The island of Maui holds a special place in our collective consciousness as one of the most idyllic destinations in the world. Featured in iconic movies like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean, Maui has developed a strong reputation for being the go-to place for tropical backdrops, clear blue waters and pristine beaches. But what else do you know about the island? Here our top 7 favorite things about Maui most travelers don't know:
1. Mount Haleakala is the World's Largest Dormant Volcano.
Well actually, it's still technically considered active despite its last volcanic eruption occurring back in 1790. Every year over a million people make the long trek upwards to reach Mt. Haleakala's summit to catch a glimpse of its otherworldly landscape and the fantastic sunrise/sunset views from its edge. Its name means 'house of the sun' in ancient Hawaiian; an appropriate titling with its volcanic crater measuring an impressive 21 miles in diameter and full of hiking, biking and horseback paths. *Selfie Alert! - This is a great spot for a photo op or to grab a selfie.
2. Home to the Largest Tree in the US.
While a tree might not be the hottest attraction on your travel itinerary, Maui's 143-year-old banyan tree certainly deserves a bit of recognition. This monument now occupies an incredible acre of downtown Lahain, and is beloved community meeting space. *Selfie Alert! - This is a great spot for a photo op or to grab a selfie.
3. Wailea Beach is Best for Sunsets.
Wailea Beach is situated on the southeast corner of the island. Thanks to its pure white sand and clear ocean views in the west, this is the absolute best place to watch the sun set across the ocean. Grab a local Mai Tai before settling into the sand and attempt to catch sight of the green flash.
4. Explore the Land of Black Sands.
Despite being world renown for soft, white sand, that isn't true for every beach in Maui. Waiapanapa Beach, just outside of Hana, features sand comprised of smooth lava pebbles. Here you can explore lava tubes, fresh water pools and the famous blowhole that could send you flying.
5. All Maui Beaches are Public.
After disclosing the two previous facts, it's also important to add that these beaches and all others on Maui are open to the public. No one, not even exclusive beach resorts, has the ability to prevent someone from playing in the surf. This means that no matter where you are in Maui, you should be able to enjoy some of the 30+ miles of beautiful Maui coastlines.
6. There Are Zero Billboards in Maui.
Other than traffic and occasional safety signs, Maui and the other Hawaiian islands are uniquely free and clear of any obtrusive billboards. This thankfully allows all residents and visitors to have a clear and unobstructed view of the island's natural landscape and beauty as they travel throughout the region.
7. Wild Pig Hunting Isn't Just Popular, It's Encouraged.
Most everyone has caught sight of a show or film featuring a pig roasting on a spit. But did you know this is a local tradition encouraged by officials? That's because wild pigs are an invasive species that wreak havoc on the islands' native plants. While certainly not for everyone, if you are a huntsman there are a variety of local hunting outfits that will take you out for a nominal fee.