Here in Maui, you have access to some of the best beaches, snorkeling, sailing, whale watching, golfing, hiking, and site seeing in the world. It’s not surprising Maui has been voted “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler readers for more than 20 years. With so many great options of things to do, we have put together a sampling of some of our favorite activities and places to go to help you plan your vacation.
“High Performance Sailing Restaurant & Bar”
HULA GIRL is one of Maui’s finest day charter yachts on the island offering several sailing tours from Lahaina, including Snorkel/Scuba Cruises, Deluxe Whale Watching Dinner Cruises, Sunset Whale Watches, Summer Dinner Sails, Sunset Sails, and Private Charters. HULA GIRL is also a restaurant and bar with a variety delectable appetizers, entrees, beer, wine and cocktails!
Kapalua Golf & Tennis
KAPALUA GOLF & TENNIS
2000 Plantation Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761 – ( 808) 669-8044
Kapalua Golf in Lahaina, Hawaii — Where Champions Come to Play!
Kapalua Golf invites you to discover two of the most majestic golf courses in the world – the Plantation Course and the Bay Course. Recognized as the best golf course in Hawaii for twelve consecutive years by Golfweek , the Plantation Course is home to the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. The Bay Course has hosted over 20 professional tournaments – the most of any neighbor island course – and features the only hole to play over the ocean on Maui.
Kapalua Golf & Tennis is proud to maintain its place among the best golf courses, teaching facilities, golf shops and resorts around the world.
CALYPSO – MOLOKINI
Maui’s Newest Molokini Snorkeling Tour
Molokini is one of the best places to snorkel on Maui. The visibility inside this volcanic crater is incredible. At times, you can see up to 100 feet ahead! There are all kinds of tropical fish that live and swim around this magnificent marine preserve. Amazing seabirds hang out on and around the crater, too!
CALYPSO – The Calypso Maui experience begins in the morning at Ma’alaea harbor. After a simple check-in, you can walk your way right up to the ramp and onto the boat. There are 3 floors with plenty of seating to choose from, and breakfast platters at the bar to fill you up while getting ready for departure. A short safety briefing later and the boat is on its way.
The Calypso crew will provide you with snorkel gear and fins as you make your way to Molokini. They’ll even provide you with a wetsuit (for a small price)!
After your adventure in Molokini, the boat sails to a second snorkel destination called Turtle Town . This small area off the coast of southern Maui gets its colloquial title from its inhabitants. Green Sea Turtles grow to be 3-4 feet long, and although they spend most of their lives submerged, they breathe oxygen just like humans. At rest, these turtles can remain underwater for several hours. But while active, they return to the surface every 4-5 minutes. This brings them into prime territory for you to lay eyes upon these Hawaiian symbols of good luck.
With the second destination also comes lunch. Calypso offers a choice between teriyaki chicken or Hawaiian style slow cooked Kalua pork, each put into sandwich form for easy consumption. Traditional sides are also served alongside. After lunch, it’s time for some well earned rest and relaxation on the smooth journey back to the harbor.
HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK
Haleakalā National Park, Makawao, HI 96768 – (808) 572-4400
Haleakala National Park Maui
Towering over the island of Maui and visible from just about any point, Haleakala Crater is a force of nature in every sense. At 10,023 feet above sea level, this dormant volcano is the stage for a breathtaking range of landscapes—and skyscapes. Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian, and legend goes that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun from its journey across the sky as he stood on the volcano’s summit, slowing its descent to make the day last longer.
Many visitors wake up early to drive to the Haleakala Visitor Center, the best spot to watch what may be the most spectacular sunrise on earth. As the sun peeks over the horizon, an ever-changing swirl of color and light dance across the vast sea of clouds—a sight described by Mark Twain as “the most sublime spectacle I have ever witnessed.” Perhaps just as impressive are Haleakala’s sunsets and the bright, starry skies revealed at night. Remember, the NATIONAL PARK SERVICE NOW REQUIRES A RESERVATION FOR PERSONAL AND RENTAL VEHICLES TO VIEW THE SUNRISE FROM THE SUMMIT DISTRICT. Your RESERVATION is for parking at the summit and doesn’t include the required national Park entry fee. Drive times from Kaanapali and Wailea to reach the summit average 2 hours.
Sunrises and sunsets are only two of the many reasons to pay Haleakala National Park a visit on your trip to Maui. Spanning more than 30,000 acres of public land, the stunning landscapes range from Mars-like red deserts and rock gardens near the summit to lush waterfalls and streams in the park’s coastal Kipahulu section, near Hana.
There are numerous hiking trails that offer solitude and scenic vistas. There are more endangered species here than any other park in the National Park Service, like blooming ahinahina (silversword) and nene (Hawaiian goose), the state bird. Visitors can also camp here, with separate campgrounds and cabins available.
Hana/East Maui Waterfall & Rain Forest Hikes
HIKE MAUI – Waterfall and Rain Forest Tours
Tel: (808) 201-3485 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hike Maui’s East Maui Waterfall and Rain Forest hikes, take you through this amazingly unique valley where you will see and experience dazzling waterfalls (from 10 to 40 feet high), large clear swimming pools under each of the falls, magical rain forests, bamboo forests and freshwater streams. It’s an exciting adventure where you can jump safely from rock ledges into several falls and swim in the pools below. Our expert guides will teach you all about the island of Maui and its lush rain forests. Nutritious lunch and snacks included.
Hike Maui offers hiking tours of varying lengths and durations. Hike maui also offers combo ziplining and kayaking tours to accompany your hike through the rain forest.
Ho’okipa Beach Park
HO’OKIPA BEACH PARK
179 Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779 – (808) 572-8122
Windsurfing, Surfing, Paddle Board and more!
