20 Things You HAVEN’T Done on Maui

Maui draws people back to its sandy shores again and again. It’s easy to get hooked on this beautiful place! But once you have visited the island multiple times, you might be tempted to think you’ve “done it all.” Not so! There are always some great new, off-the-beaten-path, unique Maui activities available here — hidden gems that await your discovery. For your bucket list, here are 20 activities you have probably NOT done on Maui.

UNIQUE MAUI ACTIVITIES

 

Unique Maui activities: waterfall rappelling

1. WATERFALL RAPPELLING:  Head out with Rappel Maui for a day of rappelling and canyoneering in lush East Maui, along the Road to Hana. Various excursions are offered involving waterfalls, jungle cliffs, canyons, natural freshwater pools, and even zip rappels. No experience is required for the more basic tours, and all gear is provided. A truly incredible Maui experience! (East Maui/Hana)

 

 

2. FOOTGOLF: Want to experience the beauty of a Maui golf course without having to swing a club? Play FootGolf! This game involves kicking a soccer-type ball around a golf course, aiming for a 21-inch diameter hole. Loads of fun for friends and family to enjoy together, and no golf skills are required. You can enjoy nine holes of FootGolf on the Kaanapali Kai Golf Course, after 4 p.m. daily.  (Places to stay in Kaanapali)

 

 

Unique Maui activities: outrigger canoe

3. OUTRIGGER CANOE EXCURSION: Paddle away in an outrigger canoe tour and experience Maui’s ocean the traditional Hawaiian way. You’ll be accompanied by a certified marine naturalist who will instruct you on paddling (or canoe surfing!), provide pointers for great snorkel spots, and guide you for some awesome whale watching during the winter season. (West and South Maui)

 

 

4. LEARN ABOUT NATIVE PLANTS: Enjoy a tour of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului, dedicated to preserving Maui’s native plants and cultural heritage. Docent-led guided tours are available on weekdays at 10 a.m. (by advance reservation only). You’ll learn about the natural history, conservation, and traditional uses of Hawaiian plants. Or wander the garden yourself with a brochure and audio wand designed for self-guided tours. General Admission: $5 (Central Maui) 

 

 

Unique Maui activities: stargazing at the top of Haleakala

5. STARGAZING FROM THE SUMMIT OF HALEAKALA: Yes, watching the sunrise from atop Haleakala is spectacular. But a Haleakala sunset is just as magnificent, especially when followed by an after-dark exploration of the night sky. Experience a mind-blowing, close-up view of the universe with Maui Stargazing and their portable telescope from this above-the-clouds viewpoint. Also Haleakala National Park offers a “Stars Over Haleakala” night-sky-viewing astronomy program every few weeks that included star talks, full moon hikes, telescope parties, and meteor shower gazing. These events can be found under the calendar tab of their website! (Upcountry/Haleakala)

 

Fly Maui ocean view from Air

6. SCENIC FLIGHT LESSON: There are many helicopter tours to choose from- how about trying something new and exhilarating! As you’re in awe of the beauty of Maui and its surrounding islands, why not fly the plane while you’re at it! Fly Maui takes first time or seasoned pilots, certified or not, out on beautiful scenic flight lessons above Maui.

 

 

Unique Maui activities: guests enjoying the Island Art Party

7. ISLAND ART PARTY:  Looking for something to do at night after watching yet another spectacular Maui sunset? Create your own work of art at Island Art Party‘s adults-only evening gatherings. You’re provided with an apron, art supplies and instruction, then amidst drinks, snacks, music, and chit-chat, everyone creates their own masterpiece.Talent not required! A fun way to meet other people on Maui, and you’ll take home a unique and personal Maui memento. (Where to stay in Kihei)

 

Boomkanani Kayak Tours

9. PEDDLE A KAYAK TO SEE WHALES OR TURTLES:  Get out on the water in a unique way! You can save your arm strength for snorkeling or fishing when you pedal your kayak out to the beautiful coast line below the West Maui mountains. Boomkanani Kayak Tours offers whale watching, snorkeling, and fishing tours on pedal drive kayaks. There’s no other way to get as close to the water as possible without being submerged, than a kayak!

 

 

Unique Maui activities: diver with shark
Photo courtesy of Maui Ocean Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. DIVE WITH SHARKS: A visit to the fabulous Maui Ocean Center is always fascinating, but certified SCUBA divers can go a step further, gliding among sharks, stingrays, and thousands of tropical fish with the aquarium’s “Shark Dive Maui” program. Learn the significance of sharks in Hawaiian culture and the marine ecosystem, then dive into the Center’s 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit for your own personal encounter. Plus friends and family can share the experience from the glass viewing area! Find a vacation condo nearby in Maalaea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique Maui activities: collage of culinary experiences at O'o Farm

10. HARVEST YOUR OWN MEAL: The Gourmet Lunch and Farm Tour at O’o Farm is a truly memorable “farm to fork” dining experience! Start with a tour of the 8.5-acre farm, during which you will harvest the produce for your meal. Then enjoy a chef-prepared gourmet lunch utilizing the farm-fresh products, set on the slopes of Haleakala amidst panoramic views of the island. (Upcountry)

 

 

Unique Maui activities: horseback riders in Maui

11. HORSEBACK RIDING: I admit that horseback riding in itself is not a unique Maui activity, but the fact is many people do not think of doing it here. Well, think again! Exploring Maui’s coastal areas and hidden valleys on horseback is an awesome way to see the island, and there are excursions for everyone from beginner to expert riders. So saddle up! (Islandwide)

 

 

Unique Maui activities: dog playing in ocean with young woman
Photo courtesy of Poi Dog Photos

12. TAKE A SHELTER DOG OUT FOR THE DAY:  Share a little love with a homeless shelter dog by taking one out for a fun excursion! The Maui Humane Society’s “Beach Buddies” program is designed specifically for visitors who miss their pets and want to enjoy some time with a canine buddy. You are provided with instructions and all the doggy supplies you might need in a “beach buddy backpack.” (And by the end of the day, if you decide you just can’t live without your new beach buddy, you CAN adopt him/her and take them home!) Advance sign up is required…a heads up, this is a very popular program so sign up waaaaay in advance. Every Wednesday and Friday 11am-3pm.  

 

Hana Lava Tube

13. WALK INSIDE A LAVA TUBE: When in Hana, stop and explore the Hana Lava Tube (Ka’ Eleku Cavern). This natural wonder was formed by molten lava nearly a thousand years ago and is one of the largest lava tubes in the world. Worth a stop! (Stay in a Hana vacation condo)

 

Unique Maui activities: pineapples in the field

14. MAUI PINEAPPLE TOUR: Do pineapples grow on trees? (Nope.) Will that pineapple on your kitchen counter continue to ripen? (Uh uh.) You’ll learn “all things pineapple” on the 90-minute Maui Pineapple Tour, an interesting, fun, authentic farm tour. You’ll go right into the pineapple fields to sample fresh-picked extra sweet Maui Gold pineapple, plus they’ll send you home with your own pineapple, boxed and ready for travel. (Hali’imaile, near Makawao)

 

 

15. CANDLELIT TOUR OF THE BALDWIN HOME MUSEUM: Once a week, from dusk to 8p.m., docents will guide you by candlelight through a fascinating tour of the Baldwin Home Museum in Lahaina. You’ll learn about the family who resided in this home and their significance in Hawaiian history. Although open during daylight hours, this place truly comes alive by candlelight as you step back in time to the mid 1800s. Vacation Condos in Lahaina.

