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 Unsplash). 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.
Links to the other nine free things to do or see on Maui:
As an island, Maui’s hiking options range from easy-to-walk paths to challenging climbs. They’re all free.
Here are some of my favorites:
Ka’anapali Beach Walkway: The 2.7-mile out-and-back trail north of Lahaina contains sections that are paved, packed dirt and boardwalk. The palm tree-lined path 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 along the waterfront in Lahaina village.
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 path winds by 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 walking in early morning or late afternoon.
Kapalua Resort trails: The resort provides access to miles of coastal and mountain trails. Kapalua Coastal Trail is a pretty 3.5-mile trail (round trip) that runs 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.
Hike to Nakalele Blowhole: A roughly 1-mile walk leads to a 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 rugged lava rock landscape. 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 at the spouting Nakalele Blowhole.
Links to nine other free things to do or see on Maui: