Fun Things To Do on Maui With Teenagers

An overview of activities and attractions on Maui for teenagers.

Boardsurfer at Kaanapali Beach
••• Boardsurfer at Kaanapali Beach. Francis Joseph Dean / Getty Images

It is said the "Maui, no ka oi" which in Hawaiian means "Maui is the best." For young and old alike there are activities to fill every day of your vacation.

Let's take a look at some of the activities that the teenagers in your family may enjoy.

Maui Ocean Center

At the Maui Ocean Center in Ma’alaea, Maui’s marine environment is showcased through a variety of aquarium displays, hands-on exhibits and even a "touch pool" where visitors can touch various ocean creatures like sea urchins and starfish. Other live ocean inhabitants at the Center include jellyfish, octopus, reef fish, shrimp, eels, skipjack tuna, lobsters, rays and sharks.

Maui Tropical Plantation

The Maui Tropical Plantation spotlights Maui's agricultural history, taking visitors on a tram tour of acres of sugar cane, macadamia nuts, guava, mango, banana, papaya, pineapple, coffee and flowers.

Hawai‘i Nature Center

Located in ‘Iao Valley, the Hawai'i Nature Center features an Interactive Science Arcade. Here, more than thirty hands on exhibits will help you learn about Maui’s natural environment. You can even "experience" life as a dragonfly, simulating the ability to see a hundred directions at once. There is also a Rainforest Wilderness Walk guided by naturalists who interpret the culture and the natural history of ‘Iao Valley.

Ka‘anapali Beach

Known as "Dig Me" beach among the local teens, Ka‘anapali Beach is one of Maui’s best beaches. It is four miles long, with grainy gold sand as far as the eye can see. The beach parallels the sea channel through most of its length and has a paved beach walk. Summertime swimming is excellent. Various beach activity vendors offer nearly every type of water activity and equipment.

Bicycling

Bikers can cycle from Wailea to Kapalua, from Ho‘okipa to Kahului and from Waiehu to Wailuku, on improved shoulders or bike lanes. Numerous tour companies provide several unique biking adventures, including an exhilarating 38 mile ride from the 10,023 foot summit of Haleakala.

Hiking

There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails on Maui, but only three of the trailheads are marked. Haleakala; Polipoli, a large upland forest; and ‘Ohe‘o Gulch in Kipahulu, a moderate four mile walk along a stream, past waterfalls and through bamboo forests.

Haleakala National Park rangers lead regularly scheduled hikes.

There are several guide services for hiking on Maui. A program called Na Ala Hele has been maintaining trails and advocating beach access routes.

Ancient Lahaina Pali Trail, echoes the sixteenth-century Pi‘ilani Highway, the first walking path built around the island. Remnants of it still remain.

Na Ala Hele provides an informative booklet that includes interesting facts and stories about certain points along the trail.

Horseback Riding

There are numerous stables on the island, providing mounts to match every level of riding ability, and trips usually last from one to six hours.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling gear can be rented for as little as $15 - a bargain when you consider the rare and wonderful sights that you’ll see underwater. Five of the best spots on Maui to snorkel and dive are Honolua Bay, ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u Bay, Ka‘anapali’s Pu‘u Keka‘a or Black Rock and Wailea’s ‘Ulua Beach. Numerous charter boats offering sailing, cruising and snorkeling trips can be found anchored in Ma‘alaea and Lahaina Harbors.

Diving

Scuba diving is extraordinary in paradise. For experienced divers, cave and lava tube diving are adventures of the Indiana Jones ilk. Don’t miss breathtaking Cathedrals off Lana’i, hailed by avid divers as one of the best dive spots in the world.

Surfing

Maui has several areas with world class waves. Ma‘alaea and Honolua Bay are two of the best. For those interested in learning, there are many classes offered throughout the island.

Windsurfing

Ho‘okipa Beach is the "Windsurfing capital of the world", hosting international championships and drawing hundreds of spectators. Only the pros surf Ho‘okipa. Novices should practice at Kanaha, Kihei and Spreckelsville. Gear can be rented at several sports shops in Pa‘ia, Wailuku and Kahului.