Experience the Aloha Spirit: Top Things to Do in Maui

Aloha and welcome to Maui! This island isn’t just a destination; it’s a vibrant tapestry of stunning landscapes, rich culture, and an abundance of wildlife. Here, every turn reveals a new paradise waiting for your footsteps. Whether you’re cruising along the coast or venturing through lush valleys, you’re in for a journey that’s as free-spirited as the island itself. Ready to uncover the must-do activities that make Maui a truly unforgettable escape? Let’s embark on this adventure together!

BEACHES AND WATER ACTIVITIES

Maui’s Must-Visit Beaches

Keawakapu Beach: A Pristine Stretch of Paradise

Pros:

  • Long, sandy beach ideal for various activities.
  • Good for swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding.
  • Non-commercialized, peaceful atmosphere.
  • Facilities like showers, a restaurant, and equipment rentals available.
  • Interesting underwater artificial reef for divers.

Cons:

  • Potential sandblasting on windy afternoons.
  • No lifeguard on duty.
  • Proximity to development might not appeal to those seeking complete wilderness.
  • No real shaded areas, so make sure to bring umbrellas!

Keawakapu Beach, nestled at the end of South Kihei Road, is a much-loved gem where Kihei meets Wailea. This 0.7-mile long sandy haven is perfect for a variety of activities, from serene swimming and sunbathing to exhilarating boogie boarding and snorkeling. The beach is backed by an impressive array of beach houses, hotels, and condos, yet it retains a non-commercialized charm thanks to the reasonable distance of these developments from the shore. For those seeking a mix of relaxation and adventure, Keawakapu Beach offers vibrant tidepools at the north end and enticing snorkeling spots, while the Mana Kai hotel provides rentals for everything from paddleboards to bikes. However, be wary on windy days, as sandblasting can occur in the afternoons. The beach’s intriguing history includes an artificial reef made from car bodies, promising a unique underwater exploration for diving enthusiasts.

Kapalua Beach: A Tropical Paradise in Northwest Maui

Pros:

  • Award-winning, picturesque beach with stunning views.
  • Family-friendly with calm waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Rich marine life including tropical fish and sea turtles.
  • Convenient facilities and parking options.
  • Close to other attractive beaches and trails for varied experiences.

Cons:

  • Can get crowded, especially during peak times.
  • No lifeguard on duty.
  • Limited to smaller waves and calmer water activities.
  • Early arrival recommended for the best experience.

Nestled in the serene Kapalua Bay, Kapalua Beach is a picturesque slice of Hawaiian paradise that has twice been named ‘America’s Best Beach.’ Its allure is undeniable – think postcard-perfect scenes with a plethora of palm trees, soft sands, and crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming. This beach is a family-friendly haven offering excellent snorkeling opportunities where you can swim alongside tropical fish and honu (green sea turtles). While there’s no lifeguard on duty, the calm waters make it a safe choice for a leisurely swim or snorkel. However, its popularity can lead to crowds, so arriving early is key to securing a prime spot on the shoreline. Facilities like public restrooms and parking options near the beach path add to its convenience. For those seeking more exploration, Kapalua Beach is a stone’s throw away from other great spots like Napili Bay, Oneloa, and D.T. Fleming Beaches, each offering unique activities like boogie boarding and snorkeling. Whether you’re cliff-jumping off nearby historic cliffs, exploring the underwater world, or simply basking in the sun, Kapalua Beach promises a memorable day by the sea.

Kāʻanapali Beach: A Sun-Kissed Haven in West Maui

Pros:

  • Stunning three-mile stretch of beach, perfect for various water activities.
  • Excellent snorkeling and surfing opportunities, especially around Black Rock.
  • Daily cliff diving ceremony adds cultural richness.
  • Close to shopping, dining, and golf courses.
  • Public restrooms and lifeguard on duty for convenience and safety.

Cons:

  • Can become crowded, particularly in peak seasons.
  • Limited and paid public parking can be challenging.
  • Commercialized setting may not appeal to those seeking a more natural Hawaiian experience.
  • Occasional strong currents in snorkeling areas require caution.

