Haleakala Crater in Maui, Hawaii

Haleakala ("house of the sun") Crater is located in Haleakala National Park. It towers 10,023 feet above sea level, which makes it a popular place to watch the sunset and sunrise. Entrance to the National Park is $25 and valid for 3 days.

Also, if you plan to watch the sunrise here, you will need to make reservations ahead of time. We attempted to make reservations about two months prior to our trip and it was already booked. Luckily, you do not need to make reservations to watch the sunset from the summit.

Some tips before you go:

-Make sure you have a full tank of gas

-Take plenty of warm clothes (gloves, hat, jackets, blankets, etc) since the temperatures can drop below freezing

-Leave plenty of extra time to park and get a spot. Although no reservations are required to watch the sunset, the parking lot is small and does fill up fast.

 Not only will you be driving through the clouds. Eventually, you will end up looking over the tops of them.

Not only will you be driving through the clouds. Eventually, you will end up looking over the tops of them.

haleakala crater maui hawaii
 The drive to the Haleakala Summit is filled with lots of opportunities to pull over and capture the view.

The drive to the Haleakala Summit is filled with lots of opportunities to pull over and capture the view.

 There's a larger parking lot before you get to the top of the Summit, which is where you will find this visitor center. Don't pass it by, or you'll miss out on an incredible view...

There's a larger parking lot before you get to the top of the Summit, which is where you will find this visitor center. Don't pass it by, or you'll miss out on an incredible view...

 View from the visitor center right below the Summit

View from the visitor center right below the Summit

haleakala crater maui hawaii
haleakala crater maui hawaii panoramic
haleakala crater maui hawaii
 The drive up to the Summit

The drive up to the Summit

haleakala crater maui hawaii panoramic
 Plenty of time to take in the view before sunset

Plenty of time to take in the view before sunset

haleakala crater maui hawaii panoramic
 There was a lot of cloud coverage, but we were still able to enjoy a small sliver of pink and orange as it lit up the night sky.

There was a lot of cloud coverage, but we were still able to enjoy a small sliver of pink and orange as it lit up the night sky.

haleakala crater maui hawaii panoramic
haleakala crater maui hawaii
 And just like that, the day was over. One of the best things about traveling is being able to experience everyday things in a new way. All it takes is a little exploration.

And just like that, the day was over. One of the best things about traveling is being able to experience everyday things in a new way. All it takes is a little exploration.

Best Beaches In Maui, Hawaii

Maui has some of the most accessible and beautiful beaches out of all of the Hawaiian Islands. It's no wonder why the locals are on "island time." It's easy to let your worries slip away just as fast as the tide washes away your footprints from the sand. Take a look for yourself...

Mai Poina Beach Park

This beach is located in North Kihei. Parking is easy to find and you can walk for what seems like miles before you come across anyone. The sunsets are beautiful. You'll get the scenic view that you thought only existed on postcards. Don't miss out on this one.

maui hawaii kihei beach
maui hawaii kihei beach
maui hawaii kihei beach

Waianapanapa State Park

This beach alone would make the Road to Hana well-worth your time. After all, it's rated one of the top beaches in America. This beach is located near mile marker 32 off of Hana Highway. The black sand provides a sharp contrast against the luscious greenery and aquamarine waters. Be careful, though. The tide can rise fairly quickly. So, it's not one where you want to lounge around and sunbathe.

 Waianapanapa State Park - Black Sand Beach

Waianapanapa State Park - Black Sand Beach

maui hawaii black sand beach waianapanapa state park
maui hawaii waianapanapa state park black sand beach

Makena State Park

If you're looking for a good place to lounge around and catch some rays, this is your spot. Makena State Park is located south of Wailea and entry is free. The park consists of Big Beach and Little Beach. If you are with little ones, stay on Big Beach. Little Beach is just north of Big Beach. It is one of the few Hawaiian beaches where local police tolerate nudity.

 Makena Beach

Makena Beach

 Makena Beach- If you take the short hike up this lava outcropping, you'll stumble upon Little Beach.

Makena Beach- If you take the short hike up this lava outcropping, you'll stumble upon Little Beach.

 Makena Beach

Makena Beach

 Makena Beach- Little Beach (left) and Big Beach (right)

Makena Beach- Little Beach (left) and Big Beach (right)

Secret Cove Beach

This little beach is easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. It's located in a residential area that's just a short distance from Makena State Park. There's parallel parking on the street and a small blue beach access sign marking it's entrance.

 The small walkway to Secret Cove Beach

The small walkway to Secret Cove Beach

 Secret Cove Beach

Secret Cove Beach

 Secret Cove Beach

Secret Cove Beach

Kaanapali Beach

This beach was once named America's Best Beach. It's a bit harder to get to since it's surrounded by several large hotels and condominiums.  However, we were able to find free "beach access" parking that was located in between the hotels.  Make sure to bring your water shoes (and/or a first aid kit) as the reef is deceptively close to the shore.

 Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach

 Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach

 They say a day at the beach can restore the soul. Would you agree? Grab your favorite book, picnic, or person and see for yourself. Lose track of time. You're probably not missing out on anything important, just ask the locals.

They say a day at the beach can restore the soul. Would you agree? Grab your favorite book, picnic, or person and see for yourself. Lose track of time. You're probably not missing out on anything important, just ask the locals.

Houston Astrodome 2018 Domecoming

Last night, the Astrodome Conservancy threw a "Domecoming" party to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the Astrodome, the Eighth Wonder of the World.  Tickets were free, but all 25,000 were spoken for within 2 hours. 

A $105 million plan was approve to convert the Astrodome into an event center with 9 acres of covered space.  It was meant to be a last look inside the dome before the construction starts in October.  Memorabilia was on display from the Houston Oilers and Astros and former players came to see the dome one last time. 

Fans showed up wearing all sorts of vintage Astros and Oilers gear and the Houston pride was definitely felt while waiting on the long lines.  The event went well past the original planned time, but it brought back a lot of nostalgia and memories for native Houstonians.

houston astrodome domecoming 2018
houston astrodome domecoming 2018
houston astrodome domecoming 2018
houston astrodome domecoming 2018
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming
houston astrodome domecoming