Maui has been the top vacation and relaxation hotspot in the Pacific since the 1700’s, but if sunbathing and massages aren’t your thing (and you have children in tow) there’s plenty of vibrant culture, amazing food and outdoor adventures to keep you busy.
We’re the traveling type… we’re not so good at vacationing (we’ve tried) so we try to seek out the locals who will let us in on their favourite and affordable finds. Here’s what we found:
Ono Tacos. Tucked into a small parking lot off the highway we enjoyed some amazing food here. Fresh pacific fish tacos, delicious and affordable. *$6+
We stayed in the Historic area of Lahaina which dates back to the early 1800’s where it’s now famous ocean kissed Front St. is lined with shops, cafes, boutique hotels and free historical attractions. How can you not love a small town with stories to tell and waves by your side?!
The Banyan Tree is a must. All those trunks you see in the photo below… all the same tree. Once its vines touch the ground they start to root. It’s the largest tree in ALL of America. You gotta see it to believe it. *Free
Banyan Treats. Located right beside the Banyan Tree, sells ice cream sandwiches on steroids. The thickest, creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had squished between warm home made cookies. Pick your own cookie and ice cream combo. *$6+
Island Press Coffee was our daily fave for caffeine and fresh morning treats along with an amazing selection of local Kombucha on tap. Great Americano’s and iced coffee too. *$2+
Another great favourite is Bad Ass Coffee and you can find it served all over. *$2+
So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this next off roading adventure and I’m sure the locals wouldn’t like it either (your rental company definitely wouldn’t as we found out afterwards) but this was an incredible adrenaline filled drive along the north shore of Maui on roads wide enough for 1 car but for two way traffic.
Along most coastal routes are lookouts with small roadside parking lots. Watch for them and stop often, you never know what you might see. Free (unless you drive off a cliff or your car gets hit by a rock… rental insurance does not cover that craziness)
Along the entire south west shore are public beaches off the highway where you can picnic, swim, surf and tire swing. Free
One place I really wanted to check out, and that a local reaffirmed as a hot spot, was the Maui Brewing Company. Awesome craft beer selection with over 15 taps of signature and seasonal beers and the best food, like, hands down best food. We had poke taco bowls topped with fresh guac, slaw and aioli. The raw tuna is caught locally and is smooth as butter! [Poke /poʊˈkeɪ/ is a raw yellowfin tuna salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Poke is the Hawaiian verb for “section” or “to slice or cut”.]
The Coconut Porter was one of our fave’s and we even managed to get 4 cans home without having them explode in our luggage. And how environmentally awesome is that handle?
$4 draft beers on Wednesday’s if you wear their apparel. Happy hour everyday 3-6pm.
If you’re travelling with small children then the beaches can be a little intimidating as the waves can over-power even the most advanced swimmer. Keep in mind even pro surfers drown. There are some beaches that are very shallow for a long ways out but other than that I recommend hitting up the pool. Free
Pack light. You can just rent life jackets and puddle jumpers at water sport rental stores and sometimes your hotel provides them.
Saved the best for last. Surfing! You can’t tour the Pacific Ocean without trying. We were recommended by a local to try out Outrageous Surf that guarantees to get you standing on that board. It was a blast. $60+
Thats it! It wasn’t easy going through 1000+ amazing photos of our trip but I hope this gives you some insight for budget friendly and fun things to do in Maui.