For many vacationers, Maui is the ultimate destination for relaxation, where they can unwind on the sandy beaches, indulge in Mai Tai cocktails, and work on their tan. However, for those of us with an adventurous side who wonder what things to do in Maui should be on your bucket list, there is plenty to see and do for us too on this breathtaking island.
Having visited the Hawaiian paradise of Maui twice, I’ve compiled a Top 10 List for your Maui vacation, drawing from my own experiences and recommendations from fellow travelers I’ve encountered along the way. Traveling is an incredible opportunity to learn and embrace new experiences, all while sharing your adventures with like-minded individuals you meet on your journey.
Without further ado, here are my Top 10 recommendations for things to do in Maui:
- Discover Ka’anapali Beach: Located on Maui’s west coast and adorned with luxurious beach resorts, Ka’anapali Beach is a captivating blend of bustling activity and soothing relaxation. The crystal-clear waters provide a mesmerizing backdrop for vacationers, with ample snorkeling spots to add excitement. Keep an eye out, as I’ve been fortunate enough to spot graceful sea turtles gliding through the turquoise waters near the shoreline! For an exceptional snorkeling experience, head to Black Rock, the northernmost part of the beach, where the conditions are usually calm and manageable.
- Explore Old Lahaina Town: No trip to Maui is complete without a day spent in Lahaina. Marvel at the historic buildings, treat yourself to Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, or simply unwind in the shade beneath the magnificent Banyan Tree at Lahaina’s Banyan Court Park. Additionally, Lahaina offers fantastic shopping opportunities, perfect for those looking to make the most of their baggage allowance!
- Embark on a Whale Watching Adventure: If your visit falls between December and May, you’re in for a treat as this is when whales migrate through the channels of West and South Maui. Witnessing these majestic creatures from the shoreline is already impressive, but you can opt for a whale watching tour from Lahaina Harbor to get even closer. Strict guidelines ensure a safe distance of over 100ft, protecting both the whales and tourists’ well-being.
- Drive the Scenic Hana Highway: Reserve a full day to explore the pristine wonders of Maui’s East coast along the Hana Highway. This road boasts 59 bridges and 360 winding turns, each offering awe-inspiring views. Immerse yourself in the beauty of black sand beaches, take a dip in the seven sacred pools, witness breathtaking waterfalls, and embrace the true essence of Hawaiian lifestyle.
- Conquer Haleakala Crater: Last but not least, a trip to Haleakala Crater is a must-do activity, often highly recommended by fellow travelers I’ve met. Home to Maui’s Highest Peak, this National Park treats visitors to unparalleled views of the island. Numerous tours cater to exploring this exquisite part of Maui, renowned for its unforgettable sunrises. Whether you opt for hiking trails, horseback riding, or bike tours, you’re bound to create lasting memories here.
- Experience the Road to Hāna: One of the most iconic drives in the world, the Road to Hāna is an adventure in itself. Prepare for a captivating journey as you wind your way through lush rainforests, past cascading waterfalls, and along dramatic coastal cliffs. The road consists of 59 bridges, each offering unique vistas that will leave you in awe. Take your time, make stops along the way, and soak in the enchanting beauty of the journey to Hāna.
- Snorkel at Molokini Crater: If you’re a snorkeling enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Molokini Crater, a partially submerged volcanic crater located just off the coast of Maui. This underwater sanctuary offers excellent visibility and a thriving marine ecosystem, making it an ideal spot to encounter colorful fish, vibrant coral reefs, and perhaps even some gentle sea turtles. Join a snorkeling tour to make the most of this remarkable marine haven.
- Attend a Luau: To truly immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, attending a traditional luau is a must. Feast on delectable Hawaiian cuisine, witness captivating hula performances, and embrace the aloha spirit as you enjoy an evening of celebration and entertainment. Many resorts and venues across Maui host these festive gatherings, providing an unforgettable cultural experience.
- Explore Iao Valley State Park: Journey into the heart of Maui’s lush valleys by visiting Iao Valley State Park. Marvel at the towering emerald-green peaks and the iconic 1,200-foot-high Iao Needle, a volcanic rock pinnacle that stands as a natural landmark within the park. Take a leisurely hike along the trails to fully appreciate the captivating beauty of this verdant landscape.
- Discover the Upcountry: Escape the coastal areas and venture into Maui’s Upcountry, a region characterized by rolling hills, ranches, and a cooler climate. Visit the charming town of Makawao, known for its artistic community and quaint boutiques. Don’t forget to savor some delicious local produce and explore the picturesque lavender farms in this serene and rejuvenating part of the island.
With these Top 10 activities, your Maui vacation promises to be a truly unforgettable experience, combining relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re lounging on the beaches, exploring the lush landscapes, or engaging in thrilling activities, the magic of Maui will undoubtedly leave you with cherished memories that last a lifetime.