5 Days in Maui, Hawaii Itinerary – Perfect for First-Timers
Dreaming of your vacation or maybe even your honeymoon to Maui, Hawaii? Well, you’re in luck because this Maui itinerary is going to cover how to spend 5 epic days in Maui, Hawaii. Maui, also known as the Valley Isle, is the second-largest out of the Hawaiin islands.
In this Maui Itinerary, you will discover beautiful beaches, waterfalls, Maui travel tips, the road to Hana, the famous sunrise at Mt. Haleakala, black sand beaches and so much more!
So how many days do you need in Maui? It depends on your travel style, however, you should still be able to get a good feel for this Hawaiian Island with 3-5 days.
Below, you will find this 5 day Maui Itinerary is broken down into days and activities, however, you can switch around days and even activities to fit your travel needs!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 5 Days in Maui, Hawaii Itinerary – Perfect for First-Timers
- Getting Around Maui, Hawaii
- Day 1 Maui Itinerary – Lahaina Town & Black Rock Beach
- Day 2 Maui Itinerary – Driving the Road to Hana
- Day 3 Maui Itinerary – Iao Valley State Park and/ or Snorkel Molokini Crater
- Day 4 Maui Itinerary – Haleakala Sunrise & Explorational Around Haleakala National Park
- Day 5 Maui Itinerary – Beaches, Resort, Relax
- Food to try in Maui
- When to Visit Maui
- Where to Stay In Maui, Hawaii
- Getting to Maui, Hawaii
- Other Things to Know when traveling in Maui, Hawaii
- Maui in 5 Days Wrap-up
Getting Around Maui, Hawaii
The best way to explore Maui is by renting a car. The island has so much to offer, you won’t want to miss a thing or have to rely on tour companies to bring you around! You can check out car rentals here.
Day 1 Maui Itinerary – Lahaina Town & Black Rock Beach
During our honeymoon in Maui, we stayed in the city of Lahaina and it is a great place to be. Since we were so close to downtown Lahaina, we went every night for food or to just walk around.
Tour Around Lahaina, Maui
So why should you check out Lahaina? While the town can come off a little touristy with a Bubba Gump shrimp, etc, there are some of the best restaurants right on the water, and some historical sites of Maui.
Some of the historic sites in Lahaina, Maui include:
- Lahaina Banyon Tree: The largest Banyan tree in Hawaii and possibly the world! The Banyan tree spans the whole courtyard of 1.64 acres and stands over 60 feet.
- The Wo Hing Society Hall: Built around 1912 during sugarcane production, the Wo Hing Museum is one of only two existing Chinese Society Halls on Maui.
- Baldwin Home Museum: The oldest house still standing on the island of Maui. Admission is $5 for adults and you can learn more about the Baldwin home here.
For a romantic dinner in Lahaina, I would recommend the Lahaina Fish Company. Make sure to make a reservation for an ocean view.
While touring around the town, you will find tons of shops and art galleries mainly down Front street. This is also a great place to get local souvenirs.
Whalers Village, Lahaina
If you would like to do some additional shopping, Whalers Village is an outdoor shopping mall. Shop til you drop or enjoy dining options with access to the beach! See all the Whaler Village stores here.
Address: 2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
Black Rock at Kaanapali Beach, Kaanapali
Next head to Black Rock Beach which is located right outside the Sheraton in West Maui. We were lucky to spend our honeymoon at the Sheraton at Black Rock so we had access to this beach every day.
This beach has amazing snorkeling right along the rock and this was the first place we got to swim with green sea turtles (for free)!
The beach is public so everyone is welcome. You can even see some mountains in the distance. No wonder why Kaanapali beach has been voted one of the best beaches in Maui!
If you are not staying at the Sheraton at Black Rock, you can find public parking here: 3445 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
Attend a Maui Luau
If you still have energy/time left in the day, attend a Luau. A Luau is basically a traditional Hawaiian party or feast with entertainment.
Enjoy local Hawaiian food which usually includes poke, roasted pig, fruits, and poi along with hula.
So, whether you attend a Luau on your first day in Maui or your last day, just make sure to experience one.
We did our Luau at the Sheraton Resort, however, I wish I had done a luau in town or run by a local company instead of the hotel. It wasn’t bad, I just felt like we could have has a more “authentic” experience. A very popular Luau I have heard about is the Old Lahaina Luau.
