The island of Maui was created by volcanic activity millions of years ago. Two volcanoes contributed to the formation of the island. The first is Haleakala, a huge shield volcano that rises to an elevation of 10,000ft. The top of Haleakala features an otherworldly landscape that resembles a colorful moonscape. A popular tourist activity is watching the sun rise from the top of the crater.
Iao Valley State Park
Separated from Haleakala by a valley are the West Maui Mountains – the other volcano that contributed to the islands’ formation. Near the center is Iao Valley state park, perhaps the most visited park on the island. Rainfall and erosion have carved up the mountains, the result is a stunning valley surrounded by jagged peaks.
The Road to Hana
The road to Hana is the most famous scenic drive in Hawaii. A 68 mile long highway takes you on a coastal journey along Maui’s wet southeast coast where you’ll see lush tropical forests, waterfalls and a number of other interesting attractions like ancient Hawaiian temples and botanical gardens. The snaking highway features over 50 one lane bridges and at least 600 curves.
Molokini is a partially submerged volcanic crater about 2.5 miles off the coast of South Maui. The tiny island is a bird sanctuary, but the attraction for tourists is the snorkeling and scuba diving around the crater.
Maui’s beaches are among the best in the state and a big draw for tourists. Maui has more than two dozen great beaches, exploring the possibilities is half the fun. One of the most unique beaches on the island is Red Sand Beach in Hana. This is the only beach in Hawaii that has red sand. Other interesting beaches include little beach – the only beach in Hawaii where nudity is tolerated, and Makena Black Sand beach.