Rated as one of the best places to stay on Maui for families, Grand Wailea is awesome if you have kids. Not only does this Maui resort have one of the best pool complexes in Hawaii (nine different pools, loads of water slides, and a brand new “lava slide,” it also has a rope swing, lazy river, water elevator, hot tubs, and even an adults-only pool for that much-needed couples getaway.
The resort also features a highly rated kids club, a teen club, a games lounge, and loads of amazing cultural events and activities that will help bring the island to life.
Location & Information: Located on the east side of Las Cruces, hikers can choose to go to the top for a 2.5 mile out and back or complete the 6-mile trail across the pass and end in Aguirre Springs.
Directions: From I-25 Exit 1 (University Avenue) in Las Cruces, head northeast on University (which eventually turns into Dripping Springs Road) for 7.7 miles. Turn left onto Baylor Canyon Rd and head north. The Trailhead is 4.8 miles down the road on the right (east) side.
White Sands National Park offers a wide variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, biking, and driving. The park features several well-marked trails that wind through the striking white sand dunes, ranging from easy nature walks to challenging hikes for more experienced adventurers.
Bikers can explore the dunes on designated routes, while drivers can take the eight-mile Dunes Drive scenic route to experience the stunning views from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience by Sledding down the giant Sand Dunes at White Sands National Park. Visitors can bring their sleds or rent them from the park’s gift shop. The best time to sled is in the early morning or late afternoon when the sand is cool, and the sun is not too hot. Sledding down the smooth, gleaming white slopes is a thrilling and unforgettable experience that is sure to be a highlight of any trip to White Sands National Park.
Horseback riding is a popular way to explore the stunning landscapes of White Sands National Park. Horseback riding trails wind through the dunes, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and desert flora and fauna. Visitors can bring their own horses by applying for a free permit and providing insurance information prior to entering the park. Horseback riding is a unique and peaceful way to experience the park’s natural beauty and is a great option for families or groups looking for a memorable outdoor adventure.
Location & Information: Located about 5 miles north of Las Cruces, it offers a number of hiking trails, 15 miles of mountain biking trails and 7 miles of horseback trails (which are not signed as well as the other trails). The Southern trails are recommended for beginners as they are reasonably lengthy and not as technical as opposed to the Northern trails which are shorter but more technical.
Directions: Take I-25 north to the Doña Ana exit, go east and turn left on Del Rey, turn at the next right (Calle Las Lomas). Turn left on La Reina, then turn right onto Desert Wind. Go east for about 1.4 miles and go through the cattle guard. On a primitive dirt road, go for another 1/2 mile. The trailhead is just past the power line.
Location & Information: Located just 7 miles west of Downtown Las Cruces, Picacho peak has several trails for mountain biking, hiking and equestrian use.
Directions: After approximately 1 mile on Picacho Hills Drive, veer to the left onto Barcelona Ridge Road. Travel approximately 1 mile to Anthem Road and turn right. Follow Anthem Road approximately 1 mile to Loop Road and turn right. Loop Road turns into dirt. Approximately 0.9 mile turn right and follow to the Picacho Mountain Recreation Area.
Location & Information: Slot Canyon is roughly 2.5 mile out and back located about 20 miles north of Las Cruces. Note: a state recreational access permit is required to access this hike.
Directions: Take I-25 north or south to the University exit (Exit 1) in Las Cruces. Turn east on University Avenue and follow it until A Mountain is directly to your right. Once you reach the north side of the mountain, there are two areas where cars can be parked, the most popular being the second one as you go east.
Types of Recreation Available: Hiking, camping, horseback riding, picnicking, watchable wildlife. Leashed pets are allowed on trails.
Directions: Take U.S. 70 for 14 miles east of the I-25/U.S. 70 interchange in Las Cruces, then turn south on the Aguirre Spring Road (1.1 miles after San Augustine Pass) for six miles. At mile 4 the road becomes a one-way loop and climbs steeply.
Fees: $5 per vehicle and $15 per bus. Camping fees are $7 per campsite. Group sites are $50. Group site reservations are required.
Situated on a sprawling 25-acre property right on Kahekili beach, the Royal Lahaina Resort, if you’re looking for places to stay on Maui that have it all. This Maui resort north of Ka’anapali Beach has three outdoor pools, two hot tubs, tennis courts, an excellent restaurant, and a fantastic on-site luau (although I highly recommend checking out the Old Lahaina Luau if you can book tickets).
A walking path gives visitors easy access to Whaler’s Village, and the staff is accommodating and friendly. In addition, the hotel usually clocks in slightly cheaper than other hotels in West Maui due to it not being directly on Ka’anapali Beach.
South Maui might not get the fanfare of West Maui, but this area of the island sees even more sun and less rain than its more popular sister. As a result, South Maui offers all the glory of West Maui without the crowds. There also tends to be better snorkeling and is where you’ll often find the locals hanging out.
Location & Information: Located about 9 miles northwest of Las Cruces, the trail head offers access to the Ridgeline, Discovery, and SST trails.