Kāʻanapali Beach, a three-mile expanse of white sand and crystal-clear waters, is a testament to Maui’s timeless allure. Once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty, this beach is now a favorite destination for travelers worldwide. Its waters are perfect for snorkeling and surfing, offering visitors a chance to mingle with Maui’s vibrant marine life. The daily cliff diving ceremony at Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock) is a spectacle not to be missed, capturing the island’s spirit at sunset. Kāʻanapali’s convenient amenities, including nearby shopping and dining at Whalers Village, add to its charm. Though popular and sometimes bustling, an early visit rewards you with a serene beach experience. The beach’s proximity to championship golf courses and opportunities for adventures like zipline tours ensures there’s never a dull moment at Kāʻanapali.

Water Sports and Activities

Surfing in Maui: Riding the Waves of Paradise

Pros:

  • A wide range of surf spots, from big wave surfing at Jaws to beginner-friendly beaches.
  • World-class windsurfing at Hoʻokipa Beach.
  • Surf schools and rental shops available for beginners.
  • Beautiful settings that enhance the surfing experience.

Cons:

  • Popular breaks can get crowded.
  • Some spots are suitable only for experienced surfers due to high waves and strong currents.
  • Swell shadows from nearby islands can affect wave conditions.
  • Surfing in Maui can be an expensive endeavor.

Maui’s surf scene is an exhilarating blend of world-renowned spots and beginner-friendly shores. From the legendary waves of Peʻahi, known as “Jaws,” where seasoned surfers tackle monstrous swells, to the more tranquil waters of Kāʻanapali, Lāhainā, and Kīhei, there’s a wave for every surfer. The North Shore’s Hoʻokipa Beach, the windsurfing capital of the world, adds another layer to Maui’s diverse surfing experience. For those new to surfing or stand-up paddleboarding, Maui’s gentler waves provide an ideal learning environment. Remember, lessons are key for safety and understanding surfing etiquette. While navigating the island’s surf spots, keep in mind the local conditions like rip tides and reefs. Maui’s surf isn’t just about tackling giant waves; it’s about embracing the spirit of Hawaiian surfing in an island that’s as breathtaking on land as it is thrilling in the water.

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Maui: A Serene Adventure on the Water

Pros:

  • Diverse paddleboarding spots suitable for all skill levels.
  • Opportunities to see marine wildlife like sea turtles and tropical fish.
  • Scenic views of Maui’s coastline and neighboring islands.
  • Availability of rentals and lessons for beginners.

Cons:

  • Some popular spots can get crowded, especially during peak seasons.
  • Weather conditions can sometimes lead to strong currents or big waves.
  • Parking and beach access may be challenging in certain areas.
  • Need for caution and preparation when attempting challenging routes like the Maliko run.

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) in Maui offers an extraordinary way to experience the island’s stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re gliding over the calm waves of Kapalua Bay, exploring the vibrant marine life at Kihei, or basking in the serene beauty of Napili Bay, Maui presents an array of idyllic settings for paddleboard enthusiasts. The island’s varied locations cater to all levels, from beginners seeking tranquil waters to experienced paddlers looking to tackle the famous Maliko run. Stand-up paddleboarding in Maui isn’t just about the sport; it’s about connecting with nature, encountering sea life like turtles and tropical fish, and soaking in the breathtaking views of Maui’s landscape. While the island’s popularity can lead to crowded spots, the early risers are rewarded with peaceful waters and pristine conditions for an unforgettable SUP experience.

Snorkeling underwater with a Green Turtle

Snorkeling in Maui: An Underwater Adventure Awaits

Pros:

  • Exceptional clarity and variety of marine life.
  • Suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced snorkelers.
  • Numerous renowned snorkeling spots, each offering unique experiences.
  • Availability of guided tours and equipment rentals.

