Snorkeling is one of the best (and most affordable!) activities in Maui. You can explore a vibrant underwater world just about anywhere off the coast of Maui. However, we recommend these five Maui snorkeling spots for an under-the-sea experience that’s truly unforgettable. 

Maui Snorkeling Spots

Molokini Crater is an iconic place to snorkel in Maui.

Top 5 Maui Snorkeling Spots

1) Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater is a volcanic crater marine preserve teeming with a host sea life.  Colorful tropical fish, abundant corals, manta rays and even the occasional shark can be seen during snorkeling tours.  The clear water makes it underwater viewing excellent.  Plus, several companies – including the Pacific Whale Foundation and Maui Classic Charters – offer charters to Molokini so you can easily visit this hot Maui snorkeling spot.

Maui Snorkeling Spots

You can easily conquer Molokini and Turtle Town during one snorkeling excursion.

2) Turtle Town

Located on the southern coastline of Maui, near Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach, Turtle Town is the place to snorkel if you want to see a large population of gorgeous green sea turtles.  One of the reasons sea turtles like this area so much is the underwater lava arches which provide numerous nooks and crannies to call home.  You can reach Turtle Town via a boat charter with Pacific Whale Foundation or drive to Makena Beach and swim out the underwater arches. 
Maui Snorkeling Spots

Vibrant fish and colors amaze at Coral Gardens.

3) Coral Gardens

Coral formations are the highlight of this snorkel spot in Maui.  Large, unique coral formations form the perfect place for marine life to thrive.  When you snorkel here you’ll see hundreds of species of Hawaiian fish like Parrot Fish, Angel Fish, Trigger Fish and Butterfly Fish as well as Crabs, Octopus and a variety of Eels.  The occasional sea turtle can be spotted too.  The best way to access this western Maui snorkeling spot is by boat, although you can do some snorkeling from the shoreline. 

The clear blue waters of Honolua Bay are ideal for snorkeling. Image via Hawaii Savvy, flickr

4) Honolua Bay

Snorkeling Honolua Bay is popular with visitors as it is one of the few sheltered bays to snorkel on Maui.  The waters here are part of the Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.  There is good snorkeling evident on both sides of the bay, but the best coral patches on the right-hand side of the bay are a bit of a swim.  Make the swim, though, as the visibility is clear and butterfly fish and parrotfish are abundant as are coral species like blue rice.

You never know what sea creatures you might stumble upon at Five Caves.

5) Five Caves

Some of the best Maui snorkeling is available at Five Caves near Nahuna Point, although good swimming skills and snorkeling experience will aid your adventure.  A host of caves and crevices provides plenty of places for sea life to hide. As a result, sea life such as turtles, sharks, and tropical fish are in abundance.  The interesting underwater formations are quite the sight too but don’t be tempted to swim through the caves.  This is recommended for experienced scuba divers only – not snorkelers.

Experience the Best Maui Snorkeling Spots

As you can see, Maui is teeming with spectacular spots ripe for exploring. Reserve a snorkel cruise through Reserve Hawaii or rent some gear from a local shop like Snorkel Bob’s. Either way, you’re sure to discover some of the best, most vibrant underwater worlds this tropical island has to offer.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Looking for the best beaches in Maui? Every beach on the island has something special to offer, but you can’t visit them all. We’re here to help narrow down the search with a list of the top five beaches in Maui. Imagine your toes in the sand and read on to find the perfect beach for your next Maui vacation.

Beaches in Maui

1) Kaanapali Beach

Golden sands and clear blue waters stretch on as far as the eye can see. Conditions at this beach in Maui are perfect for sunning, swimming and an array of ocean activities. Famous Black Rock is located here and is teeming with coral, fish and even sea turtles creating excellent snorkeling conditions. It’s also home to a cliff driving ceremony that happens regularly at sunset.

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2) Kapalua Beach

Consistently ranked among the best Maui beaches, Kapalua Beach is a family-friendly bay protected by palm trees and lava rock. The calm waters offer great swimming and snorkeling conditions. Plus, this is one of the beaches in Maui with a convenient location near the port of Lahaina. Lifeguards are typically on duty, if additional safety is of concern.

