10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 10 parking

Maui Hawaii

Note: Links to other posts at end.

You may not be able to find a free lunch on Maui, but you can find free parking if you know what to look for and where to look.

Certain areas of Maui try to provide a small amount of free parking to access public beaches. These spots are sometimes hard to find and may be marked with a small sign.

In and near Wailea, there’s parking at Keawakapu Wailea-Elahi Public Beach and Wailea Beach.

Near Kihei, there’s public beach access parking at Kamaole Beach Park I, Kamaole Beach Park III.

Lahaina has a public parking lot near the Lahaina Harbor on Front Street between Mokuhina Place and Prison Street.

In the Ka’anapali area, you’ll find public beach access parking (sometimes only a handful of spots) near most of the big resort hotels, such as the Sheraton Maui Resort and the Hyatt Ka’anapili, and Whalers Village. At the very north end of Ka’anapali when it becomes Honokowai, a large free parking lot just north of Honua Kai Resort & Spa off of the Lower Honoapiilani Road provides access to the beach and boardwalk.

Near Napili Bay area, there’s free parking with access to the Kapalua Coastal Trail and beach in a small lot and along the road just north of Napili Kai Beach Resort.

Note: The featured photo is by Nick Brugioni via Unsplash.

Links to the other nine posts about Maui freebies:

  1. Shows
  2. Beaches
  3. Lessons
  4. Farmers markets
  5. Trails and nature
  6. Wildlife
  7. Art and festivals
  8. Scenic drives
  9. Transportation

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 9 transportation

Maui

Note: Links to other posts at end.

You may be able to skip renting a car on Maui if you don’t plan to venture far afield, especially if you stay on the west side of the island.

The Ka’anapali Trolley runs every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily between Whalers Village shopping center, Ka’anapali resort hotels and condominiums, The Fairway Shops and Ka’anapali Golf Courses. Schedules are available at hotels and on the trolley. For more information, call 808-667-0648.

While not free, the Maui Bus service costs only $2 and runs seven days a week, including holidays. Its 13 routes across Maui include stops at Whalers Village in Ka’anapali, Wharf Cinema in Lahaina, Napili and — perhaps most importantly — the Kahului Airport (on the Upcountry and Haiku routes). Take a look at the bus schedules.

You may want to choose lodgings that are within these free transportation areas or offer their own shuttle service. Check with your hotel, resort, condominium management or home rental site.

Note: I took the featured photo.

Links to the first eight free things to do or see on Maui:

1. Shows

2. Beaches

3. Lessons

4. Farmers markets

5. Trails and nature

6. Wildlife

7. Art and festivals

8. Scenic drives

10. Parking

 

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 8 scenic drives

Maui

Note: I’m posting two of these freebies a week through Feb. 13, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Link to other posts at end.

Maui has plenty of wonderful scenic drives that offer free waterfalls, beaches, tidal pools, wildlife and trailheads. The stunning views are worth it even if you don’t get out of the car. Be prepared for some stomach-churning turns.

Perhaps Maui’s best scenic drives is the serpentine Road to Hana on the eastern coast (in the featured photo at top by abbs johnson via Upsplash). I recently wrote about the Road to Hana in another blog post.

On the opposite side of the island, the rough and wild northwest coast offers another fantastic drive, one framed in volcanic rock. The Hanoapiilani Highway, or Highway 30, takes you by beautiful beaches, such as DT Fleming Beach Park (great for body surfing and boogie boarding) and Honoloa Bay (a top snorkeling spot), and the Honoloa Bay Access Trail.

Along Kahekili Highway, or Highway 340, you’ll find more trails, the Nakalele Blowhole and the Olivine tidal pools. Last week, I wrote about the Nakalele Blowhole.

Maui Hawaii
I traced two of the drives — the Kahekili Highway to on the left and the Road to Hana on the right (the lighter blue part is optional) — on this Google Map.

Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

1. Shows

2. Beaches

3. Lessons

4. Farmers markets

5. Trails and nature

6. Wildlife

7. Art and festivals

9. Transportation

10. Parking

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 7 art and festivals

Maui Hawaii

Note: Links to other posts at end.

You’ll find art galleries across Maui that sell art, but there also are several free artsy events.

Maui town parties: Several Maui towns host “town parties” or street festival once a month on Fridays with free activities, such as live music, art shows and face painting. They usually take place at night, but sometimes have daytime activities, too. Wailuku offers activities on the first Friday of each month, Lahaina on the second Friday, Kihei on the fourth Friday and Lana’i on the fifth Friday.

Friday Art Night in Lahaina: Tour Lahaina’s dozen art galleries, meet artists, sip wine and nibble on pupus (snacks) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday night. Grab a free Art Map at the Lahaina Visitor Center before 5 p.m.

