The west coast of Maui is a special place. With plenty of sunshine and some of Hawaii’s best beaches, it’s not surprising that West Maui was the favorite playground of Hawaii royalty in the old days. Now, this part of the island has become the go-to destination for many tourists.
There are plenty of activities available, from whale watching and hiking to all kinds of experiences. But unlike the fortunate locals, tourists only have a limited time to enjoy what West Maui has to offer. It can be hard to choose what to do with your precious vacation time. To help you make the most of your vacation, we’ve compiled a list of must-try activities in West Maui.
1. Go on a whale-watching tour.
If you’re traveling to West Maui between December to May, this activity is something you definitely don’t want to miss. Witnessing the North Pacific Humpback whales up close during their annual migration is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And West Maui is the best whale-watching spot in the Hawaiian Islands.
During the winter season, Lahaina has several whale-watching boat trips available for booking. You will get to see dozens of baby and adult whales breaching and tail slapping. You will even hear their otherworldly singing through the boat’s hydrophone.
2. Swim and snorkel with the turtles and other sea creatures.
Your vacation to the tropical paradise of Hawaii won’t be complete without a trip to the beach and a dip to its crystal clear waters. What better way than to do this at a world-renowned beach. The west coast of Maui offers its residents and visitors the most beautiful beaches your eyes could ever lay on.
But aside from the powder-soft stretches of white sand and the azure ocean, the coast of West Maui has more to offer. If you love snorkeling, West Maui is a map of hidden treasures to explore. Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Napili, and Honolua Bay have stunning coral formations, a variety of fishes, and even turtle sightings.
3. Witness a cliff diving ceremony and Hawaii’s remarkable sunset.
Sunsets are one of nature’s most remarkable gifts. As the day ends and people are getting ready to come home, watching the sunset seems to melt all the worries and stress away. West Maui has a lot of oceanfront condo rentals with an unobstructed view of the horizon.
Watching the sunset from the comforts of your lanai is a great way to spend your vacation nights. If you’re interested in witnessing a time-honored West Maui tradition, be sure to watch the ceremonial dive off Black Rock. It’s free to watch on the shores of Kaanapali Beach as the sun begins to set every evening.
4. Visit the historic Lahaina Town.
Whenever you travel to a different country or region, learning about their history and culture will give you the ultimate local experience. And Lahaina is one of the most historic and eclectic towns in Hawaii. With historic gems scattered throughout the area, this pretty little town is definitely a must-see Maui destination.
Lahaina Town was the capital of the Hawaiian Islands from 1802 to 1845 and home to Hawaii royalty, missionaries, and sailors. A few of the sights you should explore are Front Street, the old courthouse, and the Baldwin House. During your trip, don’t forget to visit the gigantic banyan tree. It’s the oldest tree in Maui at over 150 years old.
5. Enjoy the island view from the top of the West Maui Mountains.
The best place to view the island’s breathtaking beauty is on top of the West Maui Mountains. Here, you’ll be able to catch sight of Molokini, Lanai, Haleakala, Maalaea, and Kahoolawe. Depending on the trail you take, you can also see tons of waterfalls, parts of the valley, and the picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean.
If you want something more adventurous than hiking, two local tour companies offer a more thrilling experience. You can opt for an ATV adventure ride or the adrenalin-pumping zipline course. They can also provide you with educational opportunities to learn about the unique animal and plant species residing in Maui.
6. Catch a free hula show.
When people think of Hawaii, they envision the calming sound of the ocean and hula dancers against a torchlit backdrop. On West Maui, you will have plenty of opportunities to catch a free hula show. If you rent at Kahana Village, you are automatically invited to their free weekly Mai Tai Party.
Enjoy live Hawaiian music and hula performances while meeting new friends, eating delicious appetizers, and sipping homemade Mai Tai drinks. Learn about the ancient Hawaiian dance, and follow the hula dancer as she tells stories through her fluid movements.
7. Try the local restaurants.
Don’t end your vacation without trying the local restaurants. With a mixture of both traditional and modern dishes, West Maui is a food lover’s paradise. Whatever type of cuisine you’re craving, you’ll find a restaurant that will happily grant your tummy’s wishes.
Some of the restaurants you should visit are Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, Maui Brewery, China Boat, The Plantation House, Lahaina Grill, and A’a Roots. If you want to self-cater, Farmers Market Maui sells quality fresh produce, health food items, and locally-made salsa and hummus. The Napili Market, which is a five-minute drive north of Kahana, also offers a decent selection.
8. Go on an underwater submarine adventure.
It’s not every day that you get to ride on a submarine, dive 100 feet below the surface of the sea, and witness Lahaina’s beautiful underwater scenery. You will be able to see many of Maui’s marine treasures, including stingrays, eels, yellow tangs, bluefin trevally, parrotfish, and more.
This underwater adventure also gives you a rare opportunity to see a sunken 19th-century whaling brig. You will find that the Carthaginian has become a fascinating artificial reef with marine life of all sizes, shapes, and colors.
If you want to maximize your vacation time, one of the best ways to do so is to book your accommodation at a Hawaii beachfront vacation rental close to many West Maui attractions. At Kahana Village, guests will be delighted to find all these must-try activities only a few minutes away. So, pack your bags and check out our stunning vacation rentals.