There are various places to check out in Maui, here are the top 20 things to do in Maui on your trip to Maui.
1) Whale Watching Tours
One of the best Things to do in Maui, Hawaii is to go on a whale watching tour. When you look at the North Pacific Humpback Whales beautifying Maui’s oceans during their annual winter migration, you will notice it’s such an exciting experience.
Since the ancient Polynesian cultures came to the shores of Hawaii, these majestic mammals have been moving from the waters of North Alaskan to Hawaii’s oceans since 1300 AD. Every year, these majestic ocean creatures continue traveling to the waters of Maui to produce their baby calves and stay quiet all through the winter months.
The whales usually play happily on the ocean’s surface. Big Whales have a length of 40 feet and a weight of 40 tons. Whale season in Maui begins in November and ends in May. The season for looking at whales is from December 15th- March 31st.
2) Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is one of the most famous activities to carry out on Maui for a lot of reasons, including beautiful scenery, waterfall visits and an opportunity to check out less visited areas. It is also a chance to discover a rare glimpse into the Old Hawaii, visit breathtaking natural wonders and experience local Hawaiian culture. Some visitors decide to explore the Road to Hana by a tour, but we will advise you rent a vehicle, plan your best schedule and go on a personal adventure. A lot of websites and guidebooks lead tourist traffic on the Road to Hana, do not always take into account that some sights are placed on adjacent protected lands or private properties. The first rule for moving down the Road to Hana is to be respectful; do not litter, do not be rude to the residents of Maui’s local community and do not trespass.
When deciding on your trip to Hana, begin at Paia Town. We will advise that you arrive early in Paia, at 7:30 am, to avoid highway traffic in Hana and to achieve the most out of your day.
There are various places to check out along the highway of Hana, but we advise the following stops for first timers:
- Twin Falls (mile marker 2) for a trip to a waterfall and a good smoothie or tasty coconut.
- The Garden of Eden termed Arboretum (mile marker 10) to view Hawaiian fauna and flora.
- Wai’anapanapa State Park (mile marker 32) to view a black sand beach, a beautiful coastline, and a rare view into the Old Hawaii.
- NahikuOpen market (mile marker 29) for beautiful gifts and tasty treats.
In Hana, feel free to check the art galleries, Hana Bay, and farmers markets. When you pass Hana a little, you can relax at Hamoa Beach, or move further towards Kipahulu and experience the Seven Sacred Pools of Oheo.
3) A Trip to Molokini
When on Maui, do as the Maui’s do, snorkel at Molokini Crater. This is a must-do activity and something that your family and friends will be grateful for.
The Island of Maui has the famous Molokini Crater. It is located a little below 3 miles away from the shoreline; this is one of the most places to snorkel in Hawaii. When it comes to snorkeling in Maui, Molokini should not be missed. To see Hawaiian Sea Turtles types of algae, 35 species of coral, Parrotfish, Raccoon Butterfly Fish and lot more.
As a result of Molokini being a small volcanic caldera island, there is no sand around the snorkel site. This means that the clarity of the ocean is the best it can be for underwater visibility (up to 150-feet).
4) Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala
Go to 10,000 feet above the sea level and view a beautiful Maui sunrise from the summit of Mt. Haleakala on Maui. This essential Maui activity is something that will leave you surprised, and an excited crowd. There is nothing like a Maui sunrise, it’s beautiful and should be one of the top things to do in Maui . The best time to view the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala is on your first morning on Maui. It can set the pace for your perfect Maui vacation and will also be what you desire to avoid jet-lag encouraged turning and tossing in the morning. You should make arrangements to visit Haleakala Crater now.
When planning to go on this trip, please consider that it will take about 1.5 hours to get to Mt. Haleakala’s summit from Kahului. Whichever part of the island you live on, check with the closest local and inquire from them how long it will take to reach Kahului from where you are. Next, observe the local sunrise time, and make plans to get to the Haleakala Visitor Center 30-minutes before sunrise to get acquainted with the best view. When taking a trip to Haleakala, know that at a higher elevation, the weather will be cool, so endeavor to carry along a hoodie and blanket when you want to rest. Your gas tank should be filled, take some snacks and coffee, get your camera and a smartphone, and you are good to go.
Viewing the sunrise from Mt. Haleakala is an exciting experience. Watching the sun come from the clouds for another fabulous Maui day is near to sacred. It’s like looking at a watercolor painting unfold right in front of you. This Maui activity is indeed awe inspiring.
5) Maui Ocean Center
Take a time out at noon with your friends and family, pay a visit to the only aquarium in the world dedicated to preserving and displaying Hawaiian marine life. The Maui Ocean Center provides a full exploration for all visitors, whether they are children or adults. This is certainly one of the best things to do on Maui with children.
The Maui Ocean Center displays Hawaiian sea life, ocean ecology displays and Hawaiian culture. Through a walking path that provides direction, every visitor will love their rare attraction which includes the Hammerhead Shark pool and outdoor Hawaii sea turtle. This aquarium is known also for their fully surrounding sea-tunnel and a vast indoor shark tank that shows Tiger Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Grey Tips, White Tips and a diversity of deep water fish.
6) Helicopter Tours
Fly high above the Hawaiian Islands and view the beautiful Island of Maui and the outer islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i with a bird’s eye view! Take a look at lush valleys, waterfalls, erupting volcanoes, dramatic coastlines and beautiful reef formations from the skyline. When you are in Hawaii, there are different helicopter tour companies and several tours to choose from. They usually offer different experiences, so we have a couple of Maui helicopter tour companies you can consider.
Hawaii’s Premier Helicopter Tour Company was formerly named Blue Hawaiian helicopter by National Geographic and the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 winner. With Blue Hawaiian, guests have the option to decide from Maui County – West Maui Mountains six tours, Complete Island, West Maui & Moloka’i, Maui Spectacular, Hana/Haleakala and Maui/Big Island. The private charter tour can also be booked by guests, this is unique for sky adventures that are related to celebrations and honeymoon.
Since the year 2001, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has been providing Eco-Star helicopters, which has unique “quiet-technology,” that have a big cockpit and first-class seating. All tours feature 4-camera digital DVD in-flight recording, Bose aviation grade noise canceling headsets and two-way communication usually between the pilot and guests.
7) Oheo Gulch – (7 Sacred Pools)
The Oheo Gulch Pools is mostly referred to as the Seven Sacred Pools, this is one of the most famous attractions on Maui. This area is a natural beautiful spectacle, with waterfalls and string of pools pouring from the East Maui Mountain valleys to the Pacific Ocean coastline.
This is an amazing place to view Maui on vacation, and it will make a permanent imprint in your mind of timeless memories. There is usually an easy access to lower pools, and always the best option for visitors who will like to jump in. As a result of the Seven Sacred Pools popularity, it is better to arrive early for an opportunity to enjoy privacy in this lovely location. The favorite way to experience the Seven Sacred Pools is by planning a camping trip to Hana! Exploring the historic Road to Hana in the day and reaching the campgrounds of Ohe’o by sunset would be the best way to plan. On the next day , you can then arise to a beautiful morning in the infamous Ohe’o Gulch Pools in Kipahulu.
8) Makena State Parks
Wailea-Makena State Park lies in the south of Wailea which has over 165 acres. Upon the coastline are two of the most fabulous beaches in Maui; Little Beach (Pu’uOlai Beach) and Makena’s Big Beach
One of the most famous spots in all the Hawaiian Islands is the Makena’s Big Beach for body boarding and skim boarding. This is a great beach in Maui for relaxing with your family and friends, body surfing and sunbathing. Big Beach is exactly 1.5 miles long and 100 feet wide, providing a calm condition, even though it can have a rogue wave and strong undercurrent, though depending on the season. Big Beach has three entrances, public restrooms, parking lots, and lifeguards.
At the north of Big Beach is the little beach. At a particular time, there was a trail leading from one beach to the next, but as a result of the coastline erosion, it is accessible by a 5-minute tramp over a steep lava projection. As soon as you fair the hike, you’re certain of relaxing time from the 660 ft long Little Beach. One of the only nude sunbathing beaches is the little beach in Maui and a famous spot for Sunday afternoon drum circle parties and fire dancing.
9) Stand Up Paddling
Stand up Paddling is recently becoming one of the most famous world ocean activities. Available to various individuals and easy to know, spend your day relishing gorgeous shoreline and ocean views. Find your balance, strengthen your core and feel a sense of accomplishment learning stand up paddling in Hawaii.
Children and adults both enjoy SUP, and also most sports women are engaging in it. You can begin by practicing it on flat water. Try to do small wave riding and you will eventually gain the boldness to go home with this sport. World water sports enthusiasts are taking stand up paddling to lakes, rivers, oceans and even reservoirs.
