Reading Time: 9 minutes

Updated: 1/25/2021 | Travel Guide to Maui

Maui is loaded with amazing culture & stunning beauty. You just need to get away from all the touristy areas which is pretty easy to do if you have a car and some guidance.

We love Maui because there is a ton to do on the resorts, within nature, and all over the island. It’s really a choose your own adventure destination.

Compared to the other islands, Maui is not as sleepy. It has a bustling nightlife and you can choose between a lavish experience or one that is adventure-filled yet affordable. It’s all up to you and what you want from your Maui vacation.

Per our Maui travel guide, we recommend spending at least 6 days in Maui for the best experience. If you decide on adding the Road to Hana to your itinerary, plan on spending a whole day or two to explore the western coast of the island.

Ready to start planning? Below are our tips and recommendations for having the best Maui vacation.

Beach Outfit in Maui Hawaii
Hanging out on the beaches of Kanaapali.

Maui Travel Guide

Things to Do and See

  • Haleakala is a fantastic outing if you’re interested in seeing the sunrise and sunset. There are two ways to go about seeing the sunrise and sunset at Haleakala:
    • Go on your own: You’ll have to rent a car and reserve your tour spot ahead of time. It’s only $1 and it’s important to know that they won’t let you in before sunrise without a reservation. Expect to be there between the hours of 3 to 7 AM. We have also seen people hike or bike the entire route to Haleakala. 
    • Take a Tour Bus: We booked with Valley Isle Excursions! We cannot express how impressed we were with their Haleakala sunrise tour. They took care of everything so that we could enjoy the views. They pick up pretty early (around 2-3 am) but you can sleep on the bus while ascending. They also provide refreshments, food and outerwear during the tour.
    • Hike into Haleaka: You also have the option to hike the Sliding Sands trail into Haleakala. You start at about 10,000 feet and then descend into the Crate. It will look like you’re on Mars and you’ll need a winter coat and gloves because it’s very cold. The air is thin up there so when you are heading back up to the summit (where you will park), you will notice you’ll need to stop more than normal due to less oxygen. The volcano is one of our favorite places on the planet. Pure magic or #MauiMagic! You can also park at a lower parking lot and then hike up and back down but we’ve always parked at the very top and then entered the Crater from there.
  • Ali Kula Lavender Farm – it’s beautiful up there and they have a little scavenger hunt for kids.
  • Surfing Goat Dairy Farm is next to the Lavender Farm. We highly recommend combining the two attractions into your day.
  • Check out the Lahaina Cannery Mall schedule for free hula shows.
  • There are also free hula shows at Whalers Village. Grab an ice cream and have a seat on the grass to watch the shows.
  • We highly recommend the snorkeling tours at Molokini and Kaanapali beach. It’s like the Maui version of Waikiki in Honolulu.
  • Do the Maui Pineapple Plantation tour! I could not get enough of the tour! Ride a bus around the plantation to learn about how pineapples are grown and harvested. Try freshly plucked pineapples too! At the end of the tour, you’ll also receive a Maui golden pineapple to take home.
  • Visit the main cultural exchange center to learn about Hawaiian culture and history.
  • Napili Bay – Park anywhere on the street and access the beach from anywhere. Don’t forget to explore the little streets near the resort as well. While you’re near Napili, head just north to visit Kapalua Bay beaches.
Road to Hana Maui Hawaii Monstera Deliciosa Plant
Got lost in the Monstera Deliciosa on the Road to Hana.
  • Road to Hana: I DEFINITELY recommend going on a tour for the road to Hana. It was totally worth it for a one to two-day trip. The drive can be stressful but it’s so WORTH IT. Car rental companies have provisions where certain areas on the road to Hana will void your insurance. This means you can’t go through the back way, but it’s still worth it to go as far as you can. Make sure to stop by Aunty Sandy’s or Hana Farms for some delicious banana bread! If you want a good tour guide, we recommend using the Shaka Guide (paid App) for a self-guided audio tour.
    • Here are things you should not miss on the Road to Hana. We included the amount of time it takes to complete that stop.:
      • Black Sand Beach (30 mins)
      • Red Sand Beach (30 mins)
      • Wailuaiki Water Fall and swim in the hidden pool (30 mins)
      • Twin Falls (30 mins)
      • Coconut Glen’s Ice Cream (20 mins)
      • Seven Sacred Pools (2.5 to 5 hours)
      • Check out Hana town (1-2 hours)
Hana Farms banana bread Road to Hana
Banana bread from Hana Farms
  • Waihe’e Ridge Trail: This was by far one of my most favorite hikes! This steep hike along the West Maui side will take you up into the clouds and you’ll experience a wide range of climates, all-around views, and even cows. Moo! The hike will take approximately three hours. Bring a drink, snacks and good hiking boots. Of all the things in our Maui travel guide, you do not want to miss this!

Where to Eat

  • Ululani Shaved Ice – There’s one near the airport and in Lahaina. the one in Lahaina is in a plaza with activities for kids.
  • Local Food – Little shack of a place with a little old lady running it. She serves really good Hawaiian food. It’s located in the same plaza as Ululani.
  • Cinnamon Roll Place – Stop here for delicious cinnamon rolls.
  • Costco – Stock up on spicy poke and all your groceries. Maui can be pretty costly depending on where you go. Costco is located near Kahului airport.
  • Da Kitchen – Come here for traditional Hawaiian eats and try the deep fried spam musubi. You can also order takeout and eat on the beach if the lines are long. The location near Kahului airport has closed.
  • Sale E Pepe – Really good Italian food!
  • Miso Phat Sushi – Legit amazing. The fish is so fresh! Get the chirashi bowl or one of their sushi combos. There are two locations in Kihei and Kahana.
  • Okazuya Deli – Reasonably priced eats. The fish dishes and kalbi ribs are great. Take out only.
  • Fish Market Maui – Try the Ahi sandwich and fried fish tacos. We loved everything here. It’s also next door to the Okazuya deli. Take out only.
  • Mala Ocean Tavern – We stumbled upon here and were pleasantly surprised by their food, beverages,  and the amazing view of the west coast. Definitely try their huge salads and oyster shooters! Oh, man. I am still dreaming about the food and cocktails from Mala.
  • Mama’s Fish House – The menu rotates daily with many fish and seafood options to choose from. Make this a special fine dining night if possible. If there is curry on the menu, order it. If there is any shrimp + vanilla dish on the menu, ORDER IT. We highly recommend making reservations online ASAP as they get booked quickly.
blue prawns with tahitian vanilla from Mama's FIsh House
Mama’s Fish House – Blue Prawns with butter and Tahitian vanilla, served with coconut rice.
  • Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman’s – Monkeypod is a must-visit each time we return to Maui. We LOVE the cocktails and the happy hour menu is great for the wallet. The regular menu is amazing too. We love their Mai Tai’s which come with a passion fruit foam on top.
  • Ono Tacos – Delicious hole-in-the-wall taco truck. You can sit on the benches outside to eat. They also have a salsa bar that is super “ono” (aka delicious)!
  • Aloha Mixed Plate – Great place for breakfast. Get the Loco Moco (they make their fried rice with the slow-cooked underground Kahlua pork from the luau the night before). You’ll also get some great beach views.
  • Sansei – Come here for some of the best sushi! Call and check if they do early bird specials. The one in Kona does 50% off from 5 to 6 pm.
  • Star Noodle – It was fancy Asian fusion, but not too harsh on the wallet. We love their saimin dishes.
  • Gazebo Restaurant – Nice view, huge rice royales, good macadamia nut pancakes. Get there early because the line gets long after 10 am.
  • Slappy Cakes – A full-service breakfast restaurant with seasonal pancakes! Now closed temporarily! 🙁
  • Leilani’s on the Beach – They have THE BEST fish tacos here. The Caesar salad was also super delicious. You’ll also get an amazing view of the ocean from the patio.
  • Leoda’s Kitchen – Come here for amazing pies & good sandwiches.
  • Hula Grill – Good for both lunch, dinner, and happy hour! We prefer the dining room to the bar menu for dinner.
  • Lahaina Grill – I dream of the seared ahi with vanilla rice! It’s so delicious and affordable.
  • Coconuts Fish Cafe – If you find yourself near Kihei, you must come here for some of the best fish tacos you will ever have. It’s a small Hawaiian chain and you can also visit their restaurants in Kauai.
leilanis on the beach maui hawaii
BEST fish tacos and Caesar Salad from Leilani’s on the Beach

Places to Drink

  • Mala Ocean Tavern – Enjoy craft cocktails on their oceanfront patio. Hearing the waves crash against the shore is super relaxing.
  • Mama’s Fish House – They bring drinks to your table in a shaker. Great photo opportunity!
  • Maui Brewing – Try local craft beers. They make all types of styles and have rotating guest beers too.
  • Monkeypod by Merriman’s – Come for happy hour and enjoy $10 drinks and pizzas! All appetizers are half off too.
Monkeypod Mai Tai Maui Hawaii
Monkeypod Mai Tai with lilikoi (passion fruit) foam

Best Acai Bowls in Maui

I am an Acai bowl snob. Here are places you can get a pretty decent Acai bowl in Maui.

  • Island Vintage Coffee – Get the Cacao Moana bowl if you love chocolate and peanut butter. It’s so ono (and my favorite)!
  • Baya Bowls – Little food truck in Lahaina that serves up a mean Acai bowl. Take your bowl over to Front street and peruse the cute shops and vendors.
  • Paia Bowls – Stop here on your way through Paia for a delicious Acai bowl. I tried the blue mystic with spirulina and the texture was too snotty for me. Go for their original Acai bowl instead! They have a little patio deck that gives me all the vibes. Dogs are welcome!
Paia Bowls Acai Bowl Blue Mystic
Blue Majik Bowl from Paia Bowls

How to Get to Maui

Here is how you can get to Maui.

Lodging in Maui

  • Maui is flocked with resorts along the coastline. We used Agoda to book the best hotel deals.
  • You can stay at a hotel or even in an Airbnb. Get $65 off your first booking when you use this link.
  • If you decide to stay in Hana overnight, we recommend the Heavenly Hana Paradise! It cost us $250 for a night. We highly recommend making the Road to Hana a two-day trip so that you can see as many things as possible!

Final Thoughts

Has our Maui travel guide convinced you to book a trip? We hope so!

Maui is one of our most favorite Hawaiian islands. You won’t be bored and there is always so much to discover with each visit.

If you need recommendations on how to dress in Hawaii, we got you covered there too.

Make sure to keep your COVID-19 test results with you (via screenshot) and enjoy the Valley Isle! Aloha!

If you enjoyed our Maui travel guide, please share it on Pinterest. Thank you!

Maui Travel Guide Schimiggy


Thank you for visiting today! If you found this encouraging or informative, please come hang out with me on Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter for updates and more. We promise we won't spam you! Feel free to unsubscribe anytime.

For more fitness fashion discounts and offers, please visit our Fitness Instructor Discounts + Brands Directory or favorite brands coupon codes list.

This site uses affiliate links. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for us which help keep the content flowing and lights on at Schimiggy Reviews. You may read more about this in our privacy policy.


Alex Tran AKA Schimiggy is a fitness fashion, travel, justice, and food-obsessed raconteuse. She currently resides in Seattle and teaches yoga while writing her heart out. Schimiggy Reviews is a lifestyle blog where Alex shares her passions and interests with the world!

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.