Cons:

  • Some locations can become crowded, particularly during peak seasons.
  • Ocean conditions can vary; rough waters may limit snorkeling opportunities.
  • Popular spots may require transportation or boat access.
  • Awareness of marine conservation is essential to protect the delicate ecosystem.

Snorkeling in Maui is like immersing yourself in a living, breathing underwater painting. Known as the #1 Hawaiian Island for snorkeling, Maui’s crystal-clear waters offer a world of discovery for both beginners and seasoned snorkelers. With spots like the pristine Molokini Crater, the turtle-rich Turtle Town, and the vibrant Coral Gardens, the snorkeling experience here is nothing short of magical. Whether you’re marveling at the colorful reefs at Kapalua Bay or spotting Hawaiian green sea turtles at Maluaka Beach, each location promises a unique glimpse into Hawaii’s marine life. The calm and shallow waters make it ideal for beginners, while the variety of marine landscapes keeps experienced snorkelers captivated. However, popular spots can get crowded, and weather conditions play a crucial role in visibility and safety. Remember to only use reef safe sunscreen and respect the marine life and reefs, ensuring these underwater treasures remain unspoiled for future generations.

Nature and Scenic Views

Hiking in Maui

Bamboo forest along the Pipiwai Trail

Pipiwai Trail: An Enchanting Journey Through Haleakala National Park

Pros:

  • Spectacular scenery with waterfalls, bamboo forest, and lush greenery.
  • Well-defined trails with boardwalks in certain sections.
  • Offers a full immersion into Maui’s natural beauty.
  • Suitable for most fitness levels with a moderate challenge.

Cons:

  • Entrance fee required for Haleakala National Park.
  • Popularity of the trail can lead to crowded paths.
  • Risk of flash flooding and rock slides; caution and preparation are essential.
  • No swimming allowed in the pools due to the danger of collapsing cliffs. 

The Pipiwai Trail is a 3.4-mile journey that promises an immersive experience in the heart of Haleakala National Park. This moderately challenging route weaves through a verdant landscape, leading adventurers past the awe-inspiring Makahiku Falls and through a mesmerizing bamboo forest, ending in the majestic presence of the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. The journey, taking an average of 2 hours to complete, offers a blend of natural wonders, from lush jungles and towering banyans to breathtaking waterfalls. The trail’s popularity means you’re likely to share this experience with other nature enthusiasts. Be mindful of the park’s entrance fee (currently $30/vehicle), the closing time of the parking lot at 5 PM, and the necessity to check weather conditions beforehand, as the area is prone to flash flooding. While the trail offers an unforgettable adventure, it demands respect for its natural beauty and potential hazards.

A view of the ridge with the town in the background and ocean to the left along the Waihe'e Ridge Trail.

Waihe’e Ridge Trail: A Majestic Trek in the Heart of Maui

Pros:

  • Spectacular views of rainforests, waterfalls, and the ocean.
  • Well-maintained trail suitable for hiking and running.
  • Abundant birdlife and unique flora along the trail.
  • Picnic tables and benches provide rest stops with breathtaking overlooks.

Cons:

  • Challenging and steep, especially on the ascent.
  • Can be slippery and muddy due to frequent rains.
  • Requires some navigation to find the parking lot and the correct trailhead.
  • Sun exposure on clear days necessitates proper sun protection.

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail offers an exhilarating 4.0-mile journey through the West Maui Forest Reserve, presenting hikers with a blend of lush landscapes, panoramic views, and a thrilling ridge-line adventure. This challenging trail is well-loved by both hikers and runners for its well-groomed paths featuring clean switchbacks, stairs, and flat terrains. As you ascend, embrace the stunning vistas of the Waihe’e Valley, Makamakaole Falls, and the vast ocean. The trail’s popularity ensures a shared experience with fellow nature enthusiasts. Although the trek can be steep and the conditions muddy due to frequent rains, the rewards are abundant: flourishing vegetation, serene waterfalls, and cooler hiking conditions. Remember to respect private property and stay on marked paths to ensure this trail remains a treasure for future visitors.

