Maui is a dream destination for many thanks to its gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, volcanic landscapes and an endless amount of unique experiences on offer. If you’re currently planning your Maui itinerary and wondering what should be included on your Maui bucket list, this post is for you!
Whether you are seeking adventure or relaxation, the island of Maui has no shortage of exciting activities to choose from. It’s likely that you won’t have time to tick off all 35 of these fun things to do in Maui but one thing is certain: your Hawaiian holiday will be far from boring.
Just imagine yourself swimming with sea turtles, spotting humpback whales breaching before your eyes, strolling through the white sands of a gorgeous palm-lined beach and watching the sunset from the top of a volcano – all in the space of a day. These are just a few of the amazing things that deserve a place on your Maui bucket list!
So keep reading to uncover all of the bucket list worthy activities that Maui has to offer, learn some insider tips about each one and start planning your dream Hawaiian escape!
Table of Contents
The Ultimate Maui Bucket List – 35 Iconic Things to do in Maui
Adventurous Outdoor Bucket List Activities
Cycle Down a Volcano
Cycling down Haleakala at sunrise has gained massive popularity for those who love unique adventurous activities. Where else will you get the chance to ride down the side of a 10,023 ft volcano while watching the sun emerge over the horizon?!
Making your way to the summit of the volcano by car in the early hours of the morning, you will stay to watch as the sun makes its first appearance. Once the sun begins to rise and illuminate the crater in a magical glow, you’ll begin the epic bike ride to the base of the volcano.
The most convenient way to have this experience is to book a tour that includes everything from hotel pick up/drop off to bike rental and a professional guide.
Just don’t forget to include a warm jacket on your Maui packing list, it’s freezing up there during sunrise/sunset!
Ziplining is a fun activity for the whole family and there are several locations on Maui where ziplining is offered. North Shore Zipline is located in Haiku on Maui’s North Shore and is considered one of the island’s top rated spots.
North Shore Zipline combines a bit of Maui’s, amazing scenery and an adrenaline rush to give you a thrilling experience you’ll never forget. Taking a zipline tour will have you soaring through the treetops of a lush tropical valley while enjoying panoramic views of the jungle and ocean.
This popular zipline tour features a series of 7 ziplines, suspension bridges and viewing platforms. The tour takes place on a historic property which once served as a Marine training base during WWII.
Taking a ziplining tour is one of the best things to do in Maui for people of all ages who are seeking a memorable adventure while surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the island.
Hike the Lahaina Pali Trail
This challenging hiking trail boasts sweeping views over central Maui and has a history that goes back over 200 years. Follow this scenic route that leads you up a steep trail toward the Kaheawa Wind Farm before descending down the other side of the hill. If you complete the full trail, you will end at a different location than where you started.
Instead of completing the entire hike which covers around 10 miles and takes most of the day, most people hike up to the wind farm and return to the same trailhead. I started from the eastern trailhead (near Maalaea), hiked up to the wind farm to watch the sunset and then hiked back down in the dark. It took around 3 hours to complete.
Why does the Lahaina Pali Trail deserve a place on your Maui bucket list? The scenery on this hike from start to finish is truly breathtaking, especially if you do it during sunset! Just don’t forget to bring a head torch, you’ll really need it to navigate the way back in the dark.
This was my favourite hike during my time on Maui. While it’s not an easy trail, it is 100% worth it if you’re up for a challenge. Find more info about planning this hike at the AllTrails website.
Hike the Pipiwai Trail
Located in the eastern part of Maui, the Pipiwai Trail winds through a tropical rainforest passing by impressive waterfalls, enchanting bamboo forests, and lush vegetation. The hike is considered moderate-difficult and takes around 2-3 hours to complete.
The best part of this hike is reaching Waimoku Falls at the end of the trail, a stunning 400 ft (122 meters) waterfall that plunges into a pool below. The sight of the waterfall is awe-inspiring and makes for a rewarding endpoint of the hike.
If you’re planning to drive the Road to Hana, you’ll find the trailhead along the Hana Highway about 15 minutes past the town of Hana. Due to the outstanding natural scenery, this hiking trail has become quite popular and is known to get busy.
Make an early start if you hope to have a crowd-free experience on the Pipiwai Trail. Entry fees apply due to the trail’s location within Haleakala National Park.
Hike the Sliding Sands Trail
The Sliding Sands Trail in Haleakala National Park offers a hiking experience like no other, leading you into the volcano’s crater while passing by cinder cones and colourful volcanic rocks.
Beginning at the visitor center at the volcano’s summit, the trail zig zags through an otherworldly landscape and descends to the crater floor. This is one of Maui’s most beautiful hiking trails that is certain to leave a lasting memory.
The Sliding Sands Trail is considered a difficult out-and-back hike that covers 11.5 miles and takes around 7 hours to complete. There is the option to camp inside one of the cabins in the crater however this needs to be booked far ahead of time (up to 6 months in advance).
Instead of completing the entire hike when I visited Maui, I simply followed the trail for around 30 minutes to get a closer view of the cinder cones and admire the stunning scenery before returning to the visitor center in time to watch the sunset from Haleakala’s summit.
Hike to the 3 Waterfalls at Twin Falls
The Twin Falls Hike in Maui follows an easy trail that leads you through a lush rainforest to a series of gorgeous cascading waterfalls and pools. Seeing as this hike is located along the Road to Hana, you could either include it as a stop on your drive or visit it on a separate occasion.
The hike itself is not long or difficult which makes this trail perfect for all ages and abilities. Along the hike, you will encounter three separate waterfalls. The first one is known as “Twin Falls,” which is a relatively small cascade.
Continue walking to come across a second and finally third waterfall at the end of the trail. The third waterfall, also known as Caveman Falls, is particularly scenic and features a perfect natural swimming pool which is great to hop in and cool down on a hot day.
The parking lot costs $10 and fills up very quickly so it’s best to get there early to secure a spot. There is also a food stand in the parking lot selling refreshing smoothies, fresh juices, coconuts and baked goods. Allow around 1 hour to see the three waterfalls and complete the walk.
Food & Cultural Experiences for your Maui Bucket List
Attend a Luau
No trip to Maui is complete without attending an authentic Hawaiian luau. It’s one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Hawaiian traditions and enjoy a night of fun, food, and entertainment.
A sunset luau on the beach is truly a magical cultural experience that everyone should have during their holiday in Maui. Throughout the evening you will enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast accompanied by exotic dancing and fire twirling performances as the sun sinks below the horizon.
One of the island’s top rated luau’s takes place on the oceanfront in Kaanapali, just 10 minutes north of Lahaina. It is a very popular event and tends to sell out, especially during high season in Maui. Be sure to book your luau tickets well in advance to secure your evening of choice and avoid disappointment.
Learn History at the Sugar Museum
Take a step back in time through Maui’s rich history in the sugar industry. The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is located in what used to be the largest sugarcane factory in Hawaii, the Puunene Mill. This former mill now houses the museum, offering a historical setting that adds to the immersive experience.
Visiting the Maui Sugar Museum is a must for first-time visitors to the island. It allows you to learn all about the history and significance of the sugar making industry while providing a fascinating insight into how it shaped the island. Inside the museum you will find historical artefacts, documents, pictures and even a scale model of a sugar cane crushing machine.
You can find this museum just 10 minutes from the Kahului Airport and you should allow around 45 minutes – 1 hour for a self-guided tour. A visit to the Sugar Museum is one of the best things to do in Maui and a great activity if you get stuck with a rainy day on the island.
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 10am – 2pm (closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Admission: $7/adults, $5/seniors, and $2/children 6-12
Taste Pineapple Wine at MauiWine
MauiWine is situated on a historic property on the slopes of Haleakala, which creates a unique microclimate that is ideal for growing grapes. The drive to the winery is very scenic boasting epic views over the rest of island, you’ll want to allow some time to stop and take it all in.
MauiWine gives visitors an opportunity to experience a wine tasting journey that showcases the local wines crafted from Maui-grown grapes. Take a seat on their outdoor patio and order a flight of wine to get a sample of each variety. If you’ve never heard of pineapple wine before, this is your chance to give it a try!
This is the perfect place to pick up a few bottles to take home so you can sip a glass of Hawaiian wine and reminisce of your time on Maui. Be sure to make a reservation online before you go to avoid waiting in a queue for a table.
