Top 55 things to do in Maui

Top 55 Things to do in Maui

After two delightfully sun-drenched trips to Maui, I feel like I’m qualified to give a proper list of the 50 things to do in Maui. Even after both of my visits to the Hawaiian island, there’s still so much more to see and do! You know you’ve found a pretty close to perfect holiday destination when you return in less than two years and still love every second of your time there.

TOP 55 THINGS TO DO IN MAUI

The list will run the gamut of every aspect of a holiday in Maui – from eating, drinking, shopping, visiting attractions, relaxing and adventuring. Enjoy!

1. Sunrise at Haleakala National Park volcano

Things to do in Maui. Watch the Sunrise over Haleakala

You can visit to watch the sun rise over the 3055 metre high volcano crater, amidst the clouds (but you’ll need to book, read all about it at the previous link), or just get out to the dormant volcano during the day. The National Park is home to lava flowers and endangered Hawaiian geese, so watch your step! Take plenty of water and warm layers with you, the altitude makes it cold up there.

Haleakala National Park: 30,000 Haleakala Highway, Kula.
Entry for private cars is $25 and covers three consecutive days’ entry.
Ph: (808) 572-4400

2. Cycling down Haleakala

While you’re visiting, why not take the opportunity to whiz down the volcano on a bicycle? There’s none of that pesky uphill riding to do, especially if you book with a bike tour. They’ll drive you up in a bus and guide you down on one of their bikes. If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, you might want to rent a bike and do the ride on your own to get the full wind-in-your-hair experience.

Check out this bike tour comparison for more information.

3. Kaelia Coastal Boardwalk

Kaelia Coastal Boardwalk, Maui

Depending on where you’re staying on the island, you might just pass Kaelia Pond Boardwalk on your way to Haleakala. The 600-metre boardwalk is set in part of the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on a coastal salt marsh between Kihei and Maalaea. The bird sanctuary is home to many species, and the boardwalk takes you over Sugar Beach, the marsh and gives great views of the island.

Kealia Coastal Boardwalk: North Kihei Road, Kihei.
Entry is free, and is open 7 days from sunrise until 7pm.

4. Go Snorkeling With A Tour

Snorkel with turtles on Maui

This was one of my favourite parts of our last trip to Maui. We took a morning boat tour to two snorkeling spots and got into the water with some very colourful fish and some sneaky sea turtles. I’d never been snorkeling before, so I took a quick lesson on the top deck with the other newbies and then hopped into the water. It was honestly a magical morning that I’d happily do again.

There are heaps of different tours snorkel tours available around Maui, so do your research first. We went with Pride of Maui (not sponsored).

Pride of Maui: Starting around $99 per adult.
Phone: (844) 250 7584

5. A Great Snorkel Beach

Go snorkeling off Maui

Of course you can just rent snorkel equipment from one of the many stores on the island and go for a bit of DIY snorkeling. It works out to be much cheaper and if you end up falling in love with the experience you just spend most of your trip in the water for a fraction of the price. I highly recommend visiting the beach at Mile Marker 14 in Olowalu – it’s got a beautiful coral reef with an array of fish and it’s where we got to see a couple of turtles. Just watch out for the jellyfish, there were a few out and about.

Mile Marker 14: Honoapillani Highway, Olowalu.

6. Get Your Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Balance

Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Maui

If I were to be described in any form or fashion, my uncoordination would feature quite prominently.  So I was more than a little worried that our Stand-Up Paddle Boarding trip would reveal this flaw to my then relatively-new boyfriend. (It’s OK, he stuck around).

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding was pretty easy (though a little tough on the knees) and I got the hang of it quickly. We cruised up the beaches in Kihei and I felt like the turtle version of the Pied Piper – there were a bunch of them following us around. Highly recommended.

You can find the five best places to Stand-Up Paddleboard right here.

7. Surfing Maui Waves

Surfing in Maui

You just knew that surfing would feature prominently in my list of 50 things to do in Maui! It wouldn’t be a proper list without it. There are heaps of secret spots that locals use (one that we stumbled across on our way up to the blowhole past Lahaina), that aren’t recommended for tourists. There are a bunch of surf schools for beginners, or check out this site for more information on the best surf spots depending on your experience level.

8. Build Sandcastles

Building Sandcastles in Maui

I know what you’re thinking, “how lame, who does that after they turn 12?”. The answer is, I do, and it’s so much fun. We bought a cheap plastic bucket and spade on our first trip and spent many an evening on the beach, building our fortresses while waiting to watch the sunset. Also, Mr M’s family have a sand-gecko building tradition that he has to uphold.

The best part about sandcastle-building is that you get to chat to people as they walk past, sometimes kids will help out, and the local puppies come sniffing around.

9. Drumming and Fire Dancing

Head over to Little Beach on Sunday night to watch the sun set to the sounds of a drum circle. Fair warning, Little Beach is an unofficial nudist spot (meaning that it’s not “legally” a nudist beach, but that public nudity isn’t punished there either), so you might come across a few locals in their birthday suits.

But if you’re brave enough to take it all in your stride, so to speak, stay for the fire dancing after the sun goes down. The entertainers are all ages and come from all walks of life.

Little Beach: Is in Makena State Park, Makena Road, Kihei.

10. A Luau

Hula dancers at a Maui Luau

The ultimate in Hawaiian partying, a Luau should be in your top 10 things to do in Maui. There are a few different ones, but we experienced the  Te Au Moana Luau in Wailea, which felt like it had everything. We were greeted with flower lei’s, as we settled into our seats on the beachfront. Then we were shown a few (delicious) Hawaiian traditions like how to slow cook a Kaluha pig in an underground oven, and how to peel a coconut.

The buffet was sumptuous (because, let’s face it, I’m all about the food), and I could have easily gone back for seconds and thirds. But the party was starting and we got to learn about Maui’s stories through dance and song. There were costume changes, fire dancers, and lots of fun.

Te Au Moana Luau: 3700 Wailea Alanui, Wailea.
Runs Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 4:30 PM.
Price: from $118 for adults.

11. Dinner Cruise

Have you noticed that quite a few of the suggestions on my “Things to do in Maui” list revolve around the sunset? There’s a reason for that – it’s gorgeous from pretty much wherever you are. But you’re almost guaranteed a stunning, unencumbered view (cloud-pending) when you take a sunset dinner cruise. As you’d expect, there are tonnes of different tours to choose from, so do your research. They also depart from different parts of the island, namely, Maalaea Harbour, Makena Beach, and Lahaina Harbor.

12. Eat a Cinnamon Roll

Cinnamon Rolls in Kihei, Maui

I don’t care how many sweet treats you’ve stuffed in your pie hole over the years, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve gotten a cinnamon roll from the Cinnamon Roll Place in Kihei. You can get a bunch of different breakfast foods like different bagels (with Spam if you’re so inclined), ciabattas or croissants. But why would you when you can eat THE best cinnamon roll ever?

Cinnamon Roll Place2463 S Kihei Road, Kihei.
Open daily from 5.30am-2pm.
Phone: (808) 879 5177

13. Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips from Kihei in Maui

You’re on an island, surrounded by the ocean, with fish swimming round. Where better to sample that great “British” delicacy of fish and chips? Of course they’re going to have a “Maui” twist to them. We had lunch at Paia Fish Market Southside one hot Tuesday, where they’ve got a variety of fish and ways of serving it. It used to be Alexander’s Fish Market, and Mr M’s dad swears black and blue (he wouldn’t actually swear though) that it was the best fish and chips he’s had on the island. Now that it’s Paia Fish Market it still gets the thumbs up of approval.

The fish might resemble fish sticks, but they were 1,000 times tastier. And of course, being Maui, you can’t have fish and chips without some pasta salad! I couldn’t finish the plate – it was so much deliciousness!

Paia Fish Market: Has three locations, in Paia, Lahaina and the one we went to at 1913 South Kihei Road, Kihei.
Phone: (808) 874 8888
Open daily from 11am-9.30pm.

14. Food With A View (and a garden)

Breakfast with a view at Kula Lodge Restaurant in Maui

Have you ever tasted Coconut syrup on your pancakes? Then get your sweet tooth over to Kula Lodge Restaurant. It’s conveniently located on your way back to “civilisation” from Haleakala National Park, so I recommend stopping in at any time of day.

We were there to warm up after freezing on the top of the volcano for an hour. I got the Buttermilk Pancakes with toasted macadamia nuts and a large splash of the coconut syrup. Of course there are all the usual syrups to choose from if you’re not a coconut fan. Mr M went with a breakfast omelette and toast that did not disappoint.

The restaurant is set on the mountain edge, and its huge windows give you a beautiful view of the landscaped gardens below, and the sea on the horizon. The outdoor area is a must-visit. It’s got a wood-burning pizza oven, a pond, and little booths nestled in the garden that look like they belong on a Greek hillside.

Kula Lodge Restaurant: 15200 Haleakala Highway, Route 377, Kula.
Phone: (808) 878-1535
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

15. Surfing Goat Dairy

Surfing goat dairy in Maui

The Surfing Goat takes a little bit of navigation to find, but if you’re a fan of tiny goats (yes, I know, they’re kids), you’ve got to stop. The dairy is nestled in the hills of Kula, just follow the surfboards to find the little farm with bleating charges. It’s owned and run by German expats Thomas and Eva Kafsack.

We spent a lot of time talking to and petting the kids, who were still well within their “cute” stage when we visited in late April. Then we ventured into the diary to check out the goat cheese and all the other goat-featured products, like the gourmet goat cheese truffles. It’s a great spot to take your children as well.

Surfing Goat Dairy: 3651 Omaopio Road, Kula.
Open Monday to Saturday from 9am-5pm and from 9am-2pm on Sundays.
Phone: (808) 878 2870

16. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

The Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

This place holds a special place in my heart now, because it’s where Mr M proposed to me a few months ago. But it’s also special because it’s not “just” a lavender farm. They offer a guided walking or cart tour, and picnic lunches if you’re hungry. The gardens incorporate many species of plants and are graded up the side of a hill interspersed with gazebos, a little store, and a chicken coop. The hill also overlooks the western side of Maui, so it’s a nice place to meander and then sit and enjoy the serenity for a bit.

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm: 1100 Waipoli Road, Kula.
Entry: $3 per person, children 12 and under are free.
Phone: (808) 878 3004.

17. Vodka Distillery and Farm

While we’re in Kula and on the subject of farms, let’s talk about Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery. What exactly do they organically farm? The sugar cane that goes into the creation of their organic vodka and Hawaiian rum. I am almost sure that they had banana trees out there as well. If you walk down past the gift shop, through the farm, you’ll get a beautiful view of the island and the coast below as well.

