Free Things to Do in Maui Nui
1. LAHAINA TOWN. Explore historic Lahaina Town at your leisure, strolling down Front Street, and along the sea wall. A bustling whaling town back in the day, its character is certainly unique. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962, numerous historical sites line Lahaina Town, as do shopping opportunities and wonderful eateries.
2. BANYAN TREE PARK. Located at the beginning of Front Street in Lahaina Town, stands this significant and famous landmark. Planted on April 24, 1873, it celebrates its birthday each year with games, activities and birthday cake. Admission to the party is free, as is viewing and marveling at the Banyan Tree’s grandness all year long. It’s so big it shades almost an entire acre. Crafters and entertainers display their wares and talents on various weekends. www.visitlahaina.com
3. LAHAINA HERITAGE MUSEUM. Located across from Lahaina Harbor, in the Old Lahaina Courthouse, the Museum is open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., free admission. Explore the many artifacts and memorabilia of old Lahaina. (808) 661-9193. www.visitlahaina.com
4. LAHAINA JODO MISSION BUDDHA. A calm and peaceful place, the grounds hold the largest Buddha statue outside of Japan, standing 12-feet tall, and weighing over 3 tons. To find this location, look for the Pagoda (Temple Tower), which is approximately 90 feet high. Visit the Bell Tower, a 3,000 pound temple bell rung 11 times every evening at 8 p.m. The Mission’s Temple, built by traditional Japanese carpenters with help of Temple members and friends, is an architectural structure that blends Japanese and Western styles.
5. HALE PAAHAO. Lahaina’s prison from the whaling days of the 1800's, it was built with coral stone from a demolished waterfront fort. A crowded facility in its time, it’s walls still stand, with a wall shackles and ball and chain restraints for you to see. Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (808) 667-1985 www.lahainarestoration.org
6. HALE PAI. The printing house of Lahainaluna Seminary, founded in 1831, was restored in 1980. A free exhibit features a replica of the original rampage press and facsimiles of early printings. Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (808) 667-7040 www.lahainarestoration.org
7. FRIDAY NIGHT IS ART NIGHT ON FRONT STREET. Nicknamed “The Art Capital of the Pacific”, watch artists-in-action, browse the many galleries and enjoy light refreshments. World-class pieces are available for viewing, making for great window-shopping. It’s free, until the need to purchase your must-have artwork. Art Night is every Friday, 7 – 10 p.m., and is sponsored by the Lahaina Arts Society. A free walking map of participating galleries is available at Lahaina Visitor Center, open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (808) 667-9175 www.visitlahaina.com
8. HALE KAHIKO. Enter a historic village with three hale’s (ancient houses). Join the free, guided tour and take a “walk through history”, or stroll at your leisure with a free map. www.lahainacenter.com
9. WHALERS VILLAGE WHALING MUSEUM AND FILMS. This Museum takes you back in time to the heyday of Lahaina’s whaling industry, from 1825-1860. Lawless days and ways from the whaling era revived through artifacts located at Whalers Village in Kaanapali Resort. Films run from 9 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. www.whalersvillage.com
10. KAANAPALI HISTORICAL TRAIL TOUR. A 90-minute, walking tour and cultural journey highlights the Resort’s folklore. Tuesdays,9 -11 a.m. For reservations or information call (808) 661-3271. www.kaanapaliresort.com
11. SUNSET CLIFF-DIVING. A cultural and historic activity at Puu Kekaa (also referred to as Black Rock) held every evening just before sunset fronting the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali. (808) 661-0031
12. SNORKELING. Not all snorkeling is done by boat. Drive to either Honolua Bay in upper West Maui, or to La Perouse Bay in South Maui. But please do your part to protect these
precious and pristine areas – Please take all trash with you. Do not stand on the coral. Never take anything out of the preserve unless you or someone else took it there.
13. WHALE WATCHING. When the humpback whales are wintering in Maui’s warm Pacific Ocean waters, you can see them from just about anywhere. Some of the better viewing locations from shore are at scenic lookouts along the Honoapiilani Highway, or on the cliffs over looking Honolua Bay.
14. FREE ENTERTAINMENT AND HULA SHOWS:
Kaanapali Beach Hotel – enjoy Hawaiian music and hula performed nightly in their courtyard. (808) 661-0011. www.kbhmaui.com
Whalers Village, Kaanapali - Live entertainment Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 7 - 8 p.m. at Center Stage. (808) 661-4567. www.whalersvillage.com
Lahaina Cannery Mall - Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., and every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., at Center Stage. (808) 661-5304. www.lahainacannery.com
Lahaina Center – Every Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., and Friday at 3:30 p.m. (808) 667-9216. www.lahainacenter.com
Maui Mall Center, Kahului – Every Friday at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday at 1 p.m. (808) 877-8952. www.mauimall.com
15. HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY. Brilliantly displayed with murals of undersea life, this Center showcases educational displays, artifacts, and reading and video materials on Humpback Whales and their habitat. Lectures and free educational materials are available. Open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (808) 879-2818 www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/
16. WAILUKU TOWN’S FIRST FRIDAY CELEBRATIONS. Enjoy Wailuku Town’s monthly Market Street Fest, 6 – 9 p.m., on the First Friday of each month. Featuring live entertainment, great local foods, and wonderful shopping in Wailuku’s historic town. Free admission. Open to the public. (808) 878-1888.
17. MAKENA’S BIG BEACH. One of the largest beaches on the island and the last major undeveloped beach on Maui’s south side. Locals and visitors enjoy the soft white sand and crystal blue waters year round. Lifeguards on duty every day, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Big Beach is also referred to as Oneloa Beach.
