12 Best Things to Do in Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Are you planning a trip to see the beaches and volcanos and do all sorts of water sports under the scorching heat of the sun?

Maui is the perfect destination to do them all!

Being the second largest among all the Hawaiian Islands, Maui offers numerous opportunities to make your stay fun and memorable.

It’s a great place to meet marine life as it is home to many endangered species, and thousands of humpback whales migrate to Maui every year.

From snorkeling under the ocean to cruising above sea level, enjoy the freshwater to the fullest.

Also called the ‘Valley Isle,’ the Island is best for its sea life and has a natural environment that will connect to your soul spiritually.

Our list here includes some of the best things you can do in Maui!

Things to Do in Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Explore the Haleakalā National Park

Haleakala National Park
Flickr/ Enrico Cel8

Once you are in Maui, you cannot miss out on exploring the famous Haleakalā National Park!

Located on the Island of Maui, the American national park covers a large area of 33,265 acres, of which more than half is covered by wilderness area, 

It can be an excellent place for a hike or a ride, as the well-maintained road that leads up to the mountain is accessible and reliable.

Haleakalā National Park has lived through ancient stories to modern Hawaiian culture. You can find so much to learn about evolution here.  

The park is also known for being home to the most endangered species of animals, birds, and plants than any other national park in the country.

Haleakalā Crater and the volcano summit are some of the many summit points in the park.

Make some unforgettable memories watching the sunset or stargazing when it gets darker at the Haleakalā Observatory.

Fun Fact: The park was named after a dormant volcano, Haleakalā, which stands for ‘House of the Sun’ in Hawaiian.

Take on Water Sports at Makena Beach

Makena Beach
Flickr/ Wei Zhang
Location: South Beach, Maui
Opening hours: 5:00 am - 6:45 pm (Every day)
Entry rates: $5 per person

Makena Beach is one of the major beach spots on the Island of Maui.

Also known as the ‘Big Beach,’ it is very popular among the locals and tourists for sunbathing and bodyboarding.

It is a part of Mākena State Park, sharing 165 acres of land with two other separate beautiful beaches and a dormant volcanic cinder cone.

The signature beach is 1.5 miles long, and the waves are massive, perfect for a great surfing experience.

Although the beach is not recommended for a swim, a walk along the beach is a must to capture the breathtaking views of the Molokini and Kaho‘olawe islands.

Hike on Pipiwai Trail

Pipiwai Trail
Flickr/ Daniel Woeste

Pipiwai Trail is one of the many exciting trails found in Haleakalā National Park.

A round trip of the trail is about 4 miles that leads up to many incredible waterfalls, including Makahiku Falls, a 200-foot horsetail waterfall.

The well-maintained trail also passes through many popular national park attractions, such as the Bamboo Forest and Giant Banyan Tree.

This natural beauty is regarded as one of the most attractive hikes in Maui. So be sure to check out while you are here!

Watch the Whales at Lahaina Harbor

Whale Watching in Lahaina
Flickr/ Swede1969
Location: Lahaina Harbor 
Entry rates: Starts from $69

Explore the natural beauty that lives underneath the harbor of Lahaina.

Whale Watching is a popular excursion in Maui—grab the opportunity to meet the fascinating mammals up close!

Although January to March are the peak seasons, visitors can also enjoy whale watching from November to May.

Besides different species of whales, including humpback, fin, blue, and more, you can spot other marine life, such as dolphins and tropical fishes.

Capture some of the cutest shots of dolphins and the whale’s tails sticking straight up in the air!

Note: For the protection of aquatic mammals, diving into the ocean for a swim or snorkel with them is prohibited.

Wander at the Scenic ʻĪao Valley State Park

Iao Valley State Park
Flickr/ Chris McCarty
Location: 54 S High St, Wailuku
Opening hours: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm (Every day)
Entry rates: $5 for non-residents 

ʻĪao Valley State Park is in a 4000-acre lush valley and offers something for everyone!

Located in a stream-cut valley in West Maui, the park is a tourist destination known for its immaculate natural environment and history.

It’s a great place to start an adventurous hike and sightseeing in the wonderful nature.

Walk through the botanical garden, learn about Hawaiian history in the museum, and feel the rich cultural values of the valley.

Snorkeling in Molokini Crater

Snorkeling in Molokini Crater
Flickr/ Emily Whale

Is Scuba Diving a part of the adventures you have planned for Hawaii? This is the perfect place to tick it off the list!

Molokini Crater is a small crescent-shaped uninhabited 23-acre islet known for being the best choice of place for scuba diving, snuba, and snorkeling.

The crescent shape is supposed to protect divers from heavy waves, which also helps maintain the water level.

Located between the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe, the crater is home to more than 250 fish species.

Fun Fact: A Hawaiian Legend links the Molokini Crater with an old mythology story about love and avenge.

Cruise Around the Lanai Island

Lanai Island
Flickr/ Eclectic Jack

Hop on a ferry and take a quick ride for a day trip to the nearby Lanai Island!

Lanai Island is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands, just nine miles away from the west side of Maui.

It was once known for its massive pineapple plantation, which gave the name ‘The Pineapple Island.’

Cruise around Lanai Island, watch the stunning sunset, and make everlasting memories with your loved ones!

Moreover, you can also take a boat ride for a fishing trip or snorkel under the water of the Island.

Admire the Glass Art at Makai Glass Maui

Makai Glass Maui
Flickr/ Getting Better Shots
Location: 903 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI
Opening hours: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Mon-Fri), 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Sat & Sun)
Contact: (808) 419-6685 

Experience a world of sea creatures and volcanic formations of Hawaiian Islands, all in the form of glass art!

Makai Glass Maui has a talented team of glass artists who create each piece of glass-blown sculpture with their admiration and fascination for sea life.

Go through their gallery and watch all their installations that perfectly demonstrate the beauty of the ocean in unique ways.

You’ll feel drawn to each hand-sculpted piece of art. You can shop from a wide collection at their studio, as it makes a great souvenir to remember this trip!

Relax at Kapalua Bay Beach

Kapalua Bay Beach
Flickr/ Larry Myhre 

Known as the best for snorkeling, Kapalua Bay Beach is a beautiful beach with crystal clear water.

Get ready for some underwater adventures. Dont worry! You can find snorkel gear and paddle board rental on the beach.

As it is famous for having many colorful fishes, you can also catch the most mesmerizing view of the sunset from the beach.

The beach is also the starting point of the Kapalua Coastal Trail, an easy-to-go lovely walk around the Island.

Witness the Beauty of Makawao 

Flickr/ michael_jeddah

Developed during the 19th century, Makawao, which translates to ‘Eye of the Forest’ in Hawaiian, is the biggest little town among the other three cities in Maui.

Renowned for its Hawaiian cowboys, the town is often referred to as the Cowboy Capital of Upcountry Maui.

Filled with plenty of attractions, the Hawaiian town is known for being one of the country’s top destinations for art lovers.

Art enthusiasts can enjoy this small town more than anyone; you get to learn from a variety of working artists, including wood sculptors, glassblowers, painters, and more!

Blend in at Ali’i Kula Lavender

Ali'i Kula Lavender
Flickr/ Richard Boudreau
Location: 1100 Waipoli Road Kula
Opening hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Fri-Mon), Closed on Tues-Thurs
Entry rates: $3

Anyone can enjoy exploring Ali’i Kula Lavender, a 13.5-acre scenic lavender farm.

The farm has a cultivation of over 55,000 lavender plants of 20 different varieties, among which nine bloom all year round.

Visitors get to explore the farm on their own and partake in several fun activities the farm organizes.  

The farm truly is one magical place where you can feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

Lavender’s calming scent is known to balance the mind, so make sure to check out their shop, where all organic lavender products ranging from bath and body to kitchen and culinary are offered.

Fun Fact: What now is a huge lavender farm that was once started with a single plant given by a friend to Ali’i.

WindSurfing at Ho’okipa beach

Ho’okipa beach
Flickr/ Jim Mullhaupt
Location: 179 Hana Hwy, Paia
Opening hours: 5:30 am - 7:00 pm (Every day)
Contact: +1 808-572-8122

Ho’okipa Beach, the most magnificent beach in the world, can be found on the north shore of Maui alongside the Hana Highway.

Although it is renowned for many things, windsurfing is the most recommended activity to take over here.

This tourist attraction has hosted many windsurfing competitions over the years, including ‘The Aloha Classic,’ the most prestigious windsurfing event in the world!

Picnic facilities and observation decks are available to make the views of the Pacific Ocean more enjoyable.

Visitors can also enjoy watching Hawaiian Green Turtles, who come out around 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm to bask in the sun.

Make the Most in Maui

Prepare yourself to witness the breathtaking natural beauty of Maui.

Alongside all the adventures, visitors will also get to learn about the rich culture and fascinating history of the Island.

This popular Hawaiian spot can make the most refreshing vacation place for all!

Note: Keep in mind that information about travel can change quickly. To make sure your trip is fun and safe, we encourage you to double-check official websites and government/travel advisory sites for the latest information on travel restrictions, entry requirements, and safety measures.