With three activity-packed days on the island of Maui, you’ll experience sun, sand, and sea with a healthy dose of outdoor activities, island exploration, and even the chance for a day trip to see the highlights of Honolulu on neighboring Oahu. Here are some ideas for making the most of your 72 hours on Hawaii’s Valley Isle.
Today is all about Maui’s abundant natural attractions—its postcard-perfect beaches, lush valleys, and volcanic peaks. Spend your morning with an outdoor adventure on land: take a guided bike tour to the summit of Haleakala at sunrise; go ziplining through the West Maui mountains; hike to a waterfall in the rain forests of East Maui; or head out on an oceanfront horseback ride. In the afternoon, explore Maui on the water between bouts of lazing on the beach: take a surfing lesson or go parasailing high above the sea; hop aboard a sailboat for a few hours of snorkeling or whale watching; or discover Maui beneath the surface with a journey aboard the Atlantis Submarine. End the day with a romantic sunset dinner cruise.
No trip to Maui would be complete without a journey along its legendary road, the Hana Highway. Let someone else take the wheel as you embark on a guided day tour, soaking up the views along the scenic route’s 64 miles (104 kilometers) of beaches, waterfalls, lush bamboo jungle, and sleepy beach towns. Each twist and turn—there are more than 600 of them—reveals something new. Highlights along the way include the Seven Sacred Pools of Oheo, Twin Falls, Ho‘okipa Lookout, Honomanu Bay, Hana Lava Tube, numerous white- and black-sand beaches, and, for a touch of history, Palapala Ho‘omau Church, where aviator Charles Lindbergh is interred. Finish off your day on the island with a quintessential Hawaiian tradition: a beachfront luau.
Now that you’ve experienced the best of Maui, it’s time to head farther afield to one of its neighboring islands. One of the most popular options is Oahu, where you can spend the day paying your respects at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument—home of USS Arizona Memorial—at Pearl Harbor, touring the USS Missouri, strolling downtown Honolulu, and spending some time on iconic Waikiki Beach. You might even have time for a quick hike to the summit of Diamond Head. Alternatively, head to Molokai, one of Hawaii’s less-visited visitable islands. Fly across the Pailolo Channel and take a guided tour of the Friendly Isle, stopping at the Molokai Museum, Kaunakakai Town, Purdy Macadamia Nut Farm, and a coconut grove along the way. End your day with a quick return flight to Maui in time for a farewell dinner.