Keawakapu Beach

3) Keawakapu Beach

Somewhat of a secret, you’ll find this paradise between Wailea and Kihei. This is a good beach to get away from the crowds and swimming conditions are consistently good year round. Plenty of sandy beach space is available too so you can stretch out, soak up some sun or even build a sandcastle. Snorkeling can be found at an underwater reef to the right side of the beach.

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4) Hamoa Beach

Set in a tropical setting, the half-moon-shaped beach sits below 30-foot black lava sea cliffs. Gray sand, created by a mix of coral and lava, creates a 1,000-foot long escape. It’s a popular place to for surfing and bodysurfing as the surf breaks offshore and smoothly rolls in. The left side of the beach is relatively calm and good for swimming and snorkeling.

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5) Na Pili Bay

This charming little stretch of beach is well-known for its golden sands and, excellent snorkeling conditions and scenic sunsets. Families love it here because it’s easy to access, close to Lahaina, and is large enough to play in the sand and surf without feeling crowded.

Ready to Explore these Top 5 Maui Beaches?

The answer is most definitely yes! There’s a reason why Maui beaches are some of the top-rated in the world–they’re stunning. Reserve your trip to this Hawaiian Island through Reserve Hawaii to enjoy all this tropical paradise has to offer.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Maui to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Maui is famous for its breathtaking sights, especially those at the Haleakala National Park.   When you visit Maui you’ll want to trek to the summit of Haleakala to see gorgeous sunrises and starry nights, as well as the vast landscape of the Haleakala Crater.  The Kipahulu District of the Haleakala National Park, located 12 miles past the town of Hana, is another region of the park that encompasses pristine natural sights worth a visit.  The famous Pools of Oheo Gulch are located at Kipahulu.  Here you’ll discover beautifully tiered pools fed by waterfalls invite you to swim and play – Hawaiian style. 

Kipahulu District

Pictures don’t do this waterfall justice. It’s something you have to see in person to truly appreciate.

To get to Kipahulu, you’ll drive the Road to Hana, a beautiful coastal highway dotted with natural attractions.  Waterfalls, panoramic vistas, black sand beaches and plenty of other historic and cultural stops.  Be sure to make time for experiences at Kipahulu, though, as this area of the Haleakala National Park features spectacular scenery and exotic experiences.

Hiking at Kipahulu is outstanding.  There are three main hikes at the park – the Pipiwai Trail, Kuloa Point Trail and Kahakai Trail.  I highly recommend hiking the Pipiwai Trail.  The 4-mile roundtrip hike is slightly strenuous due to the terrain and elevation changes. Likewise, it winds through freshwater streams, bamboo forests and even past a huge banyan tree along the way to the epic 200-foot Makahiku Falls.  If you’re searching for shorter hiking trails, Kuloa Point and Kahakai Trail are both ½ mile roundtrip. They access the mouth of Oheo Gulch and gorgeous ocean views, respectively.

Kipahulu District

Oheo Gulch is also known as the Seven Sacred Pools.

One of the most amazing things to do at Kipahulu is swim in the pools of Oheo Gulch.  When conditions allow, you can swim in the small set of pools that cascades from Oheo Gulch Stream at Haleakala National Park.  They are only about 30 ft. or so in total height. As a result, they create a tropical paradise in which you can splash and play. 

Elsewhere at the Kipahulu District you’ll find lush vegetation and scenic coastal views. Be sure to keep an eye open for sea turtles, monk seals, dolphins and whales (December-April.)  Guided activities and cultural events are also available.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

A vacation in Maui is an absolute dream. From the gorgeous weather to the abundance of outdoor adventures, visiting Maui is on everyone’s travel bucket list. However, with so much to do and see on the island, you might be worried about how much this vacation will cost. Instead of racking up charges left and right, find where to stay in Maui on a budget.

By choosing to stay at a hotel or resort that fits within your budget, you can dedicate the majority of your funds to expeditions, adventures, and exploring Maui. After all, you shouldn’t be spending the entirety of your vacation at a hotel, right?

Once you know your vacation budget, check out these affordable Maui hotels.

Where to Stay in Maui on a Budget

Save money at this beachside hotel.

Outrigger Royal Kahana

Those who aren’t looking for luxury accommodations and only want an affordable place to fall asleep in each night will enjoy the Outrigger Royal Kahana. This Maui hotel is located right on the beach and features amenities including two outdoor pools, tennis courts, and concierge services. The fair price and cozy accommodations are ideal for those who would rather spend their time on activities rather than at the hotel.

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You can’t beat a view (and a price) like that!

Aston at Papakea Resort

Looking for condo style accommodations for your Maui vacation? If so, check out Aston at Papakea Resort. This resort boasts a wide variety of condos set on 13 acres of gorgeous land. The spacious condos feature private balconies, speedy complimentary WiFi, and full kitchens. Guests can enjoy the putting green, swimming pool, and barbecue grills as well. The property is located right on the beach, allowing guests to enjoy Maui’s crystal clear waters at their leisure. Although condo lodging may sound expensive, this resort is well within your vacation budget.

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Enjoy the scenic views at Outrigger Napili Shores.

Outrigger Napili Shores

When deciding where to stay in Maui on a budget, consider Outrigger Napili Shores. Featuring a bar/lounge, outdoor swimming pools, a picnic area, two restaurants, and more, Outrigger Napili Shores has what every traveler (and budget) is looking for in a hotel. Of course, this inexpensive property is located conveniently on the beach, too! With this in mind, be sure to grab a meal at the oceanfront restaurant for dinner with a view.

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Whether you prefer the ocean or the pool, you can experience both at this affordable hotel.

Aston Kaanapali Shores

From studios to suites, Aston Kaanapali Shores has it all including a perfect location. This Maui resort is conveniently situated near the beach and other local attractions such as Black Rock, Kaanapali Beach, Whalers Village, and Kaanapali Golf Courses. When you choose to stay here, you’ll be near all of the top attractions and activities.

In addition to an ideal location, this hotel boasts outstanding amenities including:

  • An oceanfront restaurant
  • Two swimming pools
  • Complimentary scuba-diving lessons
  • Fitness center (fee)
  • Day spa services (fee)

 

With an affordable price, convenient location, and complimentary amenities, you can’t beat staying at Aston Kaanapali Shores.

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Capture the sunrise and sunset at this convenient resort in Maui.

Royal Lahaina Resort

Are you looking for a resort with a variety of room types? If so, then the Royal Lahaina Resort is your best choice. Whether a one bedroom oceanfront cottage or a two bedroom oceanfront suite sounds just right, this resort has exactly what you’re looking for. Guests can also explore the 25 acres of oceanfront property that include three swimming pools, nightly luaus, and more. To quench your hunger or thirst, head to the onsite restaurant, poolside bar, and coffee shop.

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club / Facebook

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club / Facebook

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui and Lanai Towers

Who would have thought that a hotel with luxury accommodations and amenities would be inexpensive? Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui and Lanai Towers offers upscale accommodations, amenities, and decor — all with a view and within your budget. There’s no question about where to stay in Maui on a budget when you view this gorgeous resort property.

This Marriott resort features a multitude of guest amenities including:

  • 4 restaurants plus a cafe, snack bar/deli, and bar/lounge
  • A children’s pool
  • Health club
  • Sauna
  • Steam room
  • 24-hour business center
  • Complimentary WiFi in public areas
  • Concierge desk
  • Arcade/game room
  • And more

 

You can’t go wrong staying at Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui and Lanai Towers.

Kick back and relax at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa.

Kick back and relax at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa.

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa

Are you looking for a hotel on Kaanapali Beach that won’t deplete your entire vacation budget? Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is the resort you’ve been searching for. This resort is located right on the beach and boasts outstanding amenities and accommodations. Guests are situated near top attractions, aside from the beach, including the Whalers Village Museum and Kaanapali Golf Course Resort South.

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa offers guests a vast selection of luxury amenities all while staying within your budget. You’ll have the ability to take advantage of amenities including:

  • 5 restaurants, 2 poolside bars, hot/cold breakfast (fee), a coffee shop/café, and room service
  • Outdoor pool, a children’s pool, and a lazy river
  • Health club and spa amenities such as massages and facials
  • Wireless and wired Internet access (fee)
  • Area shuttle (fee)
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Gift shop

 

After learning about Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, you won’t want to stay anywhere else in Maui.

Enjoy the comforts of a condo at Aston Mahana Kaanapali.

Enjoy the comforts of a condo at Aston Mahana Kaanapali.

