Travel to Maui is now open and it’s time to book your activities! How do you know what are the top things to do on Maui when there are so many activities to choose from and you’re on a budget?
As a helpful guide, we’ve put together this activity list of our top 10 things to do on Maui for FREE! Hope you find a fun Maui activity on this list that connects you more to our community and this island!
10. Volunteering in Maui!
Do you want to be a part of the Maui Community and not just a tourist? Give a little time as a volunteer! Yes, it’s free for you and you are giving back so much! Here are some of our favorite places to volunteer!
Hands-on Maui is the best go-to spot to find ways to volunteer on Maui! They have a collaborative list of opportunities from a variety of nonprofits and other organizations seeking volunteer support! Everything from raising money to clean up our beaches to assisting with Maui county museum and landmark restoration projects! They have an assortment of projects for whatever skills you have to offer!
Maui Humane Society is a great spot for animal lovers! One of our favorite programs here is the dog walking program where you can take an adoptable dog to the beach for beach walks and fun! This not only helps the canines with their stress and relaxation, but it also is a great way for them to meet a person who may potentially want to adopt them! Training is needed for this, so check out their website for more info!
NOAA is always looking for volunteers to help monitor marine animals and offer beach supervision for protected animals like sea turtles and monk seals who are at risk for harassment when they are resting on the beach. This may be a long-term commitment for volunteering, so if you frequent Maui and know you will be back, consider becoming a part of the Maui team!
9. Window Shop in Lahaina, Maui!
- Lahaina Town is one of our favorite spots for window shopping! The front street has more than 50 stores from clothing and jewelry to fine art and Maui-style gifts. Browsing can be just as much fun as buying, especially if there are unique art pieces in the viewing galleries or treat samples being offered at the foodie shops!
- Maui is home to weekly farmers’ markets across the island, offering local produce, products, and gifts. It’s technically free if you are just browsing, and even if you want to try a local fruit or two, we think you can still write that off as a snack you were going to need to buy somewhere that day anyways! A few of our regular go-to Farmers Markets are:
- West Maui Farmers Market on Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7 am-11 am in Honokowai at the Hawaiian Motors parking lot
- The Upcountry Farmers Market every Saturday from 7 am -noon in the Pukalani Longs Drugs Parking lot
- South Side, North Kihei Farmers Market every weekday from 8 am-4 pm in the Suda Store Parking lot on South Kihei Road near Sugar Beach!
8. Watch Maui’s Haleakala Sunset
Haleakala’s sunrise may already be on your Maui bucket list, but did you know the sunset is just as great and you don’t have to make a reservation? You do have to pay a small price to enter the national park below the crater (a buck fifty), but the sunset on Haleakala is a free experience!
Some of the perks of catching Maui’s sunset instead of Maui’s sunrise are:
- No super early wake-up calls! You’re on vacation, you should be sleeping in!
- Driving the switchback up to the crater in daylight makes for a beautiful scenic view and is easier to find in the daylight!
- It makes a great end to a fun-filled day upcountry after exploring Kula, going to the winery, visiting the Lavender Farm, hiking Poli Poli, or just visiting the historic town of Makawao!
7. Visit the Lavender Farm Maui, Hawaii!
One of our favorite Upcountry Maui activities is going to the Lavender Farm. It’s not just the farm itself that is a unique floral experience, it’s the drive-through Maui’s countryside that leaves you feeling like you bought a ticket to Europe instead of a tropical island! The Lavender Farm showcases its farming facility, offers guided tours (those are an additional cost), and has a lavender shop that sells all things lavender (food, gifts, etc). For free entry, you just have to bring a few canned goods that will be donated to Maui Food Bank! If you forgot your extra cans, entry is just $3 per person, $1 for seniors, military, and kamaaina!
