What Not to Miss in Maui

Maui was named after the name of the Native Hawaiian demigod Māui. It is also called the “Valley Isle” for the large Isthmus of Maui that divides the island. Maui is home to over 30 miles of world-renowned beaches, 2,600 square miles of tropical rainforest, and sacred landscapes like Iao Valley and Haleakala. It is also home to the migration area for Humpback whales in the winter. It is not surprising that Maui has been voted “Best Island in the U.S.” for the past 20 years. The beaches, the activities, and the views are unlike anywhere else in the world. Discover what you shouldn’t miss on your next vacation to Maui.


Photo credit: Maui Surfer Girls Facebook

Surfing Lessons

Surfing in Hawaii dates back to the 4th century A.D. Hawaiians had special ceremonies for new surfboards and they chanted to the gods to make big waves for surfing and to give courage to the men who rode the waves.  Surfing was also popular amongst the Hawaiian royalty who had a separate beach for surfing than the commoners. Several of Hawaii’s kings were renowned or their surfing ability and their surfboards were among their prized possessions. So what better way to connect with the history and culture of Hawaii than by taking surfing lessons?

Maui Surfer Girls is a female-owned and female-run company, but their classes are open to everyone! They have small class sizes and will take you to an uncrowded location for your surf lessons. Their instructors are absolutely top-notch and make learning how to surf a total blast. Highly recommend!

As a tip though, don’t schedule your surfing lessons on the last available day of your vacation. If the weather isn’t ideal, you won’t be able to reschedule. Also, most people wish they could do a second lesson! So take your surfing lesson earlier in the vacation so you have time to do another one if you end up loving it.


Road to Hana

The Hana Highway is one of the most beautiful drives in the world! The road is about 64.4 miles long, but it takes about 2.5 hours to drive because the highway is very windy, narrow, and passes 46 one-lane bridges. You will also want to stop at many points along the way to explore the waterfalls, hikes, freshwater caves, swimming holes, and other attractions.

Take a Road to Hana tour so that you don’t miss anything! The guides at Awapuhi Adventures are really knowledgeable about the history of ancient Hawaiian and Polynesian traditions. They will help you tailor your experience for your group, interests, and fitness level. They will take you to see the waterfalls, swimming holes, hikes, and more. You can go at your own pace while exploring Maui from mauka (mountains) to Makai (ocean). Learn about Hawaiian natural history along the way, too!


Whale Watching

If you plan to visit Hawaii between Dec 1 – May 1, then you should really check out a whale watching tour! The Humpback Whales here come 3,000 miles from Alaska to mate and give birth. This means that you will more than likely see baby whales on your trip! You will get as close as 100 yards to these gentle giants. Also, the Maui coastline is absolutely stunning, so you will get some incredible photos with the whales and the island.

The captains and crew members at Ultimate Whale Watch are certified, marine specialists. They work in a whale sanctuary and work closely with the researchers. The guides have so much knowledge and their genuine love for the ocean makes this the most informative whale watching tour available. Also, they guarantee that you will see whales or you will get to go again for free!


Snorkeling in Lanai

Lanai, Maui offers unbelievably beautiful coral reefs, breathtaking sea-cliffs, and awesome marine life sightings. You can see a variety of wildlife including green sea turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, rays, and more! Lanai is the best place to snorkel because the reef is thriving and there are more than a dozen remote snorkeling spots along the coast. I would really recommend going snorkeling with a tour so that they can show you all the hidden gems and a naturalist can explain all the amazing marine life you are seeing. Book a Snorkeling Tour in Lanai for your next vacation.


View the Sunrise from Haleakala Summit

Waking up at the crack of dawn is probably not at the top of your list for your Maui vacation. But I would really recommend that at least one morning on your vacation, you should view the spectacular Maui sunrise! It is truly breathtaking and unlike any other sunrise in the world. One of the best places vistas is from way up above the island shores, at Haleakala Summit. You can watch as the morning light spreads dramatically across the volcano’s crater floor. The colors of Haleakala Valley grow more vibrant as the sun continues to rise. It is a really epic experience that is a must-see on your trip. 


Horseback Riding

Imagine taking a trail ride into the picturesque Mauna Kahalawai Valley on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains by horseback. Besides the bi-coastal majestic views, you will have a rare opportunity to see some of Maui's most hidden treasures.  Trail rides are for anyone whether first time or experienced riders. The terrific guides at Makani Olu Ranch will design your program to you in your horsemanship journey! They are a family-oriented working cattle ranch and equine facility. They will really give you an incredible horseback riding experience.



The first settlers to arrive at the Hawaiian Islands are said to have arrived via sailboat as early as 400 CE. Although Hawaii has changed in many ways, the art of sailing in Hawaii has remained constant. The ancient Hawaiians had extensive knowledge of the wind and sea. They created over 30 names for the winds on the island of Maui. Today, you can still follow in the ancient Hawaiian tradition of connecting these islands by sea. A sailing tour will let you feel the excitement, the romance, and the beauty of the Hawaiian art of sailing!


Considering visiting Oahu island? Check out our list of the Top Experiences in Oahu to complete your vacation.


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