20 Best Things To Do In Maui [Hawaii]
Our Things To Do In Maui Guide...
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, whether by your lonesome or with the whole family. 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 places to stay? Beautiful hula-clad girls? Yes, yes and yes.
There are loads of videos of Maui all over the web but we like this one as it shows people having fun, and that's what vacations should be about, right...
We also love this video as Eric shares his top recommendations
(we cover many of these tips in more detail below)
Things To Do In Maui
Where Is Maui?
The island of Maui is found in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. Isolated from the rest of the United States, Maui is 2,390 miles away from California, and would take around 5 hours to get there via plane.
A vast and expansive Haleakala National Park comprises the island’s highest peak. Maui’s 30-mile stretch of beaches includes Kapalua, protected from the strong waves and currents by lava-rock promontories.
The Weather On Maui
Maui, albeit being a small island, has several microclimates per area: The climate is normally drier on the downward side of Maui, where you’ll see the breathtaking resorts and Instagram-worthy beaches of Kapalua, Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kihei, and Wailea along the west coast.
On the windward side where it has a more tropical climate, you will see thriving and flourishing vegetations on the Iao Valley and the picturesque road to Hana. It’s more temperate along the shoreline than Upcountry Maui, where it’s cooler by 8-10 degrees.
However, it is coldest atop the Haleakala National Park where temperatures could be as low as 40’s or even lower. Hence, it is advisable to bring warm clothing if you are driving up to the 9,740-foot Healeakala Visitor Center.
Things To Do In Maui
Bucket List Things To Do On Maui
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 and sampling some delicious native dishes.
OLD LAHAINA LUAU 2018 RATES
Adults (13 and up) $120 + tax = $125.00
Children (3 – 12Yrs) $75 + tax = $78.12
Highchair Infant (0-2 Yrs) $0.00 + tax = $0.00
June 1st – August 31st
Showing nightly from 6:15 p.m. till approximately 9:15 p.m.
September 1st – September 30th & March 1st – May 31
Showing nightly from 5:45 p.m. till approximately 8:45 p.m.
October 1st – February 28th
Showing nightly from 5:15 p.m. till approximately 8:15 p.m.
Haleakala National Park
Take The Road To Hana
Prepare for the weather for the road to Hana
Be sure to pack a hat, umbrellas, ponchos, sunscreen, shoes, mosquito repellant, sunglasses, rain gear and swimwear are all good ideas.
Leave early. This is one of those days that you have to go with the flow and an early start will allow you plenty of time to stop wherever takes your fancy.
Take some cash as there are many roadside vendors offering everything from art to fruit and smoothies.
Here’s a video with mile marker information so you can plan your road to Hana road trip.
Iao Valley State Park
Things To Do In Maui
Bucket List Activities To Do On Maui
Activities To Do On Maui
Surfing and Other Ocean Activities
Learn To Surf On Maui
For surfing lessons, here are some of the options in Maui:
a. Maui Surf School Surfing Lessons – Price: $52
This 2-hour lesson takes place in Lahaina Harbor at Maui’s Breakwall Beach. This surfing spot includes clean restrooms, locker areas, showers, and lounge chairs, so it is ideal for families to sunbathe and chill under the sun after surf classes.During the two hour session, the trained instructor will teach you techniques on how to catch waves, stand up, and surf. You may also purchase photos of your lesson afterwards.
b. Private Surf Lesson for Two in Lahaina – Price: $145.30
Get a more personalized and en exclusive surfing lesson with a certified instructor with this package. Because your instructor is only focused on you and the other guest, you are sure to experience catching waves and standing up after this 90-minute session.This package also includes a rash guard, soft-top surf board, and reef-shoes.
c. Three-day Surf Camp – Price: $296.87
If two-hour surfing lessons aren’t quite enough for you, go for this three-day surf camp for your friends and family. You can expect two hour lessons per day with all the surfing equipments (rash guards, boards, and reef shoes) provided.
At the end of the camp, each paying participant will also receive a logo hat as a souvenir.
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.
Take a Submarine Tour
Explore deep ocean depths in a submarine and spot reef sharks, tropical fish, dolphins, and even sunken ships! This is a cool way to escape the Hawaiian heat while learning about the vast mystery that is the ocean. If you are not so confident of your swimming skills, but want to experience marine wonders up close, then this is the perfect tour for you.
Here are the two top Submarine Tours you can choose from:
Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure – Price: $128
The best attractions to see in Maui are the waters: over and under. This 50-minute tour starts in Lahaina Harbour where guests are transported to the dive site and into the sub. You can expect to see colorful coral reefs and even whales if you’re lucky.
“Super fun for the little ones we went with our 10 year old twins and our 13 year old! All had a great time and saw sharks, octopus, tons of fish, shipwreck and beautiful corral! Definitely worthwhile with a fun professional staff! Highly recommended!” –Morris
Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure and Royal Lahaina Luau – Price: $222
You would have to book early for this family double down tour because it gets sold out pretty easily. The tour starts with a refreshing open boat ride to the dive site. When you arrive at the sub site, you will climb aboard and descend more than a hundred feet below the water.
During the winter months, you are likely to encounter huge Humpback whales, and there’s a chance that a reef shark or turtle could swim right past your window.
After the tour, go north to the shores of Kaanapali for the Royal Lahaina Luau, where you’ll experience an oceanfront sunset with a cacophony of colors, before settling in for the marvellous show.
Mermaid Swimming On Maui
How much fun is this?
If you have always dreamed of being a mermaid and swimming with an abundance of marine animals in a tropical paradise, then Maui is the best place on Earth for playing Ariel. Hawaii Mermaid Adventures is ideal for all ages and for those who want to be in the ocean in a different perspective.
All tour packages are inclusive of special swimming lessons that also cover the proper etiquette in the water and around Maui’s precious marine life. Trained and certified instructors will teach guests how to identify endemic Hawaiian fish species they would otherwise see in pictures only.
Supporting the vision and mission of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association, all of the tours include mini beach clean-ups with narration on how to help conserve the oceans, as well as the current pollution issues that seas and oceans around the world are experiencing.
After the briefing on lessons and safety protocols, guests will have 2 hours under the water with their chosen instructors, to discover the beauty of Maui’s oceans and to find out why thousands of tourists sign up each year for this experience.
For more information and bookings, please call the Hawaii Mermaid Adventures here: (808) 495-8919.
The Best Way To See The Island
On this helicopter tour of the West Maui Mountains, you’ll be taken to the heart of ancient Hawaii, where the remains of ancient tribe leaders and chiefs are secretly buried.
Stare out a window of an A-star helicopter with 6-forward facing seats while your expert pilot tells you about the history, geology, and wildlife in Maui.
If you are not into hiking and long drives, you can enjoy the Road to Hana in a plush van and helicopter. This is the ultimate luxurious trip to experience Maui. Travel along this amazingly beautiful ride, check out the quaint towns of Ke’anae, Wai’anapanapa State Park and Waikani Falls along the way, and finally arriving at the isolated paradisiacal Hana.
Learn about the rich history of the local Hawaiians and discover about their culture, then snap few Instagram-worthy photos of the waterfalls and pools where you can dip for a cool off. You will also get to enjoy a delicious Pacific Rim drink and a hearty meal of fish or chicken served at a beachside setting. Going back home is also a trip in style on a 6-passenger, air-conditioned jet helicopter.
“Air Maui just did an excellent job with this tour of the cliffs of Molokai and West Maui mountains.
Shoutouts to Minoaka and pilot Troy. This was my first helicopter experience and I was surprised at the smoothness and incredible visibility. This tour went over terrain pretty much impossible to see any other way. Hard to describe what it’s like to approach a waterfall going down a cliff 1,000ft. to the sea and getting close and personal. The other great thing about the helicopter is that if you have driven or hiked in West Maui, it is really helpful and beautiful to be 1,000 feet in the air looking down so you can see how everything fits together. Definitely high value.” –Ruffell S.
Maui is an amazing island that’s best seen up in the air. In this 60-minute complete island tour, tourists and guests soar above and hover over valleys, forests, and scenic spots that are otherwise inaccessible by foot. The cruise above the lunar landscape of Haleakala volcano is surely one for the books and you will not experience it anywhere else.
“Amazing, what a wonderful way to see the island. A must do for any visitor to the island. You get to see parts of the island you would not normally see. You also get a new found respect for mother nature and all her wonders.” –Stephen K.
Things To Do In Maui
Golf On Maui
Kapalua, Plantation Course
One of the best spots to play Golf in Maui is The Plantation Course at the Kapalua Bay. This more than 7,000-yard golf course that has been designed by Ben Creshaw and Bill Coore has been ranked as the top golf course in the entire Hawaii Islands. This course boasts of 18 holes set at a par-73 across a vast and lengthy course.
The PGA tour starts their season here every year so you know this is a top class course. If you are visiting the island in January you may even want to watch how the pro’s knock it around this world top 100 golf course.
King Kamehameha’s golf course
King Kamehameha’s 18-hole private golf course comes at a close second. This exceptional golf course strategically placed along the slopes of West Maui Mountains provides a stunning view of the mountains and the coastal waters below.
The clubhose here was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and there aren’t many golf courses that can say that. That in itself gets my vote for a must visit course.
Gold Course at Wailea Golf Club
The host of Wendy’s Champions Skins Game, the Gold Course at Wailea Golf Club, is the third best golf courses in Maui. What made this course so unique is their preservation of the historic lava walls. This course also has 18 holes spread across 7,000 yards of manicured grass.
Standard rate for the general public: $250 (rates are lower for resort guests)
For more information: https://www.waileagolf.com/wailea-golf-rates/
Kahili Golf Course
If you want a more secluded golf course, however, the Kahili Golf Course is one of Maui’s hidden jewels. This 18-hole par-72 course has started in 1991 on the hillside of West Maui Mountains.
Shop Till You Drop in Maui
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. Novelty arts and crafts, clothing, jewellery, souvenirs, flowers, produce local cuisine, and everything you could think of from some couple of hundreds of vendors.
The meet has it’s own Facebook page so check it out before you go
Bike down a volcano
See the Banyan Tree Park
Banyan trees, of which most species are native to the Eastern half of the globe, ars relatively rare in the West. This fascinating specimen, centered around a tiny park, came from India during the 1870s.Towering 60 feet high and offering copious amounts of shade to nature and park lovers, it is a picturesque piece of evidence as to how people can weave their own designs around the natural. Nearby are some souvenir shops, as well as the Courthouse Museum and other attractions.
Food On Maui
Take a Bite of Their 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 in Hawaii and the experience here 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 joints, fine-dining restaurants, local favourites like Spam musubi, or ethnic foods like Portuguese malasadas that represent the island’s culinary identity.
Without further ado, here are the top restaurants on the island of Maui:
Mama’s Fish House
Your Maui experience wouldn’t be complete without dining at Mama’s Fish House. This local favorite is located along the North Shore of Maui in Ku’au. Enjoy a diverse selection of authentic Polynesian dishes while awing at the full-on spectacle of the sun setting.
Make sure you have a reservation, though, because this restaurant is almost always fully booked the entire year.
Ferraro’s Bar Ristorante
If you are going with a loved one, then this is one of the best places in Maui for a romantic date. This restaurant is located at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea and has one of the best vantage points in South Maui for a stunning sunset scene. Sit back and relax while enjoying a refreshing muddled cocktail as you wait for your meal to arrive.
The food options that Ferraro’s offers are a yummy fusion of re-imagined Italian and Polynesian dishes. Their menu also has vegetarian and vegan selections, so there’s something for everyone.
Maui's Food Trucks
Aside from being a tropical paradise, Maui could also be considered as a Gastronomic Eden because of an abundance of food trucks in the island.
The Maui cuisine is known for its fusion of Island-Asian style merged with traditional Polynesian taste and speckled with European influence. The decadent and top-notch restaurants albeit superb, come with a price tag that costs an arm and a leg.
The mini Food Truck of Ono Munchies near the Makena Cove "Secret Cove Beach" Maui
With such a spectacular island like Maui with so much to do and so many things to see, you can’t afford to splurge your vacation money on a single meal. Worry not, though, because Maui’s local food trucks serve delicious, mouth-watering and local style dishes that cater to the average to budget travelers and local alike.
These food trucks are also ideal if you are on-the-go, because, really, who wants to sit still and wait for your gourmet food to be prepared when you can have it quick and just as delicious?
Recently, a little-used parking area behind the mauka (mountain side) Azeka Shopping Center has been converted into a food court of food trucks.
From their website “Kihei Station Food Truck / Trailer Pod is a culinary carnival with a rotating lineup of culinary curiosities that are sure to amaze, delight and astound.”
There are shade structures, games and plenty of trucks to choose from.
Things To Do In Maui
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. Aside from the famous Hula dance, there are also a lot of festivals, art galleries, museums, special shows that immerse you in the beautiful Hawaiian culture.
Music is also an immense part of Maui’s cultural heritage, and you will hear their music everywhere—in your hotel, in the beaches, parks, and even shopping centers.
Here's a whopping 3 and a half hours of Hawaiian music to get you in that tropical island frame of mind.
Arts and culture in Maui could also be experienced after dark, at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Founded in 1994, the MACC is the best establishment in Maui for the performing arts. This cultural center has showcased authentic Hawaiian talent in performing arts, live music, and theater plays for years.
When it comes to visual arts, though, Maui never ceases to impress. Have you ever thought about painting in paradise? No? Then this is the place to go. At Island Art Party, you could sip premium wines and cocktails while painting a sunset scene over the ocean, or the underwater sights you saw outside the submarine.
You will be guided by a Partisita (Party Artist), and regardless of your expertise level, you get to bring home your work of art and your wonderful memories in Maui.
Maui is chock-full of wonderful experiences and life-long memories, way waaay more than you could ever think of accomplishing on a single visit, unless you plan to stay there for a month or two, or if you plan to move there.
Start off with the attractions and places that you want to experience first, then save the others for your next visit, because—let’s admit it—you would be planning to go back to Maui the moment you’re on the plane back home.