If you have visited other Hawaiian islands in the past, you may be wondering, is Maui worth visiting? As a Hawai’i local, I can confidently tell you it is. Here are my favorite things to do in Maui as a local.
The island of Maui, nicknamed the Valley Isle, perfectly blends the island’s natural beauty with luxurious hotels and shopping. It’s much more laid-back than Oahu but less rural than Kauai or the Big Island of Hawai’i.
When visiting Maui, expect a perfect balance between relaxation and fun. There are many outdoor activities in Maui, like snorkeling in the sea and hiking along cascading waterfalls, and many relaxing activities like luaus and golf.
There are also a ton of things to do in Maui with kids, like the Maui Ocean Center and whale watching. If you decide which island to visit with the whole family, I highly recommend Maui.
Read on to discover the best Maui tourist attractions and beyond.
No cruise on the ocean is complete without seeing some whales, and Lahaina Whale-Watching Cruise delivers! On this Maui Channel tour, you'll get to see killer whales in their natural habitat, as well as playful behavior like slapping fins, breaching or spy-hopping. Not only will you see everything from your upper deck seats but you can also hear whales speaking to each other via underwater hydrophones. All of this plus a friendly crew and a delicious buffet makes for a great whale-watching experience!
Maui is home to the world's biggest green sea turtle population. The vast majority of Hawaii's near-shore green turtles reside in Makena Bay, a short drive from Maui's luxury resorts. A guided kayak tour through this protected marine sanctuary will take you to 'Turtle Town' where you can enjoy an up-close experience with these magnificent creatures as they fish and bask in their natural environment.
Get ready to fly over a trail system along the rugged and beautiful coastline of Maui’s North Shore. You’ll be amazed as you soar through the air across seven ziplines and enjoy views of lush valleys, waterfalls, ocean cliffs and even humpback whales in season. This zipline adventure tour is located at historic World War ll base “Camp Maui” near the town of Kula on the island of Maui. The pure adrenaline rush you'll get from this one-of-a-kind experience.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Maui, Hawaii
- 1. Maui Ocean Center
- 2. Haleakala National Park
- 3. Kaanapali Beach
- 4. Kaanapali Golf Courses
- 5. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
- 6. Iao Valley State Park
- 7. Makena Beach
- 8. Old Lahaina Luau
- 9. Enjoy the Sunset on Front Street
- 10. Ho’okipa Beach Park
- 11. Watch the Massive Waves at Jaws
- 12. Grab a Meal at Mama’s Fish House
- 13. Bailey House Museum
- 14. Honolua Bay
- 15. Maui Whale Festival
- 16. Wailea Beach
- 17. Stroll Through The Shops at Wailea
- 18. Drive the Scenic Road to Hana
- 19. Waianapanapa State Park
- 20. Kapalua Coastal Trail
- 21. Napili Beach
- 22. Scuba Diving at Molokini Crater
- 23. Visit a Local Farmers Market
- 24. Wailua Falls
- 25. Nakalele Blowhole
- 26. Take the Ferry to Lanai
- 27. Take a Helicopter Tour
- How can I get to Maui, HI?
- What is the best way to get around Maui?
- What are the best free things to do in Maui?
- What is there to do on a rainy day in Maui?
- Do I need travel insurance when visiting Maui?
Need the info on the best things to do when you visit Maui right now?! I got you fam
- Most significant landmark – Haleakala National Park
- Best park – Iao Valley State Park
- Best free activity – Drive the Road to Hana
- Best activity for kids – Maui Ocean Center
- Best activity for adults – Snorkeling at Molokini Crater
- Best food – Mama’s Fish House
- Best nightlife – Front Street in Lahaina
- Best all-around accommodation – Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Things to Do in Maui, Hawaii
1. Maui Ocean Center
The Maui Ocean Center is an excellent option if you’re looking to get out of the sun for a bit and certainly, an incredible option if you are traveling with kids. The center spans over three acres and is home to the largest living tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.
The Open Ocean tunnel is one of the most stunning displays of sea life at the Maui Ocean Center. Stroll through the transparent tunnel for a broad view of beautiful ocean life, including sharks, stingrays, and hundreds of species of tropical fish.