6. Explore the Road to Hana!
Hana! What can we say, it’s our most tropical location on Maui because of its east-facing location, meaning it gets more rain and is greener and lusher! Home to waterfalls and unique beaches (gotta check out black sand, red sand, and Hamoa), Hana is a beautiful, windy drive along cliffs edges, beaches, and bamboo, and rainbow eucalyptus forest! Make sure you plan where to stop, get a map/guide to assist as there are specific locations that will be fun and safe for you to visit. Please don’t try blazing a trail as much of the land is privately owned and subject to flash floods and mudslides! Staying on the designated paths and guided trails will ensure the best Hana experience for you!
5. See Maui’s Sea Turtles!
Seeing turtles is one of our favorite marine encounter activities on Maui! Green Sea Turtles are protected in Hawaii, so it is important to know that any land or ocean encounter you have with them is from a distance and does not impact their normal behavior. We often snorkel with sea turtles on our snorkel tours (click here to book a trip!), but you also may see them snorkeling at spots like Honolua Bay, Olowalu, or Mala! Sea turtles also will come to relax on the beach often around sunset at Hookipa Beach park! NOAA usually has volunteers monitoring the turtles to prevent harassment and they will guide you on safe distance and encounters while viewing the turtles!
4. Swim in Waterfalls on Maui!
We all love the ocean, but swimming in waterfalls gives your vacation in Maui that true island experience! Maui is home to dozens of waterfalls, some are difficult to get to and others too dangerous to swim in. Here are a few waterfalls in Maui that you can swim in!
- Twin Falls: This spot is on the way to Hana, just as you leave Paia Town! It is privately owned and free to explore! It’s only a short walk to the first waterfall, making it a perfect spot for all ages and adventure levels!
- 7 Sacred Pools Hana: This spot is a couple of mile hike through scenic bamboo to the lower pools of the waterfalls where you can swim! Bring a picnic lunch and hang out between dips!
Waikamoi Stream and Waterfalls: Also located on the way to Hana, this spot is just right off the road near mile marker 10, you can’t miss it and it’s a great option if you just want a quick waterfall stop without a lot of hiking!
3. Hiking in Maui!
If you like hiking, there is plenty to be hiked here on Maui! Maui’s most popular hiking spots are :
- Hana has dozens of hikes, some to waterfalls ( as we mentioned above) and some through bamboo forests, or to the ocean!
- Waihee Ridge hike is on the Waihee side of the West Maui Mountains and is a scenic hike to the top where you can look into Iao Valley and spot distant waterfalls and get an ocean view!
- Haleakala Crater is like hiking on Mars! It’s dry but cool and is 12 miles of walking through this unique volcanic crater!
2. Snorkeling in Maui!
When you come to Maui you need to snorkel! What better way to experience island adventure than getting in the ocean to see marine animals! While renting snorkel gear may cost $1.50 a day, snorkeling itself is a free activity to do on Maui. Some of our favorite snorkel spots on Maui are Honolua Bay, Oluwalu, and Mala! Our top snorkel spots on Maui are actually across from the island on Lanai (which is part of Maui County). The island of Lanai has minimal coastal development, which has protected the reef and provides a safe place for marine animals like tropical fish, turtles, and dolphins to live!
1. Visit Maui’s Best Beaches!
Our number one favorite free thing to do on Maui is going to the beach! Maui’s beaches are so diverse and cover the majority of our coastlines! While some islands in Hawaii are rocky and volcanic, Maui’s beaches have white or colorful sand and fun surf! The beaches in Kaanapali were voted some of the top beaches in the world, and Makena’s Big Beach is a go-to spot! The KAM beaches in Kihei are popular as they are right off the road and offer small, relaxing waves for playful floating. DT Flemings and many other west side beaches will offer a larger shore break for bodyboarding and body surfing! Beach time in Maui can be fun and relaxing just remember whatever beach you go to, pack out what you pack in (don’t leave trash), use chemical-free sunscreen, respect marine life and learn how to be safe in the ocean so you can have the best Maui beach experience possible and keep Maui thriving for future visitors!