Flytographer Taena is a Maui girl, born and raised. She loves to reflect the fun and lighthearted spirit of the island in her photographs. So, who better to get the 411 on the best of Maui? We chatted with Taena to get her local tips on the very best Maui has to offer.

What do you love about your destination?

It’s comforting for me to be near the ocean. I love to travel the world, but nothing beats home. There are no seasonal changes, no rush to prepare for winter storms, and time seems to stand still. Every day is beautiful and the weather is warm even if it rains.

Tell us about your neighbourhood.

I was born and raised on the island of Maui. I’ve always lived in the little town of Wailuku. In Wailuku’s historic town centre, you’ll see trendy bars like Wai Bar, restaurants like 808 on Main, and coffee shops like Wailuku Coffee Company popping up. If you drive too fast, you’ll miss the whole thing. It’s a quaint little street that has old iconic buildings like the Iao Theater that dates back to 1928 and still operates today.

What is the best free activity to experience in your destination?

The best free activities to experience are to drive out to Twin Falls and hike, to take the Road to Hana for coastal views and tons of waterfalls along the way, and, of course, to play all day at the beach and watch the sunset with those you love.

Tell us the most unexpected fun fact about your destination.

Hawaii is a very superstitious place and we have a lot of fun Hawaiian mythology like tales of mischievous Menehune, mythological creatures who live in the forests and valleys of the islands. And if you’re wondering where locals go to vacation? It’s Las Vegas — our ninth island!

Tell us about iconic landmarks or locations in your destination that you love and why.

I fell in love with Ironwoods, a very popular location for photography because of how stunning the landscape is — cliffs overlooking the sea, sandy beaches to play on, and a cute boardwalk, too! My all-time favourite is to visit Haleakala Crater for sunrise. Imagine you’re at the peak of a dormant volcano above the clouds overlooking the whole island as the sun rises. The connection I feel to my Hawaiian culture and to the land is incredible.

What is the best “unknown” spot that you love to tell people about?

If you’re heading to Twin Falls, stop in Haiku, home of Maui Kombucha, which has fresh kegs of “booch” made with local ingredients on tap! If you like sushi, head to Nuka across the street. The drive to Haiku is gorgeous and conveniently on the way to Twin Falls!

Tell us the top reason why you think people should book a trip to your destination.

People should book a trip to Maui because life can be stressful and overwhelming, and Maui is a place of peace and tranquility. Travellers who come to Maui can connect with nature whether it be at our beautiful beaches, waterfalls, coastal drives, hikes in the forests, or watching the sunrise on top of Haleakala Crater way above the clouds. There’s something for everyone here. And of course, one of my favourite things to do is have a staycation at one of our many luxury resorts and spas. Pure relaxation.

Is there anything else we should know about your city?

Travellers should come to relax and enjoy the food, local beer, luxury resorts, and our beautiful beaches. After you get off the plane, get lunch at Tin Roof and the best poke bowls are at Tamura’s!