Maui is the second largest Hawaiian island (a US state found off the shore in the Pacific Ocean). Fascinatingly, it was formed by the union of two volcanoes, Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. It’s the perfect destination as the island is always warm and sunny, and there’s a diversity of landscapes waiting to be discovered.
The island does cater for luxury-seekers and honeymoon-goers, but some of the most unforgettable parts of the island are definitely reserved for adventure lovers.
This fascinating island experiences the largest humpback whale migration in the World from mid-December to mid-April, and boasts the planet’s largest dormant volcano (the summit depression is 21-miles across and 4,000-feet deep!).
And there are so much more things to do in Maui. It’s also home to Hana Road, which was voted the Drive of a Lifetime by the National Geographic and has some 620 curves and 59 bridges along its 69 miles. Prepare to go on the trip of a lifetime!
22. Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okina Beach Park is heaven on earth for windsurfers and surfers. Windy conditions and large swells attract the pros, and there are competitions throughout the year. The best spot to watch them from is the Ho’okina Lookout!
There’s plenty of space and the beach doesn’t tend to be crowded. Another epic thing about this beach is that there is an exposed reef that runs along the shorebreak and attracts Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles! See if you can spot one peering out from below the waves or relaxing on the beach.
Despite all the great things Ho’okina Beach Park has to offer, if you’re looking for a good beach for swimming this isn’t the one! The waters can get pretty rough.
21. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is Maui’s own Provence. Serene and breathtaking, the farm’s setting spoils you with stunning mountain and sea views.
Drive through scenic hills to this gorgeous alpine farm. It’s beautiful at all hours of the day, but the sunsets from Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm are particularly breathtaking!
Did you know, if you bring a donation for the Maui Food Bank you don’t need to pay an entrance fee?
You’ll be in awe of the expansive lavender fields. Let the views calm you and breathe in the sweet and relaxing floral smells all around you. Whilst the farm is famous for its lavender fields, there are gardens riddled with other flora to explore too!
Don’t leave without buying some of their lavender-themed beauty products from the gift shop.
20. Lahaina Banyan Court Park
The Lahaina Banyan Court Park is in the charming town of Lahaina. Vibrant and a hub for art galleries and entertainment, the town is a must-visit in Maui.
The park is famously home to the island’s oldest non-native tree. It was planted here in 1873 by William Owen after it made a long journey to the island from India! It now has some 16 trunks and it’s the largest banyan tree in the US.
Aside from this iconic tree, there’s old buildings like the Old Lahaina Courthouse and the ruins of an old fort surrounding the park. It’s also right next to the Lahaina Harbor, so you can relax on a bench under the shade of this breathtaking tree and enjoy the sea breeze.
19. O’o Farm
The O’o farm is in the Valley Isle in Upcountry Maui. Its spectacular location on the side of a volcano makes the farm a very unique place to come for a farm tour and gourmet lunch!
Walk around the coffee plantations, olive trees, and picturesque gardens where the ingredients for your afternoon meal are growing! The owner of the farm will be your tour guide for the day. After exploring, sit and relax as your very own chef prepares lunch.
Soak in the incredible views of the ocean, emerald green hills, and rugged mountains in the distance over a glass of wine and a plate of home-grown food – delicious!
18. Maui Brewing Company
The Maui Brewing Company was one of the first breweries that were set up on the island. With history and fun coming together, a beer tour at this iconic brewery is the perfect way to kill some time with friends and bond over some cold brews!
Tours last around 45 minutes and they take place at the Maui Brewing Company in Kihei. It’s a great chance to learn about the fermentation process and key ingredients in this epic beverage. You’ll be happy to hear there is sampling at the end!
Try some of their wackiest flavors, like the Coconut Porter that has roasted coconut in it. If you can’t make it to a tour, be sure to keep a look out for their beer in restaurants and bars as you explore the island.
17. Play Golf
Maui is a hotspot for professional and amateur golf players alike. The warm winter weather and blue skies make the spectacular courses dotted around the island hard to resist!
One of the most legendary courses on the island is the Kapalua Plantation Course in Lahaina. Each year PGA Tour Champions come here to take one another on at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Give it a go!
Lesser known courses, like the Wailea Emerald Course in Wailea, the Royal Ka’anapali Course in Ka’anapali, and the Maui Nui course in Kihei are also worth a visit!
16. Makena Beach
Makena Beach makes the shortlist for most famous beaches on the island of Maui. It’s a mile and a half long and a hundred feet wide, so it’s not hard to see why it was nicknamed Big Beach.
This spacious and scenic beach is the main attraction within the Makena State Park. With the ocean on one side and densely forested mountains on the other, it pleases nature lovers of all kinds.
It’s quite touristy, but there’s plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Bring your favorite book and sit back and let the sound of the waves wash your troubles away.
15. Nakalele Blowhole
The Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui is a fascinating natural wonder. This impressive geological blowhole formed through the rugged lava rock after thousands of years of being worn down by the waves that crashed against it.
The marine geyser blasts the ocean water up to 100 feet into the air! From a distance it looks just like a whale’s blowhole, so the name is very apt.
It spits out sprouts of water periodically (though how long you have to wait between each blast depends on the weather conditions). The best time to come is in the early morning when the sun glistens down on the water and little rainbows appear!
14. Pipiwai Trail
This unique hiking trail is in the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park. Put your hiking boots on and follow the trail through dense bamboo forests to gushing waterfalls and past stunning local flora.
The trail is a 4-mile round trip; it’s worth setting aside a whole morning or afternoon to really make the most of it! Just before the trail loops back round, the forest opens up and you’ll catch your first glimpse of the jaw-dropping Waimoku Falls.
There are a few waterfalls along the way, but there’ll be no doubt in your mind when you get to Waimoku Falls that you’ve arrived at the greatest. It drops 400 feet down sheer lava rock! Because it’s so versatile and accessible, this trail should be at the top of your holiday itinerary.
13. Wailea Beach
This stunning beach sits just behind the Grand Wailea Resort in Wailea. It tends to be a bit crowded and it has a beach resort vibe because of how close it is to the Grand Wailea Resort, but there’s loads to do and it’s popular for a reason so don’t let that put you off!
Wailea Beach is quaint and crescent-shaped, and by far one of the most picturesque and adorable beaches on the island. You’ll take dozens of Insta-worthy pictures here!
The little stretch of white sand is surrounded by tropical island shrubs and tall palm trees – it’s ever so exotic.
It’s great for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, surfing, and a whole host of other water sports – so if you’re looking for a day out that will keep everyone happy this is a fantastic choice!
12. Wai’anapanapa State Park
This stunning state park in Hana translates to glistening water, which perfectly describes the park’s various pools and beaches. It’s famous for having a wild and unspoiled feel to it that attracts nature lovers and adventure seekers.
The park is set against a volcanic coastline that is inhabited by rare seabirds – keep your eyes pierced! It’s truly one of the most impressive nature spots on the island.
There is a black sand beach in the park, lava caves, and countless hiking trails. Some of the best routes include the Wai’anapanapa Caves Trail, that is a 1.5 mile round trip, and the Pi’ilani Trail which leads you to the park’s famous black sand beaches.
11. Kamaole Beach Parks
The Kamaole Beach Park is made up of three golden sand beaches found around Kihei. They are the Kamaole Beaches I, II, and III. You can call them Kam for short! They are separated from one another by patches of rough rocks.
All three beaches are along the South Kihei Road and within walking distance from one another. Kam I and II are great spots for swimming and relaxing, whilst Kam III is popular for snorkeling and bodyboarding.
Keep a look out for sea turtles at Kamaole Beach Park – they’re frequent beach visitors!
10. Go Whale Watching
Maui has some of the best whale watching in the World! You can whale watch from the shore, or go on a catamaran, sailboat, raft, kayak, or outrigger canoe tour! Safe to say, you won’t be lacking in choices.
The best time to go whale watching is from mid-December through to May. It’s thought that as many as 12,000 whales, belonging to five different species, make the annual journey from Alaska to Hawaii to breed and raise their calves during the winter months.
Most of them make their way to the warm and shallow waters of the Auau channel which, luckily for Maui holiday-goers, is between Molokai, Lanai, and Maui.
If you’re staying on the western side of the island you’ll be able to see them from shore. Some of the best spots are Pu’u Ola’i Beach, Lahaina Pali Trailhead and McGregor Point Lookout.
9. Napili Beach
This quaint and picture-perfect beach sits along Napali Bay on the northwest of the island. It’s the calmest beach along the West Maui coastline so it’s popular amongst swimmers, snorkelers, and families!
Come and catch your holiday tan and take some epic vacation pictures on the golden sand with turquoise waters in the backdrop.
The beach is also famous because you can see two other islands, Molokai and Lanai, from its shores!
8. Iao Valley State Monument
The Iao Valley State Monument boasts steep mountain peaks that stick out of the ground like chimneys. The most legendary of them all is the Iao Needle Rock, named after its appearance.
Hiking is the best way to explore the valley. If you want the best views of Needle Rock follow the paved Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop. It’s just 0.6 miles long!
Stop for a swim in the Iao Stream on your visit and take pictures of the lush green vegetation that covers every inch of rock and mountain in the valley.
7. Kapalua Coastal Trail
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is 3.5 miles long if you walk there and back, or just under 1.8 miles if you go one way. The trail starts at the south end of Kapalua Bay and ends at the D.T. Fleming Beach – bring your swimmers so you can stop for a dip!
It’s an easy yet exciting route that runs along paved trails, boardwalks, and sand. It clings to the coast and spoils hikers with stunning views of the rugged coastline, ocean, and the island’s native flora.
6. Old Lahaina Luau
Head to the Old Lahaina Luau and watch century-old traditions come to life before your eyes. Opened in 1986, it invites its visitors to experience the most authentic luau experience on the island!
A luau is defined as a Hawaiian party or feast and most often accompanied by entertainment, so if you’re celebrating a birthday or honeymoon on Maui this is the perfect place to come!
The food and entertainment are all driven by tradition and seek to give tourists a lasting impression of the ancient customs that are still alive in Hawaii today.
5. Snorkeling Tours
You can easily snorkel off the coast of Maui by yourself anytime you want, but to get to know the best snorkeling spots and reach the coolest marine wildlife you’re best taking a snorkeling tour.
If you’re looking for something totally out of the ordinary, go on a sunrise snorkeling tour to Molokini Crater, a good company to check out for this one is Kai Kanani.
You can also go on a tour to the nearby island Lana’i, where you can whale watch from the beach too! If you want to see dolphins then go on a tour to La Perouse Bay where there are families of playful spinner dolphins.
4. Maui Ocean Center
This educational and fun day out is perfect for families! The Maui Ocean Center is an aquarium that will let you get up close to the island’s most spectacular marine species and introduce you to a whole new underwater world.
Hawaiians have a deep respect for the sea and its inhabitants, and this is echoed throughout the Maui Ocean Center. Little ones will delight in looking at brightly colored exotic fish swim past the glass windows, and be in awe of the 60 coral exhibits!
The friendly turtles, clever octopi, and scary sharks will keep the kids busy for hours, so you can relax and enjoy the aquarium too.
3. Ka’anapali Beach
This three-mile long stretch of exotic coastline on the west shore of Maui has been awarded the title of America’s Best beach in its time. It was once very exclusive, and visited by the island’s royalty!
Every day at sunset something unusual takes place on Puu Kekaa cliff at the north point of Ka’anapali Beach! A cliff diver lights the torches lined up along the cliff and then dives into the ocean. This peculiar ritual is a reenactment of one of King Kahekili’s greatest victories.
Resorts and hotels line the beach and the Whalers Village shopping complex and golf courses nearby make it the perfect holiday destination. You’re going to love this popular Maui beach.
2. Haleakala Crater
Haleakala Crater is in the Haleakala National Park. You can climb to the summit of the volcano and into its crater – this once in a lifetime experience will be envied by all your friends back home!
Most people come at sunset or sunrise to catch the best views. The orange hue lights up the sky and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world as you stand above the clouds. Bring your best camera, you’re about to take the most iconic of all your holiday shots.
The summit is 10,023 feet above sea level, so make sure you bring some warm clothes. Curiously, the volcano is still active – but don’t worry, it hasn’t erupted in a long, long time!
1. Road to Hana
Maui island has a diverse set of unique landscapes that all warrant being seen, and along the Road to Hana you can! You’ll see it all; from black sand beaches and bamboo forests to quintessentially tropical coastlines and breath-taking waterfalls.
From start to finish the Road to Hana is 64-miles long. You can drive it yourself (make sure your vehicle can hack the roads though, the route can get a bit tricky) or hire a driver and sit back and enjoy the ever-changing views.
Make sure you set off early with a full tank and a map (there’s no service along most of the route). Some of the must-see stops on the Hana Road include the colorful town of Paia, the Twin Falls, and the breath-taking Ke’anae Peninsula.