Best Things to do on Maui: Visit Hana Gold Plantation

Rich Cacao Beans and Powder

Rich Cacao Beans and Powder

Hana Gold Plantation

Hana Gold Plantation was founded on Maui in 1978 by Robert and Francine Frost.  Hana Gold produces chocolate from "branch to bar", which means that their high-quality luxury chocolate is produced with a commitment to the finest, naturally grown products created with the most environmentally thoughtful methods.

Rich in diverse flavors and subtle undertones, Hana Gold Plantation trees produce uniquely flavorful cacao beans.  The rugged slopes of the Hana Coast of Maui are cooled by tropical breezes and are naturally fertilized by the rich volcanic soil from the Haleakala Volcano.  All cacao from the Hana Gold Plantation is harvested with care by hand and processed under the watchful eye of a master chocolatier. 

Hana Gold cacao is cared for at the plantation and their chocolate is crafted on site. They only use the finest Hawaiian ingredients. Hana Gold is one of the only chocolates in the world made purely from Hawaii's bounty, making it the truest flavor of aloha in a chocolate bar.

Hana Gold chocolate can be found at Down to Earth and Sweet Paradise Chocolate in Wailea, or purchased online at the Hana Gold web site. Call ahead if you would like to take a plantation tour ($25 per adult, kids 14 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult).

Best Things to do on Maui: Hawaiian Ranch Adventures

 

The verdant slopes known as Maui’s Upcountry region are dominated by the dormant Haleakala Volcano. Touring the scenic pasture land of the Upcountry region offers an unparalleled, unique perspective of the island of Maui. The Upcountry region is the cornerstone of Maui’s rich agricultural heritage and ranching history.

Platinum Tours of Maui’s luxury Hawaiian Ranch Adventure starts at your resort. We will pick you up in one of our luxury vehicles for a brief ground tour of Central Maui before your transfer to Kahului heliport for your aerial tour of the island. We have many private properties available upcountry for your luxury ranch experience. Each landing zone offers a unique perspective of Maui, varied activities, and a delicious lunch with your choice of caterer. We will return to your resort by luxury ground tour. Available in reverse with ground tour to activity sight and helicopter departure with aerial tour, landing at Kahului Heliport followed by ground transfer back to your resort.

Become a Hawaiian Cowboy for a Day

If you would rather remain on the ground, you can experience the wonders of Maui’s interior on horseback with an exclusive Upcountry Ranch Adventure at the Piiholo Ranch. You will experience a private horseback ride guided by a professional paniolo (cowboy/cowgirl). A gourmet picnic lunch catered by renowned chef Bev Gannon of the Hali’imaile General Store will be provided.

 

Best Things To Do On Maui: Taste a Maui Onion!

Maui burger perfection!

Maui burger perfection!

Maui onions or "Kula-grown" onions are sweet, smaller onions that are grown on Maui. Their low sulfur and high-water content make them juicier, but less pungent and much sweeter than other yellow onions. Considered a local delicacy, Maui onions are so sweet, many eat them raw, like apples, but they are excellent in cooked recipes where you want a sweet onion taste, but don’t want the onion flavor to overwhelm the rest of the dish.

Many local markets carry Maui onions in season, along with other sweet varieties. They can be found year-round, but are more available in early April through June. Maui onions will keep for up to a month, if you keep them cool and dry.

Hawaiian farmers claim that a true Maui onion must be grown on Maui. The Maui onion grows best in the warm climate and rich red volcanic soil of Maui’s Mount Haleakala.

Many enjoy eating Maui onions raw, while others cook them, which makes them even sweeter. Maui onions are delicious with other vegetables for grilled kebabs, fried rings, used in soups and dips, sautéed, on hamburgers, and puréed into sauces.

Thousands of visitors each year come to the annual Maui Onion Festival to get a taste of this unique sweet onion and learn new recipes and taste new dishes. Chefs from Kā‘anapali restaurants compete to see who can create the best Maui Onion dish. The Maui Onion Festival takes place annually in Whaler's Village in Kaanapali, Maui.

 

Best Things to do on Maui: Kahanu Garden

Fresh-Picked Taro Root

On the rugged Hāna coast, in Honomā`ele, Kahanu Garden grows in the one of the largest, untamed native hala (Pandanus) forests in the Islands along the far eastern shores of Maui. Kahanu Garden is National Historic Landmark and the home to Pi`ilanihale (also known as Hale O Pi' Ilani Heiau), a massive lava-rock structure that is believed to be the largest ancient place of worship (heiau) in Polynesia. Pi`ilanihale is the largest heiau on Maui and is one of the most important archeological sites in Hawai’i, under the oversight of archaeologists from the Bishop Museum and the State of Hawai‘i.