Sunset at Kapalua Bay Beach along the Kapalua Coastal Trail

Kapalua Coastal Trail: A Scenic Stroll Along Maui’s Shores

Pros:

  • Stunning views of the ocean, lava rock cliffs, and lush landscapes.
  • Well-maintained and mostly paved, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
  • Access to prime snorkeling spots and beautiful beaches along the route.
  • Rich in cultural and natural significance, including the chance to spot turtles and whales.

Cons:

  • Limited shade available, requiring sun protection.
  • Can become busy, especially as the day progresses.
  • Some sections may require careful navigation over uneven terrain.
  • Parking can be challenging; plan your visit and arrive early.

The Kapalua Coastal Trail offers a picturesque 2.5-mile walk that showcases the splendor of Maui’s coastline. This easy and accessible trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a refreshing run, taking you through a blend of natural lava fields, lush wilderness, and the luxurious backdrop of high-end resorts. As you traverse the trail, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking ocean views, dramatic waves crashing against lava rocks, and the tranquil beauty of renowned beaches like Kapalua Beach and Fleming Beach. The trail’s diverse terrain includes pavement, sand, dirt, and wooden walkways, ensuring a varied and enjoyable experience. Though the trail is open year-round and welcomes a steady flow of visitors, it’s wise to start your journey early to savor the serenity and avoid the midday heat.

Scenic Drives

Wet one way road to Hana curving into the foliage with a forest in the background

The Road to Hana: Maui’s Legendary Coastal Drive

Pros:

  • Stunning scenery with lush landscapes, waterfalls, and beaches.
  • Rich cultural and natural attractions along the route.
  • Opportunities for memorable hikes and photo sessions.

Cons:

  • Narrow, winding roads with many one-lane bridges.
  • Can become crowded, especially during peak hours.
  • Requires careful planning and early start to fully enjoy.
  • Weather conditions can impact visibility and road safety.

Embark on the Road to Hana, a journey famed not just for its destination but for the breathtaking route itself. This 64-mile scenic drive from Kahului to Hana is an adventure through lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, vibrant gardens, and pristine beaches. The drive, while presenting an opportunity to witness the untouched beauty of Maui, demands respect for its narrow, winding roads and the local customs. With over 600 curves and numerous one-lane bridges, the journey is an exhilarating challenge. Highlights like the Twin Falls, Waikamoi Ridge Trail, and Wailua Falls offer an immersive experience in Maui’s natural splendor. Although the journey can be lengthy, especially with stops at the many attractions, it’s worth considering an overnight stay in Hana to fully absorb the tranquil beauty of the area. Remember, this journey is about respect, preparation, and savoring each moment of Maui’s coastal splendor.

Haleakala Highway Summit: Ascend to the Skies

Pros:

  • Unparalleled views and diverse ecosystems along the route.
  • Well-maintained roads with clear directions.
  • Access to the majestic Haleakala Summit, a haven for hikers and nature lovers.
  • Multiple starting points catering to visitors from different parts of Maui.

Cons:

  • Weather can be unpredictable; prepare for fog and temperature changes.
  • Requires entry fee for Haleakala National Park.
  • Steep inclines and altitude may challenge some drivers and hikers.
  • Limited amenities; ensure you have sufficient fuel, food, and water.
  • Sunrise views require a reservation which is often hard to get

Journeying to the Haleakala Summit via the Haleakala Highway is an experience that transcends mere travel. This drive, spanning 37 miles from sea level to a breathtaking 10,023 feet, is an invitation to witness nature’s grandeur. As you navigate the route, prepare to be mesmerized by shifting ecosystems and panoramic vistas. The drive, averaging between 1.5 to 3 hours based on your starting point, is a testament to the diverse beauty of Maui, offering everything from lush landscapes to stark volcanic terrain. With each turn, the road unfolds into a tapestry of natural wonders, making the Haleakala Highway not just a route, but a passage to a realm above the clouds.

