Valentine’s Day has many couples scrambling to find ways to express their love. Flowers, candy, cards, and stuffed bears holding hearts are all nice gestures, but we believe love should be celebrated by doing something fun with the one you love. And these activities shouldn’t be limited to one day a year. Here’s a list of our favorite romantic things to do on Maui, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, your anniversary, your honeymoon, a birthday, or just because it’s Tuesday.
1. Watch the Sunrise from 10,000 Feet
Start your day with that special someone above the clouds at the top of a dormant volcano. Hawaiian for “House of the Sun,” Haleakala rises to just over 10,000 feet, providing unparalleled views of Maui and the neighboring islands, including the Big Island of Hawaii 26 miles away. Watching the sublime sunrise from the summit is one of the most popular activities on the island and the ethereal light should be experienced at least once in your lifetime. Sunrise ranges throughout the year from 5:38am to 6:58am but plan to get to the summit a half hour before so you can get a good spot. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive between Kahului and the summit.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving immediately after sunrise. Stay and enjoy the colors of dawn and how they change the otherworldly landscape. Haleakala is home to several endangered species and has many hiking trails and horseback riding for the more adventurous wanting to explore the crater. Bundle up! It can be 30 degrees colder at the summit than at sea level and the temperature can dip below freezing during the night. Bring along breakfast and warm drinks, as there are no food or beverages for sale in the park.
Not a morning person? Sunsets are spectacular here too, bathing you in gorgeous copper light as the sun sinks slowly between Kahoolawe and Lanai at the end of another perfect day.
2. Surprise Your Sweetheart with a Speedster
The wind in your hair, the sun on your face, the smell of the ocean, and the one you love beside you. Does it get any better than this? Yes, if you’re driving a reproduction Porsche 356 Speedster. Explore the farthest reaches of the island, or find a secluded beach to claim for the day in a sporty Speedster convertible from Maui Roadsters. Whether you choose an all day adventure or a sunset spin, the sleek, sexy lines and the roar of the engine will get anyone’s heart racing.
3. Take a Farm Tour
If strolling through lavender fields, picking strawberries, and petting baby goats sounds like paradise to you, head Upcountry to discover a different side of Maui. The Surfing Goat Dairy should be your first stop for their award-winning cheeses and delectable goat cheese truffles in innovation flavor combinations (Banana Curry, anyone?). At O’o Farm, sit down to a gourmet lunch prepared in front of you with ingredients you just harvested on their farm tour. Load up on fresh-picked produce at Maui Nui Farms for a special home-cooked meal or pick your own strawberries at Kula Country Farms. Explore the 13.5 acres of olive trees, hydrangea, protea, succulents and 45 different varieties of lavender on the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.
4. Picnic in Paradise
With over 30 miles of beaches and thousands of acres of sun dappled parks and meadows, Maui has a plethora of perfect picnic spots. On the west side try the beaches that border the coastal highway, especially between Papalaua and Ukumehame Parks (mile markers 11-12). South Maui spots include Palauea Beach (aka White Rock to locals) just south of the Fairmont Kea Lani, Po’olenalena Beach, and Paako Cove (Secret/Wedding Cove) in Makena. Head Upcountry to enjoy lush rolling hills, sweeping views and cooler temperatures. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Park and Maui’s Winery provide picturesque backdrops for your al fresco feast.
Stock up on provisions at gourmet stores and specialty markets across the island. Our top picks for picnics are R. Field Wine Company & Fine Foods in Foodland Farms Lahaina, The Market by Capische in Wailea, Kuau Market near Paia, or Whole Foods in Kahului.
5. Go Wine Tasting
Flanked by rolling hills and eucalyptus trees, the narrow, twisting road that is Hwy 37 navigates the slopes of Haleakala, feeling more like Napa Valley than the Valley Isle. At the end of your journey is Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch, the only commercial winery on Maui. Grapes have been grown here for over 40 years and Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Malbec and Syrah, have all found a home in the rich, volcanic soils. The winery originally made a name for itself with its popular pineapple wines, Maui Blanc and Maui Splash (think Moscato), but now offers a selection of still and sparkling wines featuring the aforementioned grapes. Enjoy complimentary wine tastings and three daily public tours of the property that is steeped in history. The tasting room is the former guest cottage of King Kalakaua (aka the “Merrie Monarch”) when he visited the island and the staff will treat you like royalty as well.
6. Take a Hike
Nothing gets the heart pumping faster than a little physical exertion and Maui offers a multitude of trails for all fitness levels. Stroll through historic ‘Iao Valley along an easy 0.6 mile paved path that leads to a scenic viewpoint. The sacred site is now a state park, watched over by the Iao Needle, a verdant 1200-foot pinnacle that juts above the lush valley. Poli Poli State Park offers four moderate trails through redwood forests often enrobed in mist at the 6400 foot elevation. The trails range from 0.6 to 1.7 miles long and together form a 3.5 mile loop trail. For bamboo forests, cascading waterfalls and a more challenging hike try Na’ili’ili Stream & Waterfalls Trail at mile marker 6.7 along Hana Highway 360 or the Pipiwai Falls Trail past Hana at Oheo Gulch (7 Sacred Pools). Those seeking to reach new heights will be rewarded with breathtaking ocean views along the Lahaina Pali Trail, which weaves past the giant wind turbines overlooking Maalaea Harbor, crests Kealaloloa Ridge and descends to Ukumehame. Built by hand about 200 years ago, the five-mile trail (one way) was constructed for travel between Wailuku and Lahaina and may have been part of an even older trail system built by Hawaiians that circumvented the island.
7. Cowboy Up(Country)
Cowboys on Maui? You bet your sweet okole! The Valley Isle has a rich and robust history of ranching that dates back almost 200 years. Although the cattle industry on Maui has declined, you can still trace its roots through the many ranches that dot the island and especially in the cowboy town of Makawao, site of the largest rodeo in Hawaii. Local ranchers still hitch their horses in front of charming stores that look like they were plucked out of the old west. Spend an afternoon “talking story” with paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) or explore Makawao’s many shops, boutiques and galleries. And don’t miss T. Komoda Store & Bakery with their legendary cream puffs.
To best experience the wide-open ranges and panoramic views of Upcountry Maui, take a horseback ride on the slopes of Haleakala. Piholo Ranch, Thompson Ranch, and Triple L Ranch all offer private tours that will channel your inner cowboy/girl.
Founded in 1856, Ulupalakua Ranch is Maui's second largest cattle ranch, sprawling across 18,000 acres of land that begins at the ocean and rises to the 6,000 feet elevation. Across the street from Maui’s Winery, the Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill serves as a convenience store and lunch hangout for local paniolos with offerings like ranch-raised Ulupalakua lamb, beef and their famous elk burgers. Visitors can shop for locally made gifts, goodies and western memorabilia.
8. Cruise into the Sunset
Tip your glasses to the end of another beautiful day as you sail into the sunset with your sweetheart. Many companies offer cocktail cruises, but the Kai Kanani stands out from the crowd. The beautiful 65-foot catamaran holds fewer passengers than most boats, making for a more intimate sailing experience. Minutes after boarding barefoot right from the Makena Resort beach, you are cruising the calm, clear waters between the scenic South Maui coastline and Molokini crater. As an added bonus, during the winter months the cruise doubles as a whale watching tour as the gentle giants seem to favor this area. The delectable appetizers and premium cocktails served by the gracious and knowledgeable staff round out the trip. Transportation to and from Wailea resorts is free.
Our tradition is to kiss at sunset for good luck (and love), and we hope it becomes your tradition too!