 

 

Unique Maui activities: aerial of Lahaina town

 

16. LAHAINA HISTORIC SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOUR: Lahaina has an incredibly rich history, including eras as a booming whaling town, a thriving sugar cane plantation, and the royal capital of the kingdom of Hawaii. Stroll at your own pace and explore Lahaina’s past with this great self-guided walking tour. I recommend you do this one- to two-hour walk in the morning, as Lahaina (which means “cruel sun”) can get pretty hot in the afternoon! (Stay at a B&B in Lahaina)

 

Swap Meet Maui

 

17. MAUI SWAP MEET: If you are looking for unique island products and souvenirs, head to Maui’s biggest swap meet every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Hawaii Maui College campus. Row after row of open-air booths, offering arts and crafts, souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, food, flowers, produce, and everything else you can imagine from nearly 200 vendors. Admission is 50 cents. (Kahului) 

 

 

Unique Maui activities: Kahanu Gardens

18. KAHANU GARDEN AND HEIAU: A visit to Kahanu Garden in Hana is an amazing educational and cultural experience. Part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden network, this 484-acre garden features ethnobotanical plants that were brought to the islands by the first Polynesian settlers. Also on site is the Pi’ilanihale Heiau—an ancient place of worship that is still sacred to Hawaiians. Fascinating place. (Vacation rentals in Hana)

 

19. VODKA FARM AND DISTILLERY TOURS: Ever visit a vodka farm? Ocean Vodka offers a great tour of their 80-acre farm and distillery (with tastings) in Upcountry Maui where organic vodka is produced from sugar cane. Ocean Vodka just recently opened a Cafe on site, so you can enjoy the gorgeous views in an open-air dining environment from 11:30am-7pm! Or try Hali’imaile Distilling Company’s distillery tour and tasting for their Pau Vodka, produced from Maui pineapples, and their flavored vodkas. Chocolate Macadamia Nut Vodka, anyone? (Upcountry)

 

 

Unique Maui activities: the green flash

20. VIEW THE GREEN FLASH: Okay, I admit this is not readily available every day. And you can’t book it in advance. But if you ever get to see this rare natural phenomenon, treasure the moment! The famed sunset “green flash” occurs only in certain places on the globe under certain conditions on evenings when there are no clouds, haze, or other obstructions on the horizon. As the sun sinks, just at that very moment when the last bit of sun disappears into the sea, a tiny brilliant emerald-green “spark” will flash on the horizon. It lasts no more than a second. A mere blink of the eye. SO DON’T BLINK. No kidding. You will miss it. The green flash is extremely rare and completely unpredictable. Even when conditions seem to be ideal for a green flash, sometimes it appears—or not. So, if you have seen the illusive green flash from Maui, you can honestly say you have done something here that most people have never done!

 

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Happy Travels!

 

Questions? Comments? Drop us a line:

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(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)

©Copyright 2016-Present Maui Accommodations Guide. If you wish to share content from our site, you may do so only by publishing a link to our original content on MauiAccommodations.com, so full and clear credit is given to us. Any other unauthorized use and/or duplication of any materials on this site (either text or photos) without our express and written permission is strictly prohibited. For permission to use excerpts or photos from our site, please contact the publisher. Mahalo!

Staying Safe on Maui

IS MAUI SAFE?

Maui is generally a safe place, both for visitors and those of us who live here. Our island welcomes nearly 3 million visitors each year, and the vast majority of those people experience nothing more distressing than a sunburn. However, I would be misleading you if I said nothing bad ever happens here. Crime does exist on Maui. And the natural environment poses its own set of dangers: Maui’s mild climate and peaceful, beautiful scenery tend to lull visitors into a false sense of security, sometimes with disastrous results. There is nothing more heartbreaking for me than to hear a news report about a visitor who was badly injured, drowned, or a victim of crime while on Maui.

Here are some tips to help you be aware and wise so you can enjoy a safe Maui vacation. This information is not meant to frighten you. Maui is a magical place and you will most likely have a fabulous time here and leave with nothing but wonderful memories. But being informed and aware is NEVER a bad thing when traveling.

MAUI OCEAN SAFETY

Is Maui Safe: warning sign posted on beach

 

The greatest danger on Maui — and the one affecting most visitors — is the ocean environment itself. Below, I am sharing some of the ocean safety information from my Maui Beach Tips blog. It bears repeating. Too many visitors are injured (or worse, drown) during what starts out as an idyllic day at the beach.

 

Sometimes the ocean here looks like a lake, with tiny waves gently lapping the shore. Other times, massive waves come crashing in with frightening intensity. Always exercise good judgment when approaching the sea. The ocean is as powerful as it is magnificent, and currents and conditions can change unexpectedly. Heed all posted warning signs, and listen to the warnings from locals when visiting Maui’s beaches. If locals aren’t going near the water, you shouldn’t either!

 

 

 

 

 

Is Maui Safe: warning sign posted on beach

North Shore and East Maui beaches are more exposed to changing weather, strong ocean currents, and dangerous shorebreaks, so be extra careful there. West Maui and South Maui tend to have calmer ocean and beach conditions, although dangerous conditions can occur there, as well. The West Maui beaches beyond Kapalua, like Mokuleia and Honolua, can be very dangerous, particularly with high winter surf. And Makena Beach (aka Big Beach) in South Maui is one of Maui’s most scenic beaches, but notorious for rogue waves that knock people down, causing serious injuries.

 

 

 

Some additional Maui ocean safety tips:

Is Maui Safe: warning signs posted on beach

 

 

 

“Never turn your back to the sea” is a common warning here. Don’t be caught off-guard. An unexpected wave can knock you down and pull you out to sea while you’re still trying to get your flippers on! So keep your eyes on the surf.

Pay attention to the signs and flag warnings that are posted on some of the more populated beaches. They are there to advise you of unsafe conditions.

Use the buddy system. Never swim, snorkel, or surf alone in the ocean. Make sure someone knows you are there and is looking out for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Maui Safe: warning sign posted on beachWhen exploring tidepools or reefs, wear protective footwear (like reef shoes) to prevent cuts–and keep an eye on the ocean, too. Don’t walk on coral, and when swimming near coral be cautious. Coral is sharp and the resulting cuts can be painful and get easily infected.

After heavy rains, stay out of the ocean until the water clears. Don’t swim in the mouths of rivers or streams or in any murky areas. Murky waters attract predators (think “shark”), and you don’t want to be mistaken for a fish or turtle when they are looking for a snack.

 

You’ll find more Maui ocean safety tips here!

 

Of course, thousands of people safely enjoy Maui’s beaches every day, so it’s most likely that you will have an incredible and uneventful beach experience. But a little caution goes a long way.

 

MAUI’S NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Is Maui Safe: warning sign at blow hole

As with the ocean, be cautious and heed signs when you are exploring Maui’s natural environment—particularly remote areas, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Even if there is NO sign indicating danger, be careful anyway. We can’t put warning signs on every slippery rock, or fence off every natural attraction that poses a danger. . .the entire island would be fenced. Maui’s natural environment is beautiful but powerful. Be cautious and respectful, and explore Maui with the understanding that the raw, natural environment can also pose dangers. Don’t stand at the very edge of a cliff or peer into an oceanside blowhole. Don’t dive head-first into waterfall pools—there could be hidden rocks. When hiking, dress properly, stay hydrated, and keep an eye on weather conditions. Some hiking trails can be prone to flash floods during storms, and visitors have drowned in the sudden powerful surge of floodwaters. Use common sense and explore Maui’s beauty cautiously.

 

 

GETTING LOST ON A TRAIL

Every couple of weeks, the Maui News reports another Maui visitor who has gotten lost on a hiking trail. You don’t want to be that visitor. A search and rescue team is called in, and often you have to be airlifted out once you’re finally found. This is almost always a result of hikers veering off the trail, attempting to find their own way or discover something new. Not only is there the danger of getting lost, but it is also disrespectful to the land and the plant life getting trampled.

Hiking On Maui

Follow the signs along the hike and STAY ON THE TRAIL.  Bring a flashlight (or fully charged phone), and plenty of food and water in case, God forbid, you have trouble finding your way back. Study the hiking trail you’re about to embark on and bring a printed map, or take screenshots on your phone of the trail directions. Better yet, let an expert lead you along the hiking trail! Guides have extensive knowledge of the area, fascinating information about the history and plant life, and often have access to areas that are otherwise off limits.

