Why You Should Visit Maui Now
With its stunning natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and a plethora of activities, it’s a great time to visit Maui now. And while areas like Lahaina and West Maui may have been where you’ve always stayed, consider visiting South Maui on your next trip. Or check out the towns in Central Maui or upland in cowboy country!
This Maui blog will give you lots of ideas on how to visit Maui now, which towns to stay in, and how there’s so much more than just relaxing on the beach!
Visiting Maui’s Diverse Landscapes
So if witnessing the sunrise at the summit of a dormant volcano that stands over 10,000 feet above sea level, taking in the awe-inspiring view from the “House of the Sun”, visit Maui now as there are dozens of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that await!
Best Towns to Visit in Maui Now
Whatever brings you to visit Maui now, these five towns below will not disappoint. In addition, there’s so much to explore in or near each town. So whether your sport is surfing, hiking, or biking, we’ve included lots of Maui travel tips to inspire your next adventure!
In addition, consider staying in Kihei, Wailea, or South Maui, all of which are less than a 30-minute drive from where the Lani Kai is docked in Ma’alaea!
Kihei, once a popular vacation spot for Hawaiian royalty, lies just 8 miles south of Ma’alaea Harbor and your departure point for the much less crowded afternoon snorkel tour to Molokini Crater. It’s also ideal for swimming, paddle boarding, and canoeing, thanks to the protection of the three islands across the bay. Kihei’s beaches are some of South Maui’s calmest and clearest. Unlike the impressive surf waves of the Northshore, these waters invite us to get in, peek around, and see what we might find. This area is perfect for children and families to explore life below the ocean’s surface comfortably.
- Sugar Beach is Maui’s longest sweep of sand – at almost six miles long. Stretches of coral reef house tropical fish that dart in and out of crevices, delighting snorkelers. While the reefs are abundant, rocks are not, making for smooth wading. Clear views of Lanai, Kaho’olawe, and Molokini provide postcard-worthy backdrops while paddle boarding or swimming. Whale watching and romantic sunsets are another call to this beach.
- Hawaii Mermaid Adventures takes ocean exploration to a whole new level. Two-legged aspiring Merpeople are fitted with tails to keep and head into the shallows with a certified lifeguard/mermaid. Learn to swim as an underwater breather among turtle and fish friends. Play the games merchildren grow up playing and let the stories of lore become real. Underwater photography and videos are included in every session. Be inspired by the passion for protecting our oceans, which is the mission of HMA.
- Kihei Canoe Club is a proper outrigger canoe club with several programs for Maui locals. However, visitors are encouraged to join them on Tuesday and Thursday ocean pushes. The session begins with an opening chant to greet the rising sun. Next, paddling instructions are given and are suited to most abilities. Guests then climb into one of the famous bright red and gold canoes and glide out into the bay. While there is no guarantee, it is most likely that rowers will see whales (during their season), turtles, rays, or dolphins. Back on terra firma, the session wraps up with a Mahalo chant for the land, sea, and ancestors.
Wailea, known for its luxury and just 23 minutes south of your very own afternoon private charter on the Lani Kai II, is what vacation is all about. South Maui Hotels like Andaz, The Four Seasons, and Fairmont Kea Lani have cornered the market on spoiling their guests. Famous chefs flock to their restaurants, up-leveling local fare. Resort beaches are groomed daily, and various pool options provide a distinct ambiance based on what their sun dwellers want. There’s no shame in working hard all year to be pampered here for a week or two. Wailea buzzes with the good life and wants to treat you.
- Maui Luxe Picnic’s website is drool-worthy. Photos of previous events make Instagram itself jealous. Low tables on designer rugs laden with gourmet meats, cheeses, fruits, and chocolate encourage friends and family to sink into the sand or grass of your choosing. Romantic lighting and bougie cushions give that extra warmth to an anniversary or a proposal. Set-up and clean-up are part of the package. Add-ons are limited only to the customer’s imagination but may include photography, drone footage, musicians, aerialists – even fire and hula dancers.
- Wailea Golf Club offers three stunning courses with unparalleled views at every hole. The club’s Golf Academy is an excellent alternative to 18 holes and provides PGA Professional Staff to all levels – including beginners. Event planners are on hand to create custom tournaments, contests, and merchandise for corporate or group events. WGC has earned every one of their 170+ honors – “Friendliness to Women” being one of the top.
- The Shops at Wailea rival Rodeo Drive. The clean outdoor mall is shaded by well-trimmed Palms spaced evenly throughout. Luxury brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton abound, but unlike Beverly Hills, they can be purchased for somewhere around 10% less. That’s because designer houses consider Hawaii a separate pricing zone. Souvenir shops and art galleries are also worth perusing. These take-homes will never find their way into a junk drawer.
- Wai’anapanapa State Park’s black sand beach simmers in bold contrast to the sparkling sea. Enjoy the view of a natural sea arch, maybe even timing a perfect picture with the sun peeking through the rocky gap. Relax in the small, quiet inlet and let your eyes wander to the Big Island in the distance. Wear water shoes as the black sand tends to be hotter and sharper than its creamier counterpart.
Hike along the primary trail that winds away from the beach into a jungle-like world of bright green Naupaka plants and dark lava rocks. The path feels manicured and untouched simultaneously, imparting the sense that this is sacred ground. Continue the track as it wends back towards the sea and its two freshwater caves open for investigation. Tide pools, sea stacks, and natural blowholes along the trail are rich rewards for seeking out Hana’s natural mysteries.
Reservations are required for parking and entrance.
- Hana Lava Tube, aka Ka’Eleku Cavern, owes its spelunking charm to a molten flow that dried up almost one thousand years ago, leaving behind empty tube-like caves. Today, it’s a year-round field trip for visitors of all ages. Approximately ¼ of a mile long, this self-guided exploration sinks deep into the island and leads past formations like “The Chocolate Corridor” and “Wall of Stalactites.” Flashlights are provided but wear shoes with good grip and a raincoat as the ceiling drips. The Red Ti Botanical Garden Maze outside is a serene challenge before leaving.
Upper Waikani Falls
- Upper Waikani Falls is easy to find along the Hana Highway at Mile Marker 19. Also known as “The Three Bears,” a trio of tropical mountain streams plunges into a pristine swimming hole below. This scene is that perfect vacation backdrop that will soon become a favorite screensaver. However, like most of Maui’s southeast region, getting there requires nerve and will.
Parking is limited and may demand a few attempts. The path from the road to the pool starts at the bridge and leads off with a sharp drop down to slippery, unsure footing. Use extreme caution while navigating this section, which soon opens into a safer path. Find a boulder to set your towel on and glide into the bubbling water. Stand under the rush of recent rainfall and know that all the insecurity was worth it.
The Road to Hana is a 64-mile scenic journey of incomparable vistas. With 620 curves and 59 bridges, it is sure to take your breath away. Rent a jeep from South Maui and tackle this must-see yourself, or let someone else do the driving for you with a guided van tour.
Makawao feels sleepy, like a surf town on a Sunday morning, but there are no beaches here. This is Upland cowboy country. It is hard working but purposefully slow so that the work is properly done. Nothing is rushed on these roads because to be rushed would be unsustained. Artists flock to this realm of unhurried progression, and their galleries line the town’s old western main street. Perhaps this idea of time and sustenance explains the number of restaurants in such a small area. It’s as if the town knows we must be fed on our way up or back from Haleakala, or we could use a heavy meal after a day of whale watching with Maui Snorkeling. The short 30-minute drive from West Maui is worth it.
- Vida by Sip Me Maui offers decadent organic brews like rose gold latte topped with foam and dried petals. Cold-pressed juices are a fan favorite for a lighter pick-me-up. Bakery items are all made locally and include several gluten-free and vegan options. Take your banana bread and cappuccino out to the courtyard for fresh morning air or upstairs to the sunny lounge on a rainy day.
- Freshies Maui serves heartier breakfast fare and lunches for the cowboy soul. “Chuck Wagon Favorites” include organic eggs, red potatoes, rice, beans, and greens. Add Spam or bacon for protein. For lunch, smoked gouda on a Maui Cattle Company burger paired with a local craft brew reminds the stomach of what Makawao is known for. The Fresh Fish Plate, seared in a lemon, garlic, caper butter and topped with Parmesan and tomatoes, reminds the taste buds what island life is all about. For a less dense meal, try the Sesame Salad made with homemade creamy dressing and a hibiscus iced tea.
- Serpico’s Restaurant boasts an impressive menu of Jersey-style pizzas, pasta, and subs. Open for both lunch and dinner, this casual eatery has something for everyone. Twelve different salads on the menu include Blackened Mahi and Calamari Caesar. Kalua pork on a pie blends Asbury Park and Maui Upcountry nicely. Traditional Lasagna and Penne ala Vodka is a perfect way to end a fun-filled day.
Paia is Maui’s Mecca that beckons meditation and contemplation. A spiritual current flows beneath its streets and sand. Visitors feel it instantly and respond by finding a bench or patch of beach to sit and observe. The mind teams up with the underground current and wanders effortlessly into questions of existence and our own place in this world. Paia is for pilgrims searching for peace and harmony, for finding it here, and for leaving changed.
- The Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa stands 27 feet tall at the entrance to the Maui Dharma Center. Nestled in an unassuming parking lot, it is open to visitors of all beliefs. Colorful Tibetan prayer flags string the way into the consecrated structure, where a large prayer wheel chimes as guests slowly spin it, releasing the millions of prayers inside up to the Universe.
- Ho’okipa Beach Park is best approached first from the upper viewing outcrop. Windswept grasses soften the cliff along the paved walkway. The roar of the waves below makes it unequivocally known that these waters are not for new surfers – instilling a solid appreciation for the boarders that have come to prove and conquer. They are mesmerizing as they disappear beneath the frothy white tunnels – hopefully to emerge smoothly a few seconds later, sometimes only to be violently spit out in the middle. This vantage point affords stunning videos.
The beach below is a prime spot for Hawaiian green sea turtles as they bob into shore. A protected knee-high fence allows visitors to get close enough to watch them warm up on the sand without disturbing them. While it may be tempting to interact with them in the shallows, please don’t. They’re here for the meditative vibes, too. For a closer encounter with these endangered guys, consider visiting them in Turtle Town with daily tours leaving just 14 miles away out of Ma’alaea Harbor.
Ho’okipa Beach Park
- The Sacred Garden of Maliko is a 10-minute drive from Paia. Its 10,000-square-foot nursery and two labyrinths are a peaceful afternoon respite. Find a wooden chair among the ornamental plants, water gardens, and succulents. Add your thoughts or drawings to one of the community journals lying around. Or create a fairy garden with the materials provided – including miniature furniture. Sidle up to the art table among the leaves and petals to paint a paper bag masterpiece for a future customer to take home.
- The Mother Shrine honors our feminine forms, i.e., Mary, Pele, etc. It’s a beautiful space to contemplate your mother and send her love. A Full Moon walk in the outer labyrinth is an intentional opportunity to connect with the night sky and our own more obscure nature.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Maui Now
So if you are in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, look no further than the lush and enchanting island of Maui, Hawaii. Renowned for its natural beauty, Maui still remains the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, avid hikers, or travelers simply looking to unwind on its pristine beaches.
Visiting Maui now also helps you support the people of Maui, many of whom depend on tourism dollars to thrive. And as we continue to respect our commitment to mālama, the Hawaiian word for ‘to care for or protect’, consider shopping locally, eating at locally-run restaurants, and sharing the spirit of Aloha.
Traveling to Maui should be at the top of your travel bucket list again, and we hope this blog gave you lots of ideas to help you plan your next Hawaiian vacation!
Click here to read more of our Maui travel blogs, and we hope to see you on the island soon. Mahalo for reading.