What are the best things to see and do in Maui?

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Alana Folen

A large island with a topography that ranges from lush and tropical to volcanic, Maui has the perhaps the widest range of things to see and do of any Hawaiian island. Whether you’re spotting humpback whales frolicking in the Pacific or hula dancing at a luau, this Hawaiian island has plenty to offer. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks of the five best things to see and do in Maui.
 
1. Explore Haleakala National Park. Feel as if you’re on top of the world at Haleakala. This 10,023-foot summit offers unforgettable views of the island. Witness an enthralling sunrise, explore the park with ranger-guided tours or marvel in an explosion of stars as Haleakala provides a picture-perfect view of the night sky. This historic park is open 24-hours a day.
 
2. Whale Watch. Embark on a whale-watching journey from Lahaina Harbor. The channel off the coast of Lahaina is a premier spot to catch humpback whales at play. We recommend a visit during the winter months when the whales are most active.
 
3. Attend an Old Lahaina Luau. Submerge yourself in the Hawaiian culture with an evening of traditional Hawaiian music, cultural dances, island crafts and signature cuisine. This  luau is presented nightly on private grounds behind the Cannery Mall in Lahaina, West Maui.
 
4. Hike Iao Valley State Park. Central Maui’s Iao Valley State Park features one of the island’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This renowned green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks Iao stream — perfect for hiking and sightseeing. It was here in 1790 at the Battle of Kepaniwai that King Kamehameha I clashed with Maui’s army in a quest to unite the islands.
 
5. Drive the Road to Hana. Deemed one of the best drives in the nation, Maui’s Hana Highway offers a uniquely breathtaking view of the island complete with more than 600 curves and 50 bridges to navigate. Although the trek may be a bit grueling (it can take up to four hours each way), the pristine beaches, lookouts and scenery you’ll find along the way are worth the effort.

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