Things to do in Maui, HI
More About Maui
Set amid the Hawaiian archipelago, this lush island, formed from two volcanoes, was once the home of Hawaiian royalty. Through the years, it also served as a base for Christian missionaries, a port of call for whaling vessels, and the site of Hawaii's most productive sugar cane and pineapple plantations. Today, that eclectic heritage still exists, enhancing the texture and culture that make a vacation on Maui priceless.
Stunning resorts now occupy the island's west coast, along with Lahaina, a hip seaside town and long-ago Hawaiian capital. Maui was united with the other Hawaiian islands after King Kamehameha took control in 1790 and made Lahaina the center of Hawaiian government. Soon after, the scenic town became a whaling hub, with sailors and ships crowding the harbor and populating the town. Nowadays, a vacation on Maui is incomplete without a visit to the whaling museums, shops, and massive Banyan tree in the town center. And a fruity drink on the deck of a waterfront restaurant as the sunset glows on the horizon is the perfect way to end the day.
On the eastern side of the island, mystery and quiet enfold a mountainous rainforest region. This is where you'll find Hana and Haleakala National Park, home to some of the most spectacular natural beauty in Maui. Visit this remote town by way of the winding Road to Hana, where awe-inspiring scenery will have you breathless. For an early morning treat, drive to the summit of the Haleakala Crater and experience sunrise at the "House of the Sun."
Central Maui is the industrial hub and work center of Maui. Visit quaint shops or gather supplies from large retailers on your way from the Kahului airport before heading to your vacation destination. Further up on the slopes of Haleakala you'll find fields of pineapples and other Maui produce, as well as charming places like the old cowboy town of Makawao. Hike in the nearby Iao Valley and discover emerald peaks, like the iconic Iao Needle, dominating the lush landscape.
Farther south you'll find white, sandy beaches backed by opulent resorts and golf courses. This is the place to go for a luxurious vacation on Maui, and upscale restaurants and shops are bountiful. Relaxing pools, fun waterslides, snorkeling excursions and romantic sunsets make the perfect accompaniments to honeymoons and family vacations.
No matter where you stay on this gorgeous island, picturesque beaches, breathtaking scenery, and quaint towns invite exploration and discovery during your Maui visit. Steeped in history and simultaneously commercial and rugged, Maui is caressed by the sun and cradled by the sea – a Pacific destination just this side of paradise.
Things to do in Maui
Maui is known for...
1. Fruit Everywhere:
Maui’s temperate climate affords it a long growing season. As a result, trees can produce fruit year-round. Evident from the many signs advertising fresh banana bread, especially around the small central town of Hana, bananas are among the best-growing fruits on Maui. Others include guavas, mangos, mountain apples, pomelos, avocados, papayas, and many more. Though you are sure to see bunches scattered across the ground, be sure to check with property owners before taking them home.
Officially, Maui County encompasses the Neighbor Islands of Lanai, uninhabited Kahoʻolawe, and Molokai, the lattermost of which is considered the birthplace of the hula. Though it may seem cliché, you simply cannot experience a real Hawaiian vacation without finding a good spot to enjoy a traditional luau complete with a hula performance. Your best bets are the Feast at Lele and the Old Lahaina Luau, both held on the west coast of Maui Island.
3. Beautiful Beaches:
Anyone who has ever longed to visit the Hawaiian Islands deams of calm, sandy beaches. Lesser known is the fact that beaches on each Island display characteristics that distinguish it from those on others. Maui’s most famous beach is Kaihalulu Beach, or Red Sand Beach, located south of Hana Bay. Clothing is optional here, and the “sand” is actually small pebbles. Additional options for beachgoers include Big Beach and Little Beach. (Little Beach is also a nude beach.)
4. Sugarcane Fires:
Maui’s central valley is still home to a large sugarcane production facility. During the pre-harvest season, the sugarcane is burned in order to remove the tops and leaves without having to rely on manual labor. A controversial process, controlled burns keep the soil rich while polluting the air. These large fires can be seen from a distance nine months out of the year and are best viewed at predawn or twilight.
5. Haleakala Crater hike:
Dormant since 1790, this volcanic crater entices hikers with its moonscape-like scenery unlike any other spot you will visit on Maui. At certain points along the way, you will take in views so pristine that they look like someone hung a painted backdrop before you arrived on the spot. Lava rock shows its age with stripes of yellow, crimson, purple, and green. Camping in the Crater will instill in you a new appreciation for absolute silence and remoteness.