 

 

DEHYDRATION

mai taiIn Hawaii, we are closer to the equator and the sun is more intense. This causes unexpected sunburns, but also severe dehydration. We all know that time flies when you’re having fun, and while you’re taking in all of the beauty surrounding you, playing in the ocean waves, and throwing back those mai tais (that suck the hydration out of you), you may forget to drink water. I’ve seen many visitors collapse and pass out, just by lack of hydration, leading to further complications. It is a very serious concern, so I caution you and your loved ones to keep up the water intake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEWARE OF MAUI GUIDEBOOKS

Is Maui Safe:  girl standing by large waterfall

 

 

 

 

Yes, I am actually warning you against some guidebooks! There are some excellent guidebooks out there to help you explore Maui. But don’t trust everything you read in a guidebook. I’m sorry to say that some are irresponsible in their recommendations, and those publications are universally abhorred by those of us who live here and know better. I will not name names, but if any guidebook is intent on revealing a “secret” local place (like a hidden waterfall) on the island that requires you to climb over fences, go through locked gates, trespass on private land, or do anything that feels wrong or unsafe, just say no. If it doesn’t look legal or safe, it’s probably not. There are plenty of other beautiful places to experience on Maui without having to trespass or endanger yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

CRIME ON MAUI

Is Maui Safe: warning sign about parking at blowholeMaui is not crime-ridden, and our island does not experience many of the crimes that plague large cities. But, just like pretty much everywhere else, there are troubled people here: drug users; angry drivers; people who just have a chip on their shoulder and would love to blame YOU for that because you are. . .a tourist, a local, light skinned, dark skinned, have blue eyes, have brown eyes, or you don’t use cream in your coffee. In other words, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you did to draw their attention – there are despicable people in this world and I’m sorry to say we have a few of them on Maui, too. If you happen to cross paths with one, just move on as quickly as possible.

Most crime on Maui is non-violent, like vehicle break-ins and thefts. Don’t leave valuables in your rental car (including the trunk), particularly at parking areas for beaches, hiking trails, or other places where it’s obvious that you will be gone for a while. Lock the doors and windows of your hotel room or condo when you’re out and while sleeping. Don’t leave valuables unattended at the beach or hotel pool. Don’t spend time in isolated areas where no one else is around. In unfamiliar territory there IS safety in numbers. Don’t go out for a moonlight stroll on a remote beach. Don’t plunk yourself down on an uncrowded beach where your only “neighbors” are homeless people illegally living in tents or cars. Don’t decide to picnic at a park where the only other people there are a rowdy group of local guys with 27 empty beer cans stacked up. Hullo!!!! Common sense, my friends.

IF YOU DO NEED HELP

  • In an emergency, dial 911 to reach Police, the Fire Department, or an Ambulance

THE BOTTOM LINE

To sum it all up, use common sense when you’re on Maui, just as you would at home. Don’t take chances with your personal safety that you wouldn’t do anywhere else, just because this is “paradise.” Listen to your senses. If it doesn’t feel safe, don’t do it. Common sense rules!

 

Now get out there and have an awesome time on Maui! (But please don’t hang out under any coconut trees!)

 

Is Maui Safe: warning sign about falling coconuts

 

  • Looking for great places to stay on Maui? You’ll save by BOOKING DIRECTLY with the owners/managers of these accommodations.
  • Looking for Maui deals? Sign up here for our free monthly Maui Deals & Steals enewsletter with the latest book-direct deals from our advertisers.  

Happy Travels!

 

Questions? Comments? Drop us a line: 

blog email

(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)

©Copyright 2017-Present Maui Accommodations Guide. If you wish to share content from our site, you may do so only by publishing a link to our original content on MauiAccommodations.com, so full and clear credit is given to us. Any other unauthorized use and/or duplication of any materials on this site (either text or photos) without our express and written permission is strictly prohibited. For permission to use excerpts or photos from our site, please contact the publisher. Mahalo!

Things to Do on Maui in Summer (June-July-August)

Everyone loves summer vacation on Maui! June, July, and August are very popular months for a visit to Maui–particularly for families, as most children have school break during this time. There are loads of things to do on Maui in summer, including some of the island’s most popular annual events and festivals. If you are planning a summer visit, here are a few of the many Maui events you can enjoy.

Updated May 9th, 2022

Continue reading “Things to Do on Maui in Summer (June-July-August)”

Top 20 Favorite Maui Restaurants

When I travel, I like to know where “the locals” eat, don’t you? When you see a restaurant full of local residents, you know it’s got to be good! So, as a Maui resident, I’m sharing my “go to” favorite Maui restaurants list. These are places where I (and my local friends) love to eat. Places I can confidently recommend to my visiting friends and family. (Photo above: Sea House Restaurant by David Watersun, courtesy of Napili Kai Beach Resort)

Other great resources for “local-approved” restaurants here on Maui include the annual Best of Maui awards in MauiTime newspaper and ‘Aipono Awards in Maui No Ka Oi magazine. The Hale ‘Aina Awards are also presented annually to top Maui restaurants by Honolulu Magazine. These awards were skipped in 2021 as the preceding year didn’t offer a true testament to what the restaurants on Maui are capable of —  all were busy navigating the challenges of the pandemic and just trying to stay afloat!

Some caveats:

  • These restaurants are listed by region, and the order does not indicate any particular ranking.
  • Many of these places are VERY busy, so reservations are recommended. But you also might get lucky with a walk-in, so don’t give up hope.
  • This is not a definitive list of every good restaurant on Maui. There are many more. In fact, a few of my favorite Maui restaurants have gotten so popular, I can’t even get in anymore—so over time they have dropped off my “favorites” list. I find myself migrating to the following restaurants over and over again because they are consistently good. So, try some of these, but remember, there’s a LOT of great food on this island so get out there and discover your own favorites!

FAVORITE MAUI RESTAURANTS

 

CENTRAL MAUI

Cafe O'Lei at Mill House Restaurant

 

CAFE O’LEI AT THE MILL HOUSE: One of my favorite Maui restaurants, The Mill House, closed in 2020 due to the economic impacts of the COVID pandemic. Sad face. But in January 2o21, this location was reinvented and reopened under new management as Cafe O’Lei At The Mill House. Happy face! Same gorgeous dining room, trendy bar, and outdoor patio overlooking serene mountains and lagoons. But the restaurant’s concept and menu is completely new. Cafe O’Lei restaurants have long been known on Maui for their good food. At Cafe O’Lei At The Mill House, they have introduced a menu that is a step up from their usual fare—more creative, more upscale, beautifully presented, and absolutely delicious. I am so pleased to welcome this great new reincarnation of one of my favorite restaurants and am happy to report it is still on my “favorites” list! Located at Maui Tropical Plantation, Waikapu

 
 

SixtyTwo MarcKet Restaurant

SIXTYTWO MARCKET: This yummy new restaurant, owned by Chef Marc McDowell, made its debut just before COVID hit us, and — hooray! — they survived the shutdown and are back in operation. Open for breakfast and lunch, this little place serves up delicious and creative comfort food! Two of my favorite breakfast choices are Stuffed Brioche French Toast and Bacon & Cheddar Bubble Waffle. The menu at SixtyTwo MarcKet is updated every 62 days to capitalize on whatever fresh local products are in season. Located on Market Street in Wailuku

 

Seascape Restaurant

SEASCAPE:  Love the serene ambiance and ocean view (pictured) from this comfy open-air restaurant overlooking Maalaea boat harbor. Located adjacent to (and operated by) the Maui Ocean Center aquarium, Seascape is within walking distance to all Maalaea condos. Awesome view, friendly staff, good food, plus Seascape gets bonus points for being a Platinum Certified “Ocean Friendly Restaurant,” serving a menu that is healthy, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Seascape is located at Maalaea Harbor Shops, Central/South Maui

 

 

 

SOUTH MAUI

 

 

Monkeypod Kitchen Wailea

MONKEYPOD KITCHEN BY MERRIMAN: Trendy vibe, with excellent food and dozens of craft brews on tap from around the world. Great appetizers and small plates to share, kiawe wood oven pizza, fresh fish perfectly prepared, burgers, steaks…and Monkeypod’s cream pies are legendary. One of the first restaurants to mix up the Mai Tai classic by using egg whites, Monkeypod tops their cocktail with honey lilikoi (passion fruit) foam. Monkeypod Kitchen is located at Wailea Gateway Center (Note: there is a second location in Ka’anapali in Whaler’s Village as well)

 

 

Maui Brewing Company Kihei

MAUI BREWING COMPANY: Hawaii’s largest craft brewery, this company has operated a small restaurant in Kahana (West Maui) for many years (and they still do), but in 2018 they opened a large new signature restaurant at their brewery headquarters in Kihei. It’s a winner! Love the design of this family-friendly restaurant, surrounded by the gleaming tubes and vats of their brewery; love the fun ambiance, the menu, the large bar area, and the vast selection of beers. Maui Brewing Company is located in Kihei

 

NALU’S SOUTH SHORE GRILL: Let me just start with 3 words: Apple Brie Burger. It is delicious and served with homemade truffle chips. Nalu’s Is a good choice for a casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, try the Cornflake Crusted French Toast (made with Hawaiian sweet bread) or the Fried Chicken & Waffle (served all day). And order the Malasadas for dessert—five or six fat little malasadas in a buttery caramel sauce. Located at Azeka Makai Shopping Center, Kihei

 

Top Maui Restaurants: Sansei sign

SANSEI:  Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar has, since it opened in 1996, set the gold standard for sushi on the island. The original restaurant is still in Kapalua (see West Maui below), with a second Maui location in Kihei. Featuring a vast menu of Asian-inspired dishes and contemporary sushi, Sansei goes way beyond a ho-hum California Roll with creative combinations of fresh ingredients and delicious seasonings and sauces. Sansei ranks in the top 10 of pretty much everyone’s list of great sushi restaurants in Hawaii.  Located at Kukui Mall, Kihei (Note: there is a second location Kapalua on the West side of Maui)

 

 

Pint & Cork Gastropub

PINT AND CORK: The focal point of The Pint & Cork Gastropub is the really swanky bar with dark wood fixtures and cozy bar bites. This is the spot to watch a sports game or catch up over a drink with friends. There is no view, but the atmosphere makes up for that. Located at The Shops of Wailea. (Places to stay nearby in Wailea)

 

Luxury dining honorable mentions:

 

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a Restaurant

 

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a: Named after the Hawaii state fish, this high-end restaurant at the luxurious Grand Wailea resort offers a very special experience. Humu (for short) is a consistent recipient of Gold and Silver ‘Aipono Awards from Maui No Ka Oi Magazine for honors in Pacific Region Cuisine and Innovation. Executive Chef Ryan Fox and his team offer artfully crafted Hawaiian cuisine set in an unforgettable beachfront lagoon setting. Open for breakfast everyday and dinner Wednesday-Sunday. Located on Grand Wailea’s resort ground in Wailea

 

The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea

The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea: For those interested in a luxury multi-course meal that delights your tastebuds, get a reservation at The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea — ranked in the “Top 10 Best Restaurants in Hawaii” by Open Table’s Diners’ Choice Awards. Located in a garden bungalow setting with bohemian-style canvas and wood decor and lush green surroundings, each dish at The Restaurant is artistically and intentionally prepared to provide a beautiful culinary journey through the island’s unique offerings and flavors. If you’re looking for an exceptional, unique experience, I recommend trying The Restaurant for your next dinner splurge! Located inside Hotel Wailea in Wailea

 

WEST MAUI

 

Top Maui Restaurants: Sea House on Napili Bay beach at sunset
Photo by David Watersun; courtesy of Napili Kai Beach Resort

THE SEA HOUSE: Okay, just take a moment to look at that setting. Need I say more? Probably not, but I will anyway. Directly-on-the-beach restaurants are a rarity on Maui—but when you step out of the Sea House your feet are literally in the sand. This landmark restaurant has been on Napili Bay for over 50 years, but it keeps renewing and reinventing itself. Best known for its great breakfasts and sunset dining (no surprise there!) people forget the Sea House is open all day for other meals, as well. Good food, easygoing ambiance, incredible setting. This is my go-to for Happy Hour with reasonably-priced dishes and free entertainment (the beach and people-watching). My breakfast favorites: Molokai Sweet Potato Frittata, Homemade Macadamia Nut Cinnamon Roll (made with a flaky pastry crust), Pele’s Potatoes, and the fabulous Haleakala Pancake. Located at Napili Kai Beach Resort    

 

 

Top Maui Restaurants: Lahaina Grill exterior of restaurant
Photo ©Polihane Photography

 

LAHAINA GRILL: One of the most acclaimed restaurants on Maui, and rightly so. Lahaina Grill does not offer a view, but the restaurant makes up for that by consistently serving up a truly extraordinary dining experience. This restaurant constantly wins the top awards for Best Maui Restaurant, Restaurant of the Year, Best Steak, and Best Fine Dining — to name just a few. Every time I have dined here, the food and service have been absolute perfection from start to finish. Fine dining at its best on Maui. Pricey, but worth every penny. Open for dinner nightly. Located in Lahaina town  (Stay at a nearby Lahaina B&B)

 

 

 

Hula Grill Restaurant

HULA GRILL: Love the beachy vibe at this restaurant overlooking Kaanapali Beach. You can dine in the open-air dining room or at the Barefoot Bar — with your feet literally in the sand. During lunch, get salads, sandwiches, pizzas (my favorite is the goat cheese version), and fresh fish preparations (“dock to dish”). The evening menu offers specialty fresh-caught fish preparations (the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi is to die for) and steak/surf and turf options. Leave room for dessert. Hula Grill is famous for their Hula Pie, a massive slab of ice cream pie with chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, toasted macadamia nuts, and whipped cream. Woohooooo!!! Located at Whalers Village Shopping Center (Great places to stay in Kaanapali)

 

Mala Ocean Tavern Restaurant

MALA OCEAN TAVERN: This restaurant has an eclectic menu emphasizing local island ingredients. With a Mediterranean take on Hawaiian regional cuisine, coupled with a beautiful oceanfront view, this is a great spot for anyone! I appreciate the intimate size of Mala Ocean Tavern, where you can sit indoors or outdoors on their new lanai (patio) area! In December 2020, Alvin Savella, also known as the “Kitchen Assassin,” became Executive Chef of Mala and sister restaurants. He was honored with the ‘Aipono award for Maui Chef of the Year in 2018, with experience in famed kitchens like Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, The Banyan Tree at the Ritz-Carlton, and various Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Villa restaurants. Located on Front Street  (just behind the Safeway store) in Lahaina. (Take a look at these nearby Lahaina condos)

 

 

Sale Pepe RestaurantSALE PEPE: This cozy little Italian restaurant is tucked away off-the-beaten-path in Lahaina, but it is a gem and well worth seeking out. Great traditional Italian food and pizzas (the owner/chef is from Italy, so you can’t get more authentic than that). Menus change often to take advantage of seasonal fresh local ingredients. Awesome cheesecakes, too, but they are not always available so consider yourself lucky if you get to sample one! Sale Pepe is open for dinner nightly, except Sundays. Located at Old Lahaina Center in the heart of Lahaina town

 

 

Plantation House Restaurant

PLANTATION HOUSE: This restaurant would make my list of favorites just for the fantastic view alone! Nestled on a world-class golf course, the restaurant sits high up on the hill for a panoramic view of the ocean. I highly recommend this restaurant for breakfast or lunch, while there is still daylight. The food is lovely and the prices are very approachable, especially with such a nice view! Located in Kapalua (Check out these nearby Kapalua condos)

 

 

Honorable mentions for healthy lunch alternatives:

 

Aa Roots Acai bowl lilikoiOn the West side, my top favorites include: Choice Health Bar, Moku Roots, and A’a Roots. Read more about these restaurants and other heathy options in our blog How Your Maui Vacation Can Make You Healthier! 

 

 

 

 NORTH SHORE

 

Top Maui Restaurants: Mama's Fish House on oceanfront cove

MAMA’S FISH HOUSE: An institution on Maui’s north shore since 1973, this is truly a one-of-a-kind restaurant. Set on idyllic Kuau Cove (pictured), Mama’s Polynesian-style ambiance is incredibly peaceful and beautiful. You feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a more gracious era of hospitality. You are never rushed, the food is delicious, the service impeccable, and everything is beautifully presented. Mama’s is not for those on a shoestring budget…it is unquestionably one of the most expensive restaurants on the island, for lunch OR dinner. But well worth the splurge. It’s not just a meal, it’s a truly memorable experience. Located just off the highway, north of Paia

 

 

Top Maui Restaurants: Cafe Des Amis exterior of restaurant

 

CAFE DES AMIS: This charming cafe specializes in crepes and wraps, as well as curries, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. The combination of Mediterranean flavors and Indian curries provide plenty of choices to suit all tastes. Try the Ham and Gruyere Cheese crepe or the Brie & Avocado crepe with Apple and Black Pepper. Or the Shrimp and Coconut Curry wrap. And of course the dessert crepes are scrumptious! Cafe Des Amis is located in Paia Town

 

 

 

Paia Flatbread Pizza Company

THE FLATBREAD COMPANY: Wood-fired flatbread pizzas and organic salads. The flatbreads boast all natural ingredients (nitrate-fee, hormone-free, sulfate-free, free-range…you get the gist. It’s Paia.), with or without tomato sauce. Good stuff! Try Mopsy’s Kalua Pork, Punctuated Equilibrium, or create your own ingredient combination.  Flatbread Company is located in Paia Town

 

 

UPCOUNTRY

 

Marlow Restaurant and Mahalo Aleworks

 

 

RESTAURANT MARLOW & MAHALO ALEWORKS: Born out of the 2020 pandemic shut down, husband-and-wife-team Jeff and Kaili created Marlow Restaurant, opening in mid 2021. This new restaurant has quickly become very popular with the locals! Marlow specializes in Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza with locally sourced meats and produce. Local tip: get a pizza to go from Marlow and head next door to Mahalo Aleworks for a beer and amazing view! Located in the Kulamalu Town Center in Pukalani

 

Top Maui Restaurants: view from Kula Bistro parking lot

KULA BISTRO: Yummy food, reeaaally large servings, and a tantalizing array of pastries, pies, and cheesecakes for dessert. Oh, and reasonably priced, too. No wonder this unassuming cafe is so popular with the local crowd. This restaurant was voted Best Restaurant in 2019 by Maui residents in MauiTimes’ Best of Maui. My favorites: Crab Cake Benedict for breakfast, Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pesto Aioli on Focaccia for lunch, Chicken Parmesan for dinner…but really everything is good here. (Photo: No view from the restaurant, but this is the view of Central and West Maui from Kula Bistro‘s parking lot! Wow.)  Located in Kula

 

Kula Lodge Garden Terrace

 KULA LODGE: A favorite of mine, simply due to its fabulous view of the island from the Garden Terrace (pictured). The food at Kula Lodge is not particularly exceptional (although the wood-fired oven pizzas are great), but the view is unbeatable. One of my favorite lunch stops when I’m spending time upcountry

 

BONUS LISTS

 

FAVORITE PLACES FOR SWEET TREATS

 

Top Maui Restaurants:  cream puff from Komoda Bakery

Komoda Bakery (Makawao Town) The melt-in-your-mouth cream puffs (pictured) at 100-year-old Komoda Bakery are legendary on Maui, and they offer other delicious baked goods, too. Go early and just hope they don’t run out of cream puffs before you get there! Check their hours before heading up there — hours are limited. 

 

 

Maui Pie (Azeka Shopping Center, Kihei) – Featuring savory pies (chicken pot pie, quiche), cookies, turnovers, and dessert pies galore. Try the Mango Strawberry, Mountain Berry, or Chocolate Haupia (coconut). AWESOME pies!

 

 

Hula Cookies (Maalaea Shops) –  Delicious cookies, made fresh daily on Maui. By incorporating local fruits and nuts, they have created some unique flavors like Honey Oatmeal Papaya cookies, Kona Coffee Chocolate Chip, and Pineapple Ginger Macadamia Nut. Love these cookies!

 

Paia Gelato (Paia Town) – 24 flavors of house-made gelato (Italian-style ice cream) made with fresh island ingredients. Lots of luscious local fruit flavors, plus more decadent choices like my favorite Big Island Macadamia Nut Coffee Crunch.

 

Maui Cookie LadyThe Maui Cookie Lady (Makawao Town) – You will love ALL of her outrageously delicious cookies, now available (after years of mail-order only) at an adorable new fairytale-themed retail shop on Baldwin Ave in Makawao. But “Da Half Baked” cookie (pictured, cut in half) is truly phenomenal: a giant chocolate chip cookie stuffed with (are you ready for this?) a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Snickers bar, and Oreo Cookie. Oh. My. Gawd. 

 

 

 

 

FAVORITE LOCAL “FAST FOOD” & SUPER-CASUAL EATERIES

Find many more options on our blog Cheap Eats on Maui.

Top Maui Restaurants: bowl of chili from Zippy'sZippy’s (Wailuku) – Zippy’s is an icon in the islands, serving up local food for some 50 years. The restaurant has both a sit-down coffee shop and a fast-food/take-out operation. I prefer the fast-food menu. Zippy’s is best known for its chili (traditionally eaten with steamed white rice in Hawaii). I also like their Fried Noodles. And their bakery items are wonderful—the flakey Napple pastries, in particular.

 

Maui Tacos (Napili, Lahaina, Kihei, Kahului) – Mexican fast food with an island twist. Tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and huge burritos, with or without sauce. Love this place.

 

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (Wailuku, Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Honokowai) – A landmark Hawaiian fast food chain, decades old, specializing in local food and plate lunches.

 

  • Looking for great places to stay on Maui? You’ll save by BOOKING DIRECTLY with the owners/managers of these accommodations.
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Happy Travels!

 

Questions? Comments? Drop us a line:

blog email

(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)

©Copyright 2016-Present Maui Accommodations Guide. If you wish to share content from our site, you may do so only by publishing a link to our original content on MauiAccommodations.com, so full and clear credit is given to us. Any other unauthorized use and/or duplication of any materials on this site (either text or photos) without our express and written permission is strictly prohibited. For permission to use excerpts or photos from our site, please contact the publisher. Mahalo!

Visiting Maui During COVID: What You Need To Know

Planning a Maui trip during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what to expect if you’ll be visiting Maui during the COVID era. (Updated July 5th, 2022)

IS MAUI OPEN TO VISITORS?

Visiting Maui during COVID. Napili Bay on Maui

YES! Maui’s tourism industry closed in late March 2020 when the Hawaiian islands went into lockdown to curb the virus. At that time, the state of Hawaii asked visitors not to come to the islands and instituted a mandatory quarantine for anyone arriving into Hawaii. The mandatory quarantine was initially set to 14-days in October 2020, then 10-days in December 2020, and finally 5-days in January 2022.

Now, 2 years later, effective March 26, 2022, the travel quarantine and the Safe Travels Hawaii program has ended! U.S. visitors no longer need to show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID test to surpass the quarantine, because there is no mandatory quarantine! Hawaii residents traveling inter-island also do not need to show proof of vaccination or negative test.

FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS: Currently non-U.S. citizens are NOT required to be vaccinated, show proof of negative test, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the United States. Check the CDC’s website for the latest federal requirements for travelers coming to Hawaii from an international destination.

 

VISITING MAUI DURING COVID PANDEMIC: IS THERE STILL A QUARANTINE REQUIREMENT ON MAUI?

Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park, East Maui

NO!

Press Release on March 1st explains further in detail:

“HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige announced that the state is ending the travel quarantine and the Safe Travels Hawaii program after the current emergency period ends on Mar. 25. Beginning at 12:01 am, Mar. 26, passengers arriving from domestic points of origin will not have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a pre-travel negative test result. Incoming passengers will also no longer be required to create a Safe Travels account or provide travelers information and trip details. Travelers arriving in the State of Hawaii now through Mar. 25, are still subject to Safe Travels requirements.

International passengers will continue to follow the requirements that were put in place by the federal government.

In addition, beginning on Mar. 26, state/county employees and visitors to state facilities will no longer be required to provide vaccination status or negative COVID test results.”

