My stay on Maui lasted for 10 days, and it was packed with adventure every single day. With an abundance of pristine beaches, breathtaking hikes, drives, waterfalls, and vibrant marine life, this gorgeous island has so much to offer!
Have you been to Maui? If not, add it to your bucket list and be sure to add these 10 musts to you itinerary!
10 Things To Do on Maui
1. Travel the Road to Hana
There are plenty of heart-stopping scenic drives on Maui, but this one is the most epic. The Road to Hana is a 64.4 mile stretch on Maui’s coastal cliffs, filled with sharp turns and one-lane bridges. The drive isn’t about getting to the destination of the small town, Hana – it’s about the journey. The views of this drive are unlike any other you will ever see. Start your day early! The time it takes is about 6-7 hours roundtrip with no stopping, but you will definitely want to make stops – some of Maui’s best hikes are only accessible from the Road to Hana.
Some tips for this drive:
- If you’re prone to car or motion sickness, take something to combat that as a precaution.
- Bring snacks and water. You will also find fruit stands and snack shacks along the way, so bring some cash.
- Start early in the morning to allow enough time for hiking, etc. You may even want to stay one night in Hana to split the drive into two days.
- Bring swim gear, towels, hiking shoes, sunscreen, bug repellent, and a fully charged camera.
- Keep in mind that locals do travel the road to get where they need to go, so don’t hesitate to let them go by if they do come up behind you.
Drive responsibly, and don’t forget your “I Survived The Road To Hana” souvenir tee-shirt found in the Hana gift shops.
2. Visit Some of the World’s Best Beaches
When it comes to beaches, Maui has it all. The island is home to an array of white sand beaches, black sand beaches, red sand beaches, and even a couple clothing-optional beaches. For a list of Maui’s best beaches, click here.
The snorkeling on Maui is exceptional. You’ll find an abundance of vibrant marine life – right off the beaches! If you want to experience the best of Maui’s snorkeling and scuba diving, check out the Molokini Crater – a submerged volcanic crater turned marine life conservation district. It’s also considered one of the top snorkeling destinations in the world. The crater is 2.5 miles off the coast, so it is only accessible by boat or charter.
There are plenty of snorkel and scuba gear rental shops on the island so you don’t have to worry about purchasing or packing your own.
Don’t forget a good pair of hiking boots or sneakers when packing for your Maui trip! There are so many famous hiking trails on Maui, all with their own personalities. Here are three that I hiked and loved:
Iao Valley State Park
Iao Valley is a very short and easy walk in one of Hawaii’s wettest rainforest locations. It features paved pathways, stairs, bridges, streams, ample vegetation, monuments, and dramatic views. The peak mountain seen in the distance is referred to as the “Iao Needle,” and was used during wartime as a lookout by warriors.
The Pipwai Trail is located 12 miles past the town of Hana, so make sure you give yourself enough time for this on your “Road to Hana” day. It’s a 4-mile roundtrip hike and takes about 2 hours to complete. It’s a truly amazing hike that takes you through lush vegetation and a bamboo forest. You will see several waterfalls including the Waimoku Falls, a 400 foot waterfall located at the end of the trail.
Kings Highway, also known as Hoapili Trail
Kings Highway, or the Hoapili Trail is a trail carved out of Maui’s youngest lava field. It’s about a 4 mile roundtrip hike. Brings lots of sunscreen and water for this one – there is absolutely no shade! When you reach the ocean at the end of the trail, the views and snorkeling are just spectacular! Bring your camera and snorkel gear! The water in some spots is so crystal clear that you don’t even need to get in to see the Yellow Tangs.
5. Watch the Sunrise from Haleakala
One of the most memorable things you can do on Maui is watch the sunrise from 10,023 above sea level on the summit of Haleakala. You’ll have to wake up very early to experience this, but it’s well worth it. The drive is approximately 1.5 hours from the airport. The road up is steep and curvy, so prepare yourself for that. Arrive early for some spectacular stargazing, and wear warm clothes – temperates are often in the 40’s!
6. Whale Watch
Maui has some of the best whale watching in the world. Every year, North Pacific Humpback Whales migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii for breeding season. They are most frequently seen from mid-fall to mid April. Keep your eyes open right from the beach! We didn’t do a whale watching excursion on our trip, and still witnessed several whales in the distance breaching from the water and playing on the surface. Good reason to pack the binoculars!
7. Learn to Surf or Paddle Board
Hawaii has always been known as one of the world’s top destinations for surfing, and is also home to some of the best paddle boarding. So if you’re going to try it anywhere, why not try it here!
8. Attend a Luau
You have to experience a luau at least once while in Hawaii. They are quite pricey (around $100 a person), and can be touristy, but it gives you the opportunity to witness ancient Hawaiian culture and food. Good food, good drinks, a good show, and a good time.
9. Experience Real Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Hawaiian shaved ice is not a snow cone! It’s so much better than that. It’s like superfine snow flavored with tropical deliciousness.
10. Support the Locals
You can’t get much fresher produce than by going to a Hawaiian farmer’s market! You’ll find an array of them throughout the week. For a list of Maui’s farmers markets, click here. Locals also offer an array of roadside fruit and smoothie stands, banana bread shacks, and handcrafted jewelry.