Maui Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
(Maui, Hawaii - HI, USA)
Visitors and tourists won't be bored on Maui as there is plenty to see and do if you tire of the beach. Attractions on the island of are focused around a number of themes ranging from botany, marine life and natural wonders to local culture and history.
Maui boasts a number of particularly fascinating tourist attractions, including ancient caves formed from lava, a state-of-the-art marine park and a 60-acre / 24-hectare working plantation that grows Hawaii's most popular crops including papaya, guava, bananas, sugar cane, star fruit and more.
Water sports offer plenty for those looking for something a little different to typical sightseeing and sunbathing on the beaches. Scuba diving is hugely popular with visitors and many superb dive sites are just a short boat trip away, such as the Carthaginian Wreck, Lanai and Molokini, with hammerhead sharks being known to frequent the western coast. For some of the best snorkeling in Maui, both Honolua Bay and Kapalua Bay stand out, while snorkeling excursions to Olowalu and the renowned Coral Gardens come recommended.
Maui Ocean Center
Address: 192 Maalaea Road, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii HI, 96793, USA
Tel: +1 808 270 7000
One of Maui's top visitor attractions, the Maui Ocean Center is a state-of-the-art 3-acre / 1.2-hectare marine park where visitors can see live coral displays, sea turtles, sharks and other aspects of Hawaii's marine life. There are over 60 exhibits to keep the entire family entertained.
Open hours: daily, September to June - 09:00 to 17:00, July and August - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discount for children, families and seniors, children under three free, weekly and annual passes available
Address: Lahaina and Maalaea Harbors, Maui, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 249 8811
Each year, literally thousands of majestic humpback whales swim past the island, as they migrate to these warmer winter waters to breed and give birth, arriving from the North Pacific. This island is widely considered to be one of the best places in the world for humpback whale watching and many of these giant mammals can be seen breaching the waters from the coastline. However, if you would like to get a little closer to the whale family groups (pods), Maui whale watching tours are available, being operated by the Pacific Whale Foundation, from both the harbors at Lahaina and Maalaea. Most of these cruises last around two hours and generally sail along the western coast, passing the Papawai Mountains. Humpback whales can be seen around the coastline at any time between late November and the middle of May, although January to April forms the peak season.
Open hours: seasonal variations
Admission: charge for whale watching cruises, children aged under six years old are free
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
The warm and clear waters around the island lend themselves to both scuba diving and snorkeling, the latter of which can be practiced at most local beaches. Particularly good spots for Maui snorkeling include Honolua Bay, Kapalua Bay, the beaches of Kamaole, La Perouse Bay, Polo Beach, the Ulua area and Wahikuli Park. The Coral Gardens area is known for its plentiful marine life and this is a good place for more experienced snorkelers to observe large turtles. The Molokini Crater is also famed for its wealth of tropical fish and many people enjoy Molokini snorkel expeditions, seeing manta rays, whale sharks, endless colourful fish (over 200 different species) and even some monk seals.
Scuba diving is equally popular and a big attraction in its own right. Those looking for the best dive sites around Maui should consider the Molokini area and southern coastline. For beach dives, head to the north-west shore, and in particular, to Airport Beach, Black Rock, Canoe Beach, the Jodo Reef, the Mala Wharf and the Marriott Reef, as well as both Honalua Bay and Kapalua Bay.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, charge for equipment hire
Address: 900 Front Street, Lahaina Center, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii HI, 96761, USA
Tel: +1 808 667 9216
This replica Hawaiian village is made from hale kahikos, which are traditional thatched buildings typical of the region. The village is set in lovely gardens and illustrates village life in bygone days.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 18:00
Maui Tropical Plantation
Address: 1670 Honoapiilani Highway, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii HI, 96793, USA
Tel: +1 800 451 6805
This 60-acre / 24-hectare working plantation grows Hawaii's most popular crops including papaya, guava, bananas, sugar cane, star fruit and more. Visitors can take a guided tram tour through the plantation attractions and learn about Hawaii's rich agricultural heritage.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations apply
Admission: admission to the grounds free, charge for tram tour
Wo Hing Temple
Address: Front Street, Maui, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 661 3262
This fascinating temple is filled with artifacts and displays that explain and illustrate the history of the Chinese community in Lahaina, a history that predates both the missionaries and the whalers who settled here.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: by donation
Address: Ulaino Road, Off Hana Highway, Hana, Maui, Hawaii (HI) 96713, USA
Tel: +1 808 248 7308
The Ka'eleku Caverns are ancient underground caves, formed by lava flows and contain fascinating formations including stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone. There is a choice of different tours, including scenic walking and adventure cave tours.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 10:30 to 15:30
Old Lahaina Prison - Hale Pa'ahao
Address: 187 Prison Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii HI, 96761, USA
Tel: +1 808 667 1985
Built in the 1850s, this notoriously uncomfortable prison was known as Maui's Hale Pa'ahao, which means 'stuck-in-irons house', referring to the restraints that were used in the prison. It was mainly used to house sailors who were drunk or accused of desertion. Today visitors can explore the historical Old Lahaina Prison building and get a taste of prison conditions back in the whaling days.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 16:00, seasonal variations apply
Admission: by donation