Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is my go-to destination. As an adult, I’ve visited the “Valley Isle” at least once every year since 2014. Maui has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for picturesque views, breathtaking beaches, historical sites or an amazing plate lunch, you can find it on Maui. This is my list of things you cannot miss while you’re on this fantastic island!
Maui has more swimmable beaches than any of the other Hawaiian Islands. You can find white, black, and red sand beaches here. With 120 miles of coastline, it’s no surprise snorkeling is a favorite activity that you can’t miss. My favorite spots are Kā’anapali Beach and Honolua Bay.
I love Kā’anapali Beach for its calm waters and its Black Rock where you can find a variety of sea life. Honolua Bay is special because it is a protected bay with calm waters which is excellent if like me you aren’t a strong ocean swimmer.
Pro Tip: There isn’t a parking lot at Honolua Bay, you will need to park along the street. Also, this is not a sand beach, it is rocks and pebbles, so make sure you bring beach chairs and flip flops.
Located in beautiful Upcountry, MauiWine has been in business for 43 years and has welcomed 4 million visitors. Head to the King’s Cottage to do a fabulous wine tasting, learn about the wines and the history of MauiWine and the property. They are probably best known for their pineapple wines, which are my favorites, but they also have exclusive small production wines and traditional sparkling wines.
Pro Tip: Since MauiWine is located in Upcountry getting their involves some winding roads. I started to get a little nauseous on the way there because I wasn’t prepared, so make sure to bring some motion sickness tablets.
Haleakalā or “House of the Sun” is 10,023 feet above sea level. If you can handle the winding road to the top the desert-like landscape and beautiful views are worth the trip up. If you are an early riser head up for sunrise (book ahead of time), if you’re a night owl go for sunset and some of the best stargazing ever, and if you want to see Haleakalā in all her glory head there during the day. If you go during the day there are numerous hiking trails, and you can take a guided hike or just wander around and enjoy the views.
4) WHALE WATCHING
Whale watching “season” in Maui usually runs mid-December to mid-April. Maui always has whales roaming around the ocean, but during “season” there are more active whales because they are migrating from Alaska. February is probably your best bet since this month is considered peak season.
With numerous tour companies to choose from, I recommend the Pacific Whale Foundation because they are a non-profit organization. The money they receive from their excursions and their retail store goes to continue research and conservation of marine life.
5) FRONT STREET
Front Street, which is located in Lahaina, is a famous historical street perfect for shopping, eating, or checking out an art gallery. Since Front Street is the second most visited location on the island it can get incredibly crowded, so try to get there early to score a parking spot and to avoid a long wait at any of the numerous restaurants.
Pro Tip: If you park in the lot on Prison Street, pay attention to the signs and do not park where it says “bus parking only” or you will get a ticket. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cars getting tickets because they didn’t pay attention to the signs.
6) MAUI SWAP MEET
The Maui Swap Meet is held every Saturday from 7am-1pm at the UH Maui College in Kahului. Admission is a whopping fifty cents per person, can you believe that? The Maui Swap Meet is a favorite of mine and I go every time I’m on the island. You can find everything from beautiful jewelry, fresh produce, locally made apparel and some of the most beautiful wood carvings I’ve ever seen. Don’t forget to check out the Fresh Pressed Cane Juice/Hand Pressed Lemonade stand, they make the best lemonade I’ve ever had!
7) ENJOY A PLATE LUNCH
You can’t go to any of the Hawaiian Islands and not get a plate lunch. If you aren’t sure what a plate lunch is let me explain. A plate lunch consists of some sort of protein, two scoops of white rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. My go-to plate lunch is a Loco Moco-Hamburger patties topped with brown gravy and a fried egg (I get mine without the egg, I’m weird) and my favorite place to enjoy the Loco Moco is Aloha Plate Lunch in Lahaina.
8) CATCH A SUNSET
There’s something about a Hawaiian Sunset. I can’t really explain it, but they are unlike any others I’ve seen. No matter the time of year you are visiting, or where you are on the island, sunsets on Maui are unreal! I always make sure I check the weather app on my phone so I know what time to expect sunset, then I find my spot and wait for the cotton candy skies to dazzle me. If you are looking for more good photography spots, check out my 8 Instagrammable Spots on Maui post!
Maui has so much to offer and no matter what you are looking for, you can find it here. Whether you are a first time visitor to Maui or have been numerous times, I hope you can find something new on my list of things not to miss!
Have you been to Maui? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
To receive our articles and reviews straight to your inbox Subscribe Here.
Discover some of our favourite places to stay in Maui:
- Montage Kapalua Bay Resort
- Fairmont Kea Lani
- Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
- Find the best accomodation in Maui
- Sign up to AirBNB and get US $35 off your first booking
Read More About Island Guides:
- 8 Instagrammable Spots on Maui
- What To Do & See On The Cayman Islands
- Tahiti & Bora Bora, The Most Amazing Islands In The Pacific
- 5 Unforgettable Places In The Philippines
- A Quick Guide To Caye Caulker, Belize
Pin For Later
This website is a free resource and to keep it free for our readers we may use affiliate links in our articles. Please see our Disclosures for more information.