Try Hawaiian Shave Ice
During your time in Maui, you’re bound to come across many shops selling Hawaiian shave ice. Stopping to indulge in shave ice is an iconic Maui experience that you really can’t miss out on.
What is shave ice, you might be wondering? Well, it’s not the same thing as a snow cone. Hawaiian shave ice is made from finely shaved ice, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. It is then generously drizzled with a variety of tropical fruit syrups, such as pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, mango etc.
With several locations throughout Maui, Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice is one of the island’s most popular chains where you’ll find high-quality shave ice made from natural fruit syrups and pure cane sugar.
Eat a Poke Bowl
For another quintessential Hawaiian food experience, one must not forget to try a poke bowl when in Maui. The popularity of the poke bowl has spread far beyond Hawaii’s shores, becoming a beloved dish in many parts of the world.
The classic poke bowl typically consists of cubes of raw fish (such as tuna, salmon, or octopus) marinated in a soy-based sauce, often with sesame oil, green onions, seaweed, and sesame seeds. It is then served over a bed of steamed rice and sometimes accompanied by toppings like avocado, cucumber, edamame, or pickled vegetables.
You won’t have to go far to locate a poke bowl in Maui but if you’re seeking some of the island’s top-rated spots, don’t miss Tobi’s Poke & Shave Ice, South Maui Fish Company, and Maui Poke.
Have Dinner at Mama’s Fish House
Mama’s Fish House is one of the island’s most famous restaurants known for its high quality Hawaiian cuisine and picturesque location on Maui’s North Shore.
Dining at Mama’s Fish House is more than just “going out for dinner”. The restaurant embraces Hawaiian culture and traditions, offering a unique experience for visitors through its décor, music, and menu items that highlight local flavours and dishes.
It provides the ultimate setting for any special occasion giving you the chance to create cherished memories against the backdrop of Maui’s natural beauty.
You can expect only the freshest locally caught seafood dishes on a menu that changes throughout the year based on seasons. The menu also features delicious tropical cocktails and decadent deserts to round off your meal with.
Due to its popularity, it is essential that you reserve your table well in advance. I’m talking around 6 months ahead of time! If you’re planning to celebrate a milestone at Mama’s Fish House, make sure to book it in asap to avoid disappointment.
Bucket List Ocean Activities & Wildlife Encounters
Snorkel at Molokini Crater & Turtle Town
Taking a snorkeling day trip to Molokini Crater is one of the most popular things to do in Maui. This crescent shaped caldera is located a few miles off the south coast of the island and is known for world-class snorkeling conditions and pristine visibility.
Molokini Crater is an ancient volcanic crater that was formed more than 100 thousand years ago. The unique corals and colourful marine life that inhabit the crater attract scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world. It’s isolated location offers a snorkeling experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
The only way to reach Molokini Crater is by booking yourself onto a boat tour. There are many catamaran tours available and most of them also include a stop at Turtle Town. This is where you’ll get the chance to snorkel surrounded by sea turtles, don’t forget your GoPro!
Take a Free Diving Course
For beginners and seasoned enthusiasts, free diving is an exciting and exhilarating way to explore the underwater world of Maui. If free diving is something you’ve always been curious to try, there is really no better place to learn than the stunning Hawaiian waters.
Maui offers several shallow free dive sites which are perfect for beginners. These locations typically have clear waters, gentle currents, and a variety of marine life to observe.
As a beginner, it is essential to take a certified free diving course with a reputable instructor. These courses will teach you the necessary safety protocols, breath-holding techniques, and how to equalize your ears as you descend.
I can personally recommend Freedive Ohana which is owned and operated by two passionate female free divers who have years of experience free diving and instructing students in Maui.
There are several courses offered through Freedive Ohana for both beginners and intermediate free divers. The courses will teach you the theory and practical skills required to safely enjoy free diving whether its your first time or you’re looking to take your skills to the next level.
Go On a Whale Watching Cruise
A trip to Maui is not complete without going on a whale watching cruise, however there is a catch. Whale watching is a seasonal activity which is only possible from December to April.
This is when the humpback whales migrate south from Alaska to breed in Hawaii’s tropical waters. If you happen to be planning your trip during these months, you’ll be able to book a boat cruise which takes you right up close to the playful humpbacks.
I absolutely loved the small group eco-raft tour which brings you right up close to the whales at eye-level. The guides on my tour were super knowledgeable and gave us a detailed insight into the whale’s breeding behaviour and migration journey.
