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How to Get Off the Beaten Path on Maui


Holidaymakers toast the sunset in Maui with a cocktail
Hi, I'm Jen!

Jen is a Tahoe-based writer who loves traveling, food, and adventures. She has written about food and drink for the likes of Mashed, Tasting Table, and Getaway Reno/Tahoe. Jen spent 20 years living in China and Hong Kong, and has traveled to more than 75 countries. When she’s not out exploring the world or the great outdoors, you can find her curled up with a good book.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Jen is a Tahoe-based writer who loves traveling, food, and adventures. She has written about food and drink for the likes of Mashed, Tasting Table, and Getaway Reno/Tahoe. Jen spent 20 years living in China and Hong Kong, and has traveled to more than 75 countries. When she’s not out exploring the world or the great outdoors, you can find her curled up with a good book.

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Maui’s most popular attractions and activities—taking the winding Road to Hana, enjoying a sunrise from Haleakala, snorkeling at Molokini—are well known. But it’s worth going off the beaten path to find the island’s hidden gems. Here are some alternative attractions and activities on the Valley Isle.

Visit the Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole with tourists enjoying the excitement.
Tourists admiring the Nakalele blowhole. | Photo Credit: MNStudio / Shutterstock

Discover the true power of nature.

Located just off Poelua Bay and Highway 30 is Nakalele Blowhole, a spectacular natural geyser that shoots seawater up to 100 feet (30 meters) in the air. The blowhole can be viewed from a distance, or you can hike down the jagged black lava rock terrain for a closer look. Also nearby are Nakalele Point Lighthouse and Olivine Pools.

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Enjoy walking around the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

Plants at a pagoda at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.
Beautiful gardens of Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm. | Photo Credit: Sheri Armstrong / Shutterstock

Get zen on the lavender slopes of Maui.

Perched on the slopes of Haleakala, the Ali’i Kua Lavender Farm covers 13.5 acres (5.5 hectares) and is home to more than 50,000 lavender plants, in addition to a variety of native Hawaiian plants. Enjoy garden tours, take classes on using lavender, eat lavender-infused food and drinks, and purchase a wide variety of goods from the gift shop.

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Explore the secrets of Lahaina Jodo Mission

The huge Buddha at Lahaina Jodo Mission in Hawaii.
A famous Buddhist temple commemorating Japanese immigration to Hawaii. | Photo Credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock

Learn how Japanese culture and Hawaiian history are interwined.

Tucked away from Lahaina’s bustling waterfront, the Lahaina Jodo Mission was constructed in honor of Japanese immigrants and modeled after a Japanese Buddhist temple. The peaceful locale is a unique combination of Japanese culture and Hawaiian history, and it includes one of the largest Buddha statues outside of Asia.

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Take the South of Hana road

Blustery clouds and waves are in Hana on Maui.
Remote winding road along the coastline, Maui. | Photo Credit: Steve Heap / Shutterstock

Drive down the Piilani Highway for exciting views.

Many people drive to the town of Hana and then turn back around, but there are plenty of attractions south of the town that are worth the journey, particularly within the first 10 miles (16 kilometers). Hike through a bamboo forest to get to the Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), or take the scenic Pipiwai Trail. You can also continue on to the remote Piilani Highway, or turn around to make the drive back.

Learn about Maui's cowboy culture

A cowboy riding a horse in a Maui field.
Western cowboys riding horses. | Photo Credit: Weerachai pattala / Shutterstock

Try horseback riding or visit a rodeo.

Head upcountry to get a taste of Maui’s cowboy (paniolo) culture in and around the rustic town of Makawao where there are still active ranches. Come here to go horseback riding, attend a rodeo or country fair, or spend an afternoon browsing the town’s eclectic mix of art galleries and small boutiques.

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See all Maui tours
523 tours & tickets
Things to do in Maui
See all things to do in Maui
Whale watching off the shores of North America
10 of the Top Whale-Watching Experiences in North America