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Things to do in Maui with Kids

 

Maui Things to Do

Maui Restaurants Road To Hana Kaanapali Beach Club

Oahu Things to Do

Polynesian Cultural Center Pearl Harbor Hilton Hawaiian Village - Oahu

Our trip started with a very long flight from Philadelphia to Chicago and then on to Maui.  We took an early morning flight from Philadelphia, through Chicago, and arrived in Maui at 2:00pm to sunshine and blue skies. 

We flew into Kahului airport, rented a car and drove to the resort.  I would recommend that you do the same.  You really need a car to get around Maui unless you want to spend a great deal of money on tours. 

Our week in Maui was filled with beautiful beaches, great snorkeling,  terrific restaurants, fun shopping, beautiful landscaping, awesome views and the exciting "Road to Hana".   Maui is everything that you expect when you dream of Hawaii. 

Sites to See in Maui

Kaanapali Beach

This four mile long beach is one of Maui's best beaches.  It is home to many of the hotels and resorts.  A paved beach walk links hotels, condos, restaurants and Whalers Village shopping center.

 

Maui Ocean Center
The Maui Ocean Center is the largest aquarium in Hawaii.  It is  located adjacent to Ma'alaea Harbor.  You should start at the surge pool, then move on to the reef tanks, turtle pool, "touch pool"  and then the eagle-ray pool.   Save the main tank for last, this is the show stopper.  It is 100 feet long and 600,00 gallons featuring tiger, gray and white tip sharks.  The most impressive part of this tank is that the walkway goes right through it so you will be surrounded by marine life.  A caution to parents with younger children some youngsters become frightened when a large fish swim overhead. The center is open daily from 9am - 5 pm.

 

Hookipa Beach


Hookipa Beach, which is located two miles past Paia, on the Hana highway is known all over the world for its brisk winds and excellent waves.  In fact it is one of the most famous windsurfing sites  in the world.  In addition, you will see some spectacular views from this area.  Weekdays are the best time to see these daredevil windsurfers.

Black Rock


A short walk down the beach from Whalers Village, in front of the Sheraton, is the famous Puu Kekaa, also known as the Black Rock.  This is a great place to snorkel right off the beach.  In fact, the day that we went my kids were surrounded by large sea turtles.  This legendary landmark is also home to a nightly cliff-diving ceremony at sunset.

Scuba Diving
Diving is terrific here in the clear tropical waters with a great variety of marine life, sea caves, sea turtles and monk seals.  It is best to dive early because afternoon trade winds tend to rough up the sea. 

Maui Dive shops, can provide you with a free copy of the Maui Dive Guide.  This has maps and details about shoreline and offshore dives as well as snorkeling sites.

Haleakala Crater 
Haleakala means "House of The Sun" and it it an awesome site to see the sun rise on the rim of the world's largest dormant volcano.  The only drawback is that you have to wake up at 4am to do it. Once the sun is up you may want to venture into the crater to explore.  There are a number of ways to do this: hike, bike or horseback expedition. The temperature is very cool up on top so be sure to bring a jacket.

 

Whale Watching
If you're visiting from December through May, you should absolutely do a Whale Watching expedition. The best views of these beautiful creatures are from the deck of a boat and charters leave daily from Lahaina.

Kapalua Beach
Kapalua has calm, crystal clear water and a gently-sloping bottom. It is a great location for snorkelers and swimmers of all ages and abilities.  Waves come in just perfect for riding.

This is a terrific beach to visit.  We spent half a day here snorkeling and enjoying the beautiful water. 

Parking is limited so get there early.  The lot is located off Lower Honoapiilani Rd by Napili Kai Beach Club.

Click here for a directory of Maui Beaches

Surfing
If you have never surfed before, Maui happens to be one of the best places to learn. The island's southern and western shores offer gentle breaks perfect for first-timers. Several surfing schools offer reasonable lessons and board rentals. Lahaina Harbor is perfect for anyone staying on Maui's western shore, and because it is situated in a sheltered bay, the waves are more gentle than elsewhere on Maui.

While one of the most exciting rides in Hawaii are at Honolua Bay it is ABSOLUTELY not for beginners. Even experienced surfers will need to use caution when entering here . Waves can top 20 feet in the winter, so use caution!

 

Road to Hana


A full day if you drive, a half day if you fly, the town of Hana is definitely off the beaten path.  In fact, until the early 1900's, Hana was cut off from the rest of the world.  It was then that the now-famous Hana Highway was first carved from the volcanic slopes of Haleakala. 

You should begin your day very early because going to Hana is about the journey not the destination.  Plan on leaving at 7:00am and returning after sunset.  This highway winds around 600 curves and crosses more than 50 one lane bridges. You will see waterfalls, botanical gardens, rainforest and spectacular scenery so don't rush the trip.  There are many sites along this highway to see but you must know where to stop.  Be sure your gas tank is full before you start.  Be sure to wear bathing suits under your shorts and to take towels.

For detailed information on traveling the "Road to Hana" and how to find the sites please see All Star Activities section on Road to Hana.

PAIA
Paia is a wonderful little town that is worth visiting when you are on the Road to Hana.  This eclectic little community has a variety of delightful restaurants, many featuring locally grown produce and freshly caught seafood, funky boutiques and surf shops.  It is also home to the famous "Charley's" restaurant.  The favorite hang out of Willie Nelson when he is in town.  We started our Road to Hana journey with breakfast at Charley's where we found good food at  average prices.

 

 

Lahaina


 

Lahaina, a former whaling town, is a charming area with a eclectic mix of galleries, shops, restaurants and historical sites.  It is home to the world-famous banyan tree a single tree that has grown to encompass a full city block.

Lahaina is a short ride from Kaanapali and is a great place to have dinner.  Restaurants vary in price and quality but views are terrific at most.  Try and be there for sunset and ask for a table with a view.  Most restaurants require reservations especially during the busy season.  We had dinner here a few nights during our trip.  Details found in the All Star Activity section Maui Restaurants.

Whalers Village


This is a great location for the day or evening.  You can explore the great shops and boutiques,  enjoy the restaurants for lunch or dinner or spend some time at this terrific beach. 

Golf - Maui is a terrific location to golf.  Weather is beautiful, landscape is magnificent and views are wonderful.  Click here for details on golf resorts: Golf

 

Attend a Luau
Luaus are always a fun way to spend a night.  The food is usually mediocre but the festivities make up for it.  The kids will love the music, hula and fire dancing.  The Old Lahaina Luau, located in Lahaina next to the ocean, is one of the finest luaus in the world, offering excellent Hawaiian food and entertainment in an awesome setting

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Site Seeing Tours

  • Helicopter Tours - You can consider taking a helicopter tour and enjoy the island from the air. A 45 minute helicopter tour will explore Maui's famous Haleakala Crater, Oheo Gulch, Hana  and the shoreline of Northeast Maui.

  • Maui Tropical Plantation Tour is a 60 acre working plantation.  Enjoy Hawaii's agriculture and get free samples.

  • Hawaii Nature Center - A visit to the nature center provides all with an environmental educational experience.

  • Atlantis Maui Submarine Adventure - Enjoy 1 hour and 45 minutes aboard a 48 passenger submarine, 100 feet below the surface, exploring the natural coral reef and marine life of Maui.

  • Lahaina Kaanapali Train Ride - Enjoy a ride aboard one of the last remaining sugar-cane trains in Hawaii, you'll ride between historic Lahaina town and the resorts of Kaanapali.