Travel Guide: Discovering Maui

We know you are headed to Maui to have the race of your life at the XTERRA World Championship. But just in case you are in need of some suggestions of what to do after the race (we are looking at you, Hula Grill), XTERRA President, Janet Clark, shares some of her favorite spots.

Kapalua Coastal Trail and Dragon’s Teeth
At only 3.5 mostly flat miles, the Kapalua Coastal Trail is a perfect pre- or post-race hike. The trail begins in the south parking lot of DT Fleming Beach Park. Just make sure to pack sunscreen and snorkel gear. Along the way you can see the nesting grounds of shorebirds, rough waves slamming against lava rock, and intrepid surfers.

The Dragon’s Teeth are located just beyond the Ritz-Carlton chapel. If coming from the Ritz-Carlton, you’ll follow the pathway that runs parallel to the hedges that mark the boundary for the Honokahua Burial Site. This ancient Hawaiian burial site is home to hundreds of ancient Hawaiian remains and is the primary reason why The Ritz-Carlton is located so far from the shoreline.

As you pass the golf course that sits just in front of the chapel, you’ll begin to notice the jagged structures – or volcanic “Dragon’s Teeth” that make up the coastline.

Kapalua Zipline
If you are traveling with kids (or even if you’re not), don’t miss the Kapalua Zipline, which is Maui’s largest, all-dual zipline course. You can get all the adrenaline of a race without the effort while taking in the beautiful Maui scenery. Kapalua Zipline has locations in Kapalua and in the Puukukui Preserve.

Turtles at Napili Beach
Tucked away just north of Ka’anapali, Napili Bay is a great spot to watch honu in their natural environment. (Hint: head towards the lava rocks just off the beach.) We recommend parking on a side street.

Honolua Bay
While DT Fleming Beach is often called the best beach on Maui’s west shore, just one beach over is a wonderful spot to snorkel or just relax and watch the surfers. Honolua means “two harbors” in Hawaiian, and this bay was historically used by Honolua Ranch to receive supplies and ship products.

The primary draw here today is snorkeling and surfing; you’re always guaranteed to see lots of fish, turtles and coral as long as you’re willing to swim out a bit from the beach.

Hula Grill
One of the sponsors of the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, the award-winning Hula Grill serves fresh, local, and delicious food paired with tropical drinks. Check out the menu or make reservations at

Visit Lanai
The XTERRA World Championship is the perfect opportunity to visit another island. From Lahaina, you can take an hour-long ferry ride to Lanai and experience the magic that island has to offer. For more information, visit

“There is so much to do in Maui, you could stay for weeks,” says Clark. “If you can catch the Haleakala Sunrise you will see clouds and the colors over the crater that are out of this world. The Road to Hana has great views of waterfalls, and you can spend a whole day just strolling the streets of Lahaina, browsing in art galleries, and stopping for amazing snacks. And don’t miss the upcountry of Paia, where you will find vineyards and authentic paniolos, and lounge on the lovely white sands of Hulopoe Beach, a marine preserve with tons of fish.”

For more information, visit the Maui Visitor’s Bureau at

Photos courtesy of the Maui Visitor’s Bureau, Hula Grill, Scotty Perkins Photography, and Kapalua Zipline.

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