When you're on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it's easy to assume that any getaway for some R&R will take hours in an airplane to get anywhere. But you have lots of options when you're on Maui.

You can easily take a day trip to neighboring islands or snorkel in a submerged volcanic crater and be home before sunset.

If you've got a weekend to leave Maui behind, we've done the research for you. Choose between a glorious escape to Kaua'i, a retreat to the sunny Kona Coast on the Big Island, enjoying the surf vibes on O'ahu's North Shore, or taking a short ferry ride to the tiny island of Lāna'i.

There's no bad choices here. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the world around Maui.

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‌Best Day Trips From Maui‌

‌Best Weekend Trips to Kaua'i‌

‌Best Weekend Trips From Maui‌

Best Day Trips From Maui

Just a 30-minute ride on a Cessna will get you from Maui to Moloka'i for a relaxing day on the Friendly Isle. Hop on a plane in Kahului for the Volcano Day Tour on the Big Island, the nickname for the Island of Hawai'i. Or go on a snorkeling tour to Molokini Crater lying 2.5 miles offshore of the island of Maui.

It won’t be easy to choose the best day trips from Maui, because you’ll want to do them all!

1. Moloka'i

  • Perfect for:‌ Lovers of the rugged outdoors and small towns
  • Highlights of Moloka'i:
    • Small town vibe — there’s not even a traffic light on the island
    • Secluded beaches and jagged green sea cliffs
    • No glitzy tourist traps, bright lights, or hula shows

‌How to Get to Moloka'i‌

Mokulele Airlines is the only local airline that flies directly from Kahului Airport (OGG) to Hoolehua, Moloka‘i (MKK). The flight takes about 35 minutes in a 9-seat Cessna, but the airline is in the process of changing and expanding their fleet.

‌Things to Do on Moloka'i‌

There’s no public transportation on Moloka'i, so you can either rent a car for the day or take one of the few guided tours offered on the island. I'd recommend Tom's Barefoot Tour, a 7-hour group tour in an air-conditioned, 15-passenger van that will give you a look at Moloka'i's main highlights without needing to drive and sightsee at the same time.

If you’ll be there on a Saturday, be sure to spend time at the Moloka'i Farmers Market in Hoolehua. Open from 7 am to noon, it often features live music, homemade crafts, home-grown produce, and friendly conversation.

Nothing is very far on a small island like Moloka'i, so just a 15-minute drive away is the Kalaupapa Overlook with expansive views. From 1866 to 1969, leprosy patients were exiled to remote Kalaupapa, and there isn't currently a tour that will take you down to the isolated peninsula below.

Kaunakakai is the main town on Moloka'i, and it's well worth a stroll down the main street past small shops and favorite eating establishments like Moloka'i Burger and Kanemitsu Bakery. Spend a few hours in the area and you can visit Moloka'i Plumeria, Murphy’s Beach, and historic St. Joseph's Church.

‌Where to Stay on Moloka'i‌

This one-bedroom condo at Moloka'i Shores is oceanfront with all the amenities you'd hope for. Just minutes from Kaunakakai, it includes a fully-stocked kitchen, Wi-Fi, cable TV, free parking, and access to a pool.

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Hotel Moloka'i is the island’s seaside getaway for relaxation away from home. Located right on Kamiloloa Beach, the Polynesian-style bungalows with kitchens and Wi-Fi will have you wishing that you had more time to spend on Moloka'i.

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2. Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

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  • Perfect for:‌ Adventurers will love this day tour with Discover Hawai'i Tours
  • Highlights of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park:
    • Direct flight from the island of Maui to Kona — no layover in Honolulu
    • Expert local guides
    • Drive through the Kona Coffee Belt and walk at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the road to the national park

‌How to Get to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park‌

Book your day tour online with Discover Hawai'i Tours and your round-trip inter-island airfare from Kahului, Maui to Kona is included in the price.

‌Things to Do in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park‌

Once you get into the park, head over to the Kilauea Visitor Center where you can meet rangers who will update you on the latest volcanic conditions in the park.

Halema'uma'u Crater and Kilauea Caldera are the stars of the show, especially if fresh lava is flowing at the time of your visit. Predicting whether the volcano will be erupting during your day trip is impossible, but being surrounded by pristine native rainforests and volcanic steam vents is otherworldly.

Exploring the 500-year-old Thurston Lava Tube, or Nāhuku as ancient Hawai'ians called it, will give you an insight into lava caves you won't experience anywhere else in the world.

‌Where to Stay Near Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park‌

Located just 10 minutes from the national park, Airbnb vacation rental Hale Alālā is named for the endangered Hawai'ian crow that is being reintroduced into the surrounding rainforest. This is a cozy, one-bedroom cottage with a loft and fireplace to relax and nourish yourself between adventures.

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Where else could you wake up at the edge of a live volcano? The historic Volcano House hotel is inside the national park with 33 guest rooms, on-site restaurants, and room service.

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3. Molokini Crater

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  • Perfect for:‌ Ocean lovers
  • Highlights of Molokini:
    • Crystal clear and calm tropical waters
    • Wide array of fish and marine life
    • Extinct volcanic caldera

‌How to Get to Molokini Crater‌

You have to book a boat tour to Molokini, because the State of Hawai‘i allows only a certain number of moorings.

There are many Molokini boat tours to choose from, but TripAdvisor rated Molokini Crater Snorkel and Turtle Cove Swim by Maui Reef Adventures as the #1 tour recommended by 96% of travelers.

‌Things to Do on Molokini Crater‌

Molokini is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater sitting in the channel between the islands of Maui and Kaho'olawe. It's a prized destination for ocean lovers who want to snorkel, scuba, and snuba.

The best ocean conditions are in the early morning, and the crescent shape of the islet protects divers from waves and rough waters in the channel. Smaller tour boats will often let their divers venture into the open ocean from the outside wall of the islet.

During the months of December to May, whale watching tours are scoping out Maui waters famous for attracting these gentle ocean giants.

‌Where to Stay on Molokini Crater‌

There are many Maui hotels and resorts , but this prime oceanfront condo at Maalaea Kai has stunning ocean views and amazing sunrises. The convenient location in Wailuku is perfect for shopping and dining.

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Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is Maui’s most glamorous oceanfront Wailea resort. Whale watching can be done right from your room, and kayaking and snorkeling in nearshore areas. You’ll love the Wailea luxury resort’s golf courses, cabanas, hot tub, swimming pool, poolside service, and Wailea beaches.

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Best Weekend Trips to Kaua'i

Known as the Garden Isle, Kaua'i displays centuries of untouched growth draping the island in emerald green valleys and rainforests. Time and the elements have shaped Kaua'i's jagged cliffs and mountain spires.

Of all of the Hawai'ian islands, Kaua'i has perhaps the most dramatic natural beauty. It’s a perfect place for a weekend getaway from Maui.

4. Hanalei

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  • Perfect for:‌ Foodies and ocean lovers, families looking for fun
  • Highlights of Hanalei:
    • Surf town, outrigger canoe culture
    • Farm-to-table vibes
    • Exquisite natural beauty

‌How to Get to Hanalei‌

The easiest way to get to Hanalei is to fly from Kahului, Maui to Lihue, Kaua'i. Both Hawaiian Air and Southwest Airlines fly nonstop from Maui to Kaua'i so you don’t waste time with a layover in Honolulu.

Your best bet is to rent a car in Lihue and drive to Hanalei, which will take a little over one hour to the north shore of Kaua'i.

‌Things to Do in Hanalei‌

Nearly every type of cuisine from Italian to Mexican and varieties of Asian can be found in Hanalei restaurants or popular nearby food trucks. Foodies love Hanalei. For authentic Hawai'ian food from a six-generation family farm, check out where the Hanalei Taro food truck is serving food.

You'll love checking out the art galleries and boutiques in the picturesque town, or hiking to surrounding waterfalls: Hanakāpī'ai Falls, Okolehao Trail, Hihimanu Ridge, and Kilauea Falls.

Save some time for Limahuli Garden and Preserve, the gorgeous home to endangered plants and birds found nowhere else on earth.

‌Where to Stay in Hanalei‌

This detached guest house has a fully-equipped kitchen and everything you need for a weekend getaway trip to Kaua‘i. This extraordinary vacation rental is just a few steps from Hanalei Bay and even has bikes provided for guests to get on the road and explore the town.

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The Cliffs at Princeville is a lovely condominium property that is just a couple of miles from Hanalei Bay. You’ll have all the comforts of home with magnificent ocean views and amenities that include a waterfall pool, tennis and pickleball courts, and putting greens.

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5. Hanapēpē

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  • Perfect for:‌ Arts and culture buffs
  • Highlights of Hanapēpē:
    • Bohemian vibe
    • Historic small town
    • Kaua'i's “biggest little town” — as Hanapēpē is fondly known by locals today

‌How to Get to Hanapēpē‌

The easiest way to get to Hanapēpē is to fly from Kahului, Maui to Lihue, Kaua'i. Both Hawaiian Air and Southwest Airlines fly nonstop from Maui to Kaua'i so you don’t waste time with a layover in Honolulu.

