What To Do in Maui, Hawaii For One Week: Full Itinerary And Travel Tips
Maui is one of the eight Hawaiian islands, home to dramatic landscapes, warm water, kind locals, and tropical vibes.
It’s often a major honeymoon destination and family vacation hotspot for those around the world, especially North Americans.
Whether you’re seeking a winter escape or simply enjoy the year-round tropical vibes Hawaii has to offer, the island of Maui has plenty to do.
Here’s what we did during traveling in Maui for one week - feel free to use this 7-day Maui itinerary for your own trip!
7-Day Itinerary For Maui
Day 1 - Arrive in Maui
Chances are you’ll fly into the Kahalui Airport (OGG airport code).
The Maui airport is quite small and only part of it is air-conditioned. If you’re visiting in the winter from a cold destination, the warm air is going to feel so welcoming!
Pick up your rental car and drive to your place of stay.
Enjoy the beach or pool at your hotel, and go out to eat at one of the many delicious restaurants.
Maybe have a Mai Tai or two - you’re on island time!
Day 2 - Sunrise Tour & Volcano Biking at Haleakala National Park
Ready for an early wake-up call for your second day on Maui? Yup, we’re talking 1:30-2:00 am!
A huge bucket list item for Maui vacationers is to watch the sunrise atop the volcano at Haleakala National Park, and bike down after.
What’s nice about doing this activity earlier in your itinerary is that the time change may be in your favor. If you’re traveling from North America, Hawaii is three hours ahead of the west coast and six ahead of the east coast, so it may feel more “natural” to wake up earlier with a little jet lag!
The early morning was worth it. We saw a ton of stars on the drive up, the most gorgeous pink and orange sunrise, and then made our descent with the bikes.
We went with Phil’s Sunset Bike Tours and our guides were awesome.
The biking itself is a breeze. You’re going downhill, so it is really easy.
The tour guides give you a thorough tour on how to use the bike brakes. If you get nervous or have trouble biking, you can ride in the van following the group.
What To Wear for the Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour
After posting about this on Instagram, I got a few DMs asking what to wear and if it was “actually that cold.” Yes! Once we made it to the top of the volcano, I was glad I wore warm clothes.
Wear layers for the sunrise tour, as the elevation is high (it was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit during our trip in July).
Even if you’re a snowbird, chances are you’ll adjust to Maui’s heat and humidity pretty quickly and will notice the temperature difference!
Since you’ll be biking down the volcano, you’ll decrease in elevation and the weather will warm up.
You can shed clothing layers as you bike down the mountain (the tour company had a van following us that we could throw our jackets in when we took breaks).
I wore full-length leggings, sneakers, a Lululemon tank top and jacket, and a Patagonia fleece jacket over my light jacket. The tour gave us waterproof jackets, pants, and gloves to throw on over our clothes in case it rained, in addition to heavy-duty bike helmets.
Make sure to bring sunglasses and sunscreen, too!
Day 3 - Road to Hana
Ah, the famous “Road to Hana.” Chances are you’ve heard of this beautiful (and somewhat intimidating!) drive around the island to the very far eastern side where the small town of Hana is located.
Dramatic landscapes, winding roads (some parts unpaved), waterfalls, and ocean views are what you can expect on the road to Hana.
How to Get There
Most vacationers stay at one of the hotels on the western side of the island and drive along the northern part of the island on Hana Highway, turning around at Hana to come back the way they came.
Other options are to go through Hana and loop around the south side of the island, or drive the full loop completely in reverse (which is what we did!).
Tip: Download Maps Offline on Your Phone
Since parts of the island on the Road to Hana don’t have cell service, make sure to download maps offline on your phone before you head out so you can estimate driving time and directions. I highly recommend the free app Maps.me. Make sure to download the Hawaii map when you’re on WiFi and it will be able to give you step-by-step directions offline.
Many parts of the road along the Road to Hana do not have street lights, so you ideally want to make it back home before dark.
Food for the Road to Hana
Pack a cooler for water and snacks in the car if you can, or bring food that won’t go bad sitting in the car all day. Most of the drive will be pretty remote, and there isn’t much for food until you get to the town of Hana.
