Getaway Compass

12 Best Things to Do in Maui

Garden of Eden Arboretum

Maui is a beautiful Hawaiian island with many incredible things to do including scenic drives, a national park, endless snorkeling opportunities, hiking trails, and more. After multiple trips to Maui, I have put together this list of the 12 best things to do on Maui. Use this list to help you prioritize how you should spend your time on Maui. 

1. Explore Road to Hana

Black Sand beach
Bamboo Forest Maui

Road to Hana is one of the best things to do in Maui with waterfalls, ocean views, black sand beaches, and lush rainforest. Road to Hana is a windy road that takes you along the east side of the island. This side of the island is lush and green, with many incredible places to stop along the road. I recommend driving all the way to Hana, where you will find a short hike that takes you to a unique red sand beach. Read our guide to Road to Hana for the best stops and places to see along the drive.

Tip: Make sure to bring walking sandals for exploring more rocky beaches on Road to Hana such as Red Sand Beach and Black Sand Beach.

2. Snorkel at Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater is an extinct volcanic crater known as a top snorkeling spot due to its coral reef which is home to over 200 different species of fish. The crystal clear water at Molokini Crater makes it an incredible snorkeling destination and one of the best things to do when visiting Maui. Make sure to book your snorkel tour in advance as these tours do sell out. This snorkel experience takes you to both Molokini Crater and Turtle Town by boat and includes snorkel gear as well as breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. It is nice to have your own snorkel gear that fits you well, so make sure to get a snorkel set before your trip to Maui.

3. Hike at Haleakala National Park (Summit District)

Haleakala National Park
Haleakala Crater Maui

Haleakala National Park is a crater at 10,023 ft with large cinder cones. One of the best things to do in Maui is to hike the Sliding Sands Trail that starts from the visitor center at Haleakala National Park. This unique hike offers incredible views of the crater, cinder cones, and silverswords. You don’t have to hike the full trail to enjoy the hike, as it is an amazing experience to walk down into the crater even if it is only for 10 minutes. I recommend hiking as much of this trail as you are able to or have time to do. You can check at the visitor center if there is a point that is worth hiking to, such as to a blooming silversword along the trail. Remember that what you hiked down you will need to hike back up and the high elevation makes it more difficult.

Plan your Maui vacation with our detailed itinerary: 4-Day Maui Itinerary

4. Sunset Cruise in Maui

A sunset cruise is a great ending to a day exploring Maui. There are several cruise options depending on the atmosphere, food, and drinks that you are looking for. Hang out with friends on a Sunset Catamaran Cruise from Kaanapali Beach with an open bar while potentially seeing dolphins and whales (seasonal). If you are looking for a sunset cruise with dinner and a live hula show, this Sunset Luau Dinner Cruise from Ma’alaea Harbor should be your pick!

5. Kayak to Turtle Town

Make your Maui trip more memorable with a chance to snorkel near green sea turtles on a Kayak Adventure to Turtle Town. Enjoy this small group experience (limited to 10 people) with all the necessary equipment, water, and snacks.

If you are looking for an even more unique experience, go on a clear kayak and snorkel adventure to see vibrant fish, coral, and green sea turtles.

6. Hike Waihee Ridge Trail

Waihee Ridge Trail Maui
Waihee Ridge Trail Maui View

One of the best things to do in Maui if you like to hike is to hike Waihee Ridge Trail which offers unparalleled views of Maui. This 4-mile round trip trail is moderate with an elevation gain of 1,600 ft. The trail guides you through a forest up a ridge with great views of the ocean and the north part of Maui. This hike can get muddy, especially in the winter, so make to wear hiking shoes with good traction.

7. Watch the Sunset on Makena Beach

Makena Beach Maui

One of the best things to do in Maui is to watch the sunset on Makena Beach. This 1.5 mile stretch of soft sand offers views of Molokini Crater and Kaho‘olawe Island.

8. Explore Iao Valley State Monument

Iao Valley

Take a rainforest walk to a scenic viewpoint at Iao Valley State Monument. Iao Valley State Monument is one of the best things to do in Maui, with a short paved path to a viewpoint of the 1,200 ft Iao Needle. There is also a loop you can follow through a botanical garden by a stream.

9. Boat Tour and Snorkel Off Coast of Lanai

Snorkel near Lanai

Take a boat tour to snorkeling spots off the coast of Lanai, a smaller island about 8 miles from Maui. Snorkeling equipment is included as well as breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks. Enjoy a relaxing catamaran cruise with views of Maui and Lanai and snorkel at Manele Bay and/or Shark Fin Rock. You can often spot dolphins from the boat and during the winter you may even get to see humpback whales (we saw them on our tour!).

10. Relax at Kapalua Beach

Kapalua Beach

Kapalua Beach is a soft sand beach on the west side of Maui with calm waves, great snorkeling, and sea turtles. This is a perfect beach to relax and catch up on that book that you keep saying you will finish soon.

11. Swim at Slaughterhouse Beach

Slaughterhouse Beach Maui

Slaughterhouse Beach is a secluded beach in Maui with beautiful clear blue water. During the summer the water at this hidden beach is calm and perfect for swimming. Keep in mind that there are about 90 steps to get down to the beach from the parking lot.

12. Snorkel at Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay Snorkeling and Lookout

Honolua Bay is one of the best spots to snorkel in Maui. In the summer the water is clear and the visibility can be amazing. You can get down into the bay by following a short walk through the forest. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

GETAWAY COMPASS
Reut and Zack Elopement-5

Travel guides created to inspire and enable people to use their time away from the office to explore the world.

Get Your Free eBook: 23 Travel Hacks to Save Time and Money
Featured