Should You Do Haleakala Sunrise and Road to Hana in the Same Day?

Visiting Haleakala and Hana on the Same Day

While it is technically possible to visit both Haleakala National Park and drive the road to Hana on the same day, it means you will be spending a lot of time in the car and missing out on some of the more interesting experiences that would be available to those who can spend more time on each activity.

However, there is plenty to see from the car as you drive to the summit of Haleakala and through the lush rainforest on the road to Hana, so if a day in the car (and out of the sun) to see some jaw-dropping sights is what you’re looking for, or you just want to cross as much as you can off your Maui to-do list in one day, you will not be disappointed. You may be a bit rushed, though.

A GPS Tip for the Trip

Whether you plan to tackle both in the same day or prefer to dedicate more time to each, I highly recommend downloading a GPS-based app to accompany you for the drive. We downloaded the GyPSy app (it was $9.99 at the time) and were pleased with the commentary and tips. There were a few turn-offs we otherwise would have missed, and some we skipped thanks to the suggestions. We also appreciated having GPS and commentary in areas where we didn’t have cell service — you download the content to your phone, and if you keep your phone plugged in and charging, you’ll have no problems.

I’ve heard the Shaka app (“made by locals”) is also great, but we haven’t used it; we were thinking that the locals might not want tourists finding the best spots, so we chose the GyPSy app instead, ha.

Whichever one you choose, keep in mind that the apps provide helpful navigation tips and interesting background information and are significantly cheaper than a bus tour. 

Below are some itinerary options for your marathon day in the car (likely a rental jeep, because everybody wants a jeep).

If You Want to Do the Haleakala Sunrise Before Road to Hana

If you want to cross as much off your Maui to-do list in one day, you’re going to have to start early.  Sixty days early, to be exact. Vehicle passes for sunrise at Haleakala are available on beginning at 7am HAWAII TIME, 60 days before your visit. So grab a calendar, count the days and time difference, and set a reminder on your phone.

There’s a nominal fee for the sunrise pass (it was $1 when we went), which does not include park entrance fees.

On the day of your visit, bring your national parks annual pass or a credit card to pay the park entrance fee at the gate and confirm your sunrise reservation. You won’t be admitted to the park for sunrise (3am-7am) without it. The gate ranger will ask for your name and cross it off the list, and away you go up the mountain. If you do not have an annual parks pass (we had one, woohoo), when you pay admission to the park, your pass is valid for three days and unlimited park entries during that time. So if you decide to drive beyond the road to Hana and hike the Pipiwai trail, you’ll have “free” access to the Haleakala National Park from the other side of the island.

For additional information about Haleakala, including entry fees, visit

Start Driving at 3am

THREE AM??  Yes, because there’s also stargazing at Haleakala. And you should plan to arrive at the summit well before sunrise, so might as well catch some stars while you’re there. 

Haleakala Sunrise & Sunset Times

January 1: 6:56am/6:00pm
January 15: 6:58am/6:10pm
July 1: 5:41am/7:16pm
July 15: 5:46am/7:15pm
Feb. 1: 6:55am/6:21pm
Feb 15: 6:48am/6:29pm
Aug. 1: 5:52am/7:09pm
Aug. 15: 5:57am/7:01pm
March 1: 6:39am/6:35pm
March 15: 6:27am/6:40pm
Sept. 1: 6:02am/6:49pm
Sept. 15: 6:06am/6:33pm
April 1: 6:12am/6:49pm
April 15: 6:00am/6:49pm
Oct. 1: 6:10am/6:19pm
Oct. 15: 6:14am/6:06pm
May 1: 5:50am/6:55pm
May 15: 5:42am/7:01pm
Nov. 1: 6:20am/5:55pm
Nov. 15: 6:28am/5:49pm
June 1: 5:38am/7:08pm
June 15: 5:38am/7:12pm
Dec. 1: 6:38am/5:47pm
Dec. 15: 6:47am/5:50pm

Allow at least 40 minutes to drive from the park entrance to the summit and expect some traffic at the park entrance as everyone stops to pay and confirm their reservation. (We left Kula at 4:45am, and just barely made it to the summit for the sunrise.) Once you’re in the park, there’s a lot of driving, including many switchbacks and a lot of elevation gain before you arrive at the top.  Once you’ve arrived, wear all your layers (brrr, it’s cold up there…) and enjoy the sunrise!

Note: The temperature drops 3º for every 1000 feet of elevation gain, so at the Haleakala Visitor Center’s 9,740-foot elevation (where most people watch the sunrise) it’s about 30º colder than at sea level. Be sure to bring pants, shoes, layers of clothing, and blankets to insulate yourself from the likely 40-degree temperatures.

Starting the Drive to Hana from Haleakala

But don’t enjoy it for too long, you signed up for a busy day.  When leaving the summit, plan for an hour and fifteen minute drive to get to Paia, a great starting point for the road to Hana. 

Paia is also a great place to grab food (recommend Mana Foods — they have the best price for Whole30 mayo!) and gas before heading east to Hana. It’s best to plan out the must-stop places ahead of time and use your GPS-based app to navigate.  Starting later in the morning after sunrise (anytime after 6:30am) means you’ll be starting with the crowd. Because everybody thinks 6:30am is a good time to leave. Expect traffic and limited parking at the stops along the way, plus if you leave on a weekday, prepare to meet locals commuting along the road to Hana.

Even if you drive to Hana without making any stops, plan for at least two hours each way (from Paia) to make the trip with your rental car and relationship intact (the road to Hana is sometimes called the road to divorce).  The road is incredibly curvy with many one lane bridges handling two-way traffic, so there really is no rushing the drive. Alternatively, some folks may decide they get the gist of the road to Hana by driving half way and coming back, which certainly saves time.

Other Pro Tips for Squeezing it All In

  • Take advantage of any jet lag if you’re visiting from an earlier time zone and plan to visit the Haleakala sunrise the first or second day of your trip. 
  • Stay in Kula the night before your sunrise summit day to reduce your driving time to the Haleakala summit (compared to starting from other places around Maui).
  • Don’t forget to bring a phone charger for the car so you’ll never be without GPS.

Summary of Your Sample Itinerary

  • Arrive at the Haleakala National Park entrance 1.5 hours before sunrise
  • Drive to the summit (45ish minutes)
  • Enjoy the sunrise until 8am, depart for Paia
  • 9:30am-ish arrive in Paia, grab gas, food at Mana Foods, etc.
  • 10:30am start driving the road to Hana
  • 1:30pm turn around and drive back

Itinerary Variations

Option #1: Skip the Sunrise but See the Haleakala Summit Before Driving the Road to Hana

Not a morning person?  You can enter Haleakala National Park after 7am without a reservation.  Arrive at the entrance at 7am, allow 45 minutes for the drive to/from the summit and enjoy the views!  This would put you about an hour behind the sunrise crew, but it’s still manageable, especially if you drive less of the road to Hana, if you plan to stay out later, or if you’re staying somewhere closer to the road to Hana (e.g., Haiku, Paia, or Hana).

Option #2: Drive the Road to Hana Before Catching a Haleakala Sunset

Alternatively, you could start your road to Hana adventure at sunrise and reverse-engineer your day to end up at the Haleakala summit for sunset and subsequent stargazing.  Unlike sunrise at Haleakala — which is better viewed from the crater overlook at almost 10,000 feet— the sunset is best from the lava rock ridge right next to the summit parking lot, where the view looks west toward the island of Lanai and Pacific Ocean below. Choose your own adventure!

One of the main benefits is that sunset doesn’t require a permit. One drawback, however, is that you may feel rushed on the road to Hana if you want to make it to the Haleakala summit for sunset. 

To make this option work, plan your stops ahead of time and commit to your schedule.

Option #3: Want More Outside Time? Spend One Hour at the Haleakala Summit Area of Haleakala National Park

Aside from time spent watching the sunrise (or sunset) from the summit, you could supplement your visit with a short out and back hike on the Keonehe’ehe’e (Sliding Sands) trail to briefly immerse yourself in the otherworldly landscape.  This trail starts near the summit parking lot.

Alternatively, you could stop (on the way up or down) at the Leleiwi Overlook for another spectacular view of the crater.  There’s a short, rocky hike from the Leleiwi Overlook parking area to the overlook.

Finally, you could stop in at Hosmer Grove near the park entrance for a short, partially shaded hike through non-native trees.

Road to Hana Stops: Some Initial Thoughts

Parking at some of the stops will be tight, especially at the beginning when everyone is Captain Ambitious and wanting to make all the stops. 

If you’re planning to drive to Hana (or halfway) and back, you can always stop on the way back.

Mile Markers – Some Popular Stops on the Road to Hana Include:

  • (mile marker 7) the painted forest, where you can see rainbow eucalyptus trees;
  • (mile marker 9.5) Waikamoi Ridge Trail, where you can do a short hike and have a picnic;
  • (mile marker 11.5) Haipuaena Falls, where you can see… <drumroll>…a waterfall;
  • (mile marker 12) Kaumahina State Wayside, where you can park easily, use the restroom, and get a decent ocean view;
  • (mile marker 16.8) Keanae Arboretum, for a short walk and more rainbow eucalyptus trees;
  • (mile marker 16.9, very close to the arboretum) Keanae Peninsula for great ocean views and a historic church;
  • (mile marker 19.5) Waikani Falls, for waterfalls!
  • (mile marker 42) Pipiwai Trail! (And Ohe’o Gulch aka Seven Sacred Pools) – great 4 mile RT hike up the back of Haleakala through Makahiku Falls and a bamboo forest, to view the breathtaking Waimoku Falls.

Additional Questions

Do You Recommend Doing the Road to Hana and Haleakala Summit in the Same Day?

Generally, no. If you have two days to fully explore Haleakala and make a few stops along the Road to Hana, then I suggest you do so. Otherwise, if you have just a day to pack in as much as you can, you’ll miss out on some great hiking and exploring in Haleakala National Park — you could easily spend a few days there if you’re into hiking and beautiful sights. You’ll also miss out on hiking and exploring all the waterfall stops on the road to Hana, which could extend your drive by hours (or days, because you can stay overnight in Hana, you know).

Road to Hana VS Haleakala: If You Have One Day and Can Choose Only One

The Sophie’s Choice question for all travelers short on time: which to choose? I know which one I would choose, but that doesn’t help you. I’ll outline some considerations to make your decision a bit simpler (or unbearably difficult):

Road to Hana:

  • lots of driving
  • jungle and bugs and nature
  • secret hikes
  • more rain, usually at night
  • see the “real” Maui before development removed all personality
  • Haleakala National Park is accessible from the other side of Hana, beyond Kaupo


  • Sunrise Maui Haleakala at altitude: amazing views (check the weather and crater cam first)
  • hiking, either through a seemingly Martian or Lunar-like landscape that is the crater; or, checking out the more accessible Hosmer Grove and its alien tree species
  • some free camping at Hosmer Grove
  • star-gazing
  • it’s a volcano that last erupted around 200 years ago

Best Day to Drive Road to Hana

I’d suggest avoiding the weekend crowd and heading east on the road (drive clockwise around the island) to Hana on a weekday morning. Let’s say, on a Wednesday.

What Things To Do at Haleakala National Park?

If you want to beat the rush for the sunrise, do some stargazing at 10,000ft on the summit of Haleakala. There are a few world-renown observatories on Haleakala: “Because of the remarkable clarity, dryness, and stillness of the air, and its location above one-third of Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the limited light pollution, the summit of Haleakala is one of the most sought-after locations in the world for ground-based telescopes.”

Rent a pair of 10×50 or 7×50 binoculars at one of the island dive shops, pick up a star map at the Park Headquarters Visitor Center or the Haleakala Visitor Center, and see if you can find the moons of Jupiter.

Nakalele Blowhole: Does it Blow?

Let me tell you about the Nakalele Blowhole on Maui.

First of all, let’s start with the basics – what is a blowhole? Well, it’s kind of like a natural geyser, but instead of hot water, it shoots out seawater! Pretty cool, right?

The Nakalele Blowhole is one of the most popular blowholes on Maui, and for good reason. It’s located on the northern coast of the island, near the town of Kahului, and it’s a sight to behold. When the waves come crashing into the shore, the water is forced through an underwater lava tube, and when the pressure builds up enough, it shoots out of the blowhole like a geyser. It can reach heights of up to 100 feet! And the admission is free!

But let’s be real, the best part of the Nakalele Blowhole isn’t just watching the water shoot into the air. It’s the sound. When the water shoots out of the blowhole, it makes a loud, thunderous noise that echoes across the coast. It’s like nature’s own sound system!

“Pretty cool scenery but can be a difficult walk for elderly people.”

Now, I have to warn you – as impressive as the Nakalele Blowhole is, it can also be dangerous. The waves and currents in the area can be strong, and there have been accidents in the past. So, if you do decide to visit, please exercise caution and stay a safe distance away.

All in all, the Nakalele Blowhole is a must-see attraction on Maui. It’s a natural wonder that’s sure to leave you in awe, and the sound it makes is unforgettable. So, grab your camera, hold on to your hat, and let’s go check out the Nakalele Blowhole!

Nakalele Blowhole Directions


If you’re traveling from Kapalua to the Nakalele Blowhole, you’ll want to take Highway 30 (also known as the Honoapiilani Highway) towards Kahului. The highway turns into HI-340 (also known as the Kahekili Highway); continue on this road for about 2.4 miles until you see the signs for the Nakalele Blowhole or the Coconut Water Stand.

If you’re traveling from Kahului to the Nakalele Blowhole, you’ll want to take Highway 340 and continue on this road. The parking area is on the right side, about 5 miles north of Kahakuloa; you might see the signs for the Nakalele Blowhole.

I would highly recommend using a GPS or map application on your phone to help navigate, as the roads can be winding and it’s easy to get turned around. Also, please exercise caution when driving on the Kahekili Highway, as it can be narrow and winding in places.

Nakalele Blowhole Trail

Napakele Blowhole from a distance

The Nakalele Blowhole Trail is a short, but scenic, 1.5-mile total out-and-back hiking trail that leads visitors to the famous blowhole on Maui’s northern coast. The trailhead is located off of Highway 340 (also known as the Kahekili Highway) near mile marker 38.5.

The trail starts off with a short downhill section that leads visitors to the rocky coastline. Along the way, you’ll pass by several interesting rock formations, including one that looks like a heart, and another that looks like a dragon’s head. It’s a great opportunity to snap some photos and take in the stunning coastal views.

Once you reach the coast, you’ll be able to see the Nakalele Blowhole in the distance. From here, the trail becomes a bit more rugged, as you’ll need to navigate over rocks and through tide pools to get to the blowhole. Be sure to watch your step and keep an eye on the waves, as they can be unpredictable and dangerous.

When you reach the blowhole, you’ll be treated to an impressive display of water shooting up into the air. As I mentioned before, please exercise caution and stay a safe distance away from the blowhole. It can be tempting to get closer for a better view, but the rocks can be slippery and the waves can be strong.

Overall, the Nakalele Blowhole Trail is a fun and easy hike that offers some of the most breathtaking views on Maui’s northern coast. It’s a great way to get some exercise while also experiencing one of Maui’s most unique natural wonders. Just remember to wear sturdy shoes, bring plenty of water, and exercise caution when navigating the rocks along the coast.

Nakalele Blowhole. October 2019

Things to Know About the Nakalele Blowhole

  1. The Nakalele Blowhole is created by a natural geologic process. As waves crash against the rocky coastline, water is forced into a narrow channel in the rock. This causes a buildup of pressure, which eventually shoots water up through the blowhole.
  2. The blowhole can shoot water up to 100 feet in the air on a particularly strong day.
  3. The area around the blowhole can be dangerous, especially during high tide or rough surf. Visitors should exercise caution and stay a safe distance away from the blowhole.
  4. There are a few legends associated with the Nakalele Blowhole. One legend says that the blowhole was created by a powerful mo’o (Hawaiian dragon) who lived in the area. Another legend says that the blowhole was created by a powerful kahuna (Hawaiian priest).
  5. The surrounding area is also home to several other interesting attractions, including the Olivine Pools, a series of tide pools with crystal-clear water, and the Heart-Shaped Rock, a rock formation that naturally resembles a heart.
  6. Finally, it’s worth noting that there are no facilities at the Nakalele Blowhole trailhead, so visitors should bring their own water and snacks. Also, the trail can be a bit rocky and uneven, so it’s recommended that visitors wear sturdy hiking shoes.
Olivine Pool, Nakalele Blowhole & Kaanapali Beach, Maui

The Olivine Pools of Maui: Visitor Beware

The Olivine Pools are another natural attraction located a few miles south of the Nakalele Blowhole on Maui’s northern coast.

Now, if you’re looking for your typical beach experience, you might want to keep looking. The Olivine Pools are no ordinary swimming spot. These tide pools are formed by volcanic rock and are constantly being shaped by the pounding surf of the Pacific Ocean.


To get to the Olivine Pools, visitors must hike along a rocky and uneven trail that starts near the highway. The trail can be challenging in some places, and visitors should exercise caution and wear sturdy hiking shoes.


Can you swim in the Olivine Pools of Maui?

Once visitors reach the Olivine Pools, they’ll be treated to lava-rock coastline and stunning views of the ocean. The pools are a popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping, but visitors should be aware that the area can be dangerous during high tide or rough surf.

The Olivine Pools are a beautiful and unique natural attraction that are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, even just to admire from a safe distance. Just remember to exercise caution and respect the power of the ocean.

Olivine Pools Trailhead Photos

parking lot and trailhead for the Olivine Pools off Highway 340
Olivine Pools trailhead parking lot

How to Get to the Olivine Pools

The Olivine Pools are located on the northwestern coast of Maui, near the town of Kahakuloa. However, the closest town with more amenities and services is the town of Lahaina, which is about 20 miles away. Visitors can access the pools by taking a rugged dirt road off the Honoapiilani Highway, which connects Lahaina to Kahului.

The road can be challenging to navigate and requires a high-clearance vehicle, so visitors should be prepared and exercise caution when driving.

Directions to the Olivine Pools from three different starting locations:

Directions to the Olivine Pools From Kapalua:

  1. Head north on HI-30 until it turns into HI-340.
  2. Follow HI-340 for about 14 miles, then turn left onto the dirt road just after mile marker 16.
  3. Park in the dirt lot and follow the trail down to the Olivine Pools.

Directions to the Olivine Pools From Kahului:

  1. Head north on HI-340/Waiehu Beach Rd toward Kahakuloa.
  2. Follow HI-340 for about 14 miles, then turn right onto the dirt road just after mile marker 16.
  3. Park in the dirt lot at the side of the road, and follow the trail down to the Olivine Pools.

Directions to the Olivine Pools From the Nakalele Blowhole:

  1. From the parking lot at the Nakalele Blowhole, turn left onto HI-340 toward Kahului.
  2. Follow HI-340 for about 14 miles, then turn left onto the dirt road just after mile marker 16.
  3. Park in the dirt lot and follow the trail down to the Olivine Pools.

Please note that the dirt road to the trailhead can be rough and bumpy, and it’s recommended that visitors use a four-wheel-drive vehicle if possible. Also, the trail down to the Olivine Pools can be rocky and steep in places, so visitors should wear sturdy hiking shoes and exercise caution.

Some Things to Know About the Olivine Pools

One interesting fact about the Olivine Pools is that they are named after the green olivine crystals that can be found in the surrounding rocks. Olivine is a common mineral that is formed from volcanic activity, and it’s often found in the rocks on the Hawaiian Islands.

Another interesting fact is that the Olivine Pools are not actually natural tide pools, but were formed by lava flows from ancient volcanic eruptions. Over time, the waves have eroded the lava rocks, creating the pools we see today.

Visitors to the Olivine Pools might also notice some small yellow flowers growing in the rocks near the pools. These are a rare species of plant called the Maui sandalwood, which is endemic to Hawaii and is highly valued for its fragrant wood.

Are the Olivine Pools Dangerous?

While the Olivine Pools are a popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping, visitors should be aware that the area can be extremely dangerous during high tide or rough surf. There have been reports of visitors being swept out to sea by strong currents, so it’s important to exercise caution and pay attention to warning signs and weather conditions.

Steven Espinoza Memorial at Olivine Pools, Maui

When is the Best Time to Visit the Olivine Pools?

The best time to visit the Olivine Pools in Maui is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is usually drier and the ocean conditions are calmer. This makes it safer for swimming and cliff jumping in the pools, but never let down your guard and do not attempt selfies with your back to the waves.

Visitors should always exercise caution and pay attention to the weather conditions, as the area can still be dangerous during high tide or rough surf.

During the winter months, from December to February, the ocean conditions can be rougher, and the pools may be closed due to dangerous surf or storm conditions. It’s always a good idea to check local authorities, the tide and weather before visiting to ensure that the conditions are safe.

Exploring Maui on Foot: Recommended Walking Routes on Maui

Now that we’ve covered the basics of walkability in Maui, let’s explore some of the best places to walk on the island. From scenic nature trails to historic town centers, Maui offers a variety of walking routes that allow visitors to explore the island’s natural beauty and unique culture. I can guide you through some of the most popular walking routes on the island and provide maps and tips for getting the most out of each one.

Lahaina Historic Trail

Lahaina Historic Trail Map
Lahaina Historic Trail Map

This trail is a great option for visitors who want to learn more about Maui’s history and culture. This 1.5-mile trail takes visitors on a walking tour of Lahaina’s historic landmarks, including the Baldwin Home Museum, Lahaina Courthouse, and the famous Banyan Tree. Along the way, you’ll see several historic landmarks, including the Pioneer Inn, and the Wo Hing Temple Museum. To get the most out of this trail, consider taking a guided tour, which can provide additional insights and context about each location.

Kihei Coastal Trail

Take a long walk on the beach in Kihei

This 2.6-mile path along the coast of Kihei offers stunning ocean views and access to several beaches, parks, and shopping areas.

Ho’okipa Beach Park Walk

This is a short 1.1km out-and-back Ho’okipa Beach Walk that will take you to see some sea turtles along the North Shore of Maui near Paia.

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala Trail Map

This park offers several walking trails that allow visitors to explore the stunning natural beauty of Maui’s interior. The most popular trail is the Halemau’u Trail, which takes visitors through a surreal landscape of volcanic craters and lava rock formations. To get the most out of this trail, plan your visit for early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the light is best for photography and the weather is cooler.

Iao Valley State Park


This park is accessible and offers several short walking trails that allow visitors to explore the lush rainforest and stunning waterfalls of Maui’s interior. The most popular trail is the Iao Needle Lookout Trail, which allows visitors to view the iconic rock formation known as the Iao Needle. To get the most out of this trail, consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying it at the scenic overlook. Easy stroll.

Wailea Beach Path

Wailea Beach Path near the north trailhead
Wailea Beach Path near the north trailhead

This 1.5-mile path (3 miles out and back) takes visitors along the beaches and resorts of Wailea, with access to several restaurants and shopping areas along the way. To get the most out of this path, consider timing your walk to coincide with sunset, when the colors over the ocean are particularly stunning.

Kapalua Coastal Trail

Kapalua Coastal Trail Map
Kapalua Coastal Trail Map

On the northwest coast of Maui, this 1.76-mile trail takes visitors through stunning coastal scenery, including lava rock formations, pristine beaches, and breathtaking ocean views. To get the most out of this trail, consider bringing a pair of binoculars to spot wildlife such as whales and seabirds.

Visitors can also find maps of walking trails in Maui at visitor centers or online, which can help them plan their route and ensure they don’t miss any of the island’s beautiful sights.

Maui’s off-the-beaten-path walking destinations:

There are several destinations on Maui that are especially well-suited for walking. In this section, I will highlight some of the best spots to explore on foot, including popular tourist attractions, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path locations on the island that not many tourists know about. Here are some suggestions:

Launiupoko Beach Park

This beach park is located on Maui’s west coast, just a few miles south of Lahaina. It’s a great spot for a walk on the beach, spending the day at the beach with kids, or for beginners to learn how to surf.

Kula Botanical Garden

This botanical garden is located on Maui’s upcountry, and features a stunning collection of tropical plants and flowers. Visitors can explore several walking trails that take them through the garden’s scenic landscape, including a bamboo forest and a bird sanctuary.

Nakalele Blowhole

This natural wonder known as the Nakalele Blowhole is located on Maui’s north shore, and is a cool but dangerous spot that not many tourists know about (or choose to visit). Visitors can take a short walk to the blowhole (don’t get too close) and watch as waves crash into the rocks, sending a plume of water into the air.

Keanae Botanical Garden

Keanae Arboretum map

The Keanae Arboretum is in the town of Keanae, which is on the eastern coast of the island. The arboretum is part of the state park system and is open to the public for free. It features a variety of native and introduced plant species, including fruit trees, bamboo, and palms. The arboretum has several walking trails, ranging from easy to moderate, which allow visitors to explore the different sections of the garden. Along the way, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about the plants and their significance to Hawaiian culture. The arboretum is also home to several streams and waterfalls, adding to the peaceful and serene atmosphere. Overall, the Keanae Arboretum is a lovely place to go for a walk and immerse oneself in nature while learning about Maui’s plant life.

Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is near Kahului and Maalaea, and offers walking trails around protected wetlands. The refuge is home to a diverse range of bird species, including the endangered Hawaiian stilt and coot. The walking trails are easy to moderate, and visitors can enjoy scenic views of the ocean, wetlands, and mountains. The refuge also has a visitor center with exhibits and educational programs about the wildlife and ecology of the area.

By exploring these hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations on Maui, visitors can discover a side of the island that is often overlooked by tourists, and experience the island’s natural beauty firsthand. Get outside and explore! Want some more adventures?

Is Maui Walkable? Is It Possible to Travel the Island by Foot?

Maui is known as a romantic tourist getaway in beautiful nature, but is it a walkable destination? In this

Aloha and welcome to the beautiful island of Maui! As a traveler and long-time resident of Maui, I know that walking is one of the best ways to explore the island. But is Maui a walkable destination?

Spoiler alert: rent a car to get from town to town on Maui, then explore each area by foot. The island is approximately 48 miles long and 26 miles wide, with a total land area of 727.2 square miles, so unless you are feeling super ambitious and energetic and plan to stay on Maui for a few months, you are not going to want to walk your way across Maui.

In this article, we will explore the various factors that make a destination walkable and examine how Maui measures up. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’ll learn everything you need to know about walking in Maui.

Cheat sheet of Maui towns rated for walkability:

LahainaHighlyLahaina Historic Trail, shops, restaurants, attractions
KiheiModeratelySome sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, spread out in some areas
PaiaVeryCompact downtown, unique shops, restaurants, galleries, beach
KahuluiModeratelySome sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, spread out in some areas
WaileaHighlyMany shops, restaurants, attractions located within easy walking distance, Coastal Walk
KapaluaModeratelySome sidewalks, pedestrian-friendly crossings, hilly terrain in some areas

Walkability factors:

When we talk about walkability, we are referring to several factors that make it easy and safe to walk around a city or town:

  • pedestrian-friendly infrastructure,
  • traffic flow, safety, and
  • access to amenities.

On Maui, we have a unique mix of urban and rural areas, which can make walking challenging in some parts of the island.

Sidewalks: Many towns in Maui have sidewalks that are well-maintained and provide a safe space for pedestrians to walk. Not all areas have sidewalks, particularly in more rural or remote parts of the island, like the East side of Maui.

Crosswalks: Crosswalks are typically marked with painted lines and signage, but it’s important to note that not all drivers in Maui are accustomed to yielding to pedestrians. Visitors should use caution when crossing the street and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Bike lanes: Maui has several bike lanes that provide a safe space for cyclists to ride. However, these lanes are not always separated from vehicle traffic, so visitors should use caution and be aware of their surroundings.

Crime rates: Tourists should be aware that while Maui is generally a safe destination for walking, crime can still occur. Use common sense and take basic safety precautions, such as staying in well-lit areas, walking with a friend or group, and avoiding isolated or unfamiliar areas. It’s always a good idea to carry a map or GPS device and be aware of one’s surroundings. Visitors to Maui can enjoy a safe and enjoyable walking experience by taking appropriate precautions and being aware of their surroundings.

While Maui may not have the same level of pedestrian infrastructure as larger cities, there are still many areas that are safe and enjoyable for walking. Visitors should always be aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

The walkability of Maui:

Maui is home to several towns and cities, each with its own unique character and walking opportunities. Lahaina, Kihei, Paia, Kahului, Wailea, and Kapalua are some of the most popular destinations for tourists. I will guide you through the characteristics of each town so you can make an informed decision about where to explore on foot:

Lahaina: definitely walk around this town

Front Street, Lahaina, Maui
Front Street in Lahaina

Lahaina is a historic town with a charming pedestrian-friendly center, making it a great destination for walking. Visitors can stroll along Front Street and explore the numerous shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Lahaina also offers access to several coastal walking trails, including the Lahaina Historic Trail and the Kapalua Coastal Trail. While some areas of Lahaina are walkable, the town is generally spread out and can be difficult to navigate on foot. Visitors should stick to the Lahaina Historic District, which features several pedestrian-friendly streets and is home to many of Lahaina’s top attractions, including the Baldwin Home Museum and the Wo Hing Museum.

Kihei: walkable beachside town

Kihei has sidewalks and some bike lanes

Kihei is a beachside town with a laid-back vibe, and many of the shops, restaurants, and accommodations are within walking distance of each other. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the beach, or explore the numerous parks and green spaces in the area. The town is relatively flat and is easy to navigate on foot, with several pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks. Visitors can explore several walking trails that take them along Kihei’s beautiful coastline, including the Wailea Beach Path and the Kihei Coastal Trail.

Paia: cute seaside town made for walking

Paia crosswalk
Paia is a cool little town made for walking

Paia is a bohemian town with a thriving arts scene, and visitors can explore the many galleries and boutiques on foot. The town is relatively small and is easy to explore on foot, with several pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks. Visitors can explore Paia’s charming downtown area, which features several shops and restaurants, as well as several nearby beaches containing trails, including Baldwin Beach Park and Ho’okipa Beach Park.

Kahului: sprawling city

Kahului sidewalk
Kahului sidewalk

Kahului is the commercial center of Maui, with many shops and restaurants located within walking distance of each other. Visitors can explore the Maui Mall and the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, or take a stroll through the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. While some areas of Kahului are walkable, the town is generally spread out and can be difficult to navigate on foot. Visitors should stick to the downtown area, which features several pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks, as well as several nearby attractions, including the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and the Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wailea: posh resort area, spread out

wailea beachside path
Wailea beachside trail

Wailea is a resort area with many high-end accommodations, restaurants, and shops. While some areas of Wailea are walkable, the resort area is generally spread out and can be difficult to navigate on foot. Visitors should stick to the Wailea Beach Path, which is a pedestrian-friendly walking trail that takes visitors along the coast and offers stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands.

Kapalua: sprawling resort area

Kapalua is a luxury resort area with many walking trails and access to several beaches. Visitors can explore the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which offers views of the Pacific Ocean and the neighboring islands. While some areas of Kapalua are walkable, the resort area is generally spread out and can be difficult to navigate on foot. Visitors should stick to the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which is a pedestrian-friendly walking trail that takes visitors along the coast and offers stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands.

There are many maps available for walking trails in these areas, including those provided by the Maui Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii State Parks website. Visitors can also consult with local tour operators or rental shops for recommendations on the best walking trails in Maui.

Download a copy of the Maui Driving map here (pdf).

Tips for walking in Maui:

If you’re planning to walk in Maui, adhere to the usual basic considerations to help you make the most of your experience and ensure your safety.

  • Choose comfortable shoes: Walking in Maui often involves uneven terrain and can be strenuous, so it’s important to wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Flip-flops and sandals are not recommended for extended walks unless you live in them.
  • Stay hydrated: The tropical climate in Maui can make walking hot and uncomfortable, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Be sure to bring plenty of water with you, especially if you’re walking in more remote areas.
  • Use sun protection: A hat and sunglasses can help protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s strong rays. You should also avoid walking during the hottest part of the day (typically midday) to minimize your sun exposure and heat exhaustion.
  • Plan your route: This may seem basic, but before setting out on a walk, plan your route carefully and ensure that it’s safe and feasible, and let somebody know where you plan to walk. Avoid walking on busy roads without sidewalks, and be aware of any potential hazards along the way.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, especially if you’re out walking by yourself. Keep an eye out for cars, bikes, and other pedestrians, and be mindful of any potential hazards such as uneven pavement or slippery surfaces. Do not walk in unfamiliar areas with earbuds in your ears.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: When walking through Maui’s towns and villages, be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress appropriately, avoid loud or disruptive behavior, and be mindful of any cultural practices or customs.

