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How to Make the Most of Your Time in Maui

The island of Maui is one of the most popular Hawaiian Islands with plenty to do and see. Renting a car is recommended as public transportation is limited and some of Maui's most popular attractions are best seen by car.

Remember that Maui's weather can be very different depending on which side of the island you're on. It's best to keep your schedule flexible and adjust it accordingly. If you are visiting Maui for the first time, here are some of the must-do's.

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Visit the beaches and indulge in some adventurous activities

Maui's beaches are considered to be some of the finest in the world so take some time to visit one or more. There are hundreds of them, including ones with black, red, white and golden sand. There are excellent beaches for swimming, snorkeling, surfing and windsurfing.

Some of the many adventurous Maui activities include parasailing, snorkel boat trips to Molokini and Turtle town, zip line tours, jet skiing and island tours. You can also enjoy a helicopter flight or a sunset dinner cruise.

Take the Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is all about the journey as much as the destination. Make this a sunrise to sunset trip so you can explore highlights along the way. The trip is over 50 miles of winding roads with hairpin bends, one-lane bridges and amazing landscapes of waterfalls, rocky cliffs and rolling valleys.

One of the sites along the way is Wai'anapanapa State Park. The park consists of acres of black-sand beaches, volcanic tubes and sea caves.

Once in the town of Hana, Hana Bay is a good stop for families because the black-sand beach is safe for swimming. Another beach is the Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach which isn't great for swimming but the unusual red sand, turquoise sea and green ironwood trees present a vibrant spectacle.

Visit Lahaina

Visiting Lahaina is a must-do for first-time visitors as many important historical events took place there. It was once a whaling port and was the capital city of the Kingdom of Hawaii for 25 years.

Pick up a free map at the courthouse and do a self-guided tour. After your historic tour, you can do some shopping in the artsy boutiques along Main Street and eat fresh seafood at one of the restaurants.

Explore Haleakala National Park

Explore upcountry Maui by taking a drive to Haleakala National Park. Many people make the trek up to the summit of the towering Haleakala Mountain to watch the sunrise.

Once a volcano that is now dormant, Haleakala means "House of the Sun." At the summit of the volcano, you can hike through cinder desert and witness endangered seabirds thriving in the wild. On the way down the mountain, stop in the town of Makawao and enjoy a juicy steak while taking in the cowboy culture.

Attend the Old Lahaina Luau

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If you only attend one luau, it should be the Old Lahaina Luau which is by far the best one on the islands. Enjoy an evening of delicious, authentic food and well-choreographed entertainment. You are greeted with a flower, a tropical drink, and a personalized souvenir program.

Gather to watch as the kalua 'pig' is brought out of its traditional underground oven and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast in the Hale A'i (Eating House). Afterward, take in the award-winning production that tells the story of the Hawaiians.

There is so much to discover on the magic island of Maui. It consistently makes the A-list for the world's best islands and after your first visit, you will be determined to return.

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