18. IAO VALLEY STATE PARK. The lovely and deep valley of Iao features the Iao Needle, a natural rock pinnacle presiding over Iao Stream and surrounded by the walls of Puu Kukui Crater. Once used as a natural alter, the 2,250-foot stone pillar is covered in greenery, and is a basaltic core that has survived eons of swirling water. Iao Valley holds a significant place in Hawaiian history and showcases impressive cultural ties. Free admission to Kepaniwai Gardens. Park opens at 6:30 a.m. Nominal fee to park at Iao Valley’s State Monument, located above Kepaniwai Gardens, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
19. HALEKII–PIHANA HEIAU. In Wailuku at end of Hea Place (off Kuhio Place from Waiehu Beach Road on Highway 340), lay 10 acres protecting the remains of two historical and cultural heiau (temples) used as war temples. Good views of Central Maui.
20. MAUI ARTS AND CULTURAL CENTER. A performing arts complex featuring free art exhibits of various types year round. The 1,100-seat theatre and 5,000-seat amphitheatre offer ticketed events. (808) 242-SHOW. www.mauiarts.org
21. SUGAR MUSEUM. Dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and heritage of Maui’s sugar industry, this museum charts the establishment and growth of the industry and looks at sugar’s influence on the development of Maui’s water resources and rich multi-ethnic make-up. Located next to Hawaii’s largest working sugar factory, this museum also features intriguing displays on the inner workings of a sugar mill. Free admission to its Gift Shop. Nominal fee for a Tour of the Museum Exhibits & Galleries. Open Monday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed on holidays. (808) 871-8058. www.sugarmuseum.com
22. ALII KULA LAVENDER MAUI. Enjoy a casual stroll at your leisure, through the lush lavender gardens on the slopes of Mauna Haleakala. Experience the serenity and romance of Upcountry Maui, with breathtaking views of Central Maui, from its 10.5-acre estate. Guided tours available for a fee. Visit their Gift Shop for a heavenly whiff of lavender. It’s free, until you purchase unforgettable lavender products. (808) 878-8090. www.aliikulalavender.com
23. TEDESCHI VINEYARD. Calling all wine lovers, take a tour of Tedeschi Vineyards. Tasting Room opens to the public seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free, guided tours are 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (808) 878-6058. www.mauiwine.com
24. HOOKIPA BEACH PARK. Considered to be the windsurfing capital of the world, Hookipa Beach Park attracts windsurfers from around the world, flying at speeds up to 30 mph and jumping distances of over 30 feet.
25. THE ROAD TO HANA. A stunning and picturesque drive through a Hawaiian forest, along the backside of Mauna Halealaka. Stop at the many scenic spots along the way, and enjoy the stunning beauty of East Maui. For your enjoyment, pack a lunch, a few snacks and beverages. Smell the flowers and enjoy the fresh fruit stands. During the winter, marvel at the many waterfalls cascading through Mauna Haleakala’s Hawaiian forest.
26. KEANAE ARBORETUM. Located on the Road to Hana, this 6-acre arboretum and botanical garden lies alongside Piinaau Stream on taro-cultivated terraces. Two walking trails meander along tropical plants, fragrant flowers, plush fruits, and lots of native Hawaiian plants.
27. HANA TOWN. Visit Waianapanapa State Park and stroll on Hana’s black sand beach. Visit the Hana Cultural Center & Museum, Hana Bay and Park, Hamoa Beach, and Oheo Gulch at Haleakala National Park. Several quaint shops and eateries are available in town, should you need to purchase a quick snack or souvenir of your visit to Hana.
28. PALAPALA HOOMAU CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. The final resting place of famed aviator, Charles Lindberg. Located at mile marker 41, in Kipahulu.
1. WATCH THE SUNRISE from Hulopo‘e Point, facing Pu‘u Pehe.
2. SNORKEL IN HULOPO‘E BAY and wonder at all the marine life.
3. EXPLORE THE TIDE POOLS OF HULOPO‘E BAY, a marine life conservation area.
4. SWIM AND/OR GET A GREAT LANA‘I SUNTAN on the white sandy beach of Hulopo‘e Bay.
5. VISIT LANA‘I CULTURE & HERITAGE CENTER to learn about Lana‘i's unique history. (808) 565-7175. www.lanaichc.org
6. LEISURELY WALK LANA‘I CITY'S TOWN SQUARE, visiting its many quaint shops.
7. HIKE THE MUNRO TRAIL and catch breathtaking views of Lana‘i, Moloka‘i and Maui.
8. MAKE A NEW HORSE-FRIEND at the Stables at Ko‘ele fence line.
9. EXPLORE THE FIVE TROPICAL AND EXQUISITE GARDENS, at the Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i at Manele Hotel. www.fourseasons.com/lanai
10. WATCH THE SUNSET from the lanai at the Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i, The Lodge at Ko‘ele. www.fourseasons.com/lanai
11. “ALAPA DRIVE”. Lana‘i’s home-grown entertainers perform every Friday and Saturday night at Hotel Lana‘i’s, Lana‘i City Grille Restaurant. (808) 565-7211 www.hotellanai.com
1. NA KUPUNA ENTERTAINMENT in Hula Shores Restaurant, located at Hotel Moloka‘i. Every Friday afternoon, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Free admission.
2. NA ‘OHANA HOALOHA entertainment at Coffees of Hawai‘i in Kualapu‘u every Sunday afternoon, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
3. FARMER'S MARKET in Kaunakakai Town every Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Free admission. Fresh fruits and vegetables, and original crafts by Moloka‘i artisans, available for purchase.
4. PURDY'S MACADAMIA NUT FARM in Kualapu‘u, offers free tours Monday – Saturday.