Secret Beach in Maui, Hawaii

3 Days in Maui Itinerary: The Ultimate 2024 Guide!

Considering a trip to Maui? Our 3 days in Maui itinerary is the perfect first look at this beautiful Hawaiian island.

Even on a short 3-day Maui itinerary, you can have some epic experiences, from sunrise (or sunset) at the top of a 10,023-foot volcano to driving one of the most scenic roads on the planet.

Plus, Maui boasts many many beautiful beaches, where you can just lie back and bask in the warmth of the Hawaiian sun. Maui’s black sand beach is one of the top destinations in Hawaii!

Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii, and one of the younger islands in the chain (Oahu and Kauai are older, while the Big Island is younger).

Maui ocean sunset in Hawaii
Watching the sun set over the ocean is one of the joys of being in Maui

A beloved honeymooning destination, Maui is also fun for families with kids, beach lovers, and just about anyone looking for a place to kick back and relax.

The Valley Isle isn’t very large (about 727 square miles), but there are so many fun and exciting things to do in Maui that 3 days will go by in a flash.

We usually visit Maui for a week: seven days gives us enough time to enjoy a variety of Maui experiences plus time to just chill on a beach with a book or enjoy leisurely sunset strolls. Even so, we often spend our return flight planning our next Maui vacation!

We realize, though, that not everyone can spend a week on each island, and many travelers visit two islands in Hawaii in a week.

And that’s why we put together this 3-day Maui itinerary, to bring together the best of the island for a short visit.

Planning a trip to Maui? Sunrise at the top of the Haleakala crater is a magical experience you will remember long after your visit!

And now, let’s get started discovering how to spend the perfect 3 days on Maui!

Just after sunrise at Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii
Witnessing a Haleakala sunrise is a must on a first-time Maui itinerary!

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3 days in Maui Itinerary

On this Maui itinerary, you will explore the major sightseeing spots on the island, plus do a couple of hikes and have some time to spend on the beach.

Plan to arrive the evening before, so that you are ready to go early on day one, and catch the latest possible flight out on day three, to maximize your time on Maui.

If you have the time after you settle into your accommodations, head to the beach to catch a colorful Hawaiian sunset!

Winter sunset at Kapalua Bay in Maui, Hawaii
Sunset at Kapalua Bay

Day 1 of Your 3 Days in Maui: A Snorkeling Paradise and the Best of Maui’s Gold Sand Beaches!

On the first day of your 3-day Maui itinerary, enjoy some of the iconic experiences for which Maui is renowned.

Go snorkeling at the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town, get some beach time at one of the west side’s golden sand beaches (or do a bit of beach-hopping!), stretch your legs with a scenic coastal hike, and wind down with a Maui sunset.

It’s a day to enjoy the best of Maui’s west side ocean offerings without the need to drive too much.

Snorkel at Molokini Crater (and Turtle Town!)

A volcano that erupted more than 200,000 years ago, Molokini is today a picture-perfect crescent shaped crater that lies in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Maui.

The partially submerged crater offers a sheltered location for snorkeling, snuba, and scuba diving. Visibility is excellent!

Molokini Crater in Maui, Hawaii
The crescent-shaped Molokini Crater
Marine life at Molokini Crater in Maui, Hawaii
Marine life at Molokini Crater in Maui

There are about 250 or so marine species you can see on an underwater adventure at Molokini Crater, including colorful yellow tang, parrotfish, black triggerfish, bluefin trevally, and moray eels.

A boat tour (or raft tour if you are adventurous) is the way to get to Molokini to snorkel, and there are many companies that run tours to the islet.

We did this highly-rated catamaran tour from Maalaea Harbor on our last visit to Maui and were thrilled because not only did we have an excellent snorkeling experience at Molokini, we saw a whale breach on our way to the snorkeling spot!

The tour also stops at Turtle Town, which is one of the other top snorkeling spots in Maui. Here you have the opportunity to snorkel with Hawaiian green sea turtles!

>> Check pricing and availability for this Molokini and Turtle Town snorkel tour now!

Have lunch at Monkeypod Kitchen (and pie at Leoda’s)

Monkeypod Kitchen is one of our favorite casual restaurants in Hawaii!