Another great spot in the center to check out is Nursery Bay. The Nursery Bay allows visitors to get up close and personal with several species of shark pups and other juvenile marine life. Try to get there when the center opens for the best parking options and a shorter entrance line. You can purchase tickets for the Maui Ocean Center right here.
See Related: Under the Sea – Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
2. Haleakala National Park
If there’s just one thing not to miss while visiting the Hawaiian island of Maui, it’s Haleakala National Park. If you’re wondering, “what is Maui known for?” I would say that Haleakala is it.
The summit of Haleakala Crater stands at over 10,023 feet above sea level, high above the surrounding clouds. It’s home to several species of animals indigenous to Hawaii, including a few species of endangered birds.
The best and most popular time to visit Haleakala is early morning to watch the sunrise. Drive up to the top and park at the Haleakala Visitor Center. Make sure to pack some warm clothes and even some blankets to enjoy the view while staying comfortable and warm.
Check out this Sunrise and Breakfast Tour to Haleakala National Park. This tour will take you up to the top of Haleakala to enjoy the beautiful sunrise with warm coffee and delicious pastries.
See Related: Best State and National Parks in South Carolina
3. Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches on the island of Maui. The clear, blue waters are teeming with tropical fish, and the long, wide beach has plenty of room to lounge around during the day.
Try this fun Semi-Private Surf Lesson for Two right in Kaanapali. Private surf lessons are a great way to enjoy the Hawaiian waters and learn a new sport. You might be surfing alongside some Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles!
Kaanapali Beach is lined with several family-friendly hotels. It is one of the more affordable areas to stay in in Maui. Here are some of the best hotels in the Kaanapali area:
- Budget – Aston Kaanapali Shores
- Mid-Range – Aston Mahana at Kaanapali
- Luxury – The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas
See Related: Best Beaches in the US to Visit
4. Kaanapali Golf Courses
If you’re looking for a relaxing outdoor activity that doesn’t involve the ocean, look no further than the Kaanapali Golf Courses. Hawai’i has some of the most beautiful golf courses on the planet with the most magnificent views; the Kaanapali Golf Courses are no exception.
The Kaanapali Golf Courses are comprised of 36 holes and split into two courses: the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course and the Kaanapali Kai Golf Course. The Royal Kaanapali Golf Course is more challenging, while the Kaanapali Kai Golf Course is suitable for all skill levels.
For a unique experience, the golf course also offers a fun game of Footgolf. Footgolf combines the game of golf with soccer and is a fun game for all ages. This course has nine holes and is only $15 per player.
See Related: Best Golf Bachelor Party Destinations to Visit
5. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is a beautiful experience off the beaten path for all of your senses. The farm grows over 20 varieties of lavender and sells various health and beauty products made from local ingredients. The farm can be found just on the slopes of Haleakala, a great stop if you are planning to visit the famous Haleakala National Park.
The climate of Kula is described as “Mediterranean,” making it a perfect place to grow lavender. Because the temperature stays relatively the same year-round, you can always find lavender in bloom. Still, the best time of year to see the most flowers is between July and August. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is the only lavender farm in Hawai’i.
Besides a self-guided farm tour and is a perfect place for an Instagram shot, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm holds several events each month, like workshops and even lavender treasure hunts.
The lavender farm is open Friday to Monday from 1o:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. and admission is $3.
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6. Iao Valley State Park
Located within the West Maui Mountains, Iao Valley State Park is a great place to stop and enjoy the magnificent views of the towering mountain range. The park is home to one of Maui’s most notable landmarks, the Iao Needle, a 1,200-foot tall rock formation. You can see this marvel on a hike along the Iao Needle Lookout Trail.
Iao Valley State Park is located in Central Maui, just 20 minutes from the Kahului Airport. A well-paved path leads you from the decent-sized parking lot to the Iao Needle lookout. The trail is easy and takes less than 15 minutes to get to the endpoint.
The park is in a lush rainforest full of tropical flora and fauna; it’s the perfect place to spend the day with the whole family. Due to the area’s high amount of rain and cloud cover, it’s best to visit in the early hours of a very clear day to view the Iao Needle.
Beyond the area’s natural beauty, it’s also a significant site in Hawaiian history. Iao Valley was where Kamehameha the Great fought the warriors of Maui in 1790, eventually leading to his conquest of the island. He was the first to conquer and unify all of the Hawaiian Islands.
