Maui Island for Road Trips

8 min read

For solo and budget-conscious travellers, or even families with a baby, on the look-out for a fun tropical adventure in the Pacific, Hawaii should be at the top of their list. This archipelago is easily one of the most scenic states in the US. Having been blessed with great summers, beautiful beaches and warm-hearted people, this Aloha state is a must-visit if you're arranging a getaway to the North Pacific. A quick look at a map of Hawaii will show you that it is made up of eight major islands, the second largest of which is Maui, a great destination for adventures and relaxation.

Beaches and islands tend to be the first thing that comes to mind when some people think about Maui. And while it is true that there are beaches all over the island, it also has more to offer than just beautiful waterfronts. Maui island offers tourists memorable spots to check out and a variety of activities to do, such as diving, snorkelling and even submarine rides. Beyond the pristine waters, it also has refreshing locations that offer the best Mai Tai and Poke in all of Hawaii, a great luau experience, and a trip to the Pearl Factory.

Be sure to book a trip to the Molokini Crater, which is a top snorkelling spot at one of Maui’s best beaches. Then swim with turtles at Turtle Town, also known as Maluaka Beach. To experience Maui's rich floral landscape, relax at the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm. It also houses numerous other plants, which is perfect for a quiet afternoon after basking under the beach sun. Afterwards, catch the sunset at the Haleakala Summit.

In Maui, one cannot miss the famed Road to Hana trip. This road trip has markers and stops fitting for those on the lookout to get to know Maui better. Do visit the Twin Falls and the 7 Sacred Pools for a unique dip in Maui's freshest waters. Also grab the tourists’ favourite banana bread at the Halfway to Hana Road and experience the cool black shoreline at the Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach.

  • 3 day itinerary
  • Average of 5 stops per day

Maui Through the Senses

Sunset at Lahaina
Parasailing in Hawaii
Whale Tail
Mai Tai in Hawaii
Hula Dancing

The city of Lahaina was once the royal capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and has luckily retained its bustling port culture. On your first day on the Island, get to know this part of Maui either on foot or via a short drive. Like many centers of culture and commerce, Lahaina offers great treats to the senses. So get ready to chow down on authentic Hawaiian cuisine and mixes. Get your first poke bowl at Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors or a great glass of Mai Tai at Kimo’s on Front Street. Then get your hands on the Maui’s best ocean keepsakes at the Pearl Factory, or book a trip on a submarine with the Atlantis Submarines Maui company. Finally, cap your first day with a memorable Hawaiian party at the Old Lahaina Luau.


See Maui's gorgeous landscape and ocean from high above with a lovely parasail ride. Companies like UFO Parasail offer these rides for couples or three-person flights, too! So be sure to level up your Maui trip with an exciting ride 800 ft above the sea. Parasailing is a top activity in Hawaii and a great way to set the tone for the start of your exciting Hawaiian adventure!

Poke Stop at Tamura's

What’s a Hawaii trip without a taste of each island’s very own Poke? Many visitors get their raw fish fix at Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors. They also enjoy a selection of spirits here, but they usually stay for the Poke. This store has a liquor business at the front and a poke party at the back. Surprise your taste buds with your own fresh bowl!

Maui Undersea Adventure

You'll have plenty of time to spend on Maui’s beachfronts, so keep your first day as relaxed (or as dry) as possible. Continue your tour under water with the Maui Atlantis Adventures. Get a chance to be 100 ft below the sea on a 48-person submarine. This company also offers package deals that include whale watching, an on-shore luau, buffet, as well as a tour across other sights in Maui.

Mai Tai at Kimo's

When on vacation, every moment can be happy hour! Grab your Mai Tai (rum infused with grapefruit juice) at Kimo's. This is where you can experience one of Hawaii's many great oceanfront dining options. Aside from the Mai Tai, get a slice of their Hula Pie, too! Enjoy these delicacies with a picture-perfect view of the Maui shoreline.

Old Lahaina Luau

Finish off your first day in Maui with a real luau. Experience one at the Old Lahaina Luau, which is located at Front Street. At the luau, guests can experience the traditional lei greeting, the Imu unearthing ceremony, Hawaiian drinks, a buffet, and more! Of course, dance the night away with Hawaiian music and hula dancing, too!

Maui Through Heights and Waters

Dolphins While Diving at Molokini Crater
Dolphins While Snorkelling at Molokini Crater by Yale Cohen
Molokini Crater
Sea Turtles in Maui
Haleakalā National Park

On the second day, keep your trip in Maui close to its beautiful waters as you will soon learn there are many beautiful spots to snorkel in Hawaii. The Molokini Crater, for example, is one of Maui’s best snorkel spots as it offers clear waters and thriving biodiversity. Afterwards, you can continue swimming and snorkelling at Maluaka Beach (also known as Turtle Town). Considering all the snorkelling you'll be doing on this trip, you should look into purchasing snorkel gear before your trip so you always have it on hand.