Alternative transportation options:

Walking isn’t the only way to explore Maui. Public transportation, car rentals, biking, and ride-sharing services are all popular options.


Maui is a walkable destination, but the level of walkability varies depending on where you are on the island. I recommend renting a car and driving to each little town on the Island, and exploring each area by foot.

Whether you’re looking to get some exercise, experience Maui’s natural beauty, or immerse yourself in the local culture, walking is a great way to do it. I hope this article has provided you with the information you need to make the most of your walking experience in Maui.

Discovering Maui’s Walking Wonders: Is It Possible to Travel the Island by Foot? FAQs:

What should I bring and wear when walking in Maui?

Be sure to bring plenty of water, comfortable walking shoes, and a hat or sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in light layers, as the temperature can vary throughout the day.

Are there any guided walking tours available in Maui?

Yes, there are several guided walking tours available on Maui. These tours offer a unique and informative way to explore the island’s natural and cultural attractions.

  • Haleakala National Park Guided Tours – This tour takes visitors on a hike through the Haleakala Crater, the largest dormant volcano on Maui. Visitors will learn about the geology, flora, and fauna of the area and experience breathtaking views. The tour is led by a knowledgeable guide and lasts approximately 3-4 hours.
  • Lahaina Historic Walking Tour – This tour takes visitors on a stroll through the historic town of Lahaina, which was once a bustling whaling village. Visitors will learn about the town’s history, architecture, and culture while visiting landmarks such as the Lahaina Courthouse, the Baldwin Home Museum, and the Wo Hing Temple Museum.
  • Maui Ocean Center Guided Tour – This tour takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes look at the Maui Ocean Center, which is home to thousands of marine animals. Visitors will learn about the center’s conservation efforts, as well as the behavior and biology of the animals that live there.
  • Iao Valley Guided Tour – This tour takes visitors on a hike through the lush Iao Valley, which is home to the Iao Needle, a 1,200-foot rock formation. Visitors will learn about the area’s history and significance, as well as the native plants and animals that live there.

Are there any walking tours that focus on food or drink in Maui?

Yes, there are several walking tours in Maui that focus on food and drink, including tours of local farms, breweries, and wineries.

Can I walk to all the major tourist attractions on Maui?

No, some attractions are located in remote areas that are not easily accessible by foot. It’s best to research the specific attractions you want to visit and plan accordingly.

Are there any hiking trails in Maui?

Yes, there are several hiking trails in Maui that offer scenic views of the island’s natural beauty. However, some trails can be challenging and require a certain level of fitness and experience, so it’s important to research the trail before embarking on it.

Can I walk to the beach in Maui?

In some areas, depending on your accommodations, yes. However, many of the popular beaches on Maui are located near hotels and resorts, and if you are not staying at these resorts, some of the beaches are not be easily accessible on foot. It’s best to research the beach you want to visit and plan accordingly.

Are there any walking events or races held in Maui?

Yes, there are several walking events and races held in Maui throughout the year, including the Maui Oceanfront Marathon (5k to marathons).

What is the best time of day to walk in Maui?

The best time of day to walk in Maui is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when temperatures are cooler. It’s also a good idea to avoid walking during the hottest part of the day, which is typically between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

Can I walk to the top of Haleakala?

Yes, visitors can hike to the summit of Haleakala, but be prepared for the challenging terrain and high altitude. Visitors must obtain a permit to enter the park and hike to the summit.

How can I find the best walking routes in Maui?

There are several resources available for finding the best walking routes in Maui, including online travel guides, hiking and walking maps, and local tourism offices. It’s also a good idea to ask locals for their recommendations and insights into the best places to explore on foot.

Is it possible to walk from town to town in Maui?

Yes, it is possible to walk from town to town in Maui, but the distance between some towns can be quite far, even to bike. Unless you’re on Maui to break some records, your time is better spent enjoying the destination instead of taking hours to get from place to place. It’s best to research the specific towns you want to visit and plan accordingly, or consider taking a shuttle or public transportation if walking is not feasible and you don’t have a car.

Are there any pedestrian-only areas in Maui?

There are a few pedestrian-friendly but not pedestrian-only areas in Maui, including the Lahaina Front Street and the Paia Town Center. These areas offer a unique and enjoyable walking experience with wide boardwalks and plenty of hustle and bustle (while still somehow retaining a relaxing atmosphere).

Is it safe to walk alone in Maui? What are some safety tips for walking in Maui?

While Maui is generally a safe destination, it’s important to take precautions as you would anywhere else. Some safety tips for walking in Maui include being aware of your surroundings, sticking to well-lit and pedestrian-friendly areas, and avoiding walking alone at night. It’s also important to carry a mobile phone with you and let someone know where you’re going.

Are there any walking trails that are suitable for families with children?

There are several walking trails in Maui that are suitable for families with children, including the Kapalua Coastal Trail. It’s important to research the trail beforehand and ensure that it is suitable for your family’s fitness level and experience.

Are there any walking trails that are wheelchair accessible?

There are several walking trails in Maui that are wheelchair accessible, including the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and the Lahaina Historic Trail.

Can I rent bicycles or scooters to explore Maui?

There are several rental companies in Maui that offer bicycles and scooters for rent.

Are there any guided walking tours that focus on Maui’s history and culture?

Yes, there are several guided walking tours in Maui that focus on the island’s rich history and cultural heritage, including tours of historic towns like Lahaina and guided nature walks in Haleakala National Park.

What is the weather like for walking in Maui?

The weather in Maui is generally warm and sunny, but temperatures can vary depending on the time of year and the location on the island. Dress in layers for the weather and wear a bathing suit underneath if you feel like taking a dip in a waterfall or the ocean. The weather in Maui is generally warm and sunny, making it a great destination for walking year-round, but visitors should be aware of the potential for rain or high winds in certain areas, particularly during the winter months.

Can I bring my dog with me when walking in Maui?

While some walking trails in Maui allow dogs, research the specific trail ahead of time and abide by local regulations. Goes without saying but I’m saying it: dogs should also be kept on a leash and owners should clean up after their pets.

Are there any walking trails that offer views of Maui’s waterfalls?

Yes, there are several walking trails in Maui that offer scenic views of the island’s waterfalls, including the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park and the Waihee Valley Trail.

What are some of the most popular walking trails in Maui?

Some of the most popular walking trails in Maui include the Kapalua Coastal Trail, the Waihee Ridge Trail, and the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park. The latter two are actually hikes, not so much strolls.

Can I walk on the beaches in Maui?

Yes, visitors are permitted to walk on most of the beaches in Maui. However, it’s important to be aware of local regulations and respect private property.

Should I rent a car when visiting Maui?

Renting a car is a popular option for visitors to Maui, as it offers more flexibility and convenience when exploring the island. As anywhere, traffic can be congested in certain areas, particularly during peak tourist season. Visitors should also be prepared to navigate winding roads and steep inclines, particularly on the Road to Hana. It’s recommended to make reservations in advance and to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations before renting a car.

While Maui may not be completely walkable, there are still many areas that can be explored on foot. With proper planning and awareness of safety considerations, visitors can enjoy a variety of walking opportunities, from scenic coastal trails to urban exploration.

Discovering the Secrets of Maui’s Unique Trees and Plants

Welcome to Maui, a land that is much more than meets the eye. One of the most fascinating aspects of Maui’s ecosystem is its trees and plants, which have been thriving on the island for centuries.

Let’s look at some of the most interesting and unique trees and plants found on Maui, from ancient trees with rich cultural significance to rare and endemic plant species that can only be found on this island.

We will delve into the medicinal and practical uses of these plants, as well as their role in Hawaiian history and folklore. We will also discuss the environmental challenges facing Maui’s flora and efforts to preserve and protect this precious resource.

Ancient Trees of Maui

If you’re a fan of ancient and majestic trees, you’ll be pleased to know that Maui is home to some of the oldest and most impressive trees in the world.

These trees are not only a sight to behold, but they also hold great cultural significance to the Hawaiian people.

Banyan Tree

banyan tree on the pipiwai trail
Banyan tree, this one on the Pipiwai trail

One of the most notable trees on Maui is the banyan tree, a symbol of longevity and strength in Hawaiian culture. The banyan tree can be found in Lahaina (even after the odd fires there), where it has been growing for over 150 years. With its sprawling branches and massive trunk, the banyan tree is an impressive sight and a popular tourist attraction.

The Banyan Tree is a fascinating and impressive species that has been introduced to Maui from India. It is an evergreen tree that belongs to the fig family and is renowned for its remarkable aerial roots. These roots originate from the branches and grow downward, taking root in the soil and developing into a new trunk. This process results in a network of interconnected trunks that can give the impression of a small forest.

The Banyan Tree’s aerial root system provides the tree with a robust support system that allows it to withstand strong winds and storms. Its canopy can spread up to 200 feet, providing abundant shade and a cool environment. It is not uncommon to see people gathered beneath the tree’s shelter for picnics, weddings, and other events.

In Hawaiian culture, the Banyan Tree is a symbol of protection and is often associated with spirituality. This could be due to the tree’s impressive size and ability to provide refuge and shelter. The Banyan Tree has also been used as a backdrop in various movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

rainbow eucalyptus
Rainbow Eucalyptus

Another tree of note is the Rainbow Eucalyptus, which is famous for its strikingly colorful bark that features shades of green, blue, and purple. Native to the Philippines, this tree can also be found on Maui, where it adds a vibrant pop of color to the island’s already stunning landscape.

It gets its name from the stunning colors that can be seen on its bark. The bark can have different shades of green, blue, purple, orange, and even maroon, which creates a beautiful rainbow-like effect.

One of the reasons the Rainbow Eucalyptus has such a unique appearance is because the bark peels off in strips, revealing a new layer of fresh bark underneath. Each layer has a different color, which creates the colorful and eye-catching effect.

The Rainbow Eucalyptus is not just beautiful to look at, it also has practical uses. The tree is commonly used for making paper, as well as for producing essential oils. The oils have medicinal properties and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as treating coughs and colds.

Despite its beauty and usefulness, the Rainbow Eucalyptus can also be a bit controversial. It is not native to Hawaii and has been known to cause problems for the environment. The tree can grow very quickly and can take over an area, which can be harmful to other plants and animals that rely on that area for their survival.

The tree thrives in tropical climates with lots of rainfall and can be found in parts of Maui that have these conditions. However, it is important to note that the Rainbow Eucalyptus is considered an invasive species in Hawaii, which means that it can have a negative impact on the local ecosystem.

Cook Pine

cook pine tree, maui
Cook pine on Maui

Lastly, we have the Cook pine, a tree with a peculiar shape that resembles a giant lollipop. This distinctive tree is a favorite of landscapers on Maui, who often use it to add a touch of elegance to gardens and public spaces.

The Cook Pine is a tall and slender tree that is commonly found in many parts of Maui and other tropical regions around the world. It has a distinctive look with long, straight branches that grow upward and thin, needle-like leaves that grow in clusters. The tree is often used in landscaping and can be seen lining roads or used to create hedges.

One interesting thing about the Cook Pine is that it is not native to Hawaii. It was brought to the islands by Captain Cook, who was a famous explorer and navigator, during his travels in the 1700s. The tree was originally from a different part of the world, but it has since been introduced to many tropical regions, including Hawaii.

The Cook Pine is a hardy tree that can tolerate a range of temperatures and weather conditions. It is also relatively low-maintenance, which makes it a popular choice for landscaping. However, like with any non-native species, it is important to be careful about planting too many Cook Pines in one area, as they can have an impact on the local ecosystem.

Rare and Endemic Plants of Maui and the Hawaiian Islands

  • The exotic-looking Lobelia niihauensis and its endangered status
  • The Haleakalā Silversword and its adaptation to harsh environmental conditions
  • The one-of-a-kind Maui Loa Wiliwili tree and its connection to Hawaiian mythology

Hawaii is home to a variety of plant species that are found nowhere else in the world. These rare and endemic plants are a testament to the unique and diverse ecosystem of the island.

Lobelia niihauensis
Lobelia niihauensis

One of the most fascinating examples of the Hawaiian Islands’ endemic plants is the Lobelia niihauensis, a stunning plant with bright red, trumpet-shaped flowers that can only be found on the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Sadly, this plant is endangered, with only a few hundred individuals left in the wild.

Haleakalā Silversword
Haleakalā Silversword

An endemic plant of Maui is the Haleakalā Silversword, a succulent plant that is found only on the slopes of Haleakalā, Maui’s highest peak. This plant is adapted to harsh environmental conditions and has a unique appearance with silver-colored leaves that form a rosette shape.

Maui Loa Wiliwili tree
Maui Loa Wiliwili

There is also the Maui Loa Wiliwili, a tree that has a special place in Hawaiian mythology and is considered sacred by some Hawaiians. This tree has striking orange flowers and a gnarled trunk that adds character to Maui’s landscape.

Let’s delve further into the world of Maui’s rare and endemic plants, learn about their adaptations and characteristics, and discuss the importance of protecting these unique species.

Medicinal and Useful Plants of Maui

  • Introduction to plants used for medicinal and other practical purposes
  • The Noni fruit and its potential health benefits
  • The versatile and eco-friendly Kukui nut tree
  • The history and importance of the Ti leaf in Hawaiian culture

The plants of Maui are not only beautiful and unique, but they also have practical and medicinal uses that have been recognized by the Hawaiian people for centuries.

Join us as we explore the practical and medicinal uses of Maui’s plants, learn about their traditional applications, and discuss their potential for modern-day use.

Noni fruit

One such plant is the Noni, also known as Indian Mulberry, which has a long history of use in traditional Hawaiian medicine. The Noni fruit is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat a variety of ailments, including infections and joint pain.

kavaplant 1
Kava plant. Photo from

Another plant with medicinal properties is the Kava plant, which is known for its relaxing and anxiety-reducing effects. Kava is consumed as a drink in traditional ceremonies and social gatherings and is also available in supplement form.

Ti plant, Maui. Photo from

Maui’s plants also have practical uses, such as the Ti plant, which is used to make baskets, mats, and even clothing. The leaves of the Ti plant are long and sturdy, making them ideal for weaving.

Trees and Plants in Hawaiian History and Culture

  • Overview of the significance of trees and plants in Hawaiian culture
  • The legend of the Kukui tree and its role in Hawaiian creation myth
  • The use of plants in traditional Hawaiian medicine and healing practices
  • The sacredness of the Ohia Lehua tree and its importance in Hawaiian folklore

The trees and plants of Maui hold a special significance in Hawaiian history and culture, with a rich legacy of traditional knowledge and practices that continue to this day.

In Hawaiian culture, plants and trees are seen as living beings with their own unique spirit, or mana. From the towering Koa tree to the delicate Lehua blossom, each plant and tree is revered for its beauty and its role in the natural world.

Kukui tree

One of the most famous legends in Hawaiian mythology involves the Kukui tree, which is said to have played a key role in the creation of the islands. According to legend, the god Lono gave the first Kukui tree to the Hawaiian people, and its oil was used for light and healing purposes.

Kalo plants, also known as taro, are a staple in the Hawaiian diet

Plants also play an important role in traditional Hawaiian medicine, with many species used for their healing properties. The Kalo plant (taro), for example, is a staple of the Hawaiian diet and is also used for medicinal purposes, with the leaves and root used to treat a variety of ailments.

Ohia Lehua blossoms

The Ohia Lehua tree is another important plant in Hawaiian folklore, with a special place in Hawaiian mythology and culture. The tree is revered for its beauty and is often associated with love and romance, with its bright red blossoms representing the passion and love shared between two people.

Exotic and Unusual Trees of Maui

  • Overview of unique and surprising tree species found in Maui
  • The mystical-looking Monkeypod tree and its popularity in Hawaiian landscaping
  • The bizarre-looking Buddha’s Hand tree and its intriguing fruit
  • The stunning Jacaranda tree and its short-lived beauty

Maui is home to a stunning array of exotic and unusual trees that are sure to fascinate any nature lover.

From the mystical-looking Monkeypod to the bizarre-looking Buddha’s Hand, these trees are sure to capture the imagination of any nature lover.

One of the most striking trees on the island is the previously mentioned Rainbow Eucalyptus, with its vibrant bark that changes colors as it sheds. This tropical tree is native to the Philippines but has found a new home on the island, with its colorful bark making it a popular choice for landscaping and decorative purposes.

Jacaranda tree blossoms in vibrant purple. Photo by James Petruzzi

Another tree that is sure to catch the eye is the Jacaranda, with its stunning display of purple blossoms in the springtime. This South American native has thrived on Maui and can be seen lining many of the island’s streets and avenues.

Another previously mentioned and recognizable tree on Maui is the Monkeypod tree. This is a popular choice for Hawaiian landscaping, with its large canopy providing ample shade and its gnarled trunk giving it a mystical appearance. This tree is native to Central and South America but has been introduced to Hawaii, where it has thrived in the island’s warm and humid climate.

Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata)

For those looking for something truly unique, the Baobab tree is a must-see. This African native has a distinctive shape, with a swollen trunk that can store water and support the tree during droughts. The Baobab tree is also known for its nutritious fruit, which is high in Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.

Buddha’s Hand tree with its fingerlike fruit

Another unusual tree found on Maui is the Buddha’s Hand tree, named for its fruit that resembles a hand with elongated fingers. This tree is native to India and China but has been cultivated in Hawaii for its unique fruit and aromatic flowers. The fruit is not typically eaten but is used for its zest, which has a distinctive citrus flavor and is popular in cocktails and other culinary uses.

Threats to Maui’s Trees and Plants

Despite their beauty and importance, Maui’s trees and plants are facing a number of environmental challenges that threaten their survival.

One of the biggest threats is the loss of habitat due to urbanization and development. As more and more land is cleared for housing, resorts, and other commercial ventures, the natural habitats of Maui’s plants and trees are shrinking.

In addition to habitat loss, invasive species pose a significant threat to Maui’s native flora. Non-native species, such as the strawberry guava and the Australian tree fern, can out-compete native plants for resources and disrupt the delicate balance of the island’s ecosystem.

One particularly destructive invasive species on Maui is the Miconia plant, which can grow up to 50 feet tall and produce up to 1 million seeds per year, crowding out other plants and depriving native species of sunlight and nutrients.

The natural cycle of climate change is another major threat to Maui’s trees and plants. As temperatures rise and rainfall patterns shift, the island’s plant life may struggle to adapt. Rising sea levels can also lead to saltwater intrusion, which can be deadly to many species of trees and plants.

Human activities such as deforestation, development, and pollution can also have a negative impact on Maui’s trees and plants. Deforestation can lead to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and decreased water quality. Development can disrupt natural habitats and fragment ecosystems, making it difficult for wildlife to thrive. Pollution can also have a harmful effect on trees and plants (and people), particularly air pollution which can cause damage to leaves and inhibit photosynthesis.

It is important that we take steps to protect Maui’s trees and plants, preserving the island’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.


Maui’s trees and plants are an integral part of the island’s natural beauty, providing a lush and vibrant landscape that draws visitors from around the world. From the towering Koa trees to the colorful Jacaranda blooms, these species are a testament to the island’s rich history and culture.

However, as we’ve seen, these trees and plants also face a range of threats to their survival, from invasive species to climate change and human activities. It is up to all of us to do our part in protecting these vital components of Maui’s ecosystem.

By taking steps to control invasive species, we can help ensure that Maui’s trees and plants continue to thrive for generations to come. Let’s work together to preserve the natural beauty of Maui and all the wonders it has to offer.


  • What is the most unique tree found in Maui?
  • How can I help protect Maui’s trees and plants?
  • Are there any endangered plant species found only in Maui?
  • What role do trees and plants play in Hawaiian culture?
  • How is climate change affecting Maui’s flora?

Q: What is the most common tree species found in Maui?

A: The most common tree species found in Maui is the coconut palm, which is widely cultivated for its fruit and has become a symbol of tropical paradise.

Q: Are there any endangered tree species in Maui?

A: Yes, there are several tree species in Maui that are considered endangered, including the Maui sandalwood and the Hawaiian holly.

Q: Are there any endangered plant species found only in Maui?

A: Yes, there are several plant species in Maui that are considered endangered and found nowhere else in the world, including the Maui silversword and the Ka`uiki Head Hairy-fern.

Q: What is the most unique tree found in Maui?

A: Arguably one of the most unique trees found in Maui is the Monkeypod tree, with its distinctive, umbrella-like canopy and gnarled, twisting branches.

Q: How can I help protect Maui’s trees and plants?

A: There are many ways to help protect Maui’s trees and plants, including volunteering with local conservation groups, supporting sustainable development practices, and avoiding the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals in your own backyard.

Q: What role do trees and plants play in Hawaiian culture?

A: Trees and plants play a significant role in Hawaiian culture, serving as symbols of the island’s natural beauty and as important sources of food, medicine, and building materials. Many Hawaiian legends and creation myths also feature trees and plants as key characters.

Q: Can I bring plants or seeds back from Maui?

A: It is generally not recommended to bring plants or seeds back from Maui, as they may be carriers of invasive species that could harm native ecosystems in other parts of the world.

Q: Are there any hiking trails on Maui where I can see rare trees and plants?

A: Yes, there are many hiking trails on Maui that offer the opportunity to see rare trees and plants. The Haleakala National Park and the West Maui Forest Reserve are two popular destinations for nature enthusiasts.

Q: How is climate change affecting Maui’s flora?

A: Climate change is affecting Maui’s flora in a number of ways, including changes in rainfall patterns, rising temperatures, and more frequent extreme weather events. These changes can lead to shifts in plant distributions, altered growth patterns, and increased stress on already vulnerable species.

Q: How can I help protect Maui’s trees and plants?

A: There are many ways to help protect Maui’s trees and plants, including volunteering with local conservation groups, supporting sustainable development practices, and avoiding the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals in your own backyard.

