UPDATED 2019: the 7 Day Plan for your Maui Vacation

There are so many things to do on Maui to fill your time and as you'll probably find out as the days go by on island that many people have thrown out their original plans and decided to explore the opportunities. However, if you are limited on time, we've made some suggestions on ways to spend and enjoy your time on the beautiful island of Maui. We can take the stress out of planning the trip with our Maui travel guide. Here's our 7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation:

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7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 1

Morning

You just got here so it's a good day to relax. Here are a few beaches that are great for lounging around and enjoying the beauty.

If, however, you want to hit the ground running, a great way to start off the trip is to get out on the water. After all, that's one of the reasons you're down here, right?

There are a handful of boats that offer snorkeling trips and some are better than others. Depending on whether you're looking to check out a few spots, or you're content with a single spot with more time, or if you just want to hang out on the boat, here are some good options for your first morning out on the water. We love Ma'alaea Harbor and Molokini is one of the best spots on Maui to go snorkeling. There are a few great boats that take passengers to Molo and Sail Maui‘s Paragon II is among our favorites. First of all, whereas many of the boats cap out at 100 or so passengers (and some of the bigger ones pack on almost 150 passengers), the busiest Paragon II gets is 38 35 passengers. This may be one of the reasons you feel so at home on the boat. Or maybe it's just because the captain and crew provide such excellent service. So accommodating and friendly, they make sure that you enjoy your day and snorkel, whether it's providing a safe and exciting first-time experience or catering their service to veteran snorkelers. While the trip does come at a slightly higher price point ($125 as of this posting), the coupon code DonSail offers a 15% discount on all of Sail Maui‘s trips, putting the Molokini snorkel at a little over $106. If you're looking for a great morning, an exciting sail and a beautiful sail, you can't beat Sail Maui‘s Molokini Trip on Paragon II.

Access

Paragon II departs from Maalaea Harbor

Maalaea Boat Harbor Rd Slip 72

Maalaea, Hawaii 96793

Phone

Toll-Free 1-800-441-2087

Maui 1-808-244-2087

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Afternoon

After your busy (or not so busy) morning, you'll probably be hungry. What better way to christen your Maui vacation than to eat some Hawaiian cuisine? Head over to Lahaina where you'll find Aloha Mixed Plate. Sitting on the water, Aloha Mixed Plate offers a variety of different Hawaiian style dishes at very reasonable prices (which is nice as that is not something that is super common on the island.) One favorite is the Locomoco which is a but you can't beat something with Kalua pork and you have to try the poi at least once while you're down here, very likely so you'll know that you won't want to eat it again.

Access
Address

1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

Phone

(808) 661-3322

Price

$

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Evening

Kill two birds with one stone by eating dinner at Hula Grill in Kaanapali. Sitting on Kaanapali beach, you'll have a stunning view of the sunset by Lanai and get to dig your feet in the sand at the barefoot bar and grill, while eating some delicious food with live music and excellent service. If you can't choose amongst all of their delicious options, one of our favorites is the Fire Grilled Ahi Steak and you can't beat the hula pie for dessert.

Access
Address

2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

Phone

(808) 667-6636

Price

$$

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Recap

Morning 

Beach time laziness

or

Swimming with the fishes on a snorkel boat

Afternoon 

Partake in some Hawaiian grindz at Aloha mixed plate

Evening 

Catch the sunset and dinner at Hula Grill in Kaanapali

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 2

Morning

Now that you've been here for a day and gotten over some of the jet lag, it's the perfect time to hit the waves. Surfing is possibly the biggest past times down on the island and you don't have to be a big wave surfer to enjoy Maui's waves. You can always rent a board and go out by yourself, but you'll probably have a much better day (not to mention easier and safer) when you take a lesson or two from an instructor. One word of caution though, make sure you get a qualified instructor. Surfing can be and is fun, but the waves can be dangerous. Make sure you go out with a reputable company or instructor before putting your safety in their hands.

Our recommendation for an absolutely phenomenal surf company is Maui Surfer Girls. Professional, personable, safe and fun, this group of surf instructors make it their mission to teach you a solid foundation for surfing and give you the best day. It's not uncommon that the founder of the company, Dustin Tester, is out there with the students and her surfing dog Luna teaching alongside the other instructors. And Dustin knows a thing or two about surfing. Having grown up on Maui, Dustin has surfed Maui's infamous Jaws, a wave that can easily reach fifty feet high. Not that you'll be thrown on that wave on your first lesson, but rest assured that you'll be learning from one of the best.

Access

Surf Lessons are usually located around Olowalu on the west side of Maui

Phone

(808) 740-0729

Price

Private Lesson 
$185 + tax

Semi-Private Lesson 
$130 + tax

Group Lesson 
$89 + tax

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

Afternoon

Another way to check out the beauty of the island is to zip right through it. Think Batman grappling hook gun. Except ten times as long. Ziplining allows you to fly right through the air with nothing but a long metal cable, a harness, you and all of Maui's beauty. You get going up to forty miles an hour and get to fly through the air. While very exciting and fun, it may not be the best idea for those who are scared of heights. That being said, each of the companies adheres to very strict safety regulations.

Skyline Adventures is a great ziplining company that we would recommend. Each group gets two ziplining guides, one that goes first to clear the way and make sure everyone lands safely and the other helps everyone and waits until everyone is comfortable so that they can thoroughly enjoy their awesome ziplining experience. All along the way, they give you the history of the island and great, local insight into other ways you can spend your time on Maui.

Access
Address

2580 Kekaa Dr #115, Lahaina, HI 96761

Phone

 808-518-4189

(808) 878-8400

Price

$149.95

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Evening

Coming to Maui, no doubt, you expect to treat yourself. One of the restaurants you will want to splurge at is Lahaina Grill. Lahaina Grill sets the bar for a fine dining experience. Whether it's beautifully-presented, delicious cuisine, immaculate service or the perfect ambiance for the night out, you won't be disappointed with Lahaina Grill. Located in the heart of Lahaina town on the west side of the island, Lahaina Grill is just off Lahaina's famous Front Street. And while it does fit the bar for “fine dining,” expect to pay a bit more for the dining experience. It is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but don't let that deter you from indulging in one of the nicer restaurants that Maui has to offer.

Access
Address

127 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

Phone

(808) 667-5117

Price

$$$$

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Recap

Morning 

Surf with Maui Surfer Girls

Afternoon 

Ziplining

Evening 

Dinner at Lahaina Grill

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 3

Morning

Ever been to a volcano? Maui's resident volcano, Haleakala, is the perfect place to watch the sunrise (or sunset.) With its summit at over 10,000 feet, plan for much colder temperatures that you would expect for a tropical island, as well as an early day, even if you are still on your home time. To get up to the summit on Haleakala, it's best to get up around two in the morning. It takes anywhere between two to three hours to get to the top. You also have to reserve a spot ahead of time for sunrise, so you can't just go up there spur of the moment like you used to be able to do. But it's totally worth it. Some people have described the sunrise on the peak of Haleakala as life-changing. Don't be deterred by lingering clouds too. Many times on the way up, you pass through the clouds and pop out on top of them, which makes the sunrise that much more amazing. Not unlike what you might imagine watching the sunrise as if you were a cherub resting on the clouds. If there are no clouds, you'll get a view of the crater which has been described as Mars-like. But rest assured, it is an experience you won't forget.

Things to keep in mind 

You will need to make a reservation. Can't go up there without one. And book it far in advance. ( Can't get one? We might be able to help.)

It's cold. Bring layers. And possibly blankets.

Keep an eye on your keys as well because you don't want to get locked out of your car up there. Although, there should be plenty of people up there in case you do.

Phone service is spotty up there, so stick close to those you are with, so you don't leave someone in the volcano. Unless, of course, you are trying to sacrifice to the gods.

Don't forget the camera.

No stores up there so plan accordingly. Water and snacks may be smart.

Be respectful of the wildlife.

Access

Phone

(808) 572-4400

Price

Sunrise Reservation Fee 
$1.50

Entrance Fee 
Daily Private Vehicle $25

Or

Hawaii Tri-Park Annual Pass 
$30

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Afternoon

On the way down from the volcano, you can go right down to Kula Lodge which offers an amazing view of the island at a slightly higher elevation than sea level. Beautiful views and good food. Going there for lunch offers the opportunity to eat their pizza made in their brick oven. Who knows? Maybe it was cooked from the heat of Haleakala's lava? That would explain its one-of-a-kind deliciousness.

Website

www.kulalodge.com

 Access
Address

15200 Haleakala Hwy, Kula, HI 96790

Phone

(808) 878-1535

Price

$$$

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Evening

A great option for the night's activities is a dinner cruise. Dinner? On the water? What's not to like? There are a handful of boating companies that go out on the water during the sunset for a dinner cruise. Most cater their dishes but there are some that have their own onboard kitchen (which shows in their price.)

One choice is the Maui Princess of Lahaina Cruise Company. Going out of Lahaina, Maui Princess is the largest commercial boat operating locally on Maui. Being on such a big boat has its advantages it tends to be more stable in the water so you're less likely to get seasick if that's something you think you might be susceptible too. Its size also has its disadvantages too. Being so big, it can also potentially hold a lot of people, which could be a drawback if you find yourself sharing a romantic dinner with someone or another couple, you don't know. With that in mind, their food is pretty good. Their prime rib is some of the best on the island, which surprises many to discover, being that it's a boat with catered food. They also offer a chicken entree, a Maui Mahi entree and a vegetarian option. But unless you're getting the prime rib, expect to be going out there for the allure of a boat trip more so than for the quality of the food. Other dinner cruise options Pacific Whale Foundation, Trilogy, Alii Nui and Hula Girl (which is higher quality and has its own onboard kitchen, but tends to be more expensive.)

Access
Address

675 Wharf St

Lahaina, HI 96761

Phone

(808) 667-6165

Price

$117.11

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Recap

Morning 

Haleakala

Afternoon 

Kula Lodge

Evening 

Dinner Cruise

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 4

Morning

If you want to truly experience Maui's beauty, the road to Hana is an absolute must. The forty-ish mile drive takes approximately three hours to drive because of its windy turns along the infamous road along some cliffs and by waterfalls. But if you're doing it right, it should take longer because of the miscellaneous stops and hikes along the way. The best way to do it is to stay in Hana for the night, either camping or in one of Hana's various vacation rentals, (or tree houses) or even in Hana's more luxurious Travaasa. That way you're not rushed to get back in one day or before nightfall. The road to Hana is really more about the ROAD to Hana than it is about Hana itself. Hana is pretty. The scenery along the way is amazingly beautiful. It's the tropical paradise you expect when you think “Hawaii.” For more of an in-depth look to the road to Hana, there are tons of guidebooks, apps, and websites that will help you fill your time on your way out there.

Access
Address

5031 Hana Hwy, Hana, HI 96713

Phone

(808) 359-2401

Price

Daily Single A La Carte 
$450

Daily Single Inclusive 
$700

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Afternoon and Evening

If you don't end up staying in Hana and you abide by the rental car company's agreement and stay away from the back road after Hana, you have the perfect opportunity to end your (hopefully) perfect day. Mama's Fish House is one of the highest quality restaurants and our favorite one ever. Incredible scenery right on the beach, perfect ambiance, top quality service and if that wasn't enough the most unique and delicious cuisine that we have ever found in a restaurant. Ten out of ten, without a doubt. This is an absolute must if you're a foodie and a must if you're not. It is expensive but this is one of the situations where the cost is completely justified with everything you get while here. Mama's Fish House is not just dinner at a restaurant, it is an experience that everyone should have at least once. Our favorite meal starts with the Beef Polynesian, the whole Opakapaka for the entree and finished with the Polynesian Black Pearl. You can't go wrong with any combination of their food options though. Go here. You won’t regret it. 

One piece of advice though: make a reservation. It books up months ahead of time. That should say something about this place though.

Access
Address

799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779

Phone

(808) 579-8488

Price

$$$$

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Recap

Morning 

Hana / Travaasa

Afternoon 

Hana / Travaasa

Evening 

Mama's Fish House

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 5

Morning

After the previous day of checking out the beauty of the road to Hana, it's time to get up in there, up close and personal. One company, Rappel Maui, takes groups of people out to some waterfalls in Maui's rainforest and takes them rappelling down waterfalls. Aside from changing your career to treasure hunter and changing your name to Indiana Jones, there are few other places where you can take advantage of this opportunity. The guides go through a rigorous training process and many of them have extensive climbing experience beforehand to make sure that they are able to give these tours safely. It can be cold, you will get wet and dirty and it is probably one of the coolest things you will ever do.

Rappel Maui also has a sister company, Hike Maui, where they give hiking tours instead of rappelling down waterfalls if that's more your thing. Both are great ways to experience the beauty of the island.

Website

www.rappelmaui.com

Reservation Link

Phone

(844) 368-1017

Price

Classic Rappel Tour 
$ 219 + tax

Extreme Zip Rappel Tour 
$279 + tax

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Afternoon

With all of the adventuring, it's nice to just sit back and relax. On the north side of the island, beaches Kanaha and Ho'okipa which is right outside of Paia are great beaches to go and check out. Both are favorites of the islands windsurfers and kiteboarder so you can get a free show out of it as you watch the windsurfers zip around as the kiteboarders jump over them. Ho'okipa also is a common home for turtles, in case you have somehow not seen them during your past few days on the island. Give them space though. They like their space and privacy too. Not to mention the $10000 fine for harassing them.

Access

Kanaha

Address

Amala Pl, Kahului, HI 96732

Phone

(808) 270-7389

Ho’okipa

Address

Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779

Phone

(808) 572-8122

Price

$0

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Evening

Maui also offers tours on horseback. Ironwoods on the west side of the island is one of the best spots to get your cowboy and cowgirl on and take a sunset ride on a noble steed. Named after celebrities, the Ironwood fleet is well taken care of and they and the guides make sure to take care of you. They offer sunset rides as well so you can check it off your list to ride off into the sunset.

Access
Address

22 Hui, Lahaina, HI 96761

Phone

(808) 669-4991

Price

$70 – $130

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Recap

Morning 

Rappel Maui

Afternoon 

Beach

Evening 

Ironwoods Sunset Horseback Ride

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 6

Morning

If you're up for something exciting, Proflyght Paragliding offers first-time instruction lessons of paragliding in the form of a tandem flight. A tandem flight is one where you are strapped to a certified tandem flight instructor and they launch with you.

Paragliding is the closest thing you get to actually flying freely. To get airborne, they take you high on the side of Haleakala in a place called Polipoli and you essentially just run until you take flight. Then you just glide down the volcano's side until you land. As easy and calm as it sounds, it's one of the most exciting things you can possibly think of to do. You glide through the air, possibly through the clouds and about trees, you can see the beautify of the island from the air. There's something both calming and relaxing, while simultaneously incredibly exciting about flying through the air with just you and the parachute, and of course the instructor on your back. Dexter, the owner, Paul, and Abai are the instructors that gave the tandem flights when we went with them and they are professional, safe, very thoroughly and awesome. If you are up for some excitement, Proflyght Paragliding should be at the top of your list.

Access
Address

1100 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI 96790

Phone

(808) 874-5433

Price

$119.79 – $234.37 + tax

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Afternoon

After your flight through the air, head over past Kihei and Wailea over to Big Beach. One of the beaches reaching our favorites list, Big Beach is one that comes to mind when you think tropical paradise. Usually, there's plenty of room here for you, even if there are a ton of people. There are trees if you're looking for shade and the water is great for swimming. It's right next too Little Beach too but heads up. It's a nude beach.

Access
Address

Makena Rd, Kihei, HI 96753

Phone

(800) 464-2924

Price

$0

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Evening

It's one thing to catch the sunset from the beach, but it's another thing entirely to watch the sun setting from the ocean. One of our favorite experiences down here is to head out on the water, sails raised, Mai Tai in hand and just being. Existing. A lot of our recommendations were activities with options on which company to book with but this is one is for a specific company.

Sail Maui‘s sunset cruise on Paragon out of Lahaina is easily one of our favorite to-do's on the island. It has a slightly higher price than some of the other boat charters, but it is totally worth it to come out on this one.  They have a passenger limit of around a third of the other boats to make it a more comfortable trip. The captain and crew are super knowledgeable about the island and its waters and they make sure that each of the passengers is taken care of and happy, always checking on drinks and comfortable. They have a nice spread for food veggies, grilled chicken and fruit. They also keep the drinks fresh with Mai Tai's, champagne, white wine, and some local Maui micro-brews, along with juice and soda for the nondrinkers.  They leave from Lahaina where the water tends to be on the calmer side but they usually sail at least a little bit. These guys are sailors, though, and they sail as much as they can, despite whatever plans Mother Nature has. Apparently, they have regulars coming back year after year. This trip is a definite must do. Also, if you do a little searching, you can find discount codes every once in a while. We found one that was still active for 15% off (discount code DonSail) their trips if you book it on their website.

Access

Paragon departs from Lahaina Harbor

675 Wharf Street

Lahaina, Hawaii 96761

Phone

Toll-Free 1-800-441-2087

Maui 1-808-244-2087

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Recap

Morning 

Paragliding

Afternoon 

Beaching at Big Beach

Evening 

Sunset Sail

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 7

Morning

The last day, you can end it with a bang. Go up in the air in a helicopter and get an aerial view of the island. Among the many activities, there are to do on Maui, this is considered to be one of the favorites. It's one thing to be on the island, surrounded by all of her beauty. But now imagine, flying above it all, being able to see all of it at once as if you were sitting on a cloud, taking it all in. The experience is not unlike paragliding, with the vantage point of that of a soaring board. One main difference though apparent safety and control. Being flown around in a helicopter, in contrast to flying around with a paragliding wing, affords the luxuries of being in almost absolute control of going where you'd like to go. The helicopter pilots have to have logged thousands of hours under their belts to fly these mechanical beasts of the sky and many of them are retired military pilots. Rest assured, you shouldn't encounter any incoming missiles on these tours, but if you do, many of these pilots have the experience necessary to deal with them.

But there are a handful of places on the island you will only be able to see from the air, so if you want to witness some of Maui's secrets, a helicopter tour may be the only way to do it. There are a few different companies to choose from and each company seems to offer several different flights.  The prices may reflect the uniqueness of the trip but it is well worth it.

Access
Address

107 Airport Road, Kahului, HI 96732

Phone

(808) 871-0722

Price

Hana-Haleakala 
$260 – $405

Maui 
$345 – $515

Molokai 
$320 – $485

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Afternoon and Evening

You've hit the end of the trip and the best way to spend it is embracing the local style and the beauty of the island. Spend the day like an islander and lounge on some of Maui's beautiful beaches. Check out this list for some of the best ones to visit and this one for things that may make your time on the beach more enjoyable.

Recap

Morning 

Fly through the sky with Sunshine Helicopter Tour

Afternoon 

Beach

Evening 

Beach

And Then…

7 Day Plan for Your Maui Vacation: Day 8

If you only planned for seven days and you're on island by day eight, congratulations! You've joined the ranks, dug your feet in the sand and landed at the decision to change your life (no doubt for the better.) Welcome to the island!

Check this out for a list of some gear that may make your Maui vacation that much more enjoyable or memorable.

https://www.letsgotomaui.net/equipment/

 

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