One Day in Maui

Plan A Perfect One Day In Maui Itinerary

Do you only have one day in Maui?  Unfortunately, we were in the same boat!  I wish we could have spent a lot more time exploring this amazing island.  We had to narrow down exactly what we wanted to do to make the most of our one day in Maui!

As we planned our Maui itinerary, our top choices of activities were snorkeling and hiking. These are some of the free things to do in Maui.  We wanted a mix of some free activities as well as a good tour to fill our one day in Maui!  It worked out really well.  

I’m excited to share what we did on our Maui day trip as well as give more options for your Maui itinerary. 

Let’s explore some options of how to make your one day in Maui the best day ever!

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One Day in Maui Hiking Adventure Hiking in Maui

My husband and I love to hike and trail run.  We did some extensive research before we got to Hawaii on what trails we wanted to hike.   Some of the amazing hikes are actually on the road to Hana or close to Hana.  With only one day in Maui, we did not have time to experience the Road to Hana.  We decided to focus our attention on the opposite side of the Island.

Nakalele Blowhole & Sweetheart Rock

Distance: 1 Mile

Location: West Maui

We decided to hike to Nakalele Blowhole.  It is a short hike down a rocky path.  One thing I think is important is to check the tide calendar to see when the tide is high or low.  We hiked early in the morning and the tide was low.  This meant the blowhole was not as strong as it would have been during high tide.  Around the blowhole, there were hundreds of crabs crawling around.  It was really cool!  I recommend this hike but be careful not to drive on the road of death to get there.

Choosing The Best Hikes in Maui

One day in Maui is not enough time to hike all the amazing hikes available.  I thought it would be good to list some of the hikes we researched and hopefully give you more options to choose from. One reason we love hiking is it is a free thing to do in Maui.

  1. Kapalua Coastal Trail 3.5 miles – almost like walking in a park.
  2. Mahana Ridge Trail – 20 + miles round trip – obviously, you don’t have to hike the entire thing!
  3. Waihee Ridge Trail – 2.5 miles – West side of Maui.

Most of the hikes that looked incredible are on the Road to Hana.

One Day in Maui Snorkeling Adventure

Snorkeling at Maui

We did not get to snorkel at all of these locations but I think mentioning your options here will be helpful for you as plan out your one day in Maui.  We had time to do one location and decided to do an afternoon boat tour that took us out to a spot and included lunch.

Molokini Islet

The most famous place to snorkel is Molokini.  You can charter a boat to take you to this point, unfortunately for us, you have to do it early in the morning!  We arrived at the area later in the afternoon and were told that the conditions of the ocean were not suitable after the morning hours.  I wish we could have experienced this area because the water in this area is possibly the clearest in all of Hawaii.

Honolua Bay and Kapalua Bay

Both of these snorkeling spots are relatively close together.  I would spend a few hours at both locations to get some good snorkeling in.  Kapalua is more of a sheltered cove.

Kaanapali Beach and Black Rock

Kaanapali has been voted one of the best beaches in the world.  So you can enjoy white sand beaches and be able to snorkel out to the Black Rock.

Turtle Town

Is a really popular place to snorkel in Maui.  If you are snorkeling from shore you will start at Makena Beach.  Many tours kayak out to Turtle Town so you have many options to choose from.

One Day in Maui Beach ExcursionBest Beach In Maui

The beaches in Maui are incredible. Honestly, we could have spent our entire one day in Maui on the beach.  The water was unbelievable.  It was crystal clear and warm.  We pretty much swam the entire time and if we hadn’t booked a snorkeling excursion we would not have left.

If you only have one day in Maui you will probably have to just pick one beach to enjoy.   I would pick one that is close to your location or plan a trip to one of the most famous beaches.  We went to Kamaole Beach and I really can’t describe how wonderful it was.

The Top Beaches In Maui

  1. Kaanapali Beach
  2. Napili Bay
  3. Makena Beach (Big Beach)
  4. Baby Beach
  5. Keawakapu Beach

In the comments below let us know what your favorite beach in Maui is! Or if you only had one day in Maui, what was your favorite activity?!

What You Will Not Be Able To Do In One Day in MauiRoad to Hana

The Road to Hana is something you probably won’t have time to do if you only have one day in Maui.  I wouldn’t recommend putting this into your Maui itinerary unless you were going to be staying on Maui for a longer time period. 

There are some amazing hikes and waterfalls on your way to Hana and it is worth keeping this on a bucket list for when you return.

The Best Tours and Activities for your One Day in MauiOne day in Maui itinerary

If you only have one day in Maui a tour is really a great option.  There are some great options to choose from and depending on what interests you most this is an easy way to fill your one-day in Maui itinerary. 

Let’s explore some fun Maui adventure tours including some of the best Maui boat tours

Submarine Tour of Maui

Have you ever wanted to go on a submarine tour?  This is a great tour that takes you 100 feet under the Pacific Ocean to view all the amazing sea life you could imagine.  This tour is located in Lahaina, HI, and lasts 2 hours.  Tours are available every hour.  This would be a once and a lifetime opportunity.

Maui Cruise and Dolphin Spotting Tour

This Maui Cruise and Dolphin Spotting Tour is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  It lasts 4 hours and departs in the morning.  You will board a 70-foot catamaran in Lahaina and head out to the private island of Lanai.  Breakfast and lunch are included and transportation to two separate snorkeling spots are included.  Snorkel equipment and instruction, boogie board, and water slide are also included.

Downhill Volcano Bike Tour

The Volcano Bike Tour is for adventure seekers!  Racing down Mount Haleakala will give you incredible views of Maui. As you venture down this 38-mile trail a team leader will guide you down. The tour leaves at 9:00 am.  

Whale Watching Tour in Maui

The Whale Watching Tour in Maui is only available from mid-December through April. This is when the whales are migrating and you are sure to spot some.  This tour starts in Lahaina and is offered daily.

Maui Helicopter Tour

Helicopter Tour of Maui begins in Kahului.  There are actually five different helicopter routes available to choose from.  Each tour lasts about 1 hour and is led by a certified pilot.

Luau at The Royal Lahaina Resort

If you are looking for a Luau to attend Laua at Royal Lahaina has amazing reviews and will give you an authentic Hawaiian experience.  The Laua lasts about 3 hours and starts at 6:00 pm daily.

Enjoy your One Day in Maui

If you only have one day in Maui it probably means you are spending more time on another Island.  We spent most of our time in Oahu and loved our time there.  I am looking forward to Kauai and Big Island on my next trip.

More Hawaii Planning

If this was a Maui day trip and you are headed to Oahu next I have you covered.  I have put together a One Week in Oahu Itinerary as well as some of the best family resorts on Oahu

The North Shore is where it is at! There are so many fun things to do such as Dole Pineapple Plantation, Polynesian Cultural Center, and the Jurassic Adventure tourThese are all great things to do on Oahu with kids. 

I also recommend going to Pearl Harbor and going on some of the best hikes on Oahu.  and checking out the best places to snorkeling on Oahu!

Don’t forget to get your Hawaiian souvenirs!

Hawaii really is a dream vacation. One that I plan on going on many more times! Hopefully, this helps you plan your one day in Maui!  I know you will have so much fun!

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92 Comments

  1. It looks like you can do quite a bit even if you have only one day to see Maui. We didn’t get to Maui on our Hawaiian vacation, but hope to explore it when we go back.

  2. Yay! I love Maui. We did Molokini and Turtle Town snorkeling! And we also had a dinner cruise. I’m currently begging my husband to go back 🙂

  3. I LOVE Hawaii! I went to the Big Island this past fall. I am so in love I can’t wait to go back one day. Maui would be wonderful to visit this time. I would take a helicopter tour and some kind of water excursion.

  4. I love Maui…been there 3x and all were very different experiences (as a family, as an emptynester with my husband and a solo trip). Such beautiful beaches and hiking trails. We did do the Road to Hana, but we were staying a week. It’s definitely worth it, but is an all-day adventure. After reading your post, I want to return again!

  5. Hawai’i is amazing. I could never do just one day in Maui, but this is a great post for anyone island hopping. Great pics!

    1. I know right! It was cheaper to fly into Maui for us but I wanted to go to Oahu. I loved Maui and wished we spent more time there forsure!

  6. When we went to Maui we didn’t know any better, so we did the road to Hana. It actually turned out pretty great. We rented a convertible and drove the scenic road. We did a few stops along the way, saw some waterfalls, ate some lunch, but no big hikes. It was a nice relaxing drive.

  7. Only one day to spend on Maui?? It would be so hard to narrow down what to do. Everything looks so fun!

  8. I can’t imagine only doing one day in Maui. Never been there so I know I wouldn’t even go for less than 2 days

  9. I want to do it all, especially the Road to Hana! I’ve never been to Hawaii, but Maui was my mother’s favorite place on earth. I’ve been on a helicopter tour of the Black Hills, SD, and that was amazing. I can only imagine what it would be like over Hawaii. I could easily spend one day in Maui!

    1. Me too. My husband and I got married in 2005 and said we were going to save every credit card point and go to Hawaii someday. We had enough credit card points but didn’t go until last summer~

  10. I am not sure I could just spend one day in Maui! With everything that you mention, I would have to spend like 2 weeks! Hawaii is on my travel bucket list (I have many heehehe)! Thanks for sharing this information!

  11. I need to go back to Maui! So much we weren’t able to do. So much to do!!! Great list!! We did the Road to Hana but misjudged getting back down. It ended up being dark and rainy. The two conditions they tell you not to drive in on that road! Lol

  12. Your recent posts are making it very difficult for me to wait to visit Hawaii! LOL! The pictures and activities are just awesome! I want to go today!

  13. Oh, my goodness – you make me want to jump on a plane and head out that way now. I would LOVE to go to Maui – I’ve never been, but do hope to cross it off the bucket list within the next five years!

  14. Hawaii is so beautiful and there is just so much to do. I could spend years there and not be unhappy… but I’d have to come back eventually for snow.

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