Maui is an unparalleled destination that caters to a wide range of interests, making it the perfect choice for honeymooners, families, and adventurers alike. Visitors can explore the dormant Haleakala Crater at Haleakala National Park, either by hiking or taking a breathtaking sunrise bike tour. No trip to Maui is complete without experiencing the island’s stunning shorelines, including the iconic black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park, as well as the traditional white sand beaches of Ka’anapali, Wailea, and the immaculate Big Beach at Makena State Park. For an unforgettable day trip, the Road to Hana offers unparalleled views of the island’s most breathtaking shorelines, including the beloved Ho’okipa Beach Park, a local favorite for surfing. Maui truly offers something for everyone, making it a top destination for those seeking adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty.

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park, a premier destination on Maui, boasts a dormant volcano crater that showcases a captivating desert-like landscape, sacred sites, and a tropical oasis adorned with waterfalls along the coastline. The park’s name, meaning “house of sun,” is fitting for its 30,000 acres of land on Maui. While visitors tend to focus on specific areas of the park, the summit of Haleakala stands out at more than 10,000 feet above sea level, offering a stunning view of three different islands on a clear day. For an unforgettable experience, plan a sunrise visit to the summit, but be sure to reserve online in advance and pay a small fee. The winding and sometimes steep Route 378 leads visitors to the top, where park rangers advise wearing layers due to the thin and chilly air at this height.

Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is a must-see for many tourists visiting Maui. This scenic highway, also known as Highway 360, winds along the island’s eastern shore, boasting stunning views of the coastline and over 60 cascading waterfalls. With nearly 600 curves and more than 50 bridges, the journey to Hana is nothing short of an adventure. Although the distance is only 52 miles, travelers should plan for a full day to take in all the scenic lookouts and other points of interest along the way.

For those who prefer to sit back and relax, there are several tour companies, such as Valley Isle Excursions and Temptation Tours, that offer luxury van tours. While pricier than driving yourself, these tours allow you to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery while a knowledgeable guide navigates the winding roads.

Pipiwai Trail

Nestled within the breathtaking Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, the Pipiwai Trail is a coveted gem among Maui’s hiking trails. This 4-mile round-trip journey boasts an array of natural wonders, from footbridges and boardwalks winding through a lush tropical paradise to the awe-inspiring Makahiku and Waimoku waterfalls. The trail’s pièce de résistance is the ‘Ohe’o Stream Gulch, also known as the “Seven Scared Pools,” which beckons hikers to bask in its ethereal beauty. While moderately challenging, with an 800-foot elevation gain, completing the Pipiwai Trail is a gratifying experience that can take up to three hours.

According to recent travelers, the trail boasts breathtaking beauty. While the waterfalls received high praise, visitors were equally enamored with the serene ambiance of the bamboo forest. However, it’s worth noting that reviewers cautioned against underestimating the hike’s difficulty level. Some even shared that National Park Service rangers had alerted them to the parking gate’s early closure, regardless of whether any cars remained inside. Additionally, sturdy footwear is highly recommended as certain sections of the trail can become slick after rainfall.

Napili Beach

Nestled in a crescent shape, Napili Beach may not be as sprawling as Wailea or Ka’anapali, but it is a favored spot among families. The tranquil waters of Napili Beach offer a respite from the more vigorous waves found at other Maui beaches, making it the perfect place for swimming, paddleboarding, and boogie boarding for both children and adults. Moreover, the serene ambiance of Napili Beach is a haven for sunbathers, who relish the peacefulness of the area, while enjoying the breathtaking views of Molokai and Lana’i.

For those venturing to Napili, it’s essential to pack your snorkeling equipment. The stunning reefs of Napili harbor a diverse collection of butterflyfish, alongside a thriving community of sea turtles. It’s important to note that touching these majestic creatures is prohibited by law, with hefty fines imposed on violators.

Wai’anapanapa State Park

The Hawaiian term “Wai’anapanapa” translates to “glistening waters,” yet it’s not the crystalline sea that beckons visitors to Wai’anapanapa State Park. Rather, it’s the striking jet-black sands that command attention. Composed of volcanic sediment, the shoreline presents a striking juxtaposition against the vibrant blue waves and lush foliage of the surrounding jungle.

For those seeking a more comprehensive experience beyond the beach, Wai’anapanapa offers a plethora of sights and activities. The park’s primary trail, which runs along the coast, leads to two freshwater caves that are steeped in Hawaiian legend. It is said that these caves were the site of the heinous murder of Princess Popo’alaea and her attendant by Chief Ka’akea. Today, visitors can explore the caves and even take a dip in the pools. Alternatively, the coastal hiking trail is dotted with a variety of attractions, such as a religious temple, natural blow holes, and sea stacks. Wai’anapanapa is a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture and natural wonders.

Makena Beach State Park

Makena Beach State Park, situated just 5 miles south of Wailea, has been aptly described as “one of the largest, unspoiled beaches” on the island by Hawaii’s tourism board. This pristine beach is a haven for travelers seeking the tranquility of untouched shorelines in Maui. As you set foot on the beach, you’ll be greeted by a vast expanse of white sand and a conspicuous lack of commercial establishments such as hotels, shops, and restaurants in the vicinity.

When visiting Maui’s Big Beach, it is crucial to stay informed about the surf conditions. With its impressive waves, this beach attracts many bodysurfing and boogie boarding enthusiasts. However, the area next to the volcanic land mass separating both beaches offers a safer swimming and snorkeling experience. Meanwhile, Little Beach boasts calmer waters, perfect for wading. To ensure your safety, always consult the knowledgeable lifeguard team regarding current conditions before taking a dip.

Maui Snorkeling Tours

Maui’s stunning beaches, lush trails, and breathtaking sunsets can easily capture one’s attention, but let’s not forget about the captivating world that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean’s surface. The western shore of Maui boasts some of the best snorkeling spots, conveniently located near beaches or accessible through guided tours. Many top hotels, like The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, offer guests complimentary use of snorkeling gear and even arrange boat tours. Armed with equipment, visitors can explore renowned spots like Ka’anapali Beach, Kapalua Bay, and Honolua Bay from the shore. For an unforgettable adventure, top tours take visitors to crescent-shaped Molokini, home to over 250 species of fish. Another must-visit snorkeling destination is Lana’i, where the Hulopo’e Marine Preserve awaits. Don’t miss out on the chance to discover the wonders of Maui’s underwater world.

Maalaea Harbor in Kihei and Lahaina Harbor on Maui’s western shores are the usual starting points for tours to Molokini and Lana’i. A plethora of operators such as Trilogy, Pride of Maui, and Redline Rafting Co. offer these tours at varying prices, but the average cost per adult is around $150. These tours typically last half a day or more and include snorkeling gear, meals, and refreshments. Choose from a variety of reputable operators and embark on a memorable adventure to these breathtaking destinations.

Maui Ocean Center

For ocean enthusiasts and those seeking shelter from the rain, the Maui Ocean Center is a must-visit destination. This premier facility provides an immersive experience into Hawaii’s underwater ecosystems, offering a plethora of opportunities to interact with the island’s marine life. The Open Ocean exhibit, boasting a whopping 750,000 gallons, is home to a vast array of fish, rays, and sharks. Guests can stroll through a 53-foot-long acrylic tunnel and witness the creatures swimming overhead. The Turtle Lagoon provides a unique perspective, showcasing the beloved green sea turtles both above and below the water’s surface. The Humpbacks of Hawai’i Exhibit and Sphere, newly unveiled in 2019, delves into the deep ocean, transporting visitors into the underwater world of humpback whales through a 3D presentation every half-hour. For the adventurous, the Maui Ocean Center offers a cage-free shark dive in the Open Ocean exhibit. Please note that a SCUBA certification is required, and additional fees starting at $350 per person apply. Come explore the wonders of the ocean at the Maui Ocean Center.

Kapalua Coastal Trail

For those seeking a leisurely stroll through Maui’s scenic beauty, the Kapalua Coastal Trail offers a delightful alternative to the challenging terrain of Haleakala National Park. This trail spans the expansive Kapalua resort community, home to some of Hawaii’s most luxurious accommodations such as Montage Kapalua Bay and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. The 1.76-mile one-way path is predominantly paved and remarkably level, tracing the northwestern coast of Maui. The trail treats visitors to breathtaking views of the shimmering Pacific waters. Accessible from multiple entry points including Kapalua Bay, Namalu Bay, Oneloa Bay, and Honokahua Bay, the latter of which boasts D.T. Fleming Beach Park. For the more adventurous, the trail extends further to the 20-mile Mahana Ridge Trail, offering a more challenging hike with stunning vistas of neighboring Molokai from its ridge.

Old Lahaina Lu’au

The Old Lahaina Lu’au stands out as a must-visit destination for first-time Maui visitors. Upon arrival, guests are warmly welcomed with a fresh orchid lei and escorted to their private tables, which can either be low mat style seating or standard. As the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, the talented musicians serenade guests with traditional Hawaiian tunes, setting the perfect ambiance for an unforgettable evening.

While admiring the performers’ hula skills, servers present a selection of Hawaiian specialties, including the mouth-watering pua’a kalua, which is pork roasted in an underground oven, fresh ahi poke, consisting of raw yellowfin tuna with green and Maui onions, and the traditional poi, made from mashed taro plant. For those 21 and older, the drinks are free-flowing, adding to the festive atmosphere. To cap off the meal, guests are treated to a selection of desserts featuring mango and coconut.

Beyond the culinary delights, the Old Lahaina Lu’au provides an exceptional opportunity to learn about the rich culture of Hawaii. Through dance and chants, guests are transported to ancient times as they hear stories about Hawaiian legends, gods, and royalty.

The Old Lahaina Lu’au is undoubtedly an experience not to be missed, offering a perfect blend of entertainment, cuisine, and cultural immersion.

O’o Farm

Over two decades ago, a duo of surf enthusiasts decided to venture into agriculture. They procured a plot of land that boasted a few fruit trees and coffee plants, and from there, their enterprise flourished. Today, O’o Farm spans 8.5 acres and supplies several farm-to-table restaurants in the region with its bountiful produce. Those keen on agritourism, coffee connoisseurs, or individuals looking to gain a deeper understanding of Maui can book a guided tour of the farm.

The first tour of the day commences with a steaming cup of locally grown and roasted coffee, followed by an illuminating exploration of the bean-to-cup coffee process. The lunch tour takes guests on a leisurely stroll through the lush fields, where they’ll learn about the unique climate of Maui’s Upcountry region. On a clear day, visitors can revel in bicoastal views from the farm’s elevation, which sits at an impressive 3,500 feet above sea level. They’ll be privy to a diverse array of vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, fruit, coffee, and even edible flowers. Menu offerings are seasonal, but breakfast may feature a farm egg frittata infused with local produce and coffee cherry-flavored honey buns. For lunch, guests can savor a fresh catch of the day with Maui onions, accompanied by chicken dressed in a coffee and allspice rub.

Overall, O’o Farm offers a professional and informative agritourism experience that showcases the beauty and bounty of Maui’s agricultural landscape.

Maui Helicopter Tours

Discover Maui from a whole new perspective with a breathtaking helicopter tour. After exploring the underwater world on a snorkeling adventure, why not soar high above the island and take in the sights like a bird? With destinations including the stunning Haleakala National Park, the scenic Road to Hana, and a complete circumnavigational tour of Maui, passengers can witness all the top sights in just one hour, without the hassle of land-based traffic. Be prepared to be awed by the stunning vistas of Maui’s waterfalls, craters, cliffs, and valleys. Although this experience may be considered a “splurge” with tour prices starting at around $300 per person, recent travelers describe it as an incredible sight that is worth every penny. The pilots are accommodating and professional, ensuring that even first-time helicopter passengers feel safe and enjoy their excursion. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Maui like never before.

Molokini Crater

Located just three miles off the southwestern coast of Maui, Molokini Island is a small but mighty wonder, renowned for its exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities. This crescent-shaped volcanic crater, partially submerged in crystal-clear waters, boasts unparalleled water clarity and a diverse array of marine life. With over 250 species of tropical fish and 38 types of hard coral, Molokini is a true paradise for underwater explorers. Protected by the Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District, access to the island is only possible through guided snorkeling tours. These tours offer visitors the chance to discover the underwater world through snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and SNUBA, a hybrid activity that doesn’t require certification. In addition to Molokini, most tours also include a stop at Turtle Town, another stunning coral reef renowned for its turtle population. Come and experience the magic of Molokini for yourself on a guided tour.

Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole in northwestern Maui is the ultimate destination for those seeking a picture-perfect moment of a whitecapped ocean caressing the rocky shoreline while a geyser of misty water bursts in the foreground. This natural wonder, formed from an underwater lava tube, can shoot water up to 100 feet in the air, depending on the strength of the wind and surf. While the location may be slightly off the beaten path, recent visitors have attested that the breathtaking scenery is worth the effort to get to this tip of Maui. Climbing around the rock formations to catch a glimpse of the seawater blast is a favorite activity among visitors. However, caution is advised when parking, as some have reported break-ins. Additionally, visitors are reminded to stay mindful of the ocean and wear appropriate hiking footwear as the path is uneven and rocky. The Nakalele Blowhole is located on the northern tip of Maui, less than 15 miles up the coast from Ka’anapali, and is free to visit 24/7. To access the site, drivers should look for the 38.5 mile marker off Hawaii State Highway (Kahekili Highway). A moderate 1.2-mile out-and-back trail to the water is required to witness the Nakalele Blowhole in all its glory.