In October 2018 I traveled to Maui, Hawaii for the first time with my mom and had a blast. Nearly a year later I went back to Maui, but this time with my husband. I was so excited to travel with him and have him experience the beautiful beaches, food and people.
The days go by so fast while on vacation, I think we can all agree on that. That’s why I decided to write another post dedicated specifically to things to do in Maui to help give you ideas while you are planning your dream vacation.
Things to do in Maui – Visit Historic Lahaina
The town of Lahaina is a MUST visit while in Maui. Truth be told, the first time I visited Hawaii with my mom the year prior we were so content on lounging on the beach at our resort that we did not get a chance to explore Lahaina. But when I returned on vacation with my husband we decided to check it out.
Where is Lahaina?
Lahaina is located on Maui’s west side of the island, about 45 minutes from the Kahului airport (OGG). If you are staying at one of the resorts on Ka’anapali beach it is about a 10 minute drive depending on what hotel you are staying at.
Most of the hotels have shuttle service to Lahaina if you don’t have a car rental, as the road to get to Lahaina is busy and not catered to pedestrians walking.
Steal The Leisure Style
What Makes Lahaina So Special?
Lahaina is one of the top historic places in all of Hawaii. It is even on the national register of historic places. In the early nineteenth century it was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Additionally, Lahaina was also a site of a large whaling village in the mid 1800s. But today, it is a hot spot for visitors and locales. There are a lot of shops, restaurants and art galleries that accompany the busy Front Street.
Highlights To See In Lahaina
Today the historic town of Lahaina is the perfect opportunity to browse through quaint shops, grab a bite to eat and take in the history.
One of the most popular points of interest is visiting the landmark of the Banyan Tree.
The Banyan tree was brought over from India in 1873 and planted by a Sheriff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first mission. At the time the tree was only eight feet. Today the tree takes over an entire acre and has an interesting root system that has grown into eight main trunks.
Take In The View
Because Lahaina is such a top attraction it may be no surprise that cruise ships dock here. The morning my husband and I visited Lahaina there was a cruise ship docking, and it got a little busier, but not overly crowded. We noticed a lot of passengers getting off the boat and into tour vans and buses to see other sites on the island.
But even with lots of people I still recommend and encourage you to check out downtown Lahaina, because it is such a cool place.
I enjoyed walking by the water with my coffee and taking in the beautiful ocean waves, boats and large cruise ships. It always amazes me how large they are!
Visit The Chinese Wo Hing Temple Museum
We visited Lahaina too early in the morning to take advantage of visiting the Chinese Wo Hing Temple, but if you plan ahead this is a cool spot to checkout. It is open every day from 10AM- 4PM. Inside are Chinese cooking artifacts, altars and Lahaina memorabilia.
Old Lahaina Courthouse
The old Lahaina courthouse building is located adjacent to the Banyan tree. The courthouse was built in 1957, but the cool thing about the building is that elements of its structure were built from salvaged materials from the the palace of Kamehameha II.
Today the structure is home to the Lahaina Heritage Museum, Lahaina Arts Society and a visitors center, which includes public restrooms (always good to know).
Stroll Front Street
One of the most enjoyable things in my opinion is simply browsing a new street. A half a day can easily be spent by checking out cute shops, having a good meal, maybe some Hawaiian shaved ice and enjoying the warm weather!
Enjoy A Traditional Hawaiian Plate Lunch
One of the funnest parts of any vacation is trying the local cuisine, and that’s no different in Hawaii. In Maui, just about every restaurant has their take on the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch.
We decided to get ours at our hotel (we stayed at The Westin Villas) for lunch one afternoon and ate it poolside.
My husband and I love to snorkel. Anytime we have gone on a tropical vacation we usually book some sort of snorkeling excursion. But on this trip we decided to buy some snorkel equipment from the Safeway grocery store in downtown Lahaina a few days into our trip for about $25 each.
That was the best purchase we made the entire trip! Multiple times a day we would just walk right out to the beach and snorkel for hours. You do not need to go out far at all to see stunning coral, sea turtles, tropical fish and sea snakes, (don’t worry they are little).
I wish I had an underwater camera to show how beautiful the snorkeling along Kaanapali beach truly is, but just take my word for it.
Taste The Best Mai Tai In Maui
I have to give a shout out to my favorite restaurant in Maui, Monkey Pod. There are two locations on Maui, but the one on Kaanapali beach in Whaler’s Village is the closest if you are staying on Kaanapali beach.
The claim to fame here is the famous Mai Tai. I discovered Monkey Pod the first time I came to Maui with my mom. We loved it so much we went a few times during our stay.
I recommend getting the Mai Tai along with the Pot Stickers for a delicious happy hour treat.
My husband I went three times while we were in Maui. We would go to the happy hour which gave great deals! In Hawaii things are expensive, which we were aware of when we came, but anytime you can stretch your vacation dollars is a plus.
Just relaxing? As an activity? Why yes. Sometimes just simply enjoying some time by the pool, reading a good book and sipping your beverage of choice is all you need.
The thing that I like about The Westin Villas as well as the Westin Maui Resort & Spa is that the properties are so large that you can always find a lounge chair near the pool.
Enjoy The Sunsets
Sunsets in Maui are stunning. I think every night of our trip we sat and watched the sun go down. It is such a peaceful way to end each day. We often got a kick out of how many travelers would set up their cameras and do full on photo shoots with the pretty sunset in the background. Hey, sometimes you got to get that picture, right?
Extra Ideas of Things To Do In Maui
There is so much to do on Maui, and we didn’t even scratch the surface. Here are some additional ideas of things to do that we did not get to do, but would be worth checking out.
- Road to Hana
- Check out the town of Pa’ia
- Eat at the most famous restaurant on Maui – Mama’s Fish House