7. Makena Beach
Makena Beach, also known as Oneloa Beach or, more commonly, Big Beach, definitely lives up to its name. It’s a vast, white sand beach that stretches over 1.5 miles long. It’s a great place to hang out with friends and family all day in sunny South Maui.
I have great memories of visiting my friends on Maui, immediately jumping into the car, and driving down to Big Beach from the airport. The waves are generally small, so it’s a perfect spot to lounge around on a beach float or paddleboard.
Speaking of paddle boarding, check out this highly-rated Private Beginner Paddle Boarding Lesson right on Makena Beach. Paddle boarding is an incredibly relaxing activity, and doing it while being able to explore the Maui coastline is a big bonus.
I should warn you that if you walk far enough down Big Beach, you will end up at Little Beach. Little Beach is a well-known nude beach, so do with that information what you will.
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8. Old Lahaina Luau
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most well-known Maui attractions and the best luau in the Hawaiian islands. The luau opened its doors in 1986 and has been a mainstay of Lahaina ever since.
When you enter the luau, you are immediately immersed in the warm aloha spirit by friendly greeters who gift you a lei or shell necklace. A live band performs Hawaiian music throughout the evening, and professional hula dancers beautifully tell tales and the history of Hawaii.
Sample some traditional Hawaiian fare while you enjoy the night’s entertainment. You may have already heard of poke, cubed marinated raw fish, but laulau and kulolo might be new things to try.
Laulau is pork (or sometimes chicken or fish) wrapped in taro leaves and steamed; it is my absolute favorite thing to eat when I’m back on the islands. Kulolo is a dessert, sort of like a pudding, made of steamed taro and coconut milk.
An open bar is also available for those over 21 years of age.
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9. Enjoy the Sunset on Front Street
Front Street is the main street that runs through Lahaina, one of the largest towns in Maui. The charming street has boutiques, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs that will always remind you of your time on the islands.
Lahaina was once the main whaling village in Hawai’i; remnants of this history can still be seen throughout the city today. The enormous Banyan Trees in Lahaina are also an iconic town symbol. Sheriff William Owen Smith planted the first Banyan tree in Lahaina in 1873; the same tree is still there today.
The Lahaina Banyan Court is a lovely place to picnic under the shade of beautiful trees. Stop by Banyan Treats, next to the Lahaina Banyan Court, for some yummy cookies and my favorite local ice cream. Roselani Ice Cream has been around since the 1930s and is only made in Maui. It is still a very popular ice cream brand in the islands.
If you’re a coffee-lover, try the Kona Mud Pie flavor, it’s to die for! I also love the Chocolate Macadamia flavor and Vanilla Bean, made with vanilla grown on the Big Island.
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10. Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the most gorgeous beaches on Maui’s north shore. The clear, blue waters are mesmerizing, and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles often visit the beach.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, or “honu” in Hawaiian, are native to the Hawaiian islands and play a significant part in Hawaiian culture. Some Hawaiians believe that their relatives who have passed on come back to visit as honu.
You can often find the green sea turtles napping on the sand and rocks at Ho’okipa Beach Park. Feel free to admire them but don’t get too close. It’s a law in Hawai’i that you must stay at least 10 feet away from all turtles and may be fined if you get closer.
Kite surfing is a popular sport on this side of the island because of the frequent high winds. You can also often see surfers catching waves from dawn until sunset.
Because of the orientation of this beach, the waves can get quite large during the winter. Use the utmost caution if you visit during this time of year, as rogue waves can rise up high on the beach without warning.
See Related: Best Surfing Spots in the World
11. Watch the Massive Waves at Jaws
Just a few minutes from Ho’okipa Beach Park is the world-famous surf spot of Pe’ahi, also known as Jaws. Colossal waves roll every winter, making it a perfect place for professional big-wave surfers.
Each year, Quiksilver holds the Jaws Big Wave Challenge surf competition. Seeing these pro surfers take on these massive, terrifying waves is incredible. In 2021, local pro surfer Makua Rothman rode wave experts estimated to be over 100 feet tall. This would make it the most enormous wave to ever be surfed anywhere in the world.
