The Valley Isle is chock full of daytime activities, but we’ve hand picked our favorites for an unforgettable experience exploring the best of the best on Maui. Did we mention the west side has some of the best evening and nightlife you’ll find in Hawaii too?
Quite possibly our favorite area of Maui, here’s an exciting day of activity, from morning till night, checking out the beloved town of Lahaina, the beaches of Kaanapali, and the lingering towns of the warm west side.
- Sunrise Café
- This funky yet charming breakfast spot is a favorite among locals in Lahaina. With an open-air feel and outdoor lanai seating, the Sunrise Café is a great place to get your morning fix, and it’s kid friendly. Menu options range from American comfort food favorites like French toast and waffles to sticky buns with macadamia nuts, tropical fresh fruits, and delicious home fries. The best part about this cute café is it’s inexpensive and tucked away on a side street of Lahaina. Heads up, it’s cash only.
- Maui Ocean Center
- This small aquarium is the perfect afternoon activity for a few different reasons. It gets you out of the sweltering heat of the west side for a bit, allows a drive along the coast, and introduces you to some incredible underwater creatures. By far the coolest thing about this aquarium is the underwater tunnel where tiger sharks, giant ulua and ahi, and manta rays swim directly above your head. It’s easy to spend an hour just watching them swim by, and afterwards, be sure to check out the outer reef area and the unique gift shop.
- Beach Bums Bar & Grill
- We love this restaurant because they have a great happy hour, good lunch food, and it’s only a few shops down from the aquarium. It definitely has a local, airy atmosphere, with locally brewed beers (we recommend the Beach Blonde!) and live music. A view of the harbor adds to the ambiance and you’ll find delicious fish tacos on the menu, along with tasty salads and an abundance of side dishes to choose from.
- Kaanapali Beach
- This stretch of sand offers everything possible when it comes to a day at the beach. Surf lessons, parasailing, snorkeling, a walking path, covered lounge chairs, restaurants and bars, and so much more. It seriously epitomizes a Hawaii beach vacation! We recommend grabbing snorkel gear and swimming along the cliffs of Kaanapali, where the famous cliff diving ceremony happens. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even take the plunge into the refreshing waters yourself. This is an incredible beach with so much to offer, you may just spend your entire day here.
- Honolua Bay
- Made popular by its world-renowned surf break, Honolua Bay is the perfect place for swimming and snorkeling on a calm day. The walk to the beach through the dangling vines is enough to entice a trip here, and the water’s edge is unlike the other beaches in Hawaii. Marked with large stones instead of sand, this “beach” is unique and the snorkeling along the western cliffs is incredible. Bring a chair if you intend to stay long, but leave the umbrella at home; there is plenty of natural shade along this bay.
- Duke’s Beach House
- We can never get enough of Duke’s. On your way back from Honolua Bay, stop off at this Hawaiian style restaurant, situated in the resort community of Kaanapali along the beautiful golden beaches of the west side. We like this particular spot because it gives you a chance to check out the various hotels along the strip. Duke’s is also one of our favorites because of their famous hula pie. It seriously hits the spot every time, especially after a hot day at the beach. Check out Duke’s for a refreshing beverage, later afternoon snack, happy hour, or simply for the pie!
- Front Street Walk
- Heading into Lahaina now, we’re taking you to one of Maui’s hottest evening spots, where you’ll find boutique shopping, outdoor malls, parks, harbor views, local bars, great restaurants, nightclubs and more. We love this walk because of its quaint atmosphere mixed with lively activity. There is so much to see on this one small strip, and it’s right along the water too. You’ll feel like you’ve time warped to the olden days in this antique fishing village, and experience total relaxation with its casual feel and laid back style. Watch the sunset along Front Street and then head over to your next stop for some good fun and good food.
- A relatively inexpensive place to grab dinner, we enjoy sitting along the water in the bar area of this restaurant. Open air dining with a view of the neighboring islands and the boats in the harbor gives a beautiful backdrop with your meal. The bar turns lively at night and you can most likely expect to hear some live music to accompany the evening as well. Similar to Duke’s, you’ll receive Hawaiian style décor and atmosphere, with a solid wood bar and tiki torches to light up the night.
- This is when you drop the kids off at the hotel to enjoy some of Lahaina’s nightlife. Fleetwood’s, opened and owned by the drummer from the band Fleetwood Mac, offers a contemporary place to enjoy cocktails while overlooking the ocean. With rooftop seating and a separate bartender, you can expect great service and unique cocktails, and did we mention the wine bar? The ultimate spot for an upscale night, Fleetwood’s is classy a joint to enjoy live music and an array of drink options.
- Moose McGillycuddy’s
- If we haven’t already exhausted you, then head down to Moose McGillycuddy’s, a local favorite watering hole. With a large square bar that wraps around almost the entire restaurant, a dance floor, and booth style tables that overlook Front Street, Moose’s is a really fun place to end the night. Especially popular on the weekends, you can expect to find Lahaina locals here, not to mention some good bar conversation and maybe even a dance partner to enjoy the mixes of the DJ. Don’t forget to check out the bathroom wall décor, it’ll surely give you a good laugh!
Posted by: Bruce Fisher