The Maui Must-Do List: Have Fun Even On A Budget

Maui Sunset

When people talk about vacationing to an island, the Hawaii islands are at the top of most people’s “I wanna go there” list and for good reason.

With nearly perfect weather, miles of beautiful beaches, clear ocean water, and the laid back mentality that comes from being in such an environment, it’s not hard to understand why the word “paradise” is often used to describe the Hawaii islands.

Today we’re talking about the beautiful island of Maui.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the top “Must Do’s” in Maui. Most of them are budget-friendly and the pricier ones are definitely worth saving up for. We’ve also included some yummy deliciousness that delighted our palates because we want to spread the love!

What's Included in this Article


There are so many areas to snorkel either on your own or with a tour guide. Here are some of the best places to snorkel on your own that are beginner friendly and have beach access.

  • Honolua Bay which is on the northwest side of the island
  • (There are also boat tours for the Honolua Bay area.)
  • Black Rock at Kaanapali Beach, located on the west side of the island
  • Ulua and Mokapu beach parks, located on the south/west side of the island (Ulua and Mokapu are right next to each other.)
Molokini Crater

Guided tours can be pricey but worth saving for.

The Molokini Crater is by far the most highly recommended snorkel spot for Maui. It’s about 2.5 miles offshore so there are guided boat tours scheduled throughout the day

The Turtle Town tour is another high on the list snorkeling spot because, obviously…turtles! And don’t worry there’s a snorkeling tour that combines both the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town!

Pride of Maui has compiled a list of great spots to snorkel noting skill level, location, and other helpful info.

Sunrise at Haleakala!

Sunrise Haleakala National Park

The dormant volcano in Haleakala National Park rises to over 10,000 ft elevation. Because of this, the weather can be unpredictable and a heck of a lot cooler. The magnificent view of the sunrise atop the summit is well worth the drive and having to wake up before the crack of dawn.
So, make a plan, gas up your vehicle the day before, bring snacks, and get ready for the most breathtaking view of your trip, maybe even your life! The sunset views are equally as amazing and less busy so, this is a great option if you want to avoid some of the crowds.

Online reservations

Road to Hana

Road to Hana Hawaii

You can drive yourself or take a tour van, either way, it’s an all-day feast for the eyes with some tasty treats to delight the palate as well!
You’ll want to get an early start because there’s much to take in along the way and after you arrive. It’s referred to as Heavenly Hana for a reason!

Check out Road To Hana to get an idea of what to pack for the trip

Lava Caves

So this is one of the stops you want to make on the road to Hana. Seriously, exploring tubes of lava, how often do you get to do that?
The tours are a self-guided adventure that you can do in under an hour. Really, this earth is freaking amazing!

Go to to see tour hours and affordable pricing.


A cool little surfer town on the north side of the island, Paia has some of Maui’s most beautiful beaches and offers great shopping, boutiques, and restaurants.
Catch some windsurfing, shopping, and delicious food and keep those good vibrations happening all day!

Paddle Board / Surf

Paddle Boarder

If SUP (stand up paddle boarding) or surfing is something you’ve wanted to try or you’re even slightly interested in, there is no better place to learn than on the islands! The water temperature is perfect, so clear you can see what you’re swimming with, and so many experienced surfers to help you out.
There are lots of lesson options for surfing, SUP, and rentals as well if you already know your stuff.

Here are a few options to check out:

Immerse yourself in the warm, clear, water and become one with the ocean!

A Luau

Fire Dancer at Luau

Nothing says Hawaii like a Luau! It would almost seem sacrilegious to go to Hawaii and not experience a Luau.
A Luau can fully immerse you in the island culture giving you a history lesson in the most entertaining of ways. Certainly a feast for the eyes and tastebuds alike.

There are lots of options to choose from when selecting a Luau but here are some of the best ones to check out.

The Grand Luau at Honuaula
The Myths of Maui – Royal Lahaina Luau
Te Au Moana – Marriot Wailea Luau
Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock – Sheraton Luau
Old Lahaina Luau

Maui Ocean Center – Aquarium

Maui Ocean Center Aquarium Logo

Yes, you will see lots of marine life while snorkeling and swimming but the aquarium is still worth the visit. Get an up-close look at some amazing marine life exhibits and tide pools all while staying dry. This is a great activity option when vacationing with a broad range of ages like the little ones and the grandparents.

For tickets and hours visit

Maui Swap Meet

This one may cause you to say “huh?” Trust me, this is a must stop before you leave the island. There are great deals to be had here for souvenirs ranging from inexpensive typical Hawaiian trinkets to more pricey unique artistic creations.
A variety of yummy foods are sprinkled throughout to delight the buds. Be sure to buy the homemade coconut bread! Absolutely delish!

To top it off, this little treasure is only about ten minutes from the airport making it an easy stop on your way in or out of Maui.

Note: Maui Swap Meet is only open on Saturdays from 7 am to 1 pm.

For The Love Of Food

We can’t talk about Maui and not mention some of the amazing food!

When visiting Maui, a must try is the Loco Moco. Every restaurant that serves it puts their own little spin on the dish but in general, the basic Loco Moco is made up of a beef patty topped with a sunny side up egg, served on a bed of rice, and finished off with a savory gravy. Mouthwatering!

Maui Brewing Co
Excellent food here and their version of the loco moco is the best. The patty is half beef, half bacon… enough said there! They also top it off with fried onion straws. Definitely, a must try!

Leoda’s Pies
An adorable little restaurant with a cool vintage vibe. They offer a variety of individual sized pies so everybody can have their fav. Chocolate lovers must try the Macnut Choc! There’s also a fruit stand next to it so you can stock up on some local fruit for snacking or breakfast.

Aloha Mixed Plate
This gem is located on the beach offering amazing views of the ocean. Dine outdoors in a modern beachy vibe; an atmosphere you won’t want to leave. This is a fav because of the large portions, the loco moco, and the scrumptious macaroni salad.

Hula Grill
What’s not to love about eating yummy food while taking in views of the gorgeous Pacific ocean? You can almost just ride a wave up to the barefoot bar or chillax under their beach umbrella tables and soak in the island life.

It’s connected to an outdoor shopping mall so there’s plenty of opportunities to walk off that meal and grab a snazzy outfit for the Luau!

Island Cream Co
Handmade creams, cones, fudge… the list goes on. They offer lots of unique, island-inspired, flavored creams. Seriously, choosing which flavor to have will probably be the hardest decision you will have to make in Maui.

Coconut Candy
A generic name slapped on lots of labels but this one in particular candy is a stand-alone treat to find.
Usually found at gift shops, or even gas stations, these little bags of goodness are like crack. So much yummy flavor and texture, they’re really quite addicting!

Let us know if you have any favorite things to do or places to eat in Maui. We’d love to hear from you!

Mahalo and Peace Out!

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