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20 of the Ultimate Experiences in Maui

As one of the premier islands in the U.S., Maui offers a special kind of magic. This "Valley Aisle," as the locals know it, combines over 700 square miles of breathtaking beauty with a vibrant lifestyle. Whether you want to rejuvenate on a white sand beach, set sail at sunset, or boost your adrenaline with surfing, swimming, or ziplining through a tropical rainforest, this action-packed island is brimming with adventure. From family-friendly getaways to romantic excursions, these majestic experiences will help you make the most of any Maui vacation.


01 Maui Pineapple Tours

One of the more popular activities on Maui is taking a pineapple tour. Walking through the Hali'imaile Pineapple Plantation is both educational and delicious. Tastings along the way provide different stages of maturity of the pineapple. The guide will explain the history of pineapples in Hawaii, and at the end of the tour, each visitor will be able to take a pineapple home straight from the plantation!

02 Molokini Crater Snorkeling

Molokini Crater is a volcano that is partially submerged in the ocean and located approximately 3 miles off the southern coast of Maui. It is home to more than 250 types of incredibly colorful fish, such as Yellow Tangs, Moorish idols, Puffers, Moray eels, and some species of sharks. These fish swim and hide within the boldly colored coral that grows throughout. This is an excellent place to take an underwater snorkeling tour with a qualified professional.

03 Hike Haleakala's Crater

Haleakala's Crater is the largest dormant volcano in the world and offers visitors an excellent view of the island. The hike is just over 11 miles round trip and sports a walk under the canopy of foliage followed by a stark moonlike walk across the sun-drenched surface of the crater. While the journey is not the easiest, the views and phenomenal experience it provides are worth the trip.

person standing on top of rock Maremagnum / Getty Images

04 Volcano Mountain Biking

For those that are looking for adventure and thrills, biking down the side of a volcano such as Haleakala could do the trick. This 10,000-foot, 23-mile biking experience across the moonlike surface and down a two-lane roadway will give you a different perspective on the day. Passing by fields filled with pineapple and sugar cane brings you to a sandy end to your journey.

man mountain biking near volcano AscentXmedia / Getty Images

05 Hana Roadway

Famous for over 600 curves and 50 treacherous bridges, the 52-mile drive along the coastline to the town of Hana is an activity all its own. The amazing waterfalls and views from the lookouts set atop cliffs, accompanied by beautiful smells of ginger blossoms and hibiscus, are what most people dream about when they visit Hawaii, and it is all along this ride.

Scenic Hana Highway on the east coast of Maui, Hawaii, USA Julie Caron / Getty Images

06 Cathedrals of Lanai

Diving in Maui is nothing short of amazing, with incredible sea life and beautiful waters. Diving the Cathedrals of Lanai is one of the most impressive events experienced by visitors. The chamber that you drop into gives way to a lava rock ceiling as you come to a boulder set just so that it looks like a cathedral altar. This is a lava tube that has amazing natural architecture below the sea.

Sweetheart Rock of Lanai Island in Hawaii YinYang / Getty Images

07 Seven Sacred Pools

Seven Sacred Pools, better known to the locals as Oheo Gulch, provides visitors with crystal-clear water, having dropped from a stream from above into the pool below. The pools are beautiful for swimming and lounging and a hot spot for cliff jumping for those wishing to break the rules of the posted signs along the way. Whether you want to jump in or enjoy the view, this is a site to be seen and photographed.

Gorgeous tropical landscapes with dense rainforests, waterfalls, rivers along the road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA Leamus / Getty Images

08 Maui Golfing

There is arguably no better backdrop for golfing than Maui, with lush green canopies dropping down to exquisite beaches. The weather is perfect for a round or two of golf at one of the courses, such as Kapalua Golf, Kaanapali Golf Courses, and Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course. A day on the course is more than just another day when you enjoy the beauty that Maui brings to the golf course.

Maui Hawaii golfer and palm tree lined golf course ejs9 / Getty Images

09 Helicopter tours

Maybe one of the best ways to see the island of Maui is with a helicopter ride. This gives visitors a breathtaking view of everything the island offers, from lush green foliage to incredible beaches and crystal blue waters. The helicopter tours can provide travelers with a view of waterfalls in such a way that is breathtaking and will be memorable for years to come. This is also an excellent photo opportunity for any wanting to capture their trip to the island.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Helicopter on Hana pastorscott / Getty Images

10 Keawakapu Beach

Of course, one of the best reasons to visit Maui is the beach. Whether you choose Keawakapu Beach or one of the many other options on the island, it will be an experience you never forget. The crash of the blue waves, the palm trees as they wave in the breeze, and the beautiful sand make the beach a perfect way to unwind and reset. This is the ideal way to end your visit to the island and get ready for re-entry into the world you came from.

