Are you planning a trip to the enchanting island of Maui? If so, you're in for a treat! Maui is a paradise brimming with natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a variety of activities for every type of traveler. In this guide, we'll take you on a virtual tour of the best places to visit on Maui, from delectable local restaurants to iconic tourist sites, breathtaking hikes, pristine beaches, and fantastic shopping spots.
Important note: Before diving into our list of must-visit places, it's essential to address a recent concern on the island - the Maui wildflire. On August 8th, 2023, a devastating wildfire broke out in parts of West Maui, including Lahaina. While the situation has improved thanks to the efforts of local firefighters and first responders, some areas are still recovering. We strongly recommend checking for updated information on closed areas before planning your visit. Lahaina will remain fully closed to the public until further notice.
Before we dive into the must-visit places on Maui, let’s explore the concept of “pono.” Pono is a Hawaiian term that encompasses balance, harmony, and righteousness. It encourages us to live respectfully. As you explore Maui, keep this principle in mind and let it guide your interactions, decisions, and experiences. While visiting, the best way to sustain Hawaiʻi is to support local businesses, respect Hawaiʻi's people and land, and always live with Aloha. Supporting local businesses in Hawai’i helps stimulate the local economy, provides opportunities for more local businesses to thrive, and creates and sustains local jobs.
- Mama's Fish House
Located in Paia, Mama's Fish House is renowned for its fresh, locally sourced seafood served in a stunning oceanfront setting. It's a top choice for those seeking a true taste of Hawaiian cuisine amid a picturesque backdrop.
- Haliʻimaile General Store
A renowned Maui gem nestled in the picturesque upcountry. This charming restaurant offers a delightful fusion of Hawaiian and Pacific Rim flavors, served in a plantation-style setting. Known for its innovative cuisine and relaxed ambiance, it's a must-visit for those seeking a memorable dining experience on the island.
Major Tourist Sites
- Haleakalā National Park
For a truly magical experience, wake up early to witness the sunrise at the summit of Haleakalā. This dormant volcano offers breathtaking panoramic views of the island. Afterward, embark on a hike through the surreal landscapes within the national park.
- Road to Hāna
Begin your Maui exploration with the famous Hāna Highway. This winding road will lead you through lush rainforests, waterfalls, and dramatic coastal vistas. Don't miss the chance to hike to the enchanting Twin Falls or grab a plate of delicious banana bread from a local stand on the way.
- Iao Valley StatePark
Visit Iao Valley to learn about Hawaiian history and culture. The iconic Iao Needle is a remarkable natural formation surrounded by lush vegetation, making it an excellent place for a short hike and photo opportunities.
- Makaluapuna Point
Makaluapuna Point, also known as Dragon's Teeth, offers a unique geological wonder. These jagged lava formations creates a dramatic backdrop for your exploration. It's a lesser-known gem worth discovering.
- Pipiwai Trail
Pipiwai Trail in Haleakalā National Park offers a magical hike through a towering bamboo forest, where the clacking of bamboos stalks creates a surreal ambiance. Along the way, you'll encounter a majestical waterfall, Waimoku Falls, a must-see natural wonder for hikers and nature enthusiasts alike.
- Waiheʻe Ridge Trail
- Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area
Polipoli Springs is a serene natural oasis nestled on the slopes of Haleakalā. This remote park offers lush forested trails, picnic areas, and cool, misty atmospheres, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful escape and outdoor activities like hiking and birdwatching.
- Wailea Beach
- Big Beach (Makena Beach State Park)
For those seeking a more secluded beach experience, Makena State Park offers pristine shorelines, lava formations, and the stunning Big Beach. It's a perfect spot for a picnic and a swim in the crystal-clear waters.
- Baldwin Beach
Baldwin Beach, located on the North Shore, is a picturesque stretch of golden sand framed by lush palm trees and turquoise waters. Known for tranquil atmosphere, it's an ideal spot for sunbathing, picnics, and leisurely walks along the shoreline. The beach is also popular among surfers, and its scenic beauty makes it a must-visit destination for those exploring Maui's natural wonders.
Places to shop
- Pāʻia Boutiques
Pāʻia is a boutique shopper's paradise on Maui's North Shore. The town is home to a unique collection of boutiques, each offering a distinct blend of bohemian chic and island charm. From stylish clothing stores showcasing local designers to art galleries featuring Hawaiian artisans, Pāʻia's boutiques provide an eclectic shopping experience that perfectly complements the town's laid-back, artistic atmosphere. Some local shops you can find there:
- Nuage Bleu: If youʻre in search of fashionable clothing, swimwear, and accessories, this is the place to be. Their selection features local Hawaiian designers offering a bland of island style with global trends.
- Maui Hands: This gallery-style shop celebrates
Hawaiian art and craftsmanship. It features a variety of locally made items, including paintings, sculptures, and handcrafted jewelry, providing an opportunity to support Mauiʻs talented artists.
- Makawao Shopping
Nestled in Upcountry Maui, offers a delightful shopping experience. Its quaint streets are lined with boutique stores, art galleries, and unique shops where you can find one-of-a-kind crafts, locally made jewelry, and artisanal goods. Some local shops you can find there:
- Hot Island Glass: A glassblowing gallery where guests can watch artists create high-quality Hawaiian-flavored pieces.
- The Mercantile: A charming boutique filled with handmade clothing, jewelry, and home decor items crafted by local artisans.
- Whalers Village ( Kāʻanapali)
Whalers Village is a premier shopping and dinning destination on Maui's west coast. Set against the backdrop of stunning beachfront views, this open-air shopping complex offers a diverse selection of boutiques, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Visitors can explore Hawaiian art, indulge in local cuisine, and even catch a glimpse of humpback whales during the winter months. Some local shops you can find there:
- Maui Divers Jewelry: Explore exquisite jewelry that's inspired, designed, and created in Hawaiʻi. Established in 1959, their beautiful handcrafted Hawaiian jewelry can only be found at their stores across the Hawaiian Islands and each design tells a unique story that you'll love sharing. Discover the magic of made in Hawaiʻi with Maui Divers Jewelry.
- Haleakala Trading Company: Find a diverse range of Hawaiian-themed gifts, clothing, and accessories that make for great souvenirs or gifts for loved ones.
- Maui Clothing Company: This shop offers an array of clothing and apparel inspired by the Hawaiian lifestyle, including aloha shirts, dresses, and casual wear.
Please do your part to be a responsible and respectful guest on the island. Here are a few suggestions:
- Obey signs such as “no trespassing” and “no parking.”
- Don't touch, feed, or get too close to turtles, monk seals, or other wildlife
- Don't stop on the road, however good the photo opportunity – always find a safe place to pull over
- Don’t litter or take any sand or rocks with you
- Support local businesses
By exploring these incredible places on Maui, you'll create unforgettable memories of your trip to this tropical paradise. With its diverse offerings, Maui truly has something for everyone, making it an ideal destination for your next adventure. Aloha and enjoy your Maui journey.