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 »
Maui The Valley Isle
While kama’aina (locals) on each island in the Hawaiian chain boast about the various attributes of their unique island homes, it is hard to argue the saying “Maui no ka ‘oi,” or “Maui is the best.”
In fact, readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine voted the Magic Isle the “Best Island in the World,” placing the Hawaiian island ahead of Bermuda, Bora Bora, the Maldives, Bali, the Seychelles and other tropical getaways. It was a great showing internationally. In fact this is 20th year in a row that Maui has taken the top spot amongst U.S. island destinations.
The reason for Maui’s vast appeal lies in its abundance of activities paired with unending natural beauty—from open-ocean rafting tours to sheer sea cliffs and underwater caves, to romantic drives with your sweetheart along the fabled road to Hana and morning hikes to the summit Mt. Haleakala to watch sunrise, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Indeed, there are many reasons why Maui has fast become a favorite travel destination.
So you don’t miss out on a single thing to do during your stay, we’ve done our best to sort through Maui’s never-ending array of activities and narrowed them down to only the best of the best, which we then compiled into this handy guide.
Those hoping to discover Maui’s more-thrilling offerings can get their fi ll while racing over gullies on a ziplining tour, traveling deep below the ocean surface in a submarine or flying down a 38-mile mountain highway with a biking tour group.
Other less daredevil ways to take in the island’s amazing natural scenery include a walk through a lava tube, a ride on a steam locomotive, a visit to a hotel where the focus is on Hawaiian tradition or an excursion to Whalers Village Museum in old Lahaina and the Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku, where otherworldly creatures from the deep wait to meet your acquaintance.
If all those sea creatures inspire you to head out to the beach, there’s plenty to do out on the water. Snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, dolphin searches and something called snuba—an experience halfway between snorkeling and scuba— all make for a memorable family outing. There are also off-island getaways worthy of exploration, like the storied islet of Molokini and the legendary isle of Lana’i, where pineapple once was king.
Set your gaze out toward the mighty Pacific this time of year and you’re sure to be treated to the telltale whitewater splash or spout of a humpback whale. Each winter these gentle giants make their annual migration from the frigid waters of Alaska to the warmer Hawaiian climate.
Watch their journey from a shoreline lookout, or venture out onto the open ocean with a snorkel cruise or charter-boat company for a closer look.
After a long day on the go, be sure to take time to unwind at a spa, recharge with an art walk, indulge in some retail therapy, kick back at an authentic Hawaiian lu’au or enjoy a live show at Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
It is best advised to take your time and savor each moment—there will always be an opportunity to return for another go-round at a later time, and we’ll be eagerly waiting to welcome you back with 101 Things To Do.
View our top picks below or see all 101 Things To Do on Maui!
Though famous for its scenery, climate and cerulean blue sea, Maui harbors another little gem—shopping. Some of the best browsing comes in the form of walking up and down the streets of towns like Makawao, Pa’ia, Kihei and Lahaina. Not only do you get to soak up the sunshine between stops, you also get to… Continue »
Anyone who climbs aboard a vessel this time of year and heads for the open ocean off Maui can expect to see humpback whales. There are so many of them that most boat companies don’t hesitate to guarantee sightings. (Truth is; it’s hard to miss a 40-ton humpback when it propels its 45-foot bulk to… Continue »
Helicopter tours have become one of Maui’s signature attractions. Here, it is possible to lift off from a heliport, quickly bypass populated areas and, in minutes, leave civilization behind. Look down and you’ll find yourself flying low over deep, impossibly tangled, uninhabitable canyons where inland waterfalls drop hundreds of feet right outside your window. Now… Continue »
Hawaiians use the word mana to describe all manner of divine power, and there are places on Maui where a sense of mana is almost tangible. ‘Iao Valley is one of them. This 10-acre park, four miles west of Wailuku, is crowned by an ancient 2,250-foot rock pinnacle and defined by the events of its… Continue »
Life is a journey, not a destination, and the same could be said of the road to Hana. With zigs and zags that travel over 56 one-lane bridges and snake around more than 617 hairpin curves, this scenic drive is truly a heart-pumping adventure that’ll leave you breathless with anticipation for what lays around the… Continue »
Day or night, exploring Lahaina on foot is a unique experience, one where you’ll find historic sites and modern hangouts dotting the landscape of this famous port city. Hale Pa’ahao, an old stone jail that stands at the corner of Waine’e and Prison streets, has a colorful past. Built in 1852, it was once the… Continue »
A trip to Maui wouldn’t be complete without a hike through the lush greenery of the island, taking in views of volcano-formed mountains, ocean swells and towering trees along the way. One great trail to take in Maui’s natural beauty and learn about the Hawaiian culture is the 3-mile Wai’anapanapa Coastal Trail (listed as the… Continue »
From private clubs to municipal courses, Central and South Maui have a range of golf options. Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville is an exclusive course that allows public play only on Mondays. Opened in 1925, this nine-hole course is the oldest golf facility on Maui and one of only two private clubs on the island…. Continue »