There’s a reason vacationers flock to the second largest Hawaiian island: It manages to be luxurious, rugged, and scenic all at once. Journalist Leah Bhabha’s official Maui tour awaits below.
Nestled in a tropical hillside high above the sprawling beachfront resorts lies Hotel Wailea. This adults-only, five-star Relais & Châteaux retreat is quiet and peaceful, with 15 acres of manicured grounds featuring on-site waterfalls, an open-air wellness studio, and unobstructed views of three Hawaiian islands. The suite-only accommodations, which include private balconies and kitchenettes, are designed with solitude and comfort in mind.
Right in the surf town of Paia, this cute boutique hotel’s chic beachside suites & rooms each boast open-air entry, private beach access, and Bali-inspired architecture and design.
The Bamboo Hale at Hāna Farms
If you’re doing the Road to Hana, make sure to stop at Bamboo Hale Café — a working farm, marketplace, and bakery in Eastern Maui. Their pizzas are artisanal, with local Maui grown meat, produce, and herbs from on-site Hana Farms.
Originally opened by hometown hero (and Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon), Lineage is now helmed by executive chef Emmanuel Eng. The restaurant, located in the upscale Shops at Wailea, celebrates a number of cuisines including Hawaiian, Korean, and Chinese—with fantastic results. Don’t miss the Korean fried chicken, shrimp and scallop toast, or garlic Szechuan noodles.
The Birdcage Bar
The Hotel Wailea’s Birdcage Bar challenges every notion of a hotel bar. The indoor-outdoor space features a wooden atrium with chirping birds, sweeping ocean views, and perfectly balanced (and inventive) cocktails.
Road to Hana
A scenic 64.4-mile-long route that serves as the perfect Maui daytrip. Officially called the Hana Highway, you’ll find small towns, secluded beaches, and nature preserves along your drive.
Located in Upcountry Maui, O’O Farm is an eight-acre plot of land where coffee and fruit trees, lettuces, garden vegetables, and flowers are cultivated for local restaurants. Book the lunch tour, where you’ll survey the grounds before sitting down to a meal concocted from the spoils of the land.
Many visitors come to Maui for the incredible—and entirely public—beaches. With three uninterrupted miles and crystal-clear water, Kaanapali is one you shouldn’t miss.
Haleakalā National Park
Meaning “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian, Haleakalā is a must when visiting Maui. The volcanic crater serves as a vantage point for some of the most dramatic sunrises and sunsets possible. The National Park itself features a number of hiking trails for and lookout points to explore.
One of Maui’s oldest towns, you’ll find a walkable main district with several historic buildings here. Grab a coffee at Wailuku Coffee Company and Vietnamese food at one of Maui’s most lauded restaurants, A Saigon Café. Outside of the main drag is Iao Valley, a historical landmark that’s a sacred burial ground for Hawaiian chiefs.