Make your second day in Maui an easy, early start.
General: DIY / How-To
|Guide Series: Maui Vacation Itinerary
Assuming you've come to the Hawaiian Islands from a place located to the east (like the U.S. mainland), then you have the time zone change in your favor.
For example, if you flew from California to Hawaii on Day 1 and normally wake up around 7:00 AM in California your body will still be wanting to get up around that time, which will be more like 4:00-5:00 AM in Hawaii (since we're 2-3 hours behind California depending on Daylight Savings Time which we don't follow in Hawaii, and lightyears ahead on everything else...hahaha...just a joke...mostly). For more on time in Hawaii, see What Time Is It In Hawaii?.
Use this timezone change to your advantage on Day 2 to get an easy, early start. Do it now because by Day 3 you'll have lost all or most of that advantage. What can you do before the butt-crack of dawn on Maui? How about watching a beautiful Maui sunrise! Better yet, head up to Haleakala National Park to watch the sunrise! Many would agree that a Haleakala sunrise is about as good as it gets. If you're heading from any of the West or South Maui areas (Ka'anapali, Lahaina, Kihei, Wailea, etc) then plan to head out a good two hours before sunrise as the drive is longer than it looks on a map. Maybe you'll even spot the elusive Green Flash.
It's going to be dark and you'll likely be on unfamiliar roads. Go slow and take it easy as you work your way up the mountainous crater. You'll want to arrive at the top a good 20-30 minutes before sunrise. Enjoy the morning show and then find a breakfast spot on the way down.
Or, if you're not starving just yet then finish driving all the way down and head to the northshore town of Paia where you'll find several restaurants and plenty of shopping options as well. Either way, this is a fun town to do a little shopping and exploration.
Ho'okipa Beach Park / Ho'okipa Lookout
By now, you're probably ready to see the beach and ocean again. This is Hawaii after all, and likely a huge reason why you're here! Take a quick drive to nearby Ho'okipa Beach Park / Ho'okipa Lookout first. This is one of the best places on the planet to windsurf. Oh don't worry, you won't be windsurfing here. You're just here to watch. This place is for the professional windsurfers to do their thing, but everyone should come to watch the show for a bit. And, yes, they do make it look much easier than it actually is.
H.A. Baldwin Beach Park
Now let's go get those feet in the water and relax a bit. You are wearing a bathing suit, right? Always bring one with! You have several excellent options nearby but I would suggest H.A. Baldwin Beach Park if you want one that's easy to find. You won't be alone here, far from it, but it's an excellent beach even with small crowds.
If you want a little more seclusion then head to Kooks Beach. Kooks isn't as well known so it's often empty or close to it. It's easy to find, just follow our directions on the Kooks Beach article page. It's beyond beautiful here and while it is a bit rocky and reefy, you can still get in the water with relative ease. It's also well protected from the open ocean by that same reef you keep stubbing your toes on.
All of that relaxing makes one hungry so go grab a bite for lunch. You're just a short drive to a huge variety of places for all budgets so your best bet is to have this page on your mobile smartphone and then to view Maui Restaurants Nearby Me at that time.
Iao Valley State Park
Ready to keep going? Then let's head over to 'Iao Valley State Park which will actually be (more or less) on your way back to your resort or hotel if you're staying in West or South Maui (and you likely are). Iao is pronounced "EE-ow" and means "cloud supreme" in Hawaiian. It's an incredibly lush valley that offers fun hiking and a great place for some photo opportunities. Every shade of green that exists can probably be found here. Words can't describe it and even if you're not much of a hiker you can still enjoy this place.
You've had a big day so far. Even if you didn't hike much at Iao Valley you don't want to overdo it this early on. Head back to your resort hotel and take a swim in the pool. Rest a bit or enjoy a poolside Mai Tai with a mini umbrella in it.
When you're ready for dinner you can once again click Maui Restaurants Nearby Me to find plenty of options. If you're staying in West or South Maui (and again, you likely are) then be sure to be outside near the ocean to enjoy a magical sunset (before or during dinner). What a fitting way to end your second big day on Maui. Now be sure to get plenty of rest for Day 3!
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