As I get older, my thoughts about traveling have changed from “why don’t we just rough it and stay in this sketchy hostel in the middle of nowhere?” to “please find me the most luxurious vacation I can afford, preferably on a beach somewhere.” For instance, lately, I’ve had my sights set on these vacation rentals in Maui and I am so ready to plan the trip of a lifetime. I much prefer longer, drawn out trips instead of short weekend ones, which gives me more time to spend the year saving up.
Hawaii is the ultimate American travel destination for those looking for sun, surf, and sand. Honeymooners flock here, families plan once-in-a-lifetime trips here, and in the cold winter months that wreak havoc on the northeast, we all generally wish we lived there.
Maui is one of the most recognized Hawaiian islands and the second largest, making it the perfect spot for me to have an amazing vacation. From glorious waterfalls to beautiful sunsets to a strong local culture, it’s my first choice for appreciating all that this island state has to offer.
If you’re considering a trip yourself and want to splurge a little (I mean who doesn’t, it’s a trip to Hawaii), here are 5 luxury experiences I’ve found for my must-do list.
1. Luxury Maui Tour
If you don’t have super long in Maui or you just want an overview on your first day, sign up to a luxury Maui tour where you’ll be taken around the island in style. There are dozens of different tours to choose from, including food tours, neighborhood tours, walking tours, farm tours and helicopter tours that everyone in your travel party will definitely be able to find something they’ll enjoy.
The great part about a luxury tour is that the numbers are kept small, so you’ll get individualized attention from your guide and always be able to hear what they’re saying. Many of these tours also stop along the way at places for you to rest and experience a bit of the local culture (and enjoy a snack or drink or two!)
2. Charter a Private Boat
You haven’t been to Maui if you haven’t explored the surrounding waters, and is there a better way to do it than on a private boat? (Answer: no). If you hire a private one, you’ll get your own captain who will take your life dreams into account and make sure you have the best chance of seeing the aquatic life and some stunning sunsets from off shore. You can even rent boats that come with dining included, so you’ve got nothing to worry about all day.
Consider also renting a private boat if you want a fishing charter for the day where you can try your hand at catching your dinner. Other options include snorkeling and scuba diving boats fully equipped with all of the tools you’ll need to descend beneath the waves.
3. Eat at a fancy restaurant
Sure, you can walk along the shore and try some local family-owned places (and definitely do that), but when you’re wanting to get dressed up and enjoy a night out, there’s no better place to do it in one of Maui’s gourmet restaurants. Seafood lovers will be happy to hear that this is the main menu at many establishments (got to take advantage of the island location!). Try Morimoto’s for sushi or Mama’s Fish House for the catch of the day. You can also check out this article on Maui’s culinary scene.
If you have picky eaters in your group, you’ll find that restaurants are generally willing to provide simpler dishes and “sides as mains” to make sure that everyone is happy.
Oh, and don’t forget the dessert. NEVER forget the dessert on vacation.
4. Go Golfing
Now I’m not a huge golfer, and in fact would not actually be golfing myself but instead hanging out at the clubhouse, but I do know lots of people who would consider golfing a must-do vacation item, and if that’s you then you’re going to want to take advantage of the beautiful views from some of Maui’s best golf courses.
If you’re just wanting to improve your swing, you can take top level instruction from the experts, or you can just enjoy a casual round with friends and family while sipping on classic Hawaiian drinks.
Visit in January to watch the pros face off in the annual PGA tour’s opening event. This competition includes some of the most well-known names in the golfing world and you’ll be just steps away from some of the greats.
5. Go to a Day Spa
Of course you’ve come to Hawaii to adventure out and explore the amazing things to see and do, but let’s face it, you’ve mostly come to relax. There are plenty of day spas set up all around Maui that let you unwind while indulging in spa treatments, whether couples or individual. You can listen to the sounds of the waves off in the distance while letting all of the tension of everyday life go.
After your trip to the day spa, you can also take a leisurely walk across the shore with a drink in hand, sinking your toes into the sand. You don’t need to pay any extra to take advantage of dusk in Hawaii, one of the most beautiful times where all becomes calm and the sun slowly starts to sink below the horizon. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures with this gorgeous scenery as a backdrop.
Whatever you get up to in Maui, have an amazing time!