Dog on beach in Maui. VisualCommunications / Getty Images

11 Traditional Luau Experience

A luau is a grand celebration of culture, music, and meals, making it the ultimate Hawaiian experience for all five senses. You'll find venues across the island serving sunset feasts with traditional dishes such as kālua pig and coconut pudding, plus the hula dancers, fire breathers, and musicians Maui is famous for. Fresh flower lei greetings get you into the Aloha spirit, and lively cultural performances encourage audience involvement. Whether you stop by the first night or every night of your trip, this is a once-in-a-lifetime Polynesian adventure you don't want to miss.

Hawaiian Hula valdecasas / Getty Images

12 Whale Watching Tours

From November-May, make it to Maui for some of the best whale watching on earth. Tours are led by experienced whale researchers and marine biologists, so you'll learn about aquatic life directly from the experts. Each tour is guided in small groups to help you make the most of your experience, so you have space to spread out, take photos, and get the best views on the boat. From killer whales to sperm whales, belugas, and bowheads, you never know what you'll find, making every tour a unique adventure.

Humpback Whale Blueroomuwp / Getty Images

13 Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Explore the Hawaiian coastline by paddleboard, and you'll discover a side of Maui that you never would've experienced otherwise. If you're new, lessons will teach you the basics of this easy-to-learn aquatic activity. Once you master the basics, get a full-body workout as you paddle around the island's top hotspots. Spot marine life such as dolphins, stingrays, whales, colorful fish, and vibrant coral formations as you work your way through the gentle waters.

7 Year Old Having Fun On A Paddle Board In Hawaii MichaelSvoboda / Getty Images

14 Ziplining Adventures

Prepare for a thrill as you soar through a tropical rainforest by zipline. Maui's longest line is nearly a mile long, and zip lines range widely in height from 300 to 900+ feet! From family-friendly to extreme, there's a line for the whole family. Whichever route you choose, experience a bird's eye view of the island's most beautiful natural attractions, including verdant greenery, expansive lagoons, striking mountaintops, volcanoes, and picturesque stretches of coastline.

Woman going on a jungle zipline adventure Yobro10 / Getty Images

15 Scuba Diving at Black Rock

Black Rock is one of Maui's most popular scuba diving and cliff jumping destinations, thanks to its panoramic beauty and convenient location on Ka'anapali Beach. As you delve beneath the aqua waters, enjoy up-close encounters with tropical fish, sea turtles, sharks, and other marine life. Beware, however: the water gets deep quickly with strong currents, so this spot is best reserved for experienced swimmers and divers.

Underwater Scuba diver explore and enjoy Coral reef Sea life ultramarinfoto / Getty Images

16 Exploring Iao Valley State Park

Within this expansive 4,000-acre state park, you'll come into close contact with history and nature alike. Hike up to the legendary 1,200-foot ʻĪao Needle for the island's best sightseeing, or learn the story of King Kamehameha I and the Battle of Kepaniwai. It occurred at this very spot back in 1790, with Kamehameha victorious over Maui. As you explore the park, mind the signs and remember that this is where history has been made. Paths are well marked and well paved, making them easily accessible for hikers of every ability level, leading you toward incredible views and lookout spots.

mountains in iao valley state park samuel howell / Getty Images

17 Maui Wine Tasting

Maui is home to a vibrant wine culture, and its world-famous golden pineapples are utilized in many local varieties. Sample tasting flights and cocktails from top producers in a relaxing atmosphere at one of the spots around town, such as King's Cottage Tasting Room or MauiWine, where you can make a toast down the slopes of the Haleakala Volcano. Situated 1,800 feet above sea level, this is the place to try a vast selection of wines, including island-only flavors ranging from peppermint to passion fruit.

kieferpix / Getty Images Cheers in a beautiful beach setting.

18 Hikes at Hana Waterfall

The scenic drive on the road to Hana includes over 600 turns and 50+ bridges, so prepare for the ride of a lifetime. Once you're there, start your hiking excursion with one of the planned routes for every ability level. Whichever trail you choose, you'll wind your way past gorgeous flora and fauna, ocean views, and spots to relax and soak in nature. Take in the striking waterfalls from every angle for the best view, or head to the park's Kpahulu District for the most majestic swimming experience you'll ever have.

waterfall Ed Freeman / Getty Images

19 Surfing Lessons

Ride the waves with a private surf lesson from a certified instructor. You'll learn the basics of ocean safety, wind, and water etiquette, plus top techniques to navigate the waters like a pro. Most of your lesson will be spent in the water putting your skills to the test, and photographers can capture the magical moment you finally hang ten.

Surfing lessons for seniors AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

20 Sunset Dinner Cruise

Enjoy a romantic meal with an Aloha twist on board one of Maui's many dinner cruises. Not only will you capture unparalleled views of the surrounding islands, but you can party the night away, sipping cocktails as you sail into the sunset. Multi-course meals feature mouth-watering entrees prepared by professional chefs, and many cruises include live entertainment, such as Polynesian dancing, music, and DJs. You might even spot whales and dolphins swimming alongside you when the weather's right.

Friend drinking wine on the yacht at sunset. Toasting on a yacht. Maria Korneeva / Getty Images

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