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 little-known offerings. While visiting the incredible Island of Maui, make sure to take advantage of every option that’s readily available to you. Plan ahead of time and book activities, tours, and vacation services 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 it can be, and enjoy all the special nooks and crannies that Maui has to offer. With the invaluable and up-to-date insider’s knowledge that this article provides, 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 location offers guests an incomparable vacation experience on Maui. Upon entering 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 providing a place of rest for all people and, as such, it is open to those of all beliefs and faiths. The 2-level renovated greenhouse is abundant with gorgeous Hawaiian plant and tropical flower species. While walking through the greenhouse aisles, guests will be instantly mesmerized by each little decorative detail, strategically placed spiritual icons and positive messages. The Buddha Garden is garnished by a Buddha statue carved from a Monkeypod Tree and offers a quaint space for quiet time, meditation, and small workshops. As if this space isn’t already topping out on majestic vibes, guests are welcome to walk both their classical indoor 7-circuit Coral Labyrinth and the outdoor 11-circuit Medieval-style Labyrinth. When visiting the Sacred Garden of Maliko, definitely check out their gift shop, 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, it is seldom visited, but the most popularly photographed beach in all of Hawaii. When exploring the South Side of Maui, travel towards Makena Beach and park at the 3rd (last) entrance.

Beach access is through two black lava rock walls, where you will find heaven awaiting you. The ocean here is protected and mostly calm, but please obey all high surf posting and warnings. Paako Cove offers one of the most fabulous snorkeling experiences in Maui, during the early morning and mid-day. Here, visitors can see beautiful reef formations, colorful tropical fish, and vibrant sea beds. Secret Beach is not only one of the most fascinating and intimate beaches in Maui but also one that provides an amazing visual display of Maui’s best water athletes. Throughout the day, it is common to see them bodyboarding and skimboarding just off from the cove.

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Great Buddha at Lahaina Jodo Mission

Lahaina Jodo Mission is just north of Front Street in Lahaina. Situated off Ala Moana Street, this Japanese Buddhist mission is beloved by residents and visitors alike.

At the Lahaina Jodo Mission, visitors can see the Great Buddha, Temple, Temple Bell, Pagoda, and more. Without a doubt, this Maui locale is peaceful, serene, relaxing, and inspiring for those in-the-know. The mission was initially founded in 1912 to cultivate Buddhism in Lahaina, then moved to its current property in 1931. Some people even say that the property feels more like Japan than Maui!

The Great Buddha at the Lahaina Jodo Mission is the largest Buddha statue outside of Asia. The 12-ft high Great Buddha was cast in Kyoto, Japan, and is constructed of copper and bronze. In 1968, the Great Buddha and the Temple Bell were built to commemorate the Centennial Celebration of Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants. Two years later, the main Temple and the Pagoda were built thanks to funding collected through public donations and mission members.

On the Lahaina Jodo Mission property, the Temple is on Puunoa Point. It provides vast Pacific Ocean views and a fantastic vantage point of the islands of Molokai, Lanai, and Kaho’olawe.

Inside the Temple, visitors can appreciate many beautiful and authentic Japanese design elements, including five incredible Buddhist paintings by Hajin Iwasaki.

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Hale Ho’omana Spa

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

Ho’omana means “empowered” in the ancient Hawaiian language, and that is precisely how guests feel post-treatment at this uniquely private Maui spa. Some of the most popular spa treatments at the Ho’omana Spa are 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, and Hawaiian Healing Programs offered throughout the year. In addition to providing luxurious spa treatments, the Ho’omana Spa also offers Workshops & Classes, Cultural Activities, and Maui Eco Tours.

