Are you traveling to the gorgeous island of Maui soon? If you are, you’re no doubt thinking about what you will do while you’re here. There is so much to do in this paradise location, you can’t fit everything in during just one short vacation. So how do you know what to choose? To help you get the most from your Maui vacation, we’ve put together a list of the things we most love to do in Maui….in addition to surfing that is.
Bike down Haleakala. Watch the sunrise from the rim of the Haleakala Crater. This mountain biking tour from the summit of Haleakala, Maui’s largest volcano, is truly spectacular with unforgettable views of the sun coming through the clouds. There are several companies that offer this bike tour, taking you up to the summit as you tour Haleakala National Park along the way. Then you can bike down from the summit all the way to the little beach town of Paia. Some companies offer a self-guided tour where you can stop and see whatever you want as you bike down. It’s really a great way to see Upcountry Maui! But take a jacket because it’s super cold on Haleakala at sunrise.
Road to Hana. This is Maui’s famous scenic (and white-knuckle) drive from Kahului to the little town of Hana in East Maui. There are dozens of switchbacks and one lane bridges along the route that showcase spectacular views out over cliffs, along breath-taking coastlines and beaches, and through fascinating rainforest jungles. This legendary drive affords many opportunities to stop along the way at fruit stands for delicious banana bread for example and hike to unforgettable waterfalls. Highlights of the trip include the black sand and red sand beaches in Hana. Although the red sand beach is hidden, it’s really a great hike.
Snorkel with sea turtles. View these amazing sea creatures up close as you snorkel with them in their natural habitat. You can go out on a catamaran or snorkel from shore. There are many nice spots around Maui where these incredible Hawaiian sea turtles hang out. Turtle Town along the southern coast of Maui is a good area to snorkel as well as Black Rock at Ka’anapali Beach.
Be a beach bum. No Maui vacation is complete without spending some time just relaxing and soaking up rays at Maui’s amazing beaches. Some of our favorite Maui beaches are Big Beach and White Rock in the south of Maui as well as Kapalua Bay Beach and Ka’anapali Beach in West Maui.
Spend a day upcountry. Most tourists never make it up here, but it’s really the heart of Maui! The lavender farm is truly amazing and offer great views of the mountains. The winery at Ulupalakua Ranch is well worth the drive. They have free tastings, so try some of their pineapple wine! At the end of the day, the Surfing Dairy Farm offers a great farm tour where you can even milk a goat. Also, don’t miss their homemade truffles.
Swim under a waterfall. Natural pools and waterfalls are plentiful in Maui, although most are located in East Maui along the Road to Hana. Twin Falls is the first one you come to along the Road to Hana, but it’s often crowded. Try Ching’s Pond, Oheo Gulch, and Alelele Falls too. Oheo Gulch or the Seven Sacred Pools, located about 10 miles south of Hana in the Kipahulu area, are a group of waterfalls that spill into tiered natural pools that lead to the sea.
Go whale watching. During the winter months, migrating humpback whales or “kohola” make Maui their home. Dozens of companies offer whale watching excursions (the ones on the catamarans are best), but these amazing creatures are so plentiful that you can often spot them from shore.
Kayaking over coral reefs. Kayak tours are available, or you can rent a kayak on your own to see these stunning coral reefs and the colorful reef fish. Olowalu is a great spot to kayak. The reef at Olowalu on the west side of Maui near Lahaina is pretty amazing. And if you’re near Olowalu, be sure to stop in Leoda’s Pie Shop.
Circle West Maui. If you thought the Road to Hana was exciting, wait until you try this. This narrow road that circles West Maui and features steep mountain cliffs isn’t for the faint of heart, but you’re rewarded with fantastic views and great hikes. Start your trip at the Iao Valley to check out the Iao Needle and then continue up counter clockwise, stopping to hike down to the Olivine Pools, tide pools on barren lava rock on the ocean’s edge and the Nakelele Blowhole (don’t miss the heart-shaped rock nearby). If it’s summertime, stop to snorkel at Honolua Bay and end your day with a sunset dinner in Lahaina.
Learn to Surf. Last, but certainly not least, is the unforgettable experience of learning to surf in Maui with Hawaiian Style Surf. Maui surf lessons are a must-have experience for every island vacationer. This ocean sport gives you a thrill you can only find by surfing the waves in Maui. Easier than it might seem, especially with help from the native Hawaiian instructors at Hawaiian Style, learning to surf provides a unique and memorable exhilaration that is truly Hawaiian. And learning to surf in Maui amid the paradisiac waters and amazing island views of this Hawaiian island is an extraordinary experience you just can’t pass up.
So, when you’re creating your “list of things to do in Maui,” don’t forget these 10 incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventures!