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Best Things To Do in Maui

Maui's various attractions and activities cater to just about every interest. While adventurers hike the dormant Haleakala volcano, more relaxed travelers can soak up the sun on one of many shorelines or test the fairways at one of the island's 14 golf courses. But Maui isn't just for beach bums and active types: The island offers up its own history and culture at sites like Iao Valley State Park, Banyan Tree Park and the Old Lahaina Luau. And those traveling with kids can learn all about Hawaii's underwater residents at the Maui Ocean Center.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Maui

Free
To find excellent views of Maui's beautiful coastline, all you need to do is drive. The Road to Hana is a scenic highway (Highway 360) that twists through the lush rainforest and past the cascading waterfalls that line the island's eastern shore. Most people start their trip in Kahului (home to Maui's main airport) with the intention of motoring 55 miles to Hana. The trip isn't always easy: The route often surprises unfamiliar drivers with hairpin turns. But those who decide to step on the gas aren't sorry they did. Despite all the hype and mental preparation, travelers are regularly surprised by the drive's beauty.
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Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Road to Hana
To find excellent views of Maui's beautiful coastline, all you need to do is drive. The Road to Hana is a scenic highway (Highway 360) that twists through the lush rainforest and past the cascading waterfalls that line the island's eastern shore. Most people start their trip in Kahului (home to Maui's main airport) with the intention of motoring 55 miles to Hana. The trip isn't always easy: The route often surprises unfamiliar drivers with hairpin turns. But those who decide to step on the gas aren't sorry they did. Despite all the hype and mental preparation, travelers are regularly surprised by the drive's beauty.
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#2

#2 in Maui

After you've experienced Maui through the eyes of a fish, consider getting a bird's perspective on a helicopter tour. Recent travelers describe this experience as a "splurge" (tours can cost between $150 and $350 per person, depending on the tour operator and the duration of your flight), but they also concede that seeing Maui from the air is an incredible sight. What's more, helicopters can access parts of the island unreachable by boat, car or foot.
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Helicopter Tours
After you've experienced Maui through the eyes of a fish, consider getting a bird's perspective on a helicopter tour. Recent travelers describe this experience as a "splurge" (tours can cost between $150 and $350 per person, depending on the tour operator and the duration of your flight), but they also concede that seeing Maui from the air is an incredible sight. What's more, helicopters can access parts of the island unreachable by boat, car or foot.
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#3

#3 in Maui

Free
One of Maui's most popular strips of coastline, Kaanapali Beach stretches across 3 miles of the island's northwest coast, offering plenty of space to surf and sunbathe. (Be careful while swimming, however, as travelers say the currents can be deceptively strong.) But coveted sand is just one of this beach's many highlights: Kaanapali was Hawaii's first planned resort area, and today it features several notable hotels and restaurants, two championship golf courses and the lively Whalers Village open-air shopping center.
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Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Kaanapali Beach
One of Maui's most popular strips of coastline, Kaanapali Beach stretches across 3 miles of the island's northwest coast, offering plenty of space to surf and sunbathe. (Be careful while swimming, however, as travelers say the currents can be deceptively strong.) But coveted sand is just one of this beach's many highlights: Kaanapali was Hawaii's first planned resort area, and today it features several notable hotels and restaurants, two championship golf courses and the lively Whalers Village open-air shopping center.
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#4

#4 in Maui

It can be easy to become mesmerized by Maui's multicolored beaches, verdant hiking trails and breathtaking sunsets, but don't forget about the world that lives beneath the surrounding Pacific Ocean floor. According to travelers, setting aside a morning or afternoon to explore Maui's underwater creatures is an unforgettable experience. With the help of a snorkel or scuba mask, you'll see a bevy of colorful fish, sea turtles and intricate coral formations around the island's reefs.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Snorkeling Tours
It can be easy to become mesmerized by Maui's multicolored beaches, verdant hiking trails and breathtaking sunsets, but don't forget about the world that lives beneath the surrounding Pacific Ocean floor. According to travelers, setting aside a morning or afternoon to explore Maui's underwater creatures is an unforgettable experience. With the help of a snorkel or scuba mask, you'll see a bevy of colorful fish, sea turtles and intricate coral formations around the island's reefs.
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#5

#5 in Maui

Every year, more than a million tourists visit Haleakala National Park, home to the world's largest dormant volcano. The entire park occupies 30,000 acres of land in Upcountry Maui, though most visitors focus on a few specific areas of the park. Of course, there's the mountain: Haleakala's summit stands more than 10,000 feet above sea level (in fact, you can see it from any point on the island). Travelers recommend planning your visit to the summit in the morning to see the sunrise (keep in mind you'll have to make reservations online in advance and you'll be required to pay a small fee). A fairly winding road (Route 378) will lead you to the top. No matter when you visit, be sure to wear warm layers. The air up top is thin and chilly, according to past visitors.
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Hiking Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Haleakala National Park
Every year, more than a million tourists visit Haleakala National Park, home to the world's largest dormant volcano. The entire park occupies 30,000 acres of land in Upcountry Maui, though most visitors focus on a few specific areas of the park. Of course, there's the mountain: Haleakala's summit stands more than 10,000 feet above sea level (in fact, you can see it from any point on the island). Travelers recommend planning your visit to the summit in the morning to see the sunrise (keep in mind you'll have to make reservations online in advance and you'll be required to pay a small fee). A fairly winding road (Route 378) will lead you to the top. No matter when you visit, be sure to wear warm layers. The air up top is thin and chilly, according to past visitors.
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#6

