20 Fab Things To Do in Maui 2019 - A Helpful Video 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…
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.
What is the weather like 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.
Entertaining Things to See in Maui
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 and sampling some delicious native dishes.
Old Lahaina Luau takes great pride in presenting an authentic Hawaiian Luau. An evening of traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music, cultural dances and demonstrations.
Guests will appreciate a genuine reflection of Hawaii’s rich history while enjoying an ocean view and sunset.
Breathtaking Things to See in Maui
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 drive up 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.
Instagram-worthy Things to See in Maui
3. 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 greenery, remarkable waterfalls, and breathe in the fragrant smell of guavas and ginger that grow along the roadside.
Free Things to See and Do in Maui
4. Iao Valley State Park
Aside from the Road to Hana and Haleakala National Park, Iao Valley State Park is also a notable natural reserve 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.
The history-rich main street of Paia bustles with several hundreds of quaint, small boutiques, surf shops, art exhibits and galleries, and cafes. This is also the Holy Grail of foodies because some of the island’s best and most popular food shops and restaurants are here: Mama’s Fish House, Pa’ia Fish Market, and Hana Ranch Provisions.
Don’t forget to visit the Dharma Center, consecrated by the Dalai Lama; here, the guests are allowed to spin the prayer wheel and snap photos of the murals inside the stupa.
Exciting Things to Do in Maui
I don’t think anyone’s ever managed to disassociate Hawaii with snorkeling, surfing, and the ocean, and there is certainly a surfeit of potential places and tours in Maui.
Aside from those, there are also packages available for 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.
Maui's Breakwall Beach packages include 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.
One-of-a-kind Things to See and Do in Maui
6. 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.
Things to Do with Kids in Maui
7. Mermaid Swimming
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.
One-of-a-kind Things to Do in Maui
8. Take a Helicopter Tour
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.
More than 60 percent of the island is inaccessible by foot, so the best way to appreciate the beauty of the place is to get on board with one of Jack Harter Helicopters. Take a ride to the skies and experience the majestic islands in all their glory.
West Maui and Molokai offers an exclusive 45-minute Helicopter Tour.
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.
Relaxing Things to Do in Maui
9. Play Golf on Maui
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.
Standard rate: $329
For more information: https://golfatkapalua.com/current_golf_rates/
Luxurious Things to Do in Maui
10. Shop Until 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. 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.
Adrenaline-pumping Things to Do in Maui
11. Bike Down a Volcano in Maui
Certainly not talking about the kind where you plunge headlong into a fiery pit of doom ala Gollum, but for a different kind of thrill try renting a bike and go down a few miles into the crater of the famed Haleakala, perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Maui. Or, if biking isn’t your thing, consider renting a van instead. Maui offers a lot of biking tours that would suit every preference. Maui Sunriders offers 2 packages and tours:
Haleakala Downhill ($67.97)-
This tour provides the best equipment to take to the best biking route on Maui. The Haleakala Downhill Tour provides an amazing value for folks who would like to enjoy the sights to see in Haleakala on a bike. This tour includes a van tour with an experienced narrator as you’re driven up Haleakala on the same route you’ll bike down.
Day Rental ($29.95) –
This tour is more exclusive since it is based on availability. Also, this gives you the freedom because this tour lets you explore Haleakala alone, if you prefer.
This also allows you to start your Haleakala sunrise bike tour at the peak of Haleakala without the restrictions imposed on ordinary riders. Yep, you’re special with this one.
Aside from Maui Sunriders, Mountain Riders also offers a Maui Sunrise Volcano Bike Tour for $249.96. The price may be hefty, but it’s the most popular biking tour in the island. This tour begins by picking you up at your hotel going to Haleakala.
The trained tour guides tells about the history of Haleakala and an explanation of endemic plants and animals only found in Maui Island. When you arrive at the peak, you will be guided by your escorts to the rim of the crater where you will view the stunning sunrise.
The tour then proceeds to the 6,500 foot level of Haleakala where your tour guides will brief you regarding safety regulations, and begin your 26-mile bike ride down the slopes of Haleakala. Your bike ride continues through Haleakala Ranch and proceeds through the quaint community of Kula.
The ride ends at Paia Bay Beach Park. Inclusions of the tour are a round trip transportation to and from Haleakala National Park, packed snacks, Columbia Sportswear windbreaker jacket, helmet and high quality volcano chrome cruiser bikes.
Fascinating Things to See in Maui
12. See the Banyan Tree Park
Banyan trees, of which most species are native to the Eastern half of the globe, are 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.
Delicious Things to Do in Maui
13. Try Maui's Food and Cuisine
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.
Affordable Things to Do in Maui
14. Try 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.
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?
Cultural Things to Do in Maui
15. Appreciate Maui's Music
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.
Artful Things to See and Do in Maui
16. Visit Maui Arts and Cultural Center
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.
Things to Do in Maui with the Family
17. Waianapanapa State Park
Waianapanapa means “sparkling waters” in Hawaiian, but it isn’t actually the glistening waters that attract a plethora of travelers to the park named after it—the night-black sands do. It’s not actually black sand, though, but volcanic deposits that look like a thick border between the turquoise waves and green verdant forest.
The state park is along the Road to Hana and a lot of visitors stop over to snap some pictures before proceeding to the Hana path. Those who hike in the state park, however, will discover the Waianapanapa’s freshwater caves where they can have a quick dip in the pools. Folks who prefer to stay dry, on the other hand, can see the majestic view and take some photos of the ancient burial sites instead.
Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Maui
The beauty of Maui is meant to be enjoyed outside on a fine day. But what if it rains? Are we left with nothing to do when it’s pouring in the island? Of course not!
Moana Glass Art offers a unique activity that guests can try when they couldn’t enjoy the Maui sun and sands outside. Inspired by the sky, sun, and sparkling waters of Hawaii, Ryan Staub started this company that manufactures and sells beautiful glass pieces. Eventually they started giving glass blowing lessons to visitors where the latter can learn how to make their own beautiful glass souvenirs. Glass is very fragile and could be rather tough to work with, but they have patient and efficient instructors who would be beside the participants to assist and guide them through the lesson.
Things to See and Do in Maui Nature Lovers
19. The Seven Sacred Pools
The pools of Oheo’o in Maui, famously known as the seven sacred pools, are a picturesque sight straight out of paradise. It features a series of cascading waterfalls and gorgeous natural pools enveloped by verdant rain forest that leads out into Maui’s south-east coast ocean. These waterfalls are so beautiful that they have long been considered as one of the wonders of the world. However, the pools are not always open for swimming; depending on the weather, the pools can be slippery or there could be imminent landslides, so they are closed from the public. Nevertheless, the sight is just absolutely breathtaking.
Unique Things to See and Do in Maui
20. Harvest Your Own Pearl
Pearls could be found almost everywhere, but the experience of shucking your very own pearl from an oyster is something that does not happen very often. At the original Pearl-in-the-Oyster in Maui, Hawaii, guests are given the chance to pick their briny oyster from the water, learn how to bless the bivalve Hawaiian style, and cracking into it and pluck a pearl from inside. The pearls have different colors (blue, black, pink) with each color representing something different. Shine your prize in salt and bring it home as it is or have it mounted on a ring so you can wear your keepsake anywhere.
Maui is one of the islands in Hawaii that are almost paradisiacal. It has abundant trees, glorious sun, amazing beaches, verdant forests, and a rich culture that’s exclusively Hawaiian. We recommend staying a bit longer in the island to discover more of what it offers… much like plucking a precious pearl from an oyster.