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Free Things To Do in Maui

If you have extra time, Napili Beach is worthwhile.

#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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#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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#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.
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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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#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.
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