales could be seen from any of the Hawaiian Islands, the shallow Auau Channel, between Maui, Molokai and Lanai, is likely one of the greatest whale-watching locations on this planet, in line with the Pacific Whale Foundation. That nonprofit group leads whale-watching excursions departing from each the Lahaina and Maalaea harbors and provides a three-hour journey with a licensed marine naturalist on board who is ready to give professional commentary in regards to the giants you may hopefully see.

A girl enjoys a swimming gap at Higher Waikani Falls, additionally know because the “Three Bears,” simply one in every of many beautiful stops on the scenic Highway to Hana on Maui.

Ed Freeman/Getty Photos

What to do on Maui: 5 must-try experiences

It will not shock you to learn that Maui’s fundamental points of interest are its pristine and picturesque seashores. From the jap Hamoa Seaside, that’s surrounded by hala timber, to the onyx sand on Honokalani Black Sand Seaside, to the three-mile stretch of scenic shoreline on the western edge’s Kaanapali Seaside, you could find a beautiful place to tan on each aspect of the island. However, for those who can peel your self away from the sand, there’s a lot extra to expertise on the island.

Right here’s a pattern of issues to see, do and style whereas on Maui.

A section of the gorgeous Road To Hana route on Maui, Hawaii, is shrouded in a thicket of lush greenery.

A bit of the attractive Highway To Hana route on Maui, Hawaii, is shrouded in a thicket of lush greenery.

Shobeir Ansari/Getty Photos

Drive the Highway to Hana

The 64-mile Highway to Hana is a route dotted with scenic stops, together with fruit stands, mountaineering trails and overlooks that defy description. The winding street would take three hours to drive with none stops, however you need to plan for a lot of, together with the Koolau Forest Reserve, the place you possibly can take a refreshing dip in an emerald pool beneath a waterfall, and Hana Farms, which fires up pizza and sells baked items like macadamia nut banana bread.

Garden of Eden is one other worthy detour on this route. Created by an arborist and panorama designer, the botanical backyard has nature trails, waterfall views, a colourful assortment of ti vegetation, scenic overlooks and a bamboo grove.

Maui Seafood Salad from the Paia Fish Market in Paia, a census-designated place in Maui County, Hawaii.

Maui Seafood Salad from the Paia Fish Market in Paia, a census-designated place in Maui County, Hawaii.

Michelle S. through Yelp

Eat at a fish home

A effective eating sizzling spot on Maui’s North Shore, Mama’s Fish House books out months upfront and has a menu that rotates with the seasons however would possibly embody dishes like macadamia nut crab truffles and mahimahi curry. If you happen to can’t snag a reservation, don’t fret: there’s loads of recent seafood on the island. One favourite is the informal Paia Fish Market the place you possibly can select from a half dozen recent catches and decide the way you need it ready (sauteed in butter, garlic, lemon and wine, or rolled in Cajun spices, maybe?).

A hiker with backpack walks through tall trees on the Waihee Ridge Trail on Maui, Hawaii.

A hiker with backpack walks via tall timber on the Waihee Ridge Path on Maui, Hawaii.

VisualCommunications/Getty Photos

Hike Waihee Ridge

There’s no scarcity of mountaineering trails on Maui, however the five-mile spherical journey Waihee Ridge Path is one which rises above the remaining and demonstrates how the Valley Isle earned its nickname. The ridge-line ascent within the West Maui Mountains reveals off lush valley views. Simply know that it is a steep trek which may not be splendid for novice hikers.

A sunrise is seen at Haleakala National Park on Maui, Hawaii. Witnessing a sunrise at the park requires a reservation as it's one of the most popular attractions on Maui.

A dawn is seen at Haleakala Nationwide Park on Maui, Hawaii. Witnessing a dawn on the park requires a reservation because it’s one of the crucial fashionable points of interest on Maui.

FrozenShutter/Getty Photos

See a dawn (or sundown) at Haleakala

Maui’s Haleakala Nationwide Park has many attracts. Within the Kipahulu district, you possibly can hike the Pipiwai Path, which leads you thru a bamboo forest to the Waimoku Falls, the place water gushes down a 400-foot wall of lava rock. However the Summit aspect of the park is a well-liked place for watching sunrises and sunsets (the previous requires a reservation).

Tranquil turquoise-colored waters are seen on the quiet Maluaka Beach of Maui, Hawaii.

Tranquil turquoise-colored waters are seen on the quiet Maluaka Seaside of Maui, Hawaii.

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Snorkel at Maluaka Seaside 

Pack your snorkel gear (or hire some from a neighborhood clothing store) and head to Maluaka Seaside, aka Turtle City. You’ve acquired a great likelihood of recognizing majestic Hawaiian green sea turtles in these waters. These creatures can weigh over 300 kilos and are a protected species, which means guests ought to preserve their distance whereas marveling at them.

Editor’s notice: SFGATE acknowledges the significance of diacritical marks within the Hawaiian language. We’re unable to make use of them as a result of limitations of our publishing platform.

This story was edited by Hearst Nationwide Editor Kristina Moy, you possibly can contact her at

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