Things to do in Maui

Things to do in  Maui

Do go chasing waterfalls

With warm waters, swaying palm trees, and the towering Haleakala volcano, Maui is a paradise on earth. Few places can match the island’s postcard-perfect scenery and year-round good weather, and Maui packs a lot into a small package. Take a road trip to Hana, dive beneath the waves to observe sea turtles and tropical fish, or get an introduction to traditional Hawaiian culture. And let’s not forget the numerous options for adventure-minded visitors, who can choose among surfing, hiking, zipline courses, and other tropical experiences.

Top 15 attractions in Maui

Road to Hana (Hana Highway)

Tropical foliage, black sand beaches, rushing waterfalls and incredible views are the calling cards of the legendary, winding Road to Hana. The famous roadway along Maui’s North Shore (also called the Hana Highway) includes 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 bridges and is known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.More

Molokini Crater

When was the last time you had a snorkel adventure inside of a sunken Hawaiian volcano, or enjoyed a freshly cooked BBQ lunch on the deck of a sailing catamaran? Thanks to its calm, crystal clear waters, bright coral reef, and 250-plus species of tropical fish, Molokini Crater is the most popular spot for snorkeling tours on Maui. Spend a day on a snorkeling tour as you explore the protected marine preserve and come face to face with some of Hawaii's most colorful marine life.More


For most, traveling to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. A quiet town nestled on the Maui’s eastern shores, Hana would not be on the tourist map if not for the Road to Hana—known as one of the world’s most scenic drives. That said, the town of Hana is a tranquil escape and an excellent base for exploring the region.More

Haleakala Crater

Dubbed “House of the Sun” by native Hawaiians, Haleakala Crater is the world’s largest dormant volcano and the highest peak in Maui. Set in Haleakala National Park, here you can see a lunar landscape, admire cinder cones and endangered silversword plants, and trek wild hiking trails.More

Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park

A pleasant stop in the rain forest along the Hana Highway, Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park has picnic tables, short hiking trails, and easy access to scenic waterfalls—Pua'a Ka'a Falls within the park is a popular swimming spot among locals and travelers touring the Road to Hana.More

Waiʻanapanapa State Park

Home to the black-sand Paʻiloa Beach and underwater caves, Waiʻanapanapa State Park is one of the jewels of the Road to Hana. Located just outside of Hana at the end of the perilous Hana Highway, the park’s trails, caves, and ancient burial sites are a welcome reward for those who make the long drive.More


Paia is a small town in the heart of Maui’s famous North Shore. The town is primarily populated by surfers and hippies, and the spot has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. Visit to relax by the beach and do some world-class surfing, and enjoy the town’s surf shops, healthy restaurants, music venues, and other low-key attractions.More

Pipiwai Trail

Immerse yourself in the best of Maui’s rain forest, as you hike through bamboo along a tranquil stream. Set in Haleakala National Park, the Pipiwai Trail takes you about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) round-trip to the base of the stunning Waimoku Falls.More

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala’s summit stretches 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above Maui’s world-renowned beaches. Vast swaths of its slopes—33,000 acres (13.4 hectares) from summit to sea level along the Hawaiian island’s southeastern coast—are protected within Haleakala National Park, where visitors hike, bike, camp, and catch sunsets (and sunrises) of a lifetime. Now considered a dormant volcano, Haleakala last erupted sometime between the 15th and 17th centuries.More

Honolua Bay

Located on Mau’s northwestern coast, Honolua Bay is a designated Marine Life Conservation District. Sheltered by cliffs on two sides, it’s a popular snorkeling and scuba diving spot, known for the abundance of marine life in the calm, turquoise waters. In the winter, it’s also home to some of the best surfing waves in Maui.More


One of Maui’s first resort towns, Kaʻanapali consists of high-rise resorts lining idyllic white-sand beaches. While the world-famous Kaʻanapali Beach is the draw of this West Maui tourist hub, you can also stay busy with pursuits such as shopping, golfing, whale watching, and ziplining.More

Oheo Gulch

On Maui's southeastern coast near Hana, Ohe'o Gulch is a natural wonder of seven cascading pools and waterfalls set amid a bamboo forest within the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park. Though the pools lie in a relatively remote area, they're ideal for swimming and are among the most visited natural attractions in Maui.More

Banyan Tree Park

You might never guess that the twisting labyrinth of branches, roots, and foliage engulfing the Banyan Tree Park square all stem from a single banyan tree. Planted in front of the Lahaina courthouse in 1873, the tree now consists of a dense canopy expanding more than 60 feet (18 meters) with innumerable offshoots providing shade for picnickers, art shows, and passers-by.More

Molokai Island

Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth largest island, is only 10 miles (16 kilometers) across at its widest point. The small island packs a big punch in terms of natural beauty—it’s home to the world’s highest sea cliffs and longest continuous fringing reef. It’s often considered the most Hawaiian of islands, thanks to its largely Native Hawaiian population.More

Maui Tropical Plantation

Set amid 500 acres (202 hectares) of farmland in Waikapu Valley, Maui Tropical Plantation is a working plantation and agricultural theme park where more than 40 different crops and native plants are grown and harvested. Located on the grounds of a former sugarcane plantation, the park offers a glimpse into Maui’s agricultural past.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Maui

Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkeling Adventure Aboard the Malolo
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Haleakala Sunrise Tour - Welcome to Maui!
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Haleakala Sunrise Tour - Welcome to Maui!

