Free Things to do on Maui
1. LĀHAINĀ TOWN. Explore historic Lāhainā Town at your leisure, strolling down Maui’s famous 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 Lāhainā Town. Wonderful eateries, and shopping to fit every budget, are available in Lāhainā Town.
2. BANYAN TREE PARK. Located at the beginning of Front Street in Lāhainā 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. (808) 667- 9193. www.visitlahaina.com
3. LĀHAINĀ HERITAGE MUSEUM. Located across from Lāhainā Harbor, in the Old Lāhainā Courthouse, the Museum is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., free admission. Explore the many artifacts and memorabilia of Old Lāhainā. (808) 667-9193. www.visitlahaina.com
4. HE U‘I ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL. A gathering of artists and crafters display, sell, and demonstrate cultural arts and Hawaiian crafts under the Banyan Tree, on varied Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission and live Hawaiian music is available at this Festival. (808) 667-9193. www.visitlahaina.com
5. LĀHAINĀ 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. www.facebook.com/pages/Lahaina-Jodo-Mission-Buddhist-Cultural-Park/131079590270257
6. HALE PAʻAHAO. Lāhainā’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, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (808) 661-3262. www.lahainarestoration.org
7. HALE PAʻI. 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 Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday by appointment only. (808) 667-7040. www.lahainarestoration.org
8. 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 to 10 p.m., and is sponsored by the Lāhainā Arts Society. A free walking map of participating galleries is available at Lāhainā Visitor Center, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (808) 667-9193. www.visitlahaina.com
9. KĀʻANAPALI RESORT’S HISTORICAL TRAIL. A self-guided, walking tour and cultural journey highlights the Resort’s storied past. Self-guided maps lead you to 10 sites marked by lava rock monuments with plaques explaining their significance. The Tour begins at Royal Lāhainā Resort, and ends at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. Maps available at Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel. (808) 661-3271. www.kaanapaliresort.com
10. WATCH SUNSET CLIFF-DIVING. As the sun sets, tiki torches are lit to signal the nightly ritual of lele kawa (cliff diving). A young cliff diver retraces the steps of his ancestor, Kahekili, the last chief of Maui, as he crosses Kāʻanapali Beach to Puʻu Kekaʻa (also known as Black Rock), before plunging into the surf below. Lele kawa is a Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa tradition that began at it’s opening in 1963. (808) 661-0031. www.sheraton-maui.com
11. SNORKELING. Not all snorkeling is done by boat. Drive to Honolua Bay in upper West Maui, or to La Perouse Bay in South Maui, for stunning snorkeling adventures. But please protect these precious and pristine areas – 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.
12. WHALE WATCHING. North Pacific Humpback Whales visit and frolic in Maui’s warm Pacific Ocean waters every winter. Hawaiʻi’s water temperatures average 75 degrees, which is a wonderful environment for newborn calves. Humpback Whales can be seen from just about anywhere. Some of the better viewing locations from shore are at scenic lookouts along the Honoapiʻilani Highway, on the beaches in South and West Maui, and from your ocean view room. If on the roadways, please pull over to a safe and designated parking area to enjoy these magnificent mammals.
13. FREE ENTERTAINMENT AND HULA SHOWS:
Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel – Hawaiian music and hula performed nightly in their courtyard. (808) 661-0011. www.kbhmaui.com
Whalers Village, Kāʻanapali – Live entertainment available Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 7 to 8 p.m. at Center Stage. (808) 661-4567. www.whalersvillage.com
Lāhainā 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
The Outlets of Maui – Every 2nd and 4th Fridays from 5 p.m. – 5.45 p.m. (808) 661-8277. www.theoutletsofmaui.com
Maui Mall, Kahului – Every Friday at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday at 1 p.m. (808) 877-8952. www.mauimall.com
14. HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY. Brilliantly displayed with murals of undersea life, this Visitor 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 to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (808) 879-2818. www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov
15. MAUI FRIDAY TOWN PARTIES. As the sun sets and pau hana begins, what better way to start the weekend than to shop, dine, and listen to great local music in Maui’s historic small towns. Residents and visitors enjoy a special night of interaction and fun, featuring free entertainment, special offerings and Friday-only promotions from each town’s family of merchants. Enjoy our small-town ambiance, under the stars every Friday night. Open to the public, 6 to 9 p.m. Free admission. (808) 270-7710. www.mauifridays.com
First Fridays: Wailuku Town’s Market Street showcases historical landmarks and buildings
Second Fridays: Lāhainā’s Front Street reputation for fun complements its historic retail district
Third Fridays: Makawao and Baldwin Avenues host this paniolo town’s charming festivities
Fourth Fridays: Kīhei’s Azeka Shopping Center – Mauka, the “heart & soul” of Kīhei
16. MĀKENA BEACH STATE PARK. One of the largest beaches on the island and the last major undeveloped beach on Maui’s south side, Mākena’s “Big Beach” is a secluded alternative to more popular beaches. Nestled between two black-lava outcroppings, “Big Beach” offers great views of Molokini and Kaho‘olawe. Locals and visitors enjoy the soft white sand and crystal blue waters year round. Picnic facilities and restrooms are available. Lifeguards on duty every day, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “Big Beach” is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
17. ʻĪAO VALLEY STATE PARK. The lovely and deep valley of ʻĪao features the ʻĪao Needle, a natural rock pinnacle presiding over ʻĪao Stream and surrounded by the walls of Puʻu 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. ʻĪao Valley holds a significant place in Hawaiian history and showcases impressive cultural ties. Free admission to Kepaniwai Gardens, located below the State Park. A nominal parking fee is requested at the entrance to this State Park, between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Park opens at 6:30 a.m.
18. HALEKIʻI–PIHANA HEIAU STATE MONUMENT. In Wailuku at the end of Hea Place, off Kūhiō Place from Waiehu Beach Road on Highway 340, lay 10 acres protecting the remains of two historical and cultural heiau (temples), rededicated as war temples by Kahekili, Maui’s last ruling chief. This is a historical, religious site, therefore do not disturb or remove stones, nor climb or damage on any structures. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission. www.hawaiistateparks.org
19. MAUI ARTS AND CULTURAL CENTER. A performing arts complex featuring free art exhibits of various types year round in a world-class facility where popular and innovative performing artists are enjoyed. The 1,200-seat theatre and 5,000-seat amphitheatre offer ticketed events. (808) 242-SHOW (7469). www.mauiarts.org
20. ALEXANDER & BALDWIN 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 Hawaiʻi’s largest working sugar factory, this museum also features intriguing displays on the inner workings of a sugar mill. Free admission to the Gift Shop. Nominal fee for a Tour of the Museum Exhibits & Galleries. Open Sunday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed on holidays. (808) 871-8058. www.sugarmuseum.com
21. MAUI’S WINERY – TEDESCHI VINEYARD. As stewards of the aina (land), in partnership with Ulupalakua Ranch, Tedeschi Vineyard offers a wonderful selection of wines and confections. Stellar wines are made from grapes grown at the 1,800-foot elevation in Haleakalā’s rich, volcanic soil. Free wine tastings available at The King’s Cottage Tasting Room, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for major holidays. Wine tasters must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid ID. Stroll back through time with a free 30-minute guided tour through the peaceful grounds, graced by towering 150-year old trees. Tours available daily, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., or tour at your leisure. (808) 878-1266. www.mauiwine.com
22. HOʻOKIPA BEACH PARK. One of the top spots for ocean sports and recreation in Maui, Hoʻokipa Beach Park is located at Mile Marker #9 on Hāna Highway (#36), on Maui’s North Shore just past Pā‘ia Town. It attracts windsurfers and kite surfers from around the world, flying at speeds up to 30 mph and jumping distances of over 30 feet. Strong water currents, winds, and big waves are ideal for experienced watermen only. Watching from the lookout, or soft white sandy beach, offers beach goers stunning images. Lifeguards on duty, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. (808) 572-8122.
23. THE ROAD TO HĀNA. This world-renowned road leads you through a stunning and picturesque drive through a Hawaiian forest, along the backside of Mauna Halealakā. This legendary Road to Hāna (Hwy #360) has 620 curves and 59 bridges. Stop at the many scenic spots along the way, and marvel at the stunning beauty of East Maui. For your enjoyment, pack a lunch, as well as a few snacks and beverages. Smell the flowers, and purchase homemade delicacies at roadside fresh fruit stands. During the winter, be in awe at the many stunning waterfalls cascading and plunging into natural pools and dramatic seascapes.
