August 31st, 2016

Photo Diary: My Adventure in Hawaii

Photo Diary: My Adventure in Hawaii

I’m sharing personal travel photos of Maui’s beach sunsets, volcano hikes, and the awesome gear that helped me get through my journey.

The great thing about the Hawaiian Islands is that each island consists of lots of different landscapes—including beaches, mountains, and farms—so there are endless ways to spend your time when visiting. I recently packed my bags and took a trip to Maui, where I was able to enjoy its breathtaking sunsets, volcano hikes, and more. Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii. There, you'll find popular spots like Mount Haleakalā and Wailea Beach, as well as museums, farm-to-table restaurants, five-star resorts, and tons of friendly natives who are happy to teach you about their culture. Below, I share details—as well as photos—of my tropical adventure.

My Adventure in Hawaii 1

When I walked into my suite at Wailea Beach Villas, I was immediately stunned by the bright orange walls in the entryway. When I dropped by bag, I realized that it matched the walls perfectly. Could there have been a stronger sign that Maui and I were meant to be? I left my Eagle Creek No Matter What™ Rolling Duffel in the foyer and continued to explore my home for the next few days. My room was off to the left and featured a king-size bed, private bathroom, and gorgeous views of Mount Haleakalā. Straight ahead and past the full kitchen and living room, was the star of the show: the furnished balcony overlooking the stunning and serene Wailea Beach.

My Adventure in Hawaii 2

Nothing beats a Maui sunset, which is best viewed from the beaches on the west side of the island. Wailea Beach faces a few other Hawaiian Islands, and just before the sun dipped below Lanai, I snapped this picture of the orange and yellow hues from Wailea Elua Village, a condo resort on the beach. The sunset was followed by a delicious dinner cooked by a private chef and Hawaiian wines.

My Adventure in Hawaii 3

After a long day on the beach, sometimes you need a respite from the heat and sun. For me, that meant lying down on the couch with a good book for an hour. I parked myself in the corner of my suite’s living room, and enjoyed the balcony views of paradise. That break also allowed me to charge my many gadgets. While I didn’t need an outlet converter in Hawaii, I brought my Eagle Creek Universal Travel Adapter anyway, and I am so glad I did. The base of my phone charger broke on the road and I was able to use the adapter, which has an insert for a USB cord, in its place. I was also able to use the adapter to charge my camera, which was helpful because I had only the USB cord for that as well. And, because the adapter has multiple USB slots, I was able to charge both devices at the same time.  

My Adventure in Hawaii 4

My second day in Hawaii started with a picnic of local fruits and a hike through the West Maui Mountains. Iao Valley State Park, a stream-split lush forest, is situated within this mountain range. The 4,000-acre (1.6-square-meter), 10-mile (16-kilometer) long park is full of exotic flora and fauna, as well as paved trails that are perfect for exploring. The hallmark of the area is the Iao Needle, a peak that formed because one piece of land refused to erode while the area around it did. Now covered in foliage like the rest of the valley, the Iao Needle rises about 1,200 feet (3,600 meters) into the air.

If you're planning a trip to Hawaii, spring and fall are excellent times to go to avoid higher prices and crowds, as well as the winter rainy season. That said, the daytime high temperature in Hawaii hovers between 78 and 85 year-round, so there's hardly a bad time of year to visit.

Have you traveled to Maui or one of the other Hawaiian Islands? What are some of your favorite spots and travel tips? Share your two cents in the comments!

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Pack for a Destination Wedding

Blogger Packing List: What to Pack for a Beach Vacation

The Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest

by Maggie Parker