Right before the start of the school year, my mom and I had gone on our mother-daughter vacation to Maui. We had been waiting for about two years to finally go (our original trip was scheduled for Summer 2020, but COVID cancelled our plans two weeks before we were supposed to leave, so we had to rebook) so, needless to say, we were both very excited to go!
Now that I’ve been back in Chicago for a month now, I still think about the island breeze and hear the waves crashing on the shores right outside our room. I also remember the wonderful experiences we had on some of the tours, excursions, and day trips we went on.
Interested in exploring the island of Maui for yourself? Read through my recommendations and suggestions to find all kinds of adventures!
1. Zipline Tour at the Maui Tropical Plantation (Wailuku)
The 5 line adventure is for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies! Participants zip through the plantation taking in the beautiful sights and all that nature has to offer from 50 ft. above the ground. As you walk from post to post, your guides will share some knowledge on the different plants and agriculture native to the Hawaiian islands and Maui, specifically.
The best part of this tour for me was taking in all the sights. This was my first time zip-lining and I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else! It was amazing to be speeding through the air while taking in the rainforest-like views. Click here for more information and booking.
2. Wine tasting at MauiWine – Ulupalakua Vineyards (Kula)
This destination is a wine connoisseur’s dream! Make a reservation to sit out on the cottage patio to try various types of pineapple wine and small plates. Shop around inside the cottage to bring home your favorite wines and treats, and roam around the vineyard to take in the views halfway up Haleakala.
I did the Rose Estate Tasting while my mom did the Pineapple Wine Tasting. We also shared a small plate of brie cheese, rose guava jam, roasted peppers, cashews, and crackers. The jam was so good! I bought a jar for home because where in Illinois would I be able to find rose guava jam? Nowhere I can think of. Click here for more information and to book your reservation.
Related: “A Taster’s Tool Kit”
3. Cacao Farm Tour and Chocolate Tasting with Maui Chocolate Tours (Lahaina)
My mom and I both have major sweet tooths (sweet teeth?), so, naturally, a chocolate farm tour and tasting was a must for us! A tour guide will bus you up to the cacao farm to give you a guided, informational tour on cacao planting and harvesting and the chocolate making process. In the fields, you get a 9 piece chocolate tasting up in their tree house overlooking the plants. Afterwards, the bus will drop you back off at the chocolate factory and shop where you can purchase your favorites from the tasting.
Surprisingly, my favorite chocolates were the tropical flavors — mango, guava, and calamansi (lime). These fruit flavors (native to Maui) are mixed with 65% dark chocolate. They’re rich, fruity, and so delicious I can’t just choose one favorite! Click here for more information and booking.
Related: “DIY Chocolate Truffle Making Kit (Get Started Making Your Own with This Intro into the Art of Truffle Making. Includes Instructions and Ingredients to Make 6 Gourmet Chocolate Truffle Flavors)”
4. Dinner at Fleetwood’s (Lahaina)
Did you know that Mick Fleetwood lives on Maui? He does and he has a restaurant and bar called Fleetwood’s! Book your reservation for happy hour or dinner and you’ll get 10% off all purchases (including t-shirts and signed album collections) in the store dedicated to Mick’s music career as the drummer of Fleetwood Mac.
We ended up going for happy hour and everything was absolutely delicious! I recommend the Fresh Shucked Oysters and the Lahaina Burger, and Dreams to wash it all down. Click here for more information and to book your reservation.
Related: “Fleetwood Mac: The Dance”
5. Haleakala Sunrise Tour (Wailuku)
Early birds really catch the worm with this tour. A tour bus will come to your hotel to pick you up between 1:30-2:30am before summiting Haleakala, a dormant volcano on the island. The bus will make its way up the volcano in the morning darkness above the clouds. Once up there, you’ll receive a poncho (because it’s roughly 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit up top) as you wait for the sun to rise above the cloud line. Once the sun has risen, the bus will drive you down to the Maui Tropical Plantation for breakfast before dropping you off at your hotel.
This was probably the most memorable experience on my trip! I was not happy that I had to wake up literally before the crack of dawn, but you are able to sleep on the 2 hour bus ride up or down the volcano. It was so peaceful watching the sun rise above the clouds and hearing a traditional Hawaiian chant. And the pictures? Amazing! Not to mention, breakfast down at the plantation was the perfect, most delicious way to end the tour. Click here for more information and booking.
6. Whaler’s Village (Kaanapali)
Looking to get some souvenirs to bring home, but also do some shopping? Whaler’s Village has tons of shops, from souvenirs to traditional mall shops. Plus restaurants and more, this spot is perfect to bring the family after a long day at the beach.
My mom and I did most of our souvenir shopping here, and also stopped for some tasty gelato! Click here for more information.
Have another suggestion or recommendation? Comment below for others to check out!
Thanks for reading!