Lavender at the Maui Lavender Farm with a blurred scenic background
Photo of Lavender at Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Upcountry Maui Drive: A Journey Through the Heart of the Island

Pros:

  • Diverse scenery, from lush landscapes to panoramic views.
  • A cultural journey through historic towns and local farms.
  • Opportunities to sample local produce and artisan products.
  • Accessible and well-marked route with various points of interest.

Cons:

  • Variable weather conditions; prepare for changes in temperature and possible rain.
  • Limited parking and facilities in some areas.
  • Can be crowded, especially during peak seasons.
  • Requires careful planning to maximize the experience and manage time efficiently.

Immerse yourself in the essence of Maui on the Upcountry drive, a captivating adventure that offers a refreshing contrast to the island’s coastal allure. This meandering route, spanning about 16 miles, begins in the charming town of Pāʻia and ascends through the verdant highlands, introducing you to the rich tapestry of Maui’s rural beauty and paniolo (cowboy) heritage. As you ascend, the landscape transitions from coastal vistas to the rolling hills and agricultural bounty of Upcountry, culminating in the breathtaking panoramas of Kula. This drive is not just a journey through scenic routes but a deep dive into the heart and soul of Maui, where every turn tells a story of tradition, nature, and the vibrant spirit of the island.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Iao Valley aerial view with the town of Wailuku in the background

Iao Valley State Park: A Tapestry of Nature and History

Pros:

  • Breathtaking views of the ‘Iao Needle and lush valley.
  • A rich tapestry of cultural and historical significance.
  • Family-friendly with easily accessible, paved walking paths.
  • Educational exhibits showcasing Hawaii’s native flora.

Cons:

  • Reservations required.
  • Short hiking trails make for limited exploration.
  • Prone to heavy rainfall, potentially leading to flash floods.

Iao Valley State Park is not just a slice of Maui’s natural splendor; it’s a canvas richly painted with the hues of history and culture. This serene sanctuary, dominated by the majestic ‘Iao Needle, is where the echoes of the Battle of Kepaniwai still resonate, a site where King Kamehameha I’s victory in 1790 marked a turning point in Hawaiian history. Today, this lush valley offers a tranquil retreat where visitors can meander through a botanical garden, marvel at historical sites, and absorb the profound spiritual significance of the land. It’s a place where the past and present merge, offering a unique glimpse into the heart of Hawaii.

A Breadfruit growing on a vine lush and green

Kahanu Garden: A Journey Through Time and Culture

Pros:

  • A rich tapestry of cultural heritage and lush natural beauty.
  • Home to Piʻilanihale Heiau, a National Historic Landmark.
  • Offers a unique insight into the life of early Polynesian settlers and their relationship with the land.
  • A vast collection of breadfruit and other culturally significant plants.

Cons:

  • Due to its sacred nature, access to certain areas may be restricted.
  • The rugged terrain may be challenging for some visitors.
  • Advance reservations are appreciated (and necessary for a guided tour).

Nestled on the rugged eastern shores of Maui, Kahanu Garden is not just a botanical wonder but a journey into the heart of Polynesian culture. Here, in the embrace of one of the largest native Hala forests, visitors can trace the steps of ancient voyagers through the world’s most extensive collection of breadfruit cultivars and other significant Pacific Island plants. The garden is home to the awe-inspiring Piʻilanihale Heiau, a colossal structure that stands as a testament to the island’s rich and storied past. As you wander through this sacred land, you’ll encounter plants that voyagers carried across vast oceans and marvel at the grandeur of the largest ancient man-made structure in Polynesia.

Hawaiian Hula dancers on stage

Embrace the Spirit of Aloha: Experience a Luau in Maui

Pros:

  • Authentic cultural experience that showcases Hawaiian history and traditions.
  • Opportunity to taste traditional Hawaiian foods and exotic cocktails.
  • Engaging performances by skilled hula and fire knife dancers.
  • Scenic oceanfront settings that enhance the luau atmosphere.

