Vacationing on a budget won’t prevent you from enjoying the good life on Maui.
There is no need to venture away from the beach if you want to pay less on a hotel. Rooms at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel start at US$188, and the property is steps away from one of Maui’s best beaches. Room rates include a variety of cultural activities like hula, ukulele lessons and traditional crafts.
With live music and a sandy, no-shoes-required patio, Hula Grill is already a great stop for a late-day beach party. A daily Aloha Hour menu that runs from 3 to 5 p.m. every afternoon makes the fun easy on the wallet, too. Aloha Hour includes US$5 beers from Maui Brewing Co. and pupu specials such as Kiawe-smoked Jidori chicken wings and beef poke lettuce wraps.
Haleakala National Park’s Haleakala Crater is one of Maui’s top attractions. It offers surreal landscapes and the most spectacular sunrise view on the island. Stretch the US$25 per-vehicle entry fee into the park a little further by pairing your visit with a trip to the cascading waterfall and lush foliage along the Pipiwai hiking trail. National parks passes are valid for three days and admission to U.S. national parks is free on designated holidays throughout the year.
Quaint, artsy Lahaina was once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, and its charming, low-slung buildings continue to offer a glimpse into its rich past as a former whaling port and plantation settlement. Pick up a map at the Lahaina Visitor Center, located in the Old Courthouse, or follow the bronze plaques for a self-guided tour of dozens of historic sites (including Hawaii’s first lighthouse) that are all within easy walking distance.
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is a gentle beach walk that runs 2.8 kilometres along the North Coast from Kapalua Bay Beach to D.T. Fleming Beach Park. It will take you over soft sand dunes and stark volcanic rocks. Humpbacks love the warm, shallow channel between Maui and the neighbouring islands of Lanai and Molokai, making parts of the pathway a prime location for whale spotting between November and May. There’s limited free parking at either end of the trail, or you can take the US$2 West Maui Islander bus route to Kapalua.
What to Do in Downtown Lahaina
Once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, Lahaina occupies a central place in Maui’s history. Today, its low-slung buildings and oceanfront shops and galleries offer a taste of Old Hawaii. Take a walk through the neighbourhood, making stops at Lahaina Banyan Court Park, Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice and more.