Lahaina Arts Society’s Art Festivals: Check out local artists at this popular art fair held every weekend from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lahaina Cannery Mall (in front off Starbucks). The art show previously was called Art in the Park and held at Lahaina’s Banyan Tree Park.

Note: The featured image is “The Pianist” by Lahaina artist Don Dahlke. Credit is to gottShar and licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

1. Shows

2. Beaches

3. Lessons

4. Farmers markets

5. Trails and nature

6. Wildlife

8. Scenic drives

9. Transportation

10. Parking

 

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 6 wildlife

Maui Hawaii

Note: Links to other posts at end.

Consider Maui your outdoor zoo. As you might expect for an island, Maui is rich in sea life, such as dolphins, sea turtles and whales. But you also may see other wildlife, such as birds, mongooses, deer and wild boar.

Between two visits to Maui, I saw sea turtles, whales and an owl. Maui also is home to a wild Hawaiian goose — called a nēnē — but I didn’t see one.

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Lahaina is the only Hawaiian hotel with an on-site penguin colony. Hotel guests and visitors can watch the hotel’s seven penguins swim and waddle at a free feeding at 9:30 a.m. every morning in the atrium lobby.

Maui Hawaii

Maui is teeming with wildlife, such as this owl near Haleakala National Park. (Sheryl Jean)

Note: I snapped the featured photo of a Maui road sign warning of a nēnē crossing.

  1. Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

    1. Shows

    2. Beaches

    3. Lessons

    4. Farmers markets

    5. Trails and nature

    7. Art and festivals

    8. Scenic drives

    9. Transportation

    10. Parking

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 5 trails and nature

Maui Hawaii

Note: Links to other posts at end.

Just because Maui is an island doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer hiking trails — some are easy walks and others are challenging climbs. And it’s free.

Here are some of my favorites:

Ka’anapali Beach Walkway: The 2.7-mile out-and-back trail north of Lahaina is part paved trail, part packed dirt and part boardwalk. The palm tree-lined walk is mostly flat with beautiful views of the beach and many beachfront resorts, such as the Black Rock Sheraton. The trail runs south through Wahikuli State Park and down along waterfront of Lahaina village.

Map of Ka'anapali Walkway
The green line along the coast shows the Ka’anapali Walkway. (Google Maps)

Wailea Coastal Nature Trail: This 1.5-mile, out-and-back trail near Kihei offers beautiful wildflowers and vistas. This easy walk on a paved trail goes past five beaches and stunning views of four islands — West Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini. You may see sea turtles along the shore or humpback whales in the ocean during season. It gets busy, so consider going in early morning or late afternoon.

Kapalua Resort trails: The resort provides access miles of coastal and mountain trails. Kapalua Coastal Trail, a beautiful, 3.5-mile trail (round trip) that goes north from Kapalua Bay Beach through the Ritz-Carlton to DT Fleming Beach Park. Village Walking Trails is a network of six paths that go from Kapalua Village Center along the golf cart path of a former golf course. 

Maui
The green line n this map shows the Kapalua Coastal Trail. (Google Maps)

Hike to Nakalele Blowhole: A roughly 1-mile walk on a rugged lava rock landscape leads to this hole in the ground linked to a partially submerged ocean cave. When waves crash into the rocks, water is pushed through the hole to spout up to 100 feet into the air. There isn’t really a trail; just make your way across the terrain. You don’t have to hike right up to the blowhole to see its geyser-like eruptions. There also are tidepools, stunning ocean views and odd-shaped rock formations. It’s about a 35-minute drive from Lahaina to the blowhole on Kahekili Highway (340).

Note: I snapped the featured photo of visitors watching the Nakalele Blowhole shoot water into the air.

  1. Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

    1. Shows

    2. Beaches

    3. Lessons

    4. Farmers markets

    6. Wildlife

    7. Art and festivals

    8. Scenic drives

    9. Transportation

    10. Parking

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 4 farmers markets

Maui

Note: Links to other posts at end.

Maui’s more than a dozen farmers markets means you can find fresh produce and homemade goods every day of the week somewhere on the island.

You’ll find farmers markets in tourist towns like Kihei and hamlets like Makawao, but they’re all open on different days with different hours. The Maui County Farm Bureau and so does the Hawaii Tourism Authority have lists of some of them, with their location and hours. Here are some standouts:

Farmers Market of Maui-Kihei, 61 South Kihei Road, Kihei: In addition to fresh papaya and pineapple all year, a commercial kitchen whips up fresh guacamole, pineapple salsa and papaya seed dressing.

Upcountry Farmers Market, Kula Malu Town Center, Pukalani: It offers homemade banana bread to fresh fish to passion fruit butter from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. You’ll also find flowers, honey, fruit preserves, bread, kombucha tea, prepared foods and live music.