The waves at Jaws get so huge due to a combination of the seasonal north swell and the surface of the sea floor on this side of the island.
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12. Grab a Meal at Mama’s Fish House
Mama’s Fish House might be the most iconic restaurant in Hawai’i. The restaurant is located on Maui’s north shore, just a few minutes from Ho’okipa Beach Park in Paia.
As its name suggests, the renowned restaurant is known for its impressive seafood menu and local favorites like ahi poke and Pulehu short ribs. The menu changes regularly, with new specials added every day.
Try the mouth-watering seared octopus, freshly caught off the coast of Maui. I’d also recommend the lilikoi (passion fruit) crème brulée! It’s exquisite and perfectly adds a light fruity flavor to the classic dessert.
Just as incredible as the food is the beautiful story of the owners, Doris (a.k.a. “Mama”) and Floyd Christenson, and how their restaurant came to be. They first visited Maui in 1959, when there was only one hotel, and the island was just a collection of undeveloped beaches.
The couple and their two young children then sailed throughout the South Pacific. Eventually, they returned to Maui, their forever home, and Mama’s Fish House was born. At this time, Maui was starting to be developed, with a few new hotels popping up here and there. The only nice restaurants on the island were steakhouses, with no seafood restaurants in sight.
Stay nearby at the Paia Inn, a perfect escape from the busy resort areas on the island’s western shores.
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13. Bailey House Museum
The Bailey House Museum is the largest and oldest museum in Maui. It is run by the Maui Historical Society, whose mission is to preserve the culture and history of Maui for future generations. It’s also known as Hale Ho’ike’ike, meaning house of displays.
The most extensive collection of artifacts is from ancient Hawai’i before contact was made with any Western people. These artifacts have been impressively preserved. The collection includes items such as kapa (cloth made from wood bark), lei hulu (feather lei), and lei niho palaoa (whale tooth lei).
The Bailey House Museum also houses exhibits that teach visitors about the history of the Hawaiian Monarchy, from the time before Kamehameha the Great to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
When visiting the Bailey House Museum, don’t skip out on the delightful gift shop, which sells various products handmade in Maui. Proceeds from the gift shop directly support the museum’s mission for preservation.
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14. Honolua Bay
Looking for a beautiful location to snorkel among Maui’s marine life? Look no further than Honolua Bay. Honolua Bay is one of the top spots for snorkeling in Maui due to its crystalline waters and thriving coral reef.
The bay is part of the Marine Life Conservation District of Maui County. Fishing is prohibited and nothing should be taken out of the bay, including rocks and coral. Conservation is vital to Native Hawaiians to preserve the already limited natural resources for generations.
I highly recommend this Honolua Bay Snorkel and Sail tour, conveniently departing from Lahaina. Guests can enjoy a beautiful luxury catamaran while taking in stunning views of the islands. This tour also includes breakfast and lunch.
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15. Maui Whale Festival
The Pacific Whale Foundation hosts the Maui Whale Festival. It is held annually in South Maui, typically in late February or early March. The festival aims to educate locals and visitors about the importance of whale conservation and celebrate these beautiful sea creatures.
The festival is full of fun things to see and do, including live entertainment by local artists and many food trucks offering delicious food. The little ones are always a bit hit with jungle gyms and bounce houses.
Put your scientist hat on and participate in the Great Whale Count. The Great Whale Count is a community-driven program that simultaneously collects data about the Humpback Whale population around the Hawaiian Islands. Book your tour here
See Related: Best Whale Watching Places in the World
16. Wailea Beach
Wailea Beach is a high-end resort area along Maui’s south shore. The shore is dotted with luxury hotels and is a lovely area to stay if you are looking for a relaxing vacation.
The beach in Wailea is long and wide, perfect for fun in the sun. Many resorts have beach chairs set up for guests on the sand so you can enjoy the beach in comfort. Cool off with refreshing shave ice from the shave ice stand on the beach between the Grand Wailea Resort and the Four Seasons.
If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxing vacation, I highly recommend staying in Wailea. The town has everything you need to unwind and truly makes you feel like you have been transported away from the rest of the world.
Staying in Wailea can be pricey, but the tranquility that is found on this side of the island is unmatched, so I believe the price is worth it. Here are some of my favorite hotels in Wailea:
- The Aston at the Maui Banyan is a great affordable option in the area. It’s not on the beach, but the charming plantation-style rooms and great views make this hotel worth it. The entire property is non-smoking, making it a great option if you have kids.
- The Fairmont Kea Lani is a large property right on the beach. Almost every room has a beautiful view of either the ocean or mountains. If you’re heading out for the day but still want the delicious fare found at the Fairmont, check out the gourmet picnic lunches that can be prepared t0-go. Each picnic to-go includes appetizers, a main course, and dessert.
- The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is my favorite resort in Wailea. The main pool is surrounded by free cabanas that are first-come, first-serve. If you want to enjoy the adults-only infinity pool, be sure to get there early as seats are limited and fill up fast. The resort also has a kids club, a fun place to drop off the little ones while you get a romantic massage for two at the spa.
- The Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa is probably the most well-known resort in Maui. The hotel is spread over 40 acres and includes a water park and not one but three golf courses. There are also 9 outdoor pools with various waterfalls, slides, and a swim-up bar. You really can’t go wrong when staying at The Grand Wailea.
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17. Stroll Through The Shops at Wailea
Within the Wailea resort area, you will find The Shops at Wailea. Over 70 shops, restaurants, and art galleries have a splendid mix of local and high-end brands.
High-end shopping options include Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. There are also many surf shops like Quiksilver and Rip Curl; check them out to find Hawai’i-exclusive items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world. Crazy Shirts and Honolua Surf Company are great options for finding souvenirs to bring back home.
Don’t pass up SoHa Living, a wonderful home decor store that offers beautiful home decor items and gifts only found around the islands. Whenever I have out-of-state friends and family visiting me in the islands, I love to get them a few things from SoHa Living to use while here and to bring back with them to remember their trip.
Take a break from shopping at Lappert’s Hawai’i. Lappert’s is another popular locally-made ice cream and sorbet brand. I recommend the Big Islands Inspiration, made with a base of vanilla ice cream, fudge brownies, chocolate chunks, and chocolate-covered macadamia nut shortbread.
For a lighter option, go for Tutu’s Anniversary, a mix of coconut ice cream, passion fruit sorbet, and raspberry sorbet. If you are staying in Wailea, have your hotel arrange a free shuttle to The Shops at Wailea.
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18. Drive the Scenic Road to Hana
Driving down the Hana Highway is almost like a rite of passage to say that you’ve been to Maui. The winding roads immerse you in stunning rainforests and wondrous seascapes. Driving the Road to Hana is definitely an all-day activity; plan to stop several times throughout the day to appreciate the beautiful views along the way.
Stop by Twin Falls, a short, easy hike with incredible views of the lower falls. Continue onto the more difficult path to get to the upper falls. You’ll come to the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree forest a little further down the road.
If you’ve never seen a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree before, you are in for a real treat. The trees look like someone took watercolors and painted the tree trunks and branches with beautiful rainbow hues.
Honomanu Bay is a beautiful place to stop, but it can be dangerous for swimming and surfing. The bay has a beautiful black sand beach and is a perfect place for a photo op. A few miles after the bay, you will find the Halfway to Hana point, marked with a bright red sign.
There is a lovely fruit stand at this point where you can pick up some snacks for the rest of the drive. I highly recommend their heavenly banana bread. Upper Waikani Falls is another beautiful waterfall spot. You can see this waterfall right from the road, which is absolutely stunning.
The next two places you should stop on the Road to Hana are Ohe’o Gulch and Pipiwai Trail. These spots are both parts of Haleakala National Park, so they are very well-managed. Ohe’o Gulch is also known as Seven Sacred Pools, though most would argue there are more than seven.
The pools are created from beautiful waterfalls flowing through the area. Flash floods are possible, but park rangers will let you know whether or not it’s safe to swim. The Pipiwai Trail is four miles round trip and passes through the iconic and beautiful bamboo forest.
Before you get onto Highway 360 (a.k.a. Hana Highway), ensure your tank is filled, as there are no gas stations along the way. If you don’t wish to drive all day, there are several tour options to explore the magnificent Road to Hana. I’d recommend this small group Road to Hana Adventure Tour that includes breakfast, lunch, and pick-up right from your hotel!