The best part was that we saw so many whales we actually lost count! I booked the early morning tour which departs from Lahaina Harbor at 6:45am and lasts for around 2 hours. There are several other time slots available throughout the day but you’ll want to book it in advance to ensure you get the desired date/time.
Adventure Underwater in a Submarine
For those who wish to explore the underwater world without getting wet, doing a submarine tour offers a fantastic way to connect with the ocean and its marine life.
The Atlantis Submarine tour departs from the Lahaina Harbor and descends 130 ft to the ocean floor, giving you a window into the vibrant marine ecosystem of Maui. You’ll be amazed as you peer out of the submarine’s circular portholes passing by shipwrecks, reef sharks, and an abundance of Hawaiian fish.
Throughout the submarine tour, a knowledgeable guide will provide an educational commentary sharing facts about the marine life, coral reefs, geology, and history of the area.
A submarine tour is another Maui bucket list experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the diversity of Maui’s marine life.
Learn How to Surf
With consistent and reliable surf conditions throughout the year, it’s no surprise that Maui is one of the world’s top surfing destinations.
Maui is a great place for beginners to try surfing for the first time as there are plenty of spots with gentle, rolling waves that are well-suited for beginners. These mellow waves provide a safe and manageable learning environment for those new to the sport.
If you’re interested to try your hand at surfing, I would recommend avoiding large group sessions and go for a private one-on-one lesson. Getting personalized hands-on instruction gives you a good chance to stand up on your first time surfing.
Check out this private surf lesson for two which is perfect if you want to take a friend or partner along. It includes a private 90 minute session for two people with an experienced instructor to guide you through your first session.
Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Surfing is not for everyone but stand up paddle boarding or SUP is a great alternative if you’re still interested to try a new water sport. SUP is very popular in Maui, in fact Hawaii is where the sport first began in the 1940’s!
SUP is a fun way to get a different perspective of the island’s beautiful coastline and if you’re lucky, you might even spot sea turtles or humpback whales! There are plenty of places to rent equipment on the island. Look for rental shops near the beaches or in towns like Lahaina and Kihei.
SUP is not a challenging water sport, even for beginners however if it’s something you’ve never done before, taking an SUP tour is a great way to start.
Snorkel From the Beach
I know I’ve already mentioned doing a snorkeling boat trip on this bucket list however snorkeling from the beach is also something that can’t be missed in Maui.
With so many beautiful coral reefs located near the shore, this is an easy and inexpensive way to encounter marine life in Maui without needing to take a boat.
Some of Maui’s most popular locations for beach snorkeling include Kapalua Bay, Black Rock in Ka’anapali, Napili Bay, Maluaka Beach (Turtle Town) and last but not certainly not least, Honolua Bay. These prime snorkel spots will bring you face to face with sea turtles, reef sharks and schools of colourful Hawaiian fish.
One of Maui’s top-rated snorkel locations can be found on the island’s top west corner and is known for its crystal clear water and abundance of sea animals. Honolua Bay is not the easiest to access with limited parking spots, a hike to get to the beach and a shore lined with rocks.
However these minor inconveniences will prove to be worth the effort once you witness the incredible quality of snorkeling to be had in this gorgeous bay.
Go Turtle Spotting
One of the top things to do in Maui for free is watching sea turtles in the wild! These gentle creatures are commonly spotted in many areas around the island yet there are several spots where you’ll be guaranteed turtle sightings.
Sea turtles love to hang out near rocky outcrops and coral reefs but they can often be seen basking in the sun right on the beach! Some of the best places to see turtles on the beach in Maui are Ho’okipa Beach and Makena Landing.
If you’re looking to swim alongside sea turtles, head over to Turtle Town at Maluaka Beach or hop in the water at Black Rock at the north end of Ka’anapali Beach. Don’t forget your snorkel, mask and GoPro!
For a detailed post on locating sea turtles in Maui, read my full guide here.
Visit Maui Ocean Center
Learn all about about Maui’s diverse marine life and ocean conservation by visiting Maui Ocean Center. This iconic Maui attraction has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Aquariums in the World”.
During your visit you’ll get to see a live reef teeming with tropical fish and beautiful corals, sea turtles, sharks, jelly fish, and plenty more amazing Hawaiian sea creatures.