You can also take a tour to learn about the process of distilling vodka, sustainable farming and the 30 types of Polynesian sugar cane that are used. It’s all finished off with a tasting for the over-21s.

Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery: 4051 Omaopio Road, Kula.
Phone: (808) 877 0009
Tours cost $12 those who are 21 or older, and includes a tasting and a shot glass.

18. Surround Yourself With Fruit

Visit Maui Tropical Plantation for pineapples and other fruit

Maui Tropical Plantation is a fruit-lover’s paradise. Obviously, the island is known for its pineapple, which is the scent and taste of summer for so many. But this plantation seems to have it all – from papaya to bananas, star and jackfruit, coconut and coffee to name just a few of the fruits and vegetables it grows and harvests each year.

If you’re thinking of booking a tour on the plantation’s tram, it’s a good idea to book ahead online because they can sell out quickly on the day. You can also do a bit of “family” ziplining around the plantation – they accept children as young as 5.

Maui Tropical Plantation: 1670 Honoapiʻilani Highway, Wailuku.
Phone: (800) 451-6805.
Open daily from 8am-9pm.

19. Try Some Pineapple Wine

You read correctly, pineapple wine. Stay with me here, because I tried the Maui Splash “variety” and it appealed to my sweet tooth. It’s not overly sweet though, and it’s got a hint of passion fruit in it for good measure. If your tastes are a little more traditional, Maui Wines also offers Rose, Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Grenache and Malbec. For a bit of history, do a tasting in the “Old Jail” building on the property, which used to be captain James Makee’s private office. He once owned the most productive sugar plantation on the island.

Maui Wine: 14815 Piilani Highway, Kula.
Phone: (808) 878-6058
Open everyday from 10am-5pm.

20. Nakalele Point Blowhole

Feel like a little drive? Let’s head north to the Nakalele Point Blowhole. It can get pretty windy out here so be sure to bring a jacket for the little hike to see the blowhole up close. When the surf and wind are both up, the ocean is pushed up through the hole in the rock, and shoots up like a geyser. It can reach up to 100-feet high.

It’s pretty cool to watch, but it’s a steep trek down if you want to see it all up close and personal. If you do get down there, look in the opposite direction to the blowhole to see a perfect heart-shape eroded out of a rock. There’s also a great little warning sign on the trail that reads “Warning: Stay clear of blowhole. You can get sucked in and killed. It’s NOT a water park”. Wise words if I ever heard any.

Nakalele Point Blowhole: Kahekili Highway, Poelua Bay.

21. Zip Lining

How adventurous are you? If I had a bucket list, zip lining would be on it, even though I’m scared of heights. Probably because in my not-so-logical mind, it’s safer than bungee jumping or sky diving. Maui has more than its fair share of zip lining adventures on offer for anyone who wants to give it a go. If you’re a beginner or a little scared, try the Maui Tropical Plantation family zip line first to get a feel for how you’ll handle it.

22. Helicopter Tour

The best part about jumping into a helicopter to take a spin around the island of Maui, is that you get the birds’ eye view of everything. Imagine the photos you’d get out of the trip! Most tours take you over Molokini and Haleakala craters, the Road to Hana, Molokai, Makena, and Maalaea Harbor. But you can also choose the tour that will show you specific parts of the island.

23. Maui Aquarium

Known as the Maui Ocean Center, the aquarium is close to the Maalaea Harbor (they share parking lots). It focuses on Hawaiian marine life, some of which are exclusively found living around the islands. There are lots of great exhibits to keep children interested as well – from the tide pool to the turtle lagoon and the open ocean exhibit.

Maui Ocean Center: 192 Maalaea Road, Wailuku.
Phone: (808) 270-7000
Open every day from 9am-5pm. Book online for a 15% discount on some ticket packages.

24. Road to Hana

I will never forget our trip on the Road to Hana as long as I live. Because that road is a narrow one, often on a cliff’s edge, and some locals are far from patient when it comes to driving it. Suffice to say, Mr M drove us and dealt with the hairy bits so that I could enjoy the scenery. And there are some absolutely breathtaking parts like Twin Falls, Ho’okipa Lookout, Wailua Valley, Upper Waikani Falls, and Hana Town. Lots of these places only have very limited parking so plan to choose a couple of spots to visit and have a contingency if your chosen places are full at the time.

It’s a good idea to take a van tour so that you can relax, not worry about driving or parking. It would make life a lot easier.

Road to Hana: Check out this website for all the information you’ll need to prep for your Road to Hana trip.

25. Black Sand Beach

Visit a Black Sand Beach along the Road to Hana in Maui

It’s fair to say that Maui, and Hawaiian islands as a whole, have a diverse array of beaches. Honomanu Bay is on the road to Hana and is famous for being a black sand beach. It’s not the kind of beach that you’re going to want to lay out to sunbathe or water that needs to be swum in. And even getting to it is tough unless you have a 4×4. They sometimes have issues after it rains though. The rugged cove is beautiful to visit though.

Honomanu Bay: Hana Highway, between the Ke’anae and Garden of Eden arboretums.

26. Sugar Cane Museum

Any sugar addicts out there? Or kids who like heavy machinery? I know, it’s a niche audience, but the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum doesn’t mind. Sugar cane was a huge industry on Maui, although that does seem to be dropping off now. The museum displays the history of sugar on the island, how it aided the development of water carrying resources, and inner workings of a sugar mill. It’s actually right across the street from a sugar mill that doesn’t seem to be in use anymore. But it’s just decrepit-looking enough to make for awesome photos.

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum: 3957 Hansen Road, Puunene.
Phone: (808) 871 8058
Open daily from 9.30am-4pm. Adults $7, Children $2, Seniors $5.

27. Paragliding

Paragliding in Maui

Paragliders always look so calm and serene, soaring up in the clouds. I’m guessing it’s a little different when you’re up there yourself with adrenaline pumping through your veins. We were going to the lavender farm when I noticed my first Maui Paragliders, and I instantly wanted to try it out. Proflyght Maui offers the island’s only paragliding tours, and it allows for both tandem and solo flights. It’s on the pricier side of things, as you could imagine.

Proflyght Maui: 1598 Waipoli Rd, Kula.
Phone: (808) 874 5433
Open daily, 7am-7pm.

28. Fancy Dinner Toaime

Seafood dinner at Sarento's Restaurant in Maui

We had a fresh engagement to celebrate and needed a nice restaurant to party in. So we chose Sarento’s on the Beach in Kihei. Starting with a glass of champagne at the bar (we were a little early for our reservation), we had a fantastic night with lots of food. Maybe our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, but we ended up with a little too much and got to take home enough food to last us all another full meal. The service was attentive and the food was mouth-watering. It was raining though so we didn’t get to sit outside overlooking the ocean, although you can if you book in advance.

Sorrento’s on the Beach2980 South Kihei Road, Kihei.
Phone: (808) 875 7555

29. Maui Brewing Company

The title of Hawaii’s largest craft brewery goes to Maui’s own Brewing Company. Not only that, but the 4000 solar panels that the company installed four years ago means that it generates a lot of its own electricity. It produces 60,000 kegs a year and distributes across 23 US States. But over to the beer – the brewery makes a variety of brews including pilsner, wheat, IPA, and lagers. You can take a 45 minute tour of the Kihei brewery, cellar and packaging line, before sampling a few beers yourself.

Maui Brewing Company: 605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei.
Tours run daily at 11.30am, 12.15pm, 1pm, 1.45pm, 2.30pm, and 3.15pm.

30. Eat Like A Local At Da Kitchen

Eat like a local at Da Kitchen

If you want to get a taste of Maui the way the locals know it, you need to get to Da Kitchen restaurant. It seems to always be packed with people from beachgoers, to tradies, and everyone in between. This Kihei restaurant’s claim to fame is that it cooks and serves “Island Style Food”, inspired by the island’s traditions, and it delivers in spades. Their best sellers include the Hawaiian plate, Mahi Mahi fish tempura, and Pulehu grilled steaks. My favourite was the pulled pork plate, which came with a highly generous portion of succulent pork, some coleslaw, pasta salad and rice. The restaurant also partners with various local charities to help Maui’s needy.

Da Kitchen: 2439 South Kihei Road, Kihei or 425 Koloa Street, Suite 104, Kahului.
Opening hours vary depending on the location.

31. Molokini Crater

When was the last time you visited an underwater volcano? I know, they have this tendency to be few and far between. You’re in luck in Maui though, because it has Molokini Crater – with part of the volcano lip poking out of the ocean. The crescent shaped “islet” is a Hawaii State Seabird sanctuary and is a choice spot for scuba and snuba diving as well as snorkeling.

32. Whale Watching

Go whale watching in Maui

While it’s time-sensitive, if you visit Maui during the right season, you might be lucky enough to see a pod of whales or dolphins making their way through the Pacific Ocean. The season starts in November and runs through to May, but the peak time for North Pacific Humpback whale migration is March and February. You can book either a whale watching tour, or a combination of whale watching and snorkeling.

Whale Watching Tours: You can find a few different whale watching tour companies here.

33. Portraits

While everyone’s nice and relaxed on holiday, why not take the opportunity to get some family or couples photos taken? You’re already in a breathtaking place so take advantage of it. There are heaps of photographers available, just make sure that you think about it in advance and pack for it. It might also be wise to book your photo session closer to the beginning of your vacation, before anyone’s had a chance to accidentally fall asleep in the sun.

34. Drive Around In A Fancy Car

I’ve never seen as many Mustang convertibles as I have in Maui. Every second rental car seems to be a Mustang convertible. And that’s all well and good if you’re a Mustang fan, but there are other options available as well. Maui seems to be the place to make your car dreams come true. For example, there are companies such as Maui Roadsters, that offer reproductions of the 1957 Porche 356 Speedster convertible to rent. Just in case you feel like re-enacting an old timey movie with your best guy or gal.

Maui Roadsters: 122 Kio Loop, Bay 3, Kihei.
Phone: 808 339 6204

35. Take A Hike

It’s not everyone’s idea of a holiday activity, but for the outdoorsy-types, there are some spectacular hikes in Maui that will reward you with fantastic views. Lahaina Pali is a good one but it’s also a strenuous five-miler, so keep that in mind if you’re not a regular hiker. This hiking trail is beloved by locals, but isn’t always mentioned in guidebooks, probably because of the elevation gain. You end up climbing about 487 metres (1600 ft) over 2.5 miles. So if you don’t yet have powerful glutes, you will by the end of this. But your reward is the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and the reef it holds.

There are two out-and-back trails, one from the east and the other from the west. The eastern side is more difficult but it has its own parking area off the Honoapiilani Highway. The west trailhead is close to the tunnel at Ukumehame Beach State Park and you can park just off the highway.

