Top 10 Activities in Maalaea & Olowalu

Maalaea and Olowalu are two coastal areas between South and West Maui. There’s something for everyone, from Maui whale watch trips and snorkel tours to Maui butterflies, pie tastings, and even paintball!

Top 10 Activities in Maalaea and Olowalu

No matter how you choose to spend your time at these two Maui locales, you can trust that you will enjoy it to the fullest. We invite you to get to know all of the beautiful areas of the Valley Isle and we look forward to meeting you soon. Aloha & e komo mai!


Take a Maui Boat Tour

Maui boat tours are the #1 Maui activity. All year round, guests can depart from Maalaea Harbor on a first-rate Maui snorkel tour to Molokini, Turtle Town, and Coral Gardens. If you would like to see one of the most epic sunset scenes on Maui, we suggest that you book a Maui sunset luau cruise. Enjoy the Polynesian cultural experience and an open bar while you take in the dramatic sunset scenes over the Pacific.

During the winter months, guests also have the rare and incredible chance to embark on a Maui whale watch tour. Seeing the North Pacific Humpback Whales during their annual winter migration is one of the most memorable experiences you could have in Hawaii.

Another fantastic way to enjoy a Maui boat tour is on a private charter. On a Maui private charter, guests can plan Maui weddings, private parties, and even corporate incentive gatherings. Private charters are a wise option to explore for larger groups.

Without a doubt, there’s a wide range of activities for guests to enjoy while onboard a Pride of Maui boat tour. Visit our website to learn more or to reserve a Maui boat tour for your family and friends.

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Visit the Maui Butterfly Farm

Here is a truly unique activity to do in Olowalu. It is perfect for both nature lovers and those who are passionate about conservation. The Maui Butterfly Farm is saving Maui’s butterflies, one caterpillar at a time!

The proprietors of the Maui Butterfly Farm come from an Oxford University (UK) education in Animal Science and Agriculture. They are not just focused on saving Hawaii’s declining butterfly population; they are also helping to preserve Maui’s unique ecosystem.

A visit to the Maui Butterfly Farm is a great hands-on educational experience.

Plan out and book a Maui Butterfly Farm Tour with your family and friends. It’s a one-of-a-kind Hawaii farm tour and one of the best activities for kids on Maui. During the tour, guests will have a hands-on experience while they learn about caterpillars, chrysalis, and butterflies. They also have a Critter Corner where you can learn more about Hawaii’s insects, including a friendly Praying Mantis and some new babies.

Please note that the tour is roughly 45 minutes, and it’s best to book online ahead of time.

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Stop By Leoda's Kitchen & Pie Shop

Located in Olowalu, Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop is right next to the General Store. As you leave your car, get ready to taste some seriously ono Maui baked goods.

We suggest you visit Leoda’s for baked goods, takeout, and a coffee. Of course, it’s also worth your time to stay a while and enjoy some brunch or lunch.

The reason why Leoda’s is so famous in Hawaii is because of their delectable pies. They offer both savory and sweet pies on their menu.

Some top-notch savory options are the Chicken Pot Pie, Turkey Pot Pie, and Beef Pot Pie. All of them are great choices if you’re headed to a holiday dinner or a fun lunch event on Maui.

The most famous sweet pies at Leoda’s are the Olowalu Lime Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Banana Cream Pie and the Guava Chiffon Pie. Last but not least, we can’t forget to mention the Chocolate Haupia Pie.

There are so many more items that make Leoda’s a perfect spot for brunch or lunch, like their sandwiches, salads, hoagies, burgers, hot dogs, and yummy sides. Our favorite choices are the Seared Ahi sandwich, Reuben, Beef Dip, Lahaina Dog, Leoda’s Burger, and the Baked Mac & Cheese. They also serve up one of the best Caesar salads on Maui so don’t sleep on it if you’re a Caesar lover!

Guests can also visit their website to order whole 9″ pies or some takeout ahead of time. Please note that whole pies require three days for special orders.

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Plan to Visit the Olowalu Cultural Reserve

If you would like to explore a piece of ancient history while you visit Maui, you must come and learn about the ancient Hawaiian lands at the Olowalu Cultural Reserve. It’s best experienced while volunteering with Kipuka Olowalu.

Kipuka Olowalu is a growing organization that’s focused on four key values. There is kupono (honesty), malama (to nurture), kokua (to help without expectation), and aloha (love and compassion).

The mission of this organization is to perpetuate traditional and customary practices of the kanaka maoli, the ancient Hawaiians. They do so by working to restore the land with plant restoration, new native plantings, and the removal of invasive species. Through their service to the land, their members practice and re-establish these values.

Kipuka Olowalu hosts volunteer days for students, individuals, and educational organizations. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can volunteer for a day, you can submit a contact form request on their website.

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Plan a Day at the Maui Ocean Center

No trip to Maui is quite complete without a visit to the Maui Ocean Center! It’s an excellent spot for families and adults, with many interactive experiences. At the only aquarium on Maui, guests can have fun while they learn about Maui’s ocean life and the history of Maui No Ka Oi.

The special exhibits at the Maui Ocean Center rotate. There are still many incredible permanent exhibits to be seen, like the Living Reef and Kaho’olawe: History and Healing. Also make sure to check out Hawaiians and the Sea, a Turtle Lagoon, the 75,000-gallon Ocean Ocean Exhibit, and the Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit & Sphere. As you can see, there is a lot to see about Maui’s sea!

Guests will have enough time to peruse the aquarium in one afternoon. It’s not an especially large aquarium, but there is a lot to do both indoors and outdoors.

There are places to sit and take a break, which is great for guests traveling with small children. Plus, there is a cafe and a nearby restaurant. We suggest that guests start with the top exhibits like the Living Reef, Turtle Lagoon, Open Ocean Exhibit, The Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit, and Sphere.

The Sphere is an excellent 3-D film about Maui’s Humpback Whales. The 7.1 surround sound system here helps viewers to feel completely immersed in the experience.There are so many incredible things to do and see at the Maui Ocean Center. For yoga lovers, you can book ahead of time and snag a mat in one of their Aquari-om yoga classes.

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Go Camping at Camp Olowalu

If you love to camp, we have the best campground in all of Hawaii to share with you!

Camp Olowalu is not your ordinary campsite. Here, guests can rent tent space, yurts, or cabins. The friendly folks at Camp Olowalu can also help you plan bigger events like large family gatherings, overnight weddings, and more.

The campground has recently been renovated, and the facilities here are top-notch. This campground is on point, from BBQ grills to beach access trails and bathrooms. This is without a doubt one of the best places to go camping on Maui.

Another awesome thing about Camp Olowalu is their partnership with the Olowalu Cultural Reserve. Guests can volunteer and explore the reserve while they enjoy a comfy place to sleep at the campground. Learn about how you can enjoy both at one time.

This is yet another Maui activity that you should reserve ahead of time. Camp Olowalu is quite popular with locals, off-Maui Hawaii residents, the outdoorsy visitor crowd, and more. It books up quickly!

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Book Surf Lessons

Ukumehame Beach Park, also known as Thousand Peaks, can be found near Mile Marker 12 of the Honoapiilani Highway. Thousand Peaks is one of the best beginner surf spots on the island. Whether you’re a beginner or just need a little push, this is one of the best places to take surf lessons on Maui.

Depending on your Maui hotel or accommodations, there are many ways to book surf lessons at Thousand Peaks and other nearby spots in West Maui. Contact the concierge or activities desk before your arrival if you’re staying at a resort.

Otherwise, there are some excellent surf schools in Maui. We suggest that you check out Zack Howard Surf, Rivers to the Sea, and Maui Surfer Girls.

Please note that this is an activity you will 100% want to book ahead of time, especially if you plan to take surf lessons more than once while on the island. Enjoy!

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Try Maui Paintball & Laser Tag

Located in Olowalu, Maui Paintball & Laser Tag is one of the best secret sporting gems of West Maui. They’re super popular with locals for birthday parties, fundraisers, and seasonal events like the Halloween Zombie Shoot. At Maui Paintball, there are always special events for paintball and laser tag enthusiasts.

When planning for paintball, note that the rental package includes equipment like a semi-auto marker, a mask, an optional chest protector, and all-day HPA. They also have some add-on items like camouflage coveralls, electro-pneumatic vibe/envy gun upgrades, and paintball packs.

Please note that Maui Paintball is a Field Paint Only facility. Outside paintballs are not permitted.

Laser tag is also a top choice at Maui Paintball. It’s available by reservation for groups of 15-30 people. Laser tag is only available on Saturdays and Sundays, but if you reach out to them directly, they might be able to fit you in for a weekday slot.

You may not have a group that large when you visit Maui. Still, this is a unique activity if you’re on a multi-family trip, celebrating a wedding on Maui, or on a corporate incentive trip.

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Go Kayaking

One of the most adventurous and inspiring things to do in West Maui is kayaking at Olowalu. The area is calm and ideal for a smooth and enjoyable kayaking excursion. We suggest that you book a guided Olowalu kayaking tour to make the most of your experience.

With Kayak Olowalu, guests can book a 2.5-hour guided tour that embarks from their convenient beachfront location. They will explore the calm Pacific Ocean and view exotic reef marine life alongside expert guides. The tours are also outfitted with snorkel gear for those who would like to get a little closer to the underwater beauty of Olowalu Reef. It’s a fun activity for the whole family, as no prior experience is necessary. They even provide refreshments!

There is an added exciting part of kayaking at Olowalu Reef if you set out on a tour during the winter months. You will have a front-row view to watch the North Pacific Humpback Whales breaching and frolicking just beyond the safety of the reef!

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Try Maui Sport Fishing

You would be surprised just how many people visit Maui to go sport fishing!

From Maalaea Harbor, there is a host of sport fishing charters that will take you to the deep blue to catch some game fish. The ten most commonly caught fishes on Maui are the Blueline Snapper, Uku (Grey Snapper), Ulua (Giant Trevally), Omilu (BlueFin Trevally), Gold Spot Trevally, Kahala (Amberjack), Black Durgon Triggerfish, Pink Tail Triggerfish, and Hawaiian Hogfish.

If you need help choosing with whom to book a Maui sport fishing excursion, we suggest that you check the availability of Maui Fun Charters, Rascal Charters, Aloha Blue Charters, or Strike Zone Fishing. Each of their tours is unique and offers something different from the rest. These guys are all pros and will take you on a real adventure. They will help you find and catch fish and send you home with pounds and pounds of fresh fish (if you’re lucky). For this reason, make sure to plan and book a Maui sport fishing charter to take place at the end of your vacation!

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Mahalo for reading through our Top 10 Activities in Maalaea & Olowalu blog! We hope that it was as fun for you to read as it was for us to write. We love the Island of Maui to its core and are so happy that we can continue to offer our readers the insider perspective they need to plan the best vacation on Maui.

From all of us at Pride of Maui, we look forward to meeting you onboard one of our Maui Boat Tours soon. A Hui Hou!

Helen Shirts

Helen is a creative professional living the good life on Hawaii Island. She enjoys writing about local events, foods, and history. Her inspiration often comes from reading about local traditions and researching them to uncover some amazing stories. She truly enjoys sharing ideas for fun and unusual activities here in the islands she calls home.