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Hawaii Travel Guide

Best Places to Visit in Maui

      Best Places to Visit






Best Places to Visit -  Maui    


Where are the Best Places to Visit on Maui?

Haleakala National Park

We think that every visitor to Maui to should visit its breathtaking Haleakala National Park.  We describe this adventure, and provide  maps and photographs in our section on Haleakala National Park .

The Road to Hana

Many visitors to Maui enjoy the beautiful drive to Hana, a delightful village on the southeast coast of the island.  We provide details on the drive and the village, in our section on the Road to Hana .

Clicking the  map symbol next to each attraction will show you their location on our detailed Maui map.







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What Else Should We See in Maui?

Clicking the  map symbol next to each attraction will show you the attraction's location on our detailed Maui map.

Whale Watching

Maui is a home to humpback whales in winter (November through May) so consider a whale watching cruise You may enjoy cruising with Whale Watch Maui  http://www.whalewatchmaui.com/ , which is associated with the Island Marine Institute, although there are other companies that offer similar adventures.  Cruises last a couple of hours and, generally, you need to be at the gate about a half hour before departure.  Check with your provider.  Most whale watching cruises leave from Lahaina, a scenic town that was a well-know whaling port in the 19th century .

Lahaina Historic District – a former whaling port

In the  early 19th century Lahaina was the seat of power in the Kamehameha Kingdom of Hawai'i.  The village evolved into a major whaling port later in the century and today, Lahaina is a tourist town.  Lahaina offers modest museums, several restaurants and an attractive and pleasant setting.  Be sure to see the Banyan tree in the town square. It was planted in the late 19th century and over time has grown into Hawai'i’s largest banyan tree (or at least, that is the consensus - and it is enormous).

The port is very active and serves as Maui’s main center for ocean excursions and diving trips.  Most dive related activities start in early morning when the water is calmest.  The Trade winds often start blowing in the afternoon, making diving more difficult and cruising less smooth. 

Diving – Molokini and Lanai

Just three miles from Maui, Molokini Crater is one of the Island’s most popular sites for snorkeling and scuba diving.  One side of the Molokini Crater’s summit extends slightly above sea level protecting the dive site from the wind and waves.  The bottom of the crater is shallow (approximately 40 feet) and the underwater life can be spectacular

Many companies provide diving tours of Molokini and some, such as Quicksilver,  http://www.tombarefoot.com/maui/quicksilver_charters.html provide an additional stop in Turtle Town, another popular location for snorkeling and scuba, which is often populated with sea turtles.

We highly recommend the Trilogy  http://www.sailtrilogy.com/)which provides dives in Molokini, Kaanapali, sunset sails off Lahaina and an excursion  to Lanai.  The Trilogy goes to Hulopo’e Beach, a great little a snorkeling site in Lanai,  The day also includes lunch and a van tour of Lanai’s old plantation town (there is not much to see in Lanai City, so go for the diving).  Also, see our section on Lanai .


Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is a great family adventure as includes the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere . The aquarium features a unique, underwater viewing tunnel that provides close-up views of the fish and other marine life. Numerous interactive exhibits are available and there are thousand of fish to see, including sharks and stingrays.

The aquarium's goal is to preserve Hawai'i’s native marine life and the aquarium, quite naturally, is focused on the denizens of Hawai'i's section of the Pacific.  Most visits last around two hours. There is an on-site snack shop and restaurant, although you might not want to eat a relative of someone you just saw.  For more information, visit the aquarium's website at:

Open year round at Ma’alaea Harbor on Highway 30 (192 Ma’alaea Rd. Wailuku, HI 96793) open all year 9 to 5 - until 6 in July and August.

‘Iao Valley and State Park

The 'Iao Valley is one of Maui's most visited attractions .  A steep needle-like rock (the ‘Iao Needle is shown on the  left of the photos at the top of the page)  rising over one thousand feet above valley floor is the Park's  most noted attraction.  The park has a short paved walk and an interesting botanical garden.  The "Iao Valley also marks the spot where Kamehameha's forces defeated the Maui army in the late 18th century, securing his reign over the island.

Maui Tropical Plantation

The Maui Tropical Plantation is a 60 acre working plantation that is a fun stop, if you or the kids are interested in finding out about the local agriculture (which surrounds you everywhere on Maui) .  The motorized tour passes through  fields  of coconut trees, sugarcane, orchids, coffee plants, apples bananas, other fruits and Macadamia nuts. The Plantation's Waikapu Grill serves lunch  prepared with locally grown products.

You might want to combine this stop with a visit to the 'Iao valley.  See this site for more information http://www.mauitropicalplantation.com/ .


Maui Value Pass
From Viator Tours

Atlantis Sub

If you are looking for a great way to view tropical fish and underwater Maui but do not want to dive, perhaps you should consider a ride on the modern, spacious Atlantis submarine.   In Maui, the Atlantis submarine departs from Lahaina.   You will board a shuttle boat to the submarine dive site.   The entire activity takes approximately 90 minutes total, about 45 on the submarine.  The Atlantis dives approximately100 feet deep and provide panoramic undersea views through large view ports.

Kids 12 and under $42 and adults $84.. Atlantis and variety of providers sell tickets online and you may find a discount available online. Size restrictions apply and all passengers must be able to ascend and descend a vertical ladder to enter the submarine.

The Atlantis offices are at 658 Front Street, Suite 175 in Lahaina.  The official website is here.



If you haven’t tried it, you may really  like it. In Maui the event is entirely water based (no taking-off from the beach). You are supported while airborne with a harness attached to a parachute and tethered to a very long line (from 400 to 800 ft) that is attached to a boat. Rides last about ten minutes and are exhilarating. A number of companies provide this service.  Ask your hotel concierge or staff at the front desk for a recommendation.  Between December and May there is no parasailing available in areas where there are whales.

Helicopter tours

Maui  is an extraordinary sight from the air. Most flights offer views of beautiful scenery and exploration of the areas of Maui you just can't get to, or sometimes even see, from the highway. If you want spectacular views of Maui's visual treasures, consider taking a helicopter tour.

There are a number of helicopter services available and we suggest evaluating the providers of helicopter rides based on their safety records and other factors that may be important to you.   Also, consider asking your concierge to recommend a company that meets your criteria, as well as to arrange your flight.

We list  providers of helicopter rides below. (Please note that we have listed them for you only as a convenience.  The listings should not be considered as a recommendation on their safety or suitability.)

Oh those helicopter rides.  Seen here are Macadamia nut orchards south of Kahului Macadamia nut groves near Kahului, Maui


Oh so touristy, but so much fun in the right setting! Although a variety of authentic Hawai'ian cuisine is offered at most luaus, we look for those featuring an Imu ceremony, where a pig that has been charcoal roasting in an underground pit is uncovered and served to start the feast.   Be prepared to spend from $60 to $100 per adult (depending on the "luau package") and, thankfully, less for kids. Before you make a reservation, do a little homework and find out what types of food are served and the type of entertainment presented. The professionalism and enthusiasm of the luau staff have a lot to do with the success of any luau, so ask around for recommendations.

Rating luaus is a tricky things and often a person's memory of the event is influenced by the factors unrelated to the food or entertainment. The ones we present below are considered by many to the be the best on Maui, but we urge you to take a look at the websites we reference and decide for yourself.

Old Lahaina Luau
In Lahaina at the northern edge of Old Lahaina Town.
Behind the Lahaina Cannery Mall. 

Royal Lahaina Luau – on the beach at Kaanapali

Drums of the Pacific at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa includes a Luau and stage show (outdoor)

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index or Googling ThereArePlaces.

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