Day 2 Maui Itinerary – Driving the Road to Hana
Driving the Road to Hana is a must with 5 days in Maui! It is an all-day experience, but well worth being on your Maui bucket list. The road consists of tons of waterfalls, lush jungles, a black sand beach, red sand beach, and lava tunnels & caves.
There are 3 ways to drive the Road to Hana. The loop, in Reverse, or driving the classic.
- The loop consists of driving to the town of Hana and back.
- The classic route drives through Hana to the backside of Mt. Haleakala and around South Maui. This route is “against” most rental car terms and conditions, as the roads are not paved or maintained.
- The last is to do the road in reverse which would be similar to the classic.
No matter which route you choose, I would highly recommend using the Shaka Guide App if you plan to self-drive! It is like having your own personal tour guide. It was recommended to us by a couple we met in Kauai and we are so happy we had this app! See the Shaka Guide here!
Some of the best stops along the Road to Hana are Twin Falls, The Bamboo Forest, Upper Waikani Falls (3 Bears Falls), Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach, and Haleakala National Park.
Here is my whole guide on driving the Road to Hana highway which will cover all the details you need to know, best stops, waterfall, etc!
You might also be interested in my Road to Hana Packing List that will also help in general for packing in Maui.
Day 3 Maui Itinerary – Iao Valley State Park and/ or Snorkel Molokini Crater
Day 3 in your Maui itinerary depends on how much you like to do in a day. So, you can consider seeing both Iao Valley State Park and snorkeling Molokini crater or just one of these activities.
Snorkel Molokini Crater
If you love snorkeling or seeing sea turtles, this one is for you. Molokini crater is probably one of the most popular snorkel spots on Maui and for good reason.
This volcanic caldera is located a few miles off Maui’s shore, so you will need to take a tour to get there. Depending on the tour you take will determine if you have time for other activities for the rest of the day.
Usually, tours will take you to Molokini and turtle town.
The crater is home to approximately 250 different fish species and 38 different hard coral species.
Iao Valley State Park, Maui
Located on the Westside of Maui (about 40 minutes from Lahania), is Iao Valley State Park. The state park covers about 4,000 acres and is a must with 5 days in Maui.
Enjoy the lush landscape down the paved 0.6-mile walk provides a scenic viewpoint of Kuka‘emoku (Iao Needle), which stands 1,200 feet high!
Besides the sheer beauty of Iao Valley, these lands also hold significant historical meaning.
In 1790, King Kamehameha I battled with Maui’s army in his goal to unite the islands. This was known as the Battle of Kepaniwai. Kamehameha’s win changed the course of Hawaiian history.
- Hours: Daily 7:00am – 6:00pm
- Address: 54 S High St, Wailuku, HI 96793
- Entrance fee (non-residents): $5 USD
- Parking fee (non-residents): $10 USD
- Iao Valley Gov’t website to check for closures.
Day 4 Maui Itinerary – Haleakala Sunrise & Explorational Around Haleakala National Park
Alright, are you ready for one of the best sunrise experiences of your life? I can confidently say the Haleakala sunrise I witnessed was by far the most spectacular I have ever seen!
Therefore, Haleakala is worth the drive and experience 100%. Did you know Haleakala stands for the house of the sun?
And get this, we almost didn’t go because we had to wake up so early….like 3 AM early.
One of the most important things you need to know about seeing the Haleakala sunrise is that you need a reservation and it is important to get it ahead of time.
Another thing you need to know about seeing this sunrise is, even though you’re on a tropical island, it is beyond freezing when you are at an elevation over 10,000 ft. Temperatures can hit below freezing (which was the case during our visit).
So for all the important things YOU SHOULD know for visiting Haleakala sunrise is noted here!
Side note: If sunrise is not your thing, you can also do a sunset with reservations. Additionally, make sure to bring snacks with you because there are not many places to get food.
After the Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala National Park
If you didn’t already know, Mt. Haleakala is a part of the USA National Parks, so you can cross this one off your bucket list!
Additionally, if you have already driven the Road to Hana, you will notice that Mt. Haleakala is the turning point if you decided to drive the loop.
Haleakala National Park covers over 30,000 acres of public land. The park includes a dormant volcano crater, tons of hiking trails, waterfalls, and even ocean views.
Did you know that there are more endangered species here than any other park in the National Park Service? This includes the blooming ahinahina (silversword) and nene (Hawaiian goose), the state bird.
You can camp here, with separate campgrounds and cabins available.
Ali’I Lavender Farm
After exploring the summit of Mt. Haleakala, head over to the Ali’I Lavender Farm.
*Please note that the farm is now only open for tours Friday- Sunday, so you will have to plan your sunrise accordingly if the lavender field is on your list.
Lavender is not native to Maui, however, the cool dry temperatures make the perfect environment for this 13.5-acre farm.
This farm includes approximately 55,000 lavender plants with over 40 different varieties. Admission is $3 USD.
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm Address: 1100 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI 96790
After the Lavender Fields, you may want to take some time and relax by the resort or beach since we’ve had a pretty jam-packed Maui Itinerary!
You might even want to consider a Maui sunset cruise.
Day 5 Maui Itinerary – Beaches, Resort, Relax
As you can tell, there is a lot to do with 5 days in Maui. Therefore, on day 5 of your Maui itinerary, you can either do some of the above activities that you didn’t have time for, or… some new adventures!
Some additional beaches to consider visiting include:
- Kapalua Bay Beach – a great beach for snorkeling.
- Wailea Beach – Beach near high-end luxury resorts.
- Slaughterhouse beach – a local gem (please be respectful).
- Snorkel a little further north at Honolua Bay.
- Nakalele Point & Blowhole – not a beach per se – but a blowhole to visit during high tide.
- Baldwin Beach in Paia.
- Hike the popular Waihee Ridge Trail.
Whale watching is another very popular thing to do in Maui. You can see humpback whales migrate from November-May! Check out whale watching tours/cruises here.
Other fun things you might want to try while in Maui, Hawaii are taking a surf lesson, a pineapple plantation tour, scuba diving, or a helicopter ride over the island.
My last recommendation would be to take a trip back to the surfer town of Paia, located on the north shore of Maui. This is the town that usually starts off the road to Hana, however, most don’t give it enough exploration. There are cute local shops, The Paia fish market, restaurants, and nice beaches!
Or even make a reservation at one of the most famous places in Maui, Mama’s Fish House!
Food to try in Maui
While in Maui, Hawaii, make sure to try Banana Bread, Hula Pie, Shaved Ice, Poke, Roasted pig, Fresh Fish, Fresh Pineapple, and actually all the fresh fruit!
When to Visit Maui
The best times to visit Maui are April through May and September through November. These are the shoulder seasons in Maui, so you will be able to enjoy fewer people.
During the winter and summer months, Maui hits its peak tourist season with larger crowds and higher rates.
Average temperatures in Maui are usually in the 70’s all year round.
We visited Maui in September and had great weather the entire time!
Where to Stay In Maui, Hawaii
As you have already guessed, we stayed at the Sheraton at Black Rock for our honeymoon in Maui. The reason I loved staying at the Sheraton was specifically for the location.
Because you are at Black Rock, at Kaanapali you don’t feel like you are sharing the beach with other resorts. The resort itself is really nice and we overall had a great stay.
One thing you will notice is that all the hotels have a fee for your car. In my opinion, it is super annoying, but all the resorts have it.
Getting to Maui, Hawaii
The most common way to get to Maui is by flying. I personally use Skyscanner to find the best flight deals.
You can also consider cruising, however, this likely wouldn’t give you much time on the island.
Additionally, if you are planning on visiting Maui, you may also want to consider Island hopping! This is exactly what we did for our Hawaiian honeymoon.
We started our honeymoon with 3 days in Kauai, and island-hopped to Maui next!
Lastly, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest travel restrictions and regulations when traveling to Maui, Hawaii. Since these restrictions change often, I have linked Maui’s Gov’t website for you here!
Other Things to Know when traveling in Maui, Hawaii
When visiting Maui, there is a pretty good chance of seeing wildlife. Whether it be sea turtles, seals, wild boars, etc, please remember to respect these wild animals and stay at a very safe distance.
Please also respect Hawaiian property and land. Follow the rules. If the sign says flash floods, no crossing/ no swimming this is for your safety!
My last Maui travel tip to keep in mind is budget. Maui is an expensive island. The hotels (as I mentioned above) usually have car and resort fees daily that add up. Additionally, food and activities are also pricy.
However, Maui can definitely still be enjoyed on a budget with beaches, the Road to Hana, and Mt. Haleakala being free or have a low-cost associated.
Maui in 5 Days Wrap-up
This wraps up the best things to do in Maui in 5 days! Whether you’re on your honeymoon, looking for adventure, or relaxing, you will find tons of amazing things to do in this Maui Itinerary!
Find more Hawaiian Island guides here!