Adventure in Paradise: Your Next Thrill in Maui

You want adventure? Hawaii’s second largest island is chock full of it.

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You want adventure? Hawaii’s second largest island is chock full of it. But it’s not all fun and games — okay, it’s mostly fun and games — but you may need to hold onto your hat and take some deep breaths before tempting fate with some of the more adrenaline-inducing adventures. Many people think of Maui as a spot to lounge on the beach and drop a small fortune on a week or two of indulgence, but it is so much more than that.

From its lava fields and volcanic summits to its waterfalls and tropical rainforest, the 728-square-mile island of Maui just begs to be explored by someone with a sense of adventure. If that someone is you, consider checking out some of these Maui and Kahului adventures.

Taking a Drive

View of the winding oceanside road to Hana, Hawaii, on a clear sunny day with the ocean shore right in the backgrou

These aren’t your grandma’s Sunday drives — some of them even make Maui natives a little nervous. Get in touch with your wilder side on the Kahekili Highway around the island’s northeastern coast. On the way, you drive along steep drop-offs, lava coastlines, and ancient temples — all great spots for pics. And that’s not your only option. The Hawaiian attraction on many folks’ bucket lists, the Road to Hana is rated among the most scenic roadways in the world. It doesn’t hurt that it has 600 curves, 54 bridges, and views of rainforests, waterfalls, and the ocean that seem to go on and on.

Hiking to Waimoku Falls

A young male tourist wearing a backpack is seen on a bridge as he follows the path through dense bamboo forest leading to Waimoku Falls in Hawaii on a sunny day

While you’re on the Road to Hana, make sure you stop at Seven Sacred Pools. Be prepared to sweat a bit on the 4-mile round-trip hike to Maui’s tallest waterfall, Waimoku Falls. Wonder if the hike is worth it? Along the way, you pass Makahiku Falls, several bridges, and a bamboo forest. One look at the 400-foot falls and your jaw will drop to the ground.

Biking Haleakalā National Park

A 10,000 feet elevation sign at the summit of Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii, under clear blue sky and sun

Total bragging rights for biking the longest downhill bike tour in the world — that’s what you get for cycling down the mountain at Haleakalā National Park. Tour companies offer the unique opportunity to head up to the 10,000-foot summit before driving down the mountain several thousand feet. That’s where they set you free to climb on your bike and ride your way down. If you have the nerve to try your hand (legs, really) at this adventure, you are treated to amazing views that will knock your socks off.

Ziplining Above the Treetops

Do your best Tarzan (or Jane) impression as you fly over the treetops in the very spot where America’s love affair with ziplining was born. If this is up your alley, don’t miss some of the island’s best courses, including:

Surfing, Snorkeling, and Scuba Diving, Oh My.

Hang ten or just hang out, you won’t run out of water sport options in Maui. Watch the pros ride the big waves at Jaws, or climb on your own board to ride the huge breakers on the North Shore. The sky is the limit when it comes to surfing in Maui. If you’re new to surfing, take lessons at some of the calmer surf spots like Lahaina, Kaanapali, or Kihei.

On the other hand, if surfing isn’t your thing, dive into the calm summer waters of Honolua Bay for a little snorkeling. For a little more action, check out Molokini Crater, an underwater volcano islet where marine life hangs out, making it a great spot to snorkel or scuba dive.

Flying Over Maui

Leave solid ground behind to get the best views of Maui and Kahului. When you see it from above, you will appreciate all the island has to offer. Get a bird’s-eye view of the “Valley Isle” and all its marvels when you take a helicopter tour over the island. There’s nothing like a unique vantage point to see Haleakala, West Maui’s sharp cliffs and hidden waterfalls, and acres of pineapple and sugar plantations. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the whales off the southern coastline. Who wouldn’t want to sightsee like this?

Did these tips get your adrenaline pumping? Run (don’t walk) to Twitter to share your thoughts and find more travel advice for your next adventure.

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