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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Many of South Maui's indigenous people originated from Makena, and it is heavily steeped in ancient history and culture. It’s a dry, volcanic stretch of rocky shore where travelers can still catch glimpses of the island’s past, and its proximity to some of the island’s best beaches makes Makena a base for outdoor adventure.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Maui

Haleakala Maui Sunrise Tour w/ Breakfast
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Road to Hana Day Trip

Road to Hana Day Trip

Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure

Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure

West Maui and Molokai Special 45-Minute Helicopter Tour
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Maui Nui Luau at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
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Maui Snorkeling Molokini Crater and Turtle Town aboard Pride of Maui
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Lanai Dolphin Adventure & 2 Snorkel Sites
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Lahaina ATV Adventure
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Lahaina ATV Adventure

West Maui Half Day Snorkel from Ka’anapali Beach
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Maui

Flight over Maui
KMENZEL25, Sep. 2022
Doors-OFF West Maui and Molokai Helicopter Tour
Great waterfalls and beautiful sea cliffs.
Amazing tour!
Gregg_N, Sep. 2022
West Maui and Molokai 60-Minute Helicopter Tour
Perfect way to see the whole island of Maui.
Great experience
Elvira_G, Sep. 2022
Haleakala Best Classic Sunrise Tour with Haleakala EcoTours (Vehicle Tour)
This is a must do great experience to see the sunrise from Haleakala national park Maui great for all family or if your a single traveler.
Excellent, spectacular
Angelique_H, Sep. 2022
Maui Tour : Road to Hana Day Trip from Kahului
The twin waterfalls, black sand beach and blow hole cave.
Our First Luau
Jose_G, Aug. 2022
Te Au Moana Luau at The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort on Maui, Hawaii
If you are going to visit a luau make it this one.
Jacob_C, Aug. 2022
Road to Hana Day Trip
Definitely a must-do for anyone going to visit Maui.
Our Favorite Day!!
Lisa_C, Aug. 2022
VIP Private Road to Hana Tour with Pick Up
He was so kind and attentive to what we wanted to see to experience Hana literally one of our favorite days in Maui!!
Swimming with Sea Turtles
Jonathan_N, Aug. 2022
E-Scooter Snorkel With Photo and Video At Turtle Town
Joe got us to the best spot to see sea turtles and sharks!
Best sub/boat experience
Heather_G, Aug. 2022
Reefdancer Semi-Sub Boat Cruise with Underwater Views from Lahaina Harbor
Super amazing experience to see the sea life of Maui!
Donaven_C, Aug. 2022
Small Group Road to Hana Adventure Tour with Pickup
Loved the view and especially the waterfall!
Road to Hana, amazing experience
MARILYN_A, Aug. 2022
Famous Road to Hana Waterfalls & Lunch by Mercedes Van
We saw all the waterfalls & the beautiful sceneries along the way.
Maui Ocean Center
Sara_A, Jul. 2022
Maui Ocean Center Admission Ticket
Great place to visit.
Amazing. Spectacular. Magnificent
Brooke_B, Jul. 2022
West Maui Half Day Snorkel from Ka’anapali Beach
They made sure everyone got to see the amazing sights of Maui.
Best way to see Hana
Anthony_R, Jul. 2022
Small Group Road to Hana Adventure Tour with Pickup
By far, this is the best way to see Maui!
David_G, Jul. 2022
Doors-OFF West Maui and Molokai Helicopter Tour
The doors off was absolutely the best way to see Maui!
Maui pineapples😋
Jason_J, Jul. 2022
Maui Pineapple Tour - 1.5 Hour Farm Tour in Haliimaile
Maui pineapple tour anniversary was a great time for the family to see how carefully and meticulously the process of farming the delicious Maui pineapple is and the pineapple is so delicious.
Heavenly’s heavenly road to Hana.
Theresa_H, Jul. 2022
Road to Hana Day Trip
There are waterfalls and ocean coasts that are spectacular.
Scott_G, Jul. 2022
Turtle Town Snorkel with Photo and Video
Very informative and neat to see all the underwater life
Must do Snorkel and Catamaran
Nancy_T, Jul. 2022
West Maui Half Day Snorkel from Ka’anapali Beach
We got to see sea turtles, dolphins and so many tropical fish!
Magicially day snorkeling...
Christine_F, Jul. 2022
From Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso
This crew went out of their way to make sure everyone was taken care of… everyone got to see tropical fish and even green sea turles!
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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 within country borders and internationally. 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 your best relaxation face to go 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 Caffé, (their pancakes with bananas and macadamia nuts are a must); cliff jumping into the waters of the Venus Pool (located along the Road to Hana); dinner with dessert at Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop (their coconut cream pie is a big hit); sunset at Ka'anapali Beach; and ends with piña coladas paired with live music at Fleetwood’s on Front Street (owned by Mick Fleetwood, co-founder of the band, Fleetwood Mac).

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 cruise which really 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 traditional tourist path. Front Street is great for a day of shopping and food, but don’t let it be the highlight of your Maui trip. Explore neighboring Kihei, Wailea, and Makena; and, feel free to spontaneously pull over if you see a fleet of food trucks, an outdoor flea market, or a farmer’s market. Often, these are the best places to experience a glimpse of what the locals do.

For the best view of the city...

hike in Haleakalā 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 major beach cities in the United States. Simply put, the natural beauty of Maui is unique. The locals take great pride in preserving nature on the island, and visitors should too. Even if your days aren’t packed with activity-after-activity, simply taking in the views and utilizing the beaches can be a nice getaway experience in and of itself.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
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