Aston Mahana at Kaanapali

Do you prefer to stay in a condo while on vacation? If so, the accommodations at Aston Mahana at Kaanapali are just what you’re looking for. Featuring luxurious decor, full kitchens, and balconies with ocean views, these extravagant condos are surprisingly affordable. Aston Mahana at Kaanapali is perfect for travelers looking for upscale accommodations to relax in after a long day of exploration, adventure, and fun in Maui.

Will you choose a garden view or ocean view at this affordable Maui hotel?

Will you choose a garden view or ocean view at this affordable Maui hotel?

Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach

Another affordable and nearby beach property to check out is Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach. Located right on the beach, this hotel offers tropical-style decor and optimal in-room accommodations including full kitchens and complimentary Internet access. Guests have the option of choosing a garden or ocean view, each providing private balconies. As if the jaw-dropping views weren’t enough, Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach offers premium amenities including an outdoor pool, fitness center, and more.

Instead of breaking the bank, find where to stay in Maui on a budget.

Instead of breaking the bank, find where to stay in Maui on a budget.

What to Know When Choosing Where to Stay in Maui on a Budget

Before you decide where to stay in Maui on a budget, make sure you take this advice into consideration.

Peak Season Pricing vs. Off-Peak Pricing
As with any popular vacation destination, Maui has peak seasons and off-peak seasons. Therefore, hotel prices change to reflect the trends and seasonality. For the absolute lowest prices on Maui lodging, visit during the off-peak travel seasons. Maui tends to be less crowded from April to mid-June and September to mid-December.

If your only available travel time is during peak season, know that hotel and attraction prices may be a bit higher than normal.

Location, Location, Location
If you want the convenience of a hotel or condo on the beach, your average price per night may increase due to the prime location. To stay within your budget, consider booking a hotel or condo just around the corner from the beach. You will still have an ocean view, but not direct access to the beach from your hotel room.

Always Check Reserve Hawaii
Don’t forget to check Reserve Hawaii before reserving a hotel room. The exclusive discounts and easy booking process will help you decide where to stay in Maui on a budget without the hassle.

It’s Not All About the Hotel
Wherever you choose to stay in Maui, make sure you get out and explore as much of the island as possible. While a resort pool may be relaxing, so is snorkeling at a hidden beach or touring the local restaurant scene on the island. Step outside of your resort and enjoy all that the beautiful island of Maui has to offer!

 

One of the top things to do in Hawaii is drive the Road to Hana Maui.  The centuries-old path is dotted with spectacular scenery, rustic towns and plenty of Hawaiian culture.  Fill the car up with gas, pack a picnic lunch and hit the road to discover the “Highway to Heaven.” 

Here are a few of the top Road to Hana Maui sights to look for on your journey.
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Add a little adventure to your trip with a jump into a waterfall!

Twin Falls

Location: Mile Marker #2

Park at the Wailele Farms, which is open to the public for free, to access the cascading waterfalls of Twin Falls. They are easily accessible, but the path can be somewhat slippery. However, the falls are a picture-perfect place to snap photos. Plus, you can swim underneath the waterfall and even jump into the falls’ deep pools. Be sure to stop by the snack stands at the farm entrance for some tasty treats. Along the Road to Hana Maui, there’ aren’t very many food opportunities. Take advantage while you can! 
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Breathe in the fresh, natural air of Maui.

Waikamoi Nature Trail

Location: Mile Marker #9.5
A short but sometimes muddy trail leads you to coastal views and plenty of floral and fauna.  Great for non-hikers who just want to stretch their legs, the trail is lined with tall eucalyptus trees and fragrant ginger. 
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Welcome to heaven on earth.

Puohokamoa Falls

Location: Mile Marker #11
Make sure you see both the upper and lower sections of Puohokamoa Falls. Many people visit only the upper section and miss the gorgeous 200-foot cascading waterfall on the lower section.  A short walk along an easily accessible path takes you to the spectacular waterfall tumbling over a tall green cliff. The falls are best seen from the Puohokamoa Lookout Point. 
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Rick McCharles, flickr

Keanae Arboretum

Location: Mile Marker #17

This Road to Hana Maui stop offers a bit more challenging hike, plenty of plant life and is a great spot for photos.  About 150 tropical plants can be found here and the Piinaau Stream meanders around the arboretum creating a swimming pond.  Two short walking trails lead guests to a beautiful forest and if you’re up for even more scenic views head a ½ mile down the highway to Keanae Overlook, which has some fantastic views of Haleakala.  
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This lush valley is not only beautiful–it’s historical too!

