Planning your Hawaiian vacation and wondering what to do in Maui? Maui is my favorite Hawaiian island, and these attractions, beaches, restaurants, and activities are the BEST things to do in Maui!
Are you traveling to Maui soon? If so, lucky you.
Are you thinking about traveling to Maui soon? If so, the answer is yes, you should!
Maui is a serene and breathtaking place that holds a special place in my heart. It is a popular destination spot that is still peaceful, relaxing, and home to what seems like infinite miles of untouched beauty.
And Maui has something for everyone. Whether you want to hike, surf, snorkel, visit a volcano, pet farm animals, learn to sail, whale watch, drink local beer, shop, or swim in a waterfall—you’ll find it here.
Here are my picks for the best things to do in Maui.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Sleep in Style
First thing’s first. When planning your ultimate Maui vacation, do not overlook where you will be staying.
Think about what kind of vacation you want this to be. Do you want it to be a quiet, secluded retreat? Do you want the beach to be your backyard? Is being walking distance to the action important?
No matter what type of Maui vacation you’re looking for, Destination Residences Maui has it. I stayed at two properties and both were beautiful and in great locations. Wailea Ekahi is close to the beach, has several pools, and is family-friendly. The rentals were very quiet and surrounded by plenty of lush, colorful landscaping.
Wailea Beach Villas are stunning, and my top choice for where to stay in Maui. It was deemed the #1 resort in all of Maui by Condé Nast Traveler, and for good reason. The property is surrounded by peaceful waterfalls, tropical gardens, and a gorgeous infinity pool. Not to mention, it’s steps from the beach.
I recommend any of Destination’s eight properties. All of them have great amenities, pristine grounds, and full kitchens perfect for cooking Coconut Milk and Caramelized Pineapple French Toast!
Best Things to Do in Maui | Road to Hana
The Road to Hana makes it on nearly everyone’s Best Things to Do in Maui lists. It is a must.
It also takes an entire day, so plan accordingly. This 64 mile long stretch of highways is undoubtedly one of the most scenic drives you will ever take. The narrow, winding road includes hairpin turns, small one-lane bridges, and dozens of stops to take along the way.
Whether you want to swim in a waterfall, stop at a garden, go on a hike, or take a tour through a lava tube, there’s a stop on the road for you. I recommend this site for all of the Road to Hana sights, mile by mile.
Road to Hana tips:
- Carefully plan all of the stops you want to make. The road takes about 2.5 hours each way to drive straight through. Research the hikes you want to go on and how long they take.
- Leave first thing in the morning. You do not want to drive this road back in the dark.
- If you don’t want to feel rushed, consider spending the night in Hana and driving back the next day.
- There are tours of the road if you don’t want to drive it.
- Pack some extra clothes (some stops are very muddy), a raincoat, sunscreen, bug spray, water, and snacks.
- Start with a full tank of gas.
- Plan on stopping at Nahiku Marketplace for lunch. It is one of the only places to get actual food on the road and there’s plenty of choices there, including fresh coconuts!
Best Things to Do in Maui | Explore the Local Cuisine
Eating local Hawaiian cuisine is an activity all on its own, especially if you’ve never been to Hawaii before. There are certain dishes that are so synonymous to the islands and simply must be tried. This includes: a Loco Moco plate, a plate lunch, Spam or Spam Musubi, fresh shrimp from a shrimp truck, poi, shave ice, poke, and Kalua pig—just to name a few.
And Maui has all of this. Read our post on The 25 Best Restaurants in Maui to get more in-depth details on exactly where to eat on the island. To cover the basics, you can’t miss these:
- Kihei Caffe and 808 Grindz for a delicious breakfast, from fluffy macadamia nut pancakes to breakfast fried rice.
- Grandma’s Coffee House and Maui Coffee Roasters for locally roasted beans.
- Geste Shrimp Truck for the tastiest shrimp plates.
- Paia Fish Market for fresh-catch seafood at reasonable prices.
- The Mill House for an amazing meal with the view to match.
- Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. Enough said.
- Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie House for delicious (and adorable) individual pies.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Goat Yoga
Would you guys be surprised if I said that goat yoga was my favorite thing I did in Maui?
It’s weird, I know.
But I love yoga and I love goats. Even if you just love one of those things, goat yoga is one of the most fun and unique experiences in Maui.
Sure, goat yoga is a thing everywhere now, not only in Maui. But the experience here is really something special. Maui Goat Yoga takes place in the gorgeous, sprawling hills of Maui’s Upcountry and the scenery is one of the most wonderful parts of the experience. Maui Goat Yoga encourages you to be silly, and it’s easy with lots of adorable baby goats hopping on your back during your downward dog.
Maui Goat Yoga also offers a sunset session with live music, and reservations for their goat yoga classes are required.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Be a Beach Bum
Whatever your favorite type of beach is, you’ll find one in Maui.
Choose the following Maui beaches for the following moods.
If you’re feeling like…
- Letting it all free: the nude beach Little Beach.
- Relaxing: Wailea Beach; Big Beach; Kaʻanapali Beach; Baldwin Beach Park.
