Rainy Day Activities on Maui
Looking for some rainy day activities on Maui? We are blessed with a tropical climate, and rain is what keeps our island so green and lush. We appreciate the rain, and it is part of our island lifestyle. In ancient Hawaii there were specific names for over two dozen different types of island rain based on such characteristics as intensity, temperature, and location or direction of the rainfall. So, yes, we do get rain here on Maui!
Most often, rain showers on Maui come and go quickly, and they are comfortably cooling on a warm day. Life just goes on. You can be sitting on the beach or out for a morning run on a gloriously sunny day and suddenly a cloud passes overhead delivering a soft sprinkle — or possibly a torrential downpour. But it’s over in minutes, and it’s often followed by a spectacular rainbow. There are other times, however, when the island can be engulfed in a storm system that brings rain all day (or for a few days). It doesn’t happen often, but if it does, all is not lost! If you can’t bask on the beach or enjoy other sun-dependent Maui activities, there are plenty of other things to do on Maui on a rainy day.
NOTE: This blog was updated in April 2021, but due to the continuing impacts of COVID-19, some of the businesses or activities mentioned in the blog could possibly change their operations temporarily. As things are changing constantly amidst this pandemic, please check with these places directly to verify their latest operating status and hours. Mahalo!
Suggestions for Rainy Day Activities on Maui
• Visit the Maui Ocean Center (pictured), a world-class tropical aquarium located in Maalaea. With a commitment to marine science, education, and conservation, Maui Ocean Center’s exhibits and activities feature only marine life that is found in Hawaiian waters. Fabulous place to visit, rain or shine!
• Relax and renew yourself at a spa for an “aaaaah-some” rainy day experience. Maui boasts some of the finest spas in the United States.
• Catch a movie at one of Maui’s three movie theater complexes: Regency Cinemas in Kihei (South Maui) and two theaters in Kahului (Central Maui), both located in shopping centers: Consolidated Theaters at Queen Kaahumanu Center and Regal Maui Mall Megaplex.
• Take cover at a shopping mall. Lahaina Cannery Mall in West Maui is the only fully enclosed mall on the island, but there are also many open-air malls that offer plenty of cover. The largest — and my personal favorites — are Whalers Village (pictured, in Kaanapali, West Maui) and The Shops at Wailea (South Maui). Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului is another large mall on Maui, but it has struggled in recent years and, at the time of this update, it is in foreclosure . . . so its future is uncertain at this point. In addition to shopping and dining, most malls also provide other special activities, such as live entertainment, cultural craft classes, farmer’s markets, and other great options.
• Discover some of Maui’s many small museums. Here’s a list provided by the Hawaii Museums Association. Lahaina, in particular, has a number of interesting museums that are ideal for rainy-day exploration, like the Wo Hing Chinese Museum (pictured).
• Fully explore the facilities and programs at your Maui lodging. Many Maui accommodations offer spas, fitness classes, dining options, cultural programs, craft fairs, live music, hula shows, and other indoor or under-cover options that are perfect for a rainy day.
• Enjoy a leisurely coffee break, a meal, or drinks at one of Maui’s many cozy restaurants and coffee shops. I shot this photo of a lilikoi (passionfruit) croissant and cold brew mocha at Sip Me in the town of Makawao. The perfect coffee break!
• Check the local newspaper calendars (or the web) for the latest information on indoor events (concerts, craft fairs, festivals, hula shows) taking place on Maui for a rainy day diversion. (UPDATE: Due to Covid restrictions, indoor gatherings and events like these have been temporarily suspended on Maui.)
• Explore Maui’s small towns, offering wonderful opportunities for strolling, shopping, and dining. In particular, the towns of Paia (North Shore), Makawao (Upcountry), and Lahaina’s Front Street (pictured) are compact and easy to navigate on foot—even in the rain.
• Check out these live webcams to view current weather conditions around the island. Maui is made up of many micro-climates, so it’s not unusual for it to be overcast or rainy in one area but clear and sunny just a few minutes away!
• Look for rainbows. Once the sun starts to peek out, you will be treated to quite a display – big rainbows, small rainbows, double rainbows, and the VERY rare moonbow (a rainbow at night). So have your camera ready!
AFTER THE RAIN: Post-Rainy Day Activities on Maui
• A helicopter tour can be especially beautiful after a rainstorm when the island’s waterfalls are particularly full.
• The full waterfalls can make the drive to Hana more spectacular than usual after a rain, as long as it was not a heavy storm that affected road conditions on the narrow two-lane road. So do proceed with caution. Or even better, leave the driving to a tour company that specializes in Hana!
WARNING: If you’re heading to the beach after a rainy day, wait awhile before going into the water. If the ocean is dirty, cloudy, stirred up, or murky don’t go in until it has cleared. Storm debris that has washed into the ocean from rivers and streams can attract predators (meaning sharks) so stay out of the ocean when it’s murky.
Grab an umbrella, get out, and explore. Don’t let a little rain stop you!
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Candy Aluli, Publisher
Questions? Comments? Drop me a line: Blog@MauiAccommodations.com
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