One of the highlights of Maui Ocean Center includes walking through a glass tunnel where you can watch sharks and rays swim above your head. If you are a certified scuba diver, you’ll get the chance to dive in the shark tank which is a thrilling activity to check off your Maui bucket list!
At the end of your visit, you will get to watch a 3D Humpback Whale show which gives you an immersive virtual encounter with the majestic humpback whales of Hawaii.
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm daily
Tickets: $44/adult, $30/child
Enjoy a Maui Sunset on a Catamaran Cruise
The perfect way to end your holiday in Maui or celebrate a special occasion is to relax on a sunset catamaran cruise. Sipping cocktails and eating delicious snacks while taking in a stunning Maui sunset is the perfect recipe to create special memories you’ll never forget.
A bonus of the tour is spotting humpback whales (during whale season) or dolphins. This highly rated 2.5 hour catamaran cruise departs from Lahaina Harbor and includes drinks and snacks.
Take a Day Trip to Lanai
Taking a boat tour to the neighbouring island of Lanai offers a fantastic opportunity to spot a diverse array of marine life. The waters of Lanai are home to spinner dolphins which can be seen frolicking in the ocean year round.
These playful sea creatures are often seen in large pods and are known to approach boats, making for an exciting encounter. If you happen to visit Maui outside of whale watching season, this boat cruise makes an excellent alternative.
With vibrant coral reefs, Lanai is known for amazing snorkeling conditions. During this day trip, you’ll get a chance to swim alongside tropical fish and sea turtles on a guided snorkeling tour led by a marine naturalist.
The boat tour departs from Lahaina and lasts 5 hours, including a continental breakfast, a BBQ lunch and snacks/drinks throughout the day.
Must-See Natural Wonders of Maui
Watch the Sunset on Haleakala
This is perhaps the most unique activity that should be at the top of everyone’s Maui bucket list: watching the sunset on Haleakala! There are few places in the world where you can stand at the top of a volcano and watch the sunset above the clouds. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime type of vibe.
Over the years, watching the sunrise on Haleakala has become extremely popular which means you’ll be sharing that special moment with crowds of other tourists. Not to mention, you need to make a reservation in advance or join an organized tour if you want to watch the sunrise.
For a better experience and equally amazing views, I would recommend watching the sunset from the top of Haleakala instead! This way you don’t have to make a reservation, there are far less crowds and you don’t have to wake up at 3am (who wants to do that while you’re on holiday?!)
For more detailed info, you can find my complete guide about how to watch the sunset on Haleakala here!
See the Lahaina Banyan Tree
One of the main attractions to see when you visit the town of Lahaina on Maui’s west coast is the iconic banyan tree. This remarkable tree is one of the largest banyan trees in the world, taking up an entire city block and standing an impressive 60 feet tall.
The banyan tree dates back to 1873 when it was imported from India and planted in front of the Lahaina Courthouse. The tree’s most unique feature is the 16 separate trunks which are all connected to the same tree. The banyan tree’s large canopy provides a welcoming shaded area for those seeking a break from the hot Hawaiian sun.
The banyan tree has become a symbol of Lahaina and a gathering place for both locals and visitors. Tourists flock to the banyan tree to marvel at its size and capture photos of its awe-inspiring presence.
It’s really unlike anything you’ve ever seen before an absolute must-see on any Maui itinerary!
Marvel at the Nakalele Blowhole
I’ve you’ve never seen a blowhole before, you should go ahead and add the Nakalele Blowhole to your Maui bucket list. This fascinating natural wonder is a sea cave located on the northern coast of Maui.
When the waves crash into the cave, the water is forced upward, creating a powerful geyser-like spray that shoots high into the air. It’s a spectacular sight to witness and one of the most active blowholes in Hawaii.
To reach the blowhole, you can follow a short but scenic 1.25 mile out-and-back hike from the parking area. The trail takes you along a rugged coastline with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
On the hike to Nakalele Blowhole, you’ll also encounter the famous “Heart-Shaped Rock,” a heart-shaped rock formation that has become a popular spot for photographers and a symbol of love for many visitors.
Thanks to its secluded location away from the major tourist attractions of Maui, a visit to the Nakalele Blowhole offers a chance to get off the beaten path and appreciate the island’s natural beauty without large crowds.
