Maalaea and the area immediately around it is often overlooked as a destination for which you can spend a whole day exploring. There are actually tons of attractions and activities worth exploring within 10 minutes. Below are 5 places to visit that are within a 10-minute drive from Maalaea.
1. The Sunflower Farm
The Sunflower fields draw the attention of motorists passing through central Maui. Pacific Biodiesel planted the sunflowers in order to make the biggest biofuel crop in the State of Hawaii.
The harvest process usually takes place within 110 days after planting. Currently, the sunflower crop is a 115-acre biofuel crop where approximately 12 acres are used primarily for the sunflowers.
Pacific Biodiesel aims to expand the diversity of fields previously used for sugarcane production by growing combine-harvested oil crops. You’ll notice the wave of yellow sunflowers stands erected and bent in the direction of the sun’s rays. These rays are being converted to energy via this precious oil and are used to power the island. The best opportunity to visit these fields in a safe, legal manner is by parking at the Maui Tropical Plantation and walking through their fields when in bloom.
2. Havens Maui
We’re hesitant in sharing this spot because we don’t want it overrun more than it already is, but we just heard Havens Maui is opening up 2 more locations (Pukalani and Kahului) so hopefully, Kihei remains the same. This often-overlooked and hidden spot is an absolute gem! Master chef Zach Sato (former executive chef at the Restaurant at Hotel Wailea) has traded in his starched chef shirt for an apron and the comfort foods he holds dear. Smash burgers, noodles, and sushi offer locals what they love and visitors what they crave.
Their Kihei location is at the Shell Station in North Kihei at 20 Manao Kala Street and they’re open every day of the week from 10 am to 8 pm. You can order online from their menu for pick up or call (808) 868-2600.
3. Sprout Vegan Cafe
Regardless of your dietary preferences, Sprout Vegan Cafe has something for everyone. While Sprout features the hallmarks of any vegan establishment, like salads and smoothies, their innovative plant-based dishes are what sets them apart from the rest. Here you’ll find “lox” bagels with house-made vegan cream cheese, spicy tofu sushi rolls, and local comfort food favorites like spicy kimchi fries topped generously with furikake.
Sprout Vegan Cafe is the brainchild of two young Maui locals, Lily Freeman and Seagar MacDougall. Fueled by a passion for plant-based food, locally sourced ingredients, and culinary expertise, Lily and Seagar opened Sprout in early 2020 in the form of a food truck. Instantly a hit, Sprout quickly outgrew the truck and found its new home at a brick and mortar location in the Wailea Gateway Center. Sprout Vegan Cafe is open from 10 am to 8 pm daily.
4. Helicopter Tours from Kahului Airport
Ma’alaea’s proximity to the airport in Kahului is a huge bonus, and it doesn’t just come into play on your arrival and departure day. The Kahului Heliport is located near Kahului Airport, where helicopter tours shuttle visitors to the most striking, isolated locations around Maui day in and day out. Helicopter tours allow visitors to lay eyes on sights few have seen, from sequestered waterfalls in the West Maui Mountains to precipitous rainforest valleys near Hana.
5. Sunset on the lawn at Kamaole Beach Park 3
Kamaole Beach Park III is located in Kihei, South Maui. This has one of the best lawns on Maui for families and party-goers alike.
Across from the golden beach is a huge lawn area; the lawn area is also equipped with bathrooms and showers as well as picnic tables and BBQ facilities. It is perfect for a day out with the family or a sunset picnic with your beloved.
The beach area is surrounded by rocks, but there’s still space to swim and body surf. Just watch out for rock formations just below the surface.
6. Lunch from Tin Roof Maui
Tin roof Maui is a new era “mom and pop shop”. This shop is owned by internationally recognized chef Sheldon Simeon and his wife, Janice. The food at Tin Roof is described as “Aloha Love” which explains the fact that it is always busy.
Simeon keeps his menu simple, consisting of comforting food in the form of rice bowls with great toppings at affordable prices. They named the restaurant “Tin Roof” because of the consistent rain we get in Hawaii; the day they named the restaurant it was raining and they wanted to stay grounded. The sound of the rain on the tin roof made them think of simple living.
With their many combined textures and flavors, your lunch experience will be one to remember. Tin Roof has a modern vibe with friendly staff, and the waiting period on your meals usually varies from about 15 minutes. We suggest ordering on their website beforehand, and you can skip the line.
Much of the success of this restaurant rests in the ability to order great quality take-out at incredible prices. Their goal is to provide the community with honest, great food.
7. Leoda’s Pie Shop
On your way to Lahaina, you will find this little gem located on the Honoapiilani Highway. With a casual atmosphere, Leoda’s Pie Shop caters to the tourists as well as the locals. This shop makes you feel right at home, with its metal bar stools, wooden panels, and hearty southern charm.
Leoda’s Pie Shop is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offering filling meals with options like burgers, sandwiches, hoagies, salads, and hot dogs. Despite the odd location, they’ve built a great name for themselves, attracting visitors from far and wide. It sounds like a cliché, but you can taste the heart and freshness of their products.
Leoda’s Pie shop’s focus is on fresh ingredients purchased from local suppliers to offer the best possible product to their clients.
8. Maui Tropical Plantation
The Maui Tropical Plantation has been around for decades, providing tours of the plantation and demonstrating the benefits of diversified agriculture. Over many years, the grounds have been transformed to offer local farmers the perfect location for organically grown crops and happy livestock.
Here you’ll find The Mill House Roasting Company, The Mill House Restaurant, Tram Tours, Farm Stand, Retail Shops, Ziplines, Occasional Entertainment, Culinary Events, Historical Display Pieces, and more.
One of the biggest draws of this property lies in the stunning view of the Waikapu Valley and the beautiful grounds, from the Mill House lanai. You can’t beat a more Hawaiian view.
Here are just a few of the attractions:
- Tram Tour: The tram tour takes you through the grounds of the plantation, showing off a variety of crops, tropical fruit trees, and a live demonstration of coconut husking.
- Maui Zipline: This zipline is a family-friendly zipline course that welcomes children above 5 years to join in the fun.
9. HeleWai Eco-Tours’ Honolua Ridgeline Hike: A Conservation Experience
Truth: This hike takes place more than fifteen minutes away from Maalaea but it’s well, well worth the drive. Considered one of the most extraordinary hikes on the island, it leads small groups across private land that’s nothing short of stunning. In-the-know and passionate naturalists provide an in-depth lesson on the region’s flora and fauna and highlight the need to protect West Maui’s watersheds and native forests. Both inspiring and exciting, this is a special glimpse into Honolua’s cultural and ecological importance. Call (808) 205-6032 to book your hike!