Why You Should Choose Maui For Your Vacation
Of course, you want to spend your vacation among the swaying palms of Hawaii. But which island should you choose?
Why You Should Choose Maui Over the Other Hawaiian Islands For Your Vacation
So, you have your heart set on Hawaii. You’ve spent your whole life dreaming of waking up to 80-degree weather and swaying palms out your window, spending your days lounging on a golden beach, and immersing yourself in the rich Hawaiian culture. And now you’ve finally saved up enough vacation time and convinced your spouse and kids to fly across the Pacific. It’s go time!
But there’s only one problem: you can’t decide which island to visit.
It’s a tough decision; we get it. Each island is stunning and offers a unique flavor. Kauai is ultra-laid back and quiet, the Big Island is rugged, raw, and huge, and Oahu is metropolitan and buzzy. Meanwhile, Maui offers a little bit of everything: five-star restaurants, low-key beaches, rugged volcanic terrain, vibrant hippie towns, expanses of rainforests, posh resorts, beachy bungalows, some nightlife here and there… We could go on and on.
Ultimately, if you’re stuck on which island to visit, do yourself a favor and book Maui. You won’t regret it, and here’s why:
Maui is great for kids.
If you’ve got little ones in tow, you’ll be happy to hear that Maui is very kid friendly. Most major resorts (Hyatt, Sheraton, Westin, Grand Wailea, Marriott) have expansive pool areas with several waterslides and kids clubs. Plus, there are a ton of kid-friendly activities across the island, like snorkel tours, parasailing, trampoline parks, surfing lessons, and submarine rides. While the ocean can be a little rough for little ones sometimes, there are a handful of protected beaches around the island that are calm 99% of the time.
Maui is laid back without being boring.
Don’t get me wrong, Kauai is beautiful. But some travelers can get a little bored on the Garden Isle. Meanwhile, Oahu’s busy city, packed beaches, and crowds of tourists can be overwhelming. The Valley Isle strikes a perfect balance and is a major reason why you should choose Maui. There’s endless fun and activities in the touristy areas like Ka’anapali— think parasailing, jet ski rentals (seasonal), snorkel tours, golfing, live music, shopping, and ziplining. But yet, quiet hiking trails and secluded beaches are just a short drive away.
Why Choose Maui? – Maui’s many microclimates give you a taste of each island.
Kauaʻi is lush, the Big Island is volcanic, and Oʻahu is beachy. Meanwhile, Maui is a melange of the three. ʻIao Valley and the Road to Hana are similar to Kauaʻi’s green peaks and dense rainforests— Paia could be Kapaʻa’s sister town. Haleakala and the lava fields near La Perouse are evocative of the Big Island’s rawness, while the bustling Kaʻanapali strip is Maui’s best impression of Waikiki. Ok, it’s a little more laid back than Waikiki, but that’s a good thing.
Maui’s accommodations are outstanding.
Maui’s south and west sides are dotted with beachfront resorts and villas, particularly in the Wailea, Kaʻanapali, and Kapalua areas. If you have the means to stay at a five-star resort, the sheer amount of elegant options is dizzying. Most of the island’s top-rated resorts have luxe spas, shopping, excellent restaurants, and beach access. However, if staying in a sprawling resort isn’t for you, there are still quite a few affordable vacation condos, many with pools, BBQ grills, and direct beach access. Check out Maui Accommodations.
Why Choose Maui? – Maui is the best place to see humpback whales in the winter.
Seriously, there’s no better place in Hawaii— and quite possibly the world— to spot humpback whales. When whale season rolls around (November-April), thousands of whales migrate to Hawaii from the North Pacific to mate and give birth. Many of them prefer the waters off Maui’s south and west coasts. Scientists believe whales prefer these waters because it’s shallow, protected from the blustery tradewinds, and sheltered by the neighboring islands in Maui County. If you’re keen on seeing whales, and lots of them, Maui is your best bet.
Maui’s dining scene is top-notch.
Combine ultra-fresh fish, a bounty of local produce, famous chefs, and Hawaiian hospitality, and what do you get? The answer is simple: some of the best dining experiences in Hawaii. Big names like Lee Ann Wong, Sheldon Simeon, and Roy Yamaguchi boast restaurants on the Valley Isle. Five-star restaurants are studded throughout the island, from the ultra-famous Mama’s Fish House on the north shore to the award-winning Lahaina Grill— which often competes with Mama’s for the title of Best Restaurant on Maui. Plus, Maui’s college has an excellent culinary program, and there is a slew of local chefs making waves in some of Maui’s top establishments. Even some of the local hole-in-the-walls are famous for their local fare. Bottom line, you won’t go hungry on Maui as there are plenty of dining options.
Maui has more miles of beach than any other Hawaiian island.
Maui has 30 miles of swimmable coastline— which might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it is. There are more beaches than you could manage to visit on a two-week vacation, with sand ranging from gold to white to black to gray to red. However, this also means it’s almost always possible to find a secluded— or at least minimally crowded— beach. You’ll want to stick to the south and west sides for swimming and snorkeling. These areas have the most user-friendly beaches, and the conditions are usually much calmer than on the north and east sides.
Maui is rich in interesting history.
The history of the islands is downright fascinating— from Polynesian voyagers crossing thousands of miles of open ocean using only the stars to guide them, to stories of great kings and battles. The most fun way to get a dose of history and culture is to visit a luau, but today’s luau is more for entertainment than education. For an authentic history lesson, visit the Bailey House Museum, full of rare artifacts collected on Maui. Or, download the free Lahaina Historic Walking Trail app to learn about the unbelievable events in Hawaii’s old capital.
You can also visit a bonus island while on Maui.
Maui County comprises four major islands: Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Molokaʻi, and Lanaʻi. And while Kahoʻolawe is off-limits to the public and Molokaʻi doesn’t have the infrastructure to welcome many visitors (there are not even stop lights here), Lanaʻi makes for a quick and easy day trip. Pay a visit to the palm-fringed Hulopoʻe Beach or explore the quaint town of Lanaʻi City. You can take the Expeditions Ferry from Lahaina Harbor for a DIY trip, but we think Trilogy is the way to go. They’ll feed you, entertain you, and show you all the best spots near Hulopoʻe and Manele.
Enjoy the room and elevation afforded by a double decker catamaran, given unprecedented views. Expert marine naturalists will guide you through your whale watch and answer all your humpback questions.
Trilogy has been hosting Maui visitors for over 40 years, and the knowledgeable crew and spacious catamarans make for an informative and comfortable day on the water.