The horticultural focus at Kahanu Garden is on plant collections from the Pacific Islands and other Polynesian cultures, including Micronesia, and Melanesia. The site hosts ethnobotanical collections including the world's largest collection of breadfruit cultivars. In addition to many diverse tropical flowering trees, one of the first collections established at Kahanu Garden was the Vanilla orchid. The Garden also features plants traditionally used by the Hawaiians including taro, sweet potato, coconut, sugarcane, banana, ‘awa and ‘uala, ipomoea batatas or sweet potato. These plants serve as food and some are used in traditional Hawaiian medicine. More than half of Kahanu Garden is covered by the largest remaining forest of native hala, or Screw Pine. Hala has many uses, for housing, mats and baskets, and even sails for canoes.

The “Canoe Garden” collections include representatives of other traditionally important plants that were brought to Hawai‘i by Polynesian settlers in canoes as long as 1,800 years ago. Kahanu Garden seeks to preserve not only these plants, but also the cultural history associated with them.

http://ntbg.org/gardens/kahanu.php
 

Best Things to do on Maui: Maui Chef's Table: A Culinary Adventure

Maui Chef's Table: A Culinary Adventure

Maui Chef's Table: A Culinary Adventure

Let us pick you up right at your resort, and share the Maui sunset with us! Watch the Maui Sun paint the sky from Kealia Boardwalk, Pali Lookout or Sugar Beach. Then experience a one of a kind dinner entertainment experience hosted by Chef Jeff Scheer, the 2015 Aipono "Chef of the Year". Chef Scheer and his staff prepare your meal live and on-site with appetizers and specialty beverage crafting service. All beverages and food including entrees are sourced from locally grown ingredients. Chef Scheer strives to create a unique "rustic refined" experience, not just for the people who live here but also for the people visiting the island. Maui Chef’s Table explores the modern tastes and textures of our island’s local and organically grown produce, fruit, and proteins. Chef Scheer is happy to interact with guests, so feel free to ask about the ingredients or the inspiration behind each course as it is prepared. 

The Maui Tropical Plantation has been operating for over 30 years. Over the years, the grounds have been transformed from show crops into a productive, working plantation.  The Maui Tropical Plantation currently maintains over 40 harvested crops, and hundreds of tropical and native plants.

The Plantation’s current features include: The Mill House Restaurant, Bar and Coffee Cafe, Tours, Retails Shops, Farm Stand, Zip Lines, Culinary Events, Entertainment, and Historical Display Pieces. The Maui Tropical Plantation’s beautiful grounds and stunning view of the gorgeous Waikapu valley will provide unforgettable memories on your trip to Maui.

https://www.millhousemaui.com/chefs-table-dinner

Hawaii Mermaid Adventures

Have you ever dreamed of being a mermaid? Well now that dream can come true, on your next trip to Maui. With a visit to Hawaii Mermaid Adventures, you can learn to swim like a mermaid on your Maui vacation. You can even buy a mermaid tail to take home.

Hawaii Mermaid Adventures swim instructors are all highly experienced CPR-certified lifeguards. You can swim, play and explore the ocean using a mermaid tail during a 2-hour lesson. Your Hawaii Mermaid Adventures instructor will guide you though an ocean habitat.  You will discover marine animals and coral.  Your lesson also includes free digital underwater photos taken by your guide, or you can have Hawaii Mermaid Adventures arrange for a professional photo shoot.  

Hawaii Mermaid Adventures has developed protocols and safety measures to ensure safe and enjoyable mermaid swimming lessons for all mermaids. Hawaii Mermaid Adventures instructors are certified marine naturalists and have many mermaid, sailor, sea-life stories and mermaid myths from around the world to share during your mermaid swimming lesson.

Adults can join in; Hawaii Mermaid Adventures is not just for the children.  Their multi-colored mermaid tales come in three sizes: 50-90 lbs, 90-150 lbs and 150-220 lbs.

Healthy Oceans Mean Happy Mermaids! Hawaii Mermaid Adventures Promotes Reef Safe Sunscreen      

Of course, it is wise to use sunscreen during your visit to Hawaii. It is important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and to protect against sunburn, skin cancer and other skin damage that can be caused by too much sun exposure. But it is widely believed that some sunscreens are killing coral reefs and causing reproductive harm in fish species.

Seek out reef safe sunscreens. Avoid any sunscreens containing oxybenzone. There are alternative products available that contain non-nano zinc oxide. Or simply avoid using sunscreen in the water. Put it on only after you are done with your swim. Instead, wear a long-sleeved t-shirt, rash guard shirt, and hats that reduce the need for sunscreen. Stylish rash guard shirts come in many different styles, with SPF ranging from SPF 35 to SPF 50. They are available in Maui shops and are a great way to prevent sunburn in and out of the water.

https://hawaiimermaidadventures.com/

Best Things to Do on Maui: One’uli Black Sand Beach

Most visitors associate black sand with the black sand beach at Wai‘anapanapa State Park, but the lesser-known (and often less crowded) One’uli Black Sand Beach is also an untamed black sand beach that is ideal for kayaking, snorkeling & diving.

One’uli means “dark sands” in Hawaiian. Unlike typical white or gold beach sand, that develops from thousands of years of ocean grinding on coral and shells, One’uli’s black sand started out primarily as lava from the nearby Pu’u Ola’i cinder cone.

At the water’s edge the sand becomes hard lava rock, so One’uli is not the ideal beach for most casual swimmers or sunbathers. But coral reefs are found just a short way off shore, making One’uli an idea place for divers and snorkelers. One’uli is a good location for Hawaiian green sea turtles (AKA “Honu”) and you may catch a glimpse of the occasional manta ray or small sharks. Keep in mind that there can sometimes be strong currents, the shorebreak can be dangerous, and there are no lifeguards or bathroom facilities. 

The proximity of One’uli Black Sand Beach to the Maluaka Wetlands also affords many opportunities for hiking, birding, and a historic fishpond is located nearby. The trails to the cinder cone can be challenging, but there are signs available explaining the trails and local wildlife.  

Near the parking lot, you'll see a grove of Kiawe trees. Kiawe trees are a form of wild, untamed kind of mesquite that shed nasty thorns into the sand below. Do not walk barefoot anywhere near these trees. Avoid them unless you are wearing strong hiking footwear. The thorns can break right through sandals and flip-flops.

Best Things to do on Maui: Visit the Upcountry Region

The slopes of the dormant Haleakala Volcano are known as the Upcountry region. Tour scenic pasture land and an unparalleled, unique perspective of the island. The Upcountry region is the cornerstone of Maui’s rich agricultural heritage and ranching history.

We arrive mid-morning at your resort to start your adventure to the slopes of Haleakala, and for a walking tour of Alii Kula Lavender Farm. After a scenic drive through the town of Kula, we’ll make a short stop in historic Makawao, then head over to the Haliimaile General Store for lunch. Then we’ll take a guided tour of the Haliimaile Distilling Company, followed by product sampling in their tasting room. Makai Glass Creations next door is available as an alternative to the distillery tour. A botanical tour of the exquisite Haiku Mill includes history of Maui’s sugar cane industry. We’ll stop at Ho’okipa Beach and the eclectic town of Paia on the North Shore before return to resort. Breakfast and lunch provided. 

The Upcountry area of Maui is also home to the cowboy town of Makawao. You could walk the entire town in under an hour however the art galleries, history museum and selection of fine shopping boutiques could keep you here for a full day. Activities in the area include Piiholo Ranch & Ziplines, Rainbow Acres Succulent and Cactus Farm, Pukalani Golf Club and more!

ATTRACTIONS:

Alii Kula Lavender Farm, O’o Farms, Rice Park, Kula Country Farms, Kula Botanical Gardens, Sun Yat Sen Park, Holy Ghost Church Kula, Grandma’s Coffee House Keokea, Maui Winery Ulupalakua, Ulupalakua Ranch Store, Nui Farms Kula, Ocean Vodka & Distillery, Surfing Goat Dairy Farm, Haleakala Scenic Lookout at 6,000 ft., Haleakala Ranch Ziplines, Olinda Forest Hike, Piiholo Ranch & Ziplines, Rainbow Acres Cactus and Succulent Gardens, Bike Park Maui, Third day Nursery, Sip Me Coffee House Makawao, T.K. Komoda Bakery, Market Fresh Bistro, Haliimaile General Store, Haliimaile Distilling Company, The Pineapple Tour, Makai Glass Company, Haiku Mill, North Shore Zipline, Colleen’s Bakery and Restaurant, Nuka Sushi, Paia Town, Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon, Kuau Store, Mama’s Fish House, Hookipa Beach Park, Maui Sugar Museum, Ululani’s Shave Ice.

Best Things to do on Maui: The Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is one of Maui’s most iconic tours. Platinum Tours of Maui offers an unrivaled difference as you wind through lush rainforest on the Road To Hana, all the way to the most pristine corner of this incredible island.

You will be picked up at your hotel, with your expert guide and driver waiting with a smile, and you’ll travel in luxury Mercedes Benz Sprinters, with leather captain chairs, wood paneled floors, personal refrigerators, USB outlets and more – all the five-star amenities you’d expect.

You’ll eat in style - no boxed lunches. You’ll enjoy ice-cold refreshments and snacks, free of charge. Breakfast is served at Charley’s Restaurant in Pa’ia. you’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch at Travaasa Hana Hotel’s open-air dining room with unobstructed views of Hana Bay.

Forget cramped vehicles. You’ll ride in luxury Mercedes Benz Sprinters, with leather captain chairs, wood paneled floors, personal refrigerators, USB outlets and more – all the five-star amenities of a private jet.

You’ll make stops that other tours miss, seeing more, and learning more thanks to our expert travel guides.

You’ll visit the remote Ke‘anae Peninsula, the Hanawi waterfall and the black sand beach at Wai‘anapanapa, with opportunities to hike and swim. Best of all, you’ll travel and explore at your own pace at each stop and destination.

Finally, a gentle transition back to civilization at Ho‘okipa beach before returning to your hotel.

Activities / Sights along the Road to Hana: Paia Town, Kuau Store, Mama’s Fish House, Twin Falls, Huelo Jungle Zip Line, Garden of Eden, Rappel Maui, Honomanu Valley, Pilipaa Taro Patch Farm, Keanae Arboretum, Keanae Congregational Church, Kilo Point, Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread, Ching’s Pond, Halfway to Hana Fruit Stand, Entabeni Farm Nahiku, Piilani Heiau, Kahanu Gardens, Mahele Farm, Hana Gold Chocolate Farm, Hala Tropical Flowers, Hana Bay, Barefoot Café, Travaasa Hana Hotel, Hana Cultural Center, Hasegawa General Store, Hana Store, Hana Ranch, Hana Ranch Restaurant,  Koki Beach, Hamoa Beach, Palapala Kipahulu Church, Maui Stables, Ono Organics Farm, Kaupo Ranch, Kaupo Store, Hui Aloha Church Kaupo, Kaupo Catholic Church, Maui Winery Ulupalakua, Ulupalakua Ranch Store, Grandma’s Coffee House Keokea, Fong’s Store, Alii Kula Lavender, Kula Country Farms, Kula Botanical Gardens and more!

Best Things to Do on Maui: Visit La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay or Keoneʻoʻio Bay is a spectacular snorkeling location for experienced divers and snorkelers. You will need strength (or a good tour boat guide) to make it past the choppy waves and silty shoreline to its well-stocked reefs. La Perouse Bay can be windy and prone to big surf in the summer.

South of Wailea, past some spectacular lava fields, at the end of Makena Alanui Road, you will find a parking lot and access to the Bay. The best time to go snorkeling is in the early morning, before the trade winds pick up.

If snorkeling is not your thing, La Perouse Bay offers a great opportunity to hikers. Start early, bring lots of water, and keep in mind there is no shade. A good hat, SPF sunscreen and other sun protection is a must. You may see pods of Spinner Dolphins, and in season, Humpback Whales. Haleakala's last eruption in the late 1700’s created the nearby lava fields. The lava fields nearby are filled with a’a or lava rocks, but keep in mind some of the area is sacred and/or part of a reserve. Please obey all posted signs, and do not remove any rocks, shellfish, sea shells, or coral from the area. If you do decide to hike, bring some good footgear as the a’a rocks are sharp, and do not hike across the lava fields. There is a list of restricted areas/items on this TripAdvisor page.

Why “La Perouse Bay”?

In 1778, English explorer Captain James Cook visited the Hawaiian Islands, but he did not land on Maui. French naval officer and explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup Comte de Laperouse came to Maui seven years later, and the Bay was re-named in his honor.