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Summer may have come to an end, but with Hawaii’s year-round tropical weather — there’s no better time than now to book your island vacation. And since each island is home to lush beaches and ono (delicious) food, deciding which one to visit is just part of the fun.

If you’re looking to experience a place steeped in history and one with miles of untouched coastline, then Maui is the island for you. From its verdant, sweeping views to deep plantation roots – it’s no wonder why so many out of state travelers and vacationing residents are making the leap to the ‘Valley Isle.’

If you need another reason to visit this special place, check out our top five reasons to travel to Maui today:

The History: Sugar Plantations

You may know Maui now for its luxurious coastline resorts, but what you may not know is that Maui was once an island best known for its sugar cane production. The second largest island in the state – the Valley Isle was once home to more than 36,000 acres of cane fields used by local sugar processing company HC&S.

For over 30 years many Maui residents sustained work and life around the thriving sugar plantations and today you can still catch a glimpse of these historic fields with a visit to the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum in Pu’unene. At this award-winning museum, you can see for yourself what it was like to work in the sugar fields and get an up-close-and-personal look at the historic locomotives and tractors.

The Shopping: Front Street in Lahaina

From one-of-a-kind eateries to local boutiques and colorful art galleries, the small oceanfront area of Lahaina is much more than just a culturally rich harbor town. Only a 40-minute drive from the Kahului airport, Front Street is located on the northwest coast of the island and features close to a mile of shops and historic landmarks that are all within strolling distance of one another.

Whether you’re visiting from another state, or just another island, head over to this fishing town on your next trip and see for yourself what everyone is whaling about. For foodies, Front Street is the perfect place to indulge in hole-in-the-wall eats with everything from fresh seafood to authentic Boston style pizza. And if you’re looking to catch the perfect souvenir to take home, there are more than enough boutiques that feature everything from hand-made local trinkets to popular clothing perfect to wear to a night on the town.

maui hana tour

The Road Trips: Road to Hana

Road trips aren’t usually on the to-do list for a Hawaii vacation, but we promise this is one drive that you won’t want to put in the back seat. Take the backroads and literally weave your way over to the remote and remarkably breathtaking town of Hana, also known as the jewel of the Valley Isle.

The ‘road to Hana’ or ‘Hana Highway’ is 68 miles of lush tropical Hawaiian rainforest that will captivate with its cascading waterfalls and scenic coastlines. Pack your bags, fill your stomachs, and prepare yourself for an all-day adventure of winding roads and cliff-hanging views. Home to more than 606 curves and 59 one-lane bridges it’s no wonder why most visitors prefer to travel the road with an experienced driver and friendly guide – such as with our popular Heavenly Hana Tour.

The Views: Haleakala Crater and National Park

Towering over the rest of the island, Haleakala is a hotspot on Maui for its volcanic terrain and breathtaking scenery that sits over 10,000 feet above sea. Fittingly nicknamed “house of the rising sun” Haleakala is not only home to some of the best sunrise views in the world, it’s also home to several endangered species that can’t be found anywhere else.

If you’re planning a trip to this ancient Hawaiian landmark, you can enjoy a guided experience with our Haleakala Sunrise Tour and see for yourself why Haleakala rises above the rest. Or make it a lunch date and pack some food to enjoy a scenic picnic. But no matter what time of the day you visit, just be sure to bring a jacket — this crater is known to get chilly and temperatures can quickly drop below Hawaii’s typically balmy weather.

maui hookipa

The Beaches: Ho’okipa State Beach Park

The go-to spot for most residents and out-of-town guests, Ho’okipa is known for its tranquil setting and is a popular spot for water sports. Not only will you find the calm sandy shores frequented by locals on any given day, but you may also spot a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) or two lazing in the shallow waters.

Complete with lifeguards, picnic tables, restrooms and showers – Ho’okipa translates to “hospitality” in the Hawaiian language and that’s just what you’ll find here. Whether you’re looking for the ideal spot to barbeque or want to take a dip in the ocean, Ho’okipa offers the best of all worlds with calm tide pools for exploring as well as a lookout, perfect for tailgating and watching the sun set.