Lahaina Pali Trail: Eastern trailhead, Honoapiilani Highway and North Kihei Road, Wialuku. Western Trailhead, Ukumehame Beach State Park on Honoapiilani Highway, Olowalu.

36. Be A Mermaid For A Day

Go for a swim with your own mermaid tail
Picture: Hawaii Mermaid Adventures

It’s time for all of your Little Mermaid dreams to come true. Ever since I watched the Disney movie as a kid, I’ve wanted to be Ariel. She’s got ambition, a undersea cave of curiousities, and a pretty good singing voice.  Hawaii Mermaid Adventures offers you the chance to become a mermaid by supplying the shimmering tails and swimming lessons to turn you into a gliding beauty of the sea. Their instructors are all certified lifeguards and you can also get your own underwater photos to remember the whole experience. If that’s all a bit too much and you’ve got little ones who are mermaid-obsessed, you can always do a mermaid “meet and greet” where a mermaid will swim up and talk to your kids.

Hawaii Mermaid Adventures: 61 Halekuai Street, Unit 5, Kihei.
Phone: (808) 495 8919

37. Abseil/Rapel Down A Waterfall

Those who have tried abseiling before (known as rapeling in the US), might want to take it up a notch by involving a waterfall in the experience. Some tours will take you to spots along the Road to Hana and train you in the basics of going over the cliff edge and abseiling your way down into the rain forest below. The added bonus of staving off the humidity and heat by being under a waterfall is the exhilarating part. Just don’t forget a change of clothes for later!

Adventure in Hawaii: Phone: (877) 678 7333
Rapel Maui: Phone: (808) 445 6407

38. Fishing

The avid anglers out there haven’t been forgotten at all! You can book deep sea fishing tours, fish from the shore in some spots or go on sports fishing charters. Knowing nothing about it myself, I can’t really recommend the best tours to book or places to fish, but this guy can. Check out the options available on his site, or contact him (no names on the site that I could find) and he’ll help you to put together a fishing trip!

39. Take Hula Lessons

Nothing says “Hawaiian Islands” quite like the hula, so why not learn it while you’re there? It’s a souvenir that no one can accidentally break. And the best part is that the lessons are free! Visit Lahaina Cannery Mall on Wednesday nights to watch a hula show, just so you know what you’re getting into. Then return on Thursday night for your free lesson. It’s not just for kids either, anyone can join in the party!

Lahaina Cannery Mall Hula: 1221 Honoapiilani Highway, Lahaina.
Phone: (808) 661-5304
Hula show: Wednesdays, between 7pm-8pm
Hula lessons: Thursdays, between 5pm-6pm

40. Parasailing

Paragliding isn’t for everyone, but parasailing might be more your cup of tea, considering you land in the water rather than on the ground. I love that Maui has so many adventurous options and I’ll definitely be trying parasailing when we return. Some companies offer tandem or even triple parasailing adventures so that everyone can join in.

There are heaps of options to choose from when it comes to parasailing companies, so do your research first!

41. Canoe/Kayaking

Hawaiian Paddle Sports kayaking and canoeing Maui
Picture: Hawaiian Paddle Sports

If you want to get to a great turtle-watching area under your own steam, you should think about taking an Outrigger Canoe or Kayak tour with Hawaiian Paddle Sports. You will learn about Maui’s history, culture, and the surrounding waters on the way out, then enjoy some time snorkeling and marveling at the fish and turtles. Hawaiian Paddle Sports is an eco-conscious company, each tour begins with a mini-beach clean up.

Hawaiian Paddle Sports: Canoe tours depart from Po`olenalena Beach, and (seasonally) from Honolua. Kayak tours leave from Makena Landing and Olowalu (seasonally).
Phone: (808) 442 6436
The three-hour canoe tour costs $159 per person, while the three-hour private kayak tours start from $159 per person for two to four guests.

42. Go Shopping (Lahaina/Wailea)

Maui is home to the galleries of some fantastic artists, and you’ll see a lot of them along Front Street in Lahaina. The street also features a bunch of stores with local crafts and jewelry, and the requisite surf shops. Be warned though, it’s a stopping point for cruise ships as well, so it can get a little crowded. If you’re looking for bargains though, head a little further up Front Street to the Outlets of Maui mall. It’s got stores such as Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Coach,Calvin Klein and Lucky Jeans, to name a few.

On the other side of the island, you can visit the aptly named Shops at Wailea. This mall has lots of dining and shopping options, although they have more designer and higher-priced stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Tiffany & Co. The good news is that the Maui County tax rate is currently 0% so if you’re looking for a bargain, this is where to shop.

Outlets of Maui 900 Front Street, Lahaina.
Open daily from 9.30am-10pm.

The Shops at Wialea: 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea.
Open daily from 9.30am-9pm.

44. Adopt a pet for the day

Not quite adopting, but if you visit the Maui Humane Society on Wednesdays or Fridays, you can take part in the Beach Buddy program. It’s a little like volunteering. You get paired up with a dog to take to the beach, or a park, or wherever dog-friendly place you please for the day. The Society gives you a backpack of supplies, washes the dog beforehand, so s/he’s squeaky clean and ready for a little vacation. They also get an “adopt me” collar and leash so you’re helping to advertise that the pooch needs a new home.

Beach Buddy Program: 1350 Mehameha Loop, Pu’unene.
Phone: (808) 877 3680

45. Beach Yoga

Whether you sign up for a yoga class at one of the beach resorts or just head on down with your mat on your own, there’s something to be said for a spot of beach yoga. Especially if it’s just after or at sunrise. It’ll set you up for a nice, relaxing day in the right frame of mind. Of course you can also finish the day with some sunset yoga, if you like to sleep in instead.

46. Hawaiian Shave Ice

It’s a thing here. Similar to a Snow Cone, I’m told Hawaiian Shave Ice (not shaved ice) is different because the ice is shaved instead of crushed. Flavoured syrup is then drizzled over the top and absorbed into the ice flakes, since they’re so fine. And you get a nice icy treat. I don’t need to tell you where to find it because there’ll be signs everywhere.

47. Go Horse riding

Surprisingly, to me at least, there are quite a few places to go horse riding on the island. So there’s no reason to leave it out of your list of top things to do in Maui. You can go oceanfront riding, or “country” riding, some ranches even offer private horse riding trips. There are stables in Lahaina, Wialuku, Kihei and Kula, to name a few. Makena Stables offers the best of both worlds, with a ride on the beach and then through some lava fields and you can choose between a morning or sunset ride.

Makena Stables: End of Makena Road, Kihei.
Phone: (808) 879 0244
Prices: $170 plus fees for a morning ride and $195 plus fees for a sunset ride. Both rides are 1.5 hours.

48. Spot A Rogue Chicken

Maui bush chickens

Keep your eyes peeled while you’re driving around Maui, you’re bound to see some rogue bush chickens out and about. We were greeted by a couple of roosters and some baby chicks as we were picking up our rental car and the sightings just continued from there. There’s no shortage of other wildlife to watch for either. There was a ferret-like animal that we kept spotting on our drives up-country but could never properly identify.

49. Seven Sacred Pools of Ohe’o Gulch

Unfortunately the Seven Sacred Pools are closed right now because of landslides in the area, but I included them because they’re so popular and will eventually reopen when it’s safe. You can swim in the pools and some people jump from the rocks above, although there are signs prohibiting jumping. People have died and been seriously injured jumping into the pools from a height. Visit early though because it can get very crowded during the day.

Ohe’o Gulch: Hana Highway, at Mile Marker 42.

50. Bailey House and Museum

History buffs haven’t been forgotten. You’re my people. If you want to learn more about Maui and its past, traditions and culture, you need to visit Bailey House and Museum. The museum is on the grounds of the old Wailuku seminary, which was a school for women from the 1830s. Now the Maui Historical Society uses it to share and preserve the history and heritage of the island. It is filled with important artifacts, photographs and documents including the complete history of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Bailey House and Museum: 2375A Main Street, Wailuku.
Open Monday to Saturday from 10am-4pm.
Adults $7, Seniors $5, Children between 7-12 $2.

51. Ka’anapali Coffee Farm

You can’t visit the farming collective that make up Ka’anapali Coffee Farm, but you sure can taste the results of the homegrown Arabica beans. The 500-acre farm is owned in private plots by many farmers, who come together under the MauiGrown coffee label. Coffee connoisseurs can taste the coffee varieties at the MauiGrown store in Lahaina.

MauiGrown Coffee: 277 Lahainaluna Road, Lahaina.
Open Monday to Saturday from 6.30am-5pm.

52. Maui Chocolate Tour

Once you’re done with your morning coffee, why not move onto a chocolate tasting? Of all the US states, Hawaii is the only one that is in a good position to grow cacao beans, although it is right at the north end of the climate zone. The Maui Chocolate Tour runs for two hours and during that time you learn about turning cacao beans into chocolate and everything in between. You can grind your own beans to make a Mayan chocolate drink, and taste seven different dark, craft chocolates.

Maui Chocolate Tour 770 Hoolawa Road, Haiku.
Phone: (808) 557 5358
Open for tours with PRIOR reservation online on Thursdays and Sundays.
Prices: Adults $59, children 7- 12 $25.

53.  We All Scream For Ice Cream

Ice Cream in Maui

My sweet tooth knows no bounds, so when there’s ice cream available, I have almost no self-control. Let this be a lesson to anyone I live with actually – if you buy ice cream and don’t eat it straight away, you’re not getting any. So anyway, a place as hot  and humid as Maui is bound to have some great ice cream. I found my favourites at Lappert’s Hawaii Ice Cream in Lahaina, across the street at Hawaii Gelato and over in Kihei at Kihei Aloha Ice Cream.

54. Local School Fairs

Haiku Festival

We were lucky enough to be visiting Maui in April, when the Ha‘ikū Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival was in full swing. The festival raises money for the Haiku Elementary School and it’s everything you’d expect. It’s got rides and games for the younger crowd, flowers and fruit plants, food, market stalls, entertainment, a crafts area, and did I mention food? We had a great time perusing the stalls and whiling the morning away. Just be warned, the traffic can be a little horrendous.

Ha’iku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival105 Pauwela Road, Haiku.

55. Visit The Banyan Tree

The Banyan Tree in Lahaina

Have you ever seen a tree that looks like about 10 separate trees but is actually one on its own? Neither had I until I visited Lahaina in Maui. The Banyan tree there is jaw-dropping. It’s an Indian fig tree that starts off with one trunk and root system, but over the years as it grows up and out, it also grows down, dropping new roots and trunks from its branches, until the tree’s canopy spreads over a block or even a few acres of land. It provides some serious shade from the hot Maui sun. This particular Banyan tree was planted on april 24, 1873 and is still going strong.

