Wondering what activities and attractions you can’t miss in Maui? Our guide to the best things to do in Maui is just what you need!
Termed “The Valley Isle,” Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Adored for its renowned beaches, notorious sunsets and sunrises, sacred history and culture, and whale watching opportunities, Maui is a top-notch travel destination.
Voted “Best Island In The U.S.” for more than twenty years, Maui has a lot to offer for locals and tourists alike.
The crystal blue waters make for a breathtaking snorkeling experience of the vibrant, colorful underwater life. If you like staying above the water, join a boat tour to observe the migrating humpback whales making their journey through Maui’s waters. Also, keep an eye out for sea turtles and Hawaiian spinner dolphins.
Surfers, windsurfers, sailors, swimmers, and snorkelers travel worldwide to explore Maui’s exceptionally clear waters. You can also go hiking and cliff jumping, and exploring on some of the island’s secret, undeveloped beaches.
On land, travelers come to Maui to hike to the summit of Haleakala Crater for its world-renowned sunset and sunrise views. Visitors can also explore more waterfalls and hiking trails in Haleakala National Park, one of East Maui’s most popular attractions.
No more scouring the internet trying to figure out what to do in Maui! Instead, we’ve created this list of the top 21 things to do during your time in Maui for only the most exceptional vacation!
Table of Contents
- The Best Things to Do in Maui
- 1) Visit The Largest Living Tropical Reef Aquarium At The Maui Ocean Center
- 2) Catch The Spectacular Sunrise At Haleakala National Park
- 3) Join An Ecotour At The Pacific Whale Foundation
- 4) Snorkel The Stunning Waters Of Honolua Bay Marine Reserve
- 5) Bask In The Ancient West Maui Mountains
- 6) Laze On The Black Sand Beach, Honokalani
- 7) Drive The Scenic Road To Hana
- 8) Spend The Evening Savoring The Old Lahaina Luau’s Ohana Treatment
- 9) Hike To The Seven Sacred Pools
- 10) Go For A Swim At Wailea Beach
- 11) Spot A Green Sea Turtle At Ho’okipa Beach Park
- 12) Go On An Adventure To See The Haleakala Crater
- 13) Encompass Your Senses At The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
- 14) Witness The Beauty Of Iao Valley State Park
- 15) Dip Into The Waters At Lahaina Harbor
- 16) Eat Fresh Hawaiian Seafood At The Paia Fish Market
- 17) Tour The Maui Historical Society
- 18) Maui Brewing Company
- 19) Cliff Jump At Black Rock Beach
- 20) Simmer Down In The Sun’s Rays At Kaanapali Beach
- 21) Golf A Few Rounds At King Kamehameha Golf Club
- Where to Stay in Maui
The Best Things to Do in Maui
Maui is full of adventure! From top attractions like the largest living tropical reef aquarium at the Maui Ocean Center and touring the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm rich with lavender scents and scenic views. Get ready to experience the top things to do in Maui!
1) Visit The Largest Living Tropical Reef Aquarium At The Maui Ocean Center
Step over to the largest living tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere at the Maui Ocean Center.
Established in 1998, the center has mastered unparalleled exhibits and in-person encounters with marine life, some of which only exist in Hawaii.
The center’s dedication is personified through its educational programs and exhibits designed to inspire and educate its visitors about the local culture and sea.
At this stunning aquarium, guests can revel in one of the world’s largest collections of live Pacific corals.
Listen to Hawaiian green sea turtles appear above water for a much-needed breath at the Turtle Lagoon and observe otherworldly jellyfish drift about at the magnificent Maui Ocean Center.
- Address: 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793
- Hours: 9am – 5pm
- Cost: $44.95 adults, $28.95 kids
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2) Catch The Spectacular Sunrise At Haleakala National Park
Home to the dormant volcano Haleakalā and the endangered Hawaiian geese, Haleakala National Park, boasts awe-inspiring views of the nearby mountains.
