It would be nearly impossible to showcase all the beautiful places to spend a day on Maui, so we’ve narrowed it down to our top favorites. For an excellent (and free!) online resource of things to see, do, and eat on the island, check out Maui Guidebook.
Rising 10,023 ft. above sea level, Haleakalā summit delivers 360° panoramic views of Maui (and on a clear day, five neighboring Hawaiian Islands). Self-guided hikes into the crater propel you into another world; through vibrant moonscapes and past vegetation that exists nowhere else on the planet. For more info: nps.gov/hale
The North Shore
Get ready to feel the power of the ocean. During the windy winter months when the surf is up, endless lines of white-crested waves stack as far as the eye can see at Ho’okipa Beach Park (mecca for all board-riding adrenaline junkies). If you’re lucky, conditions may be right to see the world-famous monster wave, Pe’ahi (a.k.a. Jaws) and the men and women brave enough to tackle her 50+ ft faces.
The Road to Hana
Pack a picnic, fill the tank and grab your camera, you’re going for a ride! The winding cliffside road to the tropical village of Hana is 50 miles of waterfalls, swimming holes, bamboo forests, botanical gardens, fishing communities and some of the most dramatic seascapes you’ll ever see. Plan to head out early and spend the day stopping wherever your wanderlust takes you.
Often overlooked by the main tourist crowd, Maui’s Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) towns are lots of fun to spend a meandering day. Some gems along the way include Komodo Bakery in Makawao (get there early!), Grandma’s Coffee House in Kula, and the Tadeschi Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch for some Maui Gold Pineapple wine.
Old Lahaina Town
The original capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Lahaina is a bustling mix of culture, commercialism and colonial flavor. Spend a day wandering in and out of shops and galleries, strolling through the Banyan Tree artist market, and taking in a dinner show or a Pacific Island luau in Old Lahaina Town.
West Maui Mountains
Driving from Kapalua around to Wailuku, the narrow, one lane road careens past knife-edge lava cliffs on one side and sheer vertical drops to churning blue ocean on the other. Not for the faint of heart, this daytrip reaps some incredible rewards with stops at the Nakalele Blowhole, crystal Olivine Pools, and the absolute BEST banana bread on the island at Julie’s roadside stand.