Vacation is about relaxation, getting away from our normal daily grind and recharging. How one achieves these things, however, can vary greatly. For me, it’s not about sitting and sipping a fruity drink. I need to move and explore. I want to see things I don’t normally get see and do things I don’t normally get to do. Maui, my latest vacation destination, was no exception to this rule.

If you’re thinking of taking off to the islands for your next vacation, and lying on the beach isn’t how you want to spend the entire week, I highly suggest visiting Maui. Here are my top picks to have a fit Maui vacation.

  • Hiking in Haleakala State Park: Haleakala is the volcano crater, dormant but beautiful. The first thing you need to do there actually isn’t physically exerting. It will, however, leave you tired. The biggest attraction is watching the sunrise from the peak. This requires getting up about 2:30 am and traveling 2 to 3 hours to the summit to catch the color of the sun as you watch it rise over the clouds.  After the sun rises, pick any of the hiking trails and explore the rest of the park. Just be sure to pack plenty of water and food because neither is sold in the park.
  • The Blowhole and Ocean Baths in Northwest Maui: The road is narrow, slow and perhaps a bit dangerous but these are sites not to be missed. Be warned, you will need your hiking shoes. The climb over lava rocks is not to be attempted in flip flops (although the locals going fishing did it bare foot). At either site you can climb rocks to your hearts content or swim in the warm pools protected from the crashing ocean waves.
  • Running the Wailea Beach Walk: You can try running on the beach. I had problems walking so I really can’t imagine a satisfying run on sand. If you still want to run with an amazing ocean view and a nice tropical breeze try this path that runs along the swankiest of hotels. The best part? Despite the fact that the beaches are attached to ritzy resorts they are, for the most part, open to the public. After working up a sweat take a dip to cool off.
  • Snorkeling at Makena State Park: You can pay a boat massive amounts of money to take you out in the ocean to snorkel. Or you can simply drive to the cove they take them to. In a lovely place called Turtle Town you can see gorgeous coral reefs, brilliantly colored fish and swim with the sea turtles. Go early when the waters are calm, swim and snorkel till lunch then enjoy a picnic in the shaded park area.

My first trip to the islands was all I could have hoped for. Did I indulge a bit while I was there? Sure. Paia has some amazing food, included vegan cookies and cupcakes from Mana Foods. But they also have clean treats like roasted chickpeas and apple bananas. A little of each helped keep me going each day.

Everyday was a new fun fit adventure. I left recharged and inspired to bring my fitness to a whole new level. And ready to prep for my upcoming fall fit vacation to New York. After all, there is hiking in Central Park.

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