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15 Amazing and Adventurous Things to do in West Maui

*** Due to the recent fires on Maui, we strongly recommend that you reschedule travel to the area to give the island time to recover. The northerwest coast was the most impacted.

With an incredible landscape of lava strewn shorelines, abundant foliage, gorgeous beaches and the mountains climbing up from the coast, Maui Hawaii is an incredible adventure destination. The leeward side of the island is full of amazing places to visiting and activities. In this article, we will share our top things to do in West Maui as well as some helpful tips in planning an amazing adventure in this part of Hawaii.

We recently spent almost a week exploring Maui and loved the island. From Haleakala National Park to the incredible coastline, Maui is amazing.

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Best Things to do in West Maui

Quick Overview of West Maui

For this article, we are describing West Maui as a large stretch of the island that includes the northwest section near Lahaina and the southwestern part of Maui near Wailea. This is the leeward side of Maui and you will find most of the resorts in this part of the island as well as dryer and calmer conditions. You will also find the most stunning beaches and some of the best scenery on the island.

Most of this part of the island is 30-60 minutes from the airport and is best reached by car or shuttle. The list of the best things to do in West Maui in this article includes adventure activities and gives you ideas for how to make the most of your time in Maui!

If you are looking for a list of some of the best things to do in the northwest part of Maui, check out our article on How to Drive the West Maui Loop Drive: An Incredible Hawaiin Day Trip.

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Best Things to do in West Maui

Visit Lahaina

This historic town is known for its colorful storefronts, art galleries, and restaurants. You can also check out the Lahaina Banyan Court Park, which features a massive banyan tree. This is also the jumping off point for many tours and you can find a small harbor full of boat tour companies and many shops with tour information. Just south of the harbor is a surf break that is popular. We loved Lahaina and spent more time that we planned sitting under the massive banyan tree.

Things to do in West Maui: Lahaina

Snorkel or Scuba Dive

West Maui is home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots in Hawaii. There are many places you can snorkel directly from the shore. Some popular locations include Honolua Bay, Black Rock, and Kapalua Bay. There are also several snorkel tour excursions, like the famous tour out to Molokini.

If you enjoy scuba diving, you can also find tours operating dives.

Visit Kapalua

The loved the area around Kapalua. The beaches here are stunning and there is excellent hiking and snorkeling. Kapalua is located just a short drive north of Lahaina and you can explore the region by walking the Kapalua Coastal Trail. The views of the coast here are dramatic with the dark lava contrasting the blue ocean and vibrant green leaves.

Things to do in West Maui: Visit Kapalua
Things to do in West Maui: Visit Kapalua

Eat some Seafood

There are many amazing restaurants stretched along the western coast of Maui and most of these feature some type of seafood. Our absolute favorite places to eat are the Monkeypod restaurant in Wailea and Paia Fish Market. Enjoy fresh fish, scallops, shrimp and more in incredible dishes (try the fish tacos)!!

Drive the Road around the northwest part of Maui

While the Road to Hana in southeastern Maui gets a lot of attention, the incredible scenic drive around the northwest coast of Maui offers stunning views and many places to stop and explore. Visit Lahaina, Kapalua, the Wakalele Blowhole, Slaughterhouse Beach and more. The road along the western part of this drive is wide and easy to navigate but gets narrower and windy around the north part of the of the island.

Things to do in West Maui: Drive around the northwest of the island

Take a Whale Watching Tour

Between December and May, humpback whales migrate to the waters off Maui. You can take a whale watching tour to see these majestic creatures up close. Even if you decide not to take a tour, you may be able to see whales from a distance from many of the overlooks and we saw them on several of our walks.

Visit the Maui Ocean Center

Located on the north side of Maalaea Bay, the Maui Ocean Center is a great place to learn more about Maui! This aquarium features a variety of marine life, including sharks, turtles, and rays. You can also learn about Hawaiian culture and history through exhibits and presentations.

Go Kayaking

If your visiting the Island of Maui, the best way to enjoy it is getting out on and in the water. There are many places along the coast where you can take a kayak paddle. Some of these offer kayak tours while other place offer just kayak rentals. If you are staying at a resort, some of these resorts also have their own kayaks awailable.

Go Surfing

When you think of Maui, one of the most popular adventure activities that comes to mind is surfing! Whether you are a beginner or advanced surfer, Hawaii offers excellent surf and West Maui is home to some of the best surfing spots in Hawaii. Some popular beaches for surfing include Honolua Bay, S-Turns, and Launiupoko Beach Park.

We are a family of beginner surfers and appreciated the low surf during the month of April when we visited.

Things to do in West Maui

Find a Turtle

Whether you are snorkeling, diving or just swimming, you are likely to see a turtle in Hawaii. There are several places in West Maui where you can see sea turtles (also known as Honu) in their natural habitat. Here are some popular spots:

  1. Honokeana Bay: This small, secluded bay near Napili is a great place to see sea turtles. Snorkelers can get up close to the turtles as they swim in the shallow water near the shore.
  2. Black Rock Beach: Located at the northern end of Kaanapali Beach, Black Rock is a popular snorkeling spot where you can often spot sea turtles.
  3. Napili Bay: This beautiful crescent-shaped bay is home to a large population of sea turtles. You can see them swimming in the clear water or basking in the sun on the beach.
  4. Olowalu Reef: This reef is located just south of Lahaina and is home to a variety of marine life, including sea turtles. Snorkelers can see the turtles swimming along the reef.

We saw turtles on almost every beach we visited in Hawaii.

It’s important to remember that sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and it is illegal to touch or disturb them in any way. Please enjoy these magnificent creatures from a safe distance and be sure to respect their habitat.

Relax on the Beach

West Maui has plenty of beautiful beaches where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the ocean and spending time on a beach is definitely one of the best things to do in West Maui. It feels like there are endless beaches in this part of Hawaii with each beach more beautiful than the last. Below are a list of some of most stunning beaches in West Maui.

Beaches in the Northwest part of Maui

  1. Kaanapali Beach – A long and wide sandy beach with crystal clear waters, ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
  2. Napili Bay – A picturesque crescent-shaped bay with calm waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing.
  3. D.T. Fleming Beach Park – A beautiful and secluded beach with a wide expanse of white sand, great for sunbathing and surfing.
  4. Kapalua Bay – A sheltered and calm bay with crystal clear waters, great for swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  5. Honolua Bay – A remote and rocky bay with crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.
  6. Launiupoko Beach Park – A family-friendly beach park with a large grassy area, perfect for picnics, barbecues, and playing beach games.
  7. Slaughterhouse Beach – A secluded and peaceful beach with stunning views, great for sunbathing and snorkeling.
  8. Olowalu Beach – A beautiful and quiet beach with a long stretch of sand, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Things to do in West Maui: Beach in Wailea

Beaches in the Southwest Part of Maui

  1. Makena Beach – A long and wide sandy beach with crystal clear waters, ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
  2. Maluaka Beach – A secluded and quiet beach with calm waters, great for swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing.
  3. Big Beach – A beautiful and popular beach with soft white sand and turquoise waters, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and boogie boarding.
  4. Ulua Beach – A sheltered and calm beach with crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
  5. Keawakapu Beach – A family-friendly beach with soft sand and gentle waves, great for swimming, sunbathing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  6. Polo Beach – A quiet and peaceful beach with clear waters and great snorkeling opportunities, perfect for relaxation and enjoying the stunning views.
  7. Wailea Beach – A picturesque and popular beach with calm waters and stunning sunsets, great for swimming, snorkeling, and beach walks.
  8. Little Beach – A secluded and clothing-optional beach with soft sand and turquoise waters, perfect for sunbathing and swimming.

Watch the Sunset

With incredible views facing west, the entire west coast of Maui is an amazing place to watch the sunset. Find a beach or a scenic overlook and take in the setting sun across the ocean. This is one of the most a popular things to do in West Maui and you will likely find others drawn to the beach to take in the sunset.

Watching the sunset in Wailea

Take a Helicopter Tour

Taking a helicopter tour in Maui is an unforgettable experience that offers breathtaking views of the island’s stunning natural beauty. From the air, you can see the island’s lush rainforests, towering waterfalls, and dramatic coastline. With knowledgeable pilots and state-of-the-art equipment, a helicopter tour is a safe and exciting way to explore the best that Maui has to offer.

Take a Hike Along the Coast

There are many excellent hikes along the west coast of Maui and many of the best hikes are short with incredible views. Below you can see a list of some of the best hikes in West Maui.

  1. Kapalua Coastal Trail – A scenic coastal hike that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastline of West Maui.
  2. Iao Valley State Park – A beautiful rainforest hike that takes you to the base of the iconic Iao Needle, a towering green pinnacle that rises from the valley floor.
  3. Waihee Ridge Trail – A challenging hike that rewards you with panoramic views of the West Maui Mountains and the surrounding valleys and coastline.
  4. Lahaina Pali Trail – A historic trail that follows an ancient Hawaiian footpath and offers stunning views of the Maui coastline and the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai.
  5. Ohai Trail – Right near the northern point of Maui, the short and lovely Ohai Trail offers sweeping views of the coastline and rolling hills.
  6. Olivine Pools Trail – A short but steep hike that takes you to a series of natural tide pools carved into the lava rock, offering a refreshing spot for a swim.
  7. Honolua Bay Trail – A short and easy hike that takes you to Honolua Bay, a remote and beautiful beach with crystal clear waters and excellent snorkeling.
  8. Wakalele Blowhole – This is a short walk/scramble down to the impressive blowhole in the northwest corner of Maui
  9. Puu Kukui Trail – A challenging and strenuous hike that takes you to the summit of Puu Kukui, the highest peak on Maui, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and coastline.
  10. Wailea Beach Path – stroll along the beach and over cliffs on this gorgeous and easy coastal walk

Note: Always check the weather conditions and trail status before embarking on any hike in Maui, and make sure to stay on designated trails to protect the fragile ecosystem.

Things to do in West Maui: Hiking along the coast

Visit the Nakalele Blowhole

The Nakalele Blowhole is a hole in the rock connected to an underground chamber. As the water from waves enters the cavern, the water shoots up through the hole like a whale’s blowhole. You can see the blowhole from a viewpoint right off the road, or take the short walk down to blowhole. Use caution here as getting to close to the coast of blowhole can be dangerous.

See more about how to visit the Nakalelel Blowhole.

Things to do in West Maui: Nakalele Blowhole

Visit Makena Beach State Park

Makena State Park, also known as Big Beach, is a popular beach destination located in southwestern Maui. The state park offers stunning scenery and crystal-clear waters, and is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii. The park boasts a long and wide sandy beach with gentle waves, making it perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and playing beach games.

The park is surrounded by lava rock formations and lush vegetation. While you’re here explore the trails and pack a picnic.

Overall, West Maui has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’re sure to find it here.

Map of the Best Things to do in West Maui

Things to Know About Visiting West Maui

Where to Stay in West Maui

There are so many places to stay on Maui. Most of the best options are upscale and can be found up and down the entire coast. We stayed in Wailea at the Marriot Residence Inn, but we found the best option by booking through

How to get around on Maui

The easiest way to get around Maui is by car. If you are staying in a resort that offers an airport shuttle, you can also get around the island by booking a shuttle service or by taking a tour.

For the best rate, you can search for rental cars through Discover Cars where you will find many of the most popular rental car companies.

Driving through most of West Maui is easy with the exception of around the north part of the island.

Best Time of Year to Visit Maui

Weather West Maui is generally sunny and warm year-round, with average temperatures ranging from 75-85°F (24-29°C). However, the area can experience sudden rain showers, so be prepared for occasional downpours. The western part of Maui is on the leeward (or dry) side of the island, but you can still expect rain and clouds.

Summary of the Best Things to do in West Maui

We loved exploring Maui and the western part of Maui is an incredible place to explore and adventure. Fill your days with surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and relaxing on the beaches.

Follow along with our adventures on Instagram.

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