After all the swimming you've done, relax and unwind at the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm to witness Maui’s abundant fauna. Coffee and snacks are also available here. Finally, head over to the Haleakala National Park to view Maui from atop this reddish-brown peak. Sunset here is a must-see, too!

Molokini Crater

Just off of mainland Maui is a beautiful crescent-shaped crater. The Molokini Crater is one of only three volcanic calderas on earth and is perhaps the most loved. It is a prime spot for people who love to dive or snorkel. The water in this crater is crystal clear and the coral reefs are nothing short of amazing.

Maluaka Beach

Tourists who have visited Maluaka Beach recommend the beach for its small crowds and great scenery. This off the beaten path beach is ideal for those looking for quiet time on the shore. Plus, turtles can be found here. If the waves are not too big, visitors get to snorkel and swim with these gentle creatures, which is fitting for a beach also nicknamed Turtle Town.

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Whether you love lavender as a herb or an essential oil, you cannot deny the calming benefits of this plant. After your exciting (and exhausting) time in the water of Maui, spend a relaxing early afternoon at Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm. Guided walking tours and cart trips are available to help visitors see a great expanse of lavender and many other plants. Why not have a cup of coffee or a gourmet picnic while in this purple paradise, too?

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakala is a dormant shield volcano where visitors can arrange hiking or sightseeing tours beforehand. Many tourists opt to experience either the breathtaking sunrise or the sunset here coupled with a great view of the island’s landscape. This park is also home to the Haleakala Observatory, which is also the site of the Maui Space Surveillance System. A small hike is a great way to wrap up your day in this part of Maui.

Road to Hana

A Stop Along the Road to Hana
A Stop Along the Road to Hana by nlang06
Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe'o Gulch
Black Sand Beach in Waianapanapa State Park
Twin Falls

No trip to Maui is complete without a road trip on the popular Road to Hana. While Hana itself is not the major destination, the stops (or ‘markers’) along the way are worth the drive. You can join a tour or rent a car, such as a jeep, to complete this road trip.

The Hana Highway typically starts from the northern point in Pa’ia, but you can start at any point you want. If starting in Pa’ia, head south for awhile for find the Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe'o just off the main Hana road, which is where you can experience Hawaiian charm through waterfalls and bamboo forests. Afterwards, continue your trip and make a stop at the Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach. Heading back up north again after the Black Sand Beach, you can stop by Marker # 17, the Halfway to Hana mark, where you can enjoy snacks and local drinks. Finally, finish the trip with a hike and swim at the majestic Twin Falls at marker 2.

Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe'o Gulch

O'heo Gulch, or the Seven Sacred Pools, is a surprising stop just off of the main Road to Hana, close to Haleakala National Park. You can hike up a cliff to look in awe at the crashing Pacific Ocean waves. Some of the many pools are also safe for swimming and cliff-jumping (at your own risk). It is not strictly a sacred ground, but was aptly nicknamed so for marketing purposes. Make this your first early morning stop of the day so you can quickly check out the Pipawi Trail too, or to just take a dip in one of the many pools at the foot of the waterfall.

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach

Maui beaches are all breathtaking, but wait until you see a black one! Make sure to not leave Maui without experiencing a beach with black sand. It has the best of the shoreline you would come to expect of Hawaii, but with an elegant touch of dark volcanic rocks and black sand. This beach is located within the Waianapanapa State Park and guests can camp or have a picnic here. Visitors may also spot lava tubes within the area. This is marker number 32 along the Road to Hana and is a must-see.

Halfway to Hana

Marker #17 means you are already halfway to Hana. For travellers, Halfway To Hana means refreshments and treats to enjoy along the road. The Halfway to Hana establishment offers the renowned banana bread, shaved ice and more. This is a popular place to stop to stretch your legs and eat a bit before getting back on the road. Pick up some trinkets here to take home as well.

Twin Falls

The Twin Falls is said to be one of the easier falls to get into on the Road to Hana. Visitors should check the weather beforehand to see if the sun will be out to make sure they can make the most of their time there. When on the trail, listen closely to the sound of the falling water and relax.This is a great way to end your trip to Maui, Hawaii.

Take note adventure-seekers, there is a 40 ft jump, which you might find exciting.

This article was first published on Jun 12, 2019 15:31 UTC.

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