Hawaii for Visitors Web Site Logo

Hawaii for Visitors
 Hawaii Travel Guide by Kathie Fry

FOLLOW US: Hawaii Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Email |

| About Hawaii | Activities | Attractions | Lodging | Dining | Transportation | Recipes | A to Z |
Hawaii Travel --> Islands --> Maui --> Activities --> 30 Things to Do On Maui

Hawaii's Counties
Hawaii's Islands
Hawaii's Towns

What to Do
What to See
About Hawaii
Photo Gallery

Hawaiian Music
Karen Keawehawaii Singing with Raiatea Helm

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaii Travel on Facebook Page

30 Things To Do On Maui

Things to do on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

If a visitor spent a month on Maui, and did something different every day, there would not be enough time to do everything. Maui is a "doer's" mecca!

    - Watch Whales

    From November through April the giant humpback whales make their winter home in Maui's offshore waters. They come here to mate and give birth to their young. This endangered species is known for its gentleness, its oceanic gymnastics and its haunting song. The Pacific Whale Foundation conducts whale watching excursions aboard both power and sail boats. Fees are used for cetacean research. A number of other companies offer similar outings. Several shoreline sites offer excellent whale watching. Among them: Pu'u Olai at Makena, hotel Lana`is at Wailea, Kaanapali and Kapalua, waterfront restaurants in Lahaina. There are three whaling museums: the Carthaginian, anchored in Lahaina Harbor, The Lahaina Whaling Museum, and the outdoor museum at the Whaler's Village shopping complex in Kaanapali. The Carthaginian is a replicate two-masted sailing brig and has continuously running films of old whaling days and contemporary whale encounters. It also has recorded whale songs. Lahaina is the largest marketplace for scrimshaw, the indigenous American art form developed by the whalemen. From January to March, Maui is home to the largest annual marine art show in the world, held in Wailea.

    - Windsurfing
    Ho'okipa Beach is the windsurfer's mecca, and the charming town of Pa`ia is its "cool" capital. The perfect waves and brisk onshore breezes are ideal for the fleets of neon-bright sails streaking across the waves. Spectators can watch from a convenient hillside lookout. Rentals and instruction are available in Paia and other locations around the island. Once a plantation town, Paia now has gotten hip. It now has boutiques, antique shops, art galleries and some very good restaurants, in addition to its windsurfing shops.

    - Hiking
    Walk into a rainforest echoing with the songs of birds found no place else on the planet, or along a rugged lava shoreline spewing giant geysers, or into mysterious sea caves steeped in ancient legend. There are trails to waterfalls with plunge pools for swimming, and walks into valleys so deep they never see a sunrise or a sunset. There are even trails into the dramatic lunaresque landscape of Haleakala crater. There are trails and nature walks for every level of capability. Free hiking maps are available from Maui's Department of Land and Natural Resources. Park rangers at Haleakala National Park, both at the summit and the Kipahulu shoreline section, offer nature walks and guided hikes. Professional guides, who even provide lunch, are available for hire. The Hawaii Nature Center provides free trail resource maps of `Iao Valley, and conducts daily nature hikes.

    - Bicycling
    Few places are as committed to bikeways as Maui. It is possible to bicycle from the East End of the island at the Wailea Resort to Kapalua on the West End. Much of the ride is along spectacular shoreline road. Eventually cyclists will be able to land at the Kahului Airport and bike to their accommodations. There will also be an expansive network of greenways off the highways altogether. No motorized vehicles will be permitted. Presently there are guided downhill bicycle tours from the summit of Haleakala Volcano through the flower farms and small towns of Upcountry to the beach at Pa`ia. In 38 miles the elevation drops 10,000 feet. Bicycle rentals are available on the island.

    - Drive
    The all-American romance with the road takes on another dimension when the road has 54 bridges in 56 miles -- the Hana Highway. Maui's roads wind along lava shores, through old plantation towns, past miles of beaches and up through towering forests to the top of a volcano. They are well maintained and well marked, making driving a pleasure. Car rentals are inexpensive and are often included in hotel or airline packages.

    - Dive
    Dive and snorkel sites are world class. There are two marine conservation areas, one at Honolua Bay on West Maui and the other at Molokini, a partially submerged volcanic crater offshore at Wailea. Because of the contours of the crater, it's like swimming in an aquarium. Certification is available in PADI, NAUI or NASDS. Boats at Lahaina and Kihei offer a number of snorkel and dive excursions. The nearby Lana`i Cathedrals is considered to be one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world. There is also a sunken US submarine to explore. Glass bottom boats and even a pleasure submarine open up the wonders of the Hawaiian reef to non-swimmers.

    - Ski
    In season, jet skiing and water skiing are both available. As for snow skiing, it does snow atop Haleakala in winter, but not enough for a slalom.

    - Parasail
    In season, drift above the island, floating in a parachute drawn by a powerboat.

    - Fly
    See Maui from the air, helicoptering through circular rainbows and into inaccessible valleys streaming with waterfalls. Fly above the crater of Haleakala and soar over the serpentine Hana Highway.

