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Beach

3-Day Getaway: Maui

Check out this fun-filled itinerary before you Google "Maui vacation ideas"

The Vacationeer
Aerial shot of turquois waves crashing against black rocks on Maui in Hawaii.

Editor's Note: These are unusual times, and some destinations have travel restrictions in place. No matter what you do, practice safe travels, and follow CDC and local guidelines.

Free printable "Maui Itinerary" for vacation ideas.  
Click to expand and print.

Of all Hawaii's islands, Maui is the personification of everything that keeps visitors returning to the islands year after year. The island abounds with natural beauty, captivating wildlife, history and culture, without being too big and busy or too quiet — striking the crowd-pleasing vacation feeling of "just right."   

Maui is the destination to visit for travelers dreaming of turquoise waters and laid-back days to bring all your tropical vacation ideas to life.                  

Visitors enjoy days that delight the senses, and the sweet smell of plumerias and the relaxing sounds of trade winds rustling against palm leaves will continue to fuel their wanderlust for a lifetime.

As far as how you spend your time on Maui, the island's long list of things to do means you can pack your itinerary to your heart's content or kick back in true Aloha-style. 

If you've got three days, we've got an itinerary full of vacation ideas for an unforgettable time on Maui. 

Day One: Molokini & Turtle Arches Snorkel

Spend the first of your three days sailing to Molokini. This iconic crescent-shaped inlet is a protected marine conservation area and is only accessible by a boat with a certified tour operator.

Aerial shot of Molokini with boats peppered throughout the turquois inlet, Maui, Hawaii.     

Consider Pacific Whale Eco-Adventures, a long-time island favorite.

The five-hour experience includes: 

  • A continental breakfast 
  • A delicious BBQ lunch prepared onboard 
  • One complimentary alcoholic beverage
  • A trip to Turtle Arches, a bonus snorkel site with underwater lava formations and sea turtle sightings

After you arrive back on the island, spend the rest of your day relaxing outside beneath a shade tree.

Day Two: Road to Hana Day Trip

Visitors have said that the trek to Hana is about the journey, and a journey it is. To complete the entire drive to Hana, you'd need to dedicate a whole day. However, if the "Maui" portion of your vacation is only three days, it's a better idea to drive halfway to Hana and turn back mid-afternoon. 

Side by side waterfalls amidst lush greenery Maui, Hawaii.  

While the Hana Highway is very safe and well-maintained, it's best to avoid driving in the dark. 

During your halfway road trip to Hana, consider stopping off at these stops:

  • Ho'okipa State Park in Paia to spot sea turtles sunbathing on the sandy shore.
  • Twin Falls, a beautiful farm known for its two stunning waterfalls to soak in the view and snap vacation selfies. 
  • Huelo Lookout for a refreshing treat. This quaint roadside fruit stand also sells Hawaiian Shave Ice. 
  • Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread for comfort food. 

While on your way back, stop for dinner at Mama's Fish House in Paia. You'll need a reservation, so book well in advance. Mama's daily menu lists the angler's name and where they caught the fish, so there's no doubt that your catch is fresh. 

Call it an early night to prepare for your final day's early wake-up call.  

Day Three: A Volcano Sunrise, Beach and a Sunset Luau

The Volcano

Even if waking up before the sun is the opposite idea of your ideal Maui vacation, consider making an exception. Watching the sunrise from above the clouds on Haleakala is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

For an unforgettable experience, active travelers can join guided or self-guided bike tours. This 8-hour tour begins with check-in at 3 a.m. Then, leave your vehicle and take a park tour up to the 10,000-foot summit, where you'll soak up breathtaking sunrise views. After witnessing the sunrise of a lifetime, cruise down the volcano on a top-of-the-line Kona bike.

Picturesque  shoreline at sunset Maui, Hawaii.    

The Beach 

Head to Makena Beach, one of Maui's well-known beaches, to relax. Located in Kihei, Makena is one of the most extensive untouched beaches in Maui.

There, you'll find food trucks parked nearby to refuel after your adventurous morning.

So order a plate (or two), dig your toes into the white sand and enjoy the view. Then, round out day with a dip in the Pacific or a stroll along the shoreline. 

The islands of Molokini and Kahoolawe are in the distance, making it a great place to appreciate Maui's natural beauty. 

The Luau 

Book a traditional luau at the Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, to commemorate your last evening on the island. Watch as Maui's history comes to life through ancient Polynesian storytelling combined with chants and hula dancing for a truly compelling experience. 

Stay: Beginning September 29, travelers can get their fill of Maui magic at Maui Bay Villas by Hilton Grand Vacations. This oceanfront resort hugs the coast of Maalaea Bay and offers a perfect launchpad for exploring Maui.

Read "Best of Maui: Beaches" for more Maui vacation ideas. 

 

Vacationeer

The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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