Keep in mind most food trucks or small restuaurants in Hana compare price-wise to other parts of Maui (think $8-10 for a smoothie, $12+ for pizza or other meals, etc.)
Waterfalls & hikes Along the Road to Hana
There are many waterfalls along the loop driving to and from Hana, and you can see them marked on the map with the Maps.me app.
Waimoku Falls was one of our favorite parts of this day. You park and pay an entry fee for the national park, then hike in (about 1-2 miles each way) up to the waterfall.
Depending on the conditions going up to the actual waterfall may not be accessible but you’d still be able to get pretty close and see it.
The hike through is pretty flat, mainly stepping up some rocks here and there. Part of it includes a path through a beautiful bamboo forest.
The hike is similar to other tropical “treks” I’ve done in places like Costa Rica or Thailand. Expect some mud and little to no elevation. I wore flip flops but some other people we saw wore athletic shoes or hiking sandals like Tevas.
Since we did the “Reverse Road to Hana,” we made it to the town of Paia for dinner. Paia is super cute and had plenty of shops and restaurants (mentioned in the next section).
Dinner in Paia
If you did the “Reverse Road to Hana” like we did, then you’ll wind back around on the North island on your way back.
This would put you in the town of Paia around dinnertime, which is a really cute town with great restaurants. (If you don’t have time for Paia on this day, try to make some time another day to stop by for a bit!)
Day 4 - Lavender Farm, Goat Farm, Ocean Vodka, and Maui Brewing Tours
If you enjoy going on tours when traveling, then you may like the ones we did.
We did all four of these tours back-to-back in one day (they’re close in proximity), and I suggest leaving yourself ample time between each tour to not feel rushed if you do these too.
Head upcountry to the gorgeous Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm and take in the relaxing scent of the flowers as you walk up.
We didn’t actually take the tour here (it is optional), but you can walk around the fields, take in the views, and shop at the store/café.
The cafe has lavender coffee, teas, kombucha, croissants, and other goodies. We had croissants and they were so good!
Surfing Goat Dairy and Goat Cheese Tasting
If you like goat cheese, enjoy a tasting and tour at Surfing Goat Dairy.
The tours here are optional as well, and you can simply order a cheese and crackers platter to try the award-winning cheeses.
We did the “Dairy Casual Tour,” which is about 30 minutes long and included feeding the goats hay, seeing where they milk the goats, and tasting the different types of goat cheeses.
They have another tour where you can milk the goats, if that’s your thing.
Ocean Vodka Farm & Distillery
Did you know Ocean Vodka, a Maui local Vodka, is organic and gets most of its water from 3,000 feet below sea level?
You can take a tour of the grounds, take a peek at the bottling room with the machinery, and enjoy a tasting of the vodka and rums. They don’t provide any of the water on its own though, unfortunately!
Maui Brewing has expanded and its main tour and tasting location is located in Kihei.
The guided tour includes walking around the grounds, seeing how they make the beer, etc. with a tasting of each of their beers after.
Alternatively, if you want to drink alcohol or have people under 21 with you, they offer tastings of their root beer, cola, and cold brew coffee.
If you don’t do the tour you can simply enjoy a drink at the bar or have a full meal in the restaurant.
Day 5 - Surfing and Day on the Water
All this time on volcanoes, hiking by waterfalls, and eating your way through the island...it’s time to relax a bit and get in the water!
Whether you want to go for a swim, take a surf lesson, ride a paddle board, or go snorkeling, there is plenty to do in the water along the Maui coast.
For surfing, we did not wear wetsuits. We wore regular swimsuits with rash guards (long sleeve waterproof shirts) over our suits.
We saw most people paddle boarding wearing just swimsuits as well; other people who were on boats may be wearing life jackets.
It’s warm during the day and the water feels like bath water - so nice.
Sunset Cruise & Cocktails
Dinner and cocktails on a boat while you watch the sun set with its nightly color show? Sign me up!
There seem to be quite a few sunset cruise companies in Maui that leave from downtown Lahaina. Check to see which ones offer food and/or drinks.