Because our state does not have the authority to shut down air traffic into Hawaii, the quarantine was initially introduced in 2020 with the intention of discouraging visitors from coming. In truth, we really did not want tourists coming here to quarantine, and we did not encourage it. And why would anyone want to do that, anyway? The quarantine was very restrictive, limiting the choice of places you can stay and requiring that travelers stay INSIDE their hotel room for the entire quarantine period. Quarantined travelers were not allowed to rent a car, go grocery shopping, go to the beach or hotel pool or do anything outside of their room, except in the case of medical emergency. The quarantine was strictly enforced, with hefty fines and/or imprisonment for those who violated the laws. 

WHY WAS HAWAII BEING SO STRICT?

As a remote island state, we are unique in our concerns, needs, and approach to COVID-19. We have limited medical resources here. The island of Maui, for instance, has just one acute-care hospital and only 31 ICU beds. Unlike other places, we don’t have the option to drive to a nearby city for additional medical care.

Visiting Maui during COVID. sign on trail with arrows pointing two different directions
Which path to take? Ohai Loop Trail, West Maui

Our island borders have made it possible for us to contain and control the virus extremely well, but those borders also place us in a position of tremendous risk if the virus takes hold and spreads like wildfire across the island. There is literally nowhere to run. It could quickly overwhelm our health care system. 

This pandemic put our island communities in the impossible position of having to choose between public safety or a healthy economy. What is the right direction to take? There is no perfect solution, and every choice involves risk and controversy. Our local government officials have been criticized for (a) waiting too long to reopen the tourism industry and (b) reopening the tourism industry too soon. There is no right answer that everyone can agree upon.

As much as we in Hawaii might like to keep our doors closed and stay safe here forever in a little cocoon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that is simply not realistic and would be disastrous for our tourism-based economy. By the time we reopened to visitors in mid-October 2020, Hawaii’s tourism industry had been closed for nearly seven months. It was catastrophic. Our leaders decided we cannot just sit back and wait this out. We must learn to co-exist with COVID and cautiously reopen our state to visitors.

 

VISITING MAUI DURING COVID PANDEMIC: WILL EVERYTHING BE OPEN FOR YOU TO ENJOY?

 

Visiting Maui During Covid: oceanfront table at Mala restaurantWell, maybe not everything . . . but most things. All beaches and parks are open. Most natural attractions (like Haleakala National Park) and hiking trails are open. Most shops, restaurants, and activities have reopened. A few have closed permanently.

The pandemic has taken its toll on Hawaii’s tourism industry and has been extremely challenging for local businesses. Most have been barely hanging on, waiting for tourism to rebound, and they are now delighted to welcome you back.  It’s inevitable, however, that some businesses will not survive this crisis and will decide to close their doors for good. We—along with you—are just waiting to see which businesses are able to recover and survive.

 

VISITING MAUI DURING COVID: WHAT HAS CHANGED ON MAUI?

If this a return trip and you are visiting Maui during COVID, you will notice that some things have changed on the island since your last trip.

Visiting Maui during COVID. sea turtles on Maui beach
Green Sea Turtles on a Maui beach

THE UPSIDE: For our natural environment, the seven-month tourism shutdown was like a much-needed vacation and time of renewal. Our beaches and ocean are clean and beautiful. Fish have come back in abundance. Wildlife is flourishing. Flowers are blooming. Sunsets are gorgeous, as always. The environment has refreshed itself. Maui is more beautiful than ever.

Even Maui’s physical infrastructure has undergone some transformation. Several stretches of roadway have been repaved and improved, and many businesses and accommodations used the forced down-time to renovate and touch things up. And ALL of them have done thorough deep cleaning! You’ll find that everything is clean and ready for you — more so than ever before.

 

THE DOWNSIDE: Your visit may not be as carefree as before. As long as COVID is still active in the world, our island community will be focused on protecting ourselves and our visitors. Many businesses are still very short staffed due to the impacts of the pandemic along with many locals moving away. You can expect long lines for restaurants and services. I recommend making reservations for dining and activities well in advance. We are also still struggling to get supplies and goods shipped over (as many places are), but being an island, it is taking even longer.

VISITING MAUI DURING COVID: DO “LOCALS” WANT TOURISTS BACK? WILL YOU FEEL WELCOME ON MAUI?

After a seven-month closure, we were very excited to start welcoming tourists back beginning October 2020! But, to be perfectly honest, we had also been nervous about it. We are trusting our visitors to be respectful Visiting Maui During Covid: Lahaina Welcomes You Back signand follow the rules to protect our community, because if Maui experiences a large spike in the virus we may have to close down again . . . and that would be devastating. So, we have opened our home to visitors with some mixed emotions. Excitement and anticipation, yes—but concern and uncertainty, too.

You might run into a few Maui residents who are not welcoming towards you, although I certainly hope that doesn’t happen. If it does, ignore them. You’ll find plenty of Aloha from the rest of us. There are several complex factors at play when it comes to the attitude of local residents towards tourists:  Some people here are consumed by fear that visitors will infect our island and kill us all. Also, the recent massive resurgence in tourism numbers has been unexpected and rather shocking to those of us who live here and got used to having the highways and beaches to ourselves for seven months! We expected tourism to rebuild slowly, and our island is now having to rapidly readjust to the huge numbers of tourists that have been arriving since March 2021. With the pent-up demand for travel bringing so many visitors to Hawaii, we are have hit pre-COVID tourist numbers on Maui, and that has put pressure on our infrastructure (see more on that in the next section).

On top of all that, there has always been a minority segment of the population in Hawaii that does not want tourists here at all. Those people became empowered and more vocal on social media during the COVID-19 tourism shutdown, and they are even more vocal now that tourism has rebounded so quickly. But they don’t speak for the majority. The reality is, Hawaii will always need the tourism industry, and the vast majority of us who live here greatly appreciate our visitors. We are glad you’re here, and we will make you feel welcome.

 

WILL MAUI EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN, AFTER COVID IS GONE?

Visiting Maui during COVID. crowded Maui beach pre-COVID
       Sea of beach umbrellas on pre-COVID Wailea Beach 

Honestly? We hope not! Those of us who live here don’t want it to be exactly the way it was before. In recent years, the volume of tourists in Hawaii reached record-breaking numbers, and that negatively impacted residents, as well as the visitors’ experience. Maui is a small island with a population of around 165,000 residents. In recent years pre-COVID, we were welcoming nearly 3 million visitors a year to our little island. Every month, 200,000-300,00 visitors arrived on Maui. (And we are already nearing those numbers again.)

We value our visitors — they keep our economy strong and healthy, and it’s a pleasure to see people enjoying the beauty of Maui. But as the numbers have grown in past years, we have seen tourism overrun our communities and infrastructure. The beaches and roadways were more crowded than ever. There was more strain on the infrastructure, creating more challenges for those of us who live here—and many residents began to resent that. The seams of our island community were stretched to the breaking point. Visitors complained because things were too crowded and “not like they used to be.”  Residents complained because our lives were more impacted by the growing visitor numbers and yes, things were too crowded and “not like they used to be.” So everyone seemed to agree: Hawaii needs to manage tourism differently so it’s a more positive experience for both residents and visitors, as well as our natural environment.

Visiting Maui during COVID. young hula girl

For the past few years, there has been a great deal of discussion on this topic of overtourism in Hawaii, and COVID has provided us with an unexpected opportunity. During these months of closure, Hawaii’s tourism industry leaders have had a chance to step back, talk, plan and consider ways to “do it differently” when we reopen. Yes, we want to welcome our visitors back again! But Hawaii will be taking a more balanced approach to tourism in coming months and years. We will not be pushing for the massive uncontrolled numbers of tourists we had before and will be more mindful of the impacts of tourism. This doesn’t mean we don’t want tourists. It just means we want to manage the volume better, for everyone’s sake.

In the future, Hawaii’s tourism industry will focus more on providing visitors with an authentic, unique experience that is rooted in native culture and traditions, rather than outdated Hawaii stereotypes. There are many beautiful beach destinations on this planet, but our authentic culture and aloha spirit is what sets Hawaii apart from the rest of the world. We want to do a better job of sharing that. And in doing so, we hope to draw respectful visitors, those who want to experience Hawaii on a deeper level, connect with our community, respect our culture, and help us preserve our fragile environment. The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau says it this way: “We want visitors who will leave Hawaii better than when they arrived. People who will be enriched by their visit.” You will see changes in Maui’s tourism industry in coming years, and hopefully that will make your experience even better than before.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BE THE KIND OF VISITOR WE WANT TO WELCOME TO MAUI DURING THIS PANDEMIC?

