After two delightfully sun-drenched trips to Maui, I feel like I’m qualified to give a proper list of all the best things to do on the Hawaiian island.
Even after both of my visits to Maui, there’s still so much more to see and do! You know you’ve found a holiday destination that’s pretty close to perfect when you return in less than two years and still love every second of your time there.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN MAUI
The list will run the gamut on every aspect of a holiday in Maui – from eating, drinking, shopping, visiting top Maui attractions, relaxing and adventuring. Take your pick from our top choices for things to do in Maui, Hawaii – and enjoy!
1. See the sunrise at Haleakala National Park volcano
The views over this stunning volcano are definitely one of the most incredible things to see in Maui!
You can visit the Haleakala National Park to watch the sun rise over the 3055 metre high volcano crater amidst the clouds. You’ll need to book, so read all about it at the previous link, or just get out to this 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.
Phone: (808) 572-4400
2. Cycling down Haleakala Volcano
While you’re visiting this beautiful park, 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 again 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. Stroll along Kealia Coastal Boardwalk
Depending on where you’re staying on the island, you might just pass the Kealia Pond Boardwalk on your way to Haleakala. The 600-meter boardwalk is set in a 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, across the marsh and gives amazing views of the island.
Kealia Coastal Boardwalk: North Kihei Road, Kihei.
Entry is free, and the boardwalk is open 7 days a week, from sunrise until 7 pm.
4. Swim with the fishes with Maui Snorkel Charters
This was one of my favourite parts of our last trip to Maui. We took a morning boat tour where we visited two incredible 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, and definitely one of the most fun things to do in Maui.
There are heaps of different tours snorkel tours available around Maui, so do your research first. We went with Pride of Maui which we really enjoyed (not sponsored).
Pride of Maui: Starting around $99 per adult.
Phone: (844) 250 7584
5. Visit a Great Snorkel Beach
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 can 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 has a beautiful coral reef with an array of fish and it’s where we got to see a couple of turtles as well. Just watch out for the jellyfish, there were a few out and about.
Mile Marker 14 (Maui): Honoapiilani Highway, Olowalu.
6. Get Your Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Balance
If I were to be described in any form or fashion, my lack of coordination 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 turtles following us around. This is definitely one of our highly recommended Maui activities.
Here are the five best places to Stand-Up Paddleboard.
7. Surfing Maui Waves
You just knew that surfing would feature prominently on my list of the top things to do in Maui. It’s 100 per cent a ‘must do’ in Maui and this wouldn’t be a proper list without it!
There are heaps of secret spots that locals use which aren’t recommended for tourists (we stumbled across one on our way up to the blowhole past Lahaina).
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
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 a Sunday night to watch the sunset 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 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: In Makena State Park, Makena Road, Kihei.
10. Experience a Fantastic Luau
The ultimate experience 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 you could want.
We were greeted with flower leis, 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 fascinating 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. Maui Dinner Cruise
Have you noticed that quite a few of the suggestions on my list of ‘things to do in Maui’ revolve around the sunset?
There’s a reason for that – it’s gorgeous from pretty much wherever you are! So, watching the sunset is an easy answer if you’re ever left wondering what to do in Maui.
You’re also almost guaranteed a stunning, unencumbered view (cloud-pending) when you take a Maui sunset 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. Enjoy a Tasty Cinnamon Roll
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 including a variety of 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 Place: 2463 S Kihei Road, Kihei.
Open daily from 5.30am-2pm.
Phone: (808) 879 5177
13. Eat Hawaiian Seafood: Fish & Chips
You’re on an island surrounded by the ocean with fish swimming around. 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 Maui has to offer. 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 even 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. Have Breakfast with a View (and a garden)
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 the 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 as well as the sea on the horizon.
The outdoor area is definitely 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. Visit Baby Goats at the Surfing Goat Dairy
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 so just follow the surfboards to find the little farm with bleating charges. It’s owned and run by German expats, Thomas and Eva Kafsack, who made the experience extra fun.
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. Take in the Beauty of 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. Cash only.
Phone: (808) 878 3004.
17. Lift your spirits at 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, and 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.
Update April 2020: The distillery has also devoted some of its production to making hand sanitizer to help combat the spread of Coronavirus in early 2020. It was made available to first responders, and then to the wider Maui community.
Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery: 4051 Omaopio Road, Kula.
Phone: (808) 877 0009
Tours cost $12 for those who are 21 or older and includes a tasting and a shot glass.
