25 FREE Things to Do in Maui
Yes, there ARE Maui activities that won’t break your budget! Here are 25 suggestions for free things to do in Maui. Many of these are long-time ongoing activities, but schedules do change so when you’re here please reconfirm the dates and times just to make sure you don’t show up for a non-event!
FREE THINGS TO DO IN MAUI
1. Maui Friday Town Parties If it’s Friday, there’s a party on Maui…and it’s free! The Friday Town Parties, sponsored by the County of Maui, take place on Friday evenings in different towns across the island. There is no admission fee, and they are great fun for both visitors and residents, with live entertainment, local food available for purchase, arts and crafts vendors, and Friday-only offers from local merchants. (Note: Currently, only the 4th Friday in Kihei is operational.)
• 1st Friday of the Month, Wailuku (Central Maui) on Market Street – Temporarily suspended.
• 2nd Friday, How You Can Help Lahaina
• 3rd Friday, Makawao (Upcountry) — this one is every other month – Temporarily suspended
• 4th Friday, Kihei (South Maui) at Azeka Shopping Center Mauka – Kihei 4th Friday Info
2. Free Concerts and Live Music Free live music and concerts are common on Maui — whether it be at a hotel, festival, restaurant, or shopping center. The Shops at Wailea has an ongoing live music series held every Wednesday and usually hosts a larger concert at least once a month. Queen Kaahumanu Center also routinely has free shows.
3. Beach it! It’s free! All beaches on Maui are open to the public, and most are free to visit. However, there are a few state parks that charge an entrance and parking fee, like Waianapanapa State Park and Makena (Big Beach) State Park.
Self-Guided Walking Tours:
4. Kapalua Coastal Trail The Kapalua Coastal Trail is a spectacular oceanfront trail that winds from Kapalua Beach to D.T. Fleming Beach Park. At 2.5 miles, the trail is excellent for morning walks or sunset strolls. (Places to stay in Kapalua.)
5. Kaanapali Historical Trail This easy oceanfront stroll along the Kaanapali Resort area explores significant historical sites marked by plaques.
6. Wailea Beach Walk A lovely 1.5-mile paved walkway along the ocean fronting Wailea’s spectacular resorts.
7. Olowalu Petroglyphs Located just a few minutes from Lahaina, the Olowalu Petroglyphs are some of the best-preserved petroglyphs on Maui. From the parking lot, a short walk up a gravel road leads to a cliff carved with about 100 ancient images, depicting humans, animals, and canoes. Unfortunately, some of the rocks have graffiti, and most of the signage is faded. Nevertheless, the Olowalu Petroglyphs is a thoroughly interesting — and completely free — historical site.
8. La Perouse Bay Head South past Makena and you will find a lava field by the ocean called La Perouse Bay. This is the site of the last lava flow on Maui which is estimated to be around 1460 to 1600 A.D. Bring water and sunscreen and do not snorkel when the waves are rough, the rocks are very sharp.
9. And Speaking of South Maui Since you are already down in South Maui, check out some of the local snorkeling spots. From Ahihi Cove to Makena Landing and on into Wailea at Ulua Beach you can find great snorkeling with tropical fish, pretty lava formations, and possibly Hawaiian sea turtles!
10. Hiking Most hiking trails on Maui are free, and those with an admission fee (the incredible trails within Haleakala National Park and Iao Valley State Park) are well worth the price for pedestrian or vehicle entry.
11. Road Trips Free. Free. Free. There are no toll roads or toll bridges on Maui. So drive around and explore. The Road to Hana and upcountry Maui are particularly popular excursions for a road trip.
12. Keiki Hula Shows – Temporarily closed due to Maui wildfires. Estimated reopening date: October 8, 2023 – Keiki means “children,” and keiki hula shows are particularly adorable as you will see local children who are learning to perform hula. There is a free keiki hula show at the Napili Kai Foundation’s longstanding weekly keiki hula show for a $10 tax-deductible fee. Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm.
13. Hula Lessons Want to try it yourself? Head South to Wailea and enjoy a free one-hour hula lesson at the Shops at Wailea on Fridays from 4 -5 pm.
