Entertainment Hawaii Diaries Thrilling Adventures
Maui is a land of sun, sea, surf, and salt that’s dying to be explored! Thankfully you don’t have to do it alone either! There’s a ton of willing and worthy local companies in Hawaii that will help you get around the best ways possible. Whether it be on land or sea, they’ll make sure you experience the best the island has to offer. I did you the favor of compiling a list of the top tours I’ve come across. I’ve also included an added bonus at the end for a really magical experience you can’t miss out on either. Read on and get your snorkel and flippers ready to go!
Picture Credits: Ali’i Kula Lavender
Are you a lover of all things lavender? This calming and soothing plant has been used for centuries to help us relax and rejuvenate. And now, Ali’i Kula Lavender farm has created a lavender oasis for you to breathe deep and let go of the stress you’re probably carrying around with you. Beginning in 2001, agricultural master Ali’i Chang started with one lavender plant and a dream. And now, he has ended up cultivating one of the most unique experiences on the island! With 13.5 acres of purpley goodness and 25 varieties of lavender growing and thriving, what’s there not to love? Besides being able to visit the farm and enjoying the pleasantly-scented goodness, they also have a great shop open too. From aromatherapy, bath & body, apparel, and even culinary – they have you covered! While sadly Ali’i Chang is no longer with us, his legacy lives on and is a joy to experience for yourself!
Picture Credits: BIKE TOURS
Speaking of bike tours, Bike Maui offers some great tours worth checking out too! They offer self-guided tours as well as professionally guided tours, and even zipline tours! Operating since 1995, they are the most experienced company out there. Their mission includes a dedication to the health and sustainability of the local ecosystems in which they operate as well. Sounds like a win-win to me! Their self-guided tours consist of a vehicle tour up to the summit of Haleakala to see the sunrise. After that you begin the biking portion of the tour at 6,500ft down the mountain for 23 miles at your own pace. Of course you’re provided with a map, directions, and anything else you may need as well. If you prefer not to start your tour at 3-4AM, there are mornings tours that begin at 8AM instead. Not everyone is an early-morning person, and thankfully these guys understand that too.
Looking for a way to get around Maui in a convenient, efficient, and even luxurious way during your trip? Then look no further than Valley Isle Excursions. They offer one of the highest quality luxury tours you can find, and it’s something not to miss. One of their most popular tours takes you along one of the most scenic parts of the island, the road to Hāna. The road itself is known as Divorce Highway because of its 600+ turns and 50+ one-lane bridges. Add in a rock or the occasional mudslide and it can be a pretty complicated drive. Let someone else worry about it instead as you relax in pure comfort within the 12-passenger custom cruiser. The tour includes a classic Hāna picnic, unlimited (non-alcoholic) drinks, professional drivers and guides, and some very comfortable seats. Be sure to bring your camera and plenty of memory space if you want to capture the best of those incredible views!
Picture Credits: Ultimate Whalewatch & Snorkel
I think going to see whales in their natural habitat is about as close to magic as we can get. There’s something so breathtaking seeing such a large creature move with such grace and tranquility. If you’re looking for that kind of experience I’d definitely recommend Ultimate Whalewatch & Snorkel! Proudly locally owned and sharing their passion for the sea, these guys do it right. The owner is a marine biologist and focuses the tour to be equal parts fun and eco-friendly! They’ve also been featured on National Geographic, HGTV, Travel Channel, Good Morning America, Hawaii Life and BBC for their excellent (and sustainable) work. If you’re looking to experience everything the ocean has without damaging its fragile ecosystems this is the way to do it. They even provide reef-friendly sunscreen and their Ultimate t-shirts are made from recycled water bottles! Your visit can really make a difference too as a portion of ticket sales are donated to fund wildlife research as well.
Picture Credits: Redline Rafting
If you’re interested in sustainable and eco-friendly tourism you should also check out Redline Rafting. They’re certified by the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii and take fun and sustainability seriously. Something different about them are the vessels they use, namely the Redline I and Redline II. These two vessels can access places that others cannot, meaning prime real-estate for you to experience the marine world for yourself. One popular spot is La Perouse bay where you’ll find spinner dolphins (the ones that do aerial acrobatics) enjoying the afternoon. In addition to their vessels they also employ top-notch staff, all of whom are highly trained and experienced captains. Make sure you take some time to get to know them, they have some truly amazing stories! Pro tip: Right now you can save $10 off your tour if you book online! Take a peek at the tours they offer and just pick your favorite, you can’t go wrong.
Picture Credits: Hawaii Sea Spirits
Situated in the rich volcanic soil of Maui, Hawaii Sea Spirits spends a lot of time doing what they love. And thankfully for us they love making some of the best spirits on the islands for us to enjoy. They’re a family owned company and their connection to each other and their connection to the land makes for a great vodka. Their Ocean Organic Vodka is made from organic sugar cane and deep ocean water. It’s sourced from over 500 fathoms off the coast of the island and is rich in minerals. That’s certainly not something no other distillery can say! With a vodka as unique as the materials it’s made from, it’s really something you need to try. They even give tours of their facility 7 days a week so you can see the process yourself. Don’t miss out on this slice (and taste) of paradise!
Biking tours are a great way to get a feel for a new place, and are great for the environment as well. Even if you’ve been on one before, Maui Bombers is a unique kind of bike tour. In fact, they’re even rated as the best bike tour on the island! If you’re an experienced biker and are looking for a more authentic tour, this one’s for you. Their tours range from 25-40 miles with some of the best bikes used by the industry. Add in a smaller group size (max 6) and you’ll get a much more enjoyable experience, with smoother rides, and much more personable tours. They’re also one of the only companies (if not the only one) that uses biking helmets. Other companies use full-face motorcycle helmets that greatly reduce visibility during your tour. Not exactly ideal… Maui Bombers has several different tours available so you can pick the distance, difficulty, and scenery that best fits your vibe!
Picture Credits: Makai Adventures
Makai Adventures is great because they focus on small tours and day trips to amazing locations like Lahaina. Of course the weather and ocean conditions change each day so your captain will choose the best location for your particular tour. They offer several different types of trips, like bottom fishing, snorkeling, whale watching, sailing and even private charters! If want to truly conquer the seas I’d recommend one of their multi-day, inter-island sailing trips for the full experience! These tours are also all locally operated and the guides are full of information and are more than happy to help. Just ask them about Hawaiian history, marine research, and of course where to see the coolest animals! In addition to being knowledgeable all of the staff is also CPR and First Aid certified as well. That means you can tour in peace and enjoy the views and waves for yourself.
Picture Credits: Ohana Ocean Adventures
If it’s not already there, something to add to your bucket list has to be exploring the ocean in a glass-bottom boat. At Ohana Ocean Adventures they will do you one better, and offer you a fully transparent kayak! You get a full view of the seafloor and a peek at all the diversity of life it has to offer. And all without having to strap on a snorkel and flippers! This tour is ideal for those who may not be the strongest of swimmer, but still want to explore the ocean too. During your tour you’ll glide over several reefs for the ultimate sightseeing experience as well. Be sure to bring your (waterproof) camera to capture all of it! You’re also welcome to bring children as young as 2 years old with you too. This means your entire ohana can come and enjoy this unforgettable experience together.