Short of going with them, these are a few of the favorite things we love about Maui. Keep in mind that our recommendations have the following parameters:
1) My kids know how to swim in the ocean and are comfortable knowing they cannot touch the bottom. I stress this because swimming in a pool is very different from the ocean.
2) I do not go camping on vacation. Heck, I just don't go camping.
3) We like eating local food and this includes Spam. We also typically stay in a condo-type place and eat-in for breakfast and sometimes pack lunches for day trips.
4) My intrepid husband likes to find things off the beaten path. So these are our favorites.
Must-do, every time, because it's different every time. We haven't done the bicycle down from the summit because unlike swimming in the ocean, this really seems very, very dangerous. We also don't recommend playing "Jello" in the back seat on the drive up if you have children that get carsick.
However, there is stunning landscape and the views are amazing. On a clear day, you can see four other islands and when it's cloudy, the mist clears and falls back in to show different parts of island. All very poetically beautiful.
Molokini. Very highly recommended, if you and your children meet the above-mentioned swimming criteria. 35-50 feet of crystal clear underwater visibility. We like Pacific Whale Foundation mostly because they have a healthy respect for the ocean. Plus the boat ride is pure exhilaration into and out of Ma'alaea with the wind line into the harbor.
'Iao Valley. Right outside of Wailuku. Take the short (1/2 mile) hike through the park. 'Iao valley's historical significance is that it is where Kamehameha I defeated the forces of Maui in his quest to unify the Hawaiian islands.
Black Rock Torch Lighting at Kaanapali. Every night at sunset. Snorkeling is quite good at Black Rock during the day right from the shore.
Golf. The Grand Wailea, Makena, Kapalua (Bay and Plantation). Full disclosure: I'd rather go shopping or to the beach than golf, but the husband has vetted these choices.
We also liked the Maui Ocean Center, hiking from Honolua to the blowhole (follow the white arrows) and going up-country, mostly Kula.This is a nice drive to the cooler temperatures. Either on the way up or down to Haleakala, visit the Kula Botanical Garden and the Alii Kula Lavender Farm.
Aah, I can feel the breeze. Now, what do we eat once we get there?