Trying to figure out which Hawaiian island to visit on your next holiday can be a difficult decision! If you’re looking for gorgeous beaches, laid-back vibes, long winding drives, a diverse landscape (Mars, anyone?), rappelling off waterfalls, petting baby goats, and hikes where you can pick lilikoi and strawberry guava and suckle on ginger juice straight from the white flower stem, Maui should be your next stop! Whether you’re visiting Maui for three days or three weeks, there is plenty to do! This three-day itinerary will give you some ideas on how to best spend your time on the island of Maui.
Below is a three-day itinerary for your next trip to Maui, complete with each stop listed in order on Googlemaps.
How to Spend Three Great Days on Maui Island
Day 1 – Alluring Landscapes & Foodie Lovers
Breakfast at La Provence
Eat a lavender brownie and enjoy the view at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
Drive to the summit of Haleakala and hike part of Sliding Sands Trail
Eat goat cheese chocolate truffles and pet a baby goat at Surfing Goat Dairy Farm
Sunset dinner at Monkey Pod Kitchen in Kaanapali
Explore downtown Lahaina
Day 2 – Adventure & Beach Relaxing
Breakfast & coffee at Belle Surf Cafe in Kihei
Rappel Maui & drive part of The Road to Hana
Sunset at Big Beach (Makena State Park)
Dinner at Pita Paradise in Kihei
Day 3 – Hiking & Sightseeing
Breakfast at Nalu’s Southshore Grill
Hike at Iao Valley
Donuts at Donut Dynamite in Wailuku
Drive the rugged back roads of the Northern-most tip of the island
Snorkel at Honolua Bay
Eat organic, local vegan gelato and shaved ice at Coconut Caboose
Visit Dragon’s Teeth & Labyrinth in Kapalua
Dinner at Flat Bread Pizza Company in downtown Pa’ia
Below I will further elaborate each day:
For a complete foodie guide on Maui, check out my fellow blogger Moani’s post on Maui’s Best Eats; she’s a Maui local and foodie connoisseur!
La Provence is a French Bakery located in the perfect little country village town within the rolling hills of central Maui on the way to Haleakala. With their quaint outdoor patio seating, you may as well be in France, sipping on a latte and biting into a soft, fluffy quiche and pain au chocolat.
Open 8 AM – 2 PM and 5 – 8 PM
Closed Monday & Tuesday
*TIP* – get there early (before they open), as there is usually a line already forming, and they run out FAST!
*EXTRA TIP* – if you’re planning on driving to the summit of Haleakala, grab a few quiche for takeaway because there’s no food on the mountain!
Next, head up to Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm to try all things lavender and explore their gorgeous gardens, filled with succulents and several different types of lavender.
Admission is $3.00 per person. Free parking.
*TIP* – If you mention their ad in Hawaiian Airlines magazine, you get free admission! You do not need to present anything, just mention the ad and you get in for free!
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Your next stop is to drive up the windy road to the summit of Haleakala (meaning “House of the Sun” – isn’t that poetic?)
As this is one of America’s National Parks, admission is $15 per vehicle, valid for three days (save your receipt if you want to return.)
Sliding Sands Trail will likely be one of the most fascinating trails you’ll ever walk, with unique landscapes that truly feel like the barren planet of Mars. Keep in mind that you’re over 10,000′ (3,333 meters) elevation, so take it slow as it’s easy to get winded. There are several backpacking trails that you can do within the crater, that take anywhere from a couple hours to a few nights.
*TIP* – As of February 2017, visitors must make prior reservations if they would like to come for sunrise. Reservations book out up to two months in advance. You can make your reservation for sunrise here. One thing you should note is that weather conditions change drastically and suddenly at the summit, and they will not refund your ticket if it’s cloudy and you aren’t successful at seeing the sunrise. Additional reservation fees apply.
I recommend going to the summit first, then on your way back down the mountain, be sure to stop by Kalahaku Overlook.
This is where you can see the red sand hills that have shaped into dunes over time.
The parking lot is just above the clouds, making for really neat effects!
If you love baby goats, chocolate truffles, or goat cheese, you will obsess over this adorable Surfing Goat Dairy Farm, located in Kula.
This is a working goat dairy farm, and all the goats are treated well with open pastures to roam around in. You can take a tour, or just visit on your own. Be sure to try their flight of award-winning goat cheeses! $17.00 for six spreads, served with crackers.
We were put off by the rude service from the ladies behind the chocolate truffle counter, but the chocolates and cheese made up for it.