There are two locations in west Maui, one in Wailea and one in Kaanapali, and you can choose the location closer to the beach or beaches you plan to visit in the afternoon.

Their mai tais are considered the best on the Hawaiian islands, but we also love their non-alcoholic cocktails.

And we’ve never visited Maui or Oahu without having pizza at a Monkeypod restaurant. But most other things we’ve tried have also been excellent, and they have several good options for kids.

They have some good pies for dessert!

Margherita pizza at Monkeypod in Hawaii
Margherita pizza!
Strawberry cream pie at Monkeypod Restaurant in Hawaii
A slice of delicious strawberry cream pie at Monkeypod!

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop is a Maui institution, and today is the day you can stop by, for lunch or even just for dessert!

They offer lots of sandwiches, salads, and burgers, but their pies are definitely the top reason to visit. Our favorites are the coconut cream pie and the chocolate mac nut pie!

Leoda’s is the perfect place to get a packed lunch to eat on the beach.

Relax at a golden sand Maui beach!

The west side of Maui is strung with more golden sand beaches than you can hope to visit, even on a longer Maui vacation.

Napili Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii
\Napili Bay Beach

We’ve rounded up some of the best beaches in South Maui, and the best beaches in Maui overall, so you have a starting point to hone down on your favorites.

The Kam I, II, and III beaches in Kihei, Wailea Beach, Keawakapu Beach, Napili Beach, and Kapalua Bay are all great choices for usually good conditions for swimming.

First-timers should pick a lifeguarded beach to be safe, and consult with the lifeguard on duty before entering the water.

Calm waters at Wailea Beach, perfect for swimming or wading in the waters
Wailea Beach in southwest Maui

Hike the Kapalua Coastal Trail (or the Wailea Beach Path)

One of the most popular family-friendly hikes on Maui, the Kapalua Coastal Trail is an opportunity to stretch your legs while enjoying spectacular ocean views.

The coastal trail links Kapalua Bay Beach with D. T. Fleming Beach and is an excellent sunset hike.

Along the route, be sure to do the detour to take in the unusual Dragon’s Teeth rock formation at Makaluapuna Point!

Dragon's Teeth at Makaluapuna Point on the Kapalua Coastal Trail in Maui
The photo-worthy dragon’s teeth rock formation in Kapalua!

If you picked a South Maui beach for your afternoon beach time, you can consider walking the Wailea Beach Path, which offers great water views and is another excellent sunset walk in Maui.

The Wailea Beach Path runs between the Andaz Maui and the Fairmont Kea Lani.

In between these two walks is another famous beachfront walk: the Kaanapali Beach Walk, which goes the length of the long (and stunning!) Ka’anapali Beach.

If you walk this coastal promenade, plan to end near Black Rock (at the Sheraton) at sunset to watch the cliff diving ceremony.

Sunset at Kaanapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii
Sunset at Kaanapali Beach: you can see the island of Lanai in the distance

Enjoy drinks and dinner

You will find excellent restaurants all along the west side if you are looking to end your first day on the island with a special meal.

We love Roy’s restaurants, and we always make room in our Maui itinerary for dinner at Roy’s Ka’anapali. The menu focuses on Asian cuisine with a twist of Hawaii.

Roy's Misoyaki Butterfish
Roy’s Misoyaki Butterfish
Chocolate Ganache cake with Vanilla Icecream at Roy's in Hawaii
Chocolate ganache cake with vanilla ice cream at Roy’s

Merriman’s in Kapalua, and Matteo’s Osteria,  Kō, The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante, Morimoto, and Spago, all in Wailea, are other great choices for a special meal.

Make reservations in advance!

For a more casual vibe and excellent food, try Nalu’s South Shore Grill in Kihei. This is another Maui restaurant that never fails to make it on our Maui itinerary.

Or Attend a Luau

If a luau is on your Maui bucket list, you can skip the evening oceanfront hike or walk and spend the evening at a luau instead.

Usually combining Hawaiian delicacies with traditional music and dancing, a luau offers the chance to experience local culture, especially if you choose a highly-rated one.

Fire dancing at a luau
Fire dancing is usually part of a Polynesian show

Know, however, that a luau is typically an investment of 3 to 4 hours on a structured experience, and that the food at a luau, even the best luau, is not an epicurean experience.

If you prefer an unstructured evening of enjoying the west Maui shoreline followed by an epic dining experience, go with the option we described above.

These are three Maui luaus that we thoroughly enjoyed and would not hesitate to repeat:

The Feast at Mokapu is the luau we attended most recently in Maui. Offered at the Maui Andaz, this luau is among the pricier options, but the food is very good and we loved the storytelling.

>> Check pricing and availability for the Feast at Mokapu

The Old Lahaina Luau is regarded as the best luau in Maui. With a stunning location on the beach, a four-course feast (with choices in each course) and beverages, and a highly-rated show, the Old Lahaina Luau is a great option.

The Te Au Moana Luau at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort gets high marks from us for the entertainment. The setting is oceanside, and you’ll enjoy a 3-course meal that includes imu-roasted pork.

>> Check pricing and availability for the Te Au Moana Luau now!

Day 2 of Your 3 Days in Maui

On the second day of your 3-day Maui itinerary, it’s time to explore the rainforest side of the island on a road trip that’s considered one of the most scenic on the planet.

Gawk at spectacular views, chase waterfalls, and sample delicious banana bread along the famous Road to Hana!

Upper Waikani Falls in Maui, Hawaii
Upper Waikani Falls on the Road to Hana

Drive the Road to Hana

The road is narrow and winding, with several dozen one-lane bridges, but it isn’t scary if you take your time.

If you prefer to just sit back and enjoy the views, join a guided tour. That’s what we did our first time out, and it was a very enjoyable excursion.

>> Check pricing and availability on this highly-rated Road to Hana tour!

And while there are several Road to Hana stops that are worth the hassle of parking, you’ll want to pick and choose which ones appeal to you the most, because on a one-day drive it will get nerve-racking and not enjoyable if you stop everywhere just to check a stop off the list.

Keanae Peninsula in Maui, HI
Lava rock shoreline at the Keanae Peninsula on the Road to Hana

Start EARLY! That’s the best tip we can offer to make the most of your Road to Hana drive. You’ll beat a lot of the traffic and have the time to see and do more.

An audio app is very helpful if it’s your first time on the Road to Hana. Other than GPS, the tour will offer interesting commentary as you drive.

These are the stops we thought were unmissable on a one-day excursion:

Ho’okipa Beach Lookout

A quick stop at an overlook offers spectacular views over Ho’okipa Beach, famous for its windsurfing. In the winter, watching the massive waves roll in is great fun.

You may see Hawaiian green sea turtles resting on the beach below the overlook. Bring binoculars!

Winter waves at Ho'okipa Beach in Maui, Hawaii
Winter waves at Ho’okipa Beach

Twin Falls

The first waterfalls on the Road to Hana, Twin Falls offers swimming in the plunge pools if conditions are good.

Lower Falls is close to the parking area and accessible to most visitors. Caveman Falls, accessed via a one-mile round trip hike, is very picturesque!

There is a parking fee (and limited parking) at Wailele Farm, where the falls are located. Arriving early is key.

Keanae Arboretum

You will likely see rainbow eucalyptus along the drive, but at Keanae Arboretum you can view a grow up close, along with tropical plants from different parts of the world.

There is no entrance fee. As plant and garden enthusiasts, we love this arboretum!

Rainbow eucalyptus at the Keanae Arboretum in Maui, Hawaii
Rainbow eucalyptus up close at the Keanae Arboretum

Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread

Sampling banana bread is a popular activity on the Road to Hana and you’ll find more than one stand offering freshly-made loaves along with other local treats like coconut candy.

We like the bread at Aunty Sandy’s: it’s fresh and moist and very banana-y.

They open at 8.30 a.m. and their bread usually sells out.

Keanae Peninsula

Go to the parking lot at the end of the road to see the waves crashing over the black lava rocks at the shore.

The Keanae Peninsula Lookout is one of the best Road to Hana stops in Maui, Hawaii
Watch the waves pound the shore at the Keanae Peninsula viewpoint

The Keanae Peninsula viewpoint is one of our favorite sights on the Road to Hana. You will love making a video here: the sight and sound of the waves is truly awesome.