In Maui, stand up paddling training is a beautiful day adventure, and will certainly give you useful instructions and new skill sets that will be useful to take away.
10) Lahaina’s Banyan Tree
Lahaina’s Banyan Tree is aged over 137 years old and is seen all over 1-acre of downtown Lahaina.
Sheriff William Owen Smith in 1873, planted the Banyan Tree to mark the 50th Anniversary of missionaries (Protestants) in Lahaina. The single trunk has now expanded into about 16 trunks due to this species aerial roots. In Lahaina, the Banyan tree is a historical landmark and an amazing sight. As a recognized meeting place in Lahaina, so many times visitors find amazing local art vendors a little below the Banyan’s canopies which cause a great walk in the squares.
11) Iao Valley State Park
A day at Iao Valley State Park is usually very rewarding. Iao Valley is not only a Maui cultural landmark but also a religious site for keeping ancient Hawaiian demigods and served as an important location in Hawaiian history. Magical and inviting, lush, Iao Valley is very beautiful. This location is unique for a family day on Maui hiking through easy tracks left behind, swimming in the waterfall and getting a picnic or a BBQ. When leaving Iao Valley, create time to check the Hawaii natural center and Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens.
12) Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the most popular beaches in Hawaii, and one of the most known beaches in the world for professional windsurfing and surfing. In the Hawaiian language, “ho’okipa” is known as hospitality, which is the same thing the Beach Park offers!
At the Ho’okipa Beach Park, you get to see a handful of the world’s best watermen and water women set the stage. At Ho’okipa, visitors can view the powerful North Shore Maui coastline and gorgeous submerged ridge of rock formations from the top parking lot. Or you can go to the sand to have fun while people watch, BBQ’s in the afternoon, and be under the Maui sunshine. During winter, the current can be really strong, so it’s advisable that only swimmers who are experienced should go out on that trip. In the summer, Ho’okipa provides one of the best areas to snorkel. Enjoy international appeal while on a visit to Ho’okipa Beach Park. Feel the North Shore of Maui the way the locals do, and just relax and enjoy life in Hawaii.
13) The Dolphins at La Perouse
Seeing the dolphins at La Perouse Bay is one of the most beautiful things to do.La Perouse is visited by Pods of Spinner Dolphins every day! After getting a privilege to watch the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins in their normal environment, go on a short walk through the marked tracks at La Perouse Bay.
Ensure to stay on the trails because environments of La Perouse are protected by Hawaiian historical sites. One end of the historic King’s Trail on Maui is marked by La Perouse.At La Perouse, beautiful lava formations are seen as they go towards the sea. Sometimes people riding horses at La Perouse may be seen, and with a closer look, you might see some wild goats playing around the Kiawe trees.
At the end of Makena Alanui Road, Highway 31, you will find La Perouse. There is a parking lot, but no facilities or public restroom. When you are done with your visit, you go back to Highway 31 to visit Makena State Beach Park en route back to Kihei.
14) Wai’anapanapa State Park
Wai’anapanapa State Park spreads all over 122 acres of East Maui coastal land. Within this beautiful area, visitors get an opportunity to go through two trail loops, look at a dramatic coastline with sea-sculpted lava shelves, a blowhole, 5 sheltered caves, ancient Hawaiian burial sites and the beautiful Pa’iloa Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach.
One of the few Hawaii State parks on Maui that allow people to camp is Wai’anapanapa; it has various picnics and BBQ areas, 12 cabins are available to rent but ensure you book ahead of time, although they are not presently open due to renovations. It also has shower facilities, restroom, and a large parking lot. This is an vacation spot for both residents and visitors, with a lot of tour buses that stop through daily.
Close to Mile Marker 32 off the Hana Highway, you will find Wai’anapanapa. If you are going east towards of Hana Town, you will surely see a sign on the makai side of the road where you go towards your left-hand side to reach the State Park. While researching the Wai’anapanapa’s trails, guests should make sure they follow the information written on all signage. When you see the word ‘kapu,’ it means stay out! This park has more than 34 ancient Hawaiian historical sites, so do not take the history for granted, please show respect to the ‘aina (land), and our aumakua (ancestors). This state park is open all days of the week and can be visited without a fee.
15) Maui Zip n’ Dip Tours
If you are planning for adventurous day with your friends and family, then Maui’s only Zip n’ Dip Tours! is one of the best things to do in Maui. This is an exciting trip in Hawaii zip line adventures, provided only via Skyline Eco-Adventures on Maui. This activity is getting more and more famous, so ensure you book this Maui activity very early.
Visitors usually have two options to select from when arranging their Maui Zip n’ Dip Tour – the first tour is a 3-hour, 4-line adventure in which visitors can venture along three new lines and finally get to the 4th line’ Zip n’ Splash’, where they will spend exactly forty-five minutes swimming and Stand Up paddle boarding in a fresh water pool. The second one is a 4.5-hour tour with a new 9-line zip tour, where visitors will move high through 8 separate zip lines, and finally get to the 9th ‘Zip n’ Splash,’ which will end with a 45-minutes of freshwater fun.
16) Honolua Bay
Honolua Bay is a 20-minute drive north of the ancient town of Lahaina. Apart from Honolua Bay being a popular Maui snorkeling and surfing beach, it is also elegant, colorful and energetic beaches amongst all the Hawaiian Islands.
Honolua is a famous surf spot for surfers who are experienced. During the summer, Honolua is one of the nicest places on Maui for scuba diving and snorkeling. The bluffs above the beach area give a good spot for viewing from a safe distance or looking at a wonderful West Maui sunset.
To snorkel at Honolua Bay, visitors are provided with lots of options. Arrange for a snorkel cruise that will take you to the Bay, or drive to Honolua, check for the sign (Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District) and engage in a short hike to Honolua’s forest. At Honolua Bay, when you snorkel, go into the water on the rocky beach right side. Some people decide to go to the left entrance, but most times the water is cloudy as a result of the freshwater stream on that side of the bay.
17) Rappel waterfall tour
Explore the beauty of Hawaii on the “Maui most unique tour.” Tour through the 26-acre privately possessed botanical garden and Maui rainforest, and transform into a Hawaiian-style canyoneering that rappels beneath lava rock outlined waterfalls. This is an exceptional Maui activity, and the only of its kind in Hawaii.
In the morning, guests will travel down the Hana Highway near the East Maui, with the guidance of professionals. Participants will receive an in-depth level of information regarding the Maui rainforest environment, a tour of the botanical gardens, they will get decked out of canyoneering, and also receive a Rappel training and safety instruction.
Later on, Canyoneers will lead the guests into the Maui jungle, give them more hands-on training, and they will get the chance to practice their new skills on a 60-yard jungle wall. After an approved show-and-tell session with the guests, they will be given the option to continue onto a 50ft waterfall, where they can rappel into a fresh water pool. If the guests choose to go on, they can rappel down a more challenging 30ft waterfall.
18) Scuba diving
In Hawaii, Scuba diving is mostly done in Maui. The underwater coastlines have an opulence of sea life, coral gardens, lava rock life and ideal scuba diving locations. You can travel across the reef and be amazed at the wonders, while you observe Maui’s perfectly balanced ecosystem, the marine animals, the school of fish, the caves and Cauliflower coral.
19) Maui Pineapple Tour
Maui Pineapple Tour is now made available twice a day, and 7 days a week. Located at the Hali’imaile Pineapple Plantation, guests will enjoy examining the only pineapple tour in Maui and the only tour of a working pineapple plantation in the United States.
The Maui Pineapple Tour is an eco-friendly and educational tour that allow participants to learn about Maui’s Pineapple growing history, cycles, and cultivation techniques.
The tour begins with seeing how the pineapples are harvested and watching how they are packed and shipped. Every guest will have an opportunity to taste the pineapple at different stages and will be gifted with fresh and tasty Maui pineapple as a souvenir.
Parasailing is one of the most interesting activities that can be done in Maui, but you should be aware that it can be done only in the spring and summer months. During the Maui’s whale watching season, which is around late October – April, parasailing vendors are not allowed to operate.
The most popular parasailing company on Maui is definitely the UFO Parasails. Their services are the best in the business and they have a funny, knowledgeable, and professional crew. Safety and fun are the two most important things to the UFO staff. Maui parasailing tours leave from Ka’anapali Beach
A small group should be expected in the Maui parasailing adventure. The group is usually not more than 8 people so that each and everyone can enjoy a fair amount of time in the air. When it’s your turn to fly over the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be harnessed and parched in the back of the boat. Going down, you can get dipped in the ocean if you choose, so make sure the parasailing guides are aware ahead of time.