Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Maui complete with adventures, food, and must-see spots! We curated a Google Map with everything below so you can explore the island with our help.
Maui was a vacation we’ll never forget. The island is so beautiful, the people are so welcoming, and we were the most relaxed we’ve been in a while. I grouped places and activities below by location (except for snorkeling). This way, if you decide to do one activity, you’ll know what else is around.
The Ultimate Guide to Maui
Some places are mentioned below, but check out our post on our favorite places to eat on Maui!
- Molokini Crater – It was so cool to be able to swim in the volcanic crater. The water so so clear and we saw so many fish! We booked our excursion through Sail Trilogy. Breakfast, lunch, and drinks were provided.
- Turtle Town – This is THE place to swim with Sea Turtles. We saw about 5 or 6 very large sea turtles. In the words of the kids on the trip, they saw “34 turtles!” This snorkeling place was included in our Molokini Crater excursion through Sail Trilogy.
- Lunch: Beach Bums Bar and Grill: this excursion left out of Maalaea Bay. If you do the same, check out Beach Bums Bar and Grill afterwards! It’s an open air place to grab a drink after a long day of snorkeling.
- Honolua Bay – This is one of the calmest places for snorkeling. It’s a ‘take-your-own’ gear kind of adventure, however, there was a vendor on the beach renting equipment. We took our own masks with us and nothing else. I forgot how buoyant we are in the ocean! When I got tired, I just laid on my back and floated. This is, however, is not a sandy beach, so I would not recommend going here to hang out for the day (if you’re looking for that kind of beach). It’s very rocky – bring your water shoes since the rocks are slippery!
- Lunch/Drinks: Honolua Farms Kitchen: after snorkeling, you will be hungry! Across from the access trail is a bright purple food truck filled some truly delicious things. A great place to stop for lunch
- Snack: If you made it up this far on the island, then continue your journey north to Julia’s Best Banana Bread! Go early! But if you can’t make it, you can always try this recipe.
- Napili Bay – This is your go-to place to relax and view Sea Turtles. The beach is gorgeous. There’s a large shallow area for the kids or for you to just sit in the water. If you’re going to snorkel, bring a flotation device since the current was really strong. Sea Turtles are best viewed off to the left (if you’re looking at the water) by the rocks. If you don’t want to swim out there, you can walk along the beach to the left to watch them from land.
We heard Black Rock was also a fantastic place to snorkel, but we did not get to that.
The Road to Hana
- Tip #1: Get on the road early, especially if you are in West Maui. My cousin had us leave by 6am.
- Tip #2: Head straight to Seven Sacred Pools for the hike to Waimoku Falls and do not stop at the scenic overlook. We’re trying to avoid traffic. On the way back, take all the time to stop for photos.
- Tip #3: Pack snacks, water, and a rain jacket. It poured almost the entire hike. You’re in a rainforest, expect it to rain.
- Tip #4: Use the restroom you see on the road (we pinned it on the map). The road is long, and there are not many restrooms. The other restroom is in the park (Waimoku Falls hike) by the Seven Sacred Pools.
- Tip #5: Take your time on the hike to experience everything around you. Take it in. It was breathtaking.
- Tip #6: Don’t skip the short, 1/2 mile hike down to the Seven Sacred Pools. My sister, Fatima and I hiked down. It was gorgeous.
- Tip #7: On the way back, you must go to Huli Huli Chicken for lunch and devour a platter of Huli Huli chicken and mac salad. Fatima and I got our own platters and finished them off. This place is right on the beach, too! There is a beautiful view of Alau Island and a restroom on site.
Old Lahaina Luau
Hawaii has such a rich history and beautiful culture. If you want the best Luau experience on Maui, then you need to check out the Old Lahaina Luau. Before the luau starts, there are many different activities to participate in like hula dance lessons!
Sunrise on Mt. Haleakala
I pushed my family to wake up early and watch the sunrise on Mt. Haleakala. You must register your vehicle with the park well in advance. Without a reservation, you will not be able to enter the park. Plan to get to the summit by 4:30am. It was SO WORTH IT. I did not realize Mt. Haleakala was one of the top 5 destinations to stargaze in the United States. There are TRILLIONS of stars to look at. It was a moving experience.
- Tip #1: Get to the summit no later than 4:30am. It’s about 45-60 mins from the park entrance. You’ll be able to see a gazillion stars. Also, parking fills up fast at the tippy top, so get there early if you want to watch the sunrise from the summit observatory!
- Tip #2: Dress warmly. Sweats, jackets, hats. I would have loved gloves.
- Tip #3: About 30 mins before sunrise, the lookout areas start to get crowded. Grab a prime spot before then!
- Tip #4: Pack snacks, water, and coffee! You’ll be hungry waiting for the sunrise.
Breakfast: After you’re sunrised-out, be sure to drive over to Makawao and stop by T Komoda Store and Bakery for some Maui-famous cream puffs! The glazed donuts on a stick are melt-in-your-mouth amazing, too. I would have taken photos of those, but I ate them so quickly! The bakery runs out by late morning, so it’s perfect that you’re already up so early and nearby to pick up a box!
Book a sunset sail for one of your last days on Maui. It will be the perfect ending to your vacation. We booked a cruise with Sail Trilogy, the same family-owned company we booked with for our snorkeling adventure. The catamaran opened its sails and we glided up the coast. We were fed delicious food and cocktails, the crew was exceptional, and we watched an amazing sunset.
Dinner: For post cruise dinner and drinks, walk south along the beach to Hula Grill and Bar.
Front St. & Downtown Lahaina
There are some great places to eat and shop on on Front St. Be sure to take a few hours out of your day to walk the street. Here’s a list of our top places, but check out our other post for more details!
- Breakfast: Betty’s – Order a pineapple mimosa.
- Lunch: Pacific’O – Great lunch spot with a view.
- Dinner: Cool Cat Cafe – They have the best burger on Maui.
- Ice cream: BanyanTreats – Oh my gosh. Make your own ice cream sandwiches!
- Coffee: BadAss Coffee or MauiGrown.
- Local Beer: Koholā Brewery.
- Tattoo Parlor: Mid-Pacific Tattoo – Get a permanent souvenir from the #1 Tattoo shop on Maui!
Ready to go to Maui? Check out our packing guide!
Our Google Map of Maui
Credits: A huge thank you to Tessa, Lisa, and Peter for all of their suggestions that made our trip so wonderful!