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Things to do in Maui

Things to do in  Maui

Welcome to Maui

With warm waters, swaying palm trees, and the towering Haleakala volcano, Maui is a paradise on earth. Few places can match the island’s postcard-perfect scenery and year-round good weather, and Maui packs a lot into a small package. Take a road trip to Hana, dive beneath the waves to observe sea turtles and tropical fish, or get an introduction to traditional Hawaiian culture. And let’s not forget the numerous options for adventure-minded visitors, who can choose among surfing, hiking, zipline courses, and other tropical experiences.

Top 15 attractions in Maui

Road to Hana (Hana Highway)

Tropical foliage, black sand beaches, rushing waterfalls and incredible views are the calling cards of the legendary, winding Road to Hana. The famous roadway along Maui’s North Shore (also called the Hana Highway) includes 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 bridges and is known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.More

Molokini Crater

When was the last time you had a snorkel adventure inside of a sunken Hawaiian volcano, or enjoyed a freshly cooked BBQ lunch on the deck of a sailing catamaran? Thanks to its calm, crystal clear waters, bright coral reef, and 250-plus species of tropical fish, Molokini Crater is the most popular spot for snorkeling tours on Maui. Spend a day on a snorkeling tour as you explore the protected marine preserve and come face to face with some of Hawaii's most colorful marine life.More


For most, traveling to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. A quiet town nestled on the Maui’s eastern shores, Hana would not be on the tourist map if not for the Road to Hana—known as one of the world’s most scenic drives. That said, the town of Hana is a tranquil escape and an excellent base for exploring the region.More

Haleakala Crater

Dubbed “House of the Sun” by native Hawaiians, Haleakala Crater is the world’s largest dormant volcano and the highest peak in Maui. Set in Haleakala National Park, here you can see a lunar landscape, admire cinder cones and endangered silversword plants, and trek wild hiking trails.More

Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park

A pleasant stop on the road to Hana, the Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park offers the chance to take a scenic break from the long drive. Stretch your legs on its dirt path to nearby waterfalls and natural pools. The farther you're willing to walk, the taller the waterfalls become and many people bring a picnic to enjoy as a part of this diversion.Totaling five acres the area here is lush with tropical plants which, with the sound of the waterfalls, create a distinct rain forest feel. Picnic tables are set against scenic backdrops, and fish and tadpoles are visible in the shallower pools. Watch for wild birds and mongoose. The walking paths here are not rigorous, but a refreshing dip in one of the pools is a highlight for many on a hot day.More

Pipiwai Trail

Immerse yourself in the best of Maui’s rain forest, as you hike through bamboo along a tranquil stream. Set in Haleakala National Park, the Pipiwai Trail takes you about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) round-trip to the base of the stunning Waimoku Falls.More

Waiʻanapanapa State Park

Home to the black-sand Paʻiloa Beach and underwater caves, Waiʻanapanapa State Park is one of the jewels of the Road to Hana. Located just outside of Hana at the end of the perilous Hana Highway, the park’s trails, caves, and ancient burial sites are a welcome reward for those who make the long drive.More


Paia is a small town in the heart of Maui’s famous North Shore. The town is primarily populated by surfers and hippies, and the spot has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. Visit to relax by the beach and do some world-class surfing, and enjoy the town’s surf shops, healthy restaurants, music venues, and other low-key attractions.More

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala’s summit stretches 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above Maui’s world-renowned beaches. Vast swaths of its slopes—33,000 acres (13.4 hectares) from summit to sea level along the Hawaiian island’s southeastern coast—are protected within Haleakala National Park, where visitors hike, bike, camp, and catch sunsets (and sunrises) of a lifetime. Now considered a dormant volcano, Haleakala last erupted sometime between the 15th and 17th centuries.More

Honolua Bay

Located on Mau’s northwestern coast, Honolua Bay is a designated Marine Life Conservation District. Sheltered by cliffs on two sides, it’s a popular snorkeling and scuba diving spot, known for the abundance of marine life in the calm, turquoise waters. In the winter, it’s also home to some of the best surfing waves in Maui.More


One of Maui’s first resort towns, Kaʻanapali consists of high-rise resorts lining idyllic white-sand beaches. While the world-famous Kaʻanapali Beach is the draw of this West Maui tourist hub, you can also stay busy with pursuits such as shopping, golfing, whale watching, and ziplining.More

Molokai Island

Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth largest island, is only 10 miles (16 kilometers) across at its widest point. The small island packs a big punch in terms of natural beauty—it’s home to the world’s highest sea cliffs and longest continuous fringing reef. It’s often considered the most Hawaiian of islands, thanks to its largely Native Hawaiian population.More

Oheo Gulch

The Oheo Gulch is a vibrantly green valley that has been naturally created by centuries of rain forest streams. Also called the Kipahulu Area, these lush lands became part of the Haleakala National Park in the 1940s. The main draw for visitors is the many tall waterfalls that feed into groups of large, tiered natural pools, sometimes called the Seven Sacred Pools of Oheo. Swimming in the fresh water is popular when water levels are safe.Two streams, the the Palikea and Pipiwai, are the source of all of the water in this area. Visitors can hike the two-mile Pipiwai Trail (3-5 hours roundtrip) along the streams with view of the pools. Along the trail, there is one tranquil natural pool that can be less crowded than the Seven Sacred Pools area. The path ends at the 400-foot-tall Waimoku Falls, and you can always cool off in the pools after finishing the hike.More

Maalaea Harbor

Maalaea Harbor is the starting point for many of Maui’s top snorkeling adventures, sunset cruises, fishing, and whale-watching excursions. Conveniently located between the Kahului Airport and the Lahaina and Kaʻanapali resort areas, the port’s integral role in the island’s water sports means it is rarely left out of a Maui vacation itinerary.More

Kaumahina State Wayside Park

This 7.8-acre park is a popular stop along the Road to Hana, with several hiking trails, covered picnic facilities and scenic views of the coast. There are dozens of native Hawaiian plants and birds to see as you walk through the forested area, so take a break from the drive and get some perspective from an overlook of the Ke’anae Peninsula and the nearby village.There are several scenic spots to catch views of the bright blue sea and the winding coastline. Trails lead down to the ocean and loop back around, so there’s space to stretch your legs while enjoying the tropical environment here. Bring your walking shoes, your camera or binoculars and a picnic to enjoy some time at this park on your way up to Hana.More
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Trip ideas

Top activities in Maui

From Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso
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Haleakala Maui Sunrise Tour w/ Breakfast
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West Maui and Molokai Special 45-Minute Helicopter Tour
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From Lahaina Harbor: Lanai Snorkeling & Dolphin Encounter Aboard Quicksilver
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Maui Nui Luau at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
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Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkeling Adventure Aboard the Malolo
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8 Lines Jungle Zipline Tour on Maui - Eco Tour
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Lahaina ATV Adventure - Maui
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Lahaina ATV Adventure - Maui

Turtle Town Snorkel with Photo and Video
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Maui Snorkeling Molokini Crater and Turtle Town aboard Pride of Maui
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All about Maui

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A local’s pocket guide to Maui

Andrea Manokian

Born and raised in the United States, Andrea is a writer who has traveled extensively both inside and outside the US. Having friends who reside in Maui has allowed her to explore the island like a local and a tourist.

The first thing you should do in Maui is...

put on your sunblock, sandals, and best relaxation face and grab some lunch at Down the Hatch before snorkeling at Kaʻanapali Beach — great for seeing sea turtles, coral reef, tropical fish, and more.

A perfect Saturday in Maui...

starts with breakfast at Kihei Caffe and includes cliff jumping into the Venus Pool on the Road to Hana, dinner at Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop, a sunset at Kaʻanapali Beach, and piña coladas at rockstar-owned Fleetwood’s on Front St.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

completing the Road to Hana. The beauty is in the journey, and it's an eye-opening one that showcases the lush, nature-rich island of Maui. Bonus: There are waterfalls along the way, some of which you can swim in.

To discover the "real" Maui...

don’t be afraid to veer off the tourist path. Front Street is good for shopping and food, but be sure to explore neighboring Kihei, Wailea, and Makena and make stops at local food trucks, outdoor flea markets, and farmers markets.

For the best view of the city...

hike in Haleakala National Park, which offers summit trails for those who want to see the park’s enormous crater and coastal paths for those who want to see waterfalls and freshwater pools.

One thing people get wrong ...

is thinking that Maui isn't much different from other beach towns. The best way to appreciate Maui and the pride locals take in preserving its natural beauty is by simply taking in the views and appreciating its pristine beaches.

People Also Ask

What is Maui best known for?

Though small in size, Maui packs a large punch. This Hawaiian island boasts an appealing mix of natural beauty, outdoors thrills, and cultural heritage. The Valley Isle's most famous activities include driving the Road to Hana, spotting humpback whales in Makena Bay, and watching the sunrise from the summit of mighty Haleakala.

What is the best month to go to Maui?

Maui boasts superb weather all year round so there’s really no bad time to visit, but visiting in the shoulder seasons (April, May, September, and October) has the advantage of avoiding the crowds that arrive in summer and winter. However, if you want to surf or spot whales, you should book a winter visit (December through March).

How many days are enough in Maui?

Five days on Maui should be enough time to explore the island thoroughly; see all the most important sights, such as Haleakala; and spend some time out on the water. If you are able to stretch the trip out a little, it’s definitely worth it to reserve a day or two for simply relaxing on a beautiful beach.

What should you not miss on Maui?

The curving, 52-mile (84-km) Road to Hana hugs Maui's northeastern shore and journeying along it, past black-sand beaches and teeming waterfalls, is the island's quintessential experience. With 600 hairpin turns to tackle and more than 50 bridges to cross, it can’t be rushed, so set aside the whole day.

What part of Maui has the most to do?

Most visitors stay in either West Maui or South Maui and many divide their time between the two. If you have limited time, it’s a good idea to base yourself in West Maui where you will find a greater concentration of attractions, such as Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina; restaurants, and shopping.

Is Maui dangerous for tourists?

No. Maui is generally a safe destination, especially compared to mainland cities. The greatest risks to visitors come not from people, but from the natural environment. Pay attention to warnings about dangerous currents in the ocean; take heed of signs on hiking trails; and always carry water and sun protection.


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