Maui is known worldwide for a lot of things: the beauty, atmosphere, history, and its large supply of pristine beaches, waterfalls, tours, landmarks, snorkeling, and gardens – just to name a few. It’s a wonderful place for a Hawaiian vacation.
There aren’t a whole lot of places in the world you can go and experience all you can on the small island of Maui. From picture-perfect beaches, volcanic landscapes, and tropical forests and gardens, Maui just might be the closest thing to paradise we’ve ever seen. The island’s roads run along the edge of the coastline in a large sideways figure “8” shape, which makes seeing everything Maui has to offer pretty simple. Many people say Maui no ka oi which means Maui is the best – and for good reason.
Whether you’re looking for the best Maui beach, a great bed and breakfast, or even a bamboo forest hike, it’s all right in Maui. And because I want your Maui vacation planning to be simple – from planning to packing to toes in the sand bliss- I’ve put together this handy travel guide so your Maui adventure is as perfect! Plan and book your hotel right here in our Maui Travel Guide.
Weather – When to Visit Maui
Maui’s warm tropical climate is fairly consistent year round with daytime highs from 75-85°F during the summer and winter, respectively. At the many coastal resorts that dot the island at sea level, temperatures rarely dip below 60°F during the coldest of winter. The weather on Maui is typically great for visitors year round. The only time Maui’s weather is unpleasant is if a winter storm blankets the island with clouds and rain, but those are infrequent and shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
The best deals on accommodations is during spring and fall. These are going to be the cheapest months to visit the island because demand is down. So the island is less crowded as well, which is another benefit of visiting during these months. If you plan to come during the holidays, especially Christmas, you can typically expect large crowds of people – and prices will reflect the increased demand.
If you visit during the winter months, you have a chance to see the humpback whales. Each January – March they migrate down from Alaskan waters to mate, calve, and birth their young. Maui has the best opportunities for whale watching in the entire state.
The Road To Hana
To find excellent views of Maui’s beautiful coastline, all you need to do is drive. The Road to Hana is a scenic highway that twists through the lush rain forest and past the cascading waterfalls that line the island’s eastern shore. Most people start their trip in Kahului with the intention of motoring 55 miles to Hana. The trip isn’t always easy: The route often surprises unfamiliar drivers with hairpin turns. But those who decide to step on the gas aren’t sorry they did.
One of Maui’s most popular strips of coastline, Kaanapali Beach stretches across 3 miles of the island’s northwest coast, offering plenty of space to surf and sunbathe. Be careful while swimming, however, as the currents can be deceptively strong. But coveted sand is just one of this beach’s many highlights: Kaanapali was Hawaii’s first planned resort area, and today it features several notable hotels and restaurants, two championship golf courses and the lively Whalers Village open-air shopping center.
Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park is home to the world’s largest dormant volcano. The entire park occupies 30,000 acres of land in Upcountry Maui. Haleakala’s summit stands more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Plan your visit to the summit in the morning to see the sunrise (keep in mind you’ll have to make reservations online in advance and you’ll be required to pay a small fee). A fairly winding road will lead you to the top. No matter when you visit, be sure to wear warm layers. The air up top can be thin and chilly.
Though not nearly as expansive as Wailea or Kaanapali, crescent-shaped Napili Beach is particularly popular with families. Napili’s waters are much calmer than those at other Maui beaches, so kids and adults alike can take to the seas for swimming, paddleboarding and boogie-boarding. Plus, Napili Beach provides a quiet, laid-back atmosphere that sunbathers love. Make sure you take snorkel gear. Napili’s waves conceal a wide array of fish, not to mention a sizable sea turtle population.
This shoreline caters to the sun-seeking guests of several nearby resorts. Wailea feels much less rugged than some of Maui’s other beaches: The tawny-colored sand is lined by palm trees and a paved walkway connecting the shoreline to the area’s hotels, shops and restaurants. At this beach you have access to water sports equipment rentals. And because the waters here are relatively calm, Wailea Beach is great for those looking to swim or snorkel.
