whale watching

Maalaea Activities

By | Hawaii, Maalaea, Maui | No Comments

 

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.  Maui luau photos

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!snorkel and scuba in Maui

Book your seats on a Molokini snorkeling tour.

 

Whale Watching

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.
Maui whale watching
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.
lanai dolphins

 

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. maui flights

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!
Maui Ocean Center

 

Bottom Fishing

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.
fishing in Maui

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.
Maui zipline

 

Jumping Around

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!

jumping on Maui

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.

escape room Maui

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.

bike maui sunrise special tour

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.
Maui sunset cruises

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. sailing

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!Maui Film Festival photos

 

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).

 

Maalaea Lodging

Hotels, Resorts, Condos in Maalaea

Maalaea Restaurants

Quick Grinds and Dining in Maalaea

Maalaea Beaches

Sun, Sand & Surf!

Maalaea Activities

Things to do in Maalaea

Maalaea History

A quick look into the past

Maalaea Harbor Map

Slip Numbers, Parking and More!

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

Have questions? Give us a shout!

Maalaea to do

5 Places Within A 10 Minute Drive Of Maalaea Worth Visiting

By | Hawaii, Maalaea, Maui | No Comments

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 is 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. 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.

leodas Maui

Leoda’s Pie shop’s focus is on fresh ingredients purchased from local suppliers to offer the best possible product to their clients.

 

3. 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.

kamaole sunset

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.

 

4. 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’s simple, consisting of comforting food in the form of rice bowls with great topping 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 vary from about 15 minutes.  We suggest ordering on their website beforehand, and you can skip the line.

Tin Roof Maui

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.

 

5. 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.

tropical plantation

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.

tropical plantation zipline tram

maui film festival

The Maui Film Festival Films and Parties

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We’re really excited about the upcoming Maui Film Festival!  If you haven’t gotten tickets for the Celestial Cinema or any of the parties, there’s 50% savings going on for a little while longer.  Order them now!  If you’ve never been, take it from these recent honorees.

Bryan Cranston

“What this festival clearly shows is an appreciation for film as an art form as opposed to just a pastime. They fully embrace the filmmaker, not just in the feature film arena, but in the short films and the really important documentaries and the smaller films that may not find an audience on a commercial level. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less important and valuable from an artistic point of view.”

 

Zac Efron

“I’ve been to Toronto, I’ve been to Sundance. All these really cold places, and this is just way better.…This is the best thing in the world!”

“This is a huge honor for me. It’s so great to be here with you guys. This is already the coolest film festival I’ve ever been to. I would come back every year if I could. I hope I can.”

“It’s been the best time.  I’ve been here for three days, and I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble already, just doing the most amazing stuff.  I’ve been surfing, and we went and did something really cool yesterday.  We went on this hike into the jungle, and it was unreal.  It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  We did this huge cliff jump.I’m here with my little brother Dylan.  This is great for us.  It’s like a dream come true.”

 

Joe Manganiello

“I love Maui, and I’m excited to be back.  Last time I was here was five years ago.  We brought a documentary that I directed and produced with my brother to the festival, but it wasn’t the first time we’d played the film. So this time, we came back five years later with our first scripted feature, and this will actually be the first time it’s played for a large audience.”

“Anyone should jump at the opportunity to come out to the Maui Film Festival. It’s gorgeous, It’s incredible! Seeing your film up on a giant screen on a golf course at night with the stars above you it a really unique experience.”

 

Connie Britton

“You’re all here in this incredibly beautiful place.  This is the most amazing venue to see a film!  So you’re gonna get every bit of this movie, and I just hope you love it because we really loved making it.”

“Anything that happens in Maui I think has a sort of mystique about it, and it feels almost holy a little bit.  So this feels different to me than other film festivals because it really feels like it’s of this place and of the land, and I think the films here represent that.”

 

Andrew Garfield

“The way they select their films is always about positivity and I guess the spirit of aloha.”

“I feel like the film festival is the embodiment of the spirit of Aloha. It’s so inspiring to see this mass of people collected to watch moving pictures, it’s incredible in this setting!”

 

Olivia Wilde

“The Maui Film Festival is singular in its obvious beauty and the environment actually can’t be beat.  But it’s also a festival that is about movies and people who love movies.  And it’s one that has really embraced so many different types of performers, and directors.  I’ve come here as a producer, an actress and now as a director, and it’s awesome! It feels like such a supportive environment. Like all the good, small festivals, it’s really about enthusiasm for the art form and not about shmoozing.  It makes you kind of fall in love with the art form again, and obviously fall in love with Maui because I never ever want to leave.”