#6 in Maui

Free
Though not nearly as expansive as Wailea or Kaanapali, crescent-shaped Napili Beach is particularly popular with families. Napili's waters are much calmer than those at other Maui beaches, so kids and adults alike can take to the seas for swimming, paddleboarding and boogie-boarding. Plus, Napili Beach provides a quiet, laid-back atmosphere that sunbathers love.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Napili Beach
Though not nearly as expansive as Wailea or Kaanapali, crescent-shaped Napili Beach is particularly popular with families. Napili's waters are much calmer than those at other Maui beaches, so kids and adults alike can take to the seas for swimming, paddleboarding and boogie-boarding. Plus, Napili Beach provides a quiet, laid-back atmosphere that sunbathers love.
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#7

#7 in Maui

Free
You visit Hookipa to see Maui's daredevils hang 10, and you head to Kaihalulu or Waianapanapa for multicolored sands. So which beach do you go to just to swim and relax? Wailea. This shoreline caters to the sun-seeking guests of several nearby resorts. Wailea feels much less rugged than some of Maui's other beaches: The tawny-colored sand is lined by palm trees and a paved walkway connecting the shoreline to the area's hotels, shops and restaurants. What's more, visitors to this beach will have access to water sports equipment rentals. And because the waters here are relatively calm, Wailea Beach is great for those looking to swim or snorkel.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Wailea Beach
You visit Hookipa to see Maui's daredevils hang 10, and you head to Kaihalulu or Waianapanapa for multicolored sands. So which beach do you go to just to swim and relax? Wailea. This shoreline caters to the sun-seeking guests of several nearby resorts. Wailea feels much less rugged than some of Maui's other beaches: The tawny-colored sand is lined by palm trees and a paved walkway connecting the shoreline to the area's hotels, shops and restaurants. What's more, visitors to this beach will have access to water sports equipment rentals. And because the waters here are relatively calm, Wailea Beach is great for those looking to swim or snorkel.
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#8

#8 in Maui

Free
In Hawaiian, "Waianapanapa" means "glistening waters." But it's not the ocean that draws travelers to Waianapanapa State Park  it's the jet-black sands. The shoreline here is composed of volcanic sediment, which acts as a stark contrast to the bright blue waves and verdant jungle.
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Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Waianapanapa State Park
In Hawaiian, "Waianapanapa" means "glistening waters." But it's not the ocean that draws travelers to Waianapanapa State Park  it's the jet-black sands. The shoreline here is composed of volcanic sediment, which acts as a stark contrast to the bright blue waves and verdant jungle.
... more
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#9

#9 in Maui

Free
The wintertime waves at Hookipa Beach are so white and frothy that hardcore surfers and windsurfers can't stay away. The water is definitely too rough for swimming, but if you're even remotely curious about surfing, you should pause at Mile 9 along the Road to Hana to take in the action at this stretch coastline near Paia in Upcountry Maui. Even if you're not one for water sports, travelers say that the photo opportunities alone are worth stopping for. What's more, the beach is also known to attract sunbathing sea turtles (especially in the afternoon).
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Hookipa Beach
The wintertime waves at Hookipa Beach are so white and frothy that hardcore surfers and windsurfers can't stay away. The water is definitely too rough for swimming, but if you're even remotely curious about surfing, you should pause at Mile 9 along the Road to Hana to take in the action at this stretch coastline near Paia in Upcountry Maui. Even if you're not one for water sports, travelers say that the photo opportunities alone are worth stopping for. What's more, the beach is also known to attract sunbathing sea turtles (especially in the afternoon).
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#10

