Things to do in Maui that’ll give you a lifetime of photo-worthy memories.
Hawaii is magical in every sense of the word. Whether you love relaxing, adventure, or a little bit of both, Maui has everything and more. Here’s why it should be your next vacation destination — especially because you don’t need a passport to get there if you’re American. Here are 12 things to do in Maui:
Rent a car.
Uber is not that popular and cabs are expensive. To really explore and see the island at your own pace, rent a car. We got a Mustang convertible one day and a BMW convertible another (through our hotel concierge) for about $120 each day.
You can find inexpensive, fun car rentals in Maui here.
Drive the Road to Hana.
I was a little terrified about this super windy, one-lane road, but it was our best day in Hawaii. Along the way, you can stop at waterfalls, state parks, food trucks, and black sand beaches. We used the Gypsy app for helpful tips.
We especially loved hiking at Waiʻānapanapa State Park, Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread, and the Garden of Eden. It took us about 10 hours to drive to Hana and back, with 5 stops, so leave early – around 7:30 AM.
See The Sunrise over Haleakala Volcano.
We went about 8 hours after landing in Hawaii, literally, but because of the time change (six hours earlier than at home in New York City), we were wide awake for our 2:30am pick up. We took a small group tour – Temptation Tours – which got us a front row spot for the sunrise.
The guides even took our photos while illuminating our faces with a flashlight – they were pros.
We took a van up and down the volcano and stopped for a yummy breakfast on the way down. You can also ride a bike down, but it’s very windy and steep. It’s also FREEZING up there, so wear every layer you have. Our tour provided hats, gloves, and blankets.
Go to a luau.
This is pretty obvious, but we chose The Feast At Lele, which is a seated, served dinner. I think it was more intimate because each couple or group had their own table – I don’t necessarily love sitting with strangers while eating. It was outside, with the most gorgeous sunset ever, and a two hour feast with traditional dancing.
This is the best excuse ever to break out all your floral-printed garb and get especially tropical with your Instagram pics.
We stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui, alongside a famous Beverly Hills plastic surgeon vacationing with his family.
At the Four Seasons, cabanas around the main pool are complimentary and there are a lot of them. Servers come by constantly to take your order, refresh your water, or offer you free, fresh pineapple.
Take advantage of your hotel’s amenities (if you’re into great hotel amenities, you’ll love this list of the best dog friendly hotels, too). The St. Regis was also loaded with great amenities and gorgeous views.
Don’t stress and DON’T bring your computer.
I urgently had to print something out, so I went to the business center. An attendant helped me print and scan in less than 5 minutes so I could get back to my vacation.
If you’re looking at your computer screen, you’re not enjoying the view of nature and other things to do in Maui, so what’s even the point?
Do water sports.
You probably won’t even have to leave your hotel. Most resorts have activity desks to help you rent snorkel equipment, stand up paddle boards (you can even try your hand at SUP board yoga), or kayaks for the hour or the day.
We snorkeled and saw at least a dozen varieties of colorful fish within 50 yards of the beach. Water sports are by far the most popular things to do in Maui, thanks to the abundance of gorgeous beaches and exotic creatures.
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The Shops at Wailea have luxury stores like Tiffany & Co, Gucci, and Prada, as well as more affordable options like Banana Republic and GAP (great if you need a quick cover up or a few new tees). Check out the fine art galleries and specialty stores for more local options.
We also spent a couple of hours in the small town of Paia, which has multiple art and craft boutiques with items made by local vendors.
Leave the island!
Island hopping is so easy and cheap — it took less than an hour to go to Kauai, which had a totally different vibe than Maui. We stayed at the St. Regis, which has a view to die for, and had wonderful meals at the Kauai Grill, Bar Acuda, and
Nanea Restaurant and Bar at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas.
Do not miss a chance to check out some of the local black sand beaches, which are one of the most popular things to do in Maui for nature enthusiasts.
Go on a small plane tour.
I’m TERRIFIED of small planes and have horrible motion sickness, but you will see things from a plane you just can’t see any other way. We flew with Wings Over Kauai and it was amazing.
If you’re the fearful type, pour yourself a glass of trendy wine before heading up, relax, and enjoy the unmatched views.
If you’re traveling for a special occasion, let people know!
Talking about our wedding anniversary got us a free bottle of champagne at the Four Seasons, a lei and nice card at Mama’s Fish House, and the best table for dinner at Duo Steak & Seafood, directly overlooking a romantic and unforgettable sunset.
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