Wailua Overlook

Location: Mile Marker #21
You can see Wailua Canyon from the parking lot and after you walk up a set of steps you have a view of Wailua Village and signature sight in Hawaii – water-logged taro patches. Make time to see the church made of coral – once known as St. Gabriel’s – as it is steeped in legend.  When locals decided to build a church a storm washed up just enough coral to build the church and then took any excess coral back to sea.  
hawaii-348_1_rsz Road to Hana Maui

Stop for a picture, but make time to swim at Waikani Falls if you can.

Waikani Falls

Location: Mile Marker #21
Also known as “Three Bears Falls,” this stop is an absolute must for any Road to Hana adventurist.  The nickname is derived from the fact each waterfall is taller than the next like a family of bears.  The Waikani Falls are some of the most dramatic falls in East Maui.  
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As the only lava tube on the Road to Hana Maui, this is a stop you don’t want to miss.

Hana Lava Tube

Location: One mile off Ulaino Rd.
Also known as “Kaeleku Caverns,” the Hana Lava Tube is Maui’s largest lava tube.  During a visit here, you can take a self-guided 30-40 minute tour accentuated by colorful underworld formations.  The tour is offered daily from 10:30am-4pm.  Cost is $11.95.  
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This black sand beach is a contrast of lush, natural beauty and lava rock.

Waianapanapa State Park Maui

Location: Mile Marker #32
This 122-acre state park is home to a black sand beach, dramatic sea caves, natural stone arch hiking trails, and has remnants of Old King’s Highway.  If you hike to the lighthouse, you’ll have gorgeous views of the bay.  
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The Wailua waterfall is roadside, which makes it hard to miss.

Wailua Falls

Location: Mile Marker #45
Wailua Falls is the easiest waterfall to access on the Road to Hana Maui. With a cascade of 80-feet, it’s also one of the most beautiful. This is the most photographed waterfall along this route, so there’s generally a crowd of people here. Luckily, there’s a decent amount of parking compared to other Hana sights. You can snap a few pictures from the bridge, but I recommend taking a quick (and somewhat slippery) hike to the plunge pool for up close views and even a refreshing swim.
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Hamoa Beach

Location: Mile Marker #50
The 100-foot-wide beach is about 900 feet long and sits below 30-foot, black lava sea cliffs. The crescent moon bay is surrounded by lush vegetation, making it one of Hawaii’s favorite beaches. In addition, it’s rarely crowded so you can kick back, relax and enjoy the serene paradise of Hamoa Beach without distraction. 
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Oheo Gulch is at the end of the Road to Hana Maui, but is well worth your time.

Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)

Location: Mile Marker #42 (Note: After Hamoa Beach, the mile markers start descending)
Oheo Gulch is simply stunning. Many people don’t make the time for visiting this expansive section of the Haleakala National Park on their Road to Hana Maui tour. Big mistake! Huge. Paradise on earth is embodied at this preserve, which features multiple waterfalls, epic (and endless) coastline views, hiking opportunities and so much more.

Experience the Tropical Treasure that is the Road to Hana Maui

Traveling the Road to Hana Maui provides an up-close look at the true, natural beauty of the island. The road, which has 600 curves and 59 bridges, winds through lush tropical forests, scenic ravines and cascading waterfalls. Ocean cliffs, lava coastlines and incredible black and white sand beaches line the way. The road, which follows and ancient Hawaiian foot trail, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Shimmering ocean waters. Golden sandy beaches. Swaying palm trees. This is what comes to mind when you think of Maui. There’s a whole lot more to Maui than their fabulous beaches, though! The island oasis is a stunning tropical paradise alive with culture, scenery, food, and fun. It’s also the perfect place to travel when you’re in need of a break from the cold, harsh realities of winter.

winter trip to Maui

5 Things to Do on a Winter Trip to Maui

Explosive Breach1) Whale Watching

If you’ve ever wanted to witness a majestic humpback whale in person, whale watching in Maui is for you. Each year, from December through April, North Pacific humpback whale travel from Alaska to the warmer waters surrounding Maui as they have ideal conditions for breeding and calving. The best way to view these creatures is with a whale watching boat tour. You can also count on seeing whales from the shoreline and at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Either way, you can count on whale watching being one of the absolute best things to do during a winter trip to Maui.

