12 Things to See and Do on Maui
They say that the Hawaiian Islands are so full of beauty and life that each day spent on them can feel like several days on the mainland squeezed into one. And Maui and the surrounding islands are so full of adventure that it almost feels cruel to be able to only pick twelve “Must Do” activities, but to categorize all the fun that could be had is a nearly impossible task. While this means you probably won’t be able to fit everything into one trip, that just leaves more fun for your next Hawaiian adventure!
So, be sure to read on, as we’ve detailed each activity and provided a little bit of what makes each so special below, but if you are short on time, you will find the complete list below. So, without further ado, here are the twelve diversions sure to make your next trip to Maui that much more memorable:
Scuba Diving for Both Certified and Uncertified Divers
As a dive shop, we here at Dive Maui may be biased when it comes to the wonder of the exploring the underwater world off of Maui’s coasts, but a dive trip is something everyone visiting Hawaii should try at least once.
And we offer a variety of dive services that are easily tailored to suit experienced and novice divers alike to help you do just that.
Those who are experienced divers will want to try out our refresher packages, while newbies and the uncertified will want to try our Discovery Diver program.
So, to steal a line from Sebastian, one of the greatest talking animated crabs of all time, why waste time out of the water when “Right here on the ocean floor, Such wonderful things surround you, What more is you lookin’ for?”
And the best part is you don’t need to be a little mermaid or merman in order to experience the joys of underwater exploration, all you need to do is contact us at Dive Maui and we will be sure to guide you to the right experience for you.
Witness Nature’s Majesty While Whale Watching
The chance to see a whale in-person, in their natural ocean habitat, is something that is on many peoples bucket list and if you go on a whale watching tour with Dive Maui it is something we guarantee.
And if you are lucky enough to be visiting Maui during whale watching season (roughly December to April), then a whale watching tour is a clear “must do” activity.
More than just a simple boat trip, you’ll be led by an experienced and passionate crew that will help you to not only spot whales in the wild, but explain more about their beautiful, but fragile, eco-system and how important marine conservancy is.
For us at Dive Maui, conservation is more than just lip-service, we care for our natural world so that it can be enjoyed by future generations just as it is by us.
So, be sure to contact us about setting up your own tour and guaranteed whale sighting today.
Visit Haleakala National Park
Long considered one of the most underrated and beautiful nature spots in the U.S., one trip to Haleakala National Park is enough to turn even the most jaded naturalist into an evangelical for the park.
This is because Haleakala National Park has one of the most unique landscapes in the world and holds a diversity of endangered species, some of which can only be found there. Visitors are awed in particular by the rocky, almost Martian environment, which is nearly unmatched, even in a place as renowned for its natural beauty such as the Hawaiian Islands.
The only problem visitors to Haleakala will have is choosing what to do. Options include hikes through bamboo forests or along the coast, and the more adventurous may try to summit Haleakala, which is over 10,000 feet tall.
Be prepared before you come, however, as there is no food, water or gasoline available for sale within the park’s boundaries.
Watch Surfers Compete on O’ahu’s North Shore
Few things are more associated with the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands more than the pastime of surfing. The best part is that surfing can be just as much fun to try yourself (more on that below!) as it can be just to watch as a spectator.
So, it should come as little surprise that one of the best places to watch surfing in the world is a short trip from Maui on the island of O’ahu’s North Shore.
The beach is home to several professional tournaments each year. These events often draws large crowds, made up of both surf enthusiasts and newcomers, who are drawn to the excitement of watching the world’s best surfers compete to survive hair raising challenges such as the Banzai Pipeline.
If a trip to O’ahu seems a bit far, be sure to read on for some great local surfing options.
Visit the Nakalele Point Blowhole
You probably have heard of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, but just as impressive is Maui’s own geyser, the Nakalele Blowhole.
A blowhole, for those that don’t know, is more than just a name for a whale body part, it’s also what you call the marine geysers that can be found all over the islands.
