Off the Beaten Path Spots in Maui
Maui is the second most popular Hawaiian island for visitors (after Oahu) and it’s easy to see why. This lush paradise is perfect for adventurous travelers seeking calm coves to snorkel in, volcanic peaks to climb, forests to hike, and waterfalls to chase.
It’s also ideal for those dreaming of a tranquil, relaxing vacation with soft sand beaches to lounge on and spa treatments on tap at a luxury resort.
But it’s difficult to appreciate Maui’s beauty when it’s becoming so over touristy. You should know about all the off the beaten path spots in Maui so you can appreciate this magical island more!
Visiting off-the-beaten-path Maui alternatives to the famous waterfalls and beaches will allow you to have a more authentic experience. Use this list to inspire you to explore a little deeper on your next trip to Hawaii’s Valley Isle.
1. Nakalele Blowhole
Off the coast of Keawalua beach close to Maui’s most northerly point is Nakalele Blowhole. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! It spews a geyser-like eruption off the coastline between lava formations every 10 seconds or so.
You can also walk to Nakalele Point Lighthouse and drive a couple of minutes west to the Honokohau Lookout.
2. Paako Cove Beach
There are few beaches left on the island that are non-touristy spots in Maui, but Paako Cove Beach is one of them. This little cove is a secluded paradise just south of more touristed beaches like Makena Beach. There’s a phenomenal view of the Molokini Crater from this beach too.
3. Lāhainā Jodo Mission Buddhist Temple
If you’re looking for a peaceful vacation, you can’t get much more peaceful than a Buddhist temple! You can find the Lāhainā Jodo Mission on the coastline next to the West Maui Natural Area Reserve. Its architecture is made up of a traditional Japanese pagoda with a 12 ft bronze Buddha outside in the s gardens.
4. Sacred Garden of Maliko
Speaking of gardens, the Sacred Garden of Maliko is in the cultural town of Makawao with its many galleries and performance venues. This garden also has connections to Buddhism with prayer flags hanging across the pergolas. There are so many interesting shrines, murals, and nicknacks to uncover here. ou could easily spend an hour or more exploring.
5. Maui Grown Coffee Co. Store
Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee and it’s their second-largest crop. While Maui’s coffee plantations don’t have the notoriety of Kona coffee, you should still taste some while you’re there.
Head to Maui Grown Coffee Co. Store in Lāhainā and pick up some beans to take home with you so you can reminisce about your trip or buy some as souvenirs.
6. Ho’omana Spa Maui
You could check out your resort’s spa if you’re lucky enough to have one. Or, you could drop by Ho’omana Spa in Makawao. Their spa treatments are drawn from traditional Hawaiian medicinal practices so it’s a truly unique experience. Book a Lomi Lomi massage and you won’t be disappointed!
7. Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center
Another great off-the-beaten-path Maui place to visit is the Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center. Housed in a 1917 colonial mansion, this non-profit arts center displays local art, offers tours of the building and grounds, and offers classes.
Check out their schedule to see if they’re teaching any traditional art lessons during your trip.
8. Town of Paia
Not many travelers visit Paia as it is a fairly small town. But if you’re renting a car during your trip to Maui then it’s well worth a stop. One of the best things to see in Paia is the Paia Peace Stupa, a tiny Buddhist temple/shrine covered in prayer flags and bright colors.
9. Kahakapao Loop Trail in Makawao Forest
Maui has so many lush hiking trails suitable for different fitness levels that there is absolutely no need to hike the same ones as everyone else. Just because you saw one on Instagram that has a phenomenal viewpoint, doesn’t mean there aren’t lesser-known trails with equally beautiful scenery.
For example, the Kahakapao Loop Trail in Makawao Forest takes you deep into the Makawao Forest where you’ll meet far fewer people hiking in the same area. Choosing a loop also makes logistical sense as you’ll end up back in the same spot where you parked your car.
10. Twin Falls Maui Waterfall
There are dozens of waterfalls in Maui so you want to make sure you choose one that doesn’t attract a lot of tourists but is still an impressive sight. Head to the Twin Falls Maui Waterfall. It’s not particularly tall and it’s not particularly powerful but it has a large, accessible pool you can swim in where you won’t have to battle for space.
11. Haleakalā Crater (for sunrise)
You probably want to vacation in Maui because of all the natural beauty, and it doesn’t get more beautiful than the Maui sunrises and sunsets. So, you want to be in a good spot to experience them at their best!
The Haleakalā Crater is perfect for sunrise and it will be a little quieter there than at the Haleakalā Observatory nearby. Don’t worry, there’s a parking lot nearby so you don’t have to hike at the crack of dawn.
12. Ka’anapali Beach (for sunset)
But where should you be in Maui for sunset? There are so many great spots but head to Ka’anapali Beach if you want to avoid the crowds all vying for the best photos.
13. Waioka Pond/Venus Pool
This isn’t a totally unknown hidden gem and you are quite likely to see other people enjoying this natural pool during your trip. But it’s nowhere near as popular as it should be! The Waioka Pond (also called the Venus Pool by some) is separated from the sea by a short rocky wall.
It’s surrounded by thick trees and rocky cliffs that some like to jump off into the pool but you can also safely climb down. It feels way more remote than it is because you have to walk through a dense forest to reach it which only adds to the idyllic experience.
14. Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery
Maui is an enterprising island with lots of local delicacies it’s your job as a visitor to support those small businesses! Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery is an 80-acre farm on the foothills of Haleakalā, far away from towns and other tourist attractions. They offer guided tours around their facilities, tastings, and an onsite shop.
15. Keawala’i Congregational Church
Like the rest of the US, Hawaii is a diverse state that celebrates people of all faiths. As well as visiting the Buddhist temples, one of the best local churches to visit in Maui is the Keawala’i Congregational Church in Makena Bay. It’s a cozy black stone church with unobstructed views over the beaches below.
16. Maui Upcountry Fair in Makawao
‘Upcountry’ describes the inland area of Maui where there are lots of farms and residential towns surrounding Haleakalā away from the touristed beaches. Maui celebrates its Upcountry Fair in Makawao every June.
To be honest, this event is not that different from other county fairs in the contiguous US. There are lots of fairground games and food, livestock exhibits, and live entertainment. But for that reason alone, you can almost guarantee that there will be so few other tourists at this fair.
17. Beauty On The Beach Tattoo Shop in Lāhainā
Want to get an experience in Maui that will at least last a little longer than the plane ride home? Stop by the Beauty on the Beach tattoo shop in Lāhainā. But you don’t have to get a permanent tattoo! You can get a temporary jagua tattoo. These are temporary tattoos using the juice of the jagua fruit as the ink.
They last around 10-14 days and you can ask for a traditional Hawaiian design. The tattoo artist applies the jagua juice like Henna so they do not pierce your skin and are perfectly pain-free.
Check Out These Off the Beaten Path Spots in Maui, Hawaii
Visiting non-touristy spots in Maui instead of the popular hotspots won’t jeopardize your vacation experience. It will only make it better! Visiting off-the-beaten-path Maui places will open your eyes to a more local side of Maui and you will have a richer, more adventurous, trip.
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