We all know that vacations are important for the well-being of ourselves and our families. Taking time off work to relax and spend time with loved ones helps us create closer bonds and leave us with a lifetime of wonderful memories. But between flights, fees, eating out, and adequate lodging, vacationing is often just too expensive. Here on Maui, we understand the struggle of providing an awesome trip while staying within budget. Instead of cutting corners on fun, look for affordable (or better yet, free!) activities for you and the family to enjoy. Here’s are some of the best free things to do on Maui that will make your trip unforgettable.
Find out more about free things to do on Maui when you download our complimentary vacation guide! It’s full of recommendations for affordable activities to enjoy during your stay at The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono.
Top 5 Free Things to Do on Maui
1. Drive the Road to Hana
To find excellent views of Maui’s beautiful coastline, all you need to do is drive! The Road to Hana is a scenic highway that twists through lush rainforests and past cascading waterfalls. Popular stops include Wai’anapanapa State Park, Waikani Falls, and Ho’okipa Beach. Since the trip will likely take all day, we recommend packing a cooler with snacks and drinks – all of which are provided to guests at our inn.
Pro Tip: The Hana Highway is a winding route with hairpin turns and over 50 one-lane bridges. Needless to say, it is not ideal for those prone to motion sickness! Be sure to take it slow and allow for plenty of time outside the car.
One of the best free things to do on Maui is to explore the ocean. Crystal clear water in many parts of the island allows you to get up-close and personal with giant honu (sea turtles), manta rays, octopus, and hundreds of species of fish. If you don’t have your own gear, you’re in luck – snorkel rentals start at around $1.50 per day. It’s a small price to pay for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Some of our favorite places to snorkel include Maluaka Beach, Kapalua Bay, and Black Rock at Ka’anapali Beach. Read our blog for additional info.
3. Camp on the Beach
Camping is a beloved activity for Maui locals. There’s nothing better than spending a night under the stars! There are over a dozen campsites on Maui, and many are just steps from the ocean. Some even offer amenities like picnic tables, volleyball courts, restrooms, and showers. Visitors need to purchase a camping permit for county and state parks, but here’s a local tip – it’s technically legal to camp on any beach in Maui for “fishing purposes”. Find a friend with a fishing pole, keep a line in the water, and you’re good to go!
4. Go Whale Watching
Did you know that an estimated 12,000 humpback whales migrate to Hawaii each year from December to May? While there are plenty of ways to see the whales during your trip, including from a boat, paddleboard, kayak, or even a helicopter, they can also be spotted right from the shore. One of the best places to whale watch is Ka’anapali Beach in West Maui. You’re almost guaranteed to see a blowhole or full breach if you’re patient enough!
5. Drive Through Makawao
Makawao is a charming and historic town in Maui’s upcountry. This region is famous for its Hawaiian cowboys, or paniolo, who have wrangled cattle here since the 19th century. (There’s even a Makawao Rodeo held yearly on the Fourth of July!) Visitors to Makawao can spend the afternoon meandering through eclectic shops, boutiques, and art galleries, or explore free exhibits at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. The combination of its paniolo heritage and lively artistic community make Makawao a unique stop during your trip to Maui.
Book Your Stay at The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
If you’re looking for lodging on Maui and want to get the most bang for your buck, consider staying at The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono. Our beautiful property is conveniently located in central Maui and has everything you need for a fun, inexpensive vacation. Feel free to take advantage of our complimentary beach towels, coolers, snacks, soft drinks, and pool noodles. We even provide a delicious, homemade breakfast each day! Don’t forget to view our specials page for discounts and deals on our accommodations. We look forward to having you!
Looking for more great ways to save? Check out our local deals!