Haleakala_4939182192) Haleakala National Park

Truly a wonder to behold, Haleakala National Park is a vast volcanic crater with a summit of 10,023-feet. As you traverse the switchbacks up the mountain you rise above it all, reaching an elevation that somehow feels above the clouds. Indeed, Haleakala translates to “House of the Sun.” The vistas and vantage points are a mix of worlds, with green and blue landscapes in one direction and a desert and lava in another. The best time to visit during a winter trip to Maui is at sunrise or sunset as you’ll see why this National Park earns its name. There’s a lot more to this 30,000-acre plus park, including almost 30 hiking trails. Strike out on your own or join a guided Haleakala tour for insight into this unique environment.

Waianapanapa State Park ThinkstockPhotos-484122506 RSZ3) Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is notorious for its winding roads and endless curves. There’s a reason why there are souvenir t-shirts splattered with the phrase “I Survived the Drive”—traversing this road is an adventure. It’s also beautiful, and dotted with panoramic vistas, rushing waterfalls and distinct beaches. There are Road to Hana tours, but for this activity, I recommend venturing out on your own. The 52-mie route takes about 2 ½ hours to travel, and that’s without stops.  And you’re going to want to stop—a lot. So plan accordingly. You’ll want to bring water and a lunch with you, as there are a few snack and fruit stands along the route but scant options for full meals. That said, some of my favorite Road to Hana sights are Twin Falls, Waikamo Ridge’s bamboo forest, Puohokamoa Falls, Wailua Falls and Wai’anapanapa State Park.

Treat yourself to a delicious meal in Hawaii.

4) Hawaii Cuisine

When you’re on a winter trip to Maui, you’ll find the food scene is thriving. Culinary enthusiasts have collaborated to create the farm-to-table movement known as Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Founders of the HRC include top chefs of Maui restaurants including Merriman’s Kapalua, Ocean Tavern, and Hali’imaile General Store. Two of my favorite Maui towns for food are Lahaina and Paia. Both are laidback beach towns where the restaurants are casual yet the food is seriously good. Top picks include Lahaina Pizza Co., Fleetwood’s on Front Street, Mama’s Fish House, Milagros Food Co., and Charley’s Saloon.

Snorkel_iStock_000007110005XSmall5) Outdoor Adventures 

Maui’s vast landscape makes it easy to get outside and explore. At every turn, you can experience something new. During your winter trip to Maui, go for a snorkel with tropical fish and sea turtles, then horseback ride through the Maui countryside. Opt for an aerial tour via helicopter, then zipline through the lush Maui canopy. The best part? That’s only the beginning of the adventures that await! Exceptional Maui activities help break the mold of tropical vacations; you’ll see and do things you’ve never done before and come away thinking “I did that!”

With these top five things to do during a winter trip to Maui, escaping the winter blues will be a breeze. To make your trip even better, rely on Reserve Hawaii for exclusive deals on hotels, attractions, and luaus.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Maui to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Maui is one of the top places in the world to snorkel. When you vacation on this exotic island you can experience not only a lush tropical setting on land, but explore a vibrant underwater world teeming with sea life. There about 40 popular places to snorkel on Maui. Before you go, learn why so snorkeling is so great off the shores of this Hawaiian island.

Wonderful and beautiful underwater world with corals and tropical fish.

Corals and tropical fish create a vivid underwater world

1) Beach Access: Many Maui snorkel spots are accessible by beach. This is wonderfully convenient as you don’t have to charter a boat. Plus, it’s economical as there is no excursion cost. The fact the beaches are extremely beautiful doesn’t hurt either.

2) Water Depth: The water depth of most Maui snorkel spots are perfect for snorkelers, even first-timers. You can feel safe and secure snorkeling in Maui.

3) Sea Turtles: There is an abundance of sea turtles in Maui and spotting one while snorkeling is a definite highlight. If you keep your distance you can swim with one and watch it gracefully glide through the ocean waters.

4) Sea Life and Corals: Healthy, vibrant coral thrives in Maui waters. Colorful tropical fish also abound, making for plenty of snorkeling buddies.