Your best bet is to rent a car in Lihue and drive to Hanapēpē, which will take about 30 minutes.

‌Things to Do in Hanapēpē‌

You'll definitely want to be in town on Friday nights for Hanapēpē Art Night, when art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants are all open for shoppers and visitors.

Salt Pond Beach has the best sunset viewing on Kaua‘i. This is an excellent beach with picnic areas and calm waters. Historically, Native Hawai'ians collected salt from the nearby salt ponds for cooking and medicinal uses.

Take a selfie on the Swinging Bridge, a vintage swinging bridge that still rocks and swings and continues to be used every day by residents

‌Where to Stay in Hanapēpē‌

This charming studio condo is in Poipū, but it will give you a convenient location to explore the beautiful southern shore of Kaua'i around Hanapēpē. You’ll be steps away from the beach, and the common area has a swimming pool, barbecue grill, and laundry. Everything you'll need in a vacation rental is here for your weekend trip to Kaua'i.

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The Lodge at Kukui'ula will have you hoping that your romantic getaway weekend never ends. This haven of luxury on Kaua'i's south shore has all of the amenities you'd expect from a world-class luxury resort.

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6. Nāpali Coast

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  • Perfect for:‌ Adventurers, hikers
  • Highlights of Nāpali Coast:
    • 17 miles of rugged coastline on Kaua'i's north shore
    • Towering sea cliffs, sea caves, and secluded beautiful beaches
    • Waterfalls plummeting into valleys

‌How to Get to Nāpali Coast‌

The easiest way to get to Nāpali Coast is to fly from Kahului, Maui to Lihue, Kaua'i. Both Hawaiian Air and Southwest Airlines fly nonstop from Maui to Kaua'i. so you don’t waste time with a layover in Honolulu.

Your best bet is to rent a car in Lihue and drive to Nāpali Coast which will take about one hour and 20 minutes.

‌Things to Do on Nāpali Coast‌

If there was ever a time in your life when you should consider a splurge for a helicopter tour, this would be it. Seeing the awesome sheer cliffs of Nāpali from the air is an experience of a lifetime.

The Kalalau Trail is a must-do for adventure-seekers. A half-day hike would only take you along the first two miles of the 11-mile Kalalau Trail that spans the Nāpali Coast beginning at Ke'e Beach. This is a semi-strenuous hike for experienced hikers, but it will give you a closeup look at this beautiful coastline.

Hikers must now make online reservations that are limited to 900 a day. Waimea Canyon — often called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific — is another stunning gift from nature that should be on everyone's bucket list.

‌Where to Stay on Nāpali Coast‌

Kai Honu or Sea Turtle Cottage is a fully stocked studio bungalow nestled amid a rainforest jungle. It’s only two miles from the Kalalau Trail and Ke‘e and Tunnels Beaches. Wainiha Beach and a small grocery store are in walking distance.

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The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas will be luxury waiting for you after a day of outdoor adventures. This upscale hotel has four outdoor swimming pools, lots of choices for onsite dining, a poolside bar, and 24-hour fitness center.

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Best Weekend Trips From Maui

The author Mark Twain called Hawai‘i: “The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.” The best weekend trips from Maui are just a short flight away to one of her beautiful sister islands.

Kona on the Big Island, the North Shore of O'ahu, and the Pineapple Isle of Lana'i are all spectacular choices for a romantic and restful weekend escape from Maui.

7. Kona on the Big Island

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  • Perfect for:‌ Beach lovers, history buffs
  • Highlights of Kona:
    • White sand beaches, family friendly
    • Hawai'ian historical sites
    • Visitor-focused activities — lu'aus, ocean activities, boat tours, whale watching

‌How to Get to Kona‌

The best way to get quickly from Kahului, Maui to Kona is on Hawaiian Airlines. They have several nonstop flights every day, and it only takes 35 minutes to get you to Kona to start your weekend getaway.

‌Things to Do in Kona‌

The Hawai'ian monarchy loved to escape for vacations to the golden Kona Coast of the Big Island. Hulihe'e Palace was their seaside summer home and is open for tours on Ali'i Drive right in the heart of Kailua-Kona.

One of the most popular ocean activities on the Big Island is the Manta Ray Night Snorkel Tour, so you'll want to reserve your spot on the tour before you leave home so you won't be disappointed.

Immerse yourself in Hawai'ian culture in what was once the sacred place of refuge for ancient Hawai'ian lawbreakers at Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

‌Where to Stay in Kona‌

This Downtown Kona Plaza Condo will put you right in the heart of Kailua-Kona town on Ali'i Drive. You’ll be able to walk to shopping, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Amenities include a fully-stocked kitchen, washer/dryer, and free parking.

