It’s finally happening: You’re visiting Maui for the very first time! We’ve put together 7 of our must-do things that every first-time visitor should try on the valley isle.
1. See the Haleakala sunrise or sunset.
Viewing the sunrise from Haleakala (or ‘House of the Sun’) is one of Maui’s most popular activities, but it does require purchasing a ticket in advance. The sunset is just as beautiful, but doesn’t require a reservation. In either case, there’s nothing quite like watching the light change at 10,000 ft.
Read more about the Haleakala Sunrise/Sunset:
- What to Pack Guide for Viewing the Haleakala Sunrise in Maui
- Things to do after viewing the Haleakala Sunrise
2. Drive the road to Hana.
Even if you’ve never been to Hawaii before you’ve probably heard of the road to Hana. Lined with waterfalls and following the gorgeous North coast, the road to Hana is an adventure in itself. Hana is a quaint town with hotels as well as campsites, if you’d like to stay overnight.
Camping gear can be rented on Maui if you don’t want to bring your own (or you can purchase some, if you’d prefer). However, the whole drive there and back can be completed in a day, with plenty of time to stop and swim in a river or admire the view.
Read more about the Road to Hana:
3. Go on a whale watch or snorkeling trip.
Don’t forget that many of Maui’s most incredible creatures live under the sea. Whale watching season is between December and May, and tours guarantee whale sightings or you get to go again!
Snorkeling is great year, round and Maui has some excellent spots. For more help deciding whether a whale watch or snorkeling trip is right for you, check out our post comparing both.
4. Buy groceries like you would at home.
Lots of first-time visitors head straight to Costco and buy enough food feed a small army for a month, and then end up eating out for a majority of their lunches and dinners. Plan what meals you’d like to make at the condo or in your hotel room and get just what you need.
Don’t worry; there are plenty of grocery stores within easy driving distance of the resorts and condos, so you can always pop out and get something if you need it. This last part is also true when you’re packing — read more of our packing tips (and what not to pack).
Read more here:
5. Go to a luau.
Luau’s are one of the most fun (and filling!) ways to get a slice of Hawaiian culture. Every luau is a little different, but they all feature delicious local food and entertainment, with live musicians and dancers. There’s nothing quite it, and if it’s your first trip to Hawaii, a luau is an absolute must.
Read more about going to a luau here:
- The Old Lahaina Luau: A Review
- How to choose a West Maui Luau
- How to choose a Wailea Luau
- Photos from the Te Au Moana Luau
6. Spend plenty of time in the water (and wear plenty of sunscreen).
Whether you’re surfing, snorkeling, relaxing on the shore, or playing in the waves, make sure your vacation includes lots of time on the beach and exploring the jungle rivers in Iao Valley and along the Hana coast. Maui has miles of beaches to enjoy, so make sure to give you and your family time to soak up the sun (but make sure to wear sunscreen while you do it, and drink plenty of water — sunburns and dehydration are no fun).
Read more about enjoying the water in Maui:
- 10 Tips for Getting the Most out of Maui Beaches
- Staying Safe at the Beach
- Best Maui Snorkeling Spots
Maui is full of hidden gems and amazing activities. Leave yourself time to find out what this amazing island is made of. Try new foods and take adventures. Learn how to play the ukulele, make leis, or dance. Do an activity you’d have never dreamed of trying, like parasailing or zip-lining. If something sounds really cool and exciting, go for it!
Read more blogs to inspire you here: