20 Things To Do In Maui

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Maui is a tropical paradise with stunning beaches, national parks and a raft of outdoor activities like snorkelling, diving and whale watching. From driving the famous road to Hana to discovering the Haleakalā Volcano in Haleakalā National Park to exploring small towns like Lahaina, there are plenty of things to do in Maui for everyone. The shoulder seasons between April and May or September and November are the best times to visit, when kids are back at school and the cost of holiday accommodation is cheaper.

20 Things To Do In Maui

1- Visit Ka’anapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach With Gentle Waves And Coconut Trees
Visiting Ka’anapali Beach is one of the top 10 things to do in Maui.

Maui has over 80 beaches so, if you fancy a bit of sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing or walking, you have plenty of options.

Ka’anapali Beach is a glorious three-mile stretch of white sand.

Spending a day here is sheer bliss and a great way to soak up the tropical vibe.

Stick around until sunset to see the daily dive off Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock), which is a ritual that commemorates the island’s last independent monarch, King Kahekili and is quite a sight.

A fun thing to do from Ka’anapali Beach is to go on a snorkelling adventure where you might get the chance to see sea turtles.


2- Check Out Iao Valley State Monument

Iao Valley National Park, Maui Hawaii
Exploring Iao Valley State Park is one of the things to do in Maui for free.

If you can tear yourself away from the beach, Iao Valley State Park is an excellent place to visit.

Spread across 4000-acres and 10 miles in length, this lush park is home to several unique rock features, including ‘Iao Needle, its most famous one.

Formed by natural erosion, it soars to about 1200 feet and can be explored on foot via the Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop, which is a 0.6 miles paved walkway that will take you directly to the rock formation via a gorgeous botanical garden.

Make sure you have your cameras at the ready.

3- Hike The Coastal Kapalua Trail

Start your day with a nice jog or walk along the Kapalua Coastal Trail in the northwestern part of the island.

Running for 1.76 miles, this trail guides you through lava fields and alongside the sparkling waters of the Pacific, showcasing incredible views in the morning light.

The path is pretty much flat and paved all the way, so it is suitable for most people.

Most people begin their jog or walk from Kapalua Bay, however, you can also join it from Namalu Bay, Honokahua Bay or Oneloa Bay.

If you are not a morning person, consider venturing onto the trail at sunset and you’ll feel a little magic in the air.

4- Discover Molokini Crater

Molokini Island Preserve
Exploring Molokini Crater is one of the things to do in Maui.

Ok, so Molokini is not actually on Maui, it is an island about three miles off the southwestern coast of it.

However, it is worth coming here because it’s as being one of the best diving and snorkelling destinations in the state.

Visitors can scuba dive, SNUBA or snorkel around the island, which comprises a partially submerged, half-moon-shaped volcano crater.

As it does not have any sandbars, you’ll find the clarity of the water amazing!

This is just as well because you’ll be able to view around 38 different types of hard coral and 250 species of tropical fish below the surface.

5- Explore Haleakala Park

Panoramic View Of The Valley At Haleakala Park
Exploring Haleakala National Park is one of the things to do in Maui.

Haleakala National Park is an incredible region that encompasses 30,000 acres around the southeastern coast of upcountry Maui.

It is referred to as the ‘house of the sun’ and features an extraordinary landscape that incorporates everything from red deserts that will make you think you are on Mars to stunning waterfalls and rugged rock gardens.

The park is home to the now dormant Haleakalā Volcano, which rises to over 10,000 feet above sea level.

If it is a clear day, take the opportunity to hike to the top of it via Route 378 for magnificent summit views of three different islands or join a sunrise tour for an incredible sight.

6- Visit A Pineapple Farm

Pineapple In Farm Field
Going on a pineapple farm tour is one of the unique things to do in Maui.

Maui Gold Pineapple Farm is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves pineapples.

During a 90-minute tour, visitors can find out more about how the pineapples are grown and harvested (no, they don’t grow on trees!) and even get to check out the packing plant.

During the excursion, you’ll be taken through their property in the comfort of an air-conditioned bus.

You will also get to try some delicious samples and, best of all, even be given a fresh pineapple to take with you once it is done.

7- Play Golf

Golf Course On Maui
Playing golf is one of the things to do in Maui.

If you love golf, you’ll have lots of choices in Maui.

Overall, there are 14 courses located on the island, all of which have been designed by golfing legends like Ben Crenshaw and Arnold Palmer.

These courses are very popular, so you will need to book a tee-off time well in advance of your visit to Maui.

Arguably, the most beautiful course on the island is the Plantation Course in the Kapalua Resort, which features incredible fairways, beautiful greens and superb views of volcanic formations and the coastline.

8- Learn Something New At Maui Ocean Centre

If you are a thalassophile or love marine life, make a point of visiting the Maui Ocean Centre to learn more about the island’s underwater ecosystems and the creatures that live within it.

The facility’s main attraction is the impressive Open Ocean.

This 750,000-gallon exhibit is home to a wide range of sharks, stingrays and fish, which you can see swimming above you as you make your way through a 53-foot tunnel.

For those with nerves of steel who want to get even closer to the sharks, the centre runs a shark dive that is cage-free in an environment where 20 of them live.

9- Drive The Road To Hana

One Lane Bridge With Yield To Oncoming Traffic Sign
Driving the “Road To Hana” is one of the popular things to do in Maui today.

If you intend to hire a car, make sure you drive the road to Hana, a quaint town on the scenic Highway 360.

This incredible drive takes you past 60 stunning waterfalls, over 50 bridges and has around 600 curves along the island’s eastern shore.

It is a mesmerising experience that will leave you with a lump in your throat and even if you don’t want to drive, it’s worth joining an organised tour.

Despite being just 52 miles long, you should factor in an entire day to take it all in as there are several must-see stops and lookout points along the way.

The area is so incredibly beautiful you’ll want to take lots of photos.

10- Explore The Hana Lava Tube

The Hana Lava Tube is not immediately obvious along the Road to Hana, because it’s underground.

It’s situated just by mile marker 31.

This cave is believed to have formed just under 1000 years ago when boiling hot lava created a top layer.

When it eventually cooled, the flow created the spectacular tube.

It is worth coming here to go on a self-guided exploration of the underground space.

You will be able to venture about a third of a mile into its landscape which houses see an amazing collection of stalagmites and stalactites.

11- Discover Nature In Wai’anapanapa Park

Waianapanapa State Park, Hawaii
Exploring Wai’anapanapa State Park is one of the things to do in Maui.

On an island notable for its incredible natural beauty, Wai’anapanapa State Park still manages to stand out.

Translating to ‘glistening waters’ in Hawaiian, the name ‘Wai’anapanapa’ is an apt description.

The site of the blue sparkling waves against the backdrop of jet-black volcanic sand and verdant jungle is a captivating sight.

Situated at the end of the Road To Hana, the park also accommodates plenty of hiking trails that showcase stunning views.

In addition, there are a couple of caves that you can explore, which are steeped in Hawaiian legend, natural pools to swim in and plenty of sea stacks.

12- Visit Turtle Town

Close-Up Of Chelonia Mydas - Green Sea Turtle
Visiting Turtle Town is one of the fun things to do in Maui.

Turtle Town is an area not far from Maluaka Beach in southwestern Maui that resides between Black Sand Beach and Nahuna Point.

As you might have guessed, it is so-called after the huge population of green Hawaiian sea turtles that reside in the area.

Haleakala protects Maui’s reef area from trade winds, so as a result, it is a very calm spot for snorkelling, diving and sea kayaking.

This enables you to see the turtles and even swim with them – which is an experience you will never forget.

13- Hike The Pipiwai Hiking Trail

Banyan Tree And Hiker, Maui, Hawaii
The Pipiwai Trail is one of the fun things to do in Maui, Hawaii.

The Pipiwai Hiking Trail takes around three hours to complete and is likely to be experience the three most enjoyable hours of your entire Maui trip.

Set within Haleakala National Park, the four-mile-long trail takes you on a round trip through varying landscapes that include bamboo forest, dense tropical vegetation and two waterfalls, one of which, Waimoku Falls, has a 400-foot cascade.

It also takes you to the Seven Sacred Pools (more about that next) but be mindful that it involves an elevation of 800 feet and some people might find the trail difficult to complete.