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Nakalele Blowhole

Just off Highway 30 in West Maui resides a spectacular natural wonder called the Nakalele Blowhole. The blowhole is a result of a deteriorating shoreline below a lava shelf, where each wave of water is pushed into a hole in the lava, creating 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 access the Nakalele Blowhole, one that begins from a gravel parking lot near Mile Marker 38, and the second past Mile Marker 38 noted by a red dirt pullout on the side of the road. Each hike is approximately 30 minutes to the Nakalele Blowhole, but it is possible to see the blowhole from the 2nd hike entrance marked by a light beacon. We recommend that hikers use extreme caution, be conscious of rogue wave conditions, and wear proper footwear to travel through the rocky terrain safely. During your next vacation in Maui, take advantage of as many activities as possible, and savor the unique coastal majesty of the most beautiful island in the world.

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Paia Stupa

When venturing to the North Shore of Maui, make sure to check out the historical Town of Paia. Once upon a time, this area was mainly an agricultural town centered around Hawaiian sugarcane business. Now, Paia is a funky little bohemian beach village full of an exceptional collection of boutiques, art galleries, surf shops, and restaurants. Visitors to Paia should definitely seek out the Maui Dharma Center located on Baldwin Avenue.

The Dharma Center in Paia pays homage to Tibetan Buddhism and community enrichment. The “Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa” is dedicated to the late Lama Tenzin, who was the first resident teacher of the Maui Dharma Center. The Paia Stupa was completed in 2007 and blessed by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, before 500 guests of the community. The Stupa was built in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhist architecture, with interior walls displaying the innate beauty and colorful vibrancies of Buddhist deities. Travelers from all around the world have visited Paia Stupa to ring the bell and to immerse themselves within this symbol 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 woods, an adventurous hike through nature, or a thrilling bike ride in Hawaii. While hiking or biking on Maui, all participants are gifted with a truly sensational experience, especially when journeying through the Kahakapao Trail.

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

Makawao Forest Reserve

When exploring Maui’s hiking trails, make sure to hike with a buddy, and stay on the trails. It’s also best to hike in the morning hours, so you have plenty of time to return to your vehicle before sunset. Don’t forget to bring drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, and a charged cell phone, and remember: 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 is located in Upcountry Maui. It is a wonderful artistic organization offering 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 with C.W. Dickey and completed it in 1917.

The original main house and carriage house have been converted into art studios, classrooms, and exhibition galleries. The surrounding property is landscaped beautifully with tropical varieties and outdoor art installations. Offering year-round classes and workshops by Maui resident and visiting teachers, the Hui is a real value to the Maui community. Seek out arts and culture at the Hui No’eau during your next vacation in Maui. Plan and register for art classes, or contact them for a schedule of 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 (HOFA), and a partner of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, (NRCS). Ono Farms is family owned and cultivates a huge selection of rare tropical fruits and vegetables, chocolate, and Hawaiian coffee.

Located right off the Hana Highway in Kipahulu, this Maui gem offers considerable value to the Island of Maui: 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 in their tropical Fruit Tasting Tour, offered Mondays-Fridays at 1:30 pm. This is a truly unique opportunity for visitors to spend an afternoon sampling 10-12 ono (delicious) tropical fruits, and “ono-licious” Arabica estate coffee. Guests will receive a short education on organic farming, and have the rare chance to experience a guided tour through one of Hawaii’s best organic farms.

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

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Kaupo Store

The Kaupo Store is situated along Highway 31 on Maui, right at Mile Marker 35, a Historical Maui Landmark. Initially opened by merchant Nicholas Soon in 1925, 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. Here 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 and is one of the few remaining Hawaiian-style mom-and-pop businesses. Family owned and operated, this off-the-grid store provides much-needed refreshments, snacks and locally made arts and crafts for road-trippers, and a chance to be immersed in one of Maui’s most gorgeous landscapes. At this Maui gem, visitors also have a rare opportunity to take a step back into another time and view a collection of antique collectibles from the turn of the century: collections of antique cameras, tools, household items, and Kaupo Store’s famous crank-style cash register. Owners Linda and Manny Domen, have made the Kaupo Store their personal mission of historical preservation. Hawaii residents and visitors are appreciative of their success, and their place in the Upcountry community. This old-time Maui favorite is a charming rest stop akin to an oasis fore those 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 article! We hope you have enjoyed learning more about this selection of the best vacation activities in Maui.