Maui’s Top 10 Off the Beaten Path

Maui’s Top 10 Off the Beaten Path Things to Do is a sampling of Maui’s best yet lesser-known offerings. While visiting the incredible Island of Maui, make sure to take advantage of every option that’s available to you. Plan ahead of time and book the most fun activities, tours, and vacation services to be had on Maui. Set aside some time for new experiences so that you can customize your best vacation yet.

Maui's Top Maui Off the Beaten Path Locations

Make your next vacation in Hawaii the best that it can be, and enjoy all of the special nooks and crannies that Maui has to offer. Arm yourself with the invaluable and up-to-date insider’s knowledge that this article provides. Soon you will be able to trek off the beaten path with confidence and explore paradise to its fullest!

Create incredible vacation memories that will last a lifetime. Allow us to be your guide through the top remote activities and best kept Maui secrets, so that you and your family can safely maximize all of the fun and adventure that Maui has to offer. A hui hou!


Sacred Garden of Maliko

The Sacred Garden of Maliko is a sweet Maui gem, and a perfectly peaceful Hawaiian hideaway. Operated by the Divine Nature Alliance 501(c) 3 Charity, this place offers guests a vacation experience like no other on Maui. At the Sacred Garden of Maliko, visitors can unwind and relax in an environment built upon the philosophy of cherishing Hawaiian flora and fauna.

One mission of the Sacred Garden is to provide a place of rest for all people. As such, it is open to those of all beliefs and faiths. The 2-level renovated greenhouse is full of gorgeous Hawaiian plant and tropical flower species. While walking through the greenhouse aisles, guests will be instantly mesmerized by each little decorative detail. There are spiritual icons and positive messages strategically placed throughout. The Buddha Garden is garnished by a statue of Buddha carved from a Monkeypod Tree, and offers a quaint space for quiet time, meditation, and to hold small workshops. As if this space wasn’t already topping out on majestic vibes, guests are welcome to walk both of their labyrinths. There is the classic indoor 7-circuit Coral Labyrinth and the outdoor 11-circuit Medieval-style Labyrinth. While visiting the Sacred Garden of Maliko, make sure you check out their gift shop. It’s stocked full of locally made artwork, jewelry, books, healing stones, and special Maui gifts.

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Paako Cove aka Secret Beach

Paako Cove, also known as Secret Beach in Makena, is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Hawaii. In fact, though it is seldom visited, it’s the most popularly photographed beach in all of Hawaii. When you travel to the South Side of Maui, head towards Makena Beach and park at the 3rd (last) entrance.

Beach access is through two black lava rock walls, where you will find that heaven awaits you. The ocean here is protected and mostly calm, but make sure that you obey all high surf posting and warnings. Paako Cove offers one of the most fabulous snorkeling experiences in Maui, from the early morning to mid-day. Here, visitors can see beautiful reef formations, colorful tropical fish, and vibrant sea beds. Secret Beach is one of the most fascinating and intimate beaches in Maui. It is also one that provides an amazing visual display of Maui’s best water athletes. Throughout the day, it is common to see them body-boarding and skimboarding just off of the cove.

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Makaluapuna Point
aka "Dragon's Teeth"

Mauiʻs “Dragon’s Teeth” is one of Hawaiiʻs most fantastical geological marvels!

With a coastal landscape thatʻs been sculpted by nature into jagged, tooth-like formations, this sweet spot is found at Makaluapuna Point in Kapalua. The unique lava formations at this locale resemble the serrated jaws of a dragon (hence the nickname). Formed centuries ago by the forceful clash of wind and waves against molten lava, the result is a dramatic landscape that captures the raw natural beauty of Maui.

Accessing Dragon’s Teeth is relatively easy. It’s a short hike (more like a walk) from the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua’s parking lot, following the Kapalua Coastal Trail. This scenic trail leads you to Dragon’s Teeth and offers breathtaking views of the Kapalua coastline. The path is well-maintained, but visitors should wear appropriate footwear as the terrain near the formation can be uneven and rocky.