14. Polynesian Dance and More Also, at the Shops at Wailea, you can see free Polynesian dance shows throughout the month, along with other free activities. Check their schedule for the latest performances.
15. Cultural Activities Free cultural activities like lei making, weaving, and carving are offered around the island. Check with your accommodation first — many hotels and resorts offer complimentary cultural activities to guests.
16. Farmers Markets and Swap Meets Local markets crop up across the island weekly. Entrance to swap meets and farmers markets are completely free, but you’ll want to bring some cash along with you. These events boast vendors selling everything from produce and flowers to soaps and handmade t-shirts. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Farmers Markets and Fruit Stands on Maui to find a Farmers Market near your accommodation, or head to the Maui Swap Meet, held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
17. Community Festivals Many of Maui’s community festivals are free, and there is at least one such event every month on the island; check the local papers (MauiTimes is a good one) for dates and details, or check my blogs for seasonal annual festivals.
18. Visit the Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center Located just a few miles below Makawao Town, the Hui Noeau is a former sugar plantation turned visual art center. Here you can browse artworks by local artists and take a self-guided tour of the stunning, historic grounds, free of charge. The Hui also boasts an excellent gift shop with works by local artisans.
19. Maui Sunsets. . . They are free. They are glorious. And they are completely different every evening.
20. Tropical Gardens Gardens abound on Maui — and several of them are free! Some free gardens include the Heritage Garden at Kepaniwai Park and the Sacred Garden in Haiku — which is more of a plant nursery, but there are tranquil sitting areas and a labyrinth guests can walk. Alternatively, the entrance to the Alii Kula Lavender Farm is waived if you bring a canned good to donate to the Maui Food Bank.
21. Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary Maui is home to two government-operated wildlife sanctuaries: Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and Kanaha Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. Both are vital habitats for some of Hawaii’s rarest waterbirds, like the ‘A’eo, or Hawaiian stilt. These are both great places to go bird-watching and learn more about Maui’s native environment. Entrance to both refuges is free, and Kealia Pond also features a half-mile boardwalk that runs along Sugar Beach.
22. Volunteer If you want to have fun while making a difference, there are a ton of volunteering opportunities on Maui — like restoring loʻi (taro patches), planting native plants, and beach clean-ups. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about Hawaiian culture or connect with locals in the Maui community.
23. Watch the Surf Action at Ho’okipa Beach Park Hoʻokipa, located on Maui’s north shore just past the town of Paia, is one of the top windsurfing sites in the world. There is no fee for parking or to enter the beach park, and watching the windsurfers is mesmerizing. Alternately, during periods of high surf, you will see big wave surfers at Hoʻokipa. Watch from a safe distance, please!
24. Whale Watching Yes, it’s free. Of course, whale-watching boat tours provide a great close-up experience for a fee, but the whales themselves don’t charge admission. Just stand on the shoreline, look out to sea, and you’re likely to see whale activity in Maui’s waters during “whale season” (mid-December to mid-May).
25. Sunset Cliff Diver at Black Rock Stand on Kaanapali Beach and watch the cliff diver soar off of Black Rock into the sea fronting the Sheraton Maui every evening at sunset. The resort has provided this nightly ritual for decades, and it is a beautiful sight. (Nearby condos in Kaanapali.)
Other Tips For Finding Budget-Friendly Deals On Maui:
- Check with your accommodations to see what they are offering. Many properties offer their guests free (or very inexpensive) cultural activities like lei-making, hula lessons, and Hawaiian entertainment. Also, check for free entertainment and events at nearby hotels and resorts.
- Free Entertainment at Maui’s Shopping Centers: Maui’s shopping centers offer a wonderful variety of free shows and activities, ranging from hula and lei-making lessons to tai chi, Zumba, craft fairs, and magic shows! Some activities are mentioned above, but there are many more. Check these schedules for the current list of activities.
- For deals on places to stay on Maui, subscribe to our Maui Deals & Steals e-newsletter. We’ll send you the latest book-direct discounts and special offers from our advertisers each month.
- For low-priced accommodations, search our Accommodations section by price: choose what type of place you want (for instance, Hotels & Resorts or Condos & Villas), go to that page, then use the “Sort” tool to view the properties by price. All the properties on our site are book-direct with the owners/managers, so you get the very best price!
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