Maui Bucket List: 23 Things to Do on the Valley Isle

Maui is a dream destination for many travelers. Its stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture offer endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

From world-class beaches such as Ka’anapali Beach and Wailea Beach to the cultural experience of attending a luau, Maui is brimming with must-see attractions and activities.

The picturesque Road to Hana, lush Iao Valley State Park, and awe-inspiring Haleakala National Park are just a few more treasures this island has in store.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or just craving a taste of the Hawaiian spirit, this Maui bucket list has something for everyone.

So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of this top Hawaiian destination!

1. Road to Hana

An iconic Maui drive, the Road to Hana is an adventure like no other. Winding along Maui’s east coast, the 64-mile-long scenic route takes you through lush jungles and past hidden waterfalls.

Stop at one of the many roadside stands for fresh fruit or take a dip in the swimming holes.

As you continue your journey, be sure to check out other highlights along the Road to Hana, such as the Eucalyptus Rainbow Trees, Ke’anae Peninsula, and Wailua Falls.

Make sure to start early in the morning to avoid crowds and pack a picnic, bring plenty of water, and plan ample time to enjoy each stop.

The Road to Hana Coastline view Maui
The Road to Hana Coastline view Maui

2. Snorkeling at Molokini Crater

Just off the coast, Molokini Crater is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater that offers some of the best snorkeling and diving in Maui.

The crystal-clear waters are home to a variety of colorful fish, coral reefs, and sea turtles.

There are various tours available that take you to Molokini, make sure you check out this guide for everything you need to know about snorkeling here.

3. Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is one of Maui’s most popular beaches and for good reason. This three-mile stretch of golden sand is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

The beach is also home to several beachfront resorts, restaurants, and shopping centers, making it a great place to spend the day.

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4. Twin Falls

As one of the earliest stops on the Road to Hana, Twin Falls offers a beautiful introduction to the numerous waterfalls you’ll encounter on the journey down this highway.

The short hike to the falls takes you to a picturesque spot where you can enjoy the dual cascading waterfalls and take a refreshing dip in the natural pools.

Needless to say, this is definitely something you should add to your Maui itinerary!

Haleakala National Park maui stunning view
Haleakala National Park

5. Haleakala National Park

One of the most iconic scenic spots on Maui is Haleakala National Park, home to the world’s largest dormant volcano.

You can drive up to the summit to watch the sunrise, or hike one of the many trails to explore the unique landscapes and wildlife.

Along the route, there are numerous lookouts where you can pause to admire the scenery, with the most popular being the summit of Haleakalā, which offers stunning panoramas of the island and the surrounding ocean.

Don’t forget to bring warm clothing and a blanket to stay cozy!

6. Authentic Luau Experience

Your Maui bucket list would be incomplete without experiencing a traditional Hawaiian luau.

The buffet spread is always impressive with its array of local favorites like kalua pork and poi, and who can resist the vibrant spectacle of traditional music, Hula dance performances, and the sound of drums?

Not only do you get to treat your taste buds to some amazing flavors, but you get to experience something that is culturally significant in Hawaii.

7. Napili Bay

Ready for a dive into paradise? Look no further than Napali Bay, one of the best snorkeling spots on the west coast of Maui.

Filled to the brim with stunning aquatic creatures, you’ll be awestruck by its vibrant and diverse underwater world.

But beware – its popularity can make parking a bit of a challenge so arrive early if you want prime real estate in that lot!

underwater snorkeling maui hawaii sp
underwater snorkeling maui hawaii

8. Whale Watching

Every December to May, humpback whales embark on their incredible annual migration from Alaska – making Maui one of the best spots in the world for whale-watching.

There are plenty of tours available from Lahaina that will take you almost within touching distance of these majestic marine mammals – so all you have to do is sit back and prepare to be amazed by Nature!

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9. Go Food Truck Hopping

Maui’s food trucks offer diverse options, from Mexican cuisine to Thai dishes, all showcasing Maui’s unique blend of cultures.

They provide quick, delicious, and budget-friendly options for foodies, making them one of the island’s must-visit culinary experiences.

Here is a list of some popular Maui food trucks:

  • Geste Shrimp Truck (serving Hawaiian-style shrimp)
  • Horhitos Mobile Taqueria (offering delicious tacos and Mexican dishes)
  • Kinaole Grill (well-known for their coconut shrimp and fish tacos)
  • Thai Mee Up (serving up a variety of Thai dishes, including pad thai and papaya salad)

10. Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach is like the not-so-secret hideaway of Maui’s south shore – gorgeous and perfect for swimmers both new and experienced.

It may get crowded at times but it’s worth tuning out the human chatter for this little slice of paradise.

This beach also offers a chance to marvel at visible reefs and colorful fish as you take your shot at snorkeling.

Who knows, with some luck you might find a treasure amidst the rocks!

Wailea Beach Pathway Maui Hawaii
Wailea Beach Pathway

11. Surfing Lessons

So you want to get your surf on in Maui? Well, it’s time to hang ten!

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced surfer, there are many places where you can snag a lesson from a local expert.

The best spots on the island for golden-hued beach days and legendary waves are Honolua Bay, Ho’okipa Beach, and Olowalu Beach.

Embrace the exhilarating feeling of catching the waves and immerse yourself in Maui’s vibrant surf culture during your stay!