Q. Where is the oldest tree in Maui?

A. Lahaina Banyan Court Park is home of the oldest living Banyan Tree on Maui. The tree is over 150 years old. You will also find the old Lahaina Courthouse which now houses the Lahaina Arts Council and the Lahaina Historic Society. Many activities take place at this historical site throughout the year.

The banyan tree is located close to the port in the historical Lahaina town, which was the former capital of Hawaii. It is the oldest banyan tree in Hawaii. The banyan tree, received as a gift by the Smith family in the 1870s, was planted on April 24, 1873, at Lahaina by William Owen Smith, the then sheriff of Lahaina.

Q. What Is Maui’s Flower?

The official flower of Maui is the Lokelani, also known as the Pink Cattleya Orchid or the “Rose of Hawaii.” The Lokelani is a species of orchid that is native to the Hawaiian Islands and is known for its beautiful pink flowers. The flower is often used in leis and other traditional Hawaiian cultural practices, and it is also a popular symbol of the island of Maui. The Lokelani is celebrated each year at the Lokelani Festival, which is held in honor of the flower and its cultural significance. The festival typically includes live music, hula dancing, food, and other traditional Hawaiian cultural activities.

Q. Where to Find the Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees?

These Rainbow Trees are located in an area next to the Hana Highway just past mile marker 6.5. There is no visitor parking lot here so you’ll need to park along the road whenever you see some space. Also see them sprinkled throughout the Island and at Hosmer Grove on the way up to Haleakala Crater.

Snakes on Maui, Hawaii? What You Need to Know

There are no native snakes in Hawaii.

Despite the strict regulations in place to prevent snakes from being brought to the islands, they still manage to find their way to places like Maui; any snake sightings on the islands are most likely the result of a snake catching a ride on a person or cargo shipment, or a pet owner releasing their snake into the wild.

While most snakes that are sometimes spotted on the island are harmless, they all can pose a threat to the local ecosystem. The most common snake accidentally imported to Maui is the brown tree snake (from Guam), so shipments from that island are closely scrutinized.

What should you do if you encounter a snake on Maui, and how can yo help to prevent non-native snakes from being introduced to the island in the first place?

How Do Snakes End Up on Maui?

Snakes can make their way to Maui in a few different ways. One way is through cargo ships, which can unknowingly transport snakes that are stowaways in cargo containers. Another way is through irresponsible pet owners who release their pet snakes into the wild when they no longer want to care for them. Both of these scenarios can result in non-native snakes being introduced to the Hawaiian islands, which can have serious consequences.

The Hawaiian government has strict laws prohibiting the importation of snakes, but irresponsible pet owners continue to ignore these laws, leading to an increasing number of snakes being found on the islands.

What Types of Snakes Have Been Sighted on Maui?

In the waters around Maui, you might, if you are VERY LUCKY (or not) spot an invasive eel-like snake (poisonous to humans) called the yellow-bellied sea snake. You don’t want to approach this eel, as its bite is venomous and will hurt and cause you problems.

yellow-bellied sea snake

On a less-ominous note, if you garden on Maui or happen to look closely at the forest floor amongst some leaves, you might mistake a small blind snake called the brahminy snake for a worm. This blind snake is harmless to humans, so don’t worry about it; it eats ants and small insects that happen to walk into it. Try not to step on one of these little guys while you’re out hiking.

But as for usual land snakes most think of when they think of snakes, the Hawaiian islands are home to none. Zip. Nada. So if you do spot a snake, that’s a big deal.

common blind brahminy snake

Why Does Hawaii Lack Snakes?

Hawaii is the only state in the United States that does not have any native snake species, due to Hawaii’s isolation and lack of land connections to other parts of the world. It is a special zone of special flora and fauna. This has allowed for unique and distinct ecosystems to evolve on the islands, free from the potential disruptions that non-native snakes could cause. Diversity is not always a strength; if every area were diverse, everywhere would be the same.

Consequences of Snakes on Maui

The introduction of non-native snakes to Hawaii can have serious consequences and far-reaching effects. Snakes have the potential to prey on native bird species, disrupt the food chain, and impact the natural balance of the local ecosystem. Some species of snakes, such as the Burmese python, can pose a threat to human safety.

Snakes are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything they can catch: rodents, lizards, birds… some larger snakes, such as the Burmese python, can even consume small mammals like rabbits, squirrels, and wild chickens.

Snakes Let Loose by Irresponsible Pet Owners?

As mentioned earlier, most of the snakes found on Maui are likely the result of stowaways on cargo shipments, not pet owners releasing their snakes into the wild, since owning a snake as a pet is illegal in Hawaii.

Burmese python
The Burmese python can get quite large. Let’s just say you’d notice it.

Some of the snake species found on Maui include the brown tree snake, ball python, corn snake, garter snake, and Burmese python. Non-native snakes such as the brown tree snake in particular can prey on endangered bird species and be exceptionally devastating to the ecosystem.

Funny Snake Stories on Hawaii

While snakes on Maui are no laughing matter, there are some amusing snake stories from Hawaii. One such story involves a snake that hitchhiked from Florida to Maui in a backpack, unbeknownst to the traveler. The snake was discovered by a surprised homeowner, who promptly called animal control.

Encounters with Snakes in Hawaii

While most snake encounters in Hawaii are harmless, some can be dangerous. The Burmese python, for example, is a large and potentially dangerous snake that has been found on Maui. These snakes are not native to Hawaii and have no natural predators, making them a significant threat to the local ecosystem. If you encounter a snake on Maui, it’s essential to keep your distance and contact Maui pest control immediately — the statewide pest hotline is 643-PEST (808-643-7378).’s instructions: “If you have observed and are reporting a snake, contact the police at 911 immediately!”

Spiders of Maui: Bits and Bites

Maui is home to several species of spiders, both native and introduced.

One of the most common species is the Hawaiian garden spider (Argiope appensa), which can be identified by its distinctive yellow and black markings. These spiders are often found in gardens and wooded areas, where they spin large webs to catch insects.

Another common spider found on Maui is the long-jawed orb weaver (Tetragnatha spp.), which is known for its long, thin legs and small body. These spiders are often found near water sources, such as streams and ponds, where they build their webs to catch flying insects.

The cane spider (Heteropoda venatoria) is another species that is commonly found on Maui. These large, brown spiders are often seen indoors and can be quite startling to encounter; I know because I almost stuck my hand on one while doing laundry outside near some shaded bricks. However, cane spiders (though large) are generally harmless to humans and actually help to control populations of other insects.

Hawaiian cane spider, photo from pinterest
Hawaiian cane spider. This is a huge specimen, most aren’t this large.

There are also several introduced species of spiders on Maui, such as the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) and the golden orb weaver (Nephila clavipes). While these spiders are not native to Hawaii, they have become established on the islands and can be found in various habitats.

While some species of spiders on Maui may look intimidating, the vast majority are harmless to humans. Whenever I’m hiking or moving piles of wood, I remain cautious and avoid disturbing spiders or their webs, as some species may bite if provoked. I’d rather not chance an owie.

Which Spiders on Maui Are Potentially Dangerous to Humans?

female black widow black widow spider
Brown widow spider. Half the size but double the venom; better?

While most species of spiders on Maui are harmless to humans, there are a few that can be potentially dangerous. The two most notable species are the black widow (Latrodectus mactans), brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), and potentially the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), all of which are not native to Hawaii but can be accidentally introduced.

Black widows are shiny black spiders with a distinctive red hourglass-shaped marking on their abdomen. Their bite can cause a range of symptoms, including muscle pain, cramping, and sweating, and in severe cases, can be fatal. However, black widow bites are relatively rare on Maui.

Brown recluse spiders are brown spiders with a distinctive violin-shaped marking on their back. Their bite can cause necrosis, or tissue death, which can be slow to heal and may require medical attention. Brown recluse spiders are not commonly found on Maui, but they have been reported in isolated instances.

Brown recluse
Recluse spider, sometimes spotted on Maui but not established there.

It’s important to note that while these spiders can be potentially dangerous, bites are still relatively rare on Maui. Visitors can reduce their risk of encountering these spiders by avoiding dark, undisturbed areas where spiders may be hiding, wearing protective clothing when hiking or exploring natural areas, and shaking out clothing and shoes before putting them on.

Spider Bites: Risks and What to Do

There are many species of spiders found throughout Hawaii, including Maui. While most spiders are harmless and important to the island ecosystem, there are a few species that you should be aware of that may pose a risk to humans. In this guide, we’ll provide you with information on the spiders to watch out for, their symptoms, and tips on how to prevent spider bites.

Spider Species to Watch Out For

The Southern Black Widow and Brown Widow spiders are two species of concern that are found in Hawaii. Their bites can be dangerous and require medical attention. The Brown Widow spider is a little smaller than the Black Widow spider but its venom is twice as potent. However, Brown Widows are generally less aggressive in defending their webs. The Bold or Daring Jumping Spider is another spider to be cautious of, as its bite is painful and may produce redness, swelling, and blistering.

Symptoms of Spider Bites

Symptoms of a spider bite can range from mild to severe, depending on the species of spider and the individual’s reaction to the venom. Symptoms may include itching or rash, pain radiating from the site of the bite, muscle pain or cramping, reddish to purplish color or blister, increased sweating, difficulty breathing, headache, nausea and vomiting, fever, chills, anxiety or restlessness, and high blood pressure.

Spider Bite Prevention

To reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous spiders, you can take preventative measures. This includes:

  • removing spider webs from around your home,
  • sealing any cracks or openings around your home and installing window screens,
  • wearing protective clothing when handling piles of materials or rocks,
  • eliminating tall grasses and reducing debris and rubble from outdoor work areas,
  • and inspecting and shaking out clothing and shoes before getting dressed. I always check my shoes before sticking my foot in there (thanks, Arachnophobia movie).

What to Do if Bitten by a Spider

If bitten by a spider, it’s important to stay calm and identify the type of spider if it is possible to do so safely.

Wash the bite area with soap and water, apply a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice to the bite area to reduce swelling, and elevate the bite area if possible. [source]

Do not attempt to remove venom and seek professional medical attention immediately.

While spider bites are rare, it’s important to be aware of the few species of spiders that may pose a risk to humans while on Maui. By taking preventative measures and knowing what to do if bitten, you can help protect yourself and enjoy all the beauty and adventure that Maui has to offer. Mahalo!

Are There Spiders on Maui That Jump?

There are several species of brown jumping spiders that can be found on Maui, but one of the most common is the bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax). This spider is native to North America but has become naturalized in many parts of the world, including Hawaii.
Bold jumping spider.

The bold jumping spider is named for its ability to jump great distances, often several times its own body length. They are typically brown or black with white or yellow markings on their body and legs. The males are usually smaller than the females, with a body length of around ½ inch.

Bold jumping spiders are active hunters and prey on a variety of insects, including flies, moths, and other spiders. Most jumping spiders are poisonous, but they carry venom in minimal doses that won’t cause much harm to humans beyond an initial sting and some redness at the site of the bite.

