Are you planning a four-day getaway to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui? If so, then this done-for-you 4 day Maui itinerary has your name on it!
We recently visited Maui for 3 months spending most of our time exploring so that we could create this perfect 4-day itinerary.
With this guide, you’ll be able to explore all of the best attractions and activities that Maui has to offer. From breathtaking beaches and lush rainforests to delicious local cuisine and unique cultural experiences, this itinerary is the best highlight reel for your 4 day Maui vacation.
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How to Get to Maui
Getting to Maui is straightforward since there is only one commercial airport which is Kuhului Airport (OGG). Several airlines fly direct to Maui from the mainland including Delta, United, Alaska, Air Canada, and Virgin Air.
Hawaiian Airlines also flies direct from the mainland and also serves as the connecting airline for all of the Hawaiian islands.
How to Get Around Maui
Once you arrive in Maui, the best way to get around is by renting a car. By having your own transportation you’ll be able to explore more of the island and take your time seeing all that Maui has to offer.
Before you book make sure to read everything you need to know about renting a car in Hawaii.
You can also look into professional services that offer private drivers and guided tours in Maui if you prefer not to rent a car. Here are the best options for private Maui transportation.
Where to Stay in Maui
Maui is the second-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and therefore requires you to cover some ground to be able to hit the main highlights.
With this in mind, we suggest staying in two different locations on the island during your 4-day 5-night stay so that you’re not having to wake up at 4:30 am to account for the extra travel time.
Kihei – Wailea
First up Kihei and Wailea located in the South of Maui are great places to stay for your first two nights. Here you’ll be able to explore some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, enjoy world-class snorkeling and take part in unique land activities like stand-up paddle boarding or beginner surfing.
Best Places to Stay in Kihei – Wailea
Ka’anapali – Lahaina
For the last three nights, we suggest you stay in either Kaanapali or Lahaina. Kaanapali is home to amazing coastlines, golf courses, and plenty of shopping while Lahaina offers waterfront restaurants, historic buildings, and one-of-a-kind bars.
This part of the island will be the perfect spot to relax and unwind from your trip before heading back to the real world.
Best Places to Stay in Ka’anapali – Lahaina
4 Day Maui Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 – Makena Beach, Haleakala Crater Sunset
Day 2 – Road to Hana, Ho’okipa Lookout
Day 3 – Snorkel Honolua Bay, Ka’anapali Beach
Day 4 – Lahaina, Whale Watching, Turtle Town
4 Day Maui Itinerary
Day 1 | Makena Beach, Haleakala Crater
Breakfast at Kihei Caffe
Welcome to your first full day in Maui, it’s time to start your day off right by heading to Kihei Caffe for the best local-style breakfast in South Maui. The menu selection is wide offering both sweet and savory options. A local favorite is the Loco Moco with some fresh locally grown fruit. The pancakes are also off the chart especially if you add the macadamia nut syrup!
*Surf option – If you’re a surfer or a “wanna be” get up early (like 6 am early) and head over Kalama Park which is the place to catch a wave and/or a surf lesson. All of our kids did surf lessons here. Board rentals are available and the instructors are awesome!
Kalama Park is directly across from Kihei Caffe making it super convenient to skip over for breakfast.
After grabbing your morning grindz it’s time to hit the beach! One of our favorite beaches on Maui is Makena Beach also called Big Beach. This beach is huge with crystal blue waters, white sand, and plenty of room to spread out. It’s also a great spot for some body-surfing, boogie boarding or just chilling out in the sun.
There are lifeguards on duty but be advised that the shore break can be quite fierce so be mindful of the surf conditions.
Just north of Big Beach (to the right) is Little Beach, another stunning beach spot in Maui. It’s good to know that Little Beach is a clothing-optional beach popular among locals and visitors alike. It is quite secluded and to access you need to climb up and over a large concrete wall so don’t worry about accidentally stumbling upon it with your kids 🙂
Lunch at 808 Deli
After you get your beach on it’s time to refuel at 808 Deli. It doesn’t look like much but this is a local favorite and a great place to snag some delicious sandwiches, salads, pasta, and hot dogs.
But, the main attraction is the pudding! This place has some of the best pudding in all of Hawaii so don’t leave without trying a few flavors.
Now that you’re fueled ups it’s time to make your way to Haleakala Crater.
The drive takes approximately 1.5 hours, and you’ll ascend to over 10,000 feet above sea level. We suggest leaving for the summit at around 3 pm to give yourself some time to stop and explore.
Once you arrive at the summit you’ll be blown away by the views stretching every direction. The best part is how quiet and peaceful it is, making it a great spot for stargazing and watching the breathtaking sunset.
Make sure to bundle up, as the temperatures can drop quickly once the sun goes down. I’m talking about temperatures in the 20-30 degree Fahrenheit range-yep that’s below freezing. We were unprepared for the cold our first time up so don’t be like us!
Note: The Haleakala Crater is part of the US National Park Service so if you don’t already have an annual parks pass the cost is $30 for a three-day pass. (You will also use it for stops on the Road to Hana)
Day 2 | Road to Hana, Ho’okipa Lookout
Good morning, today is a big day and you’ll need to start early because you’re going to travel the famous Road to Hana. Wake-up time is 5 am so that you can be on the road by 6:00.
The classic Road to Hana begins in Paia, so that’s where we are headed.
If you want to skip the planning and driving you can push the easy button for the day. Book this Classic Guided Road to Hana Tour. Everything is taken care of for you including the food.
Pro tip: If you decide against going with the Guided Road to Hana Tour and just do-it-yourself consider using an inexpensive on-demand audio tour. We love using this Shaka Road to Hana Audio Tour.
Adventurers Tip: If you like to do things a little different than everyone else and are ok with a little unpaved and sometimes narrow bumpy road then driving the Road to Hana in Reverse is an awesome experience too!
Ok, now that we got all of the options and tips out of the way let’s move on to the classic do-it-yourself Road to Hana itinerary.
Breakfast at Baked on Maui
Head over to Baked on Maui in Paia (it is about 35 min from Kihei) for some of the best homemade pastries/muffins, full breakfast plates, and freshly brewed coffee in Maui.
Make sure to arrive before 7 am otherwise, you will be standing in line. Also, it’s a good idea to grab some snacks and drinks for the road since you won’t find much of that until you reach Hana.
Start driving, it’s time to start your adventure on the road less traveled.
The Road to Hana
This drive is an adventure like no other and you’ll find yourself winding through lush rainforests, waterfalls, and sheer sea cliffs. Along the way, you’ll pass dozens of delicious fruit stands with fresh pineapple, bananas, and coconuts.
There are also plenty of scenic stops to pull over and explore.
Road to Hana Stops
Here are a few of the Road to Hana highlights we suggest:
1 – Twin Falls
Mile marker 2
Located about 15 miles past Paia, Twin Falls is one of the most popular stops on the Road to Hana. There are several areas where you can jump into the water and float beneath two separate cascading waterfalls.
2 – Ke’anae Penninsula
Mile marker 13
This is a great spot to explore the coastline and take some epic pictures. You can walk out on the black-lava rocks or take in some of the best views of the ocean.
Oh, and don’t forget to hit up the famous Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread!
3 – Ke’anae Arboretum
1/2 mile past marker 16
This is a great spot to get up close and personal with some of the unique Hawaiian plants and trees such as the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree. It’s also free to explore and has plenty of picnic tables so you can enjoy a nice snack.
4 – Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach
Mile marker 32
This is a hidden gem and it’s definitely worth the stop. This beach probably has the most beautiful black sand in Maui. Wrapping around the beach there are lots of trails winding the coastline and a beautiful sea arch that you can walk through.
As of June 1, 2023, a park reservation is required for all cars and walk-in traffic to Waianapanapa State Park. You can reserve up to 30 days in advance. Same-day reservations are not allowed.
5 – Red Sand Beach – Kai Halulu
Just past Hana
Just after Hana town you’ll come upon the Red Sand Beach. As the name suggests, this beach has unique red sand that was created by tiny pieces of red lava being eroded away into sand over thousands of years.
Be advised that access to this beach is not friendly since much of the trail is victim to erosion and overuse.
6 – Hamoa Beach
Mile marker 51
If you skip the Red Sand Beach make sure to stop at Hamoa Beach. This beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on Maui and for good reason. A wide white sand beach, blowing palms, and year-round waves make this spot an ideal place to relax or take a break from your road trip.
7 – Pipiwai Trail, Oheo Gulch aka Seven Sacred Pools
Mile marker 42
The Pipiwai Trail is an amazing experience and not to be missed. This trail takes you through a lush rainforest eventually leading you up to the magnificent 400-foot Waimoku Falls. There’s also a great boardwalk that takes you down into the Oheo Gulch, aka Seven Sacred Pools.
Time to turn around and head back toward Paia.
Mile marker 8.8
If there is still daylight left, make sure to stop at Ho’okipa Lookout. The views here are spectacular and you can catch some of the best sunsets in Maui. This is also one of the best places to spot sea turtles since they often rest on the shores sometimes by the hundreds.
And that’s it!
You’re probably hungry after an action-packed day so head over to the Paia Fish Market for the best Fish Tacos you’ll ever eat!
Day 3 | Snorkel Honolua Bay, Ka’anapali Beach
After the big Road to Hana adventure it’s time to kick back and relax a little. So pack up it’s time head over to the Ka’anapali-Lahaina area on the west side of the island.
Brunch at Leoda’s Bakery and Pie Shop
On your way over to the west side of the island you’ll drive right by Leoda’s Bakery and Pie Shop. Stop here for some delicious brunch specials and amazing pies. Like mind blowing pies! Our favorites are Chocolate Haupia, Haupia and Key Lime.
Snorkel Honolua Bay
Once your all unpacked get your snorkel gear and head over to Honolua Bay. This place is a must see and the snorkeling is some of the best in Maui. The coral reef here is home to a wide variety of tropical fish, sea turtles, and other creatures that you won’t want to miss!
Play at Ka’anapali Beach
After a couple of hours of snorkeling, it’s time to hit up the famous Ka’anapali Beach for some sun and sand. This beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, wind surfing or just lounging around.
There’s also a great boardwalk that runs along the shoreline here so make sure to check it out.
Get Shave Ice at Ululani’s
Take a quick break from the beach to get cooled off with some shave ice at Ululani’s. THE BEST SHAVE ICE on Maui. Ululani’s Shave Ice is just a short walk along the beach to the Hyatt.
Black Rock Beach
At the far north end of Ka’anapali Beach lies Black Rock Beach aptly named for its giant black rock cliffs that are a rush to jump and dive off. (the snorkeling is good here as well just watch out for the jumpers!)
Dinner at Duke’s Beach House
Time for dinner and the perfect way to end the day at Ka’anapali Beach is dining at Duke’s Beach House. This restaurant is right on the beach and serves up some delicious island style cuisine. The drinks are strong and go great with their fresh fish dishes, burgers, and steaks.
If you’re timing is right you’ll be able to be front row to one of the best sunsets on the island!
Day 4 | Lahaina, Whale Watching and/or Turtle Town Snorkel
Last day and it’s time to go out with a bang!
Breakfast at 808 Grindz
First up grab some breakfast at 808 Grindz. This modest family operated restaurant serves up some of the tastiest breakfast dishes around. If you’re looking for a real local experience then this is the place to go for some delicious island style breakfast grub.
Pro tip: There is not a lot of seating so be sure to arrive early to avoid waiting in line. The other option is to order to go and head over to the park or the beach with your food.
If your trip falls during whale season (November-May) don’t miss a chance to go out on an epic whale-watching excursion. There’s nothing quite like being out on the water and seeing whales up close in their natural habitat.
If not, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of fun to be had in the water with a trip to Turtle Town to snorkel with sea turtles.
We highly recommend this Turtle Town Tour because along with the snorkeling excursion you’ll also get a whale-watching experience if you go during whale season. Double bonus!
After having some fun on the water in the afternoon it’s time to head back into town. Finish off your last day on Maui by walking around and exploring Lahaina town.
On Front Street you’ll find great shopping opportunities and the iconic Lahaina Banyan Tree. Be sure to take a few minutes to marvel at this giant tree which is considered one of the largest in the United States.
Dinner at Down the Hatch Maui
Can’t think of a better way to end your last day on Maui then by grabbing some top notch local grindz at Down the Hatch Maui.
This order-at-the-counter eatery is just steps from the beach and serves up some delicious Hawaiian favorites. The Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl, fish tacos, mermaid fries and kalua pork are a must try!
Cap off your last night on Maui with a walk along Ka’anapali Beach to take in the beautiful view of the sunset and maybe you’ll even spot some sea turtles, dolphins, or rays swimming by.
That’s it! We hope that you found this 4 day Maui itinerary helpful and enjoyable. Keep reading for some responsible travel tips and things you should bring on your upcoming Maui trip!
Responsible Travel in Maui
We are big fans of responsible travel and respecting culture and the land that locals call their home. Here are 7 ideas on how we can do this.
- Respect Wildlife – Never get too close to the monk seals, turtles or any other wildlife that live on Maui.
- Don’t Take Anything that Doesn’t Belong to You – Leave any rocks, shells and other artifacts in their natural environment.
- Leave No Trace – Respect the land by not leaving behind any trash or debris when exploring Maui’s natural areas. Don’t build campfires or destroy local plants when hiking or camping in Maui’s backcountry.
- Support Local Businesses – Make sure to support local businesses in Maui by patronizing their restaurants, shops and other attractions. This helps to stimulate the local economy while also showing your appreciation for the area’s culture and customs.
- Respect Local Monuments – Be sure to show respect for the Hawaiian culture by not disturbing any of Maui’s sacred sites or monuments.Take care and enjoy your trip to Maui!
- Have Good Parking Practices – There’s not a lot of parking to be had in Maui so make sure to park quickly and only in designated spots. Be sure not to block any driveways or pathways.
- Wear Reef-Safe Sunscreen – To protect the delicate coral reefs make sure to only wear and use reef safe sunscreen while swimming or snorkeling in Maui’s waters.
When visiting Maui, be sure to practice responsible travel by respecting the land, beaches and ocean. Be mindful of the environment and take only photos and leave only footprints.
What to Pack for 4-Day Maui Itinerary
This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means but having spent several months in Maui I want to share some items that will enhance your trip.
- Soft Shell Insulated Cooler – This Yeti portable soft cooler is the perfect companion for your Maui adventures.
- Insulated Water Bottle – We love bringing along these Hydroflask insulated water bottles. Keeps your water cold and since they are reusable it’s much better for the environment.
- Reef-safe Sunscreen – Sunscreen is expensive in Hawaii so make sure to pack some. We love this Sunbum reef-safe sunscreen the best.
- Snorkel Gear – Snorkel gear is available to rent in Maui but we prefer to bring our own to avoid misfitment and dysfunction. This Cressi Snorkel Set has short fins making it perfect for travel.
In a Nutshell: Perfect 4-Day Maui Itinerary
We hope this 4-day Maui itinerary has provided you with a great starting point for planning your own trip to the island. From delicious grindz (food, eats), to whale watching, snorkeling excursions, exploring Lahaina town – there’s no shortage of things to do in this island paradise! Remember to practice responsible travel while on Maui by respecting wildlife, not taking anything that doesn’t belong to you, leaving no trace when outdoors and supporting local businesses. With these tips in mind we’re sure you’ll have an unforgettable trip to Maui!