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How Many Days in Maui Do You Need?

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 heading on a Maui vacation but aren’t sure how long to stay? Let me break it down for you in this post about how many days in Maui is ideal!
This post about how many days in Maui do you need 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.

Are you planning a trip to Maui and are trying to figure out how many days you’ll need to explore the island?

You’re in for a treat! Maui is one of the most exciting and family-friendly islands in Hawaii. With plenty of activities and attractions for both kids and adults, you’ll be able to create memories that will last a lifetime.

But how many days do you need to see all the top Maui attractions? That’s what I’m here to help you figure out. Keep scrolling down for my expert advice on how many days you should spend in Maui.

I’ve visited Maui many times with and without kids and I have lots of advice on how to plan your Maui itinerary so you can see all the top Maui attractions.

So, how many days do you need in Maui? Keep scrolling to find out!

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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Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Maui Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

Get this ultimate Maui travel guide for families by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids!

How Many Days to Spend in Maui FAQs

Is one week in Maui too long?

Not really. In fact, I think that 7 days is the perfect amount of time for a trip to Maui. It’s a medium-sized Hawaiian island and you should be able to see most of the top sights, do a few Maui activities, and have time to just enjoy the island.

Is 3 days in Maui enough?

It depends. If you are only going to Maui to see a few sights or do a few activities and then you’re heading to another island for a longer time, then 3 days could be enough. Otherwise, you’ll want at least 7-10 days to fully explore Maui and have some down time.

Is it worth doing a day trip to Maui?

Absolutely! I suggest picking one activity you want to do on Maui. It might be driving the Road to Hana, snorkeling at Molokini Crater, or hiking at Haleakala Crater. Just realize that you probably won’t be able to do any sunrise activities or things that end late at night.

Overview of Maui

Maui, Hawaii is where tropical dreams come true. The island is world-renowned for its beauty, fascinating history, pristine beaches, and stunning waterfalls.

Maui does cater to those looking for more luxurious accommodations, but there is also a great selection of budget-friendly options making Maui an easy choice for anyone.

Image of a woman wearing a white swimsuit looking out along the Maui coastline.
Maui is one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands.

One unique feature of the “Valley Island” is the isthmus that connects the two volcanic masses that formed the island.

Planning your vacation to Maui just got a lot easier! Use this guide to Maui to help plan your perfect tropical getaway. 

Getting To Maui

The Kahului Airport (OGG) is the island’s main airport. There are also 2 smaller commuter airports on the island, Kapalua Airport (JHM) in West Maui and Hana Airport (HNM) in East Maui.

Image of the runway at Kahului Airport on Maui.
Kahului Airport on Maui.

Many domestic airlines do offer nonstop service to Kahului Airport. However, some people might fly to Honolulu Airport (HNL) and then take an inter-island flight to Maui.

It’s really easy to get from Kahului Airport to Lahaina or Wailea.

Best Time To Visit Maui

There isn’t a bad time to visit Maui! The peak season on the island is typically JuneAugust and December. You’ll find the islands least crowded during shoulder season, making it the best time to visit during April, September, and October

Where To Go In Maui

West Maui 

West Maui was once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty. Today it’s known for gorgeous sunsets, great shopping, and delicious dining. Take the Honoapiilani Highway to get around the western side of Maui.

Find out the best things to do in Kaanapali Maui by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of Kaanapali Beach at sunset.
Ka’anapali Beach in West Maui.

West Maui is known for its abundance of high-end resorts, especially in Lahaina and Ka’anapali. Check out Kapalua for amazing golf courses and a quieter atmosphere with understated elegance. 

Central Maui

Home of Maui’s major airport, Kahului Airport, most visitors will begin their vacation on the island here.

Iao Needle on Maui
Iao Needle on Maui.

One of the top attractions in the region is Iao Valley State Park. Here you can hike to one of Maui’s many iconic landmarks, the Iao Needle.

Head to Kahului if you want to shop in Maui’s largest mall. The Hana Highway also begins in Kahului. 

And one of the best places to explore in Central Maui is the Maui Tropical Plantation. Here, you’ll find a little tram ride (perfect for kids), ziplines, an awesome market, and a tasty restaurant.

Upcountry Maui

Upcountry Maui has rolling hills and misty mountains surrounding the famous Haleakala National Park. Haleakala is the island’s highest peak, and also its most beautiful.

Image of a lavender farm in Upcountry Maui with view of West Maui in the background.
Ali’i Lavender Farm in Upcountry Maui.

The region is also known for farming both taro and sweet potatoes, and you can tour farms for a closer look at the process. You can also enjoy Maui-made wine or check out the rustic Kula and Makawao areas. Plus, you can go on a Maui pineapple tour.

Don’t forget to take in an epic sunrise east of Haleakala

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East Maui

East Maui is exactly what you picture when you think of the Hawaiian Islands. Roadside pineapple stands, lush tropical rainforests, and plunging cliffs abound in East Maui.

Image of rocks and ocean with green cliffs in the background at Keanae Peninsula on Maui.
Keanae Peninsula along the Road to Hana on Maui. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Home of the legendary Road to Hana that is consistently ranked among the top scenic drives in the world. The highway begins in Kahului in Central Maui before winding through the northern coast for 52 miles. Another gorgeous landmark in East Maui is the Pools of Oheo

South Maui

The south coast of Maui has the sunniest and driest weather on the island. There are miles of gorgeous coastline with soft sand and beautiful blue water.

Wailea Beach Walkway, Wailea, Maui
Beach Path in Wailea Maui.

Keep an eye out for whales when you are near the Maalaea Bay. Wailea has world-class golf courses and upscale dining and resorts. And Kihei is the more budget-friendly area for families.

Top Maui Attractions

Since you’re researching a trip to Maui, you’re probably wondering about the top Maui attractions. There are some places to see on Maui that you can’t find on the other islands.

Haleakala National Park

Whether or not you’re a National Park enthusiast, visiting Haleakala National Park is definitely one of the best attractions on Maui.

Haleakala Crater on Maui.
Haleakala Crater on Maui.

It’s located In Upcountry Maui and you’ll drive up a mountain road with lots of switchbacks. But the views are unsurpassed!

Once you reach this National Park on Maui, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Mars. There are lava rocks and red dirt everywhere and the temperature drops.

The most popular time to visit Haleakala National Park is at sunrise. People say it’s life-altering. Sunset is another popular time, but you can visit any time of day and take advantage of the visitors center, Junior Ranger program for kids, and some of the hiking trails.

Road to Hana

One of the most famous things to do in Maui is to drive the Road to Hana. It’s a super twisty road that goes from the artsy town of Paia on the North Shore of Maui to the remote East Shore town of Hana.

Image of someone holding a pineapple smoothie in front of a roadside stand along the Road to HAna Maui.
Pineapple Smoothie at Huelo Lookout along the Road to Hana. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The appeal isn’t necessarily getting to Hana (although there are lots of cool things to do in Hana Maui). It’s more about all the Road to Hana stops like waterfall hikes, botanical gardens, and the banana bread stands.

Many people drive themselves in a rental car, but you can also join a tour so you can sit back and leave the driving to a professional. It’s a full-day trip (and a long day at that) so you’ll probably want to leave the next day fairly open to just rest.

Molokini Crater

There’s a little crescent-shaped crater located off the coast of Maui that is a popular Maui snorkeling spot.

Exploring Molokini Crater in Maui, a guide featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids.
Molokini Crater near Maui.

The only way to get there is by boat so most people join a Maui snorkeling tour that hits Molokini Crater and also sometimes Turtle Town.

I’ao Needle

If you’re looking for a very unique attraction in nature, head to I’ao Needle in Wailuku. Here, you’ll find an easy Maui hike that takes you to a scenic view of a pointy hill that resembles a needle.

Image of a botanical garden on Maui.
Lower garden at I’ao Valley State Park. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There’s plenty of parking and even a place to get wet, so it makes a really fun half-day trip for families.

Advance reservations to enter I’ao Valley State Monument are now available online. The parking fee is $10 per vehicle. The additional non-resident entrance fee is $5 per person with no charge for children under three years old.

Best Things to do in Maui

Enjoy a Maui Luau

If you’re planning on doing a luau in Hawaii, Maui is a great island to book one. They have traditional Hawaiian luaus as well as some unique farm-to-table luau experiences. There’s also a variety of price points and locations.

Check out this honest Feast at Mokapu Andaz Maui Luau review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of hula dancers and a band performing with the ocean and sunset in the background.
Feast at Mokapu Luau on Maui. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

My favorite luau on Maui is the Feast at Mokapu. The food is incredible and the show is amazing! It’s one of the pricier luaus on Maui, but I think it’s totally worth it.

Another option is the Myths of Maui luau at the Royal Lahaina Resort. This is a more affordable option and they do an awesome job of sharing Hawaiian stories that take place on Maui.

Go Hiking on Maui

The Waihee Ridge Trail is a popular moderate hike. This hike may be challenging for beginner hikers due to the elevation gain. The reward is worth the climb, you’ll be treated to ridge tops, jungle, and ocean views.

Hiking woman on Hawaii, Waihee ridge trail, Maui, USA. Young female hiker walking in beautiful lush Hawaiian forest nature landscape in mountains. Asian woman hiker wearing backpack looking at view.
Waihee Ridge Trail on Maui.

There’s also the Hoapili Trail. This hike features stunning coastal views as well as some lava tubes, and if you are lucky you may even see wild goats! All leading to a beautiful lighthouse.

And there are tons of Maui waterfall hikes along the Road to Hana.

Eat at Mama’s Fish House

One of the most famous restaurants on Maui is Mama’s Fish House up in Paia. It usually is booked out months in advance.

Image of the inside of Mama's Fish House, with blue tablecloths and brown hanging lights.
Inside of Mama’s Fish House on Maui.

It’s a pretty pricey restaurant known for its amazing seafood dishes and gorgeous ocean views.

Hang at the Beach

Once named one of America’s most beautiful beaches, Kaanapali Beach has dazzling white sands and sparkling blue waters. The beach is also surrounded by a boardwalk with easy access to shops, dining, and luxury resorts. 

Image of a lifeguard station on Maui.
Baldwin Beach on Maui.

If you’re looking for the quintessential beach experience in Maui, head to Baldwin Beach Park. The shady tree line and calm waters make this a great spot for families to enjoy beach days in paradise.

And if you’re driving the Road to Hana, be sure to make reservations for Waianapanapa State Park. This is one of the best black sand beaches in Maui. The contrast between the stunning black sands, dazzling blue water, and emerald coastline will leave you mesmerized. 

Tour a Pineapple Farm

While Hawaii used to be a lead producer of pineapple, now there are only a few commercial pineapple plantations in Hawaii.

Find out all about this Maui pineapple tour by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a pineapple in a pineapple field in Maui.
Maui Gold pineapple plantation tour.

One of the most famous ones is the Maui Gold pineapple plantation. They have a cool tour where you can learn more about how they grow pineapple in Hawaii, taste fresh Maui Gold pineapple, and even get a pineapple to take home!

Plus, it’s right next to the Hailimalie Distillery where they also give tours. So, it’s easy to do both!

Snorkel at Molokini Crater

If you love snorkeling on vacation, you’ll definitely want to book a Molokini Crater snorkeling tour.

Woman jumping off boat near Molokini Crater in Maui
Woman jumping into the water near Molokini Crater on Maui.

They have full-day and half-day options and it’s a great opportunity to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and other Hawaiian sea life.

Day Trip to Lanai

If you are spending your entire trip on Maui, you might consider an easy day trip to Lanai. There’s a ferry that leaves from Lahaina and you can walk on and then explore Lanai either with a tour or on your own.

Image of a rocky bay and little rock separated from the rest of the cliff on Lanai.
Sweetheart Rock on Lanai.

There are also Maui to Lanai snorkeling tours that include some time on Lanai to explore.

So, How Many Days Do You Need in Maui?

If Maui is the only Hawaiian island you’ll be visiting, you’ll want at least 7-10 days to explore the island. That will give you enough time to do some day trips, take a few tours, check out the beaches, and have plenty of time to relax and unwind.

If you are island hopping, you’ll want 5-7 days on Maui and 5-7 days on another island. You’ll want to prioritize the activities you can only do on Maui (like the Road to Hana or Haleakala National Park).

However, I know that some families are pressed for time but still want to see Maui. Keep scrolling to check out some easy Maui itineraries for 1-7 days on Maui.

Find out whether or not Pua'a Ka'a Falls is one of the best Road to Hana stops for families by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a Maui waterfall surrounded by lush greenery.
Pua’a Ka’a Falls on the Road to Hana in Maui. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Maui Day Trip

If you are staying on another island and just want to do a Maui day trip, it’s totally possible, but you’ll have to make some decisions.

You could do an island tour where you start off at I’ao Needle, drive through Upcountry Maui to do a quick stop at Haleakala National Park, and then drive up to Paia and do the first few stops on the Road to Hana. To do this, you’d need to take an early flight and leave late.

Or you could plan on doing an adventure like snorkeling at Molokini, driving the full Road to Hana, or spending the day at Haleakala National Park.

Maui 2 Day Itinerary

With 2 days in Maui, you have a little more flexibility. I suggest staying in Kihei to be centrally located.

You could spend one day heading up to the North Shore to get breakfast in Paia town, then start the Road to Hana and hit up Twin Falls, the Garden of Eden, Keanae Peninsula, Halfway to Hana Stand, and Hana Town.

The next day, you could head out to do sunrise at Haleakala National Park (hiking is optional), grab breakfast in Kula, walk around Makawao Town, and then head to Maui Tropical Plantation.

Maui 3 Day Itinerary

It’s easy to do 3 perfect days in Maui. I still recommend staying in Kihei to minimize driving.

I’d suggest doing the 2 days in Maui itinerary (see above) but do a Maui adventure between those days. My top picks would be a Maui boat tour, a helicopter tour, ziplining, or doing a bike tour.

Maui 4 Day Itinerary

With 4 days in Maui, you’ll have a bit more flexibility with your lodging. I’d choose somewhere on the West or South shore that has a nice pool area or other amenities.

Plan on a full day to drive the Road to Hana. There are too many stops to do them all, so I highly recommend checking them out ahead of time to figure out which ones pique your interest. You could also opt to do a Road to Hana tour instead and leave the driving to the professionals.

You’ll also want a day to play in Lahaina. There are lots of cute shops and restaurants on Front Street (which is the main drag). There are lots of boat tours and even a submarine tour worth checking out. Plus, you can stay and do a Maui luau here.

Plan on spending the day enjoying Upcountry Maui. You can either do sunrise or sunset at Haleakala National Park. There’s a cool winery worth checking out or you can explore the Kula Botanical Garden or Ali’i Lavender Farm.

For your 4th day, choose a Maui tour or activity that is on your Hawaii bucket list. You could even do a morning activity and an afternoon/evening activity. Or just spend the day relaxing at the pool.

Maui 5 Day Itinerary

With 5 days in Maui, you’ll want to do the Maui 4 day itinerary (see above) but add in a beach day.

Since you’ll be driving around Maui, you’ll probably have an idea of where you might want to spend a few hours at a Maui beach.

I suggest picking up plate lunches at Troy’s Plate Lunch or Eskimo Candy to enjoy at the beach. And stop for shave ice on your way back!

Maui 6 Day Itinerary

For 6 days in Maui, you have a lot of flexibility. You could even spend the night in Hana to ensure lots of time to fully explore the stops along the way.

Another option is to add in more beach or pool time. Or plan to stop at a Maui farmers market or make reservations for a few nice dinners.

Maui 7 Day Itinerary (or longer)

For trips longer than 6 days on Maui, you have almost limitless options.

Use the 5 day Maui itinerary as a guide and then add in a few tours, a couple of adventures, and time to relax at the beach or at your hotel pool.

How Many Days Do You Need in Maui Wrap Up

I hope these mini-itineraries have helped you figure out how many days to spend in Maui. While 7-10 days in Maui is optimal, you’ll still have a total blast with fewer days. Plus, it’s a great excuse to come back!

Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Maui Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

Get this ultimate Maui travel guide for families by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids!

Looking for more Hawaii travel resources? Get my tips for first timers, learn how to plan a trip to Hawaii, fun facts about Maui, compare Maui vs Oahu, and get my top tips for Hawaii on a budget!