The blowhole is located on Nakalele Point, just east of Poelua Bay on Maui’s northern coast. Unlike with other types of geysers, the geography of the cave below the blowhole, the blowhole itself and the tide levels and swell will all help determine the height of Nakalele Blowhole’s spray, which can reach up to 100 feet in height.
Visitors to the blowhole will want to be sure that they follow all safety guidelines, as the area can fall victim to rogue waves.
Enjoy the Road to Hana
East Maui is home to Hana Highway which is one of the most beautiful stretches of road you will ever have the pleasure of driving down.
The highway, which runs 64 miles in length between Hana and Kahului, has 46 one lane bridges and over 600 turns, many of them sharp or hairpin in style, which makes the drive that much more of an adventure.
Following the highways serpentine route along the coast will allow visitors to enjoy some of the most splendid views of both island and ocean around.
If you get tired of driving, stop and explore the small communities located just off of the highway, like Paia, which we will detail below.
Just be sure to use the bathroom before you go, as public restrooms can be hard to come by.
Spend the Day in Paia
Paia is a town of just over 2,000 people located on Maui’s north coast and what the town lacks in population it more than makes up for with a variety of quality restaurants, art galleries and surf shops.
Besides being a great place to do some wind surfing, Paia is also home to one of Hawaii’s earliest sugar mills, which was operated by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar and closed in 2000.
Visitors who are already interested in road tripping down Highway 36 to Hana, or are planning on visiting Haleakala National Park, should consider a day spent in Paia is a fantastic addition to their itinerary.
Snorkel Black Rock Beach
Black Rock Beach is named so for its dark volcanic outcroppings that meet the ocean on the beach’s northern end. And as stunning as the area is above the water, snorkeling among the craggy terrain can reveal all sorts of wonders. Ancient Hawaiians believed this is where their spirits would go to find their ancestors, which helps explain why taking things like volcanic rocks the area, or anywhere else on the islands, is such a no-no.
Be careful of strong currents around the beach, as there is no lifeguard on duty.
Relax at the Beach
If running around the island is starting to make you fatigued, be sure to schedule in some time to relax on the beach.
Luckily, Maui has you covered when it comes to high-quality beaches.
Anything is possible, from soaking up the sun at Big Beach in isolated Makena State Park to swimming in the crystal clear waters of Napili Beach. And the best part is that you really can’t go wrong with any of Maui’s beautiful beaches.
So, be sure to pack a book and some reef safe SPF, because you will have a lot of beaching to do if you want to see all of Maui’s best.
Try a Surf Lesson with Maui Surf Clinics
If seeing all the great surfers on North Shore makes you want to give it a try yourself, then be sure to check out a local surf clinic.
Maui has several great surf shops, like Maui Surf Clinics, that are more than capable of helping you get comfortable on a surfboard and riding waves in no time. Maui Surf Clinics also offers refresher courses as well as tutoring for complete beginners, and they are happy to help both SUP and conventional boarders as well.
Be sure to ask for a recommendation based on your own experience and desired activity, like a SUP Eco Tour.
Enjoy a Luau Experience
A luau is a traditional Hawaiian celebration that includes food, music and performance.
Most people only think they know what a luau is like from what they have seen on TV or in the movies. And like most things on this list, the experience is way better in person. This is because a luau is about much more than hula dancing and eating yummy food (all though that part is great). In fact, it’s one of the best ways to experience the warmth of the Hawaiian culture, and the feelings of camaraderie can be so strong you’ll swear you hear the sound of Alfred Apaka singing being carried by the breeze.
Have a Beer at Maui Brewing Company
If all of this activity has made you work up a thirst, be sure to stop by Maui Brewing Company for some of the freshest brew you can find on tap.
Maui Brewing Company is the largest craft brewer on the islands and home to some unique flavors, such as the Pineapple Mama Wheat Beer or the Pau Hana Pilsner.
Best of all, the company takes the sustainability of their practices very seriously, so you can sip and savor your beer with peace of mind knowing that no part of paradise was sullied to bring you your beer.