Top 10 Must-Do Activities on Your South Maui Vacation

August 23, 2022

South Maui is best known for its stunning beaches, amazing weather, spectacular views, and lush tropical landscape. While those are some of the best reasons to visit, there are plenty of other great activities to keep you busy on your vacation.

When planning a South Maui vacation, there are seemingly infinite possibilities of what you could do. With so many amazing activities and attractions on the island, it can be tough to know where to start!

Some of the best places to explore include:

  • Kihei. This popular resort town is known for its beautiful beaches, oceanfront vacation rentals, great restaurants, and lively nightlife scene.
  • Wailea. Home to luxury resorts and world-class golf courses, Wailea is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the finer things in life.
  • Makena. With its black sand beaches and dramatic coastline, Makena is a must-see for any visitor to South Maui.
  • Maalaea.  This quaint harbor town is known for its excellent fishing, whale watching, and dolphin swimming excursions.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or some great South Maui vacation rentals to stay in, we’ve got you covered! So without further ado, here are our top picks for things to do to make your South Maui getaway unforgettable.

Be the Mermaid of Your Dreams

Have you ever wanted to be a mermaid? Well, now you can with Maui Mermaid Adventures! Going to Maui and not experiencing being one with the ocean would be a crying shame.

Fortunately, Kihei offers mermaid swimming classes so you can snap out of your normal life and into a world of fantasy. With certified naturalist instructors, you’ll learn about Maui’s marine life and reef ecology while you’re getting your mermaid on.

The best part is that these classes are open to all levels, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced swimmer, you can still enjoy becoming a mermaid for a day.

Snorkel at Molokini Crater

Just a few miles offshore from Maui lies Molokini Crater, a horseshoe-shaped islet that is home to some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii. The crater was formed by a volcanic eruption over 200,000 years ago, and today it is home to a vibrant coral reef community. From some of our Maui vacation rentals, you can see Molokini off in the distance with uninterrupted ocean views!

The clear waters and calm surface make it easy to spot tropical fish of all shapes and sizes, and the islet’s crescent shape offers shelter from strong currents.

Visitors can take a boat ride out to the crater or go on a guided snorkeling tour. Either way, Molokini Crater is an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the ocean.

Take a Whale-Watching Tour

Another popular activity in South Maui is whale watching. Every year, between December and April, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters around Maui to mate and give birth.

Hawaii’s waters are home to many humpback whales, which often migrate there to breed. Maui is one of the best places to see these magnificent creatures, as it is home to a visitor center that offers information about them.

The visitor center also allows for whale watching, and it even has interactive displays and exhibits. Additionally, the visitor center provides information about the Kalepolepo fishpond, which is one of the oldest fish ponds in Hawaii. This pond is estimated to have been built between 1400 and 1500 AD, and it is a great place to see humpback whales.

Go Golfing or Hiking

South Maui is home to some of the best golf courses and hiking trails in Hawaii. Hiking in Maui is a great way to explore the island. The views are breathtaking and you can see for miles. If you prefer golf, Maui is a great place to do it. The courses are beautiful and challenging, and the weather is perfect most of the year. There are a lot of great golfing resorts on Maui, so you can find one that fits your budget and your needs. If you’re looking for a challenging round of golf or a scenic hike, you won’t be disappointed!

South Maui Golf Courses include:

  • Emerald Golf Course
  • Maui Nui Golf Club
  • Wailea Golf Club
  • Makena Golf Course

And for those looking to hit the trails, some of the best hiking trails within or near South Maui include:

  • Lahaina Pali Trail from Maalaea
  • Hoapili Trail to Hanamanioa Point Lighthouse
  • Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk Trail
  • Keawakapu Beach Trail
  • Puu Olai Cinder Cone Trail

Eat at Local Restaurants and Try Hawaiian Cuisine

One of the best things about South Maui is the food! There are so many great local restaurants to choose from, and you’ll want to try some Hawaiian cuisine while you’re here.

Some of the best Hawaiian dishes to try include:

  • Poke. This traditional Hawaiian dish is made with raw fish that’s been marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings.
  • Kalua Pork. This is a slow-cooked pork dish that’s often served at luaus.
  • Lau Lau. This dish is made with pork, beef, or fish that’s been wrapped in taro leaves and steamed.
  • Huli Huli Chicken. This dish is made with chicken that’s been marinated in a sweet and savory sauce, then grilled to perfection.

Relax on the Beach

Spending time on the beach is one of the best ways to chill out and enjoy your vacation. South Maui is home to some of the best beaches in Hawaii. Here are some tips and tricks to enjoying the beaches to the fullest! So, be sure to spend some time relaxing on the beach during your vacation!

The warm sun, soft sand, and gentle waves will help you forget all your worries and simply enjoy the moment. And there’s plenty to do on the beach, from swimming and sunbathing to surfing and snorkeling. So, grab a beach chair and umbrella, and head down to the beach for a day of relaxation.

Some of our favorite beaches near South Maui lodging include:

  • Kamaole Beach Park III
  • Wailea Beach
  • Big Beach (Makena Beach)
  • Ulua Beach

Shop at Local Markets for Souvenirs

No vacation to Maui would be complete without picking up some souvenirs! And there’s no better place to find souvenirs than at one of the local markets in South Maui.

Some of our favorite markets include:

  • The Shops at Wailea
  • Kihei Kalama Village

Best Places to Stay in South Maui

Now that you know some of the best things to do on your South Maui vacation, it’s time to start planning where you’re going to stay. And there are plenty of great places to choose from!


This town is located on the central coast of Maui, and it’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to the action. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area, and you can also find Maalaea Harbor here.

This is a popular spot for snorkeling, as there are lots of fish and coral to see. If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s close to the beach, Maalaea is a great option.

North Kihei

North Kihei is home to some of the awesome beaches on Maui, including Kalama Park Beach and Charley Young Beach. And with vacation rentals ranging from condos to private homes, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to stay for your South Maui vacation.

South Kihei

South Kihei is one of the best places to stay in Maui if you’re looking for a place that has great beaches, restaurants, and shopping. It’s also close to many of the island’s best attractions, making it the perfect base for exploring all that Maui has to offer.


Wailea is a beautiful resort town on the island of Maui that offers luxury accommodations and activities for visitors. It’s one of the best places to stay in South Maui if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, as there are plenty of spas and golf courses in the area.

End Your Vacation with a Sunset Cruise

What better way to end your South Maui vacation than with a sunset cruise? There are plenty of companies that offer this type of tour, and it’s a great way to see the island from a different perspective.

You’ll get to see the sunset over the water. You might see some dolphins or turtles swimming nearby. It’s a relaxing way to end your trip. You’ll have plenty of memories to take home with you.

These are just a few of the best things to do on your South Maui vacation. From trying the local cuisine to lounging on the beach and frolicking in the ocean we know you will enjoy yourself. The options are endless and your next adventure is awaiting you. So, start planning your trip today by booking online and getting ready for an unforgettable experience!

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