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.
The teenagers in your family will love learning a little bit about the culture, taking up surfing, ziplining, and hanging out at beautiful beaches. Your teens will keep active with snorkeling, diving, swimming, and having a great time soaking up the Maui ambiance.
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.
It's a place where you can dine on traditional cuisine and your teen can "get the scoop" at the sweet shop where there's Maui-made ice cream, fresh fruit smoothies, and ice pops.
Maui has several areas with world-class waves. Ma‘alaea and Honolua Bay are two of the best. Honolua Bay is part of a Marine Life Conservation District, so there is no fishing or even rock and shell-hunting. The beach is known for snorkeling and surfing. Ma'alaea has a good surfing beach and is home to the Maui Ocean Center, Hawaii’s largest aquarium.
For those interested in learning, there are many classes offered throughout the island. Maui Surf Lessons in Kihei caters to the whole family and offers private lessons, too. The Cove at Kalama Beach Park in Kihei is ideal for true beginners and also has a skate park.
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.
Located in ‘Iao Valley, the Hawai'i Nature Center features an Interactive Science Arcade. Here, more than 30 hands-on exhibits will help you learn about Maui’s natural environment. You can even "experience" life as a dragonfly, simulating its ability to see in all directions at once. There is also a Rainforest Wilderness Walk guided by naturalists who interpret the culture and the natural history of ‘Iao Valley.
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.
Cyclists can ride 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. Maui Mountain Riders will transport you and a bike to the summit of the mountain where you can watch the sunrise. Then you take an exciting and steep ride back down.
Boss Frog has bike rentals in both Lahaina and Kihei. Electric bikes are also available.
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 and you can also hike trails on your own.
Ancient Lahaina Pali Trail traverses the location of the 16th-century Pi‘ilani Highway, the first walking path built around the island. Remnants of it remain.
Na Ala Hele, the State of Hawai‘i Trail and Access Program, provides an informative booklet that includes interesting facts and stories about certain points along the trails as well as trail maps. Na Ala Hele maintains trails and advocates for beach access routes.
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 like Aqua Adventures and in Lahaina Harbor where you'll find Ultimate Whale Watch who will take you out for whale watching and snorkeling. You can even take a boat tour to Molokini to snorkel.
Scuba diving is extraordinary in this Hawaiian 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. For something simpler, head for Fish Rock where you'll find a shallow dive with schools of tropical fish—bring your underwater camera.
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. Windsurfing gear can be rented at several sports shops in Pa‘ia, Wailuku, and Kahului.
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.
Maui Mountain Activities offers horse and mule rides that take you up into the West Maui Mountains to view waterfalls and then trek down to the beach where you can ride alongside the surf.
For great views, Lahaina Stables offers a 2-hour morning educational, historical horseback ride into the Launiopoko Valley above Lahaina's West Maui Foothills.
Side-by-side zip lines over a tropical plantation are offered for adults and children at Maui Tropical Plantation. Maui Zipline Company provides a thrilling adventure soaring over the beautiful tropical plantation. You'll zip over a lush landscape, among the swaying palms enjoy views of the valley. They operate five side-by-side ziplines, ranging from 300 to 900 feet.
For a little more excitement go to Upcountry Maui and try the Piiholo Ranch Zipline, the longest in Hawaii where you can zip along for a half-mile and cross deep gulches and tall trees to experience stunning vistas from mountain to sea. The ranch also offers hiking tours.