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7-Line Maui Zipline Tour on the North Shore
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Lahaina ATV Adventure - Maui

Lahaina ATV Adventure - Maui

Maui Snorkeling Molokini Crater and Turtle Town aboard Pride of Maui
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From Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso
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From Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso

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Premium Sunset Dinner Cruise from Ka’anapali Beach
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Maui Sunset Luau Dinner Cruise from Ma'alaea Harbor aboard Pride of Maui
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Original Sunset Cruise with Open Bar from Ka’anapali Beach
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Maui Nui Luau at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
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All about Maui

When to visit

The best time to visit Maui is just before the start of summer, in April and May. These months, which are outside of the typical holiday season, are not very crowded and are more budget-friendly. As well, the warm ocean temperatures in this period provide an ideal setting for swimming and snorkeling. Spring also offers some of the clearest skies and most enchanting sunsets on Maui—a treat for both photographers and sightseers.

Getting around

One of the best ways to see this breathtaking island is by renting a car. Traveling independently gives you the flexibility to make spontaneous stops and experience island life. The roads in Maui are well-marked and maintained. Renting a moped is another an affordable and adventurous option that allows travelers to zip around the coast to soak in the sights. Don't miss the Road to Hāna—one of the most scenic drives in the US.

Traveler tips

Maui is part of the Hawaiian archipelago, and its timezone is different from the US mainland. You may hear locals refer to "island time"—this is a reference to the laid-back nature of the people and way of doing things on Maui. It's best to embrace it and slip into the slow life yourself. Don't be surprised if locals don't always adhere to strict opening hours or agreed meet-up times.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
HST (UTC -10)
Country Code

A local’s pocket guide to Maui

Andrea Manokian

Born and raised in the United States, Andrea is a writer who has traveled extensively both inside and outside the US. Having friends who reside in Maui has allowed her to explore the island like a local and a tourist.

The first thing you should do in Maui is...

put on your sunblock, sandals, and best relaxation face and grab some lunch at Down the Hatch before snorkeling at Kaʻanapali Beach — great for seeing sea turtles, coral reef, tropical fish, and more.

A perfect Saturday in Maui...

starts with breakfast at Kihei Caffe and includes cliff jumping into the Venus Pool on the Road to Hana, dinner at Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop, a sunset at Kaʻanapali Beach, and piña coladas at rockstar-owned Fleetwood’s on Front St.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

completing the Road to Hana. The beauty is in the journey, and it's an eye-opening one that showcases the lush, nature-rich island of Maui. Bonus: There are waterfalls along the way, some of which you can swim in.

To discover the "real" Maui...

don’t be afraid to veer off the tourist path. Front Street is good for shopping and food, but be sure to explore neighboring Kihei, Wailea, and Makena and make stops at local food trucks, outdoor flea markets, and farmers markets.

For the best view of the city...

hike in Haleakala National Park, which offers summit trails for those who want to see the park’s enormous crater and coastal paths for those who want to see waterfalls and freshwater pools.

One thing people get wrong ...

is thinking that Maui isn't much different from other beach towns. The best way to appreciate Maui and the pride locals take in preserving its natural beauty is by simply taking in the views and appreciating its pristine beaches.


People Also Ask

What is Maui best known for?

Though small in size, Maui packs a large punch. This Hawaiian island boasts an appealing mix of natural beauty, outdoors thrills, and cultural heritage. The Valley Isle's most famous activities include driving the Road to Hana, spotting humpback whales in Makena Bay, and watching the sunrise from the summit of mighty Haleakala.

What is the best month to go to Maui?

Maui boasts superb weather all year round so there’s really no bad time to visit, but visiting in the shoulder seasons (April, May, September, and October) has the advantage of avoiding the crowds that arrive in summer and winter. However, if you want to surf or spot whales, you should book a winter visit (December through March).

How many days are enough in Maui?

Five days on Maui should be enough time to explore the island thoroughly; see all the most important sights, such as Haleakala; and spend some time out on the water. If you are able to stretch the trip out a little, it’s definitely worth it to reserve a day or two for simply relaxing on a beautiful beach.

What should you not miss on Maui?

The curving, 52-mile (84-km) Road to Hana hugs Maui's northeastern shore and journeying along it, past black-sand beaches and teeming waterfalls, is the island's quintessential experience. With 600 hairpin turns to tackle and more than 50 bridges to cross, it can’t be rushed, so set aside the whole day.

What part of Maui has the most to do?

Most visitors stay in either West Maui or South Maui and many divide their time between the two. If you have limited time, it’s a good idea to base yourself in West Maui where you will find a greater concentration of attractions, such as Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina; restaurants, and shopping.

Is Maui dangerous for tourists?

No. Maui is generally a safe destination, especially compared to mainland cities. The greatest risks to visitors come not from people, but from the natural environment. Pay attention to warnings about dangerous currents in the ocean; take heed of signs on hiking trails; and always carry water and sun protection.

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