Top 10 Things to do in Maui

by Asako Maruoka /
Asako Maruoka's picture
Sep 17, 2012 / 0 comments

Thinking of heading to Maui, but not sure where to start? If you’re anything like our family, we research all the options for WHAT we do (and eat) and then just go! There are many options for accommodations, from big hotels to small ones, from rental homes and apartments to B&Bs. You can take flights to Maui with There are plenty of great restaurants and food stands – you can experience lots of different global cuisines in Maui. 

Here are some great suggestions for family activities in Maui, Hawaii:

1., 2., 3. Drive to Hana, explore the beaches & Falls. This is one of the most scenic drives in the world, as it curves through rainforest, along the northeast coast of Maui – it’s the Hana Highway.  If you start in Kahului, it’ll be a 55 mile drive. Please show respect for other drivers on this road – the traffic can get hairy. If you want to go slow, and take in the scenery, signal and pull off to the side, and let the traffic pass. On the drive to Hana, you can stop and swim at Hamoa Beach or Red Sand Beach. Bring a bento box and plenty of refreshments, and make a day of it.  Be sure to stop at Twin Falls and the Waikani Falls for photo opps. Stopping is also a great way to relax after the crazy curves of the road, and to gird yourself before you hop back on it! Remember, the journey is all – not the destination! Pull off whenever you’d like – for coffee (see #10), for photos, for shave-ice, or just to stop and look.

4.    While you’re in Hana, visit the Ka’eleku Cave. You can take a tour down into the extinct lava tubes! You’ll see lavacicles, stalactites, and more geological features than you can shake a stick at. When you exit the cave, you’ll be able to figure out and walk through a ti (local plant) maze.

5., 6., 7. Visit some Parks! The Waianapanapa State Park, ‘Iao Valley State Park, and the Haleakala National Park are extraordinary places.  Haleakala National Park boasts the world’s largest dormant volcano. You can drive (for 2 hours) to the summit.  If you can, wake up in the middle of the night and get there for the sunrise – it’s incredible. Waianapanapa State Park has beautiful waters, black sand beaches, and plenty of hiking trails. Well worth a stop off the Drive to Hana – and remember, this beach is not great for swimming, but perfect for looking (with and without your camera). At ‘Iao Valley State Park, you can hike cross the mossy floor of the ‘Iao Valley. It is also the resting place for many Hawaiian Kings. Be sure to look for the ‘Iao Needle – a green rock that is 1,200 feet tall!

8. Luau! What’s a visit to Hawaii without a Luau? The Old Lahaina Luau has been voted the Best Luau on Maui for many years. It’s not glitzy or touristy – just pure Hawaiian culture.

9. Sports! There is so much to do here, if you’re an outdoor sports enthusiast. Take a horseback ride, go hang gliding, charter a sailboat or helicopter, kayak, snorkel, dive, swim with turtles.   If there’s one thing that Maui is known for, it’s for the great outdoor activities.

10. Coffee. How could we resist this? Head to Maui Coffee Roasters in Kahului. They are known for daily, small-batch roasting of 100% Hawaiian and 100% Kona Coffee, as well as blends. The Nicky Beans 100% Kona coffee is grown on estates on the Big Island.  Extra bonus – located on the Road to Hana. And full of yummy goodness, for everyone in the family.