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One Perfect Day in Maui: A Volcano, Zip Line, Waterfall and Luau

Ready for one perfect day in Maui, Hawaii? Our Maui experience included staying at a brand new hotel, biking down a volcano, zip-lining through a rainforest, and discovering a waterfall.

Maui, also known as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest Hawaiian island. The island is known for its world-famous beaches, tropical climate, and excellent snorkeling.

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Marriott Residence Inn in Wailea on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

One Perfect Day in Maui!

My family and I recently had that joyful experience while visiting the Marriott Residence Inn in Wailea on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

While not oceanfront, the resort offers a free shuttle to local beaches and shopping. On-site amenities include a huge pool, putting green, basketball court, and a BBQ area with five grills.

Our perfect day in Maui, Hawaii began after a quiet night’s sleep in a two-bedroom unit with a kitchen.

Breakfast in Maui

Still, on eastern time, I woke early and headed to the Cinnamon Roll Place in nearby Kihei where a retired couple have been baking their gooey globs of goodness for years. I purchased a “six-pack” hoping the “sugar high” would give my tribe the boost they needed to kick off our adventures for the day. It did.

Haleakala Volcano

We started with a car ride from sea level, up 6,500 feet to Haleakala, a dormant volcano that dominates the Maui landscape. Wearing helmets and layered clothing to protect from the blustery winds and occasional tropical showers, we climbed on specially designed mountain bikes for a 16-mile ride back down Haleakala.

Constantly clutching the hand brakes, we coasted the bikes down the sloping, switchback-filled road, only pedaling a few times up three short hills. We breezed through several micro-climates and savored natural fragrances like plumeria blossoms and eucalyptus leaves.

Plate Lunch

Shrimp plate lunch

After reaching our destination, Haleakala Bike Company in the quaint town of Haiku, we returned our gear and then looked for lunch. We found it at one of many nearby food trucks where we were served plates of delicious fried rice and teriyaki chicken, while some opted for the shrimp plate lunch.

Zip Line & Punalau Falls

An hour later, we were ready for our second adventure; a zip line over the lush rain forest. At Jungle Zipline, we donned helmets and strapped into safety harnesses.

Minutes later, we were gliding over the breathtaking landscape, zipping on seven different lines, one stretching over 800 feet. We saw native plants and heard squawks from exotic birds mixed with shrieks of delight from fellow zippers.

Punalau Falls in Maui, Hawaii

The zip line soon ended but the discoveries continued when we stopped a few miles away at Punalau Falls. Hidden from the road and not featured in many guidebooks, the waterfall is hard to get to, but worth it.

We scurried over slippery boulders, sometimes on all fours, and after about 15 minutes, arrived at a pool of inviting water fed by a waterfall so long we had to crane our necks skyward to see it toppling over the cliff.

Feeling like we were enveloped in an “amphitheater of nature,” with the lava rock walls bursting with ferns and moss, we had discovered a true piece of Hawaiian paradise. The kids swam in the cool water and we took photos to memorialize our “secret spot.”

Grand Wailea Luau

Grand Wailea Luau in Maui, Hawaii

Our perfect day was winding down as we headed back to Wailea to prepare for our final adventure; a luau. Sporting festive Hawaiian attire, we arrived at the Grand Wailea, a sprawling oceanfront resort where the luau was staged.  

Grand Wailea Luau in Maui

For the first hour, we meandered around a craft fair, took photos, and drank in the blazing sunset along with a few Mai Tai’s. After a quick trip through the buffet line where no one touched the Poi, the entertainment began.

We were treated to colorfully-costumed singers, dancers, and drummers who wowed the audience of about eight hundred. The highlight came at the end when a fire dancer twirled flaming sticks around his sweaty body in sync with dramatic drum beats which dazzled the captivated crowd.

Exhausted but exhilarated, we trekked back to our virgin hotel room to enjoy the brand-new everything and a good night’s sleep as we celebrated a perfect day in paradise.

Heading to Maui? Check out the Marriott Residence Inn in Wailea on Hotels.com
Or read reviews for Marriott Residence Inn in Wailea on TripAdvisor

Maui Best Bets:

Best Maui Travel Guide: Maui Revealed
Best Maui Hiking Guide: Hiking Maui: The Valley Isle
Best Night Time Adventure: Haleakala Sunset & Stargazing Adventure
Best Snorkel and Scuba Experience: Makena Coast Dive Charters
Best Inexpensive Golf: Wailea Golf (Blue Course)
Best Activity on a Saturday Morning: Maui Swap Meet
Best Pizza and Italian Sandwiches: Manoli’s
Best Dessert: Maui Pie

Best Maui Tours

Molokini & Turtle Town Snorkeling Adventure

Cruise the island’s scenic coast cruise out to a sunken crater to snorkel at a colorful reef. Then, a second stop to search for turtles at Turtle Town. This family-friendly Maui activity is one of the island’s most popular, and an unforgettable day exploring the underwater world in Maui.

2-Hour Whale Watching Experience

Enjoy stunning views and photo opportunities while traveling along Maui’s exquisite coastline. Your family-friendly whale-watching cruise comes with a guarantee that you spot a whale during your adventure.

7-Line Maui Zipline Tour on the North Shore

This zipline adventure tour takes place at a historic World War ll base, “Camp Maui.” Fly across several ziplines and cross the high-altitude suspension bridge all the while enjoying incredible views of Maui’s North Shore and the Pacific Ocean.

Te Au Moana Luau at The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort

Participate in a traditional Hawaiian luau during your time in Maui and learn about the Polynesian ancestry of the islands. Watch dancers portray the stories of fishing, gathering, and voyaging in “Te Au Moana: The Ocean Tide” along with pre-show entertainment, a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet, and a fire knife performance.

Island hopping? You might also enjoy The Best Free Hula Show and Where to find a Perfect Mai Tai in Oahu & The 52 Supernatural Places on Hawai’i Island

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