Maui, Hawaii: beach vacation travel guide

Dec 16, 2022

Maui has been a top destination for Canadian snowbirds for decades, as well as a popular choice for honeymooners. The “Valley Isle” offers the best of Hawaii without the crowds associated with the Big Island or Oahu.

The charming town of Lahaina was once the capital of Hawaii. You’ll find a variety of restaurants and shops, as well as hotels and resorts. Plan a visit to some historic landmarks: the oldest living banyan tree is located in Lahaina. 

Maui’s main resort areas are Kaanapali, Kapalua and Wailea. Our deal experts are always on the lookout for amazing deals in Maui, from 5-star luxury resorts to last minute Maui getaways, so be sure to sign up for an alert so that you can be the first to know when we find a deal. 

Travelzoo tip: Maui is a paradise for foodies, so be sure to do your research in advance! With grass-fed beef from country pastures and organic gardens, you can experience gourmet regional cuisine

A visit to Maui would not be complete without driving the Road to Hana across Maui’s mountainous east coast. The Hana Highway is 100 kilometres of rainforests, waterfalls and scenic coastlines — plus one or two hidden beaches tucked away from view. Bring your swimsuits, obviously; we recommend a stop at Hamoa Beach, set in a beautiful cove.

Travelzoo tip: With more than 606 curves and 59 one-lane bridges, the Road to Hana demands a driver's attention. Consider a guided trip with someone else at the wheel, so you can concentrate on enjoying the sights. 

Volcanoes and Hawaii go hand-in-hand, as you'll find on a visit to Haleakala National Park. This 33,000 acre landscape is centred around a dormant volcano, Haleakala (meaning ‘House of the Sun” and considered a sacred place). 

Travelzoo tip: Take part in a bucket list activity – see the sunrise at Haleakala. You’ll need to make a reservation, and tours are also available. Watch the sun peek through the skies and enjoy an unforgettable experience in Hawaii.

Maui beach guide

Maui is home to numerous white, green, red and black sand beaches, plus more accessible shoreline than any of the other Hawaiian islands.

Kaihalulu Beach is commonly known as Red Sand beach — a product of lava cinder cones — and half the challenge is getting to it. Located down a steep and rocky path, it requires sturdy footwear. But you’ll be well rewarded with Instagram-worthy views on this stretch of beach. Also, red sand doesn't come along every day!

Honokalani Beach, a black sand beach, is located in Wai’anapanapa State Park, and is definitely worth the visit.

Hookipa Beach is one of the most-visited stretches of sand for travellers and water-sports-loving locals alike. The turquoise surf is also popular with Hawaiian Green Sea turtles. 

Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina, Maui, is another favourite beach destination surrounded by hotels, restaurants and shops. Adrenaline junkies will enjoy the thrill of jumping off Puu Kekaa, a 5-metre-high black rock. This fully developed resort community also has championship golf courses for those looking to tee off.

Plan a visit to Makena Beach, also known as Big Beach and one of the most photographed beaches in Hawaii. It's hard to get a bad photo of the crystal-clear waters fringed by a crescent of white sand.  This beach has powerful shore breaks, making it a popular destination for surfers and body boarders.

Travelzoo tip: Just beyond the rocks on the north edge is Little Beach, which offers a clothing-optional experience.

Kapalua Beach is one of the best swimming beaches in Maui, with calm waters and natural tide pools. The calm waters also makes Kapulua it a popular spot for snorkelers, and from the southwestern tip of the beach, you can see the small island of Molokai. 

Wailea Beach is a popular spot for surfers and snorkeler, and Wailea is home to luxury resorts such as the Four Seasons Resort Maui and the Andaz Maui. (Be sure to set an alert for Maui so that you’ll be one of the first to hear if Travelzoo finds a great hotel deal in the area.)  Spend some time snorkeling in Molokini Crater, a partially submerged volcanic crater off Wailea.

Travelzoo tip: Wailea beach is a great spot for whale watching. If you’re visiting between November to April, be on the lookout for the gentle giants.

Browse our Hawaii deals or visit our Hawaii beach vacation guide for more inspiration.

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