While Maalaea is often overlooked as a full-day destination, there’s actually a ton of wonderful activities and attractions worth exploring. From departing on one of Maui’s best boat tours to seeing Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles up close and personal, there’s plenty of fun to be had for every member of your group.
Some of our favorite Maalaea activities include:
Hula, Hawaiian Music, Luau Feast & Fire Dancing
At the top of our list are luaus. Why? Attending a Maui luau gives you so much in one event: delicious Hawaiian food, graceful hula dancing, history and legend from the told in story by a local Hawaiian expert, beautiful island music while sipping on tropical drinks and watching the sunset over the ocean. Not sure it gets better than that. But it does! The best luau shows have fire-knife dancers to finish things off. VERY IMPRESSIVE! (And on that note, we suggest only going to a show that offers fire dancing.) It’s perfect for newlywed couples as well as for families with kids. We personally go to 4-5 shows every year, and we live here. That says something.
Reserve your seats for the best Maui luaus.
Snorkeling, Scuba Diving & SNUBA at Molokini Crater
Departing daily from Maalaea Harbor, snorkel boats are perfect for travelers looking to explore some of Maui’s best snorkeling and scuba diving destinations, including Molokini Crater and South Maui’s Turtle Town. Whether you want to snorkel, scuba dive, or give SNUBA a try, they offer options for every preference. Their most popular morning tours usually include snorkeling at Molokini and Turtle Town (with optional scuba and snuba), all necessary gear, complimentary BBQ and lunch, fully stocked open bar, impeccable service, spacious boat decks, top safety standards and optional underwater photo and video services. Highly recommended for all ages!
Book your seats on a Molokini snorkeling tour.
From December 15th to April 15th, Maui is one of the best places in the world to whale watch! Maui whale watching tours offer daily whale watching tours from Maalaea Harbor aboard their comfortable catamarans, offering perfect views for a fun day on the water with friends and family. Their staff of expert naturalists share valuable information about the most popular humpback whale behaviors, and even have hydrophones on board to allow guests to hear as the males sing underwater! Tours include breakfast and lunch, cocktails, sodas, and water, and they limit tour sizes to only 40 people for better viewing purposes.
Another whale watch excursion worth mentioning is hosted by Hawaii Ocean Rafting. Hawaii Ocean Rafting hosts small group whale watch tours aboard a speedy 30-foot hard bottom raft. Whales tend to come much closer to smaller vessels than larger ones, and with only several other passengers on board, each seat is the best seat in the house. Whales have been known to come just feet from passengers aboard this tour! Hawaii Ocean Rafting tours depart from Lahaina Harbor, a 25-minute drive from Ma’alaea.
Scenic Discovery Flight
Shoot down Kuihelani highway to Kahului Airport for a unique opportunity to learn how to fly a plane in the skies above Maui. Fly Maui presents a chance for people of all ages to take their first lesson in flight school. Not only does Fly Maui’s Discovery Flight experience bring the joy of flying to just about anyone, but it also offers an unforgettable experience of exploring the captivating terrain of the Valley Isle from above.
BOOK YOUR INTRODUCTORY FLIGHT BY CALLING (808) 280-3290.
See Marine Life at Maui Ocean Center
The largest and most prestigious aquarium in Hawaii, Maui Ocean Center is an excellent place to learn more about Hawaii’s variety of marine life, spend a rainy afternoon with the kids, attend a special talk from one of Hawaii’s marine specialists, or even scuba dive in the 750,000 gallon saltwater shark tank! Located in the heart of Maalaea, guests will enjoy seeing special exhibits like the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Lagoon, Hammerhead Harbor, Sea Jelly Gallery, Marine Mammal Discovery Center, The Tide Pool, Hawaiians & The Sea, and more. Keep an eye on their events calendar for unique opportunities and tours!
Like the idea of catching your own dinner, or interested in seeing what Maui’s marine life has to offer? Head out for a day on the water with the bottom fishing pros at Maui Fun Charters. The 4 hour morning tour aboard the Marjorie Ann or Pamela departs from Maalaea Harbor, and includes personal attention from the crew, as well as an opportunity to try a greater variety of fishing styles, thanks to the small group sizes on each tour. This makes for the perfect family activity, and the views can’t be beat! They also use the newest electronics and offer plenty of comfortable seating for all guests.
Book your Maui fishing trip by calling (808) 572-2345.
Flying High at Maui Zipline (currently closed indefinitely. Try Skyline Hawaii)
Located only a 5 to 10 minute drive from Maalaea Harbor, Maui Zipline is one of our favorite activities in central Maui. Hosting guests anywhere from 5 to 88 years of age, you’ll be treated to a 5-line zip tour over some of Maui’s prettiest, most stunning areas. Guides are all very patient and safety-conscious, and we especially love that each line is side-by-side, giving you the opportunity to ride alongside your friends and family! Check out the amazing views of the nearby West Maui Mountains and swaying palm trees, tropical grounds and a sparkling lagoon of Maui Tropical Plantation, as well as distant views of Maui’s Haleakala Volcano. Then continue exploring the property, home to The Mill House restaurant, Kumu Farms fruit stand, Tropical Tram Tour, shopping and more.
Located just a short drive from Ma’alaea, Maui’s new indoor trampoline park is the ultimate way to spend a rainy afternoon with the kiddos or fun weekend outing with friends. The 25,000 foot park is open to all ages, and is separated into zones by age and size for the safest jumping experience. Kama’aina discounts are available, and unlimited jump passes are available for only $25. Guests are encouraged to reserve their spot and fill out the waiver online, as there is a capacity limit. This new Wailuku attraction is popular for all members of the family, and an entertaining workout for everyone!
Learn more about our Maui Trampoline Park by calling (808) 214-JUMP.
TRY AN ESCAPE ROOM AT MYSTERY MAUI
One of the newest entertainment crazes in the U.S., escape rooms have landed in Wailuku Town at Mystery Maui. Available for groups of 2 to 6 people, whether it be your coworkers on a special pau hana mission, a fun date night activity, family-friendly outing on a rainy day or thrilling girls night out, you’ll use your best detective skills to solve one of two challenging and entertaining mysteries, including the missing chef at The Ramen Shop and Stella Superstar’s private pop concert. With under 60 minutes to decode the given clues, you’ll work together, along with help from your game marshal, to see how far you can get and escape the room.
RESERVE YOUR ESCAPE ROOM BY CALLING (808) 249-2062.
SEE SUNRISE & BIKE DOWN HALEAKALA VOLCANO
Combine two memorable Maui tour experiences by embarking on a sunrise mission atop the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala Volcano, followed by a scenic, self-guided 23-mile downhill bike ride to the north shore town of Haiku. Available for guests 12 and over who are at least 4’10” tall, Bike Maui’s Sunrise Special tour embarks from Haiku at 3am, where you’ll hop into a tour van for an entertaining – albeit dark – guided drive up to the entrance and summit of Haleakala National Park in time for sunrise. Afterward, you’ll be driven back down to 6,500 feet for the second portion of the experience, a self-paced bike ride down the volcanic slopes through Upcountry’s most gorgeous areas. Stop for breakfast, and to browse galleries and take plenty of photos, and return with plenty of time left to enjoy a day of fun in the sun.
BOOK YOUR TOUR WITH BIKE MAUI AT (808) 575-9575.
Sunset Dinner & Cocktail Cruise
One of the best budget-friendly evening boat tours on Maui, Quicksilver offers a fun sunset and dinner cruise departing directly from Maalaea Harbor. Cruise along the Pali coast while enjoying spectacular sunset views, and enjoy live music entertainment and dancing aboard their spacious double-decker boat. Tours include table seating, full dinner, tropical cocktails, beer, wine, and epic sunset views, and whale watching during winter months! Children 6 and under are free, and service is always friendly and welcoming.
BOOK YOUR SEATS FOR A MAUI DINNER CRUISE.
Private Sailing Charters
Relax on the sea with a sail aboard the 44-foot Shadowfax. Operating directly out of Ma’alaea Harbor, Shadowfax offers private sailing charters, whale watches, custom snorkeling tours, and overnight adventures for up to six guests. No matter what adventure you choose, you’ll sail with a seasoned crew, explore some of Maui’s most secret locales, and take in unique views of the stunning Valley Isle and neighbor islands.
BOOK YOUR SAILING TRIP BY CALLING (808) 359-8182.
Maui Film Festival
Each summer, the Maui Film Festival returns to celebrate filmmakers, original cinema, culinary arts, and the Maui community. Over the course of five days and nights, the Maui Film Festival hosts an array of original film screenings, premiers, foodie festivals, award ceremonies, and so much more! The events take place at several open-air locations around Maui, with a focus on Wailea, located only a short distance from Ma’alaea. The 2020 Maui Film Festival runs June 17-21, and you can still get tickets!
Mini Golfing at Maui Golf and Sports Park
Also located conveniently in Maalaea, Maui Golf & Sports Park is a fun, kid-friendly place to test your adventurous side. Play a round of mini golf, or choose from one of their other onsite activities, including rock climbing, bumper boats and x-treme bungee trampoline. Open daily from 10am to 6pm, this makes for a great midday break (and workout).
Maui Ocean Center Rocks!
“We stay on Maui for 2 months every winter. My family bought the annual passes because we end up going to the aquarium so much. What a great spot!”
Renee Hopkins – North Carolina
Great snorkeling at Coral Gardens
“I’ve been to Molokini twice. I was really impressed with how good the snorkeling was at Coral Gardens too. Protected by the sea cliffs, this spot was teaming with turtles. So much fun.”
Mike Johnson – Victoria, Canada