Maui Must-Do Activities

Helpful Maui Tips

Aloha! Welcome to The Valley Isle. Maui is called thusly because of the large isthmus that spans between the West Maui Mountains (Pu`u Kukui of Mauna Kahalawai) and Haleakala.

Maui no ka oi, or "Maui is the best,"  is a common saying on the island, and for good reason - many visitors worldwide believe Maui to be the crown jewel of the Hawaiian Islands. We can't say we disagree. Also dubbed The Magic Isle, Maui is home to a vast array of scenery ranging from volcanic craters to lush tropical rainforests, and windswept plains to pristine beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Maui has a long list of must see and do activities and Maui accommodations range from upscale resorts to quaint B&Bs scattered around the island. It really is the perfect place for a Hawaiian vacation; no matter which type of traveler you are. 

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Maui Things to Know

Maui's main action spot is the former whaling town of Lahaina. Here you can shop in world-class boutiques or visit some eclectic art galleries. Plus, over a dozen golf courses dot the island, offering golfers that unique chance to play around in the islands.

The Hana Highway, also known as the Road to Hana, offers you the chance to escape from it all as you take the long and winding road to Hana town and beyond.

For those of you willing to rise early on your vacation, the sunrise at Haleakala is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The hike into the crater is equally rewarding for those who venture there.

If you visit during the winter months, be sure to keep your eyes on the ocean, as the humpback whales make Maui their winter home and can often be seen jumping in the water offshore, making whale watching a favorite Maui activity. Kaanapali is an especially good location to capture a glimpse of these remarkable creatures.

Need some pampering? Then head to Maui's West Coast, home to many luxury resorts. Or maybe you'd prefer East Maui where you'll enjoy Mother Nature in all her glory. Waterfalls, lush valleys, and even a black sand beach await you there. Can't decide? Then check out our Where to Stay on Maui page for the pros and cons of each region. 

Maui Climate & Weather

Maui is the second largest of the major Hawaiian Islands and ranges in elevation from sea level to over 10,000 feet atop Haleakala. A winter coat is needed in the early morning hours if visiting Haleakala-- where temperatures can dip near freezing-- while a bathing suit will do just fine for most of the rest of the island where it's a balmy 70-85 degrees year-round. Home to seven of the world's climate zones at Haleakala alone, Maui has a unique climate pattern. Temperature, wind, rain, and sun can vary dramatically from one location to the next on the island. Head over to our Maui weather page for more specifics by region. 

Maui is for Everyone

Maui is the perfect destination for those of you who want diversity and variety in your activities and for those who desire the modern amenities of the mainland while still keeping the intimacy of a natural retreat. Maui's diverse landscapes are sure to provide you with plenty of variety on your trip. Maui offers you the chance to hit one of the many Maui hiking trails in the morning and come back for a pampering lomilomi massage in the evening before heading to dinner and a show. For many visitors, Maui is the island that really hits the spot.

Maui Things to Do

Haleakala crater, known as House of the Sun, rises to an impressive 10,023 feet above sea level. You can find this volcanic beauty in the Haleakala National Park in upcountry Maui. Enjoying all the best Haleakala area sights is easy on a guided tour, and for that, we recommend booking a guided Haleakala tour

The Maui Ocean Center is a wonderful place to visit with the family if you're fascinated with the underwater life forms that dwell around the Hawaiian Islands. Their large 750,000 gallon aquarium-- including one part you can walk through-- is sure to impress everyone who visits.

If heaven had a highway, we're sure it would be the Road to Hana. This incredible 56-mile drive is all about the journey, not the destination. And beyond Hana town are some of the most incredible waterfalls and coastal areas on the island. The Pipiwai Trail is the most popular trail on Maui and can be found at the Oheo Gulch, just 15 minutes beyond the sleepy town in the bay.

One of our favorite ways to drive the Hana Highway in one day is to make a reservation with our friends at Valley Isle Excursions on their guided Road to Hana Tour. They offer hotel pick up from most major locations, keep the group sizes small, have a wonderful and professional staff, stop at over a dozen different scenic spots during the course of the day, and their customized luxury vans with panoramic windows make for a great view of the scenery.

If you've ever wanted to snorkel in Hawaii, Molokini Island just might be your best bet. Molokini is a crescent-shaped tiny island off of Maui's coast that is home to a large variety of ocean life. The area is protected from surf and is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Call us biased, but the best snorkeling in Hawaii can be found right here on the Valley Isle. Book your snorkeling adventure with our pick for the best snorkeling tour in Maui- Pride of Maui- and get ready for dive of a lifetime. 

The Iao Valley offers you the chance to step back in time to learn about Maui's past, all while offering stunning views of the verdant valley, famously known for the Iao Needle within.

Big Beach along south Maui's coast is sure to give you plenty of room to stretch your beach fun. The near mile long beach is just the right size for those looking for a little beach seclusion. Not headed to the south Maui? No worries... check out our list of the best Maui beaches and find the perfect slice of sand no matter which coast you're on. 

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Article Edited/Contributed by: John C. Derrick & Michele Lopez
Published/Updated:

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