We’ve driven around Kihei (too much of a spring-break-party scene), past Ka’anapali (too posh for our budget), and ended up on Napili Bay, about 15 minutes north of Lahaina on Maui’s West Side. The white-sand beach, with views toward both Moloka’i and Lana’i, is lined with low-rise condos and hotels. We spend several days lounging in the sand, snorkeling in the placid bay, and just chilling.
Despite all of the beaches, snorkeling spots, hiking trails, and outdoor adventures available in Hawaii, the undisputed best way to experience the state’s dramatic scenery is from the hovering cockpit of a helicopter. In fact, considering that a large percentage of the Hawaiian Islands are only accessible by air, a helicopter is the only way you are going to catch a glimpse of dramatic wonders such as 1,100 ft. Honokohau Falls on the island of Maui or the summit crater of Mt. Waialeale on Kauai.
Despite the popularity of neighboring islands such as Maui and Kauai, the city of Honolulu continues to see more visitors than anywhere else in the state of Hawaii. Not only is Oahu a wildly popular destination, but many visitors all opt to visit during the same few months of the year when school is out and families are able to travel during the holidays.
With all of the beauty to be found on Maui, it’s enchanting to think there’s an entire other world hidden beneath the surface of the sea. With healthy tropical corals and an abundance of marine life thriving right offshore of many island beaches, it should come as no surprise that snorkeling is one of Maui’s favorite visitor activities. With so many beaches to choose, from, however, trying to choose the perfect snorkeling location can sometimes be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list of Maui’s best snorkeling spots to help you plan your underwater getaway.
The Big Island of Hawaii (technically known as Hawaii Island), is a sprawling land of superlatives and a trivia lover’s dream. Whether it be the highest, the biggest, the longest, or youngest, this remote island in the middle of the Pacific seems to take the cake across a range of categories. If you plan on traveling to the Big Island soon, impress your friends with these little known facts and you’ll come off as an expert on your way back from the islands.
Like massive fingers cascading down a cliff face, the ridges of the Na Pali coast provide the iconic and dramatic backdrop so often associated with the island of Kauai. Nearly five million years of erosion have carved this undeveloped stretch of coastline into a panorama of precipices which plunge over 3,000 feet down into the sea, and in the native Hawaiian language the words “na pali” literally translate into “the cliffs”.
Located about a 40-minute drive from Waikiki Beach, the popular Dole Plantation is a throwback to the island’s agricultural days and a favorite Oahu family outing. A sprawling plantation which welcomes over a million people per year, visitors descend upon this central Oahu outpost to learn about the island’s agricultural heritage, ride the popular “Pineapple Express” train, and of course wander through “the world’s largest maze”.
Aside from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the town of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most popular attractions for island visitors. The hot, dry weather is a welcome change from the lush, tropical east side, and the nightlife in Kona is far superior to anywhere else on the island.
With so many towns and so many ethnic cuisines on offer, trying to figure out where to eat on Maui can be an overwhelming experience. Most visitors in resort areas tend to gravitate to oceanfront restaurants that offer the typical island experience, and while these are good for a couple of meals, the reality is that most of these restaurants are overpriced and you’re paying more for the atmosphere than you are the food.