Our Top 10 Destination Recommendations
Here are our favourite things to see and do on Maui.
Some are well known, some not so well known. Have a look around as we have included photos, videos, information and links.
They are in no particular order.
1. The Shops at Whaler’s Village
Shopping and Restaurants, all at the most famous beach in the world
A few things to know. First, Whaler’s Village is a 7 minute car trip from Papakea. Second, parking is handy and free with validation. Once there, you can enjoy 67 shops and restaurants. You can pick up gifts for loved ones at home, visit all the beach wear retailers like Billabong or Oakley. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stroll towards the beach for a bite at one of the fine beachfront restaurants.
Snorkeling on Maui is one of the best “free” things you can do. Snorkel gear is available to rent all over the island.
As mentioned snorkeling is one the best things you can do for free on Maui. However, if you want to throw in a boat cruise, we highly recommend you give it a try. We always book the day of the cruise because we want to make sure the weather is perfect. We love Taralani but there are others. Many of them include food and drinks and of course, snorkel gear. Lots of cruises leave right from the beach in front of Whaler’s Village.
If you are a do it yourselfer, there are many great spots for snorkelling. We love Airport Beach. The fabulous beach park is walkable from Papakea or a 5 minute car ride away. There’s lots of parking and public washrooms. The coral reefs are 20 yards from shore and are teeming with sea life. Another great spot is Honolua Bay. Located 20 minutes north of Papakea it’s a great island experience. Follow Lower Honoapiilani Rd north, past Kapalua. You’ll find signage telling you that you are there. From there, you’ll find a path leading to the bay. It’s a beautiful walk, you’ll feel like you’re walking through the jungle. Along the way, you’ll see the usual collection of wild roosters and chickens. The bay itself is quite rocky so getting your snorkel gear on and into the water can be tricky, but once you’re there, it’s all worth it.
3. Black Sand Beach at Waianapannapa State Park
This amazing beach is a highlight of the Road to Hana at mile marker #32, about 30 minutes north of Hana. Get ready to spend some time exploring sea caves, seabird colonies, a blow hole and ancient lava stacks.
If the Road to Hana is on your list, there are a few must see places to visit. One word of caution about the trip. Leave early, you don’t want to be driving back in the dark. Also, if you’re prone to car sickness, don’t go. The road is full of switch backs and once you’re half way to Hana, it’s too late to turn back.
The Black Sand Beach is probably one of the most impressive stops. There are so many things to see including impressive lava stacks that dot the coastline, a lava archway, anchialine pools and caves. Also keep in mind that this is culturally important place to the Hawaiian people.
4. Drive North
We have made this trek by car a few times.
The rugged coastline of north end of the island is simply stunning. The road does deteriorate somewhat and narrows down to a single lane, where locals and the odd tourist have to keep a sharp eye out for oncoming vehicles. It’s definitely worth the trip though as the scenery is stunning. Keep going past the Nakalele blowhole and you’ll end up in the village of Kahakuloa. We stopped there. At this point you are actually on the east side of the island.
5. Baby Beach
Located just before the main Front Street strip in Lahaina, this beach caters to parents of toddlers (and anyone else that loves a gorgeous beach).
This beach is perfect for long beach walks, relaxing in the very warm and relatively shallow waters and of course catching some rays. The beach is easily accessible from Kenui St in Lahaina. There’s a natural breakwater about 150 yards offshore which keeps the water calm and warm, perfect for little ones.
6. Drive Upcountry
If you need to cool down a bit, or are itching for a cool road trip, go Upcountry.
Upcountry is literally “cool”. If you want to escape to a cooler climate for the day, head upcountry. There are many great spots to visit. We love Kula and Makawao. You can visit the Lavender Farm where they grow and sell many varieties of, you guessed it, lavender. We love the Surfing Goat Dairy as well as Ocean Vodka where you can buy organic Vodka. If you’re up for a bit of a treasure hunt, google Oprah’s house on Maui. She owns a large upcountry ranch and its kind of fun to drive by it. There’s not much to see from the road but its a worthwhile excursion. Come to think of it, the photo above was taken from the road in front of her property.
7. Outrigger Canoe
There’s nothing like an early morning canoe trip!
Taking an excursion on an Outrigger Canoe is a great activity. Just walk down to the beachfront in front of the Westin Villas and talk to Ali’i Maui Canoes. While paddling, you’ll learn about the history of the islands, see whales, turtles and swim in the clearest water you’ll ever see.
8. Hike Waihee Ridge Trail
For the best views, you have to hike
The Waihee Ridge Trail is an incredible day trip for the experienced hiker. Here, venturesome guests climb uphill for about 1,500 feet until they reach Lanilili Peak. That being said, the hike is nearly all downhill on the way back down. Definitely, wear some comfortable hiking shoes and bring lots of water for this adventure. This is not a hike suggested for children unless you have some especially athletic teenagers.
9. Ho’okipa Beach Park
It’s a world renowned wind and kite surfing destination
Ho’okipa is Mecca to the windsurfing world (and no slouch for board surfing, either.) There are professional windsurfing competitions held here, and on just about any day you can watch pros doing their thing. Ho’okipa also provides sightseers a stunning backdrop to watch the best effortlessly play with the ocean in a way that mere mortals can only dream of. You will also see many large turtles sunning themselves on the beach.
10. The Nakalele Blow Hole
Please, enjoy – but don’t get too close
The Blow Hole is great to visit but can be dangerous, if you get too close. Nakalele Point is famous for the blow hole, which produces powerful geyser-like water spouts with the waves and tides. Water spewed from the blow hole can rise as high as 100 feet in the air. Visitors should never stand between the blow hole and the ocean. Drive North from Kapalua approximately 8 miles to mileage marker 38.5. There are numerous trails that criss-cross the landscape leading to the blow hole.
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