If you’re planning a trip to Maui (maybe you’ve already been before and this is a repeat trip?), you’re likely looking forward to plenty of time beach bumming and doing your favorite things, but just in case you’re looking for even MORE things to do and fun to be had, consider one of these 5 day trips from Maui:
1.Lanai: The “Pineapple Isle” is just a short ferry ride away from Maui, but it feels like another world. This mostly private island is home to TWO Four Seasons resorts and has everything to offer in the way of pampering and relaxation. Catch the hour long ferry from Lahaina (it runs multiple times a day), and spend the day exploring the island on your own, or go as part of a snorkeling trip with Trilogy. If you go on your own, there’s an island ATV tour that is a popular option if you’re looking for something organized. Otherwise, you can walk to one of the island’s best beaches from where the ferry docks. From that beach, have lunch at the Four Seasons and catch the shuttle ($10/person) up to Lanai City to look around. Another popular attraction on Lanai is the Cat Sanctuary.
On Another Note: Trying to figure out where to stay on Maui? I’ve written a ton of posts that will help. I’d start with my 15 favorite resorts and hotels on Maui. Also, you’re going to want to decide between staying on the south side or the west side so this post about Wailea vs Ka’anapali is golden. Read about my favorite luxury resorts, boutique hotels, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, and condos (many under $100/night!). If you’ve narrowed down the area of the island you want to stay, but need help picking a specific hotel, read these posts about where to stay in Wailea, Kihei, Ka’anapali, Lahaina and Kapalua, and Hana. And if you just want more details (more! More! more!), read my reviews of staying at the Four Seasons and the Fairmont Kea Lani.
2.Molokai: If you want to experience a second Hawaiian island while you’re on Maui, Molokai is by far your best option. Catch a quick 20-minute flight on Mokulele Airlines to MKK and then 1) take a day tour with Molokai Outdoors where you’ll see the best of Molokai with a local, or 2) take a day tour to Kalaupapa (the site where those diagnosed with Hansen’s Disease/Leprosey were banished by King Kamehameha V starting in 1866, which is now a National Historical Park). For more information on visiting Molokai, read this post.
3.Pearl Harbor on Oahu: For many people visiting Hawaii, seeing Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is a must do. If it’s something you’d like to see, and you’re staying on Maui, I would recommend flying over for the day to tour it instead of adding a couple of nights at the beginning or end of your trip. There are soooo many flights each day from Maui to Oahu, but the easiest way to get there is probably on Mokulele Airlines. Since they’re located in the commuter terminal at OGG, you don’t have to deal with TSA and security. You only have to show up about 30 minutes before your flight. It’s also such a scenic flight! You could book a circle island tour that includes Pearl Harbor that will pick you up and return you to the airport, but I would probably choose to do it on my own. Rent a car and reserve tickets (they’re free but have to be reserved 60 days in advance) to tour the USS Arizona Memorial and include the USS Missouri and Bowfin if it interests you (admission is extra). 3-4 hours at Pearl Harbor is plenty of time for most visitors, so stop for lunch at the Rainbow Drive In afterwards and spend the afternoon seeing classic Waikiki before flying back to Maui. Read more about things to do in Honolulu and Waikiki.
4.Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island: The Big Island deserves at least a full week, but if you don’t have the time and you’ve got your heart set on seeing the volcano, you could do it as a daytrip from Maui. From Maui (OGG), fly to Hilo and rent a car or sign up for a guided tour. If you really want to go all out, take a helicopter ride. Check your expectations before you plan your trip though, as there’s not always active lava flow (there hasn’t been an active lava flow for at least the last 18 months). While Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is worth seeing even without active lava, it may be best to plan a trip to come back when there’s more to see. Read more about things to do on the Big Island (specifically Kona and Hilo).
Side Note: If you’re looking for a rental car for your trip, I LOVE Discount Hawaii Car Rentals. They’re seriously the only company I ever use. They’ll give you the very best prices, you don’t have to reserve with a credit card or pay until you show up, you can cancel and re-book anytime if you find a better rate, and they usually have a special that adds additional drivers for no fee. It’s a no brainer. Click here to check rates for your trip.
5.Napali Coast on Kauai: Kauai’s Napali Coast is the Hawaii of Hollywood’s dreams. This coastline full of soaring green, jagged cliffs lined with white sand beaches is a sight to behold, and if you’re just coming for the day, the best way to see it is by helicopter. In fact, I’d almost say that if you’re coming to Kauai for the day and you’re not going to do a helicopter tour, just stay on Maui. Since that only takes an hour, rent a car and head over to the west side to see the Waimea Canyon while you’re on island. Read more about things to do on Kauai here.
P.S. Want to read more? Don’t miss some of my most popular (and favorite) posts about Maui: my Maui favorites, the best Maui itinerary, how many days to spend on Maui, Maui vs Kauai, where to see turtles on Maui, my favorite road to Hana itinerary, guide for sunrise at Haleakala National Park, how to bike down Maui’s volcano, my review of the Maui Pineapple Tour, 20 of the best adventure activities on Maui, 5 Maui day trips, and the best things to do on a Maui honeymoon.