Things to Do on Maui
Maverick Helicopters® offers VIP-level service from the Kahului Heliport and Port Allen Airport. Whether it is the Haleakala Crater, Iao State Park, Molokai, Na Pali Coast, or Waimea Canyon, you are sure to experience a breathtaking tour of the most beautiful scenery in Hawaii. Maverick offers the highest level of safety and service in the industry and has over 21 years’ experience of making dreams come true! Telephone: 1 800-978-0266 Web: Maverick Helicopter
Maui Kayak Adventures
Join them for a kayak adventure that goes far beyond snorkeling and wildlife watching. Explore Maui’s incredible ocean environment and stunning coral reefs with our Certified Marine Naturalists guides. And as an Eco-Tourism Certified company, rest assured that they do their part to protect the oceans. Their tours mix education, action, and ocean stewardship to provide a truly memorable Maui experience. Telephone: 1 800-442-6465 Web: Maui Kayak Adventures
Maui Surfer Girls
Maui Surfer Girls offers the best surf lessons and surf camps on Maui. Their surf school caters to small groups, families and newlyweds, with small class sizes and professional instructors (most of whom are female!) Telephone: 808-427-1288 Web: Maui Surfer Girls
In2Scuba Diving Maui Dive Co.
In2Scuba Diving Maui Lahaina, Kaanapali. Specializing in Introductory Scuba Dive Courses For beginners. Scuba Diving in Kaanapali, Lahaina, Maui. Small Groups, VERY Personalized Service! Scuba Lessons for first time Non-Certified Divers. Guided Dive Tours For Certified Divers. PADI Open Water Certifications through Divemaster. Telephone: 808-264-8198 Web: In2Scuba Diving Maui Dive Co.
Redline Rafting Company
Looking to have an epic, awe-inspiring maui snorkeling adventure? Then you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Redline Rafting! They offer a thrilling, eco-friendly, culturally conscious experience. Ride in, and snorkel from their 35 ft. customized raft. They‘ll ’talk story’… tell old Hawaiian tales, give you a little Hawaiian history, interesting geological info, reef and creature facts, and oh, the rules of course! Telephone: 808-201-1582 Web: Redline Rafting Company
Best Restaurants in Maui
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ – $$$ Kula Bistro
Kula Bistro offers fresh, flavorful cuisine in a casual family-style setting. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the bistro specializes in homestyle food with an Italian flair. Menu items range from classic entrées and local favorites to authentic pastas and pizzas. A decadent selection of homemade desserts and pastries are crafted daily. Telephone: 808-871-2960 Web: Kula Bistro
$$$$ Mama’s Fish House
In Maui, “Mama’s” is synonymous with fine dining—and simply mentioning the restaurant’s name may be enough to make your date swoon. Truly an experience in a class of its own, Mama’s serves fish so fresh the menu shows the name of the fisherman who caught it that morning. Arrive for sunset to stroll the palm grove and hidden cove. Telephone: 808-579-8488 Web: Mama’s Fish House
$$$$ Lahaina Grill
From its opening on Valentine’s Day back in 1990, this New American bistro with a European feel has been Lahaina’s most romantic restaurant. Fine china and crystal adorn white linen-draped tabletops, original artwork hangs from the walls, and the award-winning cuisine might make you never want to leave. Telephone: 808-667-5117 Web: Lahaina Grill
$$ – $$$ Cuatro Restaurant
Start with a salad, the award winning Spicy Tuna Nachos, or choose from our several other starters. Our delectable Entrees include: Fresh Hawaiian Fish of the Day, with your choice of four different preparations; Roasted Chicken Breast stuffed with green chilies, ham, and pepper jack cheese; Marinated Pork..and many more.Cuatro Restaurant is a place for everyone. It is a restaurant that is fun for tourists, a good value for families, and a great place for locals. Telephone: 808-879-1110 Web: Cuatro Restaurant
$$ – $$4 Flatbread Company
Calling all locavores and pizza lovers: The flatbreads served at this Pai’a hot spot use locally sourced ingredients and are arranged in a medley of mouthwatering varieties. Expect gems such as Mopsy’s Kalua Pork—this one entails free-range pork shoulder and organic mango BBQ sauce mixed with a blend of Hawaiian goat cheese and a sprinkling of Maui-grown pineapple. All pizzas are cooked over kiawe wood (mesquite) in an oven in the middle of the restaurant, and the lively bar scene is a collection of some of the island’s best watermen and surfers. Telephone: 808-579-8989 Web: Flatbread Company
Best Nightlife in Maui
Those looking to find a real locals’ bar need look no further than this cozy spot. This divish bar is known for its laid back atmosphere and friendly clientele. It boasts the longest happy hour (10am to 5pm) in the Islands, with a small pupu, or appetizer, menu. You can also groove to the sounds of live music (mostly Hawaiian) 7 days a week. Telephone: 808-215-9939 Web: Kahale’s
South Shore Tiki Lounge