See Related: Best National Parks in the USA to Visit
19. Waianapanapa State Park
Waianapanapa State Park is on the Road to Hana but definitely deserves its own spot on this list. The mesmerizing black sand beach is a must-see for anyone traveling on the Hana Highway. The park can be found near mile marker 32 and is about 50 miles away from Kahului.
The stunning black rock and sand contrast against the surrounding bright-green Naupaka bushes and deep blue water. In addition to the beach, the Waianapanapa State Park also has several amazing hiking trails, even one leading all the way to Hana.
Waianapana translates to “glistening waters”; wai specifically refers to fresh water. Just a few steps away from the parking lot, you will find the namesake of this state park: beautiful freshwater caves. The water in these caves is extremely clear and cool since it’s covered from the sun by an overhanging wall. The caves are just as breathtaking as the beach, so don’t miss it.
Due to the increase in tourism, you must make reservations in advance to visit the Waianapanapa State Park. Click here for the official Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources website to make a reservation.
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20. Kapalua Coastal Trail
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is an easy and convenient hike located just outside of Lahaina. The trail begins near Napili Beach and goes along the Kapalua coast. It is about 3.5 miles round trip or 1.7 miles if you only plan to go one way.
The trail is very well-maintained and takes you through beautiful resorts with stunning ocean views. Part of the trail is paved, while other parts take you over lava rocks. It’s a great way to slow down and enjoy the beautiful island.
Visitors can either end the trail on Fleming Beach or continue on to the Mahana Ridge Trail. The Mahana Ridge trail is more difficult and travels inland into the forest.
See Related: Most Scenic Bike Trails Across America
21. Napili Beach
Napili Beach, also called Napili Bay, is one of Maui’s most visited beaches. Located in East Maui, the bay is protected by an outer reef, which makes it a relaxing spot to swim and snorkel among the reef fish. During winter, the bay becomes an amazing place for whale watching.
The golden sands of Napili are an excellent place for sunbathing or building sandcastles along the shore. Small waves can sometimes enter the bay and are awesome for kids and adults alike to catch on a boogie board. But most days, the waves are minimal, so I highly recommend renting a paddle board and taking a relaxing coastline tour.
If you get hungry, check out the nearby Sea House Restaurant at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. It is one of the few beachfront restaurants in Maui and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maui Magazine voted Their happy hour best on the island; I recommend trying the delicious Sea House Mule.
See Related: Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii
22. Scuba Diving at Molokini Crater
Just off the coast of Maui, the crescent-shaped Molokini Crater is a mecca for scuba diving and snorkeling. The beautiful reef formations attract tropical fish and other stunning sea life. Molokini is a must-visit if you are looking for adventure on your Hawaiian vacation.
At Molokini, you can see over 250 different species of reef fish. Turtles and various species of starfish also call Molokini Crater home.
The water is so unbelievably clear that guides say you can see down over 150 feet! The water is so clear due to the lack of dirt and sediment in the water, which allows the sunshine to penetrate deep into the water, allowing algae and other fish food sources to thrive.
Molokini is about 2.5 miles off the coast of Maui, so the best way to get there is by boat. Tour boats depart from several different harbors on the islands.
It will take about 30 minutes to one hour to get to Molokini, depending on where you depart from Maui. Several boat tours will be there at the same time, that’s pretty much unavoidable, but it does not feel so crowded despite the number of people.
I highly recommend this Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Tour, which departs from Ma’alaea Harbor. The crew of this tour includes professional lifeguards, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy snorkeling with the whole family.
23. Visit a Local Farmers Market
One thing I always recommend to those who are planning to visit Hawai’i is to check out a Farmers Market. They make delightful places to find items unique to the area you are visiting. Two of Maui’s most popular farmer’s markets are the Maui Sunday Market in Kahului and the Upcountry Farmers Market in Makawao.
The Maui Sunday Market is filled with local vendors offering unique products only found in Hawai’i. Check out Uncle Kawila’s Chili Peppah Watah to try Hawai’i’s version of hot sauce. You also don’t want to miss Sumo Dogs, a hot dog food truck. I recommend the Upcountry Guava Dog. The toppings include Maui onions, garlic sauce, and delicious guava jam. It might sound like a weird combination, but I promise it’s amazing!