18. Surround Yourself With 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 people.
But this plantation seems to have it all – from papayas to bananas, star and jack fruit, to coconuts and coffee. These are 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’ zip lining 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 a Glass of Pineapple Wine
You read correctly, pineapple wine! Stay with me here, because I tried the Maui Splash ‘variety’ and it definitely 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. Visit 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 through the hole in the rock and shoots up like a geyser. It can even 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 the 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. Go Zip Lining for Some Adrenaline
How adventurous are you? If I had a bucket list, zip lining would be on it, even though I’m scared of heights. This is probably because in my not-so-logical mind, it’s safer than bungee jumping or skydiving.
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. Maui Helicopter Tours
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’ll 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 – definitely a winner if you’re looking for amazing stuff to do in Maui.
23. Visit 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 is 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. Drive the Road to Hana
I will never forget our trip on the Road to Hana as long as I live. 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.
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 route if your chosen places are full at the time.
It’s a good idea to take a van tour so that you can relax, and not have to 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. Experience a Black Sand Beach
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 stunning black sand beach.
It’s not the kind of beach that you’re going to want to lay out and sunbathe nor does it have water that needs to be swam in.
Even getting to it is tough unless you have a 4×4, and they sometimes have issues after it rains. The rugged cove is beautiful to visit though and how often do you get the chance to see a black sand beach?
Honomanu Bay: Hana Highway, between the Ke’anae and Garden of Eden arboretums.
26. Visit the Sugar Cane Museum, Maui
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. Go Maui Paragliding
Paragliders always look so calm and serene, soaring up in the clouds. But, 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 is 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. Enjoy a Fancy Dinner
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.
Sarento’s on the Beach: 2980 South Kihei Road, Kihei.
Phone: (808) 875 7555
29. Throw back a brew at 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
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 tradespeople, 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 citizens in need.
Da Kitchen: 2439 South Kihei Road, Kihei or 425 Koloa Street, Suite 104, Kahului.
Opening hours vary depending on the location.
31. See the Underwater Volcano 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 when you visit 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 snuba and scuba diving. as well as snorkeling. This really is one of the most amazing things to do in Maui.
32. Whale Watching Cruise 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 during February and March.
You can book either a whale watching tour, or a combination of whale watching and snorkeling. Seeing a majestic whale as it glides through the water or spouts from below is unforgettable.
Whale Watching Tours: You can find a few different whale watching tour companies here.
33. Get Your Portrait Taken
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. I’d say 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.
This is perfect, 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 Maui 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 the guidebooks, probably because of the heady elevation gain.
You end up climbing about 487 meters (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 also 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, Wailuku.
Western Trailhead, Ukumehame Beach State Park on Honoapiilani Highway, Olowalu.
36. Be a Mermaid for a Day
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, an undersea cave of treasures, 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 rappelling 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 where they’ll 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 exhilaration. Just don’t forget a change of clothes for later!
Adventure in Hawaii: Phone: (877) 678 7333
Rapel Maui: Phone: (808) 445 6407
38. Go 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. Go Parasailing
Paragliding isn’t for everyone, but parasailing might just 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. Enjoy a Canoe/Kayaking Trip
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, so each tour begins with a fantastic mini-beach cleanup.
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.
43. 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, and you get to spend time with a furry friend.
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 they’re 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
44. Do some 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.
45. Try Hawaiian Shave Ice
Trust me, 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.
The 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 to show for it. I don’t need to tell you where to find it because there’ll be signs everywhere.
46. 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 55 cool 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, Wailuku, Kihei and Kula, to name a few.
Makena Stables, Maui, offers the best of both worlds with a ride on the beach and then through some lava fields. You can also 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 long.
47. Spot a Rogue Chicken
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 out for either. There was a ferret-like animal that we kept spotting on our drives up-country but could never properly identify.
48. 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.
Updated April 2020: The pools are open once again, but be aware that they are subject to closure after heavy rain.
You can swim in the pools and some people jump from the rocks above, although there are signs prohibiting jumping.
Be warned, people have died and been seriously injured jumping into the pools from a height. It’s a good idea to visit early because it can get very crowded during the day.
Ohe’o Gulch: Hana Highway, at Mile Marker 42.
49. Visit 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 artefacts, 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.
50. Have a Morning Java at Ka’anapali Coffee Farm
You can’t visit the farming collective that makes 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.
51. Go on a Maui Chocolate Tour
Once you’re done with your morning coffee, why not move onto a chocolate tasting session? 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.
52. Get Yourself an Ice Cream
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. There are tonnes of options and none of them would be a waste of time, or taste!
53. Attend a Local School Fair
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 as well as flowers, 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 Festival: 105 Pauwela Road, Haiku.
54. Visit The Banyan Tree
Have you ever seen a tree that looks like its made up of 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. 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.
55. Reclaim Your Childhood
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.
Rounding out your trip to Maui
With that, we’ll round off our list of cool things to do in Maui. Maui is truly beautiful and has so much to offer any visitor. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did!
Did I miss something? Add it in the comments for everyone to enjoy!
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