Striving to be the most authentic tiki bar on the Island with heavy stereotypical island decor. But don’t let its appearance deter you. The service here is fantastic, and the specialty drinks include a lava flow made with freshly blended strawberries, rather than a mix. This place is also a late-night favorite of young adults, with a DJ spinning tunes everyday starting at 10pm. Telephone: 808-874-6444 Web: South Shore Tiki Lounge
The interior bar features a lava-rock wall with a red inlay, and the seats on the patio display nature’s art, with views across the channel towards Moloka‘i. The specialty cocktails and pupu menu are exceptional on any evening, but the live music performances held Thursday to Monday make for a particularly good time to visit. Telephone: 808-669-6200 Web: Alaloa Lounge
Mulligans on the Blue
Celtic and Polynesian hospitality merge in this pub on the southern coast of Maui, resulting in a an “Irish aloha” feel all its own. A live jazz band also plays nightly. The beautiful ocean views from the lanai remind you that you are, in fact, on a tropical island. Two happy hours (one from 3pm to 6pm and another from 9pm-12am) ensure that, no matter when you visit, you won’t miss out on food and drink specials. Telephone: 808-874-1131 Web: Mulligans on the Blue
Fleetwood’s on Front Street
Bagpipes at sunset kick off the festivities at this rooftop bar by Mick Fleetwood. The legendary drummer can make impromptu appearances and jump right in with the band, and there is live music every night with a view looking over Lahaina. Bands usually finish by 9:30 pm, so don’t expect to stay late. Instead arrive early for $5 wine tastings beginning at 5pm. Telephone: 808-669-6425 Web: Fleetwood’s on Front Street
Best Maui Hotels
While you are with them, you will enjoy our warm hospitality and beauty of place, and the comforts of everything you’ve come to expect from a Travaasa experience: their healing and pampering spa, authentic Hawaiian pursuits (lei making, ‘ukulele, snorkeling, throw net fishing, enjoying local gardens and guides who will share their knowledge of ecology and culture with you), a pool with an ocean view unlike any other, and outdoor yoga. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Travaasa Hana.
Montage Kapalua Bay
Set beachfront atop picturesque Kapalua Bay, this 24 acre Maui resort is to experience Hawaiian lifestyle at its finest. At Montage Kapalua Bay, you will feel embraced by genuine island hospitality and authentic culture. At every turn, the spirit of Hawaii merges with your own to create pono — a true sense of balance and harmony — as you relax and enjoy all‐suite accommodations, inspired cuisine, championship golf, watersports, and an award winning Hawaii inspired spa. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Montage Kapalua Bay.
Ho’olei at Grand Wailea
This oceanfront property features an outdoor pool and sandy beach children’s pool. Villas include private elevators and bi-level Hawaiian-style patios with views. A fully-equipped, state-of-the-art kitchen with custom Italian cabinetry and granite countertops is featured in each elegant and spacious villas at Ho’olei at Grand Wailea. A separate sitting area with vaulted ceilings and flat-screen TVs is provided. The bathrooms offer dual vanities, a deep bathtub, separate shower and private lavatory. A washing machine and dryer are also furnished. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Ho’olei at Grand Wailea.
The Paia Inn offers access to 3 miles of white sand beach, relaxing amenities and convenient access to a wide range of activities. Free WiFi, an iPod docking station and a 42-inch flat-screen TV with Apple TV are featured in each guest room at the Paia Inn. Beach towels, chairs, boogie boards and snorkel gear are provided. A concierge can arrange whale watching cruises, surf lessons, zip lining tours, luaus, massages and other activities. A breakfast cafe is located on site. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Paia Inn.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Located ocean-side on Lāna‘i, Four Seasons Resort Lana’i features views of the Pacific Ocean and lush gardens. Featuring two swimming pools with views of the ocean, a spa and in-room dining is also featured. Each elegant suite provides a private terrace, bathrobes and tea and coffee-making facilities at the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay. Styled in elegant dark wood furnishings, each cream colored room features bright white colored linens. Select rooms feature panoramic views of the ocean. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
Very impressive article, Leahrae! Thanks for making it so easy to plan a trip to Maui. You have done an amazing job of centralizing all the best points about Maui in one article. The pictures on this website are stunning. Do you think Maui is the most popular destination point in Hawaii? I have a family of 4. Would Maui be the best choice if you’re planning to visit Hawaii for a family this size?
Yes, Maui is probably the number one island visited. With a family of four, I would really recommend Kauai instead as you can make your budge go a little bit farther. Visit my Kauai Travel Guide here, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you for this excellent post Maui! I have been wanting to vacation to Hawaii, and this has all the information I need. I also read the post for Kauai. Seems like Maui is a little more expensive, where as Kauai is easier on the pocket book. Am I correct? If I can save on airfare and hotel, then I can stay a bit longer 😀
I am glad you enjoyed my Maui Travel Guide. Yes, Kauai will be a bit easier on the pocket book for sure and your vacation money will last a little more than in Maui. Both places are wonderful for sure. Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
I do have a couple questions. If I decide to head to Maui during their off season, will the weather still be as beautiful? Also will everything still be open? I know in some destinations, the off seasons also means that some businesses take time off. I would hate to go during the off season and not be able to enjoy it all.
Ok, the weather in Maui is pretty constant year round. You are not going to find a bad day there. I know I went during high season once and it rained the entire time…..two weeks! And that was just a fluke, but boy I did not like that. We still made the most of it, but I am a beach gal and love the beach. You are going to find that all businesses on Maui stay open year round. You won’t have any issues with anything being closed. Hope that helps 🙂
Thanks for sharing such beautiful place. It is a timely article for us. My wife and I are going to celebrate our 30 years marriage. We plan to go to Hawaii. But we would like to spend two weeks and visit as many scenarios as possible there. How many days should we stay at Maui? We would definitely like to spend one day for snorkeling. Besides this, do you have anything special suggesting for us?
Do you have best suggestions for the two week in Hawaii?
Thank you very much for your kind help in advance.
I would definitely stay for two weeks. One of Maui’s most memorable experiences is seeing the Haleakala sunrise or sunset from almost 10,000 feet above sea level. Here is more information on Haleakala. To find excellent views of Maui’s beautiful coastline, all you need to do is drive. So definitely spend a day and take the road to Hana. The scenic Road to Hana on Maui is the undisputed top attraction on the island. Take part in a Hawaiian / Polynesian Luau. You will find an abundance of them, and your hotel should be able to set one up for you. Do the Pride of Sunset Cocktail Cruise. Try a Maui Helicopter Tour with Maverick Tours. There are also a couple of great romantic tours you can take with Maui Aloha Adventures. I hope this helps 🙂
As always it feels so nice reading another article of yours on places to be and what to expect at different places
Every single part of this article really grabs me from pictures of the The Road To Hana, Kaanapali Beach,Haleakala National Park down to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. I have my bags packed already. Thank you for the great information!
You are so welcome!
I have to say this is one of the best articles I have had a chance to comment on EVER. I really enjoyed the structure of the article and the information provided as well. I have not been to Maui, however after reading this article not only do I want to visit as soon as possible, but I know I will be well prepared with all the information you have provided. Information on everything from the night-life, restaurants, attractions, and hotels, allows anyone to get a head start before setting out on a trip. I will definitely be back to your site as a travel resource, keep up the great work!
Thank you so much Jefrey! That means I am doing a decent job with my site then, I appreciate that. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my Maui Travel Guide. Let me know if you need any assistance when planning your Maui vacation.
Your blog always make me feel like travelling the very next second. I must say, the video is really amazing. Maui Hawaii looks like a paradise. I’ll certainly love to visit Maui and see the kaanapali beach. I read a while ago that there are volcanoes in Maui. Is this true? Are this volcanoes worth a visit?
Yes Louis there are volcanoes, and plenty of them. I think they are amazing and interesting all at once, so yes definitely worth a visit! There are three active volcanoes, Kilauea, actively erupting since 1983, Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1984 and Loihi, which erupted in 1996. You can discover 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and rain forests, as well as petroglyphs, a walk-in lava tube and one of the most active volcanoes on earth, Kilauea, which has been erupting since 1983. All right in Hawaii 🙂
Thanks for sharing maui travel guide.
I have always been waiting this whole winter for warm days to come so that I can just go out to the beach in order to relax. with this review there is no need for further research. This place looks great especially the island and I am impressed to see this. I can’t wait to visit
Great I hope you get to vacation to Maui soon! It is a wonderful place!
Honestly, this place sounds like Paradise. Those temperatures are so attractive for us who live in some cold temperatures. I am not much of a swimmer but a lot of activities seem to center around the beach, and the sea which would be a great getaway for myself and family. Are there any cultural activities that would allow us to meet and know more about the occupants and their lifestyle?
Ok, there are quite a few cultural things you can do in Maui. For a few visit the Kahanu Garden; this National Tropical Botanical Garden is like walking around ancient Hawaii. The 464-acre garden is home to Pi‘ilanihale—a towering, 3-acre religious structure that is the largest in all of Polynesia. Go to Malama Honokowai Valley; deep in the valley above Ka‘anapali is a village site frozen in time. Once abandoned by ancient Hawaiians when the stream water was diverted for sugar, volunteer groups are slowly revitalizing this traditional link to the past. And a must is the Old Lahaina Luau. This is one of the most popular things to do for first-time Maui visitors; those who have taken in the show highly recommend devoting an evening to this luau in particular for a fun intro to Hawaiian culture. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Wow, what an extensive travel guide indeed! I thoroughly appreciate the research you must have done to gather and compile so much helpful information. I really enjoyed the content and in the manner that you presented.
After reading your guide and watching the amazing video I am running out of words and indeed its really a paradise. I am adding Maui to my travel list. You are covering all the aspects in your guide which is amazing and you left no stone up-turned in explaining all the details about Maui.
Best wishes to you, your family and your success, Warm Regards,Paul
Thank you Paul and I am glad you enjoyed my Maui Travel Guide!
This is great information on Maui. I’m definitely looking to vacation here in the next year. The beautiful pictures at each paragraph makes it more promising. A friend of mine visited Maui last year and he really had a good time with wife. Maui really looks appalling with great features. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article on Maui. Cheer’s
You will enjoy Maui as well. Thanks for reading my Maui Travel Guide!
Hello there laehrae, you have done another excellent job with this post on Maui. Most of the interesting place’s to visit in Maui like the waterfalls, beaches, volcanic landscapes and many other interesting places make me want to pack my bags right now and head to Maui! Kaanapali Beach still remains the best place I plan to head to first.
Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to leave me some comments. You will enjoy your trip to Maui I am sure! Have a blast at Kaanapali Beach!
Maui is nothing short of beautiful. From the first time I saw the movie; ‘George of the Jungle’, and heard Lyle Vandergroot say to Ursula Stanhope, ” I was on a bridge like this in Maui, see really steady”, I have always known that I would visit Maui someday, mainly because I seek that ‘ steady bridge’ that Lyle saw, I guess I would like to try the Kayaking first of all and I cannot wait for a vacation to Maui! You have provided me with everything I need to know!
Oh kayaking out in the ocean is something that can’t be beat! I love to just have that peaceful time out on the water. You will have a great experience in Maui. Thanks for stopping by!
Wow, I love Maui, I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. My husband’ niece was working in Maui for years, and she absolutely loved it. This place is a real paradise for diving and snorkeling. Am I right? I’ve heard though that there are sharks in Maui waters. Have you heard of any attack recently? I am quite afraid of sharks since I saw the movie Jaws:)
Thank you for this excellent post!
I do agree that it is paradise 🙂 There are usually 2 to 3 attacks around Hawaii per year, but almost always non-fatal. With the millions of people in the ocean around Maui every year, your chances of being attacked are slim to none. There has never been a reported attack of a scuba diver in Hawaiian waters. So I think you are pretty save in the water 🙂 Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to go check some of these places out!
Do you have any ideas for activities to do with little ones while in Maui? We have four kids ranging in age from 3-years-old to 15-years-old. I’d like to do a Mommy-and-Me outing with each child while we are there. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas!
Oh there is plenty for each age group. Here are my suggestions: the Molokini Snorkeling Tour, Maui Ocean Center, Atlantis Submarine, Old Lahaina Luau, Surf Lessons, Maui Escape Rooms, Hawaii Mermaid Adventures, Maui Treasure Hunt, Tropical Express Tour, and UFO Parasail. These are all some great things for kids of varying ages to do. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Your posts really make me want to go travelling, like tomorrow!:)
Maui looks great!I personally love visiting islands, especially the ones that are further ashore. Think they always have some special vibes.
I like the idea of Maui Surfer girls.Kudos to those girls! That’s something I would definitely consider spending some of my time on.
Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome Marija and thanks for visiting my Maui Travel guide. I am glad you enjoyed!
WOW is all I can say, that drone video just took me away for a moment. This looks like a dream vacation, some day I will travel and this place is def. on my list.
Thank you for providing such a great article on this place. I love how you give an idea of the cost for eating out.
Glad you enjoyed Amanda. Yes, the drone video is like a digital visit to Maui 🙂 Kind of has you packing your bags and ready to go LOL!
Wow!. I have been looking for places specially beaches for me to take my fiancee after wedding on our honey moon. This place is incredible. My fiancee would surely love this! the view. the place. its awesome. Thanks for this wonderful review!
You are welcome, and I agree Randy! I think she will love it. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t love Maui 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!