“It feels like coming home to a place that has always supported me. It’s been so nice to come back and see the same people and remember 8 years ago watching our movie screened under the stars in that beautiful setting. I’m so honored to be here, and it’s just the greatest time!”

“This festival is about celebrating what makes film fun and enjoying films in the most beautiful possible setting.”

“Previously my favorite film festival was the Telluride. That was until I came to Maui to the Maui Film Festival, which is an even more beautiful location and is even more low-key!”

 

Paul Rudd

“People that have always talked about the Maui Film Festival have always spoken about it with such enthusiasm and glowing reviews. I’ve seen pictures from the Maui Film Festival. I remember seeing everyone down at a beach watching a movie, and it looked like that seems like a really cool film festival. And so I’m very excited that I finally get to come to it.”

 

Maya Erskine

“I had heard about the Maui Film Festival because a friend had been awarded the rising star award before.  And I remember seeing that and was just blown away that there was even a film festival in Maui.  I thought that that was too good to be true.  And the fact that I got to come, I feel like I won the lottery and I snuck myself in some how and I’m gonna get kicked out soon!  It’s just too good.”

 

Pierce Brosnan

“For me, it’s deeply personal because of Hawaii and to be accepted into a community, to be a part of a community like Kauai is very meaningful to Keely and myself and the children. And then to get the Pathfinder Award from the Maui Film Festival is just the cherry on the cake really. I was here 9 years ago, and they celebrated my work then, and tonight we’re celebrating Keely’s work, the documentary Poisoning Paradise and also this award, the Pathfinder Award. SO I’m deeply honored, and very happy to be with everyone to celebrate movies, and celebrate movies that are meaningful to the planet right now, when it’s in desperate need of environmental consciousness and awareness more than ever.”

 

James Marsden

“It’s pretty unbelievable to me that I get to do what I love for a living. To me, it’s even more unbelievable that I get to come to the most beautiful place in the world to be celebrated for it…. Please continue to support this festival. They are phenomenal people and have been so good to me over the years. And it’s always great to come here and see you on this gorgeous island!”

 

For film buffs, there are also a variety of filmmaker events, such as filmmakers brunch and several panels. The Maui Film Festival offers a variety of festival packages to choose from, which are available at mauifilmfestival.com. Get your tickets now and don’t miss out on Maui’s event of the year!

The Maui Film Festival is being rescheduled.  Check back for times!

waterfalls Maui

11 Days on Maui

By | Hawaii, Maui | One Comment

With 440-plus islands on Earth, vacationers have a surplus of sandy shores from which to choose—from the glamorous, white-washed cliffs of Santorini to the romantic, glassy-watered coves of Saint Martin.

And yet, global travelers consistently choose to spend their hard-earned vacation days, honeymoons, and holidays on Maui, which, as the second largest island in Hawaii, sees more than 2.2 million visitors per year.

11 day Maui itinerary update

It’s no wonder. Frequently rated the #1 island in the world, the Valley Isle has it all—sugary beaches, radiant waters, rugged coastlines, stunning flora, and beguiling fauna. And from ziplining through lush valleys to diving off shimmery waterfalls to eating five-star cuisine (often with an ocean view), Maui also offers countless things to do—so much so planning an 11-day trip to the island can leave even the most decisive among us dizzied.

While part of the appeal of vacations is going with the flow—particularly in Hawaii—having a general outline of where and how to spend your days will give you the freedom to enjoy each experience to the fullest.

Here, then, is the ultimate 11-day Maui itinerary—which will hammer home why the island is a premier vacation destination.

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sailing around Maui

Treat Yo Self!

By | Maalaea, Maui | No Comments

luxury resortRaise your hand if money has ever stopped you from doing something absolutely amazing.

Right.

Now assuming you’re not Larry Ellison, and everyone else has answered in the affirmative, let’s now assume that you have the opportunity to explore Maui with the ultimate ‘treat yo’self’ mantra in mind. You don’t need to be Ellison to enjoy some luxurious Maui experiences.  It’s worth holding back on consistent and extravagant vacation indulging in order to enjoy one or two truly sumptuous life long memories.

While everyone’s list would obviously vary based on their specific desires and interests, we hope you enjoy the following treat yo’self suggestions! And get a +1 to join you. Ahem.

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