These spiders are commonly found in gardens, parks, and other outdoor areas, where they can be seen perched on leaves or other surfaces, waiting for prey to come by. They are also known for their curious behavior and can be observed approaching and investigating humans who come near them.

Overall, the bold jumping spider is a fascinating and harmless species that can be appreciated for its beauty and interesting behavior.

Some Facts About Spiders on Maui

  • Giant webs appearing in yards upcountry in Hawaii are feats of engineering by spiders.
  • The spotted orb weaver, an introduced spider, is one of approximately 205 species of spiders in Hawaii.
  • There are an estimated 77 introduced spider species, which arrived in Hawaii accidentally or unknowingly over the last few hundred years.

Native Spiders in Hawaii

  • All 126 species of spiders native to Hawaii are endemic and found nowhere else in the world.
  • Native spiders colonized the islands by drifting here on the wind courtesy of the tiny spider parachutes attached to their young.
  • Happy face spiders are one of the most famous native spiders; they live in remote rainforests tucked under a leaf.
happy face spider of Maui
The happy face spider of Maui.

Introduced Spiders in Hawaii

  • The impact of introduced spiders like the orb weaver seems to be negligible, and they are not particularly venomous.
  • The presence of introduced spiders may contribute to an imbalance in the invertebrate food webs.
  • Cane spiders, garden spiders, spiny backed orb-weavers, and false funnel spiders are common introduced spiders in Hawaii that live among houses and gardens.
  • Black widow spiders and the brown violin spider are both present in Hawaii and fairly widespread and dangerous.
  • All spiders have a venomous bite, but only a few introduced arachnids are harmful.
  • The introduced spiders in Hawaii are too widespread to be controlled by any organization or agency.


  • Strong and well-funded inspection of incoming cargo can help stop harmful spiders (and snakes) from arriving in Hawaii.
  • Interested individuals can find good information and identification help for common spiders online.

There are several websites that people can use to identify spiders and spider bites:

Fact or Fiction: Nothing Poisonous on Maui?

Maui, also known as “The Valley Isle,” is a popular destination for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation. But with the abundance of nature, comes the potential for danger.

In this article, we will explore the question of whether there is anything poisonous on Maui or if it’s just a myth.

The Truth about Poisonous Creatures on Maui


One of the most commonly feared poisonous creatures is snakes. Fortunately, there are no native snakes on Maui. The only snakes you might come across are pets or snakes that have been accidentally introduced to the island. These are usually non-venomous and pose no threat to humans.


Brown recluse spider. Not native to Maui, but sometimes spotted.

Like snakes, there are no native spiders on Maui that are poisonous to humans. However, there are a few species of spiders that are venomous, including the black widow spider, brown widow spider, and sometimes even a brown recluse spider. While brown recluse spiders are rare on the island, they have been found in shipments of goods and equipment, so it’s best to be cautious.


Maui is home to a variety of insects, but the majority of them are harmless to humans. However, there are a few that can be venomous or cause allergic reactions, including the centipede and the bee.

If you are stung by a bee, try to remove the stinger immediately (suck it out and spit out the venom, or use tweezers to grab the stinger if you can) and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling, or hives.

Marine Life

The waters surrounding Maui are home to several species of marine life, some of which can be venomous or poisonous. The most well-known of these is the box jellyfish, which can cause a painful sting. (If stung by the Hawaiian box jellyfish, treat the area by rinsing it with vinegar, removing residual stingers with tweezers, and applying heat rather than ice. [source])

In Hawaii, box jelly incidents typically occur along south-facing shores around eight days following a full moon phase. Masses of box jellies tend to remain within inshore habitats for three days.

Other creatures to be aware of include the cone snail, stonefish, and blue-ringed octopus. If you plan on swimming or snorkeling in the waters around Maui, pay attention to your surroundings and seek medical attention if you are stung, or bitten.

Poisonous Plants on Maui

Poisonous Plants on Maui

While there may be few poisonous creatures on Maui, there are several poisonous plants to be aware of. These include:


Pink oleander is a common sight on Maui. But leave it for your eyes to eat, only.

Oleander is a beautiful flowering plant that is commonly found on Maui. However, all parts of the plant are poisonous, including the leaves, flowers, and sap. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause vomiting, nausea, and even death in extreme cases.

Castor Bean Plant

The castor bean plant is another poisonous plant found on Maui. The seeds of the plant contain ricin, which is a potent toxin. Ingesting even a small amount of ricin can be deadly.

Hala Tree

Over-ripe Hala fruit on the tree.

The Hala tree is a common sight on Maui, but its fruit can be poisonous if not prepared correctly. The fruit contains oxalic acid, which can cause severe throat and mouth irritation if not washed and soaked properly.

Tips for Staying Safe on Maui

Do Your Research

Before your trip to Maui, do some research on the potential hazards you may encounter – you’re doing that right now, so good work. Familiarize yourself with the plants, animals, and insects to watch out for and learn how to avoid them. Many injuries are the result of accidents, so prepare for accidents and know what to do in the event that someone is injured while out in nature.

Wear Protective Clothing

When hiking or exploring Maui’s natural areas, wear protective clothing and footwear. Long pants, closed-toe shoes, and socks can help protect against insect bites and stings.

Use Caution in the Water

When swimming or snorkeling in Maui’s waters, be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Avoid swimming during jellyfish season and be on the lookout for signs of dangerous marine life.

Be Prepared

Pack a first aid kit with basic supplies, such as band-aids, antiseptic, and insect repellent. If you plan to go on a hike, bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.


In conclusion, while Maui may not be home to many venomous creatures, there are a few to be aware of. It’s important to exercise caution and be prepared if you plan on exploring the island’s natural beauty. Additionally, there are several poisonous plants on Maui, so it’s important to be aware of them and avoid ingesting them. The risk of encountering something poisonous is relatively low, but visitors should still take precautions and be prepared. By following these tips and staying aware of potential hazards, you can enjoy all that Maui has to offer without worry.

However, with proper knowledge and precautions, there’s no need to fear. Maui is still a wonderful place to explore and enjoy, filled with natural beauty and breathtaking scenery.


Are there any poisonous snakes on Maui?

No, there are no native snakes on Maui, and any snakes that are present on the island are usually non-venomous.

What should I do if I get stung by a bee on Maui?

Remove the stinger immediately and seek medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing, swelling, or hives. Epinephrine pens would be handy to carry around if anyone suffers an allergic reaction.

Is it safe to swim in the waters around Maui?

Yes, it is safe to swim in the waters around Maui, but it’s important to be aware of and avoid contact with venomous marine life, and sharks.

Can oleander plants be found in residential areas?

Yes, oleander plants are common in residential areas and should be handled with caution.

Can the Hala tree fruit be eaten?

Yes, the Hala tree fruit can be eaten, but it must be washed and soaked properly to avoid throat and mouth irritation.

Romance and Delicious Cuisine on Your Honeymoon in Maui: A Guide to the Island’s Top-Rated Restaurants

Are you planning your honeymoon and looking for a destination that offers a perfect blend of romance and culinary delights? Look no further than Maui! I’ll introduce you to the best restaurants on Maui that offer a fantastic dining experience for couples.

Why Maui is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination?

Maui is the perfect honeymoon destination for several reasons.

  • The island’s beautiful beaches and scenic landscapes provide a romantic atmosphere for couples. You can enjoy stunning sunsets, relax on the beach, and take a stroll along the coastline hand in hand with your partner.
  • Maui’s culinary scene is renowned for its diversity and quality. The island’s unique blend of cultures has given rise to an impressive culinary landscape, with world-class chefs and a plethora of fantastic restaurants.
mamafishhouse 1
Prawns with butter and Tahitian vanilla served with coconut rice from Mama’s Fish House in Maui, Hawaii.

12 of The Best Romantic Restaurants in Maui

Here are a dozen top-rated restaurants on Maui that might be especially appealing for honeymooners:

  1. Mama’s Fish House. Located on Maui’s north shore, Mama’s Fish House offers an idyllic setting and an exceptional dining experience. The restaurant is renowned for its fresh seafood, which is caught daily by local fishermen. The dishes are prepared with an emphasis on traditional Hawaiian cooking techniques and flavors, resulting in a unique and unforgettable dining experience.
  2. Lahaina Grill. The Lahaina Grill is one of Maui’s most renowned restaurants, offering a sophisticated atmosphere and award-winning cuisine. The menu features a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood, prime meats, and vegetarian options. The restaurant’s wine list is also impressive, with over 350 bottles from around the world.
  3. The Mill House. The Mill House is an excellent option for couples looking for a unique and memorable dining experience. Located on a farm, the restaurant offers a farm-to-table menu that features fresh produce grown on the farm. The menu also includes locally sourced meats and fresh seafood, all prepared with a modern twist.
  4. Merriman’s Kapalua. Merriman’s Kapalua is another outstanding restaurant on Maui that offers a romantic atmosphere and exceptional cuisine. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, with an emphasis on sustainability and seasonality. The restaurant is also renowned for its extensive wine list, which features over 200 bottles from around the world.
  5. Leilani’s on the Beach. Leilani’s on the Beach is a perfect spot for couples looking to enjoy a romantic meal with an ocean view. The restaurant offers a diverse menu, with a focus on fresh seafood and Hawaiian-inspired dishes. The restaurant’s location on Kaanapali Beach provides an idyllic setting for a memorable dining experience.
  6. Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Named after Hawaii’s state fish, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is one of Maui’s most romantic restaurants. The restaurant is located on the grounds of the Grand Wailea Resort and offers an intimate setting with a unique Polynesian-inspired menu. The restaurant is known for its fresh seafood dishes and the signature “Humuhumu,” a dish featuring a whole roasted fish.
  7. The Plantation House. Restaurant Located on the Kapalua Plantation Golf Course, the Plantation House Restaurant offers a beautiful setting with panoramic views of the ocean and the West Maui Mountains. The restaurant’s menu features locally sourced ingredients and a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood, prime meats, and vegetarian options.
  8. Morimoto Maui. Morimoto Maui is a Japanese-inspired restaurant located at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. The restaurant is helmed by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and offers a menu that features traditional Japanese cuisine with a Hawaiian twist. The restaurant’s signature dishes include the Toro Tartare and the Ahi Tuna Pizza.
  9. Japengo. Japengo is a modern Asian fusion restaurant located at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Kaanapali. Japengo is a stylish and sophisticated restaurant that offers an extensive menu of sushi, seafood, and other dishes that are a mix of Asian flavors and local ingredients. The restaurant’s standout dishes include the Crispy Pork Belly Bao and the Lobster Ramen. The restaurant has a romantic ambiance and beautiful ocean views.
  10. Ka’ana Kitchen. Located at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Ka’ana Kitchen offers a farm-to-table menu that features locally sourced ingredients and an emphasis on Hawaiian flavors. The restaurant offers a unique dining experience, with an open kitchen concept that allows diners to interact with the chefs.
  11. Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar. Located in Kihei and Kapalua, Sansei is a popular spot for sushi and other seafood dishes. The restaurant has a trendy and stylish atmosphere, and its menu features a variety of creative and delicious dishes.
  12. The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea. The Restaurant is a romantic and intimate restaurant located in (surprise!) the Hotel Wailea in Wailea. The restaurant features a Mediterranean-inspired menu with a focus on local seafood and produce, and its intimate setting makes it a great choice for a special occasion. Pricey but impressive.