    - Dine
    There are approximately 200 restaurants on Maui. They offer every experience from lavish hotel dining rooms to lunch counters serving saimin, the ubiquitous noodle soup many Mauians savor. There are excellent Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Mexican places among the specialty restaurants. Pride of the island is the exciting Hawaii Regional Cuisine served at many award-winning restaurants. The seafood is fresh from the ocean and much of the vegetables and herbs come from Upcountry farms.

    - Dance
    Try cheek-to-cheek on a sunset terrace, or rock wild in a chic new nightclub or disco. Take hula lessons. Dance at a lu`au, lessons or not. Dance barefoot on the beach to the sound of the sea. Maui is made for it.

    - Fish
    In Lahaina, Ma`alaea and Kihei, charter boats are available on a private or share basis to go after the plentiful big game fish in Maui's waters.

    - Hunt
    Go after game birds, mouflon sheep, and wild boar. Do it armed with a rifle, bow and arrow or knife. One- to-three-day expeditions with qualified guides can be arranged. Guides will arrange a license, rent arms and equipment, and provide meals. A taxidermist is available on the island. Information on licenses, laws and seasons may be obtained from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

    - Camp
    There are campsites in Haleakala National Park, both in the mountains and on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Bargain-rate cabins are available on a lottery basis. There are also cabins at two state parks, one at Waianapanapa on a black sand beach and the other at Polipoli Springs in a high-elevation forest preserve. Camping is allowed at some beach parks. Rental equipment is available.

    - Sail
    The breezy offshore waters of Maui, sheltered by Lana`i and Moloka`i are ideal for sailing. Try a sailboat charter, a speedy catamaran, sailfish or even a sunset cruise. There are family-run picnic sails to Lana`i. Most resorts offer sailing lessons and small-boat rentals.

    - Island hop
    Go to Moloka'i and see the flora and fauna. Family-run sailing cruises offer picnics on Lana'i, or just take the ferry service over for the day. Boats leave both Lahaina and Kihei for snorkel and dive trips to tiny Molokini island.

    - Shop
    The island abounds in world-class galleries, international shops and a wide range of boutiques. Many carry items unique to Hawaii and specific to Maui. Look for bowls and objects carved in beautiful native woods such as koa, milo and ohia; baskets and hats woven of lauhala; handpainted resort fashions, jewelry; art; and anything with a gecko on it. The gecko is the latest craze and the chirpy little lizard can be found on everything from t-shirts to 14 karat rings.

    - Swim
    There are more than 80 beaches on Maui. They come in sands of gold, black, green, red and purest white.

    - Surf
    Try the ancient sport of kings. "Hot-dawg" surfers can test themselves at Slaughterhouse, Ho'okipa and Sand Box. Novices can sign up for surfing lessons at the hotels and usually end up riding those long rollers the first time out.

    - Golf
    There are 16 courses on Maui. Most of them are championship courses designed by golf's biggest names, and tended by the sport's leading professional players.

    - Tennis
    Approximately 100 courts, both public and private are open to the public. Most are lighted for night play. Leading professionals conduct tennis clinics with state-of-the-art teaching aids.

    - Park
    The island abounds in beauty. Making Maui's spectacular natural heritage accessible to the public are a network of 94 state and county parks, and Haleakala National Park.

    - Smell the Flowers
    They're everywhere. Many hotels offer guided tours of their lavish tropical gardens. There are also many botanical gardens, with a dazzling array of native and exotic blooms including magnificent orchids and protea. Flower farms along the Haleakala and Kula Highways offer flowers by the acre, millions of them, wafting their perfume over the island. Many flower farms welcome visitors and will ship flowers home.

    - Catch a Train
    The Lahaina Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad, the old sugarcane train pulled by a vintage steam locomotive, has been refurbished and carries passengers between the resort of Kaanapali and the town of Lahaina, chugging through plantation fields, past old homes, across a trestle and along a golf course. Music and panoramic views add to the fun.

    - Get Down There on the Farm
    Agriculture has always been Maui's business. There are vast pineapple and sugar plantations, along with small farms growing the famous Maui onion, designer vegetables for gourmet chefs, and the newest crop -- herbs. It's been discovered that both Asian and European herbs grown in the Islands have a more intense flavor. Chefs around the country are beginning to demand them. Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu has turned farming into a tourist attraction. A tram ride tours the plantation while guides show how sugar, pineapple and other Maui crops are grown. The colorful story of Maui's sugar barons and plantations is chronicled in the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum in Pu`unene.

    - Get Fit
    It's the perfect place. Several resorts have complete European-style spa facilities along with Japanese baths. They offer everything from computerized fitness profiles to ancient Hawaiian lomi-lomi massage. Many hotels offer free aerobics and aquanastics. There are gyms around the island. Several community centers offer free classes in aerobics and fitness. There are miles of jogging paths and three major races, the Maui Marathon held in March, and the Run to the Sun (a rugged 36.2-mile race up the slopes of Haleakala), and the Hana Relays are both in September.