Make sure you wear proper shoes and take plenty of water with you.

14- See Ohe’o Gulch

aerial view of oheo gulch lava flow and waterfalls
Admiring Oheo Gulch is one of the things to do in Maui.

For those of you with trust issues, it is worth noting that there are a lot more than seven pools at ‘Ohe’o Gulch.

Each one is fed by small waterfalls that flow down the gulch.

To access the area, you will need to take a half-mile hike from the visitor centre along the Kuloa Point Trail.

Once there, you will not be allowed to swim in the pools, but you will be able to photograph them from the trails.

15- Discover The Garden of Eden

rocky coastline of maui hawaii
Looking for things to do in Maui?

The Garden of Eden is a botanical garden and arboretum situated at mile marker 10.5. Fans of Jurassic Park should instantly recognise it from the opening scene of the film.

It covers more than 26 acres of trails, which accommodate a water, duck pond, banana patch and various overlooks that convey stunning views of the ocean.

There is even an art gallery onsite too.

Overall, it is a lovely place to explore, as you can see several exotic species of native trees and plants.

16- Join A Snorkelling Tour

Snorkelling In Clear Ocean
Going on a snorkelling tour is one of the best things to do in Maui.

As well as snorkelling at the Molokini Crater, Maui offers plenty of other destinations to explore underwater.

Popular spots include Ka’anapali Beach, Honolua Bay and Kapalua Bay, all of which can be visited on tours offered by companies that will lend you the gear.

If you have a bit more time on your hands, consider taking a snorkelling tour to Lana’i and, in particular, at the Hulopo’e Marine Preserve.

17- Tour Maui by Helicopter

Tour Helicopter In Maui
Helicopter Tours top ten things to do in Maui.

While Maui is a fascinating place to explore on foot or underwater, one of the best ways to see the island is from the bird’s eye view you get in a helicopter.

Although it might cost a bit, the thrill of seeing the island’s cliffs, waterfalls, valleys and craters, will be the experience of a lifetime.

Several companies offer helicopter rides of around an hour’s duration and some even circumnavigate the entire island, which give you a unique perspective of it.

18- Visit Nakalele Blowhole

Blowhole At Nakalele Point
Visiting the Nakalele Blowhole is one of the things to do in Maui, Hawaii.

If you get the chance, head on up to the northwestern part of Maui to the Nakalele Blowhole where you will have an opportunity to capture an incredible action photo of nature.

This natural geyser sprays water as high as 100 feet in the air when conditions are right, thanks to an underwater lava tube.

If you are able to capture the frame at the perfect time, you’ll have something very insta-worthy.

Even if you miss the shot it is worth coming here to witness the dramatic phenomenon.

The surrounding rock formations and stunning ocean colours are also captivating.

19- Hang Out On Makena Beach

Komohana Volcano Viewed From Wailea Makena Hawaii
Makena Beach State Park is one of the top things to do in Maui.

For those who want to spend some time on the beach in blissful isolation, Makena Beach State Park is a great place to go for fun activities.

It’s five miles from the district of Wailea and features a beautiful shoreline that is virtually untouched.

Overall, the park covers 165 acres and is home to two great beaches.

Oneloa Beach, also known as Big Beach, runs for about 1.5 miles and is 100 feet wide, while Little Beach is about 660 feet in length.

Little Beach, Big Beach does have lifeguards and a handful of amenities. But it is best to take your own provisions.

20- Visit O’o Farm

Established by two surfers, O’o Farm is an 8.5-acre property that offers tours for those interested in coffee and agritourism.

These tours showcase their bean-to-cup coffee process and also take you through their fields to see where they grow their vegetables, fruits, herbs and greens.

Even if you don’t go on a tour, it is worth coming here to eat at their cafe.

All of the meals they offer are delicious and feature fresh produce that has been grown onsite.

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Spencer Samaroo
Spencer is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years experience producing written content for tourism-related businesses. A thalassophile who was afflicted with wanderlust from a young age, he has visited over 40 countries in the world. An ex-pat Brit who now lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he cites Miami Beach in the USA and Palm Cove in Australia as his favourite travel destinations. Specialising in writing about beach destinations around the world, he would probably bleed sand if you cut his arm open