 

  • Please do your part to help us keep everyone safe, and be polite and respectful. We are welcoming you to our home. Maui is not an amusement park. It is a small island community where people have lived and worked and raised families for generations. We need to keep our residents and visitor industry workers safe and make sure the island continues to be a safe destination for you, our visitors. Obey health and safety guidelines, wash and sanitize your hands. That’s our way of life on Maui now. We need everyone’s kokua (cooperation) to keep Hawaii safe for all. Spread Aloha, Not Germs!

 

  • Be patient with us as we navigate through this uncharted territory. Rules change. Information is constantly being updated. New issues and solutions emerge. Everything during a global pandemic is fluid and changeable. There will be inconvenience, glitches, and mistakes. We know it’s frustrating. We feel the same way. Mahalo for your patience. It will all work out with time.

 

  • Be extra sensitive if you are planning to visit the town of Hana during this time. As an isolated community with limited medical care, Hana is extremely vulnerable during this pandemic and residents are concerned about new infection being introduced. The road to Hana was closed for months during our island’s “lockdown” period, and even those of us who live here on the island (all non-Hana residents) were not allowed to go there. Now the road is open, and it is once again packed with tourist cars. Please be sensitive to the concerns of Hana residents. Be respectful. Be considerate. Keep Hana safe. Mahalo for that!

 

 

VISITING MAUI DURING COVID: SHOULD YOU VISIT MAUI RIGHT NOW?

We know that some people have been anxiously waiting to be able to visit Hawaii, and that is now possible without a quarantine requirement. However, we understand that many people cannot travel right now for various reasons or they simply have no interest in visiting Maui. If you prefer to wait until the world is safer and travel is more convenient, we completely understand and respect that. Come when you are ready. We want you to feel comfortable and safe when you travel here.

In spite of the inconvenience created by this global pandemic, we can assure you that you will have a wonderful time on Maui, and there will be many people here working to make sure your visit is extraordinary. Maui is a healing place. Take a breath, relax, and renew yourself amidst the island’s natural beauty. Revisit your favorite Maui beaches, towns, restaurants and shops, and discover some new favorites, too! Connect with our land, sea, and native culture. The Aloha Spirit is alive and well here on Maui, and we’re ready to welcome you back whenever you’re ready to return.

Aloha and A Hui Hou! (Until we meet again)

 

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Previous Maui COVID-19 Travel Requirements and Travel Tips:

• Under Hawaii’s “Safe Travels” program, travelers (age 5 years and older) arriving into Maui with negative COVID-19 test results within 72 hours prior to their flight are not subject to the quarantine requirement. (The test MUST be performed by one of Hawaii’s “Trusted Partner” health care providers.)

• Domestic travelers who have been fully vaccinated in the U.S. are exempt from the quarantine and pre-testing requirements. Vaccinated travelers must pre-register and upload their vaccination record with Hawaii’s “Safe Travels” online system (here’s how to do that) and bring their original proof of vaccination with them. 

Hawaii’s “Safe Travels” testing program and the other requirements noted above are constantly evolving check back OFTEN on the following sites as the information is updated on a regular basis:

Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (GoHawaii.com) – Also, you can call them at 1-800-GOHAWAII with any additional questions on travel to Hawaii

Hawaii State Department of Health (HawaiiCovid19.com/travel) – This site includes the list of the Trusted Partners where you must get your pre-travel COVID test

Two Maui County Websites: Here and Here  – For COVID and travel info specific to Maui

In spring of 2020, masks had been required by State law in all public places in Hawaii. Then in May 2021, the State amended the law so masks are no longer required outdoors. Now as of March 26, 2022, mask-wearing is no longer mandated but offered as a personal choice for visitors and locals. See the state’s Emergency Proclamation, Exhibit A.

IF YOU ARE VACCINATED, MAKE SURE YOU BRING YOUR PROOF OF VACCINATION WITH YOU:  You will need it for entry into the state up until March 26th at 12:01am. Between September 15, 2021 and February 20, 2022, vaccination records, or proof of a negative test within 48 hours, were required to enter “high risk” establishments; like indoor dining, bars, and gyms. But on February 21st, that was lifted.

maui pre-clearance travel wristband

GET PRE-CLEARED BY YOUR AIRLINE: Some airlines offer a “pre-clearance” program. When you check in at the airport for your flight to Hawaii, ask your airline if they do this. If so, they will verify that you have uploaded your negative test results, vaccination records, and all other required info, and they’ll give you a “pre-cleared” wristband. That wristband will allow you to bypass the long line for clearance once you arrive at the airport in Hawaii.

The philosophy here is “Spread Aloha, Not Germs.”

Before you arrive on Maui, please familiarize yourself with Maui’s most current Public Health Emergency Rules, so you will know what is required specifically on our island. (The rules change often in response to changing issues and needs, and they are updated every few weeks.) In addition, be aware of the State of Hawaii’s mandates set forth in Emergency Proclamations.   These State rules are updated and reissued every few weeks. 

Visiting Maui during COVID. sign requiring maskYou will notice COVID-related changes at every establishment on Maui. Accommodations, shops, restaurants, tours, attractions – they are all required to maintain a safe, sanitized environment and adhere to necessary protocols, such as social distancing or limited occupancy, amidst this pandemic. Some have adjusted their hours of operation and instituted new requirements for advance reservations (no longer accepting walk-in customers). Some businesses may require temperature checks upon arrival. ALL will require you to wear a mask indoors, as that is currently required by the State’s Emergency Rules. Please don’t argue about the rules with hotel staff, cuss out the waitress or store clerk, or attack the person who informs you that a mask is required. (Unfortunately, all those behaviors have taken place here.) They didn’t make the rules; they are just trying to abide by the requirements that will allow their business to stay open. Please be kind. Be patient and follow the rules that are in place. If you are unable or unwilling to abide by the required rules, don’t come to Maui right now. Postpone your trip until a later time when restrictions are no longer necessary.

Yes, your experience visiting Maui during COVID will certainly be different than it was before. There will be some restrictions and inconvenience. But aren’t we all pretty much used to that by now? And in return, you will be rewarded with astounding beauty and serenity and wide-open spaces and fresh sea air . . . and lots of welcoming smiles underneath our masks as we greet you.

 

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line: blog email

(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)

©Copyright 2020 to Present, Maui Accommodations Guide. If you wish to share content from our site, you may do so only by publishing a link to our original content on MauiAccommodations.com, so full and clear credit is given to us. Any other unauthorized use and/or duplication of any materials on this site (either text or photos) without our express and written permission is strictly prohibited. For permission to use excerpts or photos from our site, please contact the publisher. Mahalo!

How Your Maui Vacation Can Make You Healthier!

Maui is a place of healing and rejuvenation. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s no wonder those of us who live in Hawaii have the longest life expectancy of any other U.S. state! It’s possible to enjoy a healthy Maui vacation, too. Our island’s clean air, easygoing pace, inspirational natural beauty, and year-round mild climate promote wellness. On top of that, practitioners of healing arts and spirituality — from Acupuncture to Zen — abound here. (Header photo © Garrett Hacking, PhotographyG.com)

So, how can YOU tap into that healthy vibe when you are visiting Maui? Here are some suggestions for a healthy Maui vacation and some tips on our favorite Maui wellness practitioners—people who can help you get and stay healthy. Beyond the sun and sand, a Maui vacation can truly be life changing.

COVID UPDATE: This blog was updated in March 2022, but due to the continuing impacts of COVID-19, some of these practitioners, businesses, or activities might change their operations. Please check with them directly to verify their operating status and hours. Mahalo!