Cons:

  • Can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Prices may be high, reflecting the comprehensive cultural experience provided.
  • Advance booking is often required, limiting spontaneity.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Hawaii at a traditional Maui Luau, where the spirit of aloha thrives and the rich tapestry of island heritage unfolds. Usually set against the stunning backdrop of Maui’s sunset, a luau offers an unforgettable blend of authentic Hawaiian cuisine, mesmerizing hula dances, and the pulsating rhythms of Polynesian drums. As you’re greeted with a shell lei and witness the ceremonial unearthing of the kalua pig, prepare for an evening that celebrates the islands’ history, music, and dance. From savoring delicacies like poi and haupia to being captivated by the fiery spectacle of knife dancing, a luau in Maui is not just a feast for your taste buds but a feast for the senses. It’s a journey through time, a celebration of Hawaiian hospitality, and an opportunity to connect with the island’s soul in a way that’s both deeply moving and exhilarating.

Culinary Experiences

Inside view of Tin Roof restaurant in Maui

Tin Roof Maui: A Casual Culinary Jewel in Kahului

Pros:

  • Exceptional quality of meals crafted by a renowned chef.
  • Fresh, locally sourced ingredients that support Maui’s community.
  • Convenient location near the airport, perfect for a first or last meal on the island.
  • Quick, friendly service with the option to order ahead for ease.

Cons:

  • Limited seating available, primarily a takeout spot.
  • Can get quite busy, leading to wait times during peak hours.
  • No reservations, so planning ahead is essential.

Dive into Maui’s culinary scene at Tin Roof, a gem that marries Hawaiian comfort food with the flair of a Top Chef finalist, Sheldon Simeon. This unassuming spot in Kahului, just a stone’s throw from the airport, is where the island’s flavors come alive in a casual, no-frills setting. Forget about the fancy dining etiquettes and prepare to be swept off your feet by dishes that resonate with soulful touches of local ingredients and Sheldon’s innovative culinary twists. From the crispy, umami-packed mochiko chicken to the freshest poke bowls on the island, every bite tells a story of Maui’s rich culinary heritage and Sheldon’s passion for food. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite before hitting the island’s adventures or seeking a comforting meal that feels like a warm hug, Tin Roof’s vibrant takeout containers of joy are your gateway to experiencing Maui’s food scene authentically.

Shrimp dish at Mama's fish house

Mama’s Fish House: An Unforgettable Island Dining Experience

Pros:

  • Fresh, locally-sourced seafood with the fishermen’s names featured on the menu.
  • Authentic Hawaiian atmosphere and stunning ocean views enhance the dining experience.
  • Exemplary service that embodies the aloha spirit, making guests feel truly welcome.
  • Iconic dishes like the Polynesian Black Pearl dessert offer unique culinary delights.

Cons:

  • High price point may be a consideration for some guests.
  • Reservations can be challenging to secure (booking out months in advance) due to the restaurant’s popularity.
  • Location on the North Shore may require a bit of travel for guests staying in other parts of Maui.
  • The popularity with tourists might detract from a more intimate dining experience for some.

Mama’s Fish House, nestled on Maui’s North Shore, embodies the essence of island dining with its blend of exquisite seafood and authentic Polynesian atmosphere. Since opening its doors in 1973, this family-run establishment has not just served meals but has offered a gateway to experiencing Hawaiian culture through its flavors. As you step into Mama’s Fish House, you’re greeted by the warm aloha spirit, inviting you to relax and savor the culinary delights that await. The restaurant’s commitment to freshness is unparalleled, with daily catches listed alongside the fishermen’s names, ensuring a dining experience that’s both personal and deeply connected to the island’s traditions. Whether it’s the delectable mahi mahi, the tender ono, or the sumptuous kanpachi, each dish is a testament to the chefs’ mastery and the bounty of Maui’s waters. Surrounded by Polynesian artifacts, with views of the ocean and a serene beach just steps away, Mama’s Fish House is more than a meal—it’s a celebration of Hawaiian hospitality, cuisine, and the timeless beauty of the islands.

