Best Ways to Spend Six Exciting Days on Maui

Haleakala National Park
••• Haleakala National Park. Getty Images / Reetom Hazarika / Contributor

The island of Maui is the second most visited of the Hawaiian Islands. There are lots of great things to see and do in six days.

They say "Maui no ka oi" which in English means "Maui is the best," and they may be right!

Here's how to spend six great days on Maui:

Day 1

Take a self-guided walking tour of the historic town of Lahaina. Lahaina was the first capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and was considered the whaling capital of the Pacific in the 1800’s.

You can pick up a free map at the courthouse to guide you to the historic sites.

After you’re done your historic tour, you can do some shopping at one of the many shops along Main Street. You’ll also find numerous places to eat lunch. My personal favorite is Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Before you leave town, take a short ride north and be sure to visit the Lahaina Jodo Mission on the outskirts of town.

Day 2

What you do on day two will depend on where you’re staying. If you’re staying in West Maui, take the morning to explore west Maui's rugged North Shore along the Kahekili Highway. It’s a beautiful, if at times somewhat scary, drive.

Be sure to stop at the Kaukini Gallery at Kahakuloa, about half way across the top of West Maui. It’s one of the best places to buy gifts for you friends back home or the perfect souvenir of your Maui vacation.

End your drive in Wailuku where you can eat lunch and then visit 'Iao Valley State Park and the Bailey House Museum.

After your return to West Maui, spend the evening at the Old Lahaina Luau.

If you’re staying in South Maui, take the morning to explore the wonderful beaches and geography of the South Maui Coast from Kihei to Wailea and on the the wild Makena Shore.

For lunch stop at one of the food trucks that you’ll find near the entrance to Big Beach in Makena.

In the afternoon you can return to your hotel or condo and spend a few hours at the beach or pool before getting ready for the hour long drive to West Maui for the Old Lahaina Luau.

Day 3

This is the day to explore Upcountry Maui.

Drive to Haleakala National Park in the morning. (Bring a jacket. It's cold.)

Head along Route 37 towards Ulupalakua for lunch at the Ranch Store and Deli.

Take a tour of the nearby Tedeschi Vineyards, Maui's Winery.

Day 4

Take a whale watching cruise (in season) or go on a snorkeling excursion at Molokini Atol from Ma'alaea Harbor.

Afterward visit the nearby Maui Ocean Center in Ma'alaea.

Have dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.

Day 5

This will be your big driving day as you make the famous drive to Hana on the Hana Highway.

Stop often at the many waterfalls and vistas. Keep in mind that the drive to Hana is all about the journey so take your time and appreciate everything you’ll see along the way.

Once you arrive in Hana, it will be lunchtime, so grab a bite to eat before continuing along the way.

Continue on past Hana to O'heo Gulch and then to the grave of Charles Lindbergh at Kipahulu before returning home.

If the roads are dry, you can drive all the way around to Upcountry Maui rather than retrace your route.

Check for road conditions at the National Park Visitors Center.

Day 6

Your last full day will depend on where you’re staying.

If you’re staying in West Maui, spend the day at Ka'anapali Beach or any of West Maui's beautiful beaches.

If golf is your passion, some of the best courses in the world are located between Ka'anapali and Kapalua.

You can get some last minute shopping done at Whalers Village.

If you’re staying in South Maui, spend the day at one of beaches in Kihei or Wailea. You might even enjoy a day at Big Beach in Makena where you can make the hike over the rocky outcropping to Little Beach, one of Maui’s few, unofficial, clothing optional beaches.

South Maui also has some fine golf courses in Wailea and Makena.

You can get your last minute shopping done at the Shops at Wailea.

Tips

  1. There is so much to do on Maui that you won't be able to do it all in one trip, so don't try.
  1. Leave early in the morning for Hana and plan for a long day. The road is very narrow with lots of curves so drive carefully.
  2. Take some time to visit one or more of Maui's excellent beaches, generally considered the best in the world.