24. KEʻANAE ARBORETUM. Located on the Road to Hāna, between Kailua and Keʻanae, and just past Mile Marker #16, is this 6-acre arboretum and botanical garden with trees, flowers and foliage native to Maui. It lies alongside Piʻinaʻau Stream on taro-cultivated terraces built hundreds of years ago by ancient Hawaiians. Walking trails meander along tropical plants, fragrant flowers, plush fruits, and lots of native Hawaiian plants. Do not pick the plants and flowers. Insect repellent is recommended.
25. HĀNA TOWN. Visit Waiʻānapanapa State Park and stroll on Hāna’s black sand beach. Visit the Hāna Cultural Center & Museum, Hāna Bay and Park, Hāmoa Beach, and ʻOheʻo Gulch at Haleakalā National Park. Several quaint shops and eateries are available in town, where a quick snack or souvenir can be purchased highlighting your visit to Hāna.
26. PALAPALA HOʻOMAU CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. A limestone coral church built in 1857 is the final resting place of famed aviator, Charles Lindberg. It’s located eight miles south of Hāna Town, on the ocean side of Highway#360 just past Mile Marker #41, in Kīpahulu.
27. HAWAIIAN MUSIC SERIES. Lāhainā Restoration Foundation offers FREE concerts under the stars and Lahaina moon, featuring talented local musicians every last Thursday of the month on Baldwin Home Museum lawn at the corner of Dickenson and Front Streets. Chairs are limited but blankets, mats, and low beach chairs are welcome. The combination of great Hawaiian music, award-winning restaurants and vibrant shops combine to create a perfect evening out on Lahaina town.6:00 – 7:30pm. www.lahainarestoration.org
28. WAILEA ON WEDNESDAY. The Shops at Wailea offers weekly “Wailea on Wednesdays” (WOW) arts and entertainment at the Lower Courtyard by the fountain. The night is further highlighted by art gallery receptions, artist appearances and one-night-only shop and restaurant specials from 6 p.m. to close. For the most up-to-date event information, visit The Shops at Wailea on Facebook. www.facebook.com/TheShopsAtWailea
29. PIPIWAI TRAIL GUIDED HIKE, HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK, KIPAHULU join a park naturalist in a 2.5 hour guided hike along Pipiwai Trail. The hike passes though the bamboo forest and includes views of Makahiku Falls and Waimoku Falls. Meet at the Kipahulu Visitor Center. No reservations required. Wear hiking boots or athletic shoes, bring water, insect repellent, and sun protection. 10am-12.30 p.m. Daily. Info: nps.gov/hale
30. FREE WHALE TALKS AT OLD LAHAINA COURTHOUSE. (Mondays-Wednesdays-Friday
Free Things to do on Lāna‘i
1. HULOPO‘E BAY. A Marine Life Conservation area – explore tide pools, snorkel and marvel at marine life, swim, and get a great suntan on Hulopo‘e’s immaculate white sandy beach. At the start of each day, watch the sunrise from Hulopo‘e Point, facing Pu‘u Pehe.
2. LĀNA‘I CULTURE & HERITAGE CENTER. Discover Lāna‘i’s unique ranching and pineapple plantation history, view Hawaiian artifacts, and learn about Lānaʻi’s diverse heritage and culture in this charming community museum. Free admission. Open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (808) 565-7177. www.lanaichc.org
3. LĀNA‘I CITY’S TOWN SQUARE. Founded in the 1900’s as a plantation town, Lāna‘i City’s Town Square is located in the central highlands at the 1,700-foot elevation. Towering pine trees line Dole Park, where delicious meals are plentiful, as well as unique and quaint shops.
4. HIKE MUNRO TRAIL. At the summit you can see glorious views of six islands on a clear day. The Trail winds through rain forests and up mountains to the top of Mauna Lanaihale (Lānaʻi’s highest point). Watch for wildlife. The Trail will take you back to Palawai Basin.
