• Monica, Your Travel Gal

Top Maui Romantic/Outdoor/Family Activities

Are you looking for ideas to celebrate a romance, get out into the great outdoors or keep the whole family happy on the island of Maui? Check out my top suggestions for great activities, categorized by Romance, Outdoors and Family Travel listed below. First up, check out my Top Romantic Activities on Maui.

Sun breaking through the clouds atop Haleakala - Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

1) Sunrise on Haleakala

A pre-dawn drive up to the top of Haleakala brings the unforgettable chance to watch a glorious sunrise spread across Maui. A leisurely drive down its slopes through the lush upcountry farm and ranchlands is enjoyable as well. We recommend booking a tour for this as morning ascensions require booking your ticket in advance and while inexpensive, the times book extremely fast.


2) Maui Sunset Sail

Board a custom-crafted luxury catamaran, chasing the sun as it sinks into the horizon. Along the way, couples can enjoy champagne and appetizers served from the teak bar.


3) Waterfront Luau

Maui is known for its luau, often held in spectacular waterfront settings where coconut palms frame vivid sunsets. Typically, these evening events provide a delicious buffet of tempting local dishes and a relaxing evening of island music and dance performances under the stars. Our favorites are Te Au Moana (Wailea), Old Lahaina Luau (Lahaina) and Myths of Maui (Lahaina).


4) Couples spa treatment

Spa treatments designed especially for couples are among the signature offerings at many of the award-winning resort spas on Maui and Lanai.


5) Stargazing

Named the top hotel world for stargazing by CNN Travel, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa offers a rooftop, couples-only activity called Romance Tour of the Stars. Through the aid of a giant telescope and an astronomer, couples learn to interpret the night skies while enjoy champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries. To view stars from the ocean, try one of the stargazing cruises offered by Pacific Whale Foundation, which are accompanied by an astronomer and include appetizers and cocktails served on board. You can also head up to Mt. Haleakala for a sunset and stargazing experience.


6) Iao Valley

For many centuries Maui was two separate kingdoms that vied with each other for supremacy. In 1790, King Kamehameha I invaded the island and defeated his Maui rivals at an historic battle in Iao Valley, a beautiful site that is now a state park.


7) Upcountry Drive

There is plenty to discover and share on the wide slopes of Haleakala. You can stop in and visit the rich assortment of farms and flower fields around Kula, touring and sampling goat cheese at Surfing Goat Dairy Farm or walking among the fragrant fields of the Alii Kula Lavender Farm. This region is also where visitors can taste award-winning vodkas at Ocean Organic Vodka or sample the pineapple wine at Maui’s Winery, also known as Tedeschi Vineyards. You will also want to linger awhile in Makawao to explore the art galleries and boutiques of this quaint town whose paniolo (cowboy) heritage is celebrated every 4th of July with the Makawao Parade and Rodeo. When you book a trip with me, I have a guide to all these fun places that you can explore at your own pace.


8) Hana

The serpentine Hana Highway, one of the most spectacular – and slowest – drives in the world, starts in Kahului and snakes along 54 miles of east Maui coastline past lush vegetation and countless waterfalls. This spectacular drive can take from three to four hours depending on the number of stops along the way. You can find a tour to book, hire a private driver or just make sure to have a great rental car to truly enjoy this experience. We highly recommend this Maui Shaka Guide which includes a self-drive tour plus several others.


9) Air Tours

Helicopter tours are a popular activity on Maui, a way for you to get a birds-eye view of inaccessible valleys, steep gorges, remote waterfalls and neighboring islands. Visitors can also soar above rain forests and mountainous landscapes in a powered hang glider; or sail 800 feet above the ocean in a parasail: You should book air activities well in advance, as they sell out early.

Maybe romance isn't your gig but exploring the outdoors is? Check out my Top Outdoor Activities on Maui.

Horse runs across an open field - Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Max Wanger

1) Horseback riding

All of the islands of Maui Nui offer opportunities for trail rides through scenic uplands. Among the places to experience them is Piiholo Ranch, a working cattle ranch in upcountry Maui, which offers rides through forests and pasturelands with stunning views along the way. Another option is to ride along the north coastline for a fun and scenic ride.


2) Ziplining

Several companies on Maui offer zipline courses through forest canopies and with breathtaking ocean and mountain views. The locations include the Maui Tropical Plantation, the West Maui Mountains and on the ranchlands of Upcountry Maui. Some of the zipline experiences can be booked with other soft adventure components like this Sunrise Haleakala & Zipline combo tour.


3) Snorkel Sails

Snorkeling excursions abound in Maui Nui where the waters brim with marine life, especially those surrounding Molokini, an islet off the south Maui coast.