Teeming with ancient and modern local culture, this Hawaiian attraction empowers a bond between people and nature. The lush rainforests, scenic coastline, and inspiring views make for an unforgettable adventure.
If you’ve seen the Disney movie Moana, you may recognize the term “Maui.” However, it’s on this dormant volcano Haleakala, or “house of the sun,” that legends go that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun from on top of the volcano’s summit to slow the sun’s descent.
Indeed, it’s at this national park that people from all over the world come to visit this specific location for its undeniably breathtaking sunrise.
Many also come for the many hiking trails featuring refreshing scenery or some travel by horseback! Join this Haleakala National Park Sunrise Tour for a guided trip to experience the spectacular world-famous sunrise while learning about the history and culture of Haleakalā.
3) Join An Ecotour At The Pacific Whale Foundation
Get ready to go on an adventure of Hawaii’s stunning blue waters to witness the grandeur of the largest mammals in the world.
The Pacific Whale Foundations hosts award-winning snorkel cruises, Maui’s original and most award-winning whale watch, dolphin watching eco-tours, stargazing excursions, sunset dinners and cocktail cruises.
Leaders in responsible boat tours, the Pacific Whale Foundation has dedicated its time to a holistic approach to marine tourism for the past forty years. A Certified Marine Naturalist leads every ecotour to ensure the safety and protection of marine life.
Through these excursions, people worldwide can view spectacular marine life like Hawaiian monk seals, dolphins, and sea turtles from an educational and scientific perspective.
Visit the website to view all tours and prices! Or if you’re in town in February/March, be sure to attend the Maui Whale Festival. The PWF and other local businesses gather to celebrate the sea’s gentle giants for a weekend of festivities.
So if you’re a whale lover, the Maui Whale Festival is a cool addition to any trip!
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4) Snorkel The Stunning Waters Of Honolua Bay Marine Reserve
The Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District is one of Hawaii’s most famous natural treasures that features Hawaii’s encompassing variety of marine life. In Hawaii’s coastal waters, over four hundred species of inshore and reef fish call the waters their home.
Part of the Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District, the Honolua Bay Marine Reserve is a favorite destination for locals and tourists. Many visitors snorkel in the stunning waters to bask in the vibrant underwater sea life.
For those that wish to stay on land, an enchanting forest holds an amazing hiking trail where you can explore nature and get a workout.
Join this Honolua Bay snorkel trip that sails from Lahaina Harbor to bask in the beauty of Honolua Bay’s waters.
5) Bask In The Ancient West Maui Mountains
Aged to be 1.7 million years old, the West Maui Mountains are a sacred historical site of Hawaiian culture.
Hosting numerous microclimates and vegetation communities, these mountains are home to wet montane forests, Hawaiian music forests, lowland forests, wet cliffs, and dry cliffs.
With the diverse number of native species, the mountains are also home to more than eighteen plant species endemic to this area of Maui county.
Witness the beauty of the ancient mountains for yourself on this Private Sunset Sailing Trip! Cruise over stunning Hawaiian waters and enjoy the serene sunset with the mountains in the background.
6) Laze On The Black Sand Beach, Honokalani
Maui’s famous black sand beach, Honokalani or sometimes referred to as Waianapanapa Beach, is filled with history and legends. Deemed sacred by Hawaiians, this Maui beach is situated in Waianapanapa State Park and spans 122 acres.
Also within the park’s grounds are lava caves, wind-twisted foliage, blow holes, sea stacks, and Hawaii’s largest heiau, a religious temple.
A unique outdoor attraction, many stop by on the Road To Hana, a 64-mile scenic drive, to witness this magnificent scene themselves.
Laze on the black sand with Maui’s wondrous nature surrounding you, or take a hike to explore the stone arches, blowholes, and lava caves in Waianapanapa State Park for a magnificent adventure.
7) Drive The Scenic Road To Hana
The Road To Hana is a 64-mile stretch that connects Kahului to Hana, a town in east Maui. This scenic drive is a must as one of the top attractions on the island of Maui.
