Things to do on Maui
Lava Field Hike South of Kihei
A few miles south of Kihei and Makena are two lava flows (the youngest being from 1790) that have oozed down the left side of the volcano into the sea. There are a few miles worth of hiking trails that weave between the iron-rich rock, with small coral beaches littered in between. The views are breathtaking, and the small beaches are amazing! There are some areas where snorkeling is quite good (before the main parking lot, there is a small turnoff to the right where there is terrific spots to see a lot of marine wildlife), and there are also some native Hawaiian sacred alters to check out along the trail. Make sure to bring extra water because the lava flow is similar to asphalt, and will roast you if you’re not careful! Also bring close toed shoes, because the rocks are extremely sharp and cut you easily.
The Road to Hana
Some people avoid the Road to Hana like the plague, which is understandable because of the sheer drop-offs and one-lane bridges littered across the 64 mile road. But if you have the courage, you should definitely embark on this amazing journey!
I recommend taking off very early (5-6am) because it’s a slow, long drive to Hana, and you’ll want ample time to check out the waterfalls and scenery along the way. The waterfalls and swimming pools along the way are something out of a movie, and can be a blast to play in! However, most waterfalls are hidden and/or on private property, so you’ll have to use Google to find their exact location. I’ve always found that if you see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road, there’s probably a waterfall nearby.
If you have enough time, I’d continue on past Hana and see the Red Sand Beach, Charles Lindbergh’s grave (its hidden pretty good, Google’s your friend), and all the other beautiful waterfalls and state parks along the way.
Hop On A Boat!
On my last visit to Maui, I decided to book two boat trips, one a fishing trip, and the other a snorkel/performance sail combo. Those combined are of the best experiences I’ve had in Hawaii, and I really hope you take the time to do them! Both aren’t too spendy (I paid around $125 per person for the fishing expedition, and $200 for the performance sail trip), and I got my money’s worth!
I chose Aloha Blue Charters for my fishing trip, which lasted about 5 hours. The crew was extremely helpful with any help that was needed, and they had all the poles and bait ready to go every stop we went. They also served free beer and beverages which was nice! I ended up catching 8 Snapper and 1 Goat Fish which I was allowed to keep (which was pretty cool), both of which made delicious fish sticks for dinner that night.
I had never been on a performance sailboat before, so that trip was a blast for me! I went with Sail Maui for my snorkel/sail trip. It lasted 6 hours, which I was would have been a little bit longer. We started the day sailing to Molikini Crater to do some snorkeling, and on the way we had some extremely close Humpback Whale breaches which was incredible to see! Molikini didn’t have much activity the day I went, but I still had a fun time snorkeling and seeing the tropical fish swim around me. The fun part of the trip for me was the Performance Sail back to the harbor. It felt like we were traveling 90mph (probably not close to that) with wind and waves crashing over the deck. It was exhilarating, and that will probably become a ‘todo’ every time I visit the island from now on.
Maui Tropical Plantation
This is a wonderful place to go relax, and have some fun when you’re a little tired of the beach. Maui Tropical Plantation is a cool little village in the center of Maui that’s built on the edge of the Sugar Cane Fields. They grow all kinds of various fruits, coffee beans, and sugar cane, as well as offering a zip line course, restaurants, and a coffee roasting house (where I got the idea for my Mokka K-Cups). I usually drove there each morning to get a cup of Maui Mokka, and would sit and watch the ducks play in the pond, it was very relaxing and enjoyable.
Swim With The Turtles
There is a hidden sanctuary where massive amounts of full grown turtles come to rest and swim in Kihei. I’ve had countless people come back from Maui sad that they didn’t see any turtles, so I thought I’d share this cool spot! You wouldn’t realize it if you drove by, but on the northern side of Kihei Road there’s a small park called Kalepolepo Park, and it houses an ancient Hawaiian fish sanctuary built with lava rock. The entire sanctuary is incredibly shallow, and if you wade out to the far edge of the sanctuary close to the opening that goes to the ocean, you’ll realize that there are turtles EVERYWHERE, both on top of the rocks sun bathing, and whizzing past you. It’s really cool to have 5-6 turtles swimming inches away from you at a time. Don’t sit on, or cling to any turtle, it’s against the law to touch them. Also, be very careful near the opening, it’s very easy to get sucked out to sea in that area.
There are countless other activities to do in Maui, but these are some of the highlights of my frequent visits. I hope you try them out so you can experience all of the great things that Maui has to offer! If you know of any other cool things to do on Maui, shoot them off below in the comments. Thanks!