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Maui in January: Top Activities and Attractions to Enjoy

Alert for Visitors: Maui has experienced significant wildfires in August 2023, causing major disruption for both locals and tourists. For your safety and up-to-date information, please visit the Maui County website before planning any activities or travels. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated. Stay safe!

Are you thinking about planning a trip to Maui in January? Find out some of the best things to do in Maui in January that are worth adding to your itinerary!
This list of things to do in Maui in January was written by Hawaii travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Planning a vacation to Maui in January?

If you’re looking for things to do, we’ve got you covered. Maui is a beautiful place to visit in January.

From the weather to the fun events and festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Visiting Hawaii in January is a great way to engage in local culture.

Whether you are visiting Maui with family, going on a romantic vacation or simply enjoying a group retreat, there are many things to do during January in Maui.

Keep scrolling to discover the best things to do in Maui in January!

Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Maui.

Popular Maui Tours/Activities

Favorite Maui Resorts/Hotels

  • Hyatt Regency Maui (this has a swim-up bar and tons of amazing amenities)
  • Andaz Maui (this is a luxury resort with the best luau on Maui)
  • Honua Kai Resort & Spa (this is one of our personal favorites because there are tons of pools and there are condo options)

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Weather in Hawaii in January 

Hawaii weather in January is still very hot. It is a great time of year to escape winter and enjoy a fun Maui vacation. 

Maui Temperature in January 

Although January is considered winter, do you know what winter is like in Maui?

The temperature in Maui in January averages 70 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a nice, hot place, ideal for beach visits.

If the temperature does drop, the average low is still approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is still nice and warm. 

When is the Rainy Season in Maui? 

The weather in Maui in January is generally calm. However, there is more possibility for rain showers during this month. Generally, the rainy season lasts from November to March

Maui Weather in January

The average weather in Maui in January is quite lovely. Lahaina and Kihei are generally warm and sunny throughout the month.

Located in Maui, these destinations offer amazing water activities and fantastic beaches to visit. 

Check out this honest Haleakala Sunrise Tour Review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of the Haleakala Visitor's Center at sunrise.
Haleakala Crater at sunrise. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

If you are considering visiting Haleakala, make sure to pack some warmer clothes to wear on your travels. At the summit, temperatures are known to drop below the freezing point. 

The lighter winds in January offer prime whale-watching opportunities, so grab your binoculars and enjoy.  

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What to do in Maui in January

When it comes to visiting Maui in January, there are many different fun activities, festivals and more that you can participate in.

Whether you choose to check out the whales in Maui in January, or visit the dry side of Maui to avoid any downpours, you are sure to enjoy your vacation. 

Maui is arguably the best Hawaiian island to visit in January.

With a combination of fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, and abundant, rich culture, there is something here for everyone of all ages and stages of life.

There is no shortage of things to do in Maui in January. 

Top 10 Attractions in Maui in January 

There are many Maui attractions to visit. Especially if you are visiting in January.

If you are on a family vacation, there are also many things to do in Maui with kids.

Make sure to bring a camera along to capture the special moments; you will want to cherish these memories forever. 

1. Whale Watching 

Whale watching in Maui is a fantastic way to spend a day. Throughout the winter, whale watching is one of the best things to do on your vacation. 

Maui is known for their amazing whale watching boat tours that leave from Lahaina
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

In early December, humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Maui. Over 10,000 humpback whales are estimated to migrate to Maui in the winter months to give birth.

This means that by January, the humpback whale population in Maui will be considerable. 

Going whale watching on Maui isn’t difficult as there is no shortage of opportunities to participate in a tour.

While the whales can be spotted from the shoreline, there are also several different companies that offer excursions to get up close and personal with these gorgeous creatures. 

No matter how you choose to go whale watching in Maui, you will want to ensure you bring a camera. The photo ops are incredible this time of year. 

Check out Your Complete Guide to Whale Watching on Maui for more details.

2. Big Wave Surfing Competitions 

Winter in Maui produces some seriously big waves, making it the perfect time for surfers to show off their skills. Check out some of the surfing competitions in Maui.

Image of a surfer girl in Lahaina at sunset
Check out surfers on Maui!

If you are a surfer yourself, grab a board and hit the swells. Just ensure you are participating safely and not going out when the water is too choppy. 

Not a surfer? That’s alright. Watching the competitions is an exciting way to spend the day. If you want to learn, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in some surfing lessons. 

3. Stargazing Tours

There are plenty of opportunities to see the beautiful night sky in Maui. Stargazing tours are a great way to enjoy some spectacular views. 

If you do plan on going stargazing on Maui, just make sure to pack some warm clothes.

Haleakala is the tallest part of Maui, offering several different tours that take you up the mountain. You might even see some snow. 

4. The Maui Ocean Center

If you are traveling to Maui with your family, the Maui Ocean Center is one of the best things to do in Hawaii with kids. 

The Maui Ocean Center is the only aquarium in the entire world that has dedicated its resources to preserving and displaying Hawaiian marine life. 

Turtles under water on a blue background.
Check out the sea turtles.

Several educational displays about whale life, ocean ecology and even Hawaiian culture exist.

Visit the Humpacks of Hawaii exhibit and sphere or the turtle lagoon to learn more about these amazing creatures.

The Maui Ocean Center is also well known for its open ocean tunnel. It is 35 feet and opens up to a 750,000-gallon tank.

View Tiger Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Sting Rays, Grey Tips and a wide variety of different deep sea fish. 

5. Snorkeling Tours

The island of Maui offers so many different snorkeling options. You can rent snorkeling equipment and head out to some of the great spots Maui offers.

Image of someone snorkeling in Hawaii upside down
There are tons of cool places to snorkel on Maui.

In fact, there are several different places in Maui that are protected from strong winds, making them optimal snorkeling destinations. 

Visit the north end of Ka’anapali Beach. There you will find Black Rock, a great place to enjoy a snorkeling expedition.

There are several nearby places that allow you to rent equipment each day for an affordable price. 

If you would rather go on a snorkeling tour, there are plenty of options for that as well. 

6. The Road to Hana

No visit to the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Maui would be complete without visiting the Road to Hana.

Happy hiker - Hawaii tourists hiking by waterfall. Woman cheering during travel on the road to Hana on Maui, Hawaii. Ecotourism concept image with happy female hiker.
One of the many waterfalls along the Road to Hana.

The Road to Hana is enveloped in natural beauty. Its towering waterfalls and flawless landscapes are a sight to be seen.

The Road to Hana is a 64.4-mile stretch of highway. It is windy and narrow, with several twists and turns.

It travels through a particularly lush rainforest, and much of the road is only one lane wide. Check out the old bridges, waterfalls, hiking trails and more.

You can either take a guided tour or drive up to explore it yourself. 

7. Ho’okipa Beach Park

One of the most famous beaches in Hawaii, Ho’okipa Beach Park is a must-visit in Maui. If you enjoy windsurfing, professional surfing, and more, this beach is for you. 

Hookipa Beach and bay in Paia, Maui
Hookipa Beach and Bay. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Soak up some sunshine in the sand, have a BBQ and more. This beach is the perfect location to spend a day. 

Be careful in the winter, though. Through the winter months in Maui, the current at this beach can be exceptionally strong. It is advised that only avid swimmers venture out. 

8. Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Visit the Maui Arts and Cultural Center for amazing cultural experiences.

Man playing ukulele in Hawaii
Check the Maui Arts & Cultural Center schedule.

Guests at this facility can participate in Hawaiian Culture programs to explore the deep and rich culture of the islands. 

The MACC also has comedy shows, live music, dancing, plays, concerts and more. 

Take in an art exhibit or attend one of their many festivals and events. No matter what you choose to do when visiting the MACC, you will surely enjoy it. 

9. Makena State Park

Over 165 acres of land, Makena State Park is a fantastic place to visit in Maui in January. 

Makena Beach State Park in Wailea, Maui
Makena Beach State Park. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Situated on the coastline are two of the most amazing beaches on Maui. Makena’s Little Beach (Pu’u Ola’i Beach) and Makena’s Big Beach (Oneloa Beach). 

Big Beach is a popular spot on the islands for skimboarding, bodyboarding and more. It is approximately 1.5 miles long and around 100 feet wide. There are also lifeguards on duty. 

Makena is a wonderful beach for enjoying a family day out. Go body surfing or simply soak up some rays on the beach. 

Little Beach is located in a small cove just north of Big Beach. This beach is one of Maui’s only nude beaches to sunbathe. It is also a popular spot for drum circle parties and fire dancing. 

10. Golfing 

Golfing is one of the most popular pastimes in Hawaii. There is an incredible selection of golf resorts, golf events and lessons to choose from. 

For vacationers looking forward to a memorable Hawaiian golfing experience, there are several different resorts to choose from. 

January in Hawaii is actually one of the most popular months for golfing. It is the start of the annual PGA tour seasoning opening.

Marked with the Sentry Tournament in Kapalua, you can enjoy this exciting yearly event when visiting Maui in January. 

Maui Hawaii in January Wrap-Up

Maui is arguably the best Hawaiian island to visit in January. If you are planning a vacation to start the new year off right, Maui is a fantastic choice.

There are so many things to do in Maui during the winter, and the place gives you a unique experience of the season. You can also consider these best areas to stay in Maui in January.

The weather in Maui in January makes for an awesome experience, and with so many different things to do and enjoy, you are sure to make memories that last a lifetime. 

Looking for more Maui Travel content? Check out the most beautiful places in Maui, surprising facts about Maui, how to get around Maui without a car, and how many days in Maui you really need.