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Some destinations are so rich in enchanting landscapes and magical cultures that there’s never a wrong way to visit them. Maui is one such place where it’s impossible not to find beauty in every corner.
From the lush and vibrant mountainous jungles to the laid back beach towns, there is something for everyone in Maui’s breathtaking scenery. Even with just one day to visit Maui, the trip can be tailored to make it an unforgettable stop on any cruise.
With this guide, you’ll have plenty of things to do when you visit Maui, even if you’re only in this paradise for a day. Whether you venture to the island on your own or as a stop on a larger cruise to Hawaii, Maui beckons all to explore.
ROAD TO HANA: SEVEN SACRED POOLS
The Seven Sacred Pools are a day trip of their own, and depending on the arriving port, one may have to keep the trip short to make it back in time. However, the trip can be completed easily in a day by planning out the most important sights beforehand. The pools are along the Road to Hana which features stops along the waterfalls and pools. It’s a vast coastline drive with unique and outstanding views that are essential for those ready to visit Maui for the first time.
Ohe’o Gulch is a series of falls towards the end of the drive. All of the falls reside in Haleakala National Park which is also perfect for hiking and scenic rests.
During the steep cliffside drive, there are many places to explore including bamboo forests, hiking trails towards the pools, plus local souvenir stands. The drive may be intimidating, but there are many tour groups that make the trip laid back yet still exhilarating.
Lahaina is one of the largest towns in Maui, and it has a great cultural spirit in the historic downtown that extends along the pristine coastline. Once in Lahaina, it’s possible to spend the entire day relaxing in the sand at one of the many renowned beaches with periodic trips into town for a great lunch or stroll.
Boat tours are available from the cute harbor, and snorkeling lessons are a marvelous way to get close to the turtles and colorful marine life. Art galleries are scattered around town making it a great place to explore and dive deeper into the local culture.
For lunch, there are many choices from classic fish and chips to BBQ’s along with fine dining options. Pulled pork with rice is a classic Hawaiian staple, and many of the island’s fruits are readily available for a delicious smoothie. Savory sweet pork with a side of grilled pineapple is a decadent treat, and sushi and other fresh fish dishes are great for a lighter meal.
There are also many trucks and stops along the beach that have plump shrimp baskets, teriyaki chicken skewers, and other handheld foods that are great for a snack on the sand. For satisfying that sweet tooth, there are shaved ice stands all over Lahaina and Maui that are as refreshing as they are delicious!
A DAY AT THE BEACH
Maui’s beaches are diverse and full of rich details, but they all share the common trait of being exceptionally beautiful. It’s possible to fill a day with adventure by zip lining, kayaking, hiking, or riding bikes along the coast, but one can also just choose a single beach and take it all in.
There’s something magical about arriving at a perfect spot on the perfect beach and not having to rush anywhere else. Wailea, Keawakapu, and Kapalua beaches are famous for their soft sand and vast views, yet there are countless beaches across Maui that enchant visitors year-round with pink sand, picturesque views, and other charming characteristics.
Watch for whales and dolphins in the distance, listen as the waves roll in, or walk down the coast and breathe in the fresh island air. There’s no need for a busy day if it seems stressful before departing on the cruise. The island has something for everyone, and all who visit Maui have the option to choose what’s right for them.
Whether it’s a busy day on the winding road to Hana or a day spent resting on the soft sand, Maui has the cultural wealth and world-class scenery to make every day trip unforgettable!