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Looking for a paradise that includes beaches, lush jungles, waterfalls, culture, and shopping? The Hawaiian Island, Maui is known to have it all and we can attest to that! Whether you love adventure or just want to relax by the beach, Maui makes for the perfect island to visit.
While you might never want to leave once you’ve arrived in Maui, you can easily see the best things to do in Maui within four-to-six days! With that being said, here are the top things you won’t want to miss when visiting Maui!
Transportation in Maui
Let’s first start off with how you will get around Maui. The best way to get around Maui is by renting a car. Maui is a pretty big island, so it would be almost impossible to see Maui without renting one unless you want to do group tours for everything. It is well worth having a car, even if you are only visiting for two days.
The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is easily one of the best things to do in Maui. This drive brings you through the town of Paia, a bamboo forest, more waterfalls then I can count, a black sand beach, lava tunnels and so much more! If you really want to experience the best of Maui, start here.
Plan the Road to Hana to be an all-day adventure (at least 6-10 hours). Don’t worry, it’s well worth it! In my personal opinion, the best way to see the Road to Hana is doing the drive yourself. By doing the drive, you can spend as much time as you like at each place without having to be rushed onto a bus. You also have the opportunity of having the place to yourself.
The only downside of driving yourself is that the roads are winding with pin hair turns and at points, one-way traffic that makes it difficult to drive. With that being said, the drive is doable as long as you are comfortable driving. We were able to drive without any issues.
Some top stops you will want to include during your drive is the Twin Falls, Puohokamoa Falls, Nua’ailua Viewpoint, Waikani Falls (3 Bears), Secret Lava Tube Cave, and Nahiku Landing.
Road to Hana Tip: During your drive make sure to pack some snacks, but keep in mind there is a ton of awesome places to stop for food along the road including vegan coconut ice cream and Hawaiian banana bread!
Discover more details on driving the Road to Hana, including all the best spots and how to get there.
Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park covers over 30,000 acres of public land. The landscape is beyond impressive with a dormant volcano crater, tons of hiking trails, waterfalls and even ocean views.
You can certainly pass through Mt. Haleakala when traveling through the Road to Hana, however, this Mountain deserves its own trip! For one of the best experiences in Maui, come for sunrise. It was hands down the best sunrise I have ever witnessed! Many people also visit the crater for sunset.
Sunrise and sunset entrance does require a reservation to be booked in advance. You can get a reservation by visiting the crater through a tour, or by going online for your reservation and driving yourself.
For sunrise, you will most likely have to leave around 3 am to get to the summit in time. The drive was a little tough since there are no lights, it’s pitch black and you are driving up twists and turns of a mountain. I would make sure to be very cautious if you make the drive yourself.
During sunrise, it is incredibly cold, since you are above the clouds at over 10,000 feet! This also means the views are surreal and once the sun is up, it feels as if you are on Mars! If you forget to pack your winter jacket, I can suggest bringing your hotel comforter! Here are six additional tips to know before you go and how to set up your reservation!
If sunrise is not your cup of tea, other popular experiences include biking down the mountain or hiking one of the many trails. The views are incredible no matter what you do!
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
After exploring the summit of Mt. Haleakala, head over the Ali’I Lavender Farm. While lavender is not native to Maui, the cool dry temperatures make the perfect home on this 13.5-acre farm.
This farm includes approximately 55,000 lavender plants and over 40 different varieties! The views are also incredible. If you start to get hungry, you can even visit the Maui Lavender Café which has great coffee and banana bread!
Tip: It is best to visit the Lavender farm after doing the Mt. Haleakala Crater Sunrise. Stop by the Cafe for a quick bite until the Lavender farm opens.
- Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm Address: 1100 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI 96790
- Maui Lavender Café Address: 18303 Haleakala Hwy, Kula, HI 96790
Experience a Luau
For a fun cultural Hawaiian experience, make sure to attend a luau! Maui is known to hold the best Luau’s across Hawaii, so you can’t go wrong here! Learn Hawaiian stories, feast on traditional Hawaiian food, watch fire dancers, hula and more!
We attended the Luau with the Sheraton at Black Rock. It was done at sunset overlooking the ocean. There was a huge buffet and drinks. Overall, we had a great experience!
Tip: If you plan on going to this Luau, I would recommend heading to the beach at Black Rock earlier. It’s really nice and has great snorkeling! Just make sure you bring a change of clothes since people tend to get a little dressed up.
Snorkel the Molokini Crater
The Molokini Crater is located just off the south coast of Maui and known to have some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii. The crater is an uninhabited island formed from an eruption that is said to have happened over 230,000 years ago.
After being overfished, then used as target practice for World War II, this island is now a Government Protected area for marine life and birds. The reef has around 250 species of endemic fish and marine life including reef sharks, Mata Rays and Moray Eels! [Insert Tours]
Swim with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
When we visited Maui, I really didn’t want to leave without seeing Sea Turtles in the wild. While I cannot guarantee you will see them, we were greeted by sea turtles during our entire stay at Black Rock Beach. This is a public beach right by the Sheraton.
The locals said the turtles that visit are regulars of the area. If you do get a chance to swim around them, please make sure you respect their space and do not chase or touch them. Hawaii does have strict rules protecting them and their space. If you don’t get a chance to see them, Black Rock still has an amazing reef to snorkel.
Best things to see in Lahaina, Maui
Feel like hitting the town? Lahaina is full of shopping at all budgets, tons of restaurants and art galleries. The area is touristy; there is even a Bubba Gump Shrimp, but it is still worth experiencing the hustle and bustle. Just walk down Front Street which is where all the main attractions and restaurants are.
Lahaina Banyan Tree
Don’t leave Lahaina without visiting the largest Banyan tree in Hawaii and maybe even the world! The Banyan tree spans the whole courtyard of 1.64 acres and stands over 60 feet. It’s definitely really impressive in person!
If you happen to be visiting Maui during November – May, you will also have the opportunity to see the North Pacific humpback whales! I’ve heard it’s an amazing experience to see the whales in the wild!
Food Tip: If you make it to Lahaina, I would recommend the Lahaina Fish Company for lunch or dinner. Make sure to make a reservation for an ocean view.
Iao Valley State Park in Maui
Located on the Westside of Maui, Iao Valley State Park covers about 4,000 acres and is easily one of the best places to visit in Maui. Enjoy exploring and hiking the lush landscape and viewing the iconic Iao needle which stands 1,200 feet high! Besides the sheer beauty of Iao Valley, these lands also hold significant historical meaning.
In 1790, King Kamehameha I battled with Maui’s army in his goal to unite the islands. This was known as the Battle of Kepaniwai. Kamehameha’s win changed the course of Hawaiian history.
Tip: you can bring a bathing suit and go in the stream that runs through the park.
Hang Out in Paia Town
While you will drive through Paia town during the Road to Hana, you really won’t have time to stop. If you have extra time in your itinerary, I would definitely recommend coming back. This cute surfer town has tons of shops and restaurants. After exploring the town, you can head to Baldwin Beach Park to watch the surfers.
Food Tip: While in Paia consider eating at Mama’s Fish House, one of the most famous restaurants on the island! Just make sure to make a reservation well in advance!
Where to Stay on Maui
I would recommend staying on the west side of Maui near Kaanapali beach. We stayed at the Sheraton at Black Rock and had a really nice stay. What I liked best was the beach area we had. Although they do not have a private beach, they are located on Black Rock beach which has great snorkeling and beautiful views. The hotel grounds are stunning, and they have multiple pools. The only con about the hotel is that the rooms could use an update (which I hear they are getting). Other than that, everything was great.
This covers the best things to do in Maui. I can promise after one visit you will likely be booking your trip back or even figuring out how to move here! If you are visiting Maui, also consider visiting Kauai, Hawaii. Kauai is known as the garden island for how lush and green it is! They even filmed Jurassic Park in Kauai and we absolutely loved the island! When visiting Hawaii, it is very popular to island-hop to at least two islands.
By Sam Opp
Hey there! I am Sam from Find Love & Travel. On my website, I show people how to have the best experiences while traveling with detailed guides and practical advice from my travels through Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States (so far)! Follow along on Instagram or Pinterest.