#10 in Maui

Like Haleakala National Park, Iao Valley State Park offers visitors the chance to admire something other than the beach. This 4,000-acre, 10-mile-long park in Central Maui boasts a verdant landscape and striking rock features  the most famous of which is the Iao Needle. Rising roughly 1,200 feet into the air, the Iao Needle (known in Hawaiian as "Kukaemoku") was formed by erosion and is now dressed in the island's tropical foliage, leading it to appear green. In addition to the stunning landscape, Iao Valley visitors will be exposed to the park's legendary history: It was here that Maui's tribal army lost to the forces of King Kamehameha I during the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790. It was the victory at this battle that allowed King Kamehameha to unite the entire Hawaiian archipelago under his rule.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Iao Valley State Park
Like Haleakala National Park, Iao Valley State Park offers visitors the chance to admire something other than the beach. This 4,000-acre, 10-mile-long park in Central Maui boasts a verdant landscape and striking rock features  the most famous of which is the Iao Needle. Rising roughly 1,200 feet into the air, the Iao Needle (known in Hawaiian as "Kukaemoku") was formed by erosion and is now dressed in the island's tropical foliage, leading it to appear green. In addition to the stunning landscape, Iao Valley visitors will be exposed to the park's legendary history: It was here that Maui's tribal army lost to the forces of King Kamehameha I during the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790. It was the victory at this battle that allowed King Kamehameha to unite the entire Hawaiian archipelago under his rule.
... more

#11

#11 in Maui

Travelers who prefer greens to beaches will find plenty of places to put their clubs to good use. Maui is home to 14 highly acclaimed golf courses, some of them conceived by such pro designers as Arnold Palmer and Ben Crenshaw. Some of the more popular courses include the Gold, Emerald and Old Blue courses at Wailea and the Bay and Plantation courses at Kapalua. Depending on the courses you choose to play, you'll find fantastic views of Maui's coastline or volcanic formations.
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Golf Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Golf
Travelers who prefer greens to beaches will find plenty of places to put their clubs to good use. Maui is home to 14 highly acclaimed golf courses, some of them conceived by such pro designers as Arnold Palmer and Ben Crenshaw. Some of the more popular courses include the Gold, Emerald and Old Blue courses at Wailea and the Bay and Plantation courses at Kapalua. Depending on the courses you choose to play, you'll find fantastic views of Maui's coastline or volcanic formations.
... more

#12

#12 in Maui

The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most popular things to do for first-time Maui visitors; those who have taken in the show highly recommend devoting an evening to this luau in particular for a fun intro to Hawaiian culture. Those who put on Lahaina's luau pride themselves on sticking to tradition, rather than catering to tourists' preconceived notions of the ceremony. Though entry rates may seem steep, previous visitors say that it's worth the cost to see the award-winning dancing and music. While you admire the performers' hula and firedancing skills, you'll dine on Hawaiian specialties, such as kalua pua'a (pork roasted in an underground oven), fresh mahi-mahi and poi (mashed taro plant).
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Entertainment and Nightlife Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Old Lahaina Luau
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most popular things to do for first-time Maui visitors; those who have taken in the show highly recommend devoting an evening to this luau in particular for a fun intro to Hawaiian culture. Those who put on Lahaina's luau pride themselves on sticking to tradition, rather than catering to tourists' preconceived notions of the ceremony. Though entry rates may seem steep, previous visitors say that it's worth the cost to see the award-winning dancing and music. While you admire the performers' hula and firedancing skills, you'll dine on Hawaiian specialties, such as kalua pua'a (pork roasted in an underground oven), fresh mahi-mahi and poi (mashed taro plant).
... more

#13

#13 in Maui

Free
Sitting near the courthouse and the harbor in the town of Lahaina on Maui's northwest coast, this relatively tiny park is centered around something huge: One of the largest banyan trees in the country. The tree  which was brought to the island from India in 1873  rises more than 60 feet in the air, offering afternoon picnickers copious amounts of shade. The park also hosts a variety of events, including Art in the Park. Held every second and fourth weekend of the month, Art in the Park features a variety of local artists selling paintings and handmade crafts.
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Parks and Gardens Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Banyan Tree Park
Sitting near the courthouse and the harbor in the town of Lahaina on Maui's northwest coast, this relatively tiny park is centered around something huge: One of the largest banyan trees in the country. The tree  which was brought to the island from India in 1873  rises more than 60 feet in the air, offering afternoon picnickers copious amounts of shade. The park also hosts a variety of events, including Art in the Park. Held every second and fourth weekend of the month, Art in the Park features a variety of local artists selling paintings and handmade crafts.
... more
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#14

#14 in Maui

If you find yourself facing a rainy day on the island, consider spending some time at the Maui Ocean Center. This facility was created to cultivate visitors' interest in learning about Hawaii's underwater ecosystems. The vast Maui Ocean Center offers a variety of ways to get up close and personal with the island's nautical residents, including touch pools and a tunnel beneath the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit (which houses more than 2,000 fish). While here, you can catch a glimpse of everything from stingrays to sea turtles to sharks.
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Maui Ocean Center
If you find yourself facing a rainy day on the island, consider spending some time at the Maui Ocean Center. This facility was created to cultivate visitors' interest in learning about Hawaii's underwater ecosystems. The vast Maui Ocean Center offers a variety of ways to get up close and personal with the island's nautical residents, including touch pools and a tunnel beneath the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit (which houses more than 2,000 fish). While here, you can catch a glimpse of everything from stingrays to sea turtles to sharks.
... more
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