Rated as one of Hawaii’s best scenic drives, the Road To Hana features a journey filled with luscious greenery and undeniably stunning views. From rushing waterfalls to panoramic coastlines, there’s a lot to be excited about on this mini-road trip!
Join this full-day tour of the Hana Highway to experience gorgeous vistas, tropical rainforests, and cascading waterfalls for the ultimate sightseeing tour of the glorious Maui.
8) Spend The Evening Savoring The Old Lahaina Luau’s Ohana Treatment
Sit down at this beachside eatery for an authentic Maui luau performance.
Step through the gates to this epicenter for local culture and be swept off your feet by invigorating storytelling, salty ocean views, and a Hawaiian feast.
Old Lahaina Luau is featured as the best luau the islands offer, shown through its ability to bathe its guests in powerful storytelling and performances.
An all-time favorite Maui attraction for guests worldwide, at Old Lahaina Luau guests are treated like ohana and greeted with the gift of a fresh orchid lei to begin the night’s celebration.
Then, prepare to be serenaded by island melodies on the ukulele, savor tasty Hawaiian food, and bask in Hawaiian culture.
- Address: 1251 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761
- Hours/Cost: Visit the website to see time slots and prices
9) Hike To The Seven Sacred Pools
The Seven Sacred Pools, also known as the “Pools of ‘Ohe’o” or “‘Ohe’o Gulch,” are one of the most famous attractions of East Maui. These breathtaking waterfalls and calming pools are surrounded by glorious nature for a serene setting many desire to revel in.
Part of the Haleakala National Park, the rainforest stream falls over the cascading waterfalls to plunge into the pools below and continue on its journey into the blue Hawaiian ocean near the Kipahulu coastline.
We recommend heading to the pools before noon as it tends to get crowded in this hot spot Maui attraction. While you’re in the national park, hike to Haleakala Summit for more beautiful scenic panoramic views of the stunning Maui.
Currently, the pools are not open for swimming but you can still visit. Check the NPS website for updates.
- Address: Pipiwai Trail, Hana, HI 96713
- Hours: 9am – 4:30pm
- Cost: $15 parking fee for the national park
10) Go For A Swim At Wailea Beach
Located in South Maui, Wailea boasts 1,500 acres of luxurious resorts, awe-inspiring attractions, and sandy beaches.
Tagged “America’s Best Beach” in 1999, Wailea Beach is a popular swimming spot for locals and tourists. Protected by a small cove, the waters are almost entirely protected from imposing waves, making it otherwise safe for beginner swimmers.
Its white sand and stunning clear blue waters make for a beautiful outdoor attraction. Spending a day here is one of the best things to do when you visit Maui!
The paved beach walk allows for a sunny stroll to investigate the local shops and eateries. Or rent a chair and umbrella to observe the body surfers and boogie boarders’ athleticism in the refreshing waters.
11) Spot A Green Sea Turtle At Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okipa Beach Park is a world-renowned windsurfing location and an excellent spot for sightseers to observe the impressive athleticism of mastering the fraying wind.
Many windsurfing competitions are held at this popular destination. It’s a great place to observe pro windsurfers’ mastery of the sport.
Swimming and surfing are other popular activities here but are not as actively sought after as windsurfing is. Surfers are often found near the Ho’okipa Lookout, an epic surf spot.
Green sea turtles are popular in this area, a unique characteristic of Ho’okipa Beach Park. Locals and tourists may come to sightsee windsurfers, lay in the sun, or snorkel in the shallow waters, but the highlight of the trip is often the spectacular moment when a Hawaiian Green sea turtle is spotted.
- Address: 179 Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779
- Hours: 5:30am – 7pm
- Cost: Free
12) Go On An Adventure To See The Haleakala Crater
Inspiring over 1.5 visitors annually to witness its striking sunrises, Haleakala Crater rises 10,023 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
The ascent up the crater guides trekkers through six of the world’s fourteen climate zones. Acoustic experts tagged the depression down the crater as the quietest place on the planet. And compared to any other U.S. National Park, the Haleakala National Park homes more than any of them in its 33,265 acres.
Termed “the sublimest spectacle” by Mark Twain and a destination of “incomparable grandeur” by Jack London, Haleakala Crater and the national park is one of the top awe-inspiring destinations you’ll ever visit.
To experience the crater for yourself, join this guided hike up to the summit!
13) Encompass Your Senses At The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
This magnetic field is full of 45 varieties of lavender and the perfect picturesque outdoor location!
Stretching 13.5 acres, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm rests around 4,000 feet of elevation on the slopes of Haleakala. Sprawled on the farm are over 55,000 lavender plants and various other stunning plants like hydrangea and olive trees.
Though lavender blooms typically in the summer, the farm hosts different varieties of lavender, so the farm is in bloom year-round.
Stop at this breathtaking location for fresh scents, welcoming vibes, and an unforgettable experience!
- Address: 1100 Waipoli Road Kula, Hawaii
- Hours: Friday – Monday 10am – 4pm
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14) Witness The Beauty Of Iao Valley State Park
This historic state park is home to the famous Iao Needle, a natural rock formation that holds historical importance. The Iao Needle was used to observe enemy movement in past battles before King Kamehameha I defeated the Maui army to unite the islands under one ruler.
Located in Central Maui, Iao Valley State Park stretches 4,000 acres and the 10-mile-long park homes to the 1,200-foot Iao Needle.
Many visitors hike and sightsee the spectacular views of the Iao Needle and scenic views that are highly recommended for all who are visiting Maui.
15) Dip Into The Waters At Lahaina Harbor
Lahaina Harbor is centered in downtown Lahaina. This hot spot features the best parasailing, sailing, sportfishing, and scuba diving on this Hawaiian Island.
In Lahaina, first-timers to Maui can hit up some of the best restaurants found on Maui, along with other attractions like art galleries and local shops. Then, walk downtown Lahaina with locals and fellow tourists to explore the community of Lahaina for the best small-town vibes of Maui.
To explore the greatness of the harbor, check out this snorkel and dolphin watch. Then, a guide takes guests to Lana’i Island to snorkel the breathtaking coral reef to experience Maui’s marine life in person. Or book a tour for an exceptional scuba diving experience!
Another option is to try surf lessons at Lahaina Beach. Whether you want group or private surf lessons, Lahaina is a great spot for learning to surf.
16) Eat Fresh Hawaiian Seafood At The Paia Fish Market
Opened in 1989, the Paia Fish Market first started in a small town on Maui’s North Shore popular with fishermen, surfers, sugar mill workers, and windsurfers.
Paia Fish Market makes it a priority to promote high-quality local produce at affordable prices. Focused on remaining the heartbeat of the town of Paia, the lines extending out the doors of this famous market are frequently filled with local and international legends.
Step inside the market for local seafood cooked charbroiled, Cajun style, or sauteed. Here guests can try fresh Cajun seared Ahi steak, grilled MahiMahi sandwiches, and other delicious Hawaiian staples!
There are now three locations around Maui and one on Oahu, so check the website for addresses and hours of the market you plan to visit.
17) Tour The Maui Historical Society
The Maui Historical Society displays Hawaiian history and art to visitors worldwide. Hosting a 2,000-piece artifact collection and over 8,000 historic photographs, the archives feature genealogies, biographies, manuscripts, maps, and other important information.
Focused on educating all its visitors, the Maui Historical Society conducts school tours, lectures, and other public programs to encourage the appreciation of Maui’s history and culture.
Home to one of Hawaii’s most spectacular collections, the museum is settled on the grounds of a women’s seminary established in 1837.
Commonly referred to by its former name, the Bailey House Museum, the museum was opened on the 120th anniversary of the seminary’s establishment.
On the grounds are also the Chas Fisher Memorial Gardens, homing native and non-native plants, a research library, and a gift shop to snag some cool souvenirs to take home.