12. Check Out the Hidden Gems

From natural wonders that only locals know about, to off-the-beaten-track beaches, there are so many hidden gems here waiting to be discovered.

Life moves at a slower pace when wandering along these secret paths and swimming in lesser-known parts of the island – which is just how we like it.

With a Maui bucket list in hand and an adventurous spirit at heart, this is your call to action: go find them all!

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13. Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is a state-of-the-art aquarium that showcases the marine life of Hawaii.

You can see sharks, rays, turtles, and other sea creatures up close and learn about their habitats and behaviors.

The center also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs for all ages.

Island Maui cliff coast line with ocean at sunset
Maui coastline at sunset

14. Chase the Sunset

Chasing the sunset is a must-do item on your bucket list on Maui. Witness nature’s true beauty as day transitions into night, glittering hues of pink and purple flooding the sky as the sun fades away into the horizon.

Make sure you bring along your camera to capture this wondrous scene – it’s sure to make some amazing memories (and Insta pics).

15. Zipline Adventure

Ziplining is a thrilling way to explore Maui’s lush forests and valleys. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a daredevil – there are plenty of rides to suit everyone’s level of thrill-seeking.

There are many ziplines throughout the island but the best ones are located on the North Shore.

Enjoy the peacefulness of soaring above the treetops and lose yourself in the beauty of Maui’s diverse natural landscape before tightening your grip with the next nerve-racking zip.

Not only will you marvel at the stunning vistas, but you’ll also learn about Maui’s history and ecosystem along the way.

With a combination of adrenaline-pumping excitement and educational opportunities, ziplining in Maui is an adventure not to be missed.

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16. Honokalani Black Sand Beach

One of the most famous landmarks in Maui and located in Wai’anapanapa State Park, Black Sand Beach is an extraordinary sight.

The striking contrast between the black sand and vibrant blue ocean creates a mesmerizing backdrop for photos.

Explore the nearby lava tubes and sea arches and witness the powerful force of nature that sculpted this beautiful coastline.

Honokalani Black Sand Beach Hana Hawaii
Honokalani Black Sand Beach

17. West Maui Scenic Drive

This audio tour of the western coast of Maui is another unforgettable scenic drive, taking you along the north and west shores of the island, revealing a diverse range of landscapes, from lush tropical rainforests to rugged sea cliffs.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore charming historic towns like Lahaina and the upscale resort area of Kapalua, boasting lovely beaches such as Ka’anapali and Napili Bay.

18. Lahaina Historic Town

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Maui by visiting Lahaina, a historic town nestled on the west coast.

This charming town offers a glimpse into Maui’s past. Stroll through the streets and marvel at the well-preserved buildings, some of which date back to the early 19th century.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Baldwin Home Museum and the Wo Hing Museum, where you can learn about the fascinating history of the island and the people.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, have a meal at one of the best restaurants on Front Street or grab a drink at a bar.

19. ʻĪao Valley State Monument

Another must-visit cultural spot in Maui is the breathtaking ʻĪao Valley State Monument. This lush valley holds great historical and cultural significance for the native Hawaiian people.

It was the site of the pivotal Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790, where King Kamehameha I fought to unite the Hawaiian Islands under his rule.

While exploring ʻĪao Valley, make sure to check out the iconic ʻĪao Needle – a striking, 1,200-foot tall rock formation that towers over the valley.

This natural wonder is not only visually stunning, but it also holds a place in Hawaiian history as a former lookout point for warriors during battles.

20. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

From soft, delicate malasadas served hot, to heart-stoppingly delicious ice cream and shave ice, your sweet tooth is going to thank you and beg you for more!

Don’t worry, because Maui offers plenty of options to choose from that are sure to leave you in a state of bliss.

The only dilemma you will have is deciding which one of the many delicious treats satisfies your cravings the most!

21. Makena State Park

With its sparkling waters and long strip of golden sand, Makena State Park – or Big Beach, as it’s often called – is the perfect place to soak up some Maui rays.

Not only can you dip your toes in for a swim, but brave snorkelers can splash away from shore too.

Plus, with lifeguards on site, you won’t have to worry about getting into sticky situations.

And when it’s time to refuel? No need to fret – there’s always a food truck nearby serving deliciousness!

22. Hike the Waihe’e Ridge Trail

For those who enjoy hiking, the Waihe’e Ridge Trail is a must-do on your Maui bucket list.

This challenging 4-mile roundtrip hike rewards you with panoramic views of the Pacific and lush valleys, making it an unforgettable experience.

As you ascend the trail, the terrain varies, taking you through lush forests, bamboo groves, and open ridges.

Keep an eye out for native plants and wildlife as you navigate the picturesque landscape, and don’t forget to bring plenty of water and sunscreen to stay hydrated and protected during your hike.

waihee ridge trail maui hawaii
waihe'e ridge trail maui hawaii

23. Kapalua Bay Beach

One of the quieter beaches in Maui, Kapalua Bay Beach is located on the northwest side of Maui and is known for its calm waters and excellent snorkeling.

Offering up sweeping vistas of jutting mountains, lush vegetation and the sparkling ocean, you won’t know where to look.

And keep your eyes peeled while you’re at it – this beach is also a favorite with gentle sea turtles who have been known to drop by.