How to Spend One Day on Maui

Editor Kristen Nemoto guides us to a perfect (and budget-friendly) day around the island.

Mark Twain once said he’s never “bade goodbye so regretfully.” He was, of course, referring to his departure of Maui, which draws you in with its majestic skylines, endless horizons and adventurous excursions. A place so grand in its natural state, the Valley Isle offers contrasting landscapes, from sweeping views of Wailuku and Central Maui while on the path of Waihee Ridge trail, to the glistening waters and powdery sands of Oneola beach. Let the following tips below guide you to an inexpensive tour of some of the island’s most picturesque locales. And be sure to wear comfortable shoes.


Before the Waihee Ridge Trail is misted with dreamy cotton-like clouds, head out early to the 2,563-foot peak and get a breathtaking view of Wailuku, the slopes of Kahakuloa, Makamaka‘ole Falls and Mount ‘Eke. Bring a rain-resistant jacket, bottles of water and a picnic lunch to enjoy at the end of the trail.


A trip to the islands would not be complete without a refreshing dip in the ocean. Maui’s shorelines are no exception. Located in Kapalua, Oneloa Beach features a quiet stretch of jewel-toned waters that skim the fine grains of powdery sand. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen as you may end up basking all day long.


The term “local” may be difficult to define other than noticing the busy lines and wait times at a popular eatery. A place that attracts both visitors and regulars alike is none other than Da Kitchen Cafe in Kahului. It’s authentic “local” cuisine at a great price. Must-tries include the sumo plate and fried musubi.