Two delicious bowls of Ululani's Hawaiin Shave Ice

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice: Experience the Sweet Taste of Aloha

Pros:

  • Exceptional quality with homemade syrups and pure ingredients.
  • Wide variety of flavors and customizable options, including sugar-free syrups.
  • Strong local and cultural connection, offering an authentic Hawaiian experience.
  • Friendly service imbued with “alohatude,” making every visit feel like coming home.

Cons:

  • Popular spot can mean long lines, especially during peak times.
  • Limited seating available, encouraging takeaway to nearby scenic spots.
  • Occasionally closed for the day, requiring a check on their website beforehand.
  • Some may find the premium quality comes at a premium price point compared to standard shave ice.

Immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Hawaii with a visit to Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, where every bite is a celebration of island sweetness and culture. This beloved local spot, founded by David and Ululani Yamashiro, has mastered the art of shave ice, transforming it into a gourmet experience. With a focus on purity and taste, Ululani’s serves up not just shave ice but a delicious symphony of homemade syrups drizzled over ultra-fine ice, optionally layered over creamy ice cream and topped with a dreamy snow cap. Despite the challenges, including the loss of their first store to wildfires, Ululani’s spirit of ‘Aloha’ thrives, offering visitors a taste of true Hawaiian hospitality and a reminder of the simple joys of island life. Whether you’re a first-timer or a returning aficionado, Ululani’s is a culinary journey that epitomizes the heart and soul of Maui.

Salmon sushi roll on a plate with a blurred background of other sushi

Miso Phat Sushi: A Culinary Adventure with Fresh-off-the-Boat Flavor

Pros:

  • Unparalleled freshness with seafood caught daily from their own boat.
  • A wide array of sushi options, including creative specialty rolls and traditional favorites.
  • Friendly, welcoming atmosphere that embodies the spirit of Aloha.
  • Convenient location, perfect for a meal after exploring Kihei’s beautiful beaches.

Cons:

  • Limited seating space can lead to wait times during peak hours.
  • No reservations, making dining in less predictable during busy periods.
  • Situated in a strip mall, which might be overlooked by those seeking a more conventional dining ambiance.
  • Popular spot may mean items sell out, so early dining is recommended to enjoy the full menu.

Dive into the vibrant world of sushi at Miso Phat Sushi, where the freshness of the ocean meets culinary excellence in every bite. This sushi haven in Kihei stands out with its unique approach to ensuring the ultimate in seafood freshness—by catching their own fish with their boat, the Shiso Phat. Here, the dedication to quality shines through in a menu brimming with succulent nigiri, sashimi, temaki hand rolls, and innovative specialty rolls. Whether you’re unwinding after a day of Maui adventures or seeking an unforgettable dining experience, Miso Phat promises a journey of flavors, artfully crafted from the day’s catch. From the shores to your plate, every dish is a testament to the love of sushi and the spirit of Aloha.

Farmers’ Markets and Farm Tours

Maui Farmers Markets: A Feast for the Senses

Pros:

  • Ultra-fresh Produce: Enjoy fruits and vegetables picked at their peak, offering unmatched taste and nutrition.
  • Local Flavors: Discover unique Hawaiian delicacies and traditional foods not easily found elsewhere.
  • Community Spirit: Experience the warm hospitality and ‘alohatude’ of Maui’s farming community.
  • Eco-Friendly Shopping: Support sustainable agriculture and reduce your carbon footprint by buying direct from local growers.

Cons:

  • Limited Hours: Most farmers markets have specific operating days and hours, requiring some planning to visit.
  • Crowds: Popular markets can get crowded, especially in peak tourist seasons, which might overwhelm some visitors.
  • Weather Dependent: Outdoor markets may be affected by Maui’s unpredictable weather, sometimes leading to cancellations.
  • Cash Transactions: While more vendors now accept cards, some still operate on a cash-only basis, requiring visitors to come prepared.