Comparison Table of Nice Restaurants in Maui

Restaurant NamePrice RangeYelp RatingTripAdvisor Rating
Mama’s Fish House$$$$4.55
Lahaina Grill$$$$4.55
The Mill House$$$4.54.5
Merriman’s Kapalua$$$$4.54.5
Leilani’s on the Beach$$$44.5
The Plantation House Restaurant$$$4.54.5
Morimoto Maui$$$$44
Ka’ana Kitchen$$$4.54.5
Sansei Seafood Restaurant$$$4.54.5
The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea$$$$4.54.5

“Honorable mentions” list of a few popular restaurants in Kihei that are known for offering good value:

  • South Shore Tiki Lounge: This casual beachfront bar and grill offers a wide range of burgers, sandwiches, and other American-style dishes at reasonable prices. The restaurant also has live music and a fun atmosphere.
  • Kihei Caffe: This popular breakfast and lunch spot serves a variety of breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and salads at reasonable prices. The restaurant is known for its generous portions and friendly service.
  • Coconut’s Fish Cafe: This casual seafood restaurant is known for its delicious fish tacos and other seafood dishes, which are made with fresh, locally-caught fish. Prices are moderate, and the restaurant also has a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
  • Da Kitchen: This popular spot serves hearty portions of Hawaiian and other Pacific Island-inspired dishes at reasonable prices. The menu includes dishes such as teriyaki chicken, kalua pork, and laulau (pork or chicken wrapped in taro leaves and steamed).
  • Cafe O’Lei: This locally-owned chain of restaurants serves a variety of dishes, including pasta, seafood, and sandwiches, at reasonable prices. The restaurant has a casual and friendly atmosphere, and it also offers a wide range of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Maui’s Unique Culinary Experiences for Couples

In addition to the outstanding restaurants, Maui offers several unique culinary experiences that are a must-try for food lovers who want to partake in authentic Hawaiian culture. Here are some of the top experiences:

Farm-to-Table Cuisine

Maui is home to several farms that produce a variety of fresh produce, including tropical fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Many restaurants on the island have embraced the farm-to-table concept, using locally sourced ingredients to create their menus.

Hawaiian Regional Cuisine

Hawaiian Regional Cuisine is a unique culinary style that blends traditional Hawaiian cooking techniques with flavors from around the world. The cuisine emphasizes fresh, local ingredients and is known for dishes such as poke, kalua pig, and poi.

Poke Bowls

nicole goulart AyAixHGD WY unsplash
Poke, gotta have it while in Maui.

Poke bowls are a staple of Hawaiian cuisine and are a must-try when visiting Maui. These bowls typically include fresh, raw fish served over rice and topped with vegetables, sauces, and other flavorful toppings.

Shave Ice

Shave ice is a popular Hawaiian dessert that consists of finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrups, fruit, and other toppings. Maui offers several excellent shave ice shops, including Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice and Local Boys Shave Ice.

Maui Brewing Company

Maui Brewing Company is a local brewery that offers a variety of award-winning craft beers. The brewery has a tasting room and restaurant in Kihei, where visitors can enjoy their beers and a menu that features locally sourced ingredients.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Maui Honeymoon

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Maui honeymoon:

  1. Plan ahead: Research the best restaurants and activities on the island and make reservations in advance.
  2. Explore the island: Maui offers many beautiful sights and attractions, from scenic drives to waterfall hikes. Take the time to explore the island and make memories with your partner.
  3. Embrace the local culture: Learn about Hawaiian traditions and customs, attend a luau, and try the local cuisine.
  4. Relax and unwind: Maui is known for its laid-back atmosphere, so take the time to relax and enjoy the island’s beauty.


In conclusion, Maui is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples who love romance and delicious cuisine. With its stunning natural beauty, unique culinary experiences, and world-class restaurants, Maui offers something for every taste and preference. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or a casual meal with local flavors, Maui has it all. And with its laid-back atmosphere and welcoming locals, Maui is the ideal place to relax and unwind with your partner after your wedding. So pack your bags and get ready to experience romance and delicious cuisine on your honeymoon in Maui.


  1. What is the best time of year to visit Maui for a honeymoon?

The best time of year to visit Maui for a honeymoon is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are smaller.

  1. What is the dress code at Maui’s top-rated restaurants?

Maui’s top-rated restaurants generally have a dress code of resort casual, which means no shorts, t-shirts, or flip flops. Dressy-casual attire is recommended.

  1. Can I find vegetarian and vegan options at Maui’s top-rated restaurants?

Yes, many of Maui’s top-rated restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options on their menus. Some restaurants even specialize in plant-based cuisine.

  1. What are some of the best activities to do in Maui besides dining?

Maui offers a variety of activities for honeymooners, including snorkeling, hiking, visiting beaches, exploring the Road to Hana, and taking a sunset cruise.

  1. Is it necessary to rent a car to get around Maui?

While it’s not necessary to rent a car to enjoy Maui, it’s highly recommended. Maui is a large island, and having a car will allow you to explore all the sights and attractions at your own pace.

See also: Cheap Eats on Maui on a Budget Without Sacrificing Quality

Celebrity Homes on Maui

Maui is an incredibly popular destination for celebrities looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives in the public eye. The island is a popular destination for celebrities and other well-known figures due to its natural beauty, luxury real estate offerings, and privacy due to the island’s small size and relatively remote location.

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at some of the most famous celebrity homes on Maui. You may have heard that many celebrities and spiritual gurus own homes or vacation on the island:

  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Will Smith
  • Willie Nelson
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Owen Wilson
  • Justin Bieber
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Bill Gates
  • Julia Roberts
  • Lady Gaga

This is just a small sampling of the celebrities spotted on Maui, and I’m sure there are many more. Please be respectful and do not try to find these properties, as well-known as they may be.

Celebrities Who Own Homes on Maui

Oprah’s Property on Maui


Oprah is perhaps the most famous celebrity that lives on Maui. She purchased the Thompson Ranch, a historic piece of property on Mount Haleakala with panoramic views of the ocean and the central valley of Maui. Oprah also purchased a 63 acre piece of land in Hana so no one could develop the land. Oprah’s home is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and it’s no surprise why.

Oprah’s home is a sprawling estate that covers over 60 acres of land and features multiple buildings, including a main house, a guest house, and a pool house. The main house boasts a spacious open-plan layout, with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic views of the island.

Oprah’s home is designed in a modern style, with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. The interior design is sleek and sophisticated, with neutral colors and high-end finishes throughout.

The property boasts a range of features and amenities, including a tennis court, a swimming pool, a home theater, and a private hiking trail. There’s also a separate guest house that’s perfect for visitors (just don’t try to book a stay there).

Oprah’s home is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, making it one of the most expensive properties on Maui.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is a famous country music singer and songwriter who owns a home on Maui. The house is located on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano and is said to have stunning views of the surrounding area. Nelson has owned the property since the 1980s and has been known to host jam sessions and other events at the house. In addition to being a musician, Nelson is also an actor, author, and activist, and he is known for his philanthropy and support of various causes.

His home is located on a sprawling estate that covers over 20 acres, and it features a stunning natural waterfall, multiple buildings designed in a traditional Hawaiian style, with a thatched roof and open-air living spaces. The interior design is rustic and reflects Willie’s love of country living, with plenty of natural wood finishes and cozy furnishings.

The property boasts a range of features and amenities, including a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a beautiful garden filled with exotic plants and fruit trees.

willie nelson's maui home

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler, the frontman of Aerosmith, is another celebrity who calls Maui home. His property is located somewhere around the laidback beach town of Kihei, and it features a unique architectural style that blends in seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Steven’s home is truly a work of art, and it’s a reflection of his eclectic personality.

Although originally listed at $6.5 million in 2011, Tyler scooped the 3,000-square-foot, two bedroom and 3½ bathroom home for $4.9 million.

steven tyler's maui home

Steven’s home is a unique property that features a blend of different architectural styles with a deck view of the ocean. The property boasts a range of features and amenities, including a swimming pool, a spa, a yoga studio, and a state-of-the-art recording studio and separate guest house for visitors. The main house features a spacious open-plan layout, with large windows that provide plenty of natural light.

Steven’s home is designed in a style that blends modern and traditional elements. The interior design is eclectic and reflects Steven’s unique personality, with bright colors and interesting art pieces throughout.

Steven’s home is estimated to be worth several million dollars, making it one of the more expensive properties on Maui.

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is another famous celebrity who owns a home on Maui. His property is located in the Palauea (White Rocks) Beach area of Kihei, and it’s situated right on the oceanfront with its own (public) beach.

Clint Eastwood’s house on the beach.

Clint’s home is a beautiful property that’s situated right on the oceanfront and features multiple buildings, including a main house and a guest house. The main house is designed in a traditional Hawaiian style, with a thatched roof and open-air living spaces.

Unsurprisingly, Clint’s home is estimated to be worth several million dollars, making it one of the more expensive properties on Maui.

Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood, the drummer for Fleetwood Mac, also owns a home on Maui. His property is located in the popular west side town of Lahaina, and it boasts some truly stunning views of the ocean. Mick’s home is designed in a modern style, and it features a spacious open-plan layout that’s perfect for entertaining guests.

Mick Fleetwood’s home is located in the town of Lahaina, which is known for its historic charm and beautiful beaches.

Mick’s home is a stunning property that features a modern design and sleek finishes. The property boasts multiple buildings, including a main house and a guest house. The main house features a spacious open-plan layout, with large windows that provide stunning views of the ocean.


Fleetwood’s is a restaurant in Lahaina, owned by Mick.

Privacy Laws to Protect Celebrities from Harassment

Hawaii has passed a law called the “Steven Tyler Act” in 2013. The law is officially called the “Act Relating to Invasion of Privacy.”

The law provides some protections to celebrities against intrusive photography or recording by paparazzi in Hawaii. Under the law, anyone who takes or publishes unauthorized photos or recordings of another person in a way that violates their privacy could face a civil lawsuit. The law also makes it illegal to use drones to photograph or record someone in a way that invades their privacy.

The law was named after Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, who was one of the main proponents of the law. Tyler owns a home in Maui and had complained about paparazzi invading his privacy while he was there. The law was designed to protect the privacy of all residents and visitors to Hawaii, but Tyler’s advocacy helped bring attention to the issue.


Maui is home to some of the most beautiful and exclusive properties in the world, and these celebrity homes are a testament to that. From the traditional Hawaiian architecture of Willie Nelson’s home to the modern design of Mick Fleetwood’s, each of these properties reflects the unique personality and style of its owner. While most of us may never be able to afford these incredible homes, we can still appreciate their beauty and the stunning natural landscape that surrounds them.