There are plenty of things to do on the island of Maui it was hard for us to narrow them down. We decided to give you a top 10 list of “tourist” things to do on the island. There is of course plenty more to do on Maui than we’ve listed here. Feel free to comment below with your favorite thing to do.
Drive the Road To Hana
Probably on the top of everyone’s to do list when they’re vacationing on Maui, the road to Hana on the Hana Highway is filled with scenic stops, waterfalls, jungle and switchbacks. The highway is about 50 miles long altogether with 32 miles filled with switchbacks.
You’ll want to take it slow and enjoy the sights. One of the best books to navigate the road and make sure you stop off at all the hidden gems is the Maui Revealed Guidebook. It’ll give you a play-by-play via the mile markers. There’s a few waterfalls you might otherwise miss, a couple turnoffs to the water that are hidden and some food stop-offs that are surprisingly delicious.
Watch the Sunrise on Haleakala
Standing at over 10,000 feet above the the ocean, Haleakala is the tallest point on Maui and one of the best places to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. The Haleakala Visitors Center is open early and if you’re looking for a great sunrise, get there early. The road is long and up up up in the air. There are plenty of tours that will take you to the top, and some bike tours that will take you down as well.
Take a Whale Watching Tour
When you think of Maui and things to do you probably think of the Humpback Whales and whale watching. The best time to see whales on Maui is between December and April. The best places to view from the road are the overlooks between Maalaea and Lahaina. Often times there are very knowledgeable people posted at these overlooks.
Boat tours are also a great way to watch whales on Maui. Check out the Pacific Whale Foundation for more info.
Buy Art in Lahaina
The fun little town of Lahaina on the West side of Maui is a great place to wet any shoppers whistle. If you’re looking for decidedly Hawaii art, look not further than the art galleries of Lahaina. And there are a lot of them.
Snorkel at Honolua Bay
Oahu has some great places to snorkel, but Maui has some amazing reef that hasn’t had quite as many tourists trouncing on it. One place that is usually a summer time snorkel spot is Honolua Bay on the northwest side of Maui.
The bay is a great surf spot in the winter, but in the calm summer months, it becomes a snorkelers paradise. The spot has ample road parking, although vandalism can be a worry. You can forgo all of this and try out a catamaran ride straight to the bay.
Play Golf at Kapalua
Home to the first stop on the PGA tour every year, the golf courses of Kapalua Maui are some of the best courses in the World. You can play one of two courses:
Both courses offer amazing views of west Maui and when played in the winter months offer amazing back drops of whales breaching beyond your tee shots.
Have a Nutrition Smoothie in Paia
The sleepy little town of Paia, on your way down the road to Hana, or to view Ho’okipa, or to the top of Haleakala, is a little town boasting some great art, great surf shops, and some of the most nutritious smoothies around.
Multiple cafes will serve you coffee or smoothies made from some of the finest ingredients Maui has to offer. One of the best also serves a plethora of other fine foods but has some of the best smoothies we’ve tried, it’s Cafe Mambo right in the middle of town.
Drive to Upcountry Maui
If you’re heading up to catch the sunrise at Haleakala you’ll probably take a stop somewhere in upcountry Maui. Whether it’s to gaze at the large avacodos that are all over the yards, or to stop for lunch in the town of Haiku at on of the lunch wagons or maybe the Hana Hou Cafe which is delicious.
There’s also a hidden Polo field. countless farmers fields to wander by, and many spots to wonder where Haiku has 10,000 people, cause we couldn’t find more than 20.
Drive past Hana in a Compact Car
OK, many rental car places won’t allow you to go beyond Hana in your rental car because the roads are so bad. But, if you like to take chances we may have to put this on your list, although with the disclaimer that we are not responsible for any damage to you or your car.
Just past Hana there are some amazing waterfalls, and these are definitely reachable in a compact car. Beyond that, it’s at your own risk. It’s long, sometimes boring, but eventually becomes open road on the backside of Haleakala.
Visit a Waterfall and Swim in it’s pool
There are plenty of places to see waterfalls on the island of Maui and one of the best places to visit a waterfall and swim in it’s pools. There a waterfalls to choose from all over the island. From the hidden falls along the Hana Highway, to those stuck in the northwest of Maui you’ll find somewhere to jump in the water.
We might suggest taking the trip to Waihe’e Valley Trail near Kahului in the town of Wailuku. This trail is also referred to as the Swinging Bridges Trail which has just that, swinging bridges.