First-Timer's Guide to Maui
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
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.
Attend a Traditional Luau
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.
Travel the Road to Hana
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 twising, winding way. 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.
Explore Volcanoes and Rainforests
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 rainforest, 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.
Surf, Sail, and Snorkel
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.