The second largest island in Hawaii is Maui, one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. This island is like a paradise on earth since it’s surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and offers beautiful views, balmy warm weather, ocean breezes, and vacation rentals situated just minutes from the shoreline. Moreover, Maui boasts a peaceful, easygoing atmosphere with friendly local residents, as well as plenty of activities that range from surfing the ocean waves to enjoying waterfront meals as the sun sets. If you’re planning a relaxing vacation, look no further than Hawaii, and book a stay at one of many gorgeous Maui vacation rentals today. Here are the most exciting places in Maui to check out.

1. Pools of Oheo, Maui

Oheo Gulch / Sacred Pools of Hana, Mauii
Source: Flickr / jshyun

Vacation rentals in the Pools of Oheo community put you just minutes from one of Maui’s most well-known landmarks. The Pools of Oheo, also referred to as the “Seven Sacred Pools,” are a group of seven natural pools, replenished daily by waterfalls. This amazing landmark sits inside of Haleakala National Park, where you’ll also find several hiking trails that wind through beautiful bamboo forests. Pack some snacks and water and explore the trails, then take a rest when you reach the pools. Be sure to bring your camera, as this sacred body of water is truly a sight to behold.

2. Hana, Maui

Sunset at Maui
Source: Flickr / Ruediger Gros

If you’re hoping for a bit of peace and quiet during your Maui visit, Hana is a great option. This cozy little town features semi-secluded vacation rentals just steps from the ocean shoreline, surrounded by gorgeous greenery and ocean breezes. Spend your days relaxing on Hana Beach, or take a day trip to Waianapanapa State Park and do some beachcombing on the picturesque black sand beach.

3. Wailuku, Maui

Surfing in Maui
Source: Flickr / Bernard Spragg. NZ

The community of Wailuku in Central Maui sits 10 miles from the county seat, offering a centralized location with easy access to both the beautiful shorelines and nearby Market Street, where you’ll find quaint shops and a handful of tasty dining options. Rent some surfboards from Island Surfboard Rental and catch some waves with the family, then enjoy some delicious local cuisine at King’s Chinese Barbecue on Market Street.

4. Iao Valley, Maui

Iao Valley State Park Maui
Source: Flickr / Bernard Spragg. NZ

Vacation rentals in Iao Valley offer breathtaking views of the Iao Needle, a natural peak that was created hundreds of years ago by eroding rocks. The Hawaii Nature Center is also nearby, where you can sign up for a guided nature walk and learn more about the beautiful wetlands and local wildlife. After you’ve spent the day exploring, stop by the Tasty Crust diner, a popular staple that serves delicious Hawaiian-American fare.

5. Kula, Maui

Sea Turtle at Maui
Source: Flickr / Bernard Spragg. NZ

The Kula community sits along the slopes of Haleakala in Central Maui, offering vacation rentals just a few minutes from the rocky shore of the Pacific Ocean, where you just may bump into a local sea turtle or two. The community is known for its beautiful flowers and fresh produce, and several farms provide walking tours. Stop by the Lavender Farm to inhale the calming aroma of fresh lavender, or go onion picking at O’o Farm.

6. Big Beach, Maui

The surf at Big Beach, Maui
Source: Flickr / Joe Parks

While the ocean surrounds the entire island of Maui, the Big Beach community is a great vacation rental location if you’re planning to spend a lot of your holiday surfing, swimming, or simply splashing along the shoreline, as it sits just minutes from one of Maui’s most renowned beaches. Named one of the best beaches in Maui, Big Beach offers miles of sandy shorelines, picnic tables, and a full-service food truck for easy access to snacks and cold drinks whenever you need a break from the island fun. Rent some paddleboards and navigate the waters, or set up a few beach chairs and soak up the sun with fellow travelers.

7. Molokini, Maui

Upcountry Maui
Source: Flickr / Chad Podoski

Located upcountry, Molokoni is referred to as the “biggest little town in Maui.” This quaint community is known for its artistic residents and paniolo, or “Hawaiian Cowboys,” as Molokoni is also home to the Makawao Rodeo, which takes place every year on the 4th of July. Enjoy the mellow pace of the town as you stroll through the main square and peruse eclectic artwork and unique souvenirs, then finish your day with a sweet treat from T. Komoda Store, a bakery established in 1916 with some of the best cream puffs on the island.

8. Lahaina, Maui

Sunset, Lahaina HI
Source: Flickr / Allan

Lahaina is a community in West Maui that offers vacation rentals just steps away from the ocean, so you can breathe in the balmy, fragrant air, walk up and down the beach, and soak up the sun as soon as you wake up every morning. With the beach on one side and Lahainaluna Road on the other, Lahaina gives you the ease and convenience of lodging in a central location. Spend your days relaxing on the beach, then take a walk over to the Lahaina Grill for a fresh seafood dinner.

9. Honolua Bay, Maui

Honolua Bay Maui
Source: Flickr / Hawaii Savvy

If you’re planning to do a little snorkeling or sailing during your Maui stay, Honolua Bay is an ideal vacation rental location. Located in West Maui in an area referred to as the “ahupua?a” of Honolua, Honolua Bay offers picturesque waters that are perfect for boating, swimming, surfing, and best of all, snorkeling. Sign up for a snorkeling adventure to get an up close and personal view of sea turtles, unicorn fish, and beautiful live corals, or wait until the tide’s a bit higher and hit the waves on a surfing safari.