There are restrooms here!

Upper Waikani Falls

The Upper Waikani Falls, also called Three Bears Falls because of the three cascades, is a breathtaking sight when the cascades are flowing well.

You see the falls from a viewing area along the road, so this is a quick stop for photos.

Pua’a Ka’a Wayside

We suggest stopping at the Pua’a Ka’a Wayside Park if you need a restroom break on your return trip.

There are several cascades in the park, some of which can be accessed via a paved trail. We’ve seen folks swimming in the pools here.

Wai’anapanapa State Park (Black Sand Beach)

Arguably the most popular stop on the Road to Hana, Wai’anapanapa State Park is home to the Honokalani black sand beach, officially Pailoa Beach.

Black sand beach Maui at Waianapanapa State Park, a must-visit on any 3 days in Maui itinerary!
Maui’s stunning black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park

The setting is stunning and there’s lots to do here other than enjoy the beach. You can hike, hope to catch a blowhole in action, and observe sea birds.

Wai’anapanapa State Park requires reservations: one of two state parks in Maui that requires you to reserve spots ahead of time, the other being the Iao Valley State Park.

Prepare for your visit with our full guide to Wai’anapanapa State Park!

Wailua Falls

A gorgeous waterfall that you can view and photograph from the side of the road, Wailua Falls is a little beyond Hana.

The waterfall plunges about 80 feet over a cliff into a large plunge pool.

Pipiwai Trail

Your final stop is the Kipahulu Section of Haleakala National Park, where one of Maui’s best hikes awaits.

The Pipiwai Trail, about 4 miles round trip, features a section through a forest of towering bamboo, which alone is worth the stop. But you also get to see the 400-foot Waimoku Falls at the end of the trail!

Bamboo forest on the Pipiwai Trail in Maui, Hawaii
Boardwalk section of the Pipiwai Trail winding through a bamboo forest

Some additional tips on driving the Road to Hana:

We’ve sometimes driven straight from Twin Falls to Kipahulu to hike the Pipiwai Trail (or to Wai’anapanapa State Park for the black sand beach if that’s our planned turnaround point), and then worked our way back.

This option is especially helpful if the Pipiwai Trail and the black sand beach are the most important aspects of the drive for you. Both experiences are extraordinary and deserve ample time!

Note: You can no longer access the Pools of O’heo (Seven Sacred Pools) in Kipahulu for wading or swimming. If you have the time, you can walk the Kuloa Point Trail (same trailhead as the Pipiwai Trail) to view the pools and little waterfalls of O’heo Gulch.

Kuloa Point Trail in Maui, Hawaii
The Kuloa Point Trail allows you to view the pools of O’heo Gulch

Have dinner at Mama’s Fish House in Paia

After the intense sightseeing of the day, unwind with drinks and dinner at the acclaimed Mama’s Fish House.

They are located right on the beach, about 1.5 miles outside Paia on the Road to Hana. When the skies light up at sunset, the ambience is magical.

Menus mainly feature fresh seafood, prepared with other local ingredients. Try the Hawaiian kanpachi, or the peppercorn-seared ahi.

We always have the Polynesian Black Pearl for dessert: it’s their signature dessert and it’s divine.

For dinner at Mama’s Fish House, you have to reserve your table well ahead of your visit.

Tables sell out months in advance and they accept reservations several months ahead, so avoid missing out on this much-sought-after Maui experience by booking early.

If you didn’t score a reservation at Mama’s Fish House, try Paia Fish Market: their fresh catch plates are excellent.

You may find a line out the door, but by the time you order and pay, you will very likely find seating. And the food is worth the wait!

Day 3 of Your Three Day Maui Itinerary

On the final day of your Maui itinerary, you will check another Maui bucket-list experience off your list: a Haleakala sunrise!

After your visit to the Summit District of Haleakala National Park, you will explore a bit of Upcountry Maui, then return to the west side for more beach time and a final Maui sunset!

Experience sunrise at Haleakala

Sunrise at Haleakala is described by many visitors as awe-inspiring.

We’ve had the good fortune of experiencing a Haleakala sunrise on a good weather day, and we count it as one of our top travel moments anywhere.

Driving up in the dark to the top of the majestic 10,023-foot volcano, watching the stars give way to a silent dawn, enjoying the pre-sunrise pinks and oranges in the sky, and then watching the golden orb of the sun peek out bit by bit: every moment of you morning will be mesmerizing.

Colorful skies at Haleakala in Maui at sunrise
Colorful skies at sunrise above the clouds at Haleakala on Maui

So popular is this Maui experience that Haleakala National Park now requires you to reserve if you plan to park at the summit between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.

We have the full scoop on planning your sunrise at Haleakala, with reservation info if you plan to drive up.

If you didn’t get a reservation, you can join a guided tour. We’ve done it both ways, and we loved this sunrise tour, which includes breakfast and returns you to your pick-up point a little after noon.

>> Check price and availability for sunrise at Haleakala now!

Dress WARM, because the summit is 30 degrees colder than the floor of the island, and wind chill can make it feel even colder.

Explore more of Haleakala National Park

If you arrived on your own, you’ll want to spend a little time exploring the summit district of Haleakala National Park before heading down.

If you are a nature lover looking for native Hawaiian plants, admire the Haleakala silverswords at the summit. They are endemic to Haleakala and endangered.

A Haleakala silversword at Haleakala National park in Maui, HI
A Haleakala silversword

Do a little bit of hiking: there are several Haleakala National Park hikes from which to choose.

Able hikers can do a part of the epic Sliding Sands Trail, which takes you to the floor of the Haleakala crater and allows you to get close to the Martian landscape with its red and pink cinder cones.

A view from the Sliding Sands Trail at the summit of Haleakala in Maui, HI
A view from the Sliding Sands Trail

Birding enthusiasts can walk the short loop through the Hosmer Grove and try to spot the bright red i’iwi or other Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Tour a farm or garden in Upcountry Maui

Want to explore more of the higher elevations of the island? Upcountry Maui features several farms, gardens, and other businesses related to the land, or ‘aina.

We have a detailed guide to some of the best things to do in Upcountry Maui.

The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

We love strolling the main street in Makawao to browse the shops and galleries, and also enjoy touring the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, especially when we visit in the summer.

Or visit Iao Valley State Park

Iao Valley State Park doesn’t take too long to visit, and is near Kahului, so it makes for a great stop on your way back to the west side from the summit of Haleakala.

The lush and green Iao Valley in Maui
The ‘Iao Needle

The state monument is home to the Iao Needle, a rock spire that rises 1,200 feet from the floor of the valley. It’s a great photo subject!

The park offers views of the lush surrounding cliffs, and you can walk down to the shore of the ‘Iao Stream and tour the small ethnobotanical garden that showcases plants settlers in the area were reported to have grown, like taro.

Note that there is an entry fee (and a parking fee), and reservations are required to visit.

Have shave ice at Ululani’s

Hawaiian shave ice at Ululani’s is an iconic Maui experience you won’t want to visit on your 3 days in Maui!

A refreshing treat on a warm day, Hawaiian shave ice is flavored with fruity syrups or fruit. You can add a scoop of ice cream at the bottom and/or some coconut cream on top for a more decadent treat.

Ululani Shave Ice in Maui, Hawaii
Ululani’s shave ice

If you are adventurous, you can try some li hing mui powder or drizzle on top. It’s a strong flavor, but very Hawaiian.

Ululani’s has several locations on Maui, including one in Kahului, one in Kihei, .

Enjoy a Maui sunset

Now it’s time to wind down on your last evening in Maui, enjoying the spectacular oceanfront on Maui’s west side.

If you have the time, you can enjoy a sunset sail, or just stroll the waterfront at Ka’anapali Beach (or another beach of your choice!) and enjoy a colorful Maui sunset from shore.

Sunset at Kaanapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii
Hope for a brilliant sunset on your last evening in Maui!

Late night flight out of Kahului but have to check out in the morning? You will find Bounce luggage storage locations in Kihei and Lahaina, and luggage storage at the airport.

We sometimes book an extra night to have the accommodation for the day of departure, budgeting it into our trip cost.

Where to Base on Your 3 Days in Maui

The vast majority of visitors to Maui base on the west side of the island, where you will find a plethora of resorts and vacation rentals.

From Kapalua in the northwest to Wailea in the southwest, you will find accommodation choices that range from comfortable to luxurious.

Kihei generally offers more affordable stay options than either the Kapalua-Kaanapali area or the Wailea area.

If you are a couple looking to splurge, consider the highly-rated Hotel Wailea, an adults only Relais & Châteaux property.

The Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa is set right on white sand Wailea Beach and is great for all types of travelers. Kids will love the water park!

We loved our stay at the Andaz Maui in Wailea. Located right on Mokapu Beach, the resort has several outdoor infinity pools.

If you are looking for a vacation rental, VRBO offers a wealth of choices in centrally situated Kihei.

>> Search for your dream Maui vacation rental in Kihei now!

You can also opt for a vacation rental in Kaanapali, close to the prettiest beach on the island!

>> Search for your dream Maui vacation rental in Kaanapali now!

Beach in Maui, Hawaii
Lava rock coastline at a Maui beach

Getting Around in Maui

For maximum flexibility with sightseeing on your 3 days in Maui, we recommend renting a car.

The major attractions on Maui are scattered in different parts of the island, and your own wheels will help you get around more comfortably.

Alternately, you can base in West Maui and book guided tours for the Road to Hana and sunrise at Haleakala.

We book our rental car for Hawaii at They offer rentals from a range of car rental companies, both brand and budget, and we’ve had good luck finding reasonably-priced rentals on Maui.

>> Check price and availability for Maui car rentals now!

Boardwalk trail through a bamboo forest in Maui, Hawaii
Walking the Pipiwai Trail through the bamboo forest on Maui

The Best Time to Visit Maui

Any time of year is a good time to visit Maui!

That said, if you are looking for an excellent whale-watching experience, plan to visit Maui in winter.

Of the four large Hawaiian islands, Maui gets the top spot when it comes to epic whale watching opportunities. And in January and February, peak whale season in Hawaii, you will likely get reasonable prices on accommodations as well.

A humpback whale fluking in Maui, Hawaii
Winter is prime whale-watching time in Maui!

If you are looking to score better deals on accommodations, avoid visiting during the summer months, or during the Christmas holidays, when families swarm the island.

Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) are relatively low season on the island and you’ll encounter lower crowds and get better prices on stays.

From a weather perspective, the west side of Maui generally has abundant sunshine all year long, except for stray storms. Hana gets a lot of rain, but usually, it does not rain all day.

The summit of Haleakala is about 30 degrees cooler than the floor of Maui. If you plan to visit in the winter and want to be at the summit early (or late) in the day, you will want to pack lightweight thermal layers in addition to borrowing blankets from your hotel or vacation rental.

Book the Best Maui Tours!

Have you booked these top-rated Maui guided adventures yet?

Small-group Road to Hana tour so everyone in your group can sit back and enjoy the views without worrying about negotiating hairpin bends or finding parking at popular stops!

A Haleakala sunrise tour so you can experience the bucket-list sunrise atop the volcano without the need to reserve a parking spot or drive up in the dark!

A Maui whale watching raft tour, which will let you see the massive humpback whales at eye level! (You can also opt for a more sedate boat whale watching tour.) A MUST winter Maui activity!

A Maui snorkeling excursion that combines the Molokini Crater with Turtle Town, the two most epic snorkeling destinations on the island!

A 7-line Maui zipline experience where you can glide over the forests on the north shore of Maui. Enjoy ocean views and navigate obstacle course challenges!

An oceanfront luau in Wailea where you can enjoy a sunset buffet and traditional Polynesian entertainment. You can also opt for a Kaanapali oceanfront luau.

Renting a Car in Maui

The best things to do in Maui are located all over the island.

Public transport options on Maui are minimal to non-existent, so if you want to explore the island beyond your base, you’ll want to book a rental car for your Maui trip.

We always use Discover Cars to book Maui car rentals. They search across a variety of rental car companies, both budget and brand, to offer you the best deals, AND they offer free cancellations. Plus, there are no hidden fees.