Day 6 - Hawaiian Luau
You may as well wrap up your trip with a luau for your last evening on Maui! We went to the luau right next to Aloha Mixed Plate. The grounds were a lot bigger than I expected. You can make your reservations to sit at a table or on the grass with cushions. They have an ocean view, a stage for the performance, and pit where they showed cooking the pig.
While a little touristy, this was one of my favorite things we did during our week on Maui! I am a former dancer so I really enjoyed watching the dancers perform.
The food was amazing, too. It was a buffet with an open bar that served select Hawaiian/tropical cocktails, beer, and wine.
I really enjoyed the poke, kalua pork, purple sweet potato rolls. The banana bread was delicious too, and it was served with light, creamy whipped guava butter. So good!
The people who worked at the luau were very nice. Our server was SO friendly and welcoming. I was really impressed with the level of hospitality they provided from beginning to end.
Day 7 - Depart Maui
Aw, is it time to go home already?!
Before you go, enjoy some beach time and ocean views if you have time before you leave.
You’ll probably miss the island life!
Where to Eat in Maui
Here are most of the places we ate at in Maui, separated by location.
Kanapaali & Lahaina Area
Monkeypod (they have really good happy hour deals!)
Roy’s - high-end dining
Frida’s - really good Mexican food, right on the beach
Kimo’s - classic restaurant serving the famous “Hulapie”dessert
Hana Harvest - Our friend’s friend owns this food truck, which serves fresh smoothies, pizza, soup, and banana bread
Flatbread Pizza Company - Really, really good pizza
Paia Bowls - acai bowls and coffee (some of the best I’ve had, which says a lot considering I live in San Diego!)
Maui Brewing Restaurant - their restaurant is a good place to sample their beer, as well as try their food (their fish tacos are delish)
If you want dessert, make sure to try some shaved ice (they have it all over)!
You’ll also see ABC Stores all over Maui, which is a great shop to stop at for Hawaiian snacks and souvenirs.
Where to Stay in Maui
We stayed on the west side of Maui in North Kaanapali area. Most people seem to stay in Kaanapali or Lahaina for their vacations, though some people prefer Paia or even spending a night in Hana.
We loved our apartment (which was through Maui Beachfront Rentals), a 2-bedroom/2-bath apartment with a patio and ocean view. It was nice to cook a lot of meals considering we ate out every night for dinner.
If you want to stay at a hotel, consider the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua. My friend stayed there and said it was amazing and well worth it.
There are a bunch of hotels in Kaanapali right near the shopping center where Monkeypod is located. If you like to shop and be super close to restaurants, this is a good area to consider too.
Downtown Lahaina is popular too, though in my personal opinion it seemed almost too touristy. There are cool places to shop and buy souvenirs, and some fun restaurants and bars.
Airbnbs are another option for having a place with more space. Use this code to get $40 off your first stay with Airbnb.
What To Pack for Maui
I recommend packing tropical, warm-weather clothes for Maui. The weather is hot and humid, with a rain shower here and there (google which time of year you’re going to see if it is more rainy or not!).
I mainly wore light sun dresses with sandals or tank tops and shorts. Personally I liked to dress up a little bit for going out to dinner with a nicer dress and sandals but it depends where you go.
The options below are similar to what I packed for the beaches, tours, and Hana. (The volcano hike above is separate!)
Other Tips For Traveling Maui
Rent a car
If you plan to spend a lot of time exploring the island (especially if you’re driving the Road to Hana), your best option is to rent a car.
Uber is available, but I can only image the cost of getting from the west side of the island to upcountry, Paia, or other parts.
Many tourists drive Jeeps, which is nice for getting photos for the ‘gram, but we were glad we had a sturdier-feeling SUV - especially for the Road to Hana. It felt much sturdier!
Stop at Costco on the way from the airport to your hotel
When you leave the airport you’ll notice Costco near the highway!
Restaurants are not cheap on Maui so this is nice way to save on costs.
If you’re staying at a home rental or Airbnb and want to cook or stock up on snacks for the Road to Hana, getting food and drinks at Costco is helpful if you’re a Costco member!
Enjoy island time!
Relax and soak up the island vibes. Hawaiians are really friendly. It’s fun to experience a different side to the USA and learn about the traditional Hawaiian culture.