Dragon’s Teeth is a stunning natural formation and a window into Hawaii’s volcanic history. Visitors are reminded to respect this unique geological site, as it’s a natural wonder and holds cultural significance for the local Hawaiian community with an adjacent ceremonial area.

Experiencing Dragon’s Teeth is a must for geology enthusiasts and anyone looking to witness the unique landscapes that make Maui so special.

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aka "Dragon's Teeth"

Hale Ho’omana Spa

Just up Piiholo Road on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala, there lies a true Maui gem. The Hale Ho’omana Spa is a rare and sweet private spa and retreat center that is Hawaiian owned and operated. The staff here specializes in organic spa treatments, ancient Hawaiian healing therapies and spa products.

Ho’omana means “empowered” in the ancient Hawaiian language. That is precisely how guests feel post-treatment at this private Maui spa. Some of the most popular spa treatments here are the Traditional Lomi Lomi Massage, Ancient Hawaiian Bodywork, Hawaiian Herbal Facials, and Hot Stone Therapy. For massage therapists, you can deepen your knowledge with Lomi Lomi Instruction. They also offer Hawaiian Healing Programs throughout the year. In addition to providing luxurious spa treatments, the Ho’omana Spa offers Workshops & Classes, Cultural Activities, and Maui Eco Tours.

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Nakalele Blowhole

Just off Highway 30 in West Maui, there is a spectacular natural wonder called the Nakalele Blowhole. It is the result of a deteriorating shoreline below a lava shelf. Each wave of water is pushed into a hole in the lava, and over time this creates a geyser-like phenomenon.

This spot is a beautiful Maui gem to visit while taking a scenic tour of West Maui, heading north of Kapalua towards Wailuku. Two hiking trails have access to the Nakalele Blowhole. There is one that begins from a gravel parking lot near Mile Marker 38, and the second one is just past Mile Marker 38, noted by a red dirt pullout on the side of the road. Each hike is roughly 30 minutes to the Nakalele Blowhole, but can still be seen from the 2nd hike entrance marked by a light beacon. We suggest that hikers use extreme caution. Be aware of rogue wave conditions, and make sure that you wear proper footwear to travel through the rocky terrain safely. During your next vacation in Maui, take advantage of as many activities as you can, and savor the unique coastal majesty of the most beautiful island in the world.

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Paia Stupa

When you venture out to the North Shore of Maui, make sure to check out the historical Town of Paia. Once upon a time, this area was an agricultural town centered around Hawaiian sugarcane business. These days, Paia is a funky little bohemian beach village! It’s full of an amazing assortment of boutiques, art galleries, surf shops, and restaurants. Visitors to Paia should definitely seek out the Maui Dharma Center on Baldwin Avenue.

The Dharma Center in Paia pays homage to Tibetan Buddhism with a focus on community enrichment. The “Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa” is dedicated to the late Lama Tenzin. He was the first full-time resident teacher of the Maui Dharma Center. The Paia Stupa was completed in 2007 and was blessed by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, before 500 guests from the community. The Stupa was built in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhist architecture, with interior walls displaying the beauty and vibrancy of the Buddhist deities. Travelers from all around the world have visited Paia Stupa to ring the bell and to immerse themselves in the spirit of peace and love.

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The Makawao Forest aka Kahakapao Trail

Visit Maui’s enchanted Makawao Forest for a calm walk through the woods, an adventurous hike through nature, or a thrilling bike ride in Hawaii. While hiking or biking on Maui, you will be gifted with a truly sensational experience. This is especially true while journeying through the Kahakapao Trail.

This forest at the top of Piiholo Road offers a true outdoor vacation experience for everyone. The 5.2-mile Kahakapao Loop has picnic tables on both the east and west sides of the trail. This makes it easy for you to stop, rest, have a pack lunch, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Throughout the Makawao Forest, you will see wild Koa, young Redwoods, Cook Pines, Eucalyptus varieties, Raspberry bushes, and sweet fragrant Ginger plants. The temperature at this elevation is cooler than that at sea level, making for a calm and comfortable morning or afternoon. After this fun adventure in Upcountry Maui, travel down to Makawao Town! It is a historical and famous Maui Paniolo (cowboy) town. Here, guests can stroll the area and shop at a selection of “singular” Maui boutiques and galleries. They can also dine at delicious restaurants like the Makawao Steak House and Market Fresh Bistro.

Makawao Forest Reserve

When you explore Maui’s hiking trails, make sure that you hike with a buddy, and that you stay on the trails. It’s also best to hike in the morning hours, so that you will have plenty of time to return to your vehicle before the sun sets. Don’t forget to bring drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, and a charged cell phone. Remember that it’s always a good idea to wear sturdy hiking shoes.

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Hui No’eau Maui Visual Arts Center

The Hui No’eau Maui Visual Arts Center can be found in Upcountry Maui. It is a wonderful artistic organization that offers space for arts and cultural studies in Maui. The center is a historic Hawaiian estate with deep roots in Maui’s colonial past. Founder Ethel Baldwin commissioned the “Kaluanui Estate” building project to be done by C.W. Dickey. It was completed in 1917.

Both the original main house and the carriage house have been converted into art studios, classrooms, and exhibition galleries. The surrounding property is landscaped beautifully with tropical plants and outdoor art installations. The Hui is a real boon to the Maui community, offering year-round classes and workshops taught by both Maui resident and visiting teachers. Seek out the arts and get some culture at the Hui No’eau during your next trip to Maui. Plan out and register for art classes, or contact them for a schedule of their upcoming events and art openings.

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ONO Organic Farms (aka Maui Exotic Fruit Farm)

ONO Organic Farms of Maui is certified by the Hawaii Organic Farmers Association, or HOFA. They are also a partner of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS. Ono Farms is family owned and cultivates a wide array of rare tropical fruits and vegetables, chocolate, and Hawaiian coffee.

Located right off the Hana Highway in Kipahulu, this Maui gem is a tremendous asset to the whole island. They offer farm-fresh deliveries to homes and businesses, work-study programs, and farm consultation services. On your next trip to Maui, plan ahead of time and reserve your spot on their tropical Fruit Tasting Tour, offered Monday through Friday at 1:30 pm. This is a truly unique opportunity for guests to spend an afternoon sampling 10-12 ono (delicious) tropical fruits, and Arabica estate coffee. They will receive a short education on organic farming, and will have the rare chance to experience a guided tour through one of the best organic farms in all of Hawaii.

To reserve your place on a Fruit Tasting Tour during your next vacation, please email [email protected] or call (808) 248-7779.

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Kaupo Store

The Kaupo Store is found along Highway 31 on Maui, right at Mile Marker 35. It is a historical Maui landmark, and it was initially opened by merchant Nicholas Soon in 1925. Back then, the Kaupo Store was your typical country-style Hawaiian general store. It was one of the only places on the map of the coastal fishing village of Kaupo. This store is where nearby residents and farmers could buy supplies and place catalog orders.

Today, the Kaupo Store embodies a real sense of “Old Hawaii” nostalgia. It is one of the few remaining Hawaiian-style mom-and-pop businesses, and is still family owned and operated. This off-the-grid store provides much-needed refreshments, snacks and locally made arts and crafts for road-trippers. It also offers guests the chance to take in one of Maui’s most gorgeous landscapes. At this Maui gem, visitors also have the rare opportunity to take a step back into another time. They can view a collection of antique collectibles from the turn of the century. There are antique cameras, tools, household items, and Kaupo Store’s famous crank-style cash register. Owners Linda and Manny Domen have used the Kaupo Store as a tool in their personal mission of historical preservation. Hawaii residents and visitors are appreciative of both their success and their place in the Upcountry community. This old-time Maui favorite is a charming rest stop akin to an oasis for those who are venturing to and from Hana and East Maui locales.


(808) 248-8054


MON – SAT 10am-5pm SUN Closed

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Mahalo for reading Maui’s Top 10 Hidden Gems! We hope that you have enjoyed learning more about this selection of the best vacation activities in Maui.

Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra is a marketing professional with a passion for writing about travel to the Hawaiian Islands, vacation rentals, and luxury real estate. She exposes readers to glimpses of 'Old Hawaii,' new destinations to explore, local events, and all the best things to do on Maui.