- Main Airport – Kahului Airport
- Currency – U.S. Dollar ($)
- Language – English, Hawaiian
- Population – 144,444
Introduction to Maui Travel
The second-largest Hawaiian island, Maui is one of the most popular tourist destinations—and for good reason! The diverse landscape includes volcanoes and beaches, and the mild temperatures and limited rainfall allow for a variety of fun activities such as surfing, snorkeling, and windsurfing. Maui’s cuisine is also one of the best of the Hawaiian Islands, so when you visit, make sure to eat, relax, and have fun! There is so much to see and experience, make sure you plan your trip ahead and have enough time to explore the entire island.
The best way to get around Maui is by renting a car. Even though the island is small, the roads are often curvy and take longer to drive through, so the public transportation system is not sufficient. However, there are 2 main ways to get around Maui if you don’t own a car. You can take the bus, as there are 13 different bus routes that reach the central, western, and southern parts of the island. Buses run 7 days a week from 5:30am to 11:00pm. If the bus doesn’t reach your part of the island, you can also take a taxi. However, you should know that taxis are both expensive and less convenient than buses; take a bus if you can! Additionally, depending on where you are staying, your hotel may offer a small bus or shuttle service to take you to various locations including popular beaches and restaurants nearby.
Getting From the Airport to Your Hotel/Airbnb
- Car rental
- Car rentals are available at the airport. Since Maui is less densely populated than other cities, it is more convenient to rent a car to get around
- Drivers charge $3/mile, so this option is pricier
- Most big hotels have free shuttles from the airport to the hotel. Even better, some hotels even have shuttles from the hotel to different tourist spots. Check with your hotel before you arrive to plan your trip better; since shuttles are free, they are one of the best options for transportation.
Go on a Snorkeling/Boating Trip
You’ve probably heard people say before that they went snorkeling or boating in Maui. As some of the main tourist attractions, you definitely need to try them both! Maui is ideal for these activities because of the diverse marine life, great weather, clear and calm water, and safe beaches. Some of the best places to snorkel include Molokini Crater, an underwater volcano islet, and Turtle Town, where you can see green Hawaiian sea turtles swimming alongside you. Some great boating activities include watching the Maui sunset from a sunset cruise, sailing the Auau Channel, and going on whale-watching tours.
Visit Makena Beach (“Big Beach”)
Makena Beach is a lovely beach with clear, turquoise water and golden, soft sand. The largest beach in South Maui, there is a reason why it is known as the Big Beach! Besides wading the beach and sunbathing, there are many activities you can do there which include snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and more! However, be careful when you swim since some waves can be rough and possibly dangerous if they catch you off guard.
Visit Haleakala National Park
The National Park is home to a beautiful volcanic and rainforest landscape, making it ideal for sight-seeing tours and hiking. Hike the Haleakala Crater and climb to the top for amazing views! Another worthwhile trail is the Pipiwai Trail, a 2-3 hour hike that leads through bamboo forests, rock trails, and eventually to refreshing pools. You can take a tour through the national park as well, where the guide will point out the unique plant and animal life in the park. The Haleakala National Park is a must-visit, so definitely save time for a visit!
Make sure you check out the Silver Sword Plant! They only have it in Maui!
Silver Sword Plant
Road to Hana
Simply one of the most beautiful places you are ever going to encounter in your entire journey in Maui. Hana is pretty, but the drive there is even better. It is like a canvas painting that can keep your eyes feasted for the entire drive. From Lahaina, it takes anywhere from two to four hours to complete the journey to Hana. Plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to return before it gets too dark.
© Brian W. Schaller
7 Sacred Pools at Ohe’o
The Seven Sacred Pools (also called Ohe’o Gulch) is a site within the Haleakala National Park. An idyllic valley cut deeply over countless millennia by an equally idyllic rainforest stream is one of the best pools if you like swimming or cliff-jumping. It goes all the way to the Hawaiian ocean along the rugged Kipahulu coastline. This is one of the most popular sights in Maui and the drive here is nothing but beautiful. Again, please plan ahead as the drive can be long and driving in the dark is not advised.
The second largest island in Hawaii and one of the most wonderful vacation spots in the world, Maui is home to a large variety of cuisine from high-end restaurants targeting tourists in celebration mode to delicious comfort food. The culture of Hawaii also adds a fresh twist to the food; people of Japanese, Chinese, American and Filipino origins have positively influenced the Hawaiian cuisine in diverse and meaningful ways. As an island in the Pacific Ocean, Maui offers delicious seafood in many different restaurants. Some of the most popular foods include misubi, shaved ice, and golden pineapples. They even have a restaurant named Humuhumunukunukuapua’a!
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Japanese, Sushi Bar
600 Office Road | Kapalua | Maui
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar is an upscale Japanese restaurant with various locations on the island. Sansei fills up fast, so it is important to make a reservation in advance. Sansei has a diverse menu including offerings such as Seared Foie Gras Sushi, Miso Butterfish, and Oyster Sake Shooters. Known for their high-quality food and sushi, come to this restaurant to experience a unique variety of both sushi and seafood alike.
Seafood, New American
127 Lahainaluna Road | Lahaina| Maui
Located on the west side of Maui, Lahaina Grill specializes in seafood, steak, and Hawaiian cuisine. This contemporary bistro seats 130, including a chef’s table, where parties may enjoy a more private dining experience. Lahaina Grill has various specialties including, sautéed mahi-mahi with local Kula spinach, Wagyu ravioli with black truffles and Porcini mushrooms, and vanilla bean jasmine rice. Lahaina Grill has won numerous awards over the years and was most recently awarded Best Maui Restaurant in 2016.
Honu Seafood & Pizza
1295 Front Street | Lahaina | Maui
Located right on the water and serving brick-oven pizzas, as well as seafood, is Honu Seafood & Pizza. Honu is a family-run restaurant, owned and operated by Chef Mark Ellman and his wife. The couple has lived in Maui for 27 years and owns multiple restaurants. The food at Honu is simple, yet flavorful, and the service is top notch. The menu offers seafood from Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and the East Coast. Additionally, Honu offers a large variety of Naples-style pizza, also with gluten-free options. Honu can get crowded, especially for dinner, so make sure to make a reservation in advance.
Foodland Farms Grocery
345 Keawe Street | Lahaina | Maui
Foodland Farms is a full-service grocery store located in the heart of Maui. Go here for lunch and try their wide selection of Poke. Poke, a raw fish salad native to Hawaii, is a must-try when n Hawaii, and some may say Foodland Farms does it best. For only $7, you can try Foodland Farms’ large variety of Poke, with options such as Ahi Tuna Poke, Spicy Salmon Poke, or Kimchee Squid Poke. Other items to try at Foodland include the Spam Musubi and the Mochi. If you’re looking for a casual-yet-delicious spot to grab lunch, stop by Foodland Farms during your visit to Maui!
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
333 Dairy Road | Kahului | Maui
Winner of “Best Shave Ice” multiple years running is Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. Hawaiian Shave Ice is a dessert made by shaving a block of ice and then adding flavored juices or syrups. Started by Ululani back in 2003, Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice has grown exponentially, with 6 different locations in Maui alone. Ululani’s has a large assortment of flavors, such as coconut, passion fruit, pickled mango, and piña colada. You can order however many flavors you would like and even add toppings, such as macadamia nut ice cream or shredded toasted coconut. If you’re on Maui, make sure to cool off with an Ululani Hawaiian Shave Ice!
Take a Surfing Lesson!
Surfing is popular in Maui because of the warm, clear water, great waves, and occasional sea turtles that can be spotted as well. There are many surf lessons available for people of all skill levels, whether you are a beginner or have experience. Some great surf schools are Action Sports Maui, Hawaiian Paddle Spots, and Blue Soul Maui, but you can also check with your hotel or Airbnb host for more details since there are options throughout the island.