Visit a Black Sand Beach
The Black Sand Beach on Maui’s far east corner is one of the best stops on the Road to Hana. The contrast of the dark volcanic sand against a backdrop of lush green jungle creates a scene that resembles a painting.
The beach is located in a small cove within Wai’anapanapa State Park, just before entering the town of Hana. In this beautiful state park you will also find sea caves, blow holes, rock arches and awe-inspiring coastal views.
The scenery here is breathtaking and it quickly became one of my favourite places to visit in Maui!
Getting to the famous Black Sand Beach requires driving the Road to Hana for 2 hours. Before embarking on your day trip, it’s important to note that you have to reserve a timeslot to enter the Black Sand Beach.
If you don’t book your visit to the park online beforehand, you will be turned away at the entrance. See the official state park website to make your booking online in advance.
More Iconic Maui Bucket List Experiences
Visit a Lavender Farm
Finding a lavender farm in Maui was an unexpected surprise on my last visit to the island. Situated in Maui’s Upcountry, on the slopes of Haleakala, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm showcases a spectacular view over the west mountains and coastline below.
The lavender blooms from June – August however there is a beautiful botanical garden that features Hawaiian plants and flowers year round. For only $3 per person, this hidden gem of Maui is well worth a visit for the views alone!
Strolling through the botanical gardens with a backdrop of west Maui results in many awesome photo opportunities. Even though I visited outside of lavender season, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm was one of my favourite Instagram spots in Maui.
While you’re there, you can stop in at the gift shop to pick up some lavender products or grab a tea/coffee and take in the incredible scenery. This place is a real must-see on your Maui bucket list!
Before you go, note that it’s only open from Friday – Monday every week (closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). The opening hours are 10am – 4pm, find more info about planning your visit to the lavender farm here.
Drive the Road to Hana
Driving the Road to Hana is perhaps one of the most iconic things to do in Maui. The winding Hana Highway curves along many single-lane bridges and hairpin turns with jaw-dropping scenery around every corner.
On this world-famous drive you’ll pass by picturesque waterfalls, lush jungles and gorgeous beaches. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever done and it definitely lives up to the hype.
Most people aim to complete the drive in a single day which makes for a very long and busy day trip but it is possible. If you have the extra time, spreading it out over two days is definitely the way to go and will make for a more enjoyable experience.
You can rent a car and drive the Road to Hana on your own or book an organized tour for a stress-free and relaxing day trip. If you want to drive, make sure to check out my Road to Hana guide to help plan every detail of this bucket list drive.
Explore the Town of Paia
Located on Maui’s northern coast, Paia is a charming surfing town that offers a unique and laid-back experience. The town is known for its bohemian and eclectic atmosphere.
It’s a hub for artists, surfers, and health-conscious individuals. The town exudes a relaxed hippie-inspired vibe that attracts people from all walks of life.
Paia’s main street, Baldwin Avenue, is lined with colourful boutique shops, art galleries, and local crafts stores. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few hours of browsing locally made goods, from clothing and swimwear to jewellery and souvenirs.
Just a short distance from the town center, Baldwin Beach is a beautiful and easily accessible beach. It’s a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing.
Despite its small size, Paia offers a diverse food scene. You can find everything from delicious seafood and traditional Hawaiian fare to vegetarian and organic options. I can personally recommend stopping at Paia Fish Market for a great selection of fresh seafood dishes, reasonable prices and a casual dining experience.
Overall, Paia deserves a place on your Maui bucket list as it offers a taste of authentic Hawaiian culture, natural beauty, and a relaxed vibe that will make your Maui vacation memorable.
Hit the Beach
Maui is renowned for its beautiful palm-lined beaches featuring golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and excellent conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. Spending some time at the beach should be pretty high on your Maui bucket list.
No matter where you’re staying on the island, there is guaranteed to be a beautiful beach close by. If you’re staying on the west coast of Maui, you’ll want to check out Ka’anapali Beach which is known for soft, fluffy sand and inviting turquoise water. It’s also one of the best places to swim with sea turtles in Maui.
If you’re staying in Kihei or Wailea, the three Kamaole Beach Parks are popular spots for families to spend a day swimming and basking in the sun. During my last visit to Maui, my personal favourite beaches were Keawakapu Beach and Palauea Beach.
Located along the coast between Kihei and Wailea, these white sandy beaches feature stunning rows of palm trees and a backdrop of the west Maui mountains. The scenery truly can’t get any better. These beaches are picture perfect and ideal for swimming and lounging in the sand.
Make sure to stay a little while longer and watch an epic Maui sunset from any of the beaches mentioned above!
Visit Iao Valley State Park
This popular state park is home to lush greenery, towering emerald peaks, and flowing waterfalls. For those seeking to witness the verdant landscapes that Hawaii is known for, you must add Iao Valley State Park to your Maui bucket list.
The park is well set up for visitors with paved walking paths, picnic facilities and a visitor center where you can learn about the area’s history, geology, and plant life. This is a great place to start your visit and gain insight into the cultural significance of Iao Valley to the Hawaiian people.
Beyond its stunning scenery, Iao Valley was the site of the Battle of Kepaniwa in the year 1790. This is when two of Hawaii’s iconic leaders and their armies met in the valley and a bloody battle took place.
It changed the course of Hawaiian history and played a big part in shaping the islands as we know them today. The Iao Valley, where the battle took place, became a special and sacred place for the Hawaiian people because of this important event.
Watch the Sunset on the Beach
Maui is famous for its vibrant and mesmerizing sunsets and it goes without saying that the best place to watch them is from the beach.
The combination of pristine beaches and volcanic landscapes with a backdrop of majestic mountains creates the ultimate setting to watch the sky light up in beautiful colours. Photography enthusiasts are in for a real treat here!
My favourite places to catch a beach sunset in Maui are Keawakapu Beach, Palauea Beach, Makena Cove Secret Beach, Kapalua Bay and Ho’okipa Beach Park.
To be honest, you can watch an epic sunset from pretty much anywhere on the island. Some of my other favourite sunset spots were the summit of Haleakala and the Kaheawa Wind Farm on the Lahaina Pali Trail.
Take a Scenic Helicopter Tour
Being able to see the diverse landscapes of Maui from a bird’s eye view is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is sure to take your breath away. Taking a helicopter tour in Maui gives you a different perspective of the island’s famous landmarks and natural wonders.
Marvel at the diverse scenery as you fly over impressive waterfalls, sea cliffs and remote landscapes. This helicopter tour also includes the chance to land and explore a lush rainforest in a remote part of the island where there are no crowds in sight.
The combination of the awe-inspiring scenery, the thrill of flying, and the knowledge gained from the pilot’s commentary creates memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure to celebrate a special occasion, add this to your Maui bucket list!
Watch the Surfers and Turtles at Ho’okipa Beach Park
Located on Maui’s North Shore, Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the best surfing spots in Maui as it’s well-known for consistent and powerful waves. With ideal conditions for surfing, you’ll often see large numbers of windsurfers and kite surfers taking advantage of the large waves.
You can drive straight up to the Ho’okipa lookout for the perfect vantage point to watch the surfers from high up above the beach. This beach is so famous in the surfing world that there are several professional windsurfing competitions held there every year.
The other draw to Ho’okipa Beach is that it’s one of the best places in Maui to see turtles on the beach. The beach is a favourite hangout spot for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles which can often be seen in groups basking in the sun out of the water.
There is even a viewing spot where you can stand on a platform and watch the sea turtles from a safe distance. It’s really important to avoid approaching or disturbing them in any way as there are fines in place for those who break the rules.
Final Thoughts on The Ultimate Maui Bucket List
As you can see, this Maui bucket list offers the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, culture, and natural wonders, giving you an unforgettable experience of the magic that the Valley Isle has to offer.
I hope you are feeling inspired and ready to add some of these activities to your list of things to do in Maui. Did I miss something that you think deserves a place on this epic bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check out a few more of my helpful Maui travel guides below! Happy travels 🙂
Read More Maui Travel Guides
- The Perfect 5 Day Maui Itinerary
- 10 Best Places to See Turtles in Maui
- What to Pack for Maui – The Perfect Maui Packing List
- How to Watch the Sunset on Haleakala – Complete Guide
- 31 Best Stops on the Road to Hana + Driving Itinerary
- 25 Best Instagram Spots on Maui + Interactive Map
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