Hana Fresh, between mile markers 34 and 35 on the Hana Highway, just north of Hana: This farmers market at the Hana Medical Center offers certified organic vegetables, fruits and herbs plus baked goods. There’s a picnic area and a café, which serves breakfast and lunch using fresh ingredients from a 7-acre farm. Hana Health operates the stand and farm as part of its prevent care program. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Kula Country Farms, 6240 Kula Highway at Kekaulike Avenue, Kula: This fourth-generation farm and stand is famous for its strawberries. You also can pick your own strawberries and pumpkins (seasonally). It’s open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.

Note: I snapped the featured photo.

  1. Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

    1. Shows

    2. Beaches

    3. Lessons

    5. Trails and nature

    6. Wildlife

    7. Art and festivals

    8. Scenic drives

    9. Transportation

    10. Parking

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 3 lessons

Maui

Note: Links to other posts at end.

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the culture of another place, than taking classes about its culture, history, food and more. Much of that can be done on Maui for free.

Take ukulele lessons from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Lahaina Cannery Mall.

The Whalers Village shopping center in Ka’anapali offers a bunch of different classes — all for free:

  • Learn how to make a lei — the garland of flowers given as a tradition to guess arriving or departing — at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the lower courtyard.
  • Watch a free movie with free popcorn on Tuesday and Thursday nights (shows start 15 minutes after sunset) at the lower level courtyard. Recent movies included “Aladdin” and “Goosebumps.” Check the weekly movie schedule online.
  • Learn how to weave with coconut fronds from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the front entrance of the Whale Pavilion.
  • Learn about the coconut and watch a husking demonstration from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesdays at the beach entrance.

If you stay at the Ka’anapali Hotel, you can participate in a dozen Hawaiian cultural activities — all free for guests. (It will cost non-hotel guests $20.) Activities include lei making, hula dancing, learning to cloth print and weave with plants, learning how to play the ukulele, learning about Hawaiian storytelling and learning some common Hawaiian words and phrases and a coconut hulking demonstration.

Note: I snapped the features photos and used BeFunky photo editor.

  1. Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

    1. Shows

    2. Beaches

    4. Farmers markets

    5. Trails and nature

    6. Wildlife

    7. Art and festivals

    8. Scenic drives

    9. Transportation

    10. Parking

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 2 beaches

Maui Hawaii

Note: Links to other posts at end.

Maui has so many great beaches and hidden coves that it’s hard to make recommendations, but I’ll try.

One the west side of the island, Ka’anapali Beach is one of Maui’s longest (3 miles) and most popular beaches. Kapalua Beach is a nice crescent beach that attracts families and sea turtles. DT Fleming Beach Park (one of my favorite beaches) is great for body surfing and boogie boarding. On the southeastern part of Maui, check out Makena Beach.

Some good beginner surf spots are Lahaina’s Puamana Beach Park, the Lahiana Breakwall, Kihei Cove, Launiupoko Beach and Ka’anapali Beach.

I recently wrote about the top 5 snorkeling beaches on Maui.

Note: I took the featured photo of DT Fleming Beach Park.

Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

1. Shows

3. Lessons

4. Farmers markets

5. Trails and nature

6. Wildlife

7. Art and festivals

8. Scenic drives

9. Transportation

10. Parking

10 free things to do or see on Maui: No. 1 shows

Hawaii

Note: Now that all 10 posts have published, I’ve added links to the other nine at the end.

A trip to Hawaii doesn’t have to break the bank.

If you’re a first-time visitor or just want the biggest bang for your buck, try Maui. The island has a little bit of everything – from a volcano to rainforests to beautiful beaches.

First, look for lower airfares and vacation packages during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Once on Maui, there are plenty of free things to do and see, letting you splurge on a traditional luau or a zip-line activity for the family.

Here is the first of 10 tips: free shows.

Sunset cliff dive: This breathtaking sight is a tribute to King Kahekili, Maui’s last independent king in the 18th century. Sunset cliff diving takes place every night at Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa in Ka’anapili.

Hula shows: The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel offers a free hula and Hawaiian music show every day, except Mondays, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Lahaina Cannery Mall offers free hula shows. Check the mall’s calendar for dates and times.

Hawaiian music: Listen to a musical performance from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel lobby.

Maui
The Hawaiian hula and music show at the Ka’anapali Beach hotel is free. (Sheryl Jean)

Note: The featured photo at top of a sunset cliff dive at Black Rock in Ka’anapali is by Andre Gaulin via Unsplash.

Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:

2. Beaches

3. Lessons

4. Farmers markets

5. Trails and nature

6. Wildlife

7. Art and festivals

8. Scenic drives

9. Transportation

10. Parking