5) Clarity: Snorkeling on Maui is fantastic because the waters are clear allowing for great viewing of sea life and corals. It also makes it easy to navigate the area you’re snorkeling.

When you go snorkeling on Maui, the earlier you start in the day the better. Winds can pick up in the afternoon. For this reason, it is more difficult to have a peaceful snorkeling experience.

You can rent snorkeling gear at places like Snorkel Bob’s, so you’re set for a great day at the beach.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Maui to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

If you’re planning a trip to Maui, chances are you’ll spend some time in Lahaina. More than two million people visit annually, making it one of the most popular places in Maui. Why do so many people flock to these shores? It’s because Lahaina artfully combines a tropical escape with history, culture and plenty of places to shop, drink and explore. Discover all of the things to do in Lahaina, and why this Maui town is one of the best places to connect with the spirit of Hawaii.

Things to Do in Lahaina

When Hawaii was a kingdom, Lahaina was its capital. In addition, it was the center of the whaling industry worldwide. Lahaina has since replaced the whaling ships with pleasure cruises, but the history of this seaside port lives on.

Culture & History

To fully explore the culture and history of Lahaina, trek the Lahaina Historic Trail. The self-guided tour takes you to the Baldwin House, a protestant missionary home circa 1830s and an old jailhouse for naughty sailors known as the Hale Paahao, used in the 1850s. In addition, the influence of Chinese and Japanese immigrants is seen at structures like the Wo Hing Temple and Lahaina Jodo. There are 62 historic sites along the Lahaina Visitor Center, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. Look for bronze plaques marking these points of interest. Pick up a walking guide at the Lahaina Visitor Center so you don’t miss a thing!

Front Street

Front Street is one of my favorite places in Lahaina. It was my first introduction to Maui, and stole a piece of heart right away. Rollicking taverns with sailors once filled this street, but that has been replaced with an eclectic mix of local shops, art galleries, restaurants and historic sites. As mentioned earlier Front Street features many stops along the Lahaina Historic Trail. After you see the history, take in a piece of today at restaurants like the Lahaina Pizza Co., an open-air pizza joint with a balcony boasting coastal views, and Fleetwood on Front Street, an upscale eatery with rooftop views that never end. Spend one night on Front Street, and I’m sure it’ll steal your heart too.

The Banyan Tree

Imagine a tree sprawling an entire city block, with massive branches twisting towards the earth. This is the Banyan Tree. Planted in 1873, it has grown to be the largest banyan tree in Hawaii. The canopy of the tree creates an ideal place to stroll, sit and relax. Plus, the Banyan tree is often home to art shows and festivals as it’s rooted in the heart of Lahaina.

Lahaina Beaches

Visiting golden sand beaches, of course, are one of the best things to do in Lahaina. Maui’s swaying palm trees and clear blue waters shine on Maui’s west side. Along the coastline is D.T. Fleming Beach Park, Kapalua Beach, and Ka’anapali Beach. All have been voted America’s Best Beach at one time or another, and feature excellent swimming, snorkeling and surfing. Other pristine beaches nearby are Wahikuli State Park and Launiupoko Beach Park. All of the beaches on Maui’s west side offer some of the most epic sunset views—anywhere. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Kapalua Coastal Trail

I love hiking, but usually my hikes are in forested mountains. Hiking the Kapalua Coastal Trail is totally different, as the 1.75 mile trail (one-way) runs along the ocean’s edge. From Kapalua Bay to Oneola Beach, the trail winds its way through black lava rock, blooming tropical plants and sun soaked beaches. Along the route are Dragon’s Teeth, a jagged rock formation that’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. It is totally picture-worthy, though.

Lahaina Harbor

The ports of Lahaina have long since said goodbye to sailors, and hello to tourism. The Lahaina Harbor is still home to a thriving humpback whale population.  You can see them from shore, but for up close views you’ll need to reserve a whale watching cruise. On top of that, the Lahaina Harbor is where snorkeling excursions to Molokini embark. Pacific Whale Foundation offers several tours, but my recommendation is the Molokini and Turtle Arches combo tour. Swim with tropical fish, then beside a sea turtle? So awesome. So Maui.