Ho’okipa Beach Park is a world-renowned windsurfing and surfing destination with often dramatic and impressive surf. There are professional windsurfing competitions held here, and on just about any day with wind (most) 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.
If you’re considering getting in to surf or sail here, you must be skilled enough for the conditions – especially if the orange flags are out and the surf is big. Even on smaller to average days, sudden and quickly building afternoon winds, strong rip currents and shallow reef can quickly take control from overoptimistic novices.
Ho’okipa Beach – Turtles & Tidepools – The beach at Ho’okipa is long and narrow and typically uncrowded with plenty of space to spread out. An exposed reef runs along most of the shore break, and frequently Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (Honu) can be seen bobbing just on the other side. If that’s not close enough for you, at least a couple of turtles can be found relaxing on shore at the far end of the beach most days (hint: look close to the lookout cliff). At first most people don’t even realize the turtles are there because they look just like scattered boulders in the same area (presumably one reason they have claimed this area en force.) As sunset approaches, many Honu (and their admirers) will begin popping up in the shore break to beach themselves for community sunset rest/admiration.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
KAHULUI HELIPORT – 1, Lelepio Place, Kahului, HI 96732 – (808) 871-8844
Maui is a place of legendary beauty and seeing it by helicopter is the best way to experience it. Famed for its lush landscapes and magnificent beaches, the island has earned a reputation as being one of the world’s most alluring destinations. The awe-inspiring scenery has even attracted Hollywood and can be seen as the backdrop in numerous productions, including Jurassic Park and Lost.
From the majestic crater of Mt. Haleakala and the soaring valleys of the ancient West Maui Mountains to the towering sea cliffs on Molokai’s north shore, Maui’s unique topography makes viewing it from the sky particularly magical. Explore 88 miles of gorgeous, undeveloped coastline and the deep majestic valleys of the rainforest, with cascading waterfalls so remote they can only be seen from the air. Climb aboard one of our Maui helicopter tours to experience the Magic Isle’s most thrilling hidden secrets!
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters offer several tours departing from Kahului, Maui.
West Maui Beaches
Pohaku – S TURNS BEACH
POHAKU PARK BEACH (aka “S-TURNS Beach”) – Lower Honopiilani Road, Lahaina, HI
Surfing, Stand-up Paddling, Sunbathing, Swimming, and more!
While it isn’t Maui’s largest beach, Pohaku Beach Park (more commonly known as S Turns) is the best beach within walking distance if you’re staying in the Kahana area.
The beach is mostly frequented by surfers and paddle-boarders in winter, when swells create waves that are much more manageable than the heavier surf breaks up north.
This is a great spot if you’ve rented a board and are still learning to surf, but it’s a long paddle out to the waves—which can also mean a long ride.
Aside from surfers, the park is popular with locals who come to fish and drink beer on the weekends and after work, and the vibe here is always laid back with people just living the island life.
Tip: If you plan to go surfing, get here early—the dawn patrol crowd is classic!
Napili Bay/Napili Beach
Napili Place, Napili-Honokowai, Maui
Napili bay with it’s crescent shaped beach, blue azure water’s, and powdery soft sand is one of Maui’s most charming beaches. The swimming here is often very good, although a patch of rock cutting through the bay can sometimes create a strange wave, and the sloping sands also make for an abrupt beach break during rougher ocean conditions. The beach is very popular and a good place for children to find friends to play with.
Kapalua Bay Beach, Kapalua, HI 96761
Kapalua Bay is one of America’s Best Beaches. With picturesque views, palm trees, golden-white sand and excellent swimming conditions, this is the kind of beach that comes to mind when you think of Hawaii. It is one of the best beaches on the island for snorkeling, scuba diving and seeing lots of unique tropical fish and coral reefs. It is also a perfect place to lounge around and basque in the Hawaiian sun.
If you want some shade, you need to get here early and know which way the sun travels. This is a great place for kids too. Grab your snorkeling and beach gear, a good chair and/or towel and spend a gorgeous day outdoors in West Maui.
West Maui Shopping
For a truly unique Maui shopping experience, plan a visit to the island’s premier oceanfront retail center, Whalers Village. You’ll find yourself surrounded by the best brands and one-of-a-kind specialty retailers. A wide variety of food offerings ranging from fast food to full-service oceanfront restaurants makes Whalers Village the preferred Maui shopping, dining and entertainment destination on the island.
Front Street, Lahaina, HI, 96761
The second most visited spot in Maui is Lahaina Town. It is also the only full-featured, walkable “down-town” you’ll find on Maui. On the surface, Lahaina will be a place not dissimilar to a popular ocean town closer to home. But under the surface of bars and trinket shops, Lahaina reveals a uniqueness not duplicated anywhere else.
Stores, stores and more stores!
The number-one attraction in Lahaina is definitely “the buzz.” Great restaurants, hopping night-life, swinging bars – and shops featuring wares ranging form “made-in-China” trinkets, to exquisite local hand crafts, fine jewelry, and masterpieces of fine art. There are number of renowned galleries to explore and fascinating…
Shopping, eating, drinking and merriment have long been a central part of Lahaina Town. The frenzy of activity is aligned with history; Lahaina has been “buzzing” since well before tourism ever washed up on these shores.
The Outlets of Maui
900 Front Street Lahaina, HI 96761 – (808) 661-8277
With over 27 shops, restaurants, and entertainment, the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina is the place to shop! The outdoor mall features stores including Coach, Banana Republic, Guess, Michael Kors, Addidas, Kate Spade, and much more! This is a great place to find outstanding deals from some of your favorite retailers.