One Day on Maui Itinerary – Top things to do on Maui, Hawaii

Did you know that Maui is a wonderful place with golden-, black- and red-sand beaches? The place has an incredible charm, and this charm at times appears to simply be magical. The wonderful climate, cool breeze, beautiful beaches, tropical forests, sea turtles, whales, and dramatic scenery amaze visitors every single time. Yes, Maui gives you every reason to spend at least one day here on a romantic trip, soaking up in the glorious Hawaiian sunshine, feeling the healing vibes of the warm Pacific Ocean, and immersing you in the mesmerizing spirit of aloha.

One day in Maui Itinerary

What is the Best Time to Visit Maui?

The wonderful and mild tropical climate is one of the many features Maui is known for, and this is what makes the island a year-round destination. The days are usually warm and sunny during both summer and winter, with average temperatures hanging around the 70s and 80s (Fahrenheit). 

Polo Strand Maui Hawaii
Polo Strand Maui Hawaii, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

The best time to visit Maui is considered either mid-January through May or September through November. Furthermore, the ideal time also depends on why you’re coming here. Are there any specific activities you want to do in Maui? For example, snorkeling is available during the whole year; however, whale watching is popular only in winter when many whales migrate here. During this time, jet-ski and parasailing activities are forbidden. 

A few facts about Maui, Hawaii

  • Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • The largest dormant volcano named Haleakala is on Maui, which is 21 miles across and 4,000 feet deep.
  • Maui has a total of 80 pristine beaches with white, red, and black sand created by pulverized rock.
  • There are no billboards on Maui other than traffic and safety signs. 
  • Maui is nicknamed Valley Isle.
  • Maui’s gold pineapples are very famous, and the island has multiple pineapple farms.
  • The road to Hana highway is the only highway that passes through a rainforest.
  • Every year, about 10,000 humpback whales migrate to Maui during winter.
  • Maui is a popular destination for snorkeling, surfing lessons, and helicopter tours.

One Day on Maui Itinerary: Top Things to Do on Maui, Hawaii

There are many things to do on Maui to fill yourself up with the magic of the island’s breathtaking views, warm water, and gorgeous beauty. If you want to do the best things on Maui in one day by covering all the highlights, you have come to the right place. This itinerary has the area’s most famous sights and best-kept secrets:

Soak in the Legendary Sunrise View at Haleakala National Park

Start early in the morning and enjoy the most beautiful excursions to Haleakala National Park. Also known as the House of Sun, this park, with its summit at 10,023 feet above sea level, offers the most mesmerizing views of the sunrise.

Haleakala Observatory Maui Hawaii
Haleakala Observatory, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

It will take 1-1.5 hours from Kihei to reach the summit to experience this, and most people ride bicycles or drive their cars to get here on time. Keep in mind that reservations are required for every vehicle to enter the park’s gate. 

Haleakala National Park, Maui
Haleakala National Park, Author: Christopher Michel, Source: Flickr
Haleakala Crater Hike Maui Hawaii plants
Haleakala Crater Hike, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

Stop for Mouthwatering Shave Ice in Paia

While on your way back from Haleakala National Park, stop in the beautiful town of Paia for a much-needed scoop of Hawaiian shave ice. To taste the most delicious Hawaiian-style snow cones, be on the lookout for the famous shops and stands. They offer refreshing goodness and the taste of aloha in every bite.

Shave Ice, Maui
Shave Ice, Author: Benny Mazur, Source: Flickr

Go Snorkeling at Ho’okipa Beach

Ho'okipa Beach, Maui
Ho’okipa Beach, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

Even if you are landing on Maui for a single day, missing snorkeling means missing some good fun out of your trip. To your next stop at Ho’okipa Beach, the long, narrow, uncrowded white sand beach offers the best opportunity to see the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles bobbling in and out of water. In addition, it is the best destination for windsurfing on Maui, so if you are a surf-lover, this place is for you.

Ho'okipa Beach Turtle, Maui
Ho’okipa Beach Turtle, Author: Kirt Edblom, Source: Flickr

Experience the Adventure on the Road to Hana

The road to Hana is an undeniable highlight of traveling to Maui. It offers majestic views, rainforest adventures, beautiful waterfalls, freshwater pools, fresh fruit stalls, and visits to the black-sand beach. 

Road to Hana, Maui
Road to Hana, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

Covering both roads to Hana and Haleakala seems impossible in a single day unless you plan a Hana tour by car with strict time constraints. 

Eden Puohokamoa Falls, Road to Hana, Maui
Eden Puohokamoa Falls, Road to Hana, Author: G. Lamar, Source: Flickr

If you have less time, you can come back when you’re halfway done or complete the whole journey without visiting all the attractions. But you can enjoy fresh fruits and homemade banana bread on your journey to keep you full without wasting any time. Given the speed limit, it will take roughly five hours to cover the distance from Piaia to Hana and back.

Make sure you come back before dark because it is difficult to drive on the winding road after sunset.

Have a Delicious Dinner

When you come back to your accommodation, sit down and enjoy a dinner of delicious Maui treats and recapitulate all the beautiful memories of the day. Try Seafood Lāwalu made from fish scallops, lobster, and shrimp. It is served with porcini mushroom risotto and white truffle oil. 

Where to Stay on Maui, Hawaii

Whether you are on your honeymoon, a solo traveler, or traveling with friends or family, consider the best hostel and hotel options if you plan to extend your stay.

Hotel Wailea

Hotel Wailea, Relais & Chateaux

555 Kaukahi Street, Wailea, HI, USA

If you really want to live it up in Maui, Hotel Wailea, Relais & Chateaux is the perfect place for that. Not only does this five-star beauty have a whole lot of luxurious amenities but every suite also has its own deck from which you can enjoy a spectacular view. The hotels also has two incredible restaurants that provide some incredible experiences, so the best way to describe this place would be to say that it’s literally heaven on Earth!


Maui Beach Hotel

Maui Beach Hotel

170 Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, USA

Maui Beach Hotel is one of the perfect stays for a couple or family with kids. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities featuring an outdoor pool, air-conditioned rooms with TV, compact refrigerator, cupboards, and much more. In addition, the hotel offers guest rooms with ocean views. Excellent prices, dedicated staff, and safe bookings all make sure you have a perfect vacation.


Kona Plaza 217

Kona Plaza 217

Kailua-Kona, 96740, United States

Kona Plaza amazes guests with wonderful accommodation options with an exclusive range of amenities, including private parking and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is located 400 m from Kamakahonu Beach and features air-conditioned rooms with in-room facilities. It has a swimming pool, a fitness center, and many other great amenities.


Tiki Beach Hostel

Tiki Beach Hostel

545 F Front Street, Lahaina, USA

The Tiki Beach Hostel, located at the beach in Lahaina, offers shared accommodations and free Wi-Fi. Not only that, but you can book snorkeling, free hiking, and beach tours here very easily. If you are traveling with a group of friends and are looking for affordable accommodation, this beach hostel is the perfect option. 


Day Trips from Maui, Hawaii

Exploring other islands in Hawaii requires you to fly to each of the other islands; however, taking day trips on Maui road is a unique way to discover various attractions.  

Book a submarine tour

Want to discover the underwater life of the Pacific Ocean? The tour is located in Lahaina, HI, which is available every two hours and takes you to 100 feet below for experiencing the absolutely breathtaking beauty of the sea life in thee waters.

Maui cruise and dolphin spotting tour

People can enjoy this tour every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you book it, you will board a 70-foot catamaran in Lahaina to go to the private island of Lanai. The tour departs in the morning, lasts for 4 hours, breakfast and lunch included, in addition to transportation to two snorkeling spots.

Whale Watching

Watching the migrated whales is a popular attraction if you are traveling Maui in winter. The tour is offered every day from December to April, and it starts in Lahaina. 

Maui Helicopter tour

Experiencing Maui Island from above is a unique experience in itself. To get an authentic Hawaiian experience, book a helicopter tour that begins in Kahului. The tour lasts about one hour and is guided by a certified pilot. Choose from five different routes available.

Extra tips for visiting Maui

Maui has unique features and quirks which make it different from other Hawaiian islands. Here are some of the most useful tips that are worth knowing about ahead of time:

  • It is required for Maui travelers to have the Aloha Safe Alert app and a negative COVID-19 test to enhance the safety of both other tourists and the locals.
  • Did you know the fun fact behind Hawaii’s islands? Every major island in Hawaii has a nickname, and Maui is also known as the Valley Isle.
  • Haleakalā is the Maui’s highest peak at approximately 10,000 feet above sea level. Climbing it is a mesmerizing once-in-a-lifetime experience that requires reservations.
  • There are no bus routes for some adventurous locales, such as the road to Hana tour, so you have to rent a car to visit these places on Maui.
  • Maui is a prime location for whale watching as the North Pacific humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Maui waters every winter.
  • The road to Hana is adventurous and offers breathtaking views and unique adventures, but it isn’t as scary as you might think.
  • The backside of the Hana road is not recommended since this section of Highway 31 is narrow, unpaved, rough, and prone to landslides.
  • Do not forget to throw in a sweater or jacket while you pack your bags to fight some frigid areas of Maui. 
  • Phone service may be slow or spotty in some areas, so plan accordingly.
  • There’s plenty to see in Maui Upcountry, so don’t skip out.

Maui gives the true spirit of Aloha and offers endless fun and entertainment. If planned properly, visitors can experience the real essence of Maui even in a single day. However, book guided tours with professionals to extract much of this beautiful place.

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

John Muller

John Muller is an explorer, traveler, and writer by passion; he has the knack for writing traveling blogs to make people aware of this beautiful world. He loves nurturing his garden when not traveling and uses his leisure time by doing meditation and mind exercises.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.