Google the word heaven and you’ll (probably) see a photo of Maui. Thanks to its spectacular views, rocky drives, concealed waterfalls, soft sandy beaches and cool, clear blue waters, Maui is a vacation destination like no other.
But, it can also leave you broken and penniless, especially if you decide to buy a round of Mai Tais for the whole bar.
Not to worry, though, check out these thirteen things to do in Maui that won’t blow your budget, but are sure to blow your mind.
If soft silky sand sliding between your toes is your idea of paradise, then trust me, you and Maui are going to get along just fine.
Just off the beaten path, Mau
i boasts a range of virtually untouched beaches away from all of the hustle and bustle of the normal tourist traps.
Yep, you might have to work a bit to find these jewels, but they’re worth their weight in gold…. and peace.
Some good beaches to check out first are:
Secret Cove: a cozy and romantic patch of sand south of Wailea.
Oneuli Beach: a wild black sand paradise in Makena framed by towering cliffs.
Mokule’ia Bay: a snorkelers paradise.
Oneloa Beach: a long stretch of often deserted sand perfect for strolls in the surf.
Drive over the Top of West Maui
Most tourists make the well-known Road to Hana drive, but for a little longer drive over the top end of the island, you’ll find with less traffic, stunning scenery and superb beaches.
This drive isn’t for the faint hearted, though. Offering clifftop views and hairpin turns, you might get the added bonus of watching your life flash before your eyes.
With blind curves and narrow roads, it can be a little slow. But, don’t be discouraged, the sights of Kahakuloa and the surrounding areas more than make up for it. Drive from west to east, in a clockwise direction. It’s said that the sights are more beautiful from this direction.
It may also be worth stopping at:
Mokule’ia Bay. (also called Slaughter House Beach)
View down to Kahakuloa. (The view of the valley and tiny church from above is one that you’ll never forget.)
Haleakala National Park Day Trip
Haleakala National Park has one of the largest dormant volcanoes in the world.
With its hiking trails and striking views, the park is a great place to hike and explore. Entrance to the park is only $10 per vehicle and the admissions pass is good for three days.
Plus, if you have a senior traveling with you, then check out the Interagency Lifetime Pass. This makes park admission $10 and lets three of their buddies in for free. (Hopefully one of them is you!)
Hmmm, it might be worth having your mum or dad tag along after all….
Another bargain way to spend the day is on the various hiking trails throughout Maui.
Tie your boots, grab your bug spray and check out Redwood Trail and Iao Valley State Park.
Redwood Trail is a reasonable 1.7 mile hiking trail for riders and walkers. Taking you around the mountain and forest areas, the trail starts at Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area and ends at the start of two other hikes: The Plum Trail and the Boundary Trail.
Iao Valley State Park offers cemented trails and extraordinary views. Make sure that you check out the Iao Needle, only a 0.6 mile paved walk away. This lush bright green peak is a sacred Hawaiian site. Admittance is $5 per car and the park is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you like catching some waves, then Hookipa Beach Park in East Maui is for you. The wind on this cliff-lined beach provides a unique windsurfing and surfing environment. The beach also offers safe viewing of the pro wind surfers that frequent it. Professional competitions take place on this beach annually and can be watched peacefully for one of the many picnic benches around.
Looking for something a little different? Then have a look at:
Containing over 150 varieties of tropical plants, trees and flowers, this amazing attraction must be seen to be believed. Admission is free (bargain), but it’s advised that you wear insect repellent for obvious reasons (you’ve been warned.)
Self-guided and totally free, this mind-blowing tour takes you to places related to the Maui Whaling industry of the 1800s and focuses on 62 historical landmarks throughout Maui’s whaling history. Wear walking boots and leave plenty of time, as it can take up to two hours to complete.
Casual warning – one or two of the local museums and churches may charge for entry. Entry is not required to fully enjoy the tour.
Located on the slopes of Haleakala, this eye-bulging farm produces more than 45 varieties of lavender. It’s free to enter, but there maybe a small charge for a walking tour.
The farm itself offers an onsite gift shop where lavender products can be bought. If you’re feeling really adventurous, then why not try a lavender tea and scone while you’re there?
Formed by lava that’s hardened, this unique site resembles giant dragon’s teeth (hence the name).
Found at Makalua-puna Point in Kapalua, on the northwest shore of Maui, this is a prime example of what happens when Mother Nature strikes. A must see!
The Banyan Tree
If you’re looking for the perfect vacation spot to swoon over, then The Banyan Tree is a must visit. This primeval tree takes up an entire block of Lahaina and really needs to be seen to be believed!
Bailey House Museum
Located in Wailuku, this museum is home to paintings, artifacts and 19th century Hawaiian culture. Adult admission is around $7 and kids 6 and under are free.
Kulu Botanical Gardens
Offering visitors a gorgeous view of the west Maui Mountains, this botanical garden will sweep you away, with its gentle waterfalls, jagged rock formations, aviary and Koi pond. Located in the town of Kula, admission is $10 for adults, $3 for kids 6-12 and under that are free!
Surfing Goat Dairy
Well worth a visit, even if all you do is hand milk the goats or feed them. Daily tours are available and for just $15 dollars each, this award winning cheese farm (that can be purchased on site) is well worth the trek.
And then, the obvious choice of:
The Road to Hana
52 miles long and with 600 curves, this well known tourist trap may sound like a bad idea, but with the GPS-style, virtual tour guide on offer here, you’ll be begging for the queues, just so you can admire the view.
Don’t forget to stop at:
Haipua’ ena Falls. Around the 11-mile marker.
Upper Waikani Falls (The Three Bears Falls). Right after mile marker 19.
Wailua Falls. Found at mile marker 45 on the Hana Highway.
Of course, there are many activities in Maui that ARE worth spending your hard earned dollars on. But, if you’re looking for the road less traveled for little expense, then this list will at least get you halfway there.
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