- Snorkeling: Poolenalena Beach; Kapalua Beach; Kahekili Beach Park; Honolua Bay; Black Rock; Napili Bay.
- Surfing: Ho’okipa Beach; “Jaws” Beach; Cove Park.
- Swimming: Keawakapu Beach; Kapalua Beach; Charley Young Beach.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Experience a Luau
There’s nothing like a luau when you’re in Hawaii. For the best of authenticity, entertainment, and food, I recommend The Feast of Mokapu. This is the newest luau on Maui, and it focuses highly on not only the quality of the entertainment, but the quality of the food. Feast on fresh poke, Kalua pig, giant prawns, decadent desserts, and over a dozen gourmet courses. The food here is not your typical buffet-style luau offering, but on par with one of Maui’s fine restaurants.
Set on an open lawn adjacent to Mokapu beach, this luau is serene, stunning, and intimate. The stories, entertainment, and dancers were incredible. It is also open bar, and offers a host of activities to choose from such as lei-making. It is on the expensive side—but the open bar, food, and view are completely worth it.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Get Lost in Nature
Maui is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the best thing to do in Maui is to simply experience that beauty.
While you can do that no matter where you are on the island, here are some of my favorite places to experience nature, wildlife, and pure local beauty in Maui:
- Garden of Eden offers 26 acres of stunning views, lush gardens, and local fauna. It is home to over 500 botanically labeled plants and some cute peacocks, too.
- Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm offers a tour of over 45 varieties of lavender, a gift shop, and complimentary tea.
- Waterfalls like Wailua Falls and Twin Falls are abundant in Maui and perfect for swimming in, rappelling, or simply admiring.
- Pipiwai Trail offers something for everyone with a vast bamboo forest, hikes, and waterfalls.
- Haleakala Summit is very popular for both watching sunrises and stargazing. The summit has an elevation of 10,000+ feet and is on sacred land that native Hawaiians have fought to protect for decades.
- Maui Tropical Plantation shows you how sugarcane, pineapples, and more grow with their engaging and educational tours.
- Mandes Ranch is a wonderful place to experience horseback riding with scenic coastal and valley views.
- Leilani Farm Sanctuary is an amazing way to get up close and personal with Maui’s Upcountry, and home to dozens of animals to meet, pet, and feed.
- Have a lava fun by visiting the Hana Lava Tube or taking a bike tour up east Maui’s volcano.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Take a Sip
We went over local cuisine already, but how about local libations?
Best Things to Do in Maui | Shop Local
When in Maui, consider passing on the chain stores you’d find at home and support the local economy. Shop at the local boutiques in Paia, visit the Maui Swap Meet, and grab your produce from farmers markets around the island.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Make a Splash
Want to catch a wave, snorkel, or enjoy the water from the safety of a cocktail cruise? Maui has plenty of ways to enjoy its stunning blue seas.
For surfing and snorkeling, check out the picks for the best beaches to do each above. Prefer a lesson or a group endeavor? For snorkeling, there are plenty of guided excursions with instructors. Check out this tour from Pride of Maui of Turtle Town and popular snorkeling gold mine Molokini. Surf lessons take place all over Maui, too. Whether you want private lessons, SUP yoga lessons, or some fun beginner group lessons, you’ll find them here.
For a real splash, visit Nakalele Blowhole and its heart shaped rock.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Get Some Air
See an aerial view of Maui by taking the fun to great heights. There are zip-line options on nearly every corner of the island. There are also a bunch of Maui air tours to choose from, including volcano plane tours and waterfall helicopter tours.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Get a Course in Culture
You can definitely learn a lot about Hawaiian culture from a luau (mentioned above). But those Mai Tais can sure be distracting! If you’re craving more Maui culture, take a trip to Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center or Maui Arts & Cultural Center. For a more personal experience, Maui Nei Native Expeditions offers guided cultural tours that are both educational and fun.
Best Things to Do in Maui | Relax
One of the best things to do in Maui? Nothing. Give yourself some time to relax, be present, and take it all in.
To relax even further, consider treating yourself to a spa day.
For the best spas in Maui, check out these:
- Lelle Vie Hawaiian Farm to Table Spa & Wellness distills their own essential oils in their solar-powered laboratory. Lelle Vie Spa offers massages of all kinds, heated Himalayan salt stone foot scrubs, apothecary facials, and more.
- Lahaina’s Serenity Spa specializes in couples massages and mini facials. They also offer deep therapeutic cupping.
- For a truly relaxing experience, try a Hawaiian healing herbal bath at Ho’omana Spa. Ho’omana specializes in Lomi Lomi massages, the ancient Hawaiian healing art. Their Signature Lomi Lomi also comes with a hot stone foot massage and a coconut-rosemary scalp treatment. Yes, please.
And there you have it! These dozens of ideas and recommendations will hopefully serve as a good starting point for your Maui itinerary.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this post on The Best Things to Do in Maui: Ultimate Guide. Which spot, destination, or activity are you most excited to add to your itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!