ENJOYING A HEALTHY MAUI VACATION

MAUI SPAS

Healthy Maui Vacation: healing pools at Grand Wailea spa
Photo courtesy of Grand Wailea

Maui’s spas rank among the best in the nation, offering therapy, relaxation, and rejuvenation. There are many spa choices here, ranging from small boutique day spas to ultra-luxurious resort spas featuring grand facilities and exotic treatments, like Grand Wailea’s Spa Grande (pictured). Spa treatments on Maui often incorporate locally-grown ingredients—such as coffee or cane sugar scrubs, seaweed wraps, lavender aromatherapy, or pineapple and papaya enzyme facials. Whether you’re just seeking muscle relief after a round of golf or a full day of soul-nourishing pampering, you will find what you want at a Maui spa. 

 

FITNESS ACTIVITIES

 

Healthy Maui Vacation: stand up paddlers doing yoga
SUP Yoga. Photo © Garrett Hacking, PhotographyG.com.

Don’t just sit on the beach all day. If you’re gonna have a healthy Maui vacation, get up and DO something, even if it’s just to snorkel (that will force you to move your legs a bit)! Ask your accommodations if they have a gym, offer fitness classes,  or where the nearest exercise class is taking place. There are lots of fitness classes on the island, such as zumba and oceanside yoga. Or try something more challenging like SUP yoga (yoga on a stand up paddle board) — a true core workout! Take a surfing lesson. Walk on the beach. Go hiking, or stroll along one of Maui’s beautiful coastal paths. It’s easy to let “Polynesian paralysis” set in here (eat, sleep, flop on the beach, sip a mai tai, eat, sleep, flop on the beach, sip a mai tai), so keep on moving!

 

Yoga Classes

Mana Kai Maui Yoga Path beach front yogaNothing is as calming as a yoga class with the sound of lapping waves in the background, or chirping birds with the ocean breeze softly soothing your skin. We have amazing yoga classes held across all regions of the island in gorgeous outdoor settings or yoga studios. Many hotels and resorts offer yoga classes beach front, or the closest yoga studio might be just a 10-minute drive away. My favorite studios  according to location are: Island Spirit Yoga in Lahaina, Maui Yoga Shala and Lumeria in Paia/North Shore, and Maui Yoga Path in Kihei at Mana Kai Maui Resort.

 

 

 

 HEALTHY MEALS

Vegan and Vegetarian Cafes

Aa Roots Acai bowl lilikoi

Maui has a very health-conscious population, creating a demand for the healthiest, most nutritious foods. As a result, Maui is sprinkled with wonderful vegan and vegetarian cafes with local, fresh, organic foods. If you love salads, buddah bowls, superfoods, cleanses, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls and more, I recommend checking out the following establishments:

  • West Maui: A’a Roots in Napili, Moku Roots in Lahaina, Choice Health Bar in Kaanapali and Lahaina
  • Central Maui: Farmacy Heath Bar in Wailuku (expect long wait times here), Fork and Salad in Kahului
  • South Maui: Sprout Vegan Cafe in Wailea, That’s a Wrap in Kihei, Fork and Salad in Kihei
  • North Shore: Choice Health Bar in Paia, Maui Kombucha in Haiku
  • Food Trucks: Throughout Maui there are MANY food trucks and parking lots with many food truck options. Some vegetarian-focused food trucks include Earth Aloha Eats, Rainbow Kitchen + Rebel Tonics, Brekkie Bowls, and Baya Bowls

Specialty Grocery Stores

Everyone loves Whole Foods, and on Maui we have even more options where you can shop for your local produce, specialty vegan, gluten-free, sugar free ingredients, as well as take out a delicious meal! In addition to Whole Foods in Kahului, the best places to go are: Down to Earth and Alive & Well in Kahului, Mana Foods in Paia, Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods in Kihei, and Honokowai Farmers Market (an actual store, not a market) in Lahaina.

MAUI’S BEST MASSAGE

Healthy Maui Vacation: two people getting massages

Looking for a truly great therapeutic massage on Maui? In our opinion, Sam Molitas and his skilled team at Maui’s Best Massage really do provide, well . . . Maui’s best massage. Known for a high level of professionalism and expertise, they offer relaxation, deep tissue, lomi lomi, couples and group massages at their studio in Kihei. Or call and they will come to you at your hotel, resort, or vacation rental. (808) 426-7418

 

 CENTRAL MAUI CHIROPRACTIC

Central Maui Chiropractic treatment table

Central Maui Chiropractic has a board-certified chiropractic doctor with extensive experience as well as a wealth of knowledge in biomechanics and physiotherapy. They don’t provide simple “crack and pop” sessions that result in short-term relief and minimal long-term benefits. Rather, their goal is to not only relieve the symptoms of back and neck conditions, but to also facilitate long-term healing. This is accomplished through a focus on bio-mechanics and balancing muscle symmetry. This chiropractor has experience using a variety of techniques and will work with you to develop a personalized plan that will provide lasting relief for your body ailments.

 

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncturist Ken Busto began his education over 20 years ago in Chinese medicine, and his passion for internal martial arts and qigong led him to acupuncture–specializing in corrective and rehabilitative exercise as well as performance enhancement. He practices in Wailuku (Central Maui). (808) 315-5020 

 

MAUI HEALING RETREAT

Yoga on Maui girl yoga pose

Maui Healing Retreat provides unique and varied services, offering a variety of beautiful accommodations across the island, and retreats and programs for health and wellness, spiritual awakening, cleansing/detox, enhancing relationships, team building, and more. They can even provide healthy, organic meals. Take a look at their various packages, or they can customize a program to meet your needs for a truly healthy Maui vacation. 

 

IF YOU NEED A DOCTOR WHILE ON MAUI

CONSULT A MAUI DOCTOR ONLINE 

Healthy Maui Vacation: doctor at computer

Doctors On Call, serving Maui since 1987, recently introduced a new, state-of-the-art telemedicine service, so you can visit a doctor online for non-emergency issues. Just access the new service on a computer, tablet, or smart phone device from anywhere there’s an internet connection. So, instead of driving to a clinic, you can—for instance–show the doctor that pesky rash on your arm, get something to treat your painful sunburn, or arrange to refill the prescription meds you forgot to pack. 

 

Relax. Breathe. Move. It’s EASY to enjoy a healthy Maui vacation!

 

Healthy Maui vacation: woman swimming with waterfall

 

 

  • Looking for great places to stay on Maui? You’ll save by BOOKING DIRECTLY with the owners/managers of these accommodations.
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Happy Travels!

 

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line:

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(Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)

©Copyright 2017-Present Maui Accommodations Guide. If you wish to share content from our site, you may do so only by publishing a link to our original content on MauiAccommodations.com, so full and clear credit is given to us. Any other unauthorized use and/or duplication of any materials on this site (either text or photos) without our express and written permission is strictly prohibited. For permission to use excerpts or photos from our site, please contact the publisher. Mahalo!

 

 

Things To Do on Maui in Spring (March-April-May)

May Day (May 1) is Lei Day in Hawaii, just one of many reasons to visit Maui in spring. The winter crowds are gone, the spring weather is lovely, and prices are generally lower than during the busy winter and summer seasons. Here are some popular things to do on Maui in spring.

(UPDATE: This blog was updated in February 2022, but due to the constantly evolving impacts of COVID-19, status of some of the spring events or activities mentioned in this blog might change. Please check directly with them to verify access, operating status and hours. Mahalo!)

THINGS TO DO ON MAUI IN SPRING

Continue reading “Things To Do on Maui in Spring (March-April-May)”

Romantic Things To Do On Maui

Maui is unquestionably one of the most romantic places on earth, with powder-soft beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and stunning natural beauty everywhere you look. I mean, really, it’s hard NOT to feel romantic on Maui. There’s just something about this place that makes you want to share it with someone you love. Maui oozes romance. Sometimes it’s great to plan “something romantic” on the island; other times, those special moments on Maui just present themselves to you unexpectedly. Here are a few of my suggestions for romantic things to do on Maui, in case you need some inspiration!

NOTE: This blog was updated in February 2022, but due to the continuing impacts of COVID-19, some of the businesses and activities mentioned in the blog could possibly change their operations. As things are changing constantly amidst this pandemic, please check with these places directly to verify their operating status and hours. Mahalo!

Continue reading “Romantic Things To Do On Maui”