Maui The Valley Isle

“Maui no ka ‘oi” is a Hawaiian saying that means, “Maui is the best.”

While entitled to your own opinion, Maui’s undeniable magic charms anyone who has the pleasure of visiting this internationally acclaimed tropical paradise. Maui’s abundance of activities and bewitching natural beauty—scenic vistas, towering treetops, raft excursions, storied sleeping giants, sea caves and so much more—will rekindle romance. From fabled coastal drives along the Hana road to sunrise hikes to Mt. Haleakala, like many travelers before you, you’ll fall in love with the Valley Isle … and soon discover the numerous reasons why Maui is a premiere travel locale.

Tourism authority Condé Nast Traveler, too, has fallen to Maui’s charm, hailing it the “Best Island in the World” in 2013. In fact, the spell of the Magic Isle surpassed other tropical getaways like Bermuda, Bora Bora, the Maldives, Bali and the Seychelles, snagging Maui the top spot amongst U.S. islands for the 20th consecutive year.

With so much to see and do, sorting through a never-ending array of activities can be mindboggling. So, relax. We’ve done the work for you. Assure you don’t miss out on the best of the best of Maui by just following this handy guide.

Thrill seekers power their adrenaline rush soaring through jungle canopies on a zipline tour, speeding down an extinct volcano on a mountain bike, roaring on a Super Jet 650, “hanging ten” on a longboard at Ho‘okipa Beach or diving alongside sea turtles and eels in a sunken volcanic cinder cone.

Those in search of tranquility exhale tension and inhale the island’s calming aromas. Revel in Maui’s exquisite natural beauty on a stroll through a botanical garden. Rejuvenate at a spa with a signature lomilomi or exotic floral remedy, then treat yourself to a little retail therapy at one of Maui’s numerous luxury shopping destinations. Tee-off at one of the island’s fairytale fairways and immerse yourself in authentic Hawaiian culture at a dazzling lu‘au or charming art walk.

Get a dose of history on a excursion through a lava tube, a visit to a “true Hawaiian” hotel or a guided tour to Lahaina’s Whalers Village Museum and Wailuku’s Maui Ocean Center, where exotic sea creatures await.

These land diversions will likely spark an adventure to sea. Maui’s impressive 81 beaches, year-round surf, crystal waters and sparkling sands are beloved by all. Here, summer bliss doesn’t end, and there’s plenty to do out on the water. Kayaking, surfing, dolphin scouting, surfing, snorkeling and snuba—a marriage of snorkeling and scuba—all make a fun outing. There are also many off-island getaways worth exploring with the entire family, like the mythical enclave Molokini and Lana‘i, the legendary pineapple isle.

Autumn’s lively festival lineup provides an excellent occasion to experience more of Maui’s fascinating cultural offerings, including the anticipated Made in Maui County Festival, the Maui Ukulele Festival and Ku Mai Ka Hula International Hula Competition.

Alas, let each magical moment captivate you—there will always be an opportunity to return for more enchantment, and we’ll be waiting with 101 Things To Do.

View our top picks below or see all 101 Things To Do on Maui!

Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala

Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala

Rising 10,023 feet above Maui’s coastal areas is the massive shield volcano HALEAKALA. This sleeping giant is enormously popular and easily accessible for visitors; in fact, it has become a ritual for those staying on the island to rise before dawn and trek to the mountaintop in the chilly darkness to watch the sun make… Continue »

Soar in a Parasail, Roar on a Jet Ski

Whether you’re harnessed to a PARASAIL high above the ocean or steering a JET SKI across the water’s surface, you’ll probably be wearing a grin. These water sports are fun for everyone. If you’ve never piloted a Jet Ski, instructors will help you get the hang of it. Propelled by a jet of water, Jet… Continue »

Explore Haleakala on Horseback

Explore Haleakala on Horseback

Enjoy a uniquely Hawaiian experience with a scenic tour of Haleakala, all while taking in the views from horseback. PONY EXPRESS TOURS’ über-popular HALEAKALA RANCH PANIOLO RIDE treats riders to breathtaking views from an elevation of 4,000 feet. This once-in-a-lifetime experience takes you through MAUI’S HIGH COUNTRY, through the rolling pastures of a cattle ranch… Continue »

Put on Your Hiking Boots

Put on Your Hiking Boots

Discovering what Maui is all about often means putting on your hiking boots and getting up close and personal with the island’s birds, plants, mud, rocks, trees, streams and waterfalls. HIKE MAUI has been doing exactly this for more than 25 years. The island’s PIONEER ECO-COMPANY is staffed by a team of trained naturalists and… Continue »

Sail and Snack to Lana‘i

TRILOGY EXCURSIONS, Maui’s oldest family-owned-and-operated ocean recreation company, has gained a cult following for its FAMILY-ORIENTED SAILING TOURS to Lana‘i. Its success can be attributed to its large fleet of catamarans—and its HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS. First, the rolls: The tradition began in 1973, when the Coon family arrived on Maui following a two-year sailing adventure… Continue »

Hear the Story of Moku‘ula

For nearly 300 years, MOKU‘ULA was the SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL CENTER of the Hawaiian Kingdom. In 1845, the state capital was moved from its seat in Lahaina to Honolulu; by 1914, the site literally was buried under a county park. After years of neglect, Moku‘ula is slowly being restored, thanks in part to the dedication… Continue »

Drift Along the Ocean by Moonlight

You’d be surprised by what comes out to play in Maui’s TIDE POOLS when the moon is up. This is the kingdom of BRITTLE STARS, URCHINS, OCTOPI, SHRIMP, SNAILS AND JUVENILE FISH—nocturnal species that have developed unique characteristics, like stalked eyes for night vision. A great way to get acquainted with these absorbing sea critters… Continue »