Downtown Kona Plaza Condo Book Now

Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is located on Ali'i Drive right on the Pacific Ocean. You'll have choices for on-site dining, along with a swimming pool, spa, yoga studio, fitness center, water sports, and kayaking equipment rental.

Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Book Now

8. North Shore of O'ahu

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  • Perfect for:‌ Ocean lovers, explorers
  • Highlights of North Shore O'ahu:
    • Beautiful beaches, surfing, big waves
    • Small beachfront town vibes
    • Hawai'ian culture

‌How to Get to North Shore O'ahu‌

Hawaiian and Southwest Airlines fly direct flights from Kahului to Honolulu every day.

You should rent a car for your own road trip on O'ahu, since you will only be on the island for a weekend.

‌Things to Do in North Shore O‘ahu‌

Hawai'i's #1 visitor attraction is the Polynesian Cultural Center in La'ie. You can spend an afternoon in Polynesian villages, have dinner at their Island Buffet, and be awed by their authentic night show featuring dances of Hawai'i, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Aotearoa.

Waimea Valley is a protected valley where ancient Hawai'ian culture, sites, and traditions are practiced. There's plenty to see in the valley, and you can even swim in a pond fed by Waimea Falls.

Don't miss visiting Hale'iwa, a small town with interesting boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and surf history.

If you are a surf fan, North Shore O'ahu is transformed by booming big waves and world-class surfing competitions each year in November and December.

‌Where to Stay in North Shore O'ahu‌

Pupukea Tropical Cottage is located between Waimea and Sunset Beach, right above Sharks Cove. This is a great vacation rental to explore everything interesting on the North Shore, and to catch the Big Wave surfing events when they happen.

Pupukea Tropical Cottage Book Now

Turtle Bay Resort is a 4-star oceanfront beach resort in Kahuku offering a wide range of accommodations, including beachfront bungalows, suites, villas, and private lanais. They host resort activities, championship golf courses, horseback riding tours, a Hawai'ian Cowboy lu'au, swimming pools, hot tub, spa, and fitness services.

Turtle Bay Resort Book Now

9. Lāna'i

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  • Perfect for:‌ Luxury and adventure buffs, lovers of small towns, and quiet beaches
  • Highlights of Lāna'i:
    • Quiet relaxation
    • 5-star Four Seasons resort hotels and infinity pool
    • Off-roading and ocean sports, beautiful beaches, kayaking

‌How to Get to Lāna'i‌

The most popular way to travel to Lāna'i from Maui is the Lāna'i Ferry, a 45-minute ride for only $30 one way.

Mokulele Airlines flies from Kahului, Maui to Lāna'i City twice a day, but the flight is only 10 minutes less than a ferry ride, and the price is between two and three times more than a ferry ticket.

‌Things to Do on Lāna'i‌

First of all, download the Lāna'i Guide App for things to do on Lāna'i. You can do so for both Apple iPhone and Android phones.

Rent a Jeep and go off-roading to explore the island. Only 30 miles of Lāna'i's 300 miles of roads are paved. Drive up to Keahikawelo, otherwise known as Garden of the Gods, to be mystified by the huge boulders and stark landscape.

Since you'll be here for a weekend, why not do a beach crawl and take a dip at each of Lāna'i's beach parks: Hulopo'e Bay Beach (South Lāna'i), Keomuku Beach, Mānele Bay, Polihua Beach (North Lāna'i), Huawai Bay, and Lopa Beach.

You'll also want to check out the 4 x 4 Half Day Trekker Tour — just be sure to book at least seven days in advance. Customized tours in an air-conditioned Suburban or Jeep Cherokee will take you to Lāna'i's most spectacular scenic locations. Cost includes a roundtrip Lāna'i Ferry ticket from Maui.

‌Where to Stay on Lāna'i‌

This exceptional two-bedroom townhome on the slopes above famous Hulopo'e Beach is a wonderful place to nest for a memorable getaway weekend. A Hummer H3 4-wheel drive vehicle is included in the price, so you’ll be able to access all of the outdoor adventures that Lāna'i has to offer and can design your own road trip around the island.

VRBO two-bedroom townhome Book Now

On tiny Lāna'i, there are two Four Seasons Luxury Resorts to choose from. For a luxurious weekend getaway from Maui, I recommend the adults-only Sensei Lāna'i. This elite wellness enclave nestled in the pine-covered Lāna'i hillside offers personalized wellness consultations, spa pampering, swimming pool, fitness classes, and fine dining by Nobu. Do as much or as little as you want on your romantic getaway.

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