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Know Before You Go: Visiting Haleakala at Sunrise
Know Before You Go: Visiting Haleakala at Sunrise

Visiting Maui for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do


Visiting Maui for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do
Hi, I'm Juniper!

Juniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

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Hi, I'm Juniper!

Juniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

see more

Maui is best known for its picturesque beaches, but there is a lot more to the island than white sand and resorts. Don’t miss the chance to experience traditional Hawaiian culture at a luau, see the rugged coastline on the Road to Hana, or visit the impressive Haleakala volcano. Here’s how to make the most of your first trip to Maui. 

Enjoy the beaches

You can't miss the sandy shores.

A trip to Maui would not be complete without a beach day. Enjoy white sand and sunshine at Makena Beach State Park (also known as Big Beach), or head to the Hana Coast to discover Maui’s famous black- and red-sand beaches. 

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Don't miss Maui's famed red-sand beaches. Photo: LUC KOHNEN / Shutterstock

Attend a traditional luau

For a cultural experience.

The historic fishing village of Lahaina is the place to go if you want to experience a classic Hawaiian luau. Enjoy hula performances, traditional kalua (pit-baked) pork, and a buffet of fresh Hawaiian food—all with an ocean view. 

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Explore volcanoes and rain forests

Experience Maui's diversity.

Leave the beaches behind for a day and head to the island’s interior, where you can hike the dormant volcano Haleakala, zipline through the rain forest, and cool off under a waterfall. If you want to see the interior the easy way, book a helicopter tour that takes you over Haleakala and also shows you the coastline from above. 

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Enjoy unrivalled Hawaiian views during a doors-off helicopter ride over Maui. Photo: Tony Novak-Clifford / Viator

Travel the Road to Hana

One of the world's most scenic drives.

While you can make the drive to Hana yourself, the rugged coastal road is lined with picturesque views that you will miss if you’re busy focusing on the twisting, winding route. Instead, book a tour that includes a driver and a guide who can show you the top photo spots, beaches, and waterfalls along the way.

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Surf, sail, and snorkel

The Maui trifecta of fun.

Whether you are a pro surfer or a snorkeling novice, you can find a water sport to enjoy in Maui. Try surfing in a beginner-friendly small-group lesson. Explore Turtle Town reef on a trip that combines kayaking and snorkeling. And, if you’re lucky enough to visit the island during whale season (November–April), don’t miss the chance to set sail on a whale-watching excursion

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Take to the water with one of Maui's many water activity options. Photo: Tony Novak-Clifford / Viator

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See all Maui tours
476 tours & tickets
Things to do in Maui
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Know Before You Go: Visiting Haleakala at Sunrise
Know Before You Go: Visiting Haleakala at Sunrise