Maui, Hawaii, USA

I recently returned from a trip to Maui. It was my second visiting Maui there but I wanted to put together a list of things to do in Maui for those of you heading to Maui and especially for those who haven't been before. Maui is not as popular as the island of Oahu so you might be struggling on figuring out what to do during your visit. I hope this list/guide helps with your planning for your trip to Maui.

1. Watch the sunrise or sunset at Haleakalā summit

I highly recommend watching either the sunrise or sunset at Haleakalā summit. To watch the sunrise, you have to make reservations here but you do not need reservations to watch the sunset. The sunset is just as good as the sunrise but way less crowded. There is an entrance fee to enter the national park.

2. Visit the Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park

Similar to Haleakalā, you also need a reservation to visit Waianapanapa State Park (as of 5/26/22 so please check the state's website for more information prior to your trip to make sure that reservations are still required). The Black Sand Beach is so unique and beautiful to see in person. The waves here tend to be pretty big/strong so please be careful when swimming.

3. Swim in Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach)

If you're going to visit the Black Sand Beach then you might as well visit the Red Sand Beach. In contrast, the Red Sand Beach is much calmer where you can swim without having to worry about the waves. It's a lot less busier as well as it's kind of hidden from the main road. There's a short little hike along the edge of a cliff so take caution.

4. Try a banana bread from Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread

You can get banana bread pretty much anywhere on the island of Maui but Aunty Sandy's banana bread is hands down the best banana bread I've ever had. It's super moist on the inside and the outer layer has the perfect level of crisp. I usually order a few extra ones to bring home and store in my freezer. I just pop them in the oven for a little bit to warm them up and they taste just as good as when they're freshly made.

5. Hike Iao Valley State Monument

A very short and scenic hike with amazing reviews all around. If you're lucky, you may even see a rainbow or two in the horizon. It does tend to rain a lot in this region so bring a light jacket or umbrella.

6. See sea turtles at Ho'okipa Beach Park

Hawaii is known for the sea turtles that come up to the beaches to rest and sun bathe. Ho'okipa Beach Park is where you'll most likely come across the sea turtles. However, please remember that it is illegal to touch or interact with the sea turtles and you must keep a distance of 10 feet at all times.

7. Drive the Road to Hana>

I hate driving the Road to Hana but if it's your first time visiting Maui, it's a must do during your trip. You can book a tour or have someone else drive but I personally didn't like driving the Road to Hana myself as the lane is very narrow and dangerous at some areas. The back way (from Wailea) to Hana is VERY dangerous and should be avoided if possible, trust me.

8. Cliff jump and swim at Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)

If cliff jumping isn't for you, you still have to take a swim at Waioka Pond. I don't like swimming in the ocean because the waves scare me so this natural pool is the perfect spot to take a swim. Parking is very limited so you might have to park down the road and walk but it's worth it. It's a short walk to get to the pool and there's a few rocks you'll need to climb down to access the pool.

9. Go scuba diving

Ever since I went scuba diving, I fell in love with it. As someone who dislikes the ocean, I really wanted to see sea turtles up close (at a safe distance) and scuba diving allowed me to do just that. It's really easy to learn and so much more fun than snorkeling in my opinion. We had a great scuba diving experience with West Maui Expeditions and highly recommend if you want to try scuba diving. No experience necessary and all equipment is provided.

10. Take a helicopter tour

Last but not least, if you're able to - you should take a helicopter tour to see the most beautiful views of the island that you can't see anywhere else. They can be a bit pricey but the experience is worth it. You can find Groupon deals and there's usually a group discount as well.


- Grab food at Mama's Fish House - It's a super popular restaurant for both locals and tourists so you'll need to book reservations in advance.

- Have brunch at The Plantation House - An amazing dining experience with beautiful views of Kapalua Resort.

- Shop at Whaler's Village - If you need a break from enjoying the beautiful island of Maui, you can browse the numerous shops at Whaler's Village. They even have lei making classes and other classes on Hawaiian culture.

For more travel posts, check out:

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TRAVEL TIP: Easy Tip That Can Save You Money When Booking Flights



I hope you enjoyed my list of 10 things to do in Maui for first-timers. There's so many more things to do in the area that I didn't include but these are my top recommendations. Comment below what your favorite things to do in Maui.