    - Love a Luau
    The traditional feast of the islands is still held on Maui. Many hotels stage authentic beachside lu`au featuring traditional Hawaiian foods such as kalua pig, cooked in an earthen oven, poi and haupia coconut pudding, along with a buffet of more familiar foods. There is singing, hula, fire dancing and laughter. There is also a traditional lu`au held in Lahaina.

    - Sightsee
    For an island in the middle of the ocean, Maui manages to cram in a lot of sightseeing potential. Visit old plantation towns, tour the historic preservation district of Lahaina, see the biggest Buddha outside Asia, stop at old Hawaiian churches (don't miss the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Kula with its magnificent altar shipped around the Horn by the king and queen of Portugal), walk into a huge dormant volcanic crater, see whaling museums, and marvel at natural wonders such as `Iao Needle, the pools of 'Oheo Gulch, a forest of giant redwood trees, the geysers of Hobbitland, the rainbow-haunted West Maui mountains, and just miles and miles of some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.

    - Make the Art Scene
    Maui has more than 40 galleries carrying both the best of well known local artists, and internationally acclaimed masters such as Dali, Erte and Gorman. On Friday evenings in Lahaina, art becomes a party. Browsers are encouraged to wander from gallery to gallery. Complimentary food and wine are served. There are art tours that visit the homes of local artists. Lahaina is the biggest marketplace in the world for scrimshaw, the art developed by the whalemen. Traditional Hawaiian arts such as featherwork, kapa (decorated fabric made from tree bark), wood carving and shell work can be found. The Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center on the grounds of a gracious old Upcountry estate, has continuous shows and a full schedule of lectures and workshops. The new multi-million-dollar Maui Arts & Cultural Center has two theaters, exhibition space, and outdoor presentation facilities.

    - Horseback Ride
    Where else can a rider descend into a volcanic crater and picnic in a landscape that looks like the moon? Guided horseback rides explore Maui's ranches, rainforests, remote beaches and high meadows. There are moonlight rides across the lava, breakfast and lu`au rides -- even a wine tasting ride. Equestrian action includes rodeos and the Maui polo season which runs September through November.

Pacific Whale Foundation
101 North Kihei Road, Suite 25,
Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753
Phone: 808-879-8811.

Carthaginian Sunken Ship and Artificial Reef
Atlantis Adventures
Lahaina Harbor
Phone: 808-661-3262.

Hike Maui
Ken Schmitt
PO Box 330969
Kahului, Hawaii 96733
Phone: 808-879-5270

The Hawaii Nature Center
875 Iao Valley Road
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793;
Phone: 808-244-6500

Department of Land and Natural Resources
Division of Forestry & Wildlife
54 South High Street,
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793;
Phone: 808-243-5352

Hunting, camping, and Hiking information:
David DeLeon of Maui County
Phone: 808-243-7855.

Maui Bikeways and greenways Information
Maui Downhill
199 Dairy Road
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii 96732
Phone: 808-871-2155.

Lahaina Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad
Dick Fields, P.O. Box 816
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761
Phone: 808-667-6851.

Maui Tropical Plantation
1670 Honoapiilani Highway
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793;
Phone: 808-244-7643.

Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Pam Dobson
Phone: 808-242-ARTS.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Kahului Heliport Hangar 105
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii 96732
Phone: 808-871-8844.

Sunshine Helicopters
Kahului Heliport Hanger 107
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii 96732
Phone: 808-871-0722.

Trilogy Excursions
PO Box 1118,
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761
Phone: 808/667-7721

Ocean Activities Center
1847 S. Kihei Road, #203
Kihei, Hawaii 96753,
Phone: 808-879-4485

Article Courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau

See also:
- Activities and Attractions on Maui
- All Maui Articles

Related Links
Maui Island - Main Menu
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors

Hawaii Food bank

Hawaii Travel Twitter Feed

Home Page - About Us - Contact Us - Hawaii Search Engine - Site Map
Hawaii Topics:
About Hawaii | Activities | Annexation | Arizona Memorial | Big Island | Haleakala | Events | Hana | Hawaii Island | Horseback Riding | Hotels | Honolulu | Horseback Riding | Islands | Kahoolawe | Kauai | Lahaina | Lanai | Maui | Military Bases | Molokai | Niihau | North Shore | Oahu | Pearl Harbor | Plantation Village | Polynesian Cultural Center | Princess Kaiulani | Recipes | Restaurants | Tropical Drinks | Transportation | Volcanoes | USS Missouri | Waikiki | Waikiki Historic Trail |

SkateLog Forum
Scuba Doll
Hawaiian Music
Ask About Sports
Web Site Editor
Kathie Fry Dot Com
Pictures of Kathie
Venice Beach Skating
U.S. States
Arizona for Visitors
California for Visitors
Hawaii for Visitors
Nevada for Visitors
New Mexico for Visitors
U.S. Cities
Los Angeles for Visitors
Miami for Visitors
Do It In Long Beach
Continental Travel
Do It In Africa
Do It In Asia
Do It In Europe
Do It In Oceania
Do It In The Americas
More World Travel
Travel Guides International
Vietnam for Visitors
Do It In Thailand