>> Check availability and prices on Maui car rentals now!

Where to Stay in Maui

Depending on whether you want a vacation rental with more room and the option to cook some of your meals, or you want a resort or hotel experience, and depending on which part of Maui you want to choose as your base, you have a variety of options.

By far the majority of visitors to Maui choose to base on the west side, where there is a large selection of accommodations available, from resorts and hotels to vacation rentals.

We suggest starting your search for Maui accommodations by browsing vacation rentals on VRBO. You can filter to choose a specific area, such as Kihei, Kapalua, or Wailea.

We have stayed in VRBO rentals in Kihei and Kapalua and find that the choice and quality are generally great.

>> Look for a Maui vacation rental on VRBO now!

Seven Sacred Pools (Oheo Gulch) in Maui, HI
Pools and waterfalls at O’heo Gulch in Kipahulu

More Maui Travel Inspiration

If you are considering a trip to Maui, read some of our other comprehensive guides to craft the ultimate Maui itinerary!

If you are a first-time visitor to Maui, start by reading our article on the best things to do in Maui. From beautiful beaches and lush rainforest to Maui’s volcanic crater, our round-up captures the most iconic Maui experiences and activities.

If you are dreaming of a winter getaway to a tropical paradise, read our guide on why you should visit Maui in winter!

If you are planning a brief first visit to Maui, here’s our 3-day Maui itinerary to help you flesh out your own trip! And if you are considering a couples getaway to Maui, read about the top romantic things to do in Maui!

Driving the Road to Hana is one of Maui’s bucket-list experiences. We have a comprehensive guide to the best stops on the Road to Hana, including waterfalls and short hikes on the way.

One of the top stops on the route is Wai’anapanapa State Park, which requires reservations. Read our full guide to Maui’s black sand beach in this popular state park!

Maui boasts one of only two national parks in Hawaii. Read our round-up of the best things to do in Haleakala National Park. We also have the ultimate guide to sunrise at Haleakala.

We also have a guide to the best hikes in Haleakala National Park, and in-depth hiking guides to the two most epic hikes in the park: the Sliding Sands Trail and the Pipiwai Trail.

Speaking of hiking, also be sure to check out our round-up of the best Maui hikes, from easy to challenging. Plus, peruse our complete guides to hiking the popular Kapalua Coastal Trail in northwest Maui, and the Waihee Ridge Trail for astounding views!

We also have a round-up of the best waterfalls in Maui, from the 400-foot Waimoku Falls to Upper Waikani Falls near Hana. Some Maui waterfalls can be seen from viewpoints whereas others require hiking.

Water activities are plentiful in Maui! Check out our epic guide to whale watching in Maui, and our guide to the best Molokini snorkeling tours and the best Turtle Town snorkeling.

If you’d rather snorkel from shore, read our round-up of the best snorkel spots in West Maui.

Every Maui itinerary should have plenty of beach time: there are so many beautiful beaches in Maui that you are spoiled for choice. We have a round-up of the best beaches in South Maui, plus a detailed guide to Wailea Beach in southwest Maui, and one for Maluaka Beach along the Turtle Town stretch of coast.

We also have articles on the much-visited Kaanapali Beach, the popular Napili Beach and local favorite Keawakapu Beach. Along the northwest side, Honolua Bay is a famous surfing spot, and Ho’okipa Beach, near Paia, is a windsurfing mecca.

If you are looking to experience a different side of Maui, plan a visit to the Iao Valley State Monument. The lush landscapes and serene ambience will wow you! Also read our guide to Maui’s state parks, which include popular Makena State Park, home to Big Beach and Little Beach.

Spend a day exploring Upcountry Maui. Some of the best things to do in Upcountry Maui include touring farms and gardens. Help milk goats, tour a tea farm, go wine tasting and much more.

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Discover the ultimate 3 days in Maui itinerary for your first visit to this gorgeous Hawaiian island! Relax at the best gold sand beaches, drive the Road to Hana to chase waterfalls, and experience sunrise at the summit of Haleakala. Day by day itinerary of things to do, plus, where to stay and eat!


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