5. KAIOLOHIA BEACH (Shipwreck Beach). Explore this beach searching for exotic shells, or enjoy a lovely picnic. Petroglyphs (ancient drawings) are found nearby.
6. KEAHIAKAWELO (Garden of the Gods). An unusual rock garden, Hawaiian lore notes this windswept landscape is the result of a contest between two kahuna (priests) from Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. The rock towers, spires and formations exhibit a warm glow at sunset illuminating them in brilliant reds and purples. On a clear day, visitors can see Moloka‘i and Oahu. Note: The removal or stacking of rocks is kapu (forbidden).
7. FARMER’S MARKET. Fresh produce, home cooked foods, jams and jellies, available for purchase every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lāna‘i Market Place in Lāna‘i City. Free admission.
8. KEOMUKU – KAHALEPALAOA COASTLINE. The population center in the 1890’s, and home to the Maunalei Sugar Company, sites along this historical windward coastline have been restored through stewardship programs. Please be respectful of the historical sites and legacy of this special place. Stay on the trail. Do no disturb the structures and environment.
9. LĀNA‘I CAT SANCTUARY.Visit the “Kitty Paradise” and have a purr-fect welcome when entering this feline sanctuary. Open House is every Sunday, 3 to 5 p.m. Call (808) 215-9066 for an appointment to visit Monday to Friday. www.lanaianimalrescue.org
10. FIFTH FRIDAYS ON LĀNA‘I. This community event takes place every fifth Friday in the heart of Lāna’i City around Dole Park and feature movies in the park, live music, food and drinks, free grand drawing prize of and more. 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. For more information visit fifthfridaylanai.com
Free things to do on Moloka‘i
1. NA KUPUNA ENTERTAINMENT. Na Kupuna, Hawaiian for “Aunties and Uncles, young at heart”, entertain through music and hula, Moloka‘i style. They also share their mana‘o (wisdom) and tales of the island’s lore and culture. Visit them at Hale Kealoha Restaurant, located poolside at Hotel Moloka‘i, every Friday, 4 to 6 p.m. Free admission. (808) 553-5347 www.hotelmolokai.com
2. NA ‘OHANA HOALOHA. Kupuna entertainment available at Coffees of Hawai‘i in Kualapu‘u, every Tuesday, 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Free admission. (808) 567-9490, extension #26. www.coffeesofhawaii.com
3. FARMER’S MARKET in the heart of Kaunakakai Town every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Locally grown produce, and arts & crafts by Moloka‘i artisans, available for purchase.
4. PURDY’S MACADAMIA NUT FARM. Crack your own macadamia nuts at this five-acre, all natural farm. Free admission and educational tours available Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed Sundays & Mondays. (808) 567-6601. www.molokai.com/eatnuts
5. KUMU FARMS “WALK ABOUT” TOURS. Open Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., marvel at acres of organic herb and vegetable gardens, and rows of banana and papaya trees. Aunty Lola shares her art of Weaving every Friday. (808) 351-3326. www.kumufarms.com
6. KUALAPU‘U COOKHOUSE. Good food, modest prices, generous portions and friendly service plentiful in this rural community. Local musicians sing kanikapila (Hawaiian musical jam sessions) every Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m. Free admission. (808) 567-9655.
7. KA HŌNUA MŌMONA AT ALIʻI FISHPOND. One of nearly 60 fishponds on Moloka‘i, Ali‘i Fishpond welcomes kamaʻainas and visitors to their Community Work Day every third Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; potluck lunch encouraged. It has been a dream to see the Hawaiian built fishponds working again, and to see them used by the Hawaiian people. A work-in- progress, it is a labor of love to bring these beautiful and ancient fishponds back to life. Gain information on the dynamics of the early Hawaiian aqua culture. Wear suitable clothing for use in mud and the ocean. www.kahonuamomona.org
8. KALAUPAPA LOOKOUT. Located in Pala‘au State Park, striking views of Moloka‘i’s North Shore and Kalaupapa Peninsula await you. Moloka‘i’s cliffs are the world’s highest sea cliffs reaching 1,700 feet. Take Hwy #470 (Kala‘e Highway) North from Hwy #460, drive to the end of the road. Follow the signs down the short path to the overlook. Read all the signs at the lookout to learn the interesting history of Kalaupapa.