Check out one of the largest banyan trees in the United States right here in downtown Lahaina. This tree was imported from India and planted in front of the Lahaina Courthouse in 1873. The tree spans an entire city block and stands at 60′ (20 meters) high. Unleash your inner monkey or Tarzan, but climb at your own risk.
Enjoy a local, farm-to-table dinner at Monkeypod Kitchen in Lahaina. Not a bad view for sunset and tourist-watching.
**TIP** – I recommend to drive out on your own (meet at the Ma’alea County Park & Ride and follow them into the Garden of Eden, about a quarter of the way into the Road to Hana). Once the tour is over, you can continue on as far along the road to Hana as you’d like to go.
At mile Marker 6.75 – descend into the hobbit hole bamboo forest and check out the rainbow eucalyptus trees. Though they look spray-painted, this bark is naturally colored!
For other great Road to Hana stops, check out Nicole’s blog post from Wandering With a Dromomaniac.
Go for a swim at Makena Beach (Big Beach) and frolic into the sunset or do some acroyoga with your partner. 🙂
**TIP** – Feeling frisky and free? Little Beach is the nudist beach, located just next to Big Beach just a small hike over some rocks.
Enjoy dinner at Pita Paradise. Looking for your Mediterranean fix? Located in Wailea, Pita Paradise has live music and serves up Greek-Italian-local fusion food. We enjoyed the tuna tartare.
Start your day with a delicious, hearty breakfast from Nalu’s Southshore Grill where you can nosh on furikake garlic potatoes and home made Hawaiian chili pepper water at each table. Fill up your reusable water bottles with three different types of delicious fruit and herb-infused waters (free!)
Hike inside Iao Valley in Central Maui.
**TIP** – Don’t park inside the gated lot unless you want to pay $5. There is plenty of parking alongside the street that is free.
Stop by Donut Dynamite in Wailuku (just a ten-minute drive from Iao Valley). Best donuts on Maui with innovative flavors such as poi and haupia!
Drive the rugged back roads of the Northern-most tip of Maui. This drive is easily done in a normal vehicle, though it isn’t for the faint-of-heart. The road is paved, but most of it is narrow enough for only one car, so be prepared for driving slowly, honking around bends, and backing up when necessary to allow another car to pass. The views are stunning!
Visit Nakalele Blowhole – if you’re hiking down to the blowhole, I recommend wearing sturdy hiking or running shoes. Do not get too close to the spout and be cautious of slippery rocks.
Snorkel at Honolua Bay. The walk into the bay itself is memorable and looks like something straight out of Avatar with swaying trees and verdant vines hugging large trunks that soar up to the heavens.
Eat the most delicious vegan coconut gelato you will ever taste at Coconut Caboose.
Jeremy is the owner and founder of the most healthful food truck ever!! You will find this mobile gem next to Honolua Bay, where Jeremy and his team serve shaved ice made from raw coconut water, then frozen into ice, as well as raw Hawaiian sugar cane juice that he presses himself.
**Fun fact** – Jeremy goes through 4,500 coconuts per week!! He also owns a tree trimming business and plants coconut trees wherever and whenever he can, to keep the supply rolling in and to keep his production sustainable.
We had the pleasure of talking story with Jeremy for a while, barefoot, shirtless and happy as all entrepreneurs should be.
Price: $7.00 for a gelato cup. Yes, it’s pricey, but when you think about the hours and physical labor of love that go into making this from-the-earth deliciousness, it all makes sense.
All of his takeaway products are compostable and his spoons are made of sugar. All the ingredients he uses are 100% raw, natural and local from Hawaii. These are the foodie experiences we live for!
Continue your drive from Honolua Bay (around 20 minutes) to Kapalua Ritz Carlton Hotel, where you can park for free to check out Dragon’s Teeth.
This side of the island is very windy, so over time the wind and waves push up against the wall of rock, causing sci-fi-looking formations that resemble dragon’s teeth.
There’s also a rad labyrinth that you can race in to see who is fastest!
End your day with dinner at Flatbread Company in Paia with some delicious salads and pizzas made with organic flour.
Another delicious place for dinner is Paia Fish Market, where you can select from your choice of 5 different types of fresh fish and choose your preparation. We got the Cajun-crusted ahi and snapper. It comes with fries and home made coleslaw, which had notes of sweetness.
Price: $24 per plate
For dessert, head over to Choice Health Bar for the most delicious smoothie of your life. Get The Chronic with hazelnuts, fresh mint, coconut meat, hand-cracked coconut water, vitamineral greens, hemp protein, macadamia nut milk, and cacao nibs.
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