There are so many things to keep you busy on Maui; choosing what to do depends on your interests. If we only had seven days, this is how we would spend them.
Isn’t that the reason you flew to this island in the middle of the ocean? With only seven days, you definitely need to start relaxing the second you walk off the plane. If it’s daytime, check into your hotel, put your bathing suit on, and head on over to the beach. There’s nothing that’ll jump start your vacation like a swim in the ocean, and vitamin D will help with the jet lag. If you arrive in the evening, grab a drink from the bar and lounge around on your lanai while enjoying the tropical sounds and fragrant sea breezes. If your hotel hosts a nightly hula show don’t dismiss it as too touristy, grab a seat and enjoy it.
2. Drive the road to Hana
Hana is a special place and the road leading to the town is spectacular. This is definitely one of those instances when the joy is in the journey. There are plenty of places to stop and look at waterfalls and go for a swim. There are also farms and botanical gardens to visit, just make sure to plan enough time. Hana town itself is small with one main hotel, the Travaasa Hana, which has beautiful grounds to walk around. You can grab a bite to eat at the hotel or check out Thai Food by Pranee for a less expensive alternative.
Some people drive the road to the Oheo Gulch and turn around, but the road does continue through Kipahulu and Kaupo all the way around to Kula.
If you go make sure to get the Road to Hana CD, it will guarantee that you don’t miss a thing along the way.
For lack of a better expression, get “off the beaten path” and explore. Whether it’s places, food, or art, discover something new. Go to the Olivine Pools and take a swim in one as the ocean roars and waves crash around you. Go into a gallery on Front St and take in some new art or ask a local where to grab a bite to eat and go, even if the place looks like a dive. Have some traditional Hawaiian food – discover the mixed plate or loco moco.
The Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook was one of our best purchases as far as guidebooks go. In our opinion there is no better way to see the island as first timers. It’s written by locals and has tons of useful information.
4. Play in the ocean
Rent a stand up paddle board, take a surfing class, or go snorkeling. Kihei alone has 6 miles of beaches. Our favorites are Koki, Makena and Kapalua beaches. Kapalua can get crowded but the snorkeling is great and you are almost guaranteed to see green sea turtles. Makena is big and spectacular and at Koki, on the Hana side, the water is shallow enough to walk about 20 feet with the water barely over your hips.
5. Immerse yourself in local culture
Hawaii is rich in culture and locals will gladly talk story with you if you are open to learning. Attend a luau, and learn about the tiki gods or what an imu is and how to build one. Visit a cultural centre or museum and learn about Maui’s past.
- Hana Cultural Centre 4974 Uakea Rd, Hana
- Baldwin Home Museum 120 Dickenson Street, Lahaina
- The Sugar Museum 3957 Hansen Rd, Kahului
6. Head Upcountry
You will find several communities on the slopes of Haleakala volcano. Much different one from the other and from the beach towns, here the evenings are cool and the scent of eucalyptus carries on the morning breeze. Stop in at Komoda Bakery in Makawao for donuts on a stick or malasada. If you’re a fan of goat cheese, visit Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula.
- Komoda Bakery 3674 Baldwin
- Surfing Goat Dairy 3651 Omaopio Road
This is how we would spend a week on Maui. The sky is the limit as far as activities go, just walk down Front Street and you will surely get propositioned to take this or that tour. A little research beforehand will ensure you get the best value for your money. And don’t be afraid to haggle. Whatever you decide to do on your Maui vacation, stay safe and enjoy the aloha spirit.