Maui is an absolute dream location. There are tons of places to explores, lots of beaches to relax on, some of the most delicious food, & so much more to see & do. Below find a list of our favorite spots along with the top things you must do while in Maui. We also share tons of tips on how to ensure you’re able to do everything as easily as possible!
WHERE TO EAT:
Belle Surf Cafe: Easily the cutest, most instagrammable lunch spot on the island, we absolutely loved everything Belle Surf had to offer. Their smoothies & avocado toasts are beyond delicious & their outdoor patio is the perfect spot to take a little break from your day to relax & still enjoy all Maui has to offer.
Lulu’s Lemonade: If you need a sweet treat to help you cool off, Lulu’s is your spot. With tons of unique lemonade flavors to choose from, we loved grabbing a drink here & strolling around town during the afternoon. Their mermaid lemonade, made with spirulina & coconut water, & watermelon flavors were our favorite!
Ono Gelato Co.: While Hawaii is known for shaved ice, you really can’t go wrong with this gelato shop. Their mint flavor is so tasty & they even have a beautiful patio in the back where you can sit over the ocean to enjoy your gelato!
Pacific’O Restaurant: The food is fresh, the views incredible & the staff was extra friendly. We loved our meal here!
Chow’s Food Truck: If you’re taking a drive through Hana, this food truck is a must visit. Their plates, which Hawaii is known for, were absolutely delicious. Highly recommend the Korean beef plate with macaroni salad & corn. SO good.
Montage Hotel: We stopped here for a nicer lunch on the water. Their views were amazing, as was the food. While it’s definitely a pricier lunch, it’s a great way to treat yourself on vacation. The nachos & sashimi were amazing!
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice: While there will likely be a long wait for this shaved ice spot, it’s totally worth it. They have tons of flavors & it’s beyond refreshing after a long day in the sun!
Star Noodle: TWO nights in Maui we got Star Noodle as takeout & those were easily two of our favorite nights! Thai food in bed? Yes please. The chef here was actually on Top Chef so you know the food is good. Highly recommend the pad thai!
Mama’s Fish House: As soon as you book your trip to Maui, make a reservation at Mama’s Fish House. Known for being the best restaurant on the island, it definitely lived up to its reputation. The curry & banana dessert are out of this world good. Plus the staff is incredibly sweet & the views are stunning. A must visit on your trip!
WHERE TO RELAX:
Kamehameha Iki Park: This beautiful park & beach is a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring & catch a sunset. It has beautiful views of the ocean & is just steps from the largest Banyan tree in the world (so we were told, ha!). While seeing a tree might not sound too enticing, the way this massive tree grows is it’s branches hang down & when they hit the ground, plant roots to form another base of the tree.
Oneloa/Big Beach: This beach is absolutely beautiful & a great spot to relax. The day we went the waves were so massive, you weren’t allowed to go in the water!
WHERE TO EXPLORE:
Road To Hana: This day long trip was an absolute dream. We saw massive, 100lb. sea turtles on the beaches, swam under waterfalls, lounged on black & red sand beaches, & so much more. Some must-stops on this trip are: black sand beach, red sand beach, Ho’okipa Beach Park (where we saw the turtles!), Makawao Forest Reserve (waterfall), Aunt Sandy’s (for freshly baked banana bread), Haiku (tide pools & beautiful views), Ko’olau Forest Reserve (waterfalls), Pua’aka’a State Park (waterfalls & tide pools you can swim in!), Chow’s (food truck), Wailua Falls (waterfalls), Kaulanapueo Church (there are horses on the property you can feed), Queens Bath (hike & tide pool), Seven Sacred Pools (tide pools), & Kula (wild animals on the side of the highway & beautiful views). It’s a super windy & dangerous drive so we highly recommend getting a driver. This will ensure you’re safe, allow you to see the best stops & go at your own pace. We used Viator for a private tour – ask for Darren, he was the absolute sweetest & we felt so safe the entire time. Plus, he knew some incredible hidden gems on the tour that no other tourists stopped at!
Haleakala National Park: Drive up 10,000 feet to watch the sunrise on this insanely beautiful & scenic volcano. Seeing the sunrise this high up, above the clouds, was truly a once in a lifetime experience. While you do have to wake up early, it’s SO worth it. You have to book a reservation 2 months out & tickets go FAST. Be sure to log onto the website as soon as ticket sales go live. If you miss it or tickets sell out, they offer a few more 2 days before at 4pm local time. Create an account beforehand so you can easily checkout & not lose your tickets. Unfortunately, getting tickets is super competitive & not something concierge or tour guides can typically help with. We drove up the the top on our own & while the drive up was a bit scary (it’s pitch black & you’re driving up a mountain…), the drive down is absolutely beautiful & much easier. Sunrise was at 5:30am the day we went & up at around 3am. We napped in the car for 20 minutes, watched the stars (the sky was SO clear – if you go when it’s cloudy I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see the sunrise unfortunately), & then got out to secure a front row spot for watching the sunrise before it even started (it gets crowded so make sure you secure your spot!). There are two spots to watch the sunrise (two parking lots), make sure you go to the top one as the views are a smidge better.
Kapalua Coastal Trail: This trail is a little over a mile & is set on the beach – there are even access points from the trail down to a few of the beaches if you want to take a break or relax at any point! We found this trail to be super easy & enjoyable. When you get to the trail, take the first right to get onto the trail – we went straight at first & it just leads out to the ocean (pretty view though!).
Nakalele Blowhole & Heart Shaped Mountain: Easily one of the coolest spots in Hawaii, this short (but rocky) hike leads you down to a massive blowhole (where the ocean blows through a hole in a rock) & is right next to a super cute heart carved out in a rock. Needless to say, it’s a very instagrammable spot. Make sure you wear proper hiking shoes going down & up to this spot though, we watched someone slip in sandals & sprain her ankle. She had to be airlifted off the mountain as she couldn’t walk back up & it was super scary!
Iao Mountain Trail & Pools: This trail is such a great one as there are various paths you can take. While it’s not long, the way down leads to tons of tide pools & a stream you can swim in! The way up leads to stunning views of the rainforest & mountain.
Waihe’e Ridge Trail: This hike is steep but well worth the workout. The views are incredible, the entire way to the top &, of course, on top too. Make sure you check the weather beforehand as it tends to rain on that part of the island in the morning. If it rains that day, do not go on the hike as it can get super slippery & dangerous. Also, make sure to get there before 9:30am or so as there are only about 20 parking spots in the lot. We had to wait about 10 minutes for someone to come down the mountain (we were lucky it only took 10 min!) otherwise we would have had to park at the bottom & hike up another mile just to get to the starting point.
Makena Bay: While we didn’t have time to visit this spot on our trip (the waves were too rough), we’ve heard it’s an incredible spot for kayaking! They have glass bottom kayaks so you can watch the sea life below you! Rumor has it there are massive turtles that will swim right under your kayak!
PIN FOR LATER: