Activities on Maui are endless - snorkeling, whale watching, driving tours, sailing excursions, surfing lessons and more, are all worthwhile - see any guidebook for these.
Here are some favorites close by:
cameras always on at Ho'okipa
Windsurfing on Maui is world famous, and Ho'okipa is the center of the windsurfing world - it's the nearest windsurfing beach, only five minutes by car
For unsponsored and/or less adept sailors, with smaller budgets for breakage, Spreckelsville is fifteen minutes away, and Kanaha is just the other side of the airport. More wind and smaller waves, easier sailing
All the beaches are on the "Beaches" page
Windsurf shops abound in Paia and Kahului, but we go mostly to Hi-Tech or Neil Pryde ( www.neilprydemaui.com ), in Kahului on the Hana Highway just west of Dairy Road (the road to the airport).
Kiteboarding was invented in France but perfected on Maui.
Kite Beach is just past Kanaha, in Kahului. Kites also fly at Lanes, just west of Ho'okipa.
No kites at Kanaha or Spreckelsville, forbidden by the FAA - low flying aircraft
Outrigger canoe paddling is growing fast on the USA mainland and in Canada. Hawaii is the world's epicenter for open ocean paddling.
6-man canoes (OC-6) are traditional. Recent light boats for one and two (OC-1 & OC-2) are wave riding sleds
- Just below Treehouse and Treetops, Maliko Bay is the start of a run to Kahului, that is known throughout Hawaii as a downwind delight.
For experienced paddlers or for beginners, check Rick Nu'u's Canoe Camp - he's the men's coach at the State Champion Hawai'ian Canoe Club - email Rick by clicking his button at the Club's website - www.hawaiiancanoeclub.org
Bicycling is superb on Maui, with long climbs and descents* and splendid ocean views. Roads away from the coast are uncrowded, and bike shops can steer you to excellent single-track mountain biking.
Haiku is rich in bicycle life support. Haiku Center boasts The Cyclery, Maui's premier quality bike shop. Donnie Arnoult and his team of ex-racers provide bike tours as well as top maintenance and top-of-the-line equipment. www.gocyclingmaui.com
bicycling photos courtesy of The Cyclery
Also in Haiku Center is the Haleakala Bike Company. The folks there can drive you up Haleakala Volcano and escort you down on a bike made for the purpose. www.bikemaui.com
* the altitude difference on paved road, from sea level to the top of Haleakala, is reputed to be the biggest in the world
Haleakala's crater - Mauna Kea & Mauna Loa majestic on the horizon
Haleakala's crater is extraordinary. Hidden from below, it's well worth the winding road trip to the top. Stay flexible and head up on the first day that it's clear. (banana.ifa.hawaii.edu/Weather/current.html gives real-time visibility reports). From the top you can see Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island, not to mention Lanai, Molokai, Kaho'olawe and Molokini.
You can hike inside the crater, and can even reserve primitive sleep-in facilities. For info: http://www.nps.gov/hale
Primaeval forest remains in a few carefully preserved locations at higher elevations. Vegetation, animal, and bird life in inhabited areas was introduced by Polynesians or later arrivals.
A visit to Waikamoi Preserve is a trip into another world, Maui the way it was.
Guided walking tours start from Hosmer Grove just inside the Haleakala Nat'l Park boundary, every Monday and Thursday at 9am. Reservations are needed, call 808 572-4459 a few days ahead. Footwear and outerwear should be adapted to wet and cool conditions.
Birdwatchers with an extensive life list have already been here. For the rest of us, it's an adventure to visit with birds that exist only in Hawai'i. The brilliant red I'iwi and Apapane, and olive-yellow Amakihi, are predictably visible in Hosmer Grove (also in Waikamoi Preserve).
Pleasing to the eye and a pleasure to use as a field guide - The Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific - Pratt, Bruner & Berrett - Princeton University Press 1989.
This original painting by local artist James Woods, shows a view from Treehouse - as it would have been before the arrival of the Polynesians, with Ohi'a Lehua blossoms, I'iwi and Amakihi honeycreepers, and, as always, the Pacific in the background with the West Volcano.
For Fitness Buffs, cutting edge exercise machines, as well as free weights, mats, spinning sessions, and excellent personal trainers, can all be found at Upcountry Fitness, next to the Cyclery in Haiku Center - tel. 808 575 7334 http://www.upcountryfitness.com/
Peahi (otherwise known as "Jaws") is big. My granddaughter tried it on a boogey board, and said it was really a rush.
... kidding aside, when the north swell hits the coast so hard you can hear it in the house, and Ho'okipa is closed out, it's worth the steep and bumpy drive down through cane fields, to the top of a cliff over the wave at Peahi. Too big to believe (or maybe the surfers have shrunk... ) Turn left off the Hana Highway just after the cemetery, east of Haiku Road. Only happens a few times each year - when it does, it's unforgettable, like the real photo here: