I was fortunate enough to visit Maui this past July, and I fell in love with nature, all over again. I was already in love with the mountains here in the Northeast, but I met a whole new set of mountains there. After a brief 30 minute hike, you can be up in the West Maui mountaintops, which are blanketed in thick, lush, green. A cooling breeze blows your hair back and a light mist sprays through the air. The smell of the exotic, white plumeria flowers is intoxicating. Every afternoon, multiple rainbows—even multiple double rainbows—bridge the summits while a gentle, welcome rain falls for just a few minutes.
By the ocean, it's a solid 85 degrees, but it's only hot in the direct sun. An strong ocean wind blows around the clock, so if you stand in the shade, you cool off instantly. The ocean holds every imaginable shade of blue. The currents are extremely strong, and the ocean waves are powerful—they'll knock you down or flip you over if you're not careful. Due to rip currents, you have to be really experienced if you want to swim on those beaches. However, don't let that keep you from going! Hundreds of windsurfers, kitesurfers, and surfers dot the most dangerous beaches like swarms of rainbow colored monarchs. Even if you're not into adventure sports, visiting the astoundingly beautiful beaches and breathing in that cleansing air is worth every penny of your trip.
Of course, there are Maui's sunsets and sunrises. Watch one, and you're practically guaranteed to have some spiritual, enlightening experience. If not, you'll still be frozen with awe. I can't really describe just how beautiful it all is—what to speak of watching the sunrise from Maui's Haleakala crater, which is ~11,000 feet high. To see the sun touch the tip of the horizon and transform the world from pitch black to blazing orange and yellow is an experience I will never, ever forget. You can't help but feel happy when everywhere you look, at any time of day, there's something stunning to witness.