The Upcountry Farmers Market is a charming farmers market open on Saturdays with local produce, handmade beauty products, and other various products. Upcountry Maui refers to the area of Maui near Haleakala and includes towns like Pukalani, Kula, and Makawao. One of my favorite products here is lilikoi butter, a smooth, creamy condiment that is delicious on toast and pancakes!
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24. Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls is a breathtaking 80-foot tall waterfall located in Hana. It is one of the most accessible waterfalls in Maui, just a few feet away from the main road in Hana. It’s also the most photographed waterfall on the island.
This is one of the best waterfalls to visit with the whole family because no hiking is required. The falls flow into a beautiful pool perfect for a quick dip. There is a good amount of parking at the entrance to the falls. The waterfall is easy to spot since you can actually see it right from the road. Look out for it near mile marker 45; there will also usually be a couple of local food vendors in the parking lot as well.
See Related: Best Waterfalls in Minnesota to Visit
25. Nakalele Blowhole
Nakalele Point is the northernmost point on the island of Maui. At Nakalele Point, you will find Nakalele Blowhole, one of Maui’s most popular attractions. Besides the blowhole, there is also a cute (yes, cute) rock with a large heart-shaped hole created by natural erosion.
See? Cute! A blowhole is an underwater cave that connects the ocean to the land. When large waves crash onto the coast, the water is forced up through the hole in a geyser-like fashion, making for an stunning display.
The blowhole is less than a half-mile from the parking area and can be found following the worn path with signs. It’s a little rugged but very short. Be sure not to get too close to the blowhole, as rogue waves can often make a big splash and make the rocks extra slippery and dangerous.
26. Take the Ferry to Lanai
Maui County is actually made up of three inhabited islands: Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. Lanai is the smallest of the three islands and the only Hawaiian island that is privately owned. There are only two hotels on the island that are extremely high-end, so if that’s a bit out of your range, the ferry is a great way to see the island without breaking the bank!
The ferry will drop you off at Manele Harbor, just a few minutes from the beautiful Hulopo’e Bay. I recommend spending the whole day on the island if possible.
Start by exploring Hulopo’e Bay and hike up to nearby Shark’s Bay. The rock formations here make for a beautiful photo op. On your way to Shark’s Bay, you will pass a tide pool area perfect for floating and snorkeling.
After your time at Hulopo’e Bay, call a taxi to take you up to Lanai City. The taxi ride is approximately 15 minutes, and you will often see Lanai Axis Deer and game birds. Spend the afternoon walking around the small town and have lunch at Blue Ginger Cafe. The town is so quaint that it will make you feel like you were transported to Hawai’i 100 years ago.
The ferry is $30 per person and takes approximately 50 minutes to get to Lanai from Maui. There are only four departure times throughout the day each way, so plan accordingly.
See Related: Tips for Ferry Travel
27. Take a Helicopter Tour
Helicopter tours are a great way to explore Maui in a short amount of time. You can also see parts of the island that are inaccessible any other way. Helicopter tours are some of the most fun things on Maui that allow you to sit back and relax while the pilot guides you through beautiful landscapes.
Maui is very mountainous, especially West Maui, making it a perfect place to do a helicopter tour. There are so many valleys and ridges, hence its nickname, the Valley Isle.
I recommend this West Maui and Molokai Special 45-minute Helicopter Tour. West Maui is the best part of Maui to see by air, and you’ll also get the added benefit of seeing Molokai by air. Molokai is a different island within Maui County and one that not very many people visit.
How can I get to Maui, HI?
Maui is only accessible by airplane. I recommend checking out Going.com (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to find great deals at Kahului Airport (OGG).
What is the best way to get around Maui?
I highly recommend renting a car when visiting Maui. Kayak will give you the best affordable rental car options.
What are the best free things to do in Maui?
Put on your best swimwear and head to the beach! Maui is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and they are completely free to visit.
What is there to do on a rainy day in Maui?
Check out the Maui Ocean Center or the Bailey House Museum!
Do I need travel insurance when visiting Maui?
I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance wherever you travel to give you that added peace of mind. World Nomads offers several different options for travel insurance at great price points.
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- About the Author
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Brittney is a lifelong traveler from Oahu, Hawaii. She has visited more than 35 countries and is continually researching new places to explore!