4) Day Tour to Hana

The Hana Highway, with its lush vegetation and waterfalls, is one of the most spectacular drives in the world, something everyone should experience at least once. Stretching for 54 miles from Kahului to Hana, its many serpentine curves can take three or four hours to navigate, allowing for stops. The more adventurous travelers will probably prefer a self-guided tour and we can highly recommend this Maui Shaka Guide which includes the Road to Hana plus several others. Make sure to get a Jeep rental car to make the drive even more fun. However, if you don't want to drive yourself, you can book a tour or arrange for a private driver.


5) Kayak Tours

Spotting whales and sea turtles while kayaking in ocean waters is a thrill not to be forgotten. On Maui, tours specialize in guided adventures in the waters off west and south Maui where both experienced and novice kayakers will enjoy spectacular marine life and coastal scenery.


6) Maui Hawaiian Village

Set deep in a historic valley watched over by towering mountains, this is a cultural site of thatched hale (shelters) where interpreters demonstrate poi pounding, kapa (cloth) making, hula and other traditional Hawaiian arts and practices.


7) Cycling Down Haleakala

All of the three Maui Nui islands offer opportunities for cycling, with mountain bikes the best option for the many back roads and trails. Among the most celebrated cycling experiences are the bike tours that begin just outside of Haleakala National Park and continue down through upcountry Maui, with chances to stop in quaint towns and visit farms.


8) ATV Touring

ATV vehicles are an exhilarating way for adventurers to explore Maui’s scenic backcountry. Many tours take place at working cattle ranches where there are guided rides over private dirt roads through meadows and valleys and up to plateaus with panoramic ocean views.


9) Golf

With 14 golf courses, Maui offers a wide range of choices for your clients, including championship courses at the Makena, Wailea, Kaanapali and Kapalua resorts that feature a full range of instructional and clubhouse amenities. The municipal and community courses in Central Maui, upcountry Maui and Kihei offer great value for more moderate budgets. On Lanai, the Manele Golf Course is a championship course ranked among the world’s best by Golf Digest, offering sweeping coastline views. Nestled above Lanai City, you will also find Cavendish Golf Course a free nine-hole municipal course. Molokai offers the nine-hole Ironwood Hills Golf Course, set 1,200 feet above sea level in Central Molokai.


10) Hiking

Maui Nui's many pristine and scenic areas are ideal to explore on foot. Hiking trails and guided walking tours can take your clients into underground lava tubes, through cloud forests and tropical wildernesses, across volcanic landscapes, along deserted coastlines, and across open ranch lands to pristine natural waterfalls. A good way to make the most of these experiences is to book a guided hike with a cultural expert who can interpret the remarkable vegetation and historic sites along the way.

Finally, maybe you are traveling with your kids and want some family friendly things to do? Check out my Top Family Activities on Maui.

Maui Ocean Center (2010)

1) Maui Ocean Center

Engaging exhibits, including a walk-through tank, at this impressive aquarium on Maalea Bay enable families to learn about Maui Nui’s amazing marine life.


2) Maui Golf & Sports Park

Adjacent to the Maui Ocean Center, families will find further enjoyment at the Maui Golf & Sports Park, which has an 18-hole miniature golf course, bumper boats and other fun activities.


3) Atlantis Submarine Tour

Departing from Lahaina, passengers board 48-passenger submarines that delve 100 feet below the ocean surface. Through large portals, observe marine life drawn to a shipwrecked 19th-century vessel.


4) Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation is a 60 acre working plantation. Narrated TRAM TOUR offers a unique educational opportunity to learn the origins and harvest techniques of Hawaii's commercial fruit crops. Learn interesting facts about sugarcane, pineapple, bananas, coffee, macadamia nuts and more.


5) Surfing Goat Dairy

Along with tasting the award-winning goat cheese and other products produced at this dairy farm in upcountry Maui, visitors can engage with the resident goats, including milking them.


6) Surfing Lessons

Several companies on Maui offer enjoyable lessons in surfing and standup paddleboarding (SUP), geared for both kids and adults.


7) Outrigger Canoe Tour

Sail, snorkel and paddle on a traditional outrigger canoe with experienced guides versed in Hawaiian history, culture and navigation.


8) Family Friendly Show in Lahaina

Lahaina is a National Historic Landmark. Its old-fashioned wooden buildings house an eclectic assortment of cafes, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques. No less lively at night, Lahaina draws visitors to its acclaimed restaurants, clubs and bars, as well as to popular family-friendly evening shows.


9) Whale Watching

Maui, along with Molokai and Lanai, is also known for unparalleled marine life experiences, with superb snorkeling sites and waters teeming with hump-back whales during winter and spring. Added to that are cultural events and festivities that happen all year round.

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