Voted as the best island by Condé Nast Traveler readers for 19 years, Maui has plenty of exciting things to do and see. The only hard part is narrowing it down. From the unforgettable sunsets on Haleakalā to experiencing ‘Ulalena at Maui Theater, we’re bringing you the top ten things to do in Maui, Hawaii
Haleakalā, meaning house of the sun, is a massive dormant volcano that created most of the island of Maui. Visitors can hike the 30 miles of trails at the summit surrounded by native Hawaiian plants and animals. From 10, 023 feet above the island, you can look down on Maui and watch the sunrise and the sunset high above the clouds. And after the sunset, the vantage point from the volcano offers open skies for some of the best stargazing in the world.
Haleakalā National Park, Kula, HI, USA, +1 808 572 4400
‘Iao Valley State Monument
Botanical Garden, Park
‘Iao Valley State Monument
‘Iao Valley State Monument is a 4,000-acre state park that is home to the 1,200 foot high ‘Iao Needle, a volcanic rock outcropping that towers above waterfalls and the ‘Iao Stream. The park offers a 0.6 mile walking trail through a botanical garden of native Hawaiian plants and up to the lookout point. This valley also highlights a significant point in Maui history as it was the site of the Battle of Kepaniwai where King Kamehameha I conquered the Maui army in 1790.
‘Iao Valley State Monument, Wailuku, HI, USA, +1 808 882 6206
Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okipa Beach Park has beautiful white sand beaches and some of the best waves in Maui. Ho’okipa Beach is one of the prime spots for ocean sports and it has hosted the Aloha Classic and Red Bull surfing competitions. The waves are perfect for surfing and windsurfing, and the reef formations offer a great opportunity for snorkelling. Hawaiian green sea turtles can also be found frequenting the white sand beach and lazing around for their evening rest.
Ho’okipa Beach Park, Hana Hwy, Paia, HI, USA, +1 808 572 8122
Hike the Kīpahulu District
The Kīpahulu District of the Haleakalā National Park offers spectacular views of waterfalls, ocean vistas, and Hawaiian culture. The Kipahulu District has three distinct trails: the four-mile Pīpīwai Trail that can be taken alone or with a guided ranger hike, the Kuloa Point Trail that goes to the mouth of the ‘Ohe’o Gulch, and the Kahakai Trail that passes archaeological sites and ocean views. The ‘Ohe’o Gulch Pools, popularly known as the Seven Sacred Pools, are a string of pools and waterfalls that offer the opportunity for swimming.
Kipahulu Visitor Center, Haleakalā National Park, Kula, HI, USA, +1 808 248 7375
Lahaina Banyan Court Park
Lahaina Banyan Court Park is home to the oldest living Banyan tree on Maui – a tree that is over 150 years old. Sheriff William Owen Smith planted this tree in 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Protestant missionaries in Lahaina. This huge tree has expanded from a single trunk to 16 trunks and spreads over almost an entire acre of the historic Lahaina Town. In the park, you will also find the old Lahaina Courthouse where the Lahaina Arts Council and the Lahaina Historical Society are now housed.
Lahaina Banyan Court Park, Front St, Lahaina, HI, USA, +1 808 661 4685
Maui Pineapple Tours
Maui Pineapple Tours is situated in the historic plantation town of Hali’imaile. This tour of the Hali’imaile Pineapple Plantation is the only place in the United States where you can tour a working pineapple plantation. On this tour, visitors get to learn about the growing cycle and cultivation techniques of pineapple farming and learn about the process from planting to packing and shipping. You will get to taste the various stages of the Maui pineapple, and at the end of the tour, you’ll receive a pineapple to take away with you.
Hali’imaile Distilling Company, 883 Hali’imaile Road, Hali’imaile, HI, USA, +1 808 665 5491
‘Ulalena at Maui Theater
‘Ulalena is one of the top theatrical productions throughout the Hawaiian Islands. ‘Ulalena portrays the history of Hawaii through authentic Hawaiian mythology, dance, and music from the beginning of the Hawaiian civilization to the end of the monarchy. The colorful, emotional, and dynamic production offers a unique cultural experience centered on the island of Maui. ‘Ulalena is the best way to learn about the history of Hawaii while simultaneously being entertained.
878 Front St, Lahaina, HI, USA, +1 808 856 7900
Palapala Ho’omau Church
Palapala Ho’omau Church is a limestone coral church that was built in 1857 and is famous for being the final resting place of aviator and explorer Charles Lindbergh. 41 years after his non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic, Lindbergh settled in the remote area of Kipahulu. Both he and his wife are buried under a Java plum tree. The church is also noted for having a window painting featuring a Polynesian Christ draped in the red-and-yellow feather capes of Hawaii’s high chiefs. Palapala Ho’omau Church welcomes visitors to its serene space.
Palapala Ho’omau Church, Hana Road, Kipahulu, HI, USA, +1 808 269 2736
Wine Tasting and Winery Tour
MauiWine is Maui’s only commercial winery. They have a selection of wines including sparkling, pineapple, grape, and a raspberry dessert wine. MauiWiner offers complimentary wine tasting daily from 10am to 5:30pm as well as complimentary guided walking tours at 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm every day of the week. The 30-minute tours include a history of the winery and the Ulupalakua Ranch. The tour covers the historic estate, the production area, and the wine cellar.
14815 Piilani Hwy, Kula, HI, USA, +1 808 878 6058
Drive the Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is more than 60 miles of highway that goes through rainforests, cliffs, and coastal lands on the east side of Maui. The drive, whether you make it yourself or take a van tour, includes stops in many of the sights that are already on this list and so many more. The drive takes visitors from beaches to waterfalls to hiking trails, all ending in the town of Hana, considered to be the real Hawaii as it has been unchanged by Hawaii’s development. Or if you don’t want it to end, you can continue the loop so you don’t miss out on all that Hawaii has to offer.
Hana Highway, Kahului, HI, USA, +1 808 359 8030