9 (practically) free ways to have a blast on Maui

Just for the record, Maui isn’t just for millionaires — scores of everyday people with everyday incomes have found endless ways to totally enjoy the Valley Isle.

Here are the top nine we came up with, hope you enjoy:

Drive to Hana

photo of a man near a waterfall, as seen on the road to Hana Maui

…as seen on the road to Hana

If you have access to a car (either by friend or by rental), the drive to Hana is a super low-cost delight. Why? Because it’s totally gorgeous and charming, of course: tropical waterfalls, passion-fruit-laced air, banana bread stands and much more.

The 64.4 mile drive along the curvy Hana Highway connects Kahului with the quaint, old-Hawaiian town of Hana in east Maui. If you’re relaxed and patient — the drive takes a few hours — you’ll enjoy yourself even more.

Once you’re in Hana, prepare to slow down the pace of everything, which is the way life should be.

Want to know more? Someone created an awesome Road to Hana website.


photo of Maui mountains

Maui’s got hiking — tons of it, just bring your shoes, water and sunblock:

This is just scratching the surface of hiking on Maui — read more here and here.

Sunrise at Haleakala

Haleakala sunrise

Total OMG

There is probably nowhere on Earth where you’ll be charged an admission fee to watch the sunrise, and the summit of Haleakala is no exception.

If you can set your alarm early enough and make the drive to the top, you’ll be treated to one of the most breathtaking sights in Hawaii.

Here’s the best description we’ve found so far, from TripAdvisor:

There are NO words to describe how amazing it was.

Watching sunsets

Maui susnet from Makena Cove

Maui sunset from Makena Cove

The same human right to watch any sunrise on Earth for free also applies to sunsets, and Maui has some of the best sunsets in the Pacific.

There’s something magical and mesmerizing about pausing your early evening to watch the sky transform into a canvas of deep orange, purples, reds and yellows — from wherever you happen to be on the Island.

Bonus, if you’re lucky: the green flash.

Beach hopping

Waianapanapa state park, black sand beach

Black sand beach at Waianapanapa

If you’ve got time and a strong love for sun, salt and sand, then Maui’s got 30 miles of beaches for you to discover and enjoy.

From black sand to red sand to classic golden sand, you could visit a new beach every day without burning out (just remember sunblock!). Each beach has its own character and charm, such as:

  • Ho’okipa: North Shore, big time surfing and windsurfing, picnics, families and all over fun.
  • Kapalua Bay: a sheltered white sand beach in the heart of resorts and condos, former title holder of “The Best Beach in America,” snorkelers paradise
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park: sultry black sand, glistening sapphire water, alkaline pools, a blowhole, picnic tables, cabins…need we say more?

Ocean fun

Honolua Bay, Maui

The ocean is most generous in Maui…

Beaches are one thing, the ocean is another. Thanks to Hawaii’s warm subtropical warm waters, developed reef system and open exposure to all swell directions, you can spend a lifetime — or more — in oceansport bliss.

Maui’s ocean offers something for everyone:

Art galleries

Fine Art Gallery in Makawao, Maui

Fine Art Gallery in Makawao

Who doesn’t love art? There’s no shortage of art galleries in Wailea, Paia and Lahaina, and admission is free.

The Maui Hands Galleries — there are four of them around the island — might be your best bet for all around great gallery. If you’re into swanky, go to the Four Season in Wailea and waltz on over the The Artists’ Showcase, where you’ll find painted silks, hand-shaped wood carvings, tropical oil paintings and more. Then there’s Mickey Eskimo Flavor Gallery

Don’t forget: where there are art galleries, there are thriving artist communities. Just sayin’.

Cook at home

BBQ grill in Maui

Cook if you must.

Food adds up quick on vacation. So do drinks. Why not make it easy and cook some meals where you’re staying?

Many rentals throughout Maui offer kitchens and BBQ areas, our property included :). Just pick up some groceries nearby and have fun cooking. You’ll save cash and the hassle of dragging everyone out for every single meal — except maybe the occasional shave ice.

Free entertainment!

Hawaiian hula dancer

As for entertainment — there’s so much of it and so much of it is free — check out this Maui Events Calendar, or our post on hula shows.

We would be delighted to be part of your next Maui vacation. If we can assist you with planning your perfect Maui vacation, please contact our Sunny Maui Vacations’ team at info@sunnymauivacations.com or at 808-240-1311 Extension 21. Let us help you reserve your vacation rental condo in South Maui and assist you with island recommendations and activity planning through our in-house Concierge at 808-240-1311 Extension 71.

Photo credits: Aussie Assault, Alfredo, Rob Weir, Peter Liu, Vlad Karpinski, Hawaii Savvy, Terry Straehlay, Keith Wills, Alex Wright

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at info@sunnymauivacations.com or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo or rental home in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui.