shorts & tank c/o Gentle Fawn
Happy Monday lovelies! I couldn’t think of a better way of kicking off the week than by looking back at the first instalment of my Maui adventures – hard to believe I was still on the beach less than a week ago! Maui is effectively another home for my family and I – something about it just clicked with us and it’s become our little slice of heaven that we retreat to as much as we can. If you haven’t gone, well…you need to. Simple as that. It’s such a uniquely beautiful place with a special spirit and vibe. Thankfully, since I’ve been going all these years I can give you a pretty good overview of 5 natural wonders on the island that are musts for your first trip there (or even if you’re returning and just want to explore the island more!). Click through to discover the 5 natural wonders of Maui you need to see!
1. The Road to Hana
I shared some snaps from the Road to Hana this past summer when I did it with my girlfriends a second time. The drive may be a bit windy, a bit long and at times, a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s definitely worth checking off your life bucket list at least once. The history of Hana is so unique, you won’t find a better view of the island’s taro fields anywhere than on the road, you’ll score the best lilikoi (quite possibly my favourite fruit ever), you’ll get to experience Coconut Glen’s famous ice cream and most importantly, the road has so much history and so many stories. Definitely get an audio recording to bring with you – some of them are especially hilarious actually! See more pics from this summer’s adventures here!
2. Honokalani Black Sand Beach
Other than the dozens of beautiful scenes and sights to see on the way to the town of Hana, the other reason the Road to Hana is well worth doing is that you get to experience the Honokalani black sand beach at the end, located in beautiful Wainapanapa State Park. There are no lifeguards here so while I’ve gone for a quick swim when the water has been reasonably calm (and only right by the shore, literally just dipping in), be very careful swimming as there is a strong undertow here! If you’re not keen on swimming then you’re just as well taking in the beauty of this unique beach from the shore and then getting better views by walking up the park along the sides of the beach.
3. The ʻĪao Valley State Park
The main attraction here is the ʻĪao Needle, but the whole park is beyond beautiful. Covered in a dense rainforest, you can hike along the stream then head upwards to take in the staggeringly beautiful needle. Lots of amazing history here so be sure to read the plaques and grab any info at the base!
Yet another bit of a drive (did I mention you really should rent a car when you’re on the island yet?) but so worth it when you’re at the top, taking in the centuries-old craters and volcanic landscape. Time your drive for either sunrise or sunset – I don’t have amazing snaps because I think we headed up right when I first started blogging (i.e. I wasn’t obsessively documenting everything yet), but even from the few phone-taken pics we have from way back when, the sights are so incredibly beautiful and the sunset we saw at the top is still fresh and stunning as ever in my memory. Be sure to pack a sweater as well because it gets chilly up here (and any elevated parts of the island, like Kula which has a micro-climate!).
5. Makena Beach
So Big Beach is the big star here as it is the island’s biggest and it is beautiful, but I’ll just be totally blunt and say Little Beach has and always will be my favourite beach, rivalled only by Baldwin Beach (located in Paia, my favourite part of the island). Apparently Little Beach is a nudist beach as well, and while I haven’t seen anyone’s privates hanging out yet on the beach, I like that there’s the option if the two little triangles of fabric that constitute my bikini ever begin to feel oppressive. Pack your camera because both beaches are beyond beautiful, and if you’re at Little Beach you can stop by and see the beautiful Keawala’i Church next door. And just another safety PSA: Big Beach in particular is nicknamed “Neckbreak Beach” by locals for a reason, so please be careful with the waves! Always, always, always be wary of a wave hitting you straight on – gotta dive into and under them if you want to swim!
In other travel news, other than Ireland I’m really hoping to do a road trip to Cali this summer! Has anyone ever done a Canada-to-US West Coast road trip before? Would love any and all tips! Feel free to send them my way in the comments below or by shooting me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
And finally, feel free to pin away the image above or save it for future reference! Happy Maui dreamin’ lovelies! Stay tuned for more tips on exploring the island (where to eat, where to shop, etc) in the coming weeks!