These things to do in Lahaina are just the beginning. To experience all this charming Maui town has to offer, make your escape to the Hawaiian Islands.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Mendes_Ranch_and_Trail_Rides_(002)Want to explore the rugged countryside of Maui?  Then head to Mendes Ranch in Hawaii.  The actual working ranch, which has been in the Mendes family since the 1940s, offers guided horseback rides.  Trot through the green pastures of Kahakuloa down to the North Shore coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy spectacular views of central Maui and Mount Haleakala’s summit as you connect with Maui the way the original cowboys did. 

Mendes_Ranch_and_Trail_Rides_(003)Traverse the ranch the way Paniolos (cowboys) used to by saddling up for the Mendes Ranch Trail Rides.  The 1.5 hour horseback rides take you up into the valley of the West Maui Mountains where you can view waterfalls from a distance and gaze down to the oceanfront.  Open spaces let you run the horses in certain spots too, so you can feel the Hawaii ocean breezes whip through your hair as you take in the scenic setting.  Horseback rides are available every day of the week, with departure times of 8:45am and 12:15pm.  You can add a barbeque lunch to your trail ride too for an additional
cost. 

Mendes_Ranch_and_Trail_Rides_(004) The 1.5 hour trail ride starts at the corral and takes you down the slope of Eki Crater as you head towards the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. There will be an opportunity for you to trot and canter your horse if you want to. On the Ocean Front Trail Ride you may encounter long horn cattle, sheep, goats, peacocks, pheasants, and turkeys among other animals. At the coastline, you will be given the opportunity for your guides to take photos of you with the majestic seascape in the background.

The optional BBQ lunch served which includes BBQ ribs and chicken hot off the grill, ranch beans, tossed green salad, pasta salad, dinner rolls and refreshments. See you at the ranch!

When you vacation in Maui, you’ll have an endless supply of things to do and sights to see. Luckily some of them are free, or at least very budget-friendly, so you can take in some of the unique things to do on this island on a budget. Read on to learn more about free and cheap things to do in Maui.

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Wikimedia/Pixeltoo

1) Keanae Arboretum

Over six acres are at your disposal at the Keanae Arboretum, flowering over with 150 varieties of tropical plants, trees and flowers. Admission is free.

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Banyan Tree, Downtown Lahaina

2) The Banyan Tree

This ancient, sprawling tree takes up an entire block in Lahaina. It’s an absolute must-see, and is a perfect spot for family photos. Plus, there’s no charge to visit this natural wonder.

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Wikimedua/PDTillman

3) Lahaina Historical Trail

Another Lahaina must is the self-guided free Lahaina Historical Trail. See sights related to the Maui whaling industry of the 1800s and 64 historical landmarks in Maui’s history.

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Wikimedia/Christopher Michel

4) Dragon’s Teeth

See this unique sight at Makalua-Puna Point in Kapalua on the northwest shore of Maui. Formed by lava that hardened, you’ll see a shape resembling what can only be viewed as Dragon’s Teeth – hence the name.

Alii Kula Lavendar Farm FB

Ali’i Kula Lavendar Farm/Facebook

5) Ali’i Kula Lavender Museum

One of the most unique cheap things to do in Maui, is visit this lavender farm, located on the slopes of Haleakala, to see up-close 45 varieties of lavender. Open daily from 9am to 4pm, admission is free although a walking tour is available for a small fee. Try a lavender scone or lavender tea on your visit.

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Wikimedia/Oscar O Oscar

6) Bailey House Museum

19th century Hawaii heritage is celebrated here. Located in Wailuku, it is home to paintings, artifacts and cultural history. Admission is $7 for adults and children 7-12 are $2. Children 6 and under are free.

Surfing Goat Dairy Flickr

Flickr/Brian Lauer

7) Surfing Goat Dairy

The name itself is intriguing, right? Come out to this goat dairy to hand milk goats as well as feed them. Learn how goat cheese is made and even purchase some for later. Tours are offered Monday through Friday, from 9am to 3pm or 4pm. Tour costs $15 for adults, $12 for children.

Kulu Botanical Garden CC

Flickr/Forest and Kim Starr

8) Kulu Botanical Garden

View waterfalls, rock formations, an aviary, koi pond and stunning vistas of the west Maui Maintains at the Kulu Botanical Garden. Located in the town of Kulu, admission is $10 for adults and $3 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.

These free and cheap things to do in Maui let you see a unique side of the island, all for a super low cost. Check them out on your next Maui vacation.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Maui to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.