Embark on a vibrant journey through Maui’s farmers markets, where the bounty of the island comes to life in a kaleidoscope of flavors, colors, and aromas. From the sun-kissed slopes of Upcountry to the bustling heart of Central Maui, these markets are a celebration of local farming and culinary craftsmanship. Imagine strolling among stalls bursting with fresh, farm-to-table produce—avocados that melt in your mouth, sweet-as-candy pineapples, and exotic fruits like the intriguing breadfruit. Here, the essence of Maui is captured in every bite of homemade banana bread, sip of creamy liliko‘i butter, and taste of just-caught fish. These markets aren’t just places to shop; they’re vibrant gatherings where locals and visitors alike share in the joy of ‘ono (delicious) food, fostering a sense of community and connection to the land.

Maui Pineapple Tour: A Juicy Journey With Maui Gold in Hali’imaile

Pros:

  • Educational Experience: Learn everything about pineapple cultivation, from planting to harvesting.
  • Fresh Pineapple Tasting: Enjoy the unparalleled taste of field-ripened Maui Gold pineapples.
  • Take-Home Souvenir: Each guest receives a free pineapple, packaged and ready for transport.
  • Exclusive Access: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the packing and shipping process at Hali’imaile.

Cons:

  • Accessibility: The tour is not ADA accessible and requires the ability to navigate steps and stand for periods.
  • Terrain: The ride through unpaved agricultural roads may be uncomfortable for those with back or neck issues.
  • Limited Availability: Tours are not offered on Sundays and require advance booking due to popularity.
  • Age Restriction: Children under 3 are not permitted, which may be a consideration for families.

Immerse yourself in the heart of Maui’s pineapple culture with a visit to the enchanting pineapple fields of Hali’imaile. This unique and educational tour offers a rare glimpse into the life cycle of one of Hawaii’s most iconic fruits, the Maui Gold pineapple. Over the course of 1.5 to 2 hours, you’ll be transported through lush fields in an air-conditioned vehicle, learning about the pineapple’s journey from seedling to supermarket. Guides, who are seasoned pineapple workers, share their deep knowledge and personal stories, enriching your experience with insights into local history and agricultural practices. The highlight? Sampling freshly cut pineapple straight from the field, revealing flavors so vibrant they redefine sweetness. Each visitor leaves not just with newfound knowledge but also with a boxed, airport-ready pineapple, a delicious souvenir of your Maui adventure.

Surfing Goat Dairy: A Cheesy Adventure in Maui’s Up Country

Pros:

  • Unique Ag-Tourism Experience: Offers a hands-on look at sustainable farming and artisanal cheese-making.
  • Award-Winning Gourmet Products: Taste and learn about the production of gourmet goat cheeses and truffles.
  • Interactive Animal Encounters: Engage in memorable experiences like the “Kid” Goat Interaction and feeding.
  • Educational and Fun: Learn fascinating facts about goat farming, cheese production, and local agriculture.

Cons:

  • Accessibility: May not be fully accessible for all visitors, with certain activities requiring mobility.
  • Limited Seating: Primarily a standing and walking tour, which may be a consideration for those needing frequent rest.
  • Seasonal Activities: Some experiences, like the “Kid” Feeding, are only available during kidding season (December – March).
  • Weather Dependent: Outdoor activities may be affected by Maui’s weather conditions.

Embark on a journey to the heart of Maui’s agricultural landscape with a visit to Surfing Goat Dairy, nestled on the serene slopes of Haleakalā in Maui’s Up Country. This unique farm offers a captivating glimpse into the world of artisanal cheese-making and sustainable farming practices. As Maui’s premier commercial dairy, Surfing Goat Dairy has carved out a niche in culinary and ag-tourism, inviting visitors to indulge in the art of cheese-making, from playful interactions with their friendly goats to hands-on experiences working alongside the dairy’s skilled cheesemakers and chocolatiers. With their award-winning gourmet goat cheeses and truffles, you’re in for a taste of Maui’s rich flavors and the spirit of Aloha. Surfing Goat Dairy doesn’t just offer a tour; it offers an immersive farm-to-table experience that celebrates the bounty of the land and the joy of artisanal craftsmanship.