- Address: 2375 Main St A, Wailuku, HI 96793
- Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10 am – 1 pm
- Cost: $10 for adults, $4 for kids
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18) Maui Brewing Company
Step on over to Maui Brewing Company, Hawaii’s largest craft brewery.
Experience a brewery tour and beer tasting with an up-close glimpse of the cellar, brewhouse, and packing line at Maui Brewing Company. Visitors can also follow a guided tasting by an experienced craft beer curator of Maui Brewing Company’s four flagship beers.
Join a tour or stop in to purchase Maui Brewing Company’s handcrafted ales and lagers brewed with aloha! This is another one of the most fun things to do on this beautiful island.
- Address: 605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei, HI 96753
- Hours: 11:30am – 10pm daily
- Cost: Tours are $20
19) Cliff Jump At Black Rock Beach
Black Rock Beach was formed by one of the last lava flows on the island side, a popular spot for cliff jumping and snorkeling.
One of the most exhilarating things to do in Maui is cliff jumping here, perfect for the adrenaline junkies and daredevils looking for a rush. Or for those looking to test their courage!
Ancient Hawaiians believed this beach was the location where spirits went to join their ancestors forever.
In the present day, the beach is a popular spot for leaping off cliffs, swimming, and snorkeling. A nearby resort sponsors sunset torch lighting that ends with a cliff jump.
20) Simmer Down In The Sun’s Rays At Kaanapali Beach
Sprawling golden sand and crystal blue water promoted Kaanapali Beach as America’s Best Beach once upon a time.
The beach was once a retreat for Maui royalty and is now a hot spot dotted with hotels and resorts for people worldwide to enjoy its exceptional scenery.
At Kaanapali Beach is the famous daily cliff diving ceremony held at the beach’s northernmost cliffs, Black Rock.
In addition, visitors can soar above the stunning coastline by taking part in a zipline tour by Kaanapali Skyline Eco Adventures for a unique perspective of one of Maui’s most popular beaches.
21) Golf A Few Rounds At King Kamehameha Golf Club
For all the golfers out there, who wouldn’t want to say that they’ve golfed on the tropical island of Hawaii?
One of the many things to do in Maui, golfers from all over travel to explore the unique tropical golf courses. Maui boasts over fourteen courses designed by architects and golfing luminaries like Ben Crenshaw and Arnold Palmer.
Some notable courses include King Kamehameha Golf Club, Kapalua Golf Club, Kahili Golf Course, and Kaanapali Golf Resort.
King Kamehameha Golf Club features bi-coastal ocean views and was named to honor the first royal ruler of Hawaii, King Kamehameha I. Take your pick of the most scenic and refreshing golf courses in Hawaii!
- Address: 2500 HI-30, Wailuku, HI 96793
- Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily
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Where to Stay in Maui
Now that you know all about the fun things to do in Maui let’s look at the top places for your stay! There are lots of great accommodation options where you can relax and refresh after hitting everything on your Maui bucket list.
Best Hostel in Maui
At the Banana Bungalow Maui Hostel, guests are offered free Maui tours, including lush rainforest hikes, whale-watching, snorkeling, and volcano tours!
This affordable and accommodating hostel caters to travelers of all kinds that wish to get the most out of their stay in Maui. The friendly atmosphere and camaraderie bring travelers from all over the world together for an unforgettable stay.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Maui
Mahina Surf I offers affordable prices and leisurely accommodations. The outdoor pools make it easy to catch some rays and soak in the calm waters in Maui’s encompassing serenity.
Only a three-minute walk away are Pohaku Park Beach and Honokowai Beach Park, two popular Maui attractions nearby to be discovered and enjoyed.
Best Luxury Hotel in Maui
Settled in the scenic Kapalua Bay, Montage Kapalua Bay is a luxury hotel boasting oceanfront views and fantastic accommodations, including an outdoor pool, relaxing spa, and fine dining restaurant.
Golfers can walk less than seven minutes to reach the Kapalua Golf Club Bay Course for a rich day of golfing. For those who want to dip their toes in the sand, there are plenty of beaches nearby.
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