12 reasons to visit Maui, the world’s best island according to TripAdvisor

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This is just one of Maui’s many beautiful beaches.
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TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor released its annual Traveler’s Choice awards for islands this week, and Maui in Hawaii took home top honors. The second-largest island in the Pacific state, Maui is celebrated for its lush climate, tranquil beaches, and wealth of outdoor activities.

We’ve found 12 of the best – and most beautiful – reasons to visit this tropical paradise.


Much of Maui is situated inside beautiful Haleakala National Park, home to a dormant volcano. Catch the sunrise from the top of its 10,023-foot peak.

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Flickr / D.A. Lewis

The Road to Hana is a popular driving tour on the north side of the island. The narrow road has 600 curves and 54 bridges, many of them on just one lane. Those braving the harrowing road will be rewarded with stunning waterfalls, lush rainforest, and hidden beaches.

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Shutterstock

Molokini Crater is a tiny, crescent-shaped island off Maui’s southwestern coast. The protected conservation district is rich in coral and fish biodiversity, and a popular spot for snorkelers and scuba divers.

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Wikimedia Commons

From December to May, Maui has some of the best whale-watching in the world. Humpback whales migrate to its warm, calm waters to feed and give birth, and visitors can take guided tours to catch a glimpse of the playful mammals.

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Shutterstock / idreamphoto

Maui is home to 80 beaches and 120 miles of shoreline. From white sand to volcanic rocks, and from gentle coves to crashing surf, there’s a waterfront for everyone.

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Makena Beach, Maui
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Shutterstock / Chris Howey

Practice your swing while overlooking the Pacific Ocean at one of Maui’s 14 golf courses. Or, watch the pros at the PGA Tournament of Champions, which is held at the Plantation Course at Kapalua every January.

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Getty Images / Tom Pennington

The coral reef at Turtle Town allows visitors to get up close and personal with the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Just don’t get too close, as the gentle giants are protected.

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Flickr / snorkelingdives.com

Formerly a whaling port, Lahaina is one of Maui’s liveliest cities, and a great spot for dining, shopping, and nightlife.

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Shutterstock

Adventurous visitors can take part in one of the island’s numerous zip line tours, which zoom dozens of feet over rainforest or sugar plantations in the island’s upcountry.

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Shutterstock / Brocreative

Stars and amateurs rub elbows at the Maui Film Festival (June 15th to 19th), where movies are screened outdoors in a casual celebration of art and filmmaking.

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Getty Images / Michael Buckner

Experience authentic Hawaiian nightlife at a traditional luau, which feature Hula dancing and buffet-style Kalua pork and fish.

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Flickr / tweber1

Seafood is an obvious choice on Maui, and TripAdvisor ranks Mama’s Fish House the number one seafood restaurant on the island. Traditional dishes include poke, poi, and mahi mahi.

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Facebook/Mama’s Fish House