Guest Author - Kara Williams
Wine tasting or whale watching? Biking or boating? Shopping or snorkeling? So much to do on a honeymoon on Maui!
Squeeze it all in or sample a few fun activities on your trip to paradise, voted the �Best Pacific Island� by Conde Nast Traveler�s readers for 16 straight years. Here are my picks for the top five things to do on �The Magic Isle.�
Mountain bike down Haleakala Crater
It�s not as difficult as it sounds. An outfitter picks you up from your hotel and drives you up to the top of Maui�s highest peak (10,000+ feet) and you take a guided mountain-bike tour down a paved road (20+ miles). Some outfitters, including Haleakala Bike Company, offer �unguided� itineraries, allowing you to bike down at your own pace. It�s a trip for everyone: kids ages 5 to 7 can ride behind their parents on trail-a-bikes; my sixty-something mother-in-law said it was the highlight of her trip. The 3 a.m. wake-up call for the sunrise tour is brutal, but the experience is well worth it. Mark Twain said of sunrise above Haleakala: �The sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed.�
Snorkel at Molokini
This extinct volcano is home to hundreds of species of fish, and the crystal-clear water makes for great snorkeling (or snuba or scuba diving). Again, several activity boats (such as Prince Kuhio and the Pride of Maui) offer snorkeling cruises, most leaving Maalaea Harbor, between Kihei and Lahaina. Whether permitting, some tours go to �Turtle Town,� where a number of green sea turtles make their home. These boat tours are fun, festive affairs, typically including drinks, snacks or lunch, snorkel instruction and rental, and friendly crew members who are eager to introduce you to Maui�s marvelous underwater world.
Watch Whales in the Winter
The same boat-tour companies that offer snorkel tours usually make trips to watch the whales making their annual migration from mid December to mid April. If you�re lucky enough to visit Maui during these months, I highly recommend a tour to see the great humpback whales at sea--Maui whale watching at its finest. Again, boat crews want you to spot as many as possible, and the experts onboard will maneuver the boat to put you in the ideal position to snap those perfect photos of the majestic animals as they crest the water. The Maui Princess, departing from Lahaina Harbor, guarantees whale sightings, or you can try on another day for free. The ship also has an underwater WhaleCam.
Visit the Tedeschi Winery
Rent a car for the scenic drive to Maui�s �upcountry,� where you�ll find this historic vineyard 2,000 feet above sea level. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the scenic grounds, take a free tour of the winery and sample the pineapple wine. This is a nice alternative to spending a day at the beach�especially if it's unusually hot, since the higher altitude at the vineyard brings pleasant, cooler temperatures.
Drive the Road to Hana
This road trip is not for the faint of heart�it�s a winding, 52-mile drive through amazing, breathtaking scenery you may see only once in lifetime. I�ve never made the trip (I get queasy on some of the curvy, mountain passes in my home state of Colorado), but perhaps loaded up with enough Dramamine, I could stomach (no pun!) the day-long adventure. Descriptions of the flora and fauna in the tropical rainforest sound absolutely exquisite.