8 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Maui

Attractions in Maui

8 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Maui

Maui is known for beautiful beaches, surfing, dramatic scenery and a wonderful climate. The island is located west of the Big Island of Hawaii, separated from it by the Alenuihaha Channel, and is about 60 miles from Oahu as the crow flies. It is the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, covering an area of ​​694 km2, with a coastline of 120 miles. After Oahu, Maui is the most visited island in the Hawaiian archipelago.

Maui’s mountainous landscape causes the weather to vary quite widely, but in general it is relatively in line with the other Hawaiian Islands. It enjoys high temperatures of about 86°F and low temperatures of 60°F, with the exception of Haleakala, where a temperature of 12°F was recorded in 1961.

Read also: Resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii

1 Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

This park is located on the slope of the inactive 10,023 foot high Haleakala Volcano and covers areas from the summit to the ocean. Visitors can look into the dormant crater. From the top there are incredible views of the whole island, and many people come here for sunrise.

Although the top of the mountain attracts most people, the drive is also impressive. Some of the sites worth visiting include the Seven Sacred Pools of the Oheo Ravine and the Makahika and Waimoku Falls. Birders will enjoy the short trail in Hosmer Grove where some of the original species of Hawaiian birds are seen.

Official site: https://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm

2 Iao Valley State Monument

Iao Valley State Monument
Iao Valley State Monument

Iao Valley is west of Wailuku. Traditionally, Hawaiian pilgrims to such places would undertake in honor of their gods. Today, several well-maintained trails lead from the parking lot to this beautiful valley. It is a popular place for excursions.

In the center of the valley stands the Iao Needle, a pointed lump of basalt, which rises 2250 m above sea level. This unique, overgrown rock was apparently used as an altar in prehistoric times. A legend surrounds the origin of Iao Needle. It is said that the demi-god Maui captured an unwanted worshiper, the water sprite Puukamoua, of his beautiful daughter, Iao, and wanted to kill him. But Pele, the fire goddess, ordered Maui to turn him to stone. Hence the needle.

The valley is said to be full of the spirits of Hawaiian gods known as manas. On the left side of the path to Iao Needle is Pali Ele’ele, a dark black cliff.

3 Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center
Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is home to a collection of Hawaiian reef fish, corals, green turtles, and stingrays in a series of well-designed aquariums. A highlight is a glass tunnel through a shark and jet tank, allowing visitors to sit and view the diverse life around them. Other displays explain the life cycles of the humpback whales that migrate to Hawaii from December to March and how the Polynesians who settled Hawaii used the sea.

The center displays many original works of art. The on-site shop sells a range of gifts to original works of art of exceptional quality for the serious collector.

Address: 192 Maʻalaea Road, Wailuku

Official Site: https://www.mauioceancenter.com/

4 Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach

Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach
Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach

The 4 km long Kaanapali Beach is the most beautiful beach on Maui. It is located in western Maui and is part of the city of Lahaina. This is also where some of the island’s best hotels and resorts can be found. As a result, this area has shops, restaurants, golf courses and various other entertainment options for tourists. Whalers Village is a prominent outdoor shopping center with a wide variety of shops and dining options.

5 Hana and the Hana Road

Hana and the Hana Road
Hana and the Hana Road

Hana is a remote village in one of Hawaii’s most sparsely populated districts. Its isolated location has allowed the city to retain an image of the Hawaii that existed before the invasion of mass tourism. It is idyllic, with lush fields and gardens, thanks to the abundant rains that characterize the east coast of all the Hawaiian Islands.

One of the main attractions for visitors to Hana is the drive to the village. The Hana Road on the eastern Windward side of Maui begins at the town of Pa’ia and traverses rainforest with waterfalls, providing a stark contrast to the almost desert-like conditions everywhere else on the coast. Although the distance between Pa’ia and Hana is about 40 miles, the fact that the road follows a scenic curving coastline with single-lane bridges means that a round trip takes at least four hours.

Hana’s proximity to the Big Island of Hawaii gave it great strategic importance during the battles for the unification of the Hawaiian Islands in the late 18th century. Kamehameha I used the village as a base for his decisive attack on the large neighboring island. Queen Kaahumanu, the wife of King Kamehameha I, was born in Hana in 1768. After Kamehameha’s death, she remained the reigning monarch of Hawaii until 1832.

6 Waianapanapa State Park

Waianapanapa State Park
Waianapanapa State Park

Waianapanapa State Park is a remote area with beaches, rugged coastline, hiking, camping and lodging options. This is a good place to just enjoy nature. The black lava beach in the park’s Paiola Bay is worth a visit, but those unfamiliar with the surfing conditions should refrain from swimming in the strong waves.

7 Wailea



South of Kihei, Wailea has developed into a tourist destination, with hotels and resorts. The lovely Keawakapu Beach is one of the most beautiful on the island and there is plenty of shopping and golf to entertain visitors looking to spend some time on the beach.

8 Makena Beach

Makena Beach
Makena Beach

South of Kihei is the village of Makena with a beautiful stretch of sand. This white sand beach is the largest beach on the island and great for walking. The ocean here can be rough and somewhat treacherous for swimming at times. Makena Beach is sometimes referred to simply as Big Beach.

Where to Stay on Maui for Sightseeing

We recommend these highly rated beachfront hotels and resorts on the beautiful island of Maui:

  • Montage Kapalua Bay: luxury beachfront resort, sublime ocean views, apartments with kitchens and lanais, beautiful gardens, infinity pool, luxury spa.
  • Napili Kai Beach Resort: mid-range beach resort, tropical decor, shuffleboard and putting green, four pools, bocce ball court.
  • Paia Inn: 3-star boutique hotel with private beach access, chic decor, free breakfast and beach equipment, spa treatments.
  • Maui Seaside Hotel: budget hotel, near the airport and a small beach, inviting pool.

Read also:

Best Beaches in the USA

Visited Tourist Attractions in Hawaii

Tourist Attractions in Waikiki

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