Lahaina Banyan Tree: 120 Dickenson Street, Lahaina.

56. BONUS ENTRY: Reclaim Your Childhood

Mr M reclaiming his childhood on the swingset

Maybe this one is in here because I *really* wanted to use this photo. Or maybe it’s in here because it’s plain good fun. I guess you’ll never know for sure. Find a beach side playground and have some fun. Don’t push genuine kids off the swings or anything like that. But you should definitely remember that feeling of soaring through the air on a beautiful summer’s day with the ocean at your feet.

And that rounds out our list of top things to do in Maui. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. Did I miss something? Add it in the comments for everyone to enjoy!

The perfect list of the top 55 things to do in #Maui, Hawaii

    76 thoughts on “Top 55 things to do in Maui

    1. Wow! I will require a month atleast to do all the wonderful 55 experiences that you have mentioned here. I would love to learn hula and become a mermaid for a day 😁

    2. Such beautiful pictures and great ideas for things to do in Maui. So much natural beauty and activities. We hope to visit in the next few years. I’m going to pin this for the future.

      1. I hope that you and your family do get there in the next couple of years, there’s lots of hikes, but they might be the kind that kids get tired on. But they’ll LOVE the beaches!

    3. Oh wow, I’d love to go cycling there. Though I’d probably have to after devouring all that amazing food 😉 And I would definitely have to go whale watching, I adore whales!
      #WanderfulWednesdays

    4. I feel like I need to book a holiday to Maui stat! We went on honeymoon and only really managed 1 thing, that is lying on the beach! Everything on your list looks magic but I’d have to start with a cinnamon roll, sunset and luau combo!

      1. For a honeymoon, you did well. And to be fair, we spent most of our first trip to Maui just lying on the beach too. You really can’t go past it for a great holiday!

    5. I am heading to Oahu in a couple of weeks and we decided that on this trip we weren’t going to go to Maui as we wanted to do Oahu thoroughly and then on our next trip we’d do Maui or the Big Island. But now I want to go! LOL! It look amazing. Simply can’t fit everything in such a short period. Bookmarking for our next trip:)

      1. Hahaha, sorry Amy! But you’re doing it the right way, this way when you get to Maui next time, you’ll have so much more time to see everything you want to!

    6. What I like about the list is the diversity! Seems like there is no way to get bored in Maui. I have only been to Oahu and really enjoyed my time there. I have heard Maui is 100 times better (or at least very different). I can’t wait to go. For what I have heard, airfare prices are dropping to the Hawaiian Islands. #WanderfulWednesday

      1. I guess the volcano erruption might be one of the things driving the price drop in airfares. But you’re right, there’s such a range of things to do that Maui is a great destination for lots of people.

    7. Such a comprehensive post! I still (embarrassingly) haven’t been to Hawaii yet but Maui is top on my list for when I go back to the States 🙂

    8. This list would keep me busy for a long time! I’ve been to Maui once and did a few of these (snorkeling!) but missed many, of course. At the top of my list if I return is to go to a luau. Such a touristy event, I know, but I feel I missed out!

      1. I am so glad that we went to a luau! It was such a great experience, and to be honest, I usually plan things to do on whether I think we’ll enjoy them, because if I was worried about being too ‘touristy’ I probably wouldn’t do half the stuff I wanted to.

    9. WOW! Such a comprehensive list and it all looks so gorgeous. I’ve only been to Oahu but convinced I need to go back to the other islands.

      1. I’ve never been to any of the other Hawaiian islands so I can’t really compare it, but I absolutely adore Maui.

    10. I am probably looking at this too close to lunchtime…but I am soooo drawn to all those foodie items! Those cinnamon buns and local delicacies looks so, so good!

      I mean, I already know I’d love to visit Maui for the sceney, hiking and beaches, but now I just want to stuff my pie-hole. 😉

    11. Wow! First off congrats on your engagement! What a great list! So many things I want to go back and do – try the pineapple wine, be a mermaid, and try some of your food recommendations. I pinned for future reference. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

      1. Thanks very much Anisa 🙂
        I hope you get back soon to try some of this stuff. I’m intrigued by the mermaid swimming. That might be on my list for next time.

    12. Wow, this is an impressive list!! I’ve never been to Maui but my parents have. In fact, they did the whole cycling down Haleakala thing! They’re not daredevils, so I was shocked that they did it haha. Great post!

      1. OH wow! Not even I’ve done the cycle down the volcano before. I’ve seen lots of people doing it though, and they can go quite slowly so that everyone feels safe, so that’s good!

    13. The only time I’ve ever been to Maui was for 24 hours so I never knew there was so much to do! I would love to see the baby goats and the lavender farm someday. The Road to Hana sounds like fun too. Can’t wait to try all of these things!

      1. Oh wow, were you there for a stopover on your way somewhere else Constance? Or visiting from another island? I was worried that there wouldn’t be much to do, but I was so wrong.

    14. Quite an impressive list! Maui is my second favorite island in Hawaii (after Kauai) and I’ve been there many times. I missed however many of the things that you list here. We love to snorkel and hike when we go on these islands. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    15. Great tips! It’s been a good, long while since I’ve been to Maui but I’m happy to see that I accomplished quite a bit of what you’ve suggested. My favorite was your number 1 – seeing that Haleakala sunrise. Which wasn’t what I thought of when I went to Hawaii for my first time – that would be the beaches. But it sure was a cool thing to see! #TheWeeklyPostcard

      1. You did things in the same order as we did! I loooooved the beaches the first time we went to Maui and I think we went down to the beach almost every day. But this time we got out and about a little more and got to Haleakala for sunrise.

    16. I went to Maui with my family when I was a bratty teenager – I did some of these things but preferred to stay by myself at the beach instead of taking the Road to Hana or going up to Haleakala with my parents. Now I want to go back with my husband to experience the stuff I missed out on! Also, definitely need that pineapple wine!

      1. Hahaha, I think Mr M might have had a few of those moments too. His family has been going there for holidays since he was young. Sometimes you just don’t appreciate things as much when you’re younger, so you’re going to love it when you get back there!

    17. What a list! Can you believe I’ve never been to Maui? Just so much harder from New York. Some day – I will make it, and when I do I’ll be glad to have this list! Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

      1. Oh that flight from New York takes a little while, doesn’t it? You pretty much lose a day travelling, depending on when you leave. One day you’ll get there though!

    18. I’d love to go to Maui, what an amazing list of things to do (and eat)! I love the variety of activities that allow you to enjoy the natural beauty and the local culture.

    19. LOVE this post. Maui Wines is one of my favorite spots! I’ve done 2 of the flights and want to do the tasting in the Old Jail next. If you haven’t checked out the Maui Swapmeet you should next time you’re in Maui, it’s a great place to get local products. #FlyAwayFriday

      1. I’m so upset that we didn’t get to Maui wines on our last trip! Mr M’s parents were there the week before us and went to the winery so I got to try the pineapple wine though.
        I’d not heard of the Maui Swapmeet before, I’ve got to check that out as well! Thanks for the tip Melina!

      1. Ooh, if you’re looking for a lovely, sunny holiday, Hawaii and Maui are gorgeous. They’re on the expensive side, but the atmosphere and the people, and all the exciting things to do make up for that I think.

    20. What a great and comprehensive list! Although I realise a couple of weeks there would barely be enough! I want to go for all the snorkelling and diving, paddle boarding etc. But I had no idea cinnamon rolls would be on my list but they looked sooooo good! What a fabulous place. And so many amazing sunsets, I’m sure. #flyawayfriday

      1. I know! I’ve been twice and have done maybe half of the things on this list. I went snorkelling for the first time ever the last time we visited and apart from the appearance of a few jellyfish, it was so awesome! I hope you get to visit one day Juliette!

      1. I hope it warmed you up a little! Soon summer will be with you and I’ll be shivering away over here 😉

    21. I am glad you added ” got engaged” even if it wasn’t a point in the 55. I know when I had the choice of which island to go to back in 2006 I chose The Big Island because I was fascinated by its differences and the Volcano (I know, who knew what it could do this year) but my parents had enjoyed their times at Maui. It sure does deserve its 55!
      Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is What Is Courage? 29/52 Denyse

      1. Hahaha, well, I guess it is a thing that you can do in Maui? It’ll always be a special place for us because of the engagement though.
        I really have to get to the Big Island too though! And, yes, hearing about that volcano errupting this year was pretty scary. I guess you try not to think about it while you’re there.

      1. They give you icing to put on top as well if you’d like, but these are already sweet enough for me. They’re so delish!

    22. Wow did you take the photo of sunrise on Haleakala National Park volcano?! It’s incredible! I’ve never been to Hawaii but I love it in my heart. Thank you for sharing its beauty. I really want to plan to go there soon!

    23. Great post. I loved how you included food tips as well. I always love to go to places where you can try the local food.

    24. Wow this is such a great list! I’ve travelled a lot but never been to Maui! I really need to travel there and hopefully experience half the wonderful things on your list. Thank you for sharing!!

    25. I’d love to visit Maui! This is such an extensive list of things to do – I love that a lot of them are outdoor based, snorkelling and biking down the volcano sounds especially amazing 🙂

    26. This is such an informative post! During my time in the U.S. I have visited 45 states but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to come to Hawaii. Maui is actually my number one island I want to visit, hopefully, sometime soon!

    27. This is such an extensive list and it’s got something for ever taste. I have never been to Hawaii but I’m seriously considering it, specially for the yummy food!

    28. I went to Maui a few years ago and we also went to the Te Au Moana Luau! I had a blast and I’d love to go back and try out some of the suggestions on your list that I didn’t get to the first time.

    29. Maui is definitely one of our Happy Places! We love all of these ideas – especially eating like a local! We would add one: Have a Cookie from the Honolulu Cookie Company on Front Street in Lahaina. You won’t regret it…and probably won’t stop at just one. 😉 Great list – thanks for sharing it on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    30. Whoa! I am impressed! There’s truly something here for everyone. I’ve never quite thought of sand castles that way, but I can see now how it would be a great activity to engage with the community and strike up conversations. Definitely bookmarking this page for any future trip plans to Maui.

    31. Your post made me slightly sad as I was supposed to go to Maui at the end of March and had to cancel over a health issue. I was supposed to do the Mermaid adventures. Be Ariel for a day 🙁 Well, I have saved your piece for when I go someday 🙂 Thanks so much for joining Fly Away Friday! See you tomorrow 🙂

    32. Omg this is a LOT! Maui is seriously the best. We got engaged there so there’s a special place in my heart for it! Snorkeling is a MUST for sure! Thanks for joining FAF! See you tomorrow! xo

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