As the second largest of the Hawaiian islands, Maui sees its fair share of visitors each year. This island paradise offers beautiful weather throughout the entire year. You can select a vacation rental in the city of Kahului, Kihei, or Lahaina, or choose a secluded hideaway in the mountains or beach areas around the island. Book one of many gorgeous vacation rentals in Maui today. While staying at this oasis, you and your family can enjoy the beaches, take a boat cruise, and rent bikes to explore the natural beauty of the island. Maui is also home to a national park, where you and your family can hike around a dormant volcano and catch sight of the rare Hawaiian geese. Here are the top 9 things to do with your kids in Maui.

1. Boat Trip to See the Whales

gemini whale watch
Source: Flickr/Brian Lauer

Off the coast of Maui, whales migrate to this area to give birth and nurse the young from December to March. If you’re there during this time, then head into the harbor towns of Lahaina and Maalaea to find a tour company. Many local companies offer tours lasting around two hours to go out on the water and find the whales. Make sure to pack your binoculars at your vacation rental along with the sunscreen, so that you can get a close up look at the adults and their young.

2. Maui Ocean Center

Source: Pixabay/tdesigns

Learn more about the critters that live in the sea and lakes on the Hawaiian islands at the Maui Ocean Center. This aquarium strives to recreate Hawaii’s underwater world and houses the largest collection of living Pacific corals. While visiting this aquarium, you and your kids will learn more about this underwater ecosystem, and steps conservationists are taking to protect it. Your kids will love walking through the tunnel where they’re surrounded by fish and gazing at the Hawaiian green sea turtles.

3. See the Lava

haleakala national park
Source: Flickr/Tony Webster

In the Haleakala? National Park, you and your family can see lava flows and stunning views of the island and the Pacific Ocean. Each morning, this national park hosts visitors to arrive and watch the sunrise at this stark and beautiful location; however, you need to make reservations ahead of time. One of the best ways to see and learn about the park is with one of the local tour groups. If you prefer to get out on your own, you can drive and walk to the must-see locations.

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4. Wai’anapanapa State Park

shoreline
Source: Flickr/JoshBerglund19

Spend a day exploring the Wai‘anapanapa State Park. Start by packing a picnic lunch at your vacation rental, and then make your way to the park. Here, you can enjoy hiking along a paved path and seeing the Honokalani Village that once thrived with people. You and your family can get out on the black sand beach at Pailoa Bay and cool off in the water. Along the way, there are scenic overlooks where you can see the ocean below the low cliffs.

5. Iao Valley

iao valley
Source: Flickr/TravelingOtter

Head into the Iao Valley for a day of hiking and seeing some of the most beautiful flora and fauna that Maui has to offer. After hiking through the rain forest in this valley, take some to explore the Kepaniwai Park’s Heritage Gardens. This heritage garden celebrated the diversity and history that makes up the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands. Here, you’ll find small buildings and gardens that detail the Asian and European influences to the Hawaiian culture.

6. Kula Botanical Garden

kula botanical garden
Source: Flickr/Forest and Kim Starr

Enjoy an afternoon exploring the plants, trees, and flowers in the Kula Botanical Garden. Run by a local family, this 8-acre botanical garden offers a self-guided tour through the gardens with its selection of the best plants and flowers that the Hawaiian Islands have to offer. Enjoy walking around the flower houses and small ponds that you find nestled among the gardens, giving the plants and trees their lush greenery. Open each day, you and your family can stop in on a whim.

7. Makena Beach

makena big beach
Source: Flickr/Steve Isaacs

Pack a picnic lunch or treat your gang to lunch from one of the many food trucks that hang out around Makena Beach. At this beach, you and your family will find plenty of room to spread out your blankets and build sandcastles. This is an ideal locale for swimming and snorkeling to catch sight of the life teeming below the waves. This public beach has everything that your family needs to spend the day, including picnic and bathroom facilities.

8. Maui Tropical Plantation

maui tropical plantation
Source: Flickr/Anson Chappell

Hop on a tram and learn all about how to grow sugar cane and pineapple. Along the way, you and your family will find out about how workers harvest these crops and how the crops become popular products that make their way into your home. You’ll learn about the history of these crops throughout the islands. After your tour, enjoy a meal at the restaurant and eat out on the patio with views of the fields in the distance.

9. Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Pacific Railroad

kula lavender farm
Source: Flickr/John Morgan

Find a seat and sit back for the scenic trip of your lifetime about the Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Pacific Railroad. While the track is only 8-miles long, this train goes to some beautiful lands. Pulled by a vintage steam locomotive, this train offers open air cars so that you have fresh air and better views. The trip takes about 40 minutes.

 
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