10 Awesome Things to See and Do in Maui, Hawaii
Ever think about taking a trip to paradise? Maui’s got you covered. Being Hawaii’s second largest island, it has no shortage of interesting and exciting things to do.
Itching to see some truly wonderful natural wonders? Maui’s got it. Have a hankering to try water sports or just relax on some remote beach? You can find them there. Good food? Nice hotels? Beautiful hula-clad girls? Yes, yes and yes.
1. The Old Lahaina Luau
Some things are just unavoidably interwoven with a particular place’s identity. In Maui’s cause, perhaps this is never more apparent than with The Old Lahaina Luau, one of the biggest and most popular venues to view the traditional Hawaiian hula dance, fire-eating shows and sampling some delicious native dishes.
2. Haleakala National Park
Home to the world’s largest dormant volcano, millions of visitors come by to see this majestic sleeping giant. Sitting 10,000 feet above sea level, it is a place where you can wonder about the powers and dangers of Mother Earth—without getting too close to red-hot lava, ala Mt. Kilauea.
Seeing the majestic sunrise from the top of Haleakala (pronounced “hah-lay-ah-kah-lah”) is one of the most favourite things to do here, but that also means dragging yourself out of bed at three in the morning, making a two and a half hour drive up to the summit, and bundling up in every piece of clothing you’ve brought, because although it could be one of the most beautiful sights you would see in your lifetime, the temperature there is frigid and the winds are relentless.
3. Snorkelling and Other Ocean Activities
I don’t think anyone’s ever managed to disassociate Hawaii with the ocean, and there is certainly a surfeit of potential places and tours in Maui.
There are also packages available for snorkeling, surfing, whale watching, cruises, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, scuba diving, fishing, surfing, parasailing, kite-boarding, stand up paddling, windsurfing, and jet skiing. You can experience all those thrills in this island.
The white-sand beaches found all around Maui also offer a truly spectacular opportunity to see the secrets of the depths, from vibrantly-colored fish to ghostly shipwrecks such as the wreck of the Carthaginian. Watch out for sharks, though!
On the flip side, if being in the ocean scares you, there are other ways to appreciate it without actually jumping in it. The Ocean Center in Maui is a conservatory and aquarium all in one, home to a fantastic, teeming variety of fish and other marine life for the curious.
4. Helicopter Tours
If you’re the kind of adventurer going for something different, consider going on a helicopter ride and afford yourself some breathtaking views of not just Maui, but of all Hawaii’s islands. Take a ride to the skies and experience the majestic islands in all their glory.
5. Take the Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is also another favourite tourist activity in Maui. The journey through this winding and steep road begins at Maui’s northern shore and proceeds along the coastline to the small East Maui town, Hana, a peaceful community bordered by abundant green pastures decorated with white-coloured cattle.
Hana is a beautiful destination, but the road to get to it is also a destination. You would not want to rush this road trip and you would definitely make more than a handful of stops to enjoy and take Instagram-worthy pictures of lush greeneries, remarkable waterfalls, and breathe in the fragrant smell of guavas and ginger that grow along the roadside.
6. Play Golf!
Yes, this small Hawaiian island also boasts of impressive golf courses open to the public. Maui offers a great variety of golf experiences for both novice or amateur and professional players. So whether you just play to relax, or you’re a pro-golfer, you will definitely find Maui’s golf courses remarkable and the view spectacular and breathtaking.
7. Take a Bite of Maui’s Gastronomic Paradise
Who doesn’t like to eat? Everybody loves grub and if you are in Maui, you will have even more reasons to love food! Dining is one of the top things to do here and the experience is one for the books. Though the area is just small, Maui unbelievably offers a vast array of dining choices from affordable mom-and-pop cafes to posh and luxurious celebrity-chef owned restaurants.
The locals would advise you to taste a bit of everything in Maui: Hawaiian-style fast food, fine-dining restaurants, local favourites like Spam musubi, or ethnic foods like Portuguese malasadas that represents the island’s culinary identity.
8. Immerse Yourself in Maui’s Rich Culture
Hawaii’s rich and colourful culture is absolutely unique; and there’s nowhere in the world like it. There’s the famous Hula dance and a lot of festivals, art galleries, museums, and special shows that immerse you in the beautiful Hawaiian culture.
Music is also an immense part of Maui’s cultural heritage. You will hear their music everywhere—in your hotel, in the beaches, parks, and even shopping centers.
9. Shop til’ You Drop
Because the island of Maui offers a vast pool of choices to shop in—from large shopping malls with high-end designer brands to tiny hole-in-the-wall boutiques, chances are you are going to end up buying something during your stay. Maui’s largest Swap Meet happens every Saturday from 7am to 1pm at the UH Maui College campus in Kahului. Here, you will meet both visitors and locals roving through the rows of booths. Arts and crafts, clothing, jewelery, souvenirs, flowers, produce, and everything you could think of from some couple of hundreds of vendors.
Aside from Road to Hana and Haleakala, Iao Valley is also a notable natural park for photography and hiking. Upcountry Maui (on the slopes of Haleakala) has quaint little towns, wide grazing grounds, and a picturesque landscape. Other towns like Wailuku, Makawao, Paia, and Lahaina, offer local food and are perfect for day or afternoon strolling.