Completely free things to do on Maui. There’s something for everyone in this list.
General: Kid Friendly
|Guide Series: Free Things Hawaii
So here you are on Maui or planning a trip to Maui. It’s not going to be cheap but certainly there must be some free stuff to do so you’re not constantly spending money, right? Fear not, there really is quite a lot to do on Maui without spending any money. So here’s our list of completely free things to do on Maui.
There’s something amazing about seeing huge whales doing their thing in the ocean. While seeing them up close from a tour boat is an incredible experience, you can also watch them from the shores for free. The first thing to know is that whales generally visit Maui between December and May, sometimes arriving earlier. West Maui is a great place to be for whale watching so try Ka'anapali Beach or Kapalua Bay Beach. In south Maui just about any beach (like the lovely Wailea Beach Park) will do so get out there and give it a try. The added bonus is that you’ll be on a beach and this activity can be done while in or out of the ocean.
The easiest way to spot one is to look for a spout of water shooting up in the air out in the distance. Keep an eye out for that or some whale tails popping out of the water. Bring a set of binoculars or a camera with a tripod and a good zoom lens for best results.
Relax Under Lahaina’s Banyan Tree
The banyan tree at Lahaina’s Banyan Tree Park is a site to see. It’s one of the largest banyan trees in the United States and takes up almost an entire city block. Considering how hot it gets in the summer around here, the shade this tree provides is very welcome. It’s a fun place to sit and relax and just do a little people watching. Get the kids a shave ice and let everyone just take a moment to breathe. Find it at: Banyan Tree Park
Snorkel Honolua Bay
There are so many great places to snorkel in Maui but Honolua Bay is definitely up there on the list of places to try it at. At first glance this place isn’t all that inviting. The short walk through the forest is pretty neat but then you arrive it a very rocky beach without any sand. This is the great snorkeling beach? Well, yes, it is! As long as the ocean is calm and the water is clear this is a great snorkeling location on Maui and it’s free! Getting in the water can be a little tricky due to all of the rocks so it’s not for everyone. Find it at: Honolua Bay
See A Black Sand Beach
Hawaii is famous for black sand beaches but they’re not always easy to find or reach and often that “black” sand isn’t all that black. On Maui, Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach is your best option for finding a black sand beach. Sure, the sand won’t be powdery like normal beach sand but rather more like smooth BB’s. But it’s incredibly black and when you combine that with super blue ocean water and green plant life all around it’s an unreal thing to see in person. Find it at: Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach
Drive The Famous Road To Hana
Famous? Infamous? Yes, the Road To Hana is certainly both. It’s a fun road to drive but passengers may not always appreciate the 3.2 million curves (give or take) along the way. It’s not a road you drive fast on, quite the opposite. You go slow and stop at various places along the way like hikes, roadside waterfalls, and fruit stands. The road itself is its own activity even if you don’t stop anywhere. Fuel up before you leave, take water and snacks with, and head to the tiny town of Hana for the day before heading back. More at: Road To Hana
Watch The Black Rock Cliff Divers
Every night, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa hosts a torch lighting and cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock Beach (Pu'u Keka'a), which is at the northern end of Ka'anapali Beach. A professional diver will blow a conch shell and light the torches as he works his way up Black Rock. Once at the summit he’ll take a leap of faith into the ocean below. It’s a good show for the whole family and can be watched for free right from the beach. More at: Black Rock Cliff Dive Ceremony
Tour Lahaina Town
Although Lahaina is actually a city, one that even encompasses the Kaanapali resort area, most people think of Lahaina as a tiny little town. Exploring all of Lahaina is a great thing to do but walking around the small Lahaina Town area is something everyone needs to do. It’s full of shops, restaurants, and plenty of cultural experiences. More at: Lahaina Historic Trail
Visit An Ancient Lava Field
Considering how modern much of Maui is, it’s hard to believe that you’re actually on a volcano. While you won’t find any flowing lava on Maui you can explore and old lava field at La Perouse Bay. In fact, you’ll see quite a bit of old lava field as you approach La Perouse but once you arrive you can park, explore, and see the lava up close.
Don't take the lava home for a souvenir, you don't want Pele - The Volcano Goddess putting any bad voodoo on you. I mean, we all saw that Brady Bunch episode where they go to Hawaii and mess around the with cursed tiki doll, right? Nobody needs bad mojo on their Hawaiian vacation. Find it at: La Perouse Bay
Do A Wine Tasting at MauiWine
It used to be called Tedeschi Winery. Now they changed the name to MauiWine but they still offer a completely free wine tasting. Why? Because they know you’ll enjoy their wine and end up buying a bottle (or 20) anyhow. Still, who can pass up a free wine tasting? Obviously, you must be 21 or older to do this.
Walk The Kealia Coastal Boardwalk
Located at the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, there is a 2,200 foot long boardwalk that visitors can walk along complete with kiosks and self-guided exhibits. It’s a chance to learn about the various native birds that visit the wetlands in Maui. You may even spot the endangered Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Stilt birds. Find more at: Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge
Watch Wind Surfers
If you’ve never seen a wind surfer do their thing then you’re really missing out. If you don’t know what windsurfing even is then you’re really, really missing out! Basically, you take a surf board and attach a large sail to it. The wind catches the sail and blows you across the ocean at incredibly fast speeds, even allowing you to catch some major air along the way.
It’s not a sport for most people to try, but it is something everyone can watch and Maui’s Hookipa Beach is the place to do it. Windsurfers from all over the world come here to do their thing. Find more at: Ho'okipa Beach Park / Ho'okipa Lookout
Take A Hike
No really, go take a hike! This is Maui, land of lush greenery and waterfalls. The island is filled with great hikes. Find one that is a fit for your style and hike away. Of course, be sure to first read Hiking Safety & Essentials so you are prepared for hiking in Hawaii. Ready? View Maui Hikes.
Relax On A Beach
Maui is filled with amazing beaches and they’re all open to the public. You can choose to relax and enjoy a great place like Wailea Beach Park even if you’re not staying at the resorts here. Or maybe you’d rather pick one of Maui’s hidden beaches from our list of Top Hidden & Secret Hawaii Beaches.
The Keanae Arboritum
You’ll find this one in Haiku which is along the Road To Hana so it’s worth a stop if you’re taking that drive. It’s around six acres of arboretum and botanical garden. It contains two short walking trails and around 150 varieties of tropical plants. Find It At: Ke'anae Arboretum
Charles Lindbergh’s Grave
Lindbergh is famous for being the first person to fly, non-stop, from New York to Paris. He did it in his plane, The Spirit Of St. Louis. His final resting place is at the Palapala Ho'omau Congregational Church which is south of Hana, so it’s a good place to stop if you’re doing the Road To Hana and enjoy history. More At: Charles Lindbergh's Grave
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