April showers might bring May flowers—unless you’re on Maui, of course, where both are profuse year-round. Nonetheless, the month of April is often thought of as one of the best times of the year to visit the Valley Isle. Deemed “the shoulder season,” it’s that sweet spot between peak season (read: those packed winter months when the weather is miserable everywhere else) and the busy summer. Shoulder season is a spell that sees thinner crowds, reduced prices, and glorious weather (even for Hawaii).A great time to visit the island is during the month Shakespeare claimed: “put a spring of youth in everything?” Here are 9 brilliant things to do on Maui in April:
Things to do on Maui in April! 9 Incredible Ways to Ring in Spring
1. Snorkel Tour + Old Lahaina Luau
Whale season may be reaching its end come April, but the chance to see one—and the guarantee to see Maui’s vibrant marine life—ought to top your to-do list. Snorkeling tours abound on the leeward side of the isle, but Redline Rafting is genuinely distinct: With very small groups per trip, excursions are akin to taking a boat out with your favorite friends.
Tour guides provide facts and anecdotes about the island’s history, geology, and culture, while the dives into the water—and the creatures you’ll see there—are downright magnificent. Visit memorable spots like Molokini as well as La Perouse Bay. Conclude your sun-drenched day sampling traditional Hawaiian food and ‘ulu beer at the award-winning Old Lahaina Luau (you can check out my review of Old Lahaina Luau Here), where the oceanfront vistas and lovely music are just a fraction of the event’s allure.
2. Heli Tour + Nuka
“Sightseeing” takes on new meaning when you’re hovering above the clouds: Maui’s immensity (it’s the second-largest island in the Hawaiian chain) and the prodigious wonders it holds become magnified. But the real draw of a helicopter tour is that it permits you to see parts of the island that can only be accessed by air: remote waterfalls, deep gorges, and stunning sea cliffs among them.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters serves as the preeminent helicopter tour company not just on Maui but also throughout the whole state—a designation that promises your trip will be striking and flawless. Back at sea level, make your way to the lush enclave of Haiku, where Nuka, possibly the island’s best sushi restaurant, plates out marvels like the Haleakala Roll (a baked California roll with salmon, dynamite sauce, and tobiko).
3. Makena Sailing + Big Beach + Island Art Party
Start your morning by being the very first to arrive at Molokini Crater onboard a luxurious and spacious sailing catamaran. The Kai Kanani leaves from one of the most beautiful beaches, Maluaka Beach, and takes a small number of passengers to one of the most famous snorkeling destinations in the world. Their Sunrise Deluxe Snorkel Tour will have you snorkeling and eating a gourmet breakfast before most other snorkelers have even left Maalaea Harbor.
Makena State Park wears its moniker—big—well: Stretching a mile and a half long, and facing the beguiling natural structures of Molokini and Pu’o OLai, the wide, white-sanded beach is wholly unforgettable. A popular spot for skim-boarders, the shore break renders it hazardous during south swells (particularly at Third Entrance); to enjoy the ocean safely, climb over to Big’s cousin, Little Beach, where the water ceaselessly dazzles. (Keep in mind that Little Beach is Maui’s most recognized nude beach.)
Come night, grab a bite at Coconut’s Fish Tacos in Kihei before booking an easel at Island Art Party—a festive lesson that allows you to leave with a painting of Maui’s splendidness. Except for a few family classes each month for ages 8 and up, you’ll have to book a babysitter to attend. their policy of 16 years and up allow for parents to take a night off and enjoy some drinks and creativity with your spouse.
4. Haleakala Sunrise + Kahului Ale House
And speaking of Haleakala: While it’s impossible to miss the sight of Maui’s largest volcano—and one of the biggest dormant volcanos in the world—it’s one thing to see Haleakala from the aforementioned Big Beach and yet another to peer into its crater’s depths. Sunrises from its summit cap most visitors’ list for a reason: the colors alone are worth the 3am alarm. Experiencing its splendor can certainly be accomplished solo (as long as you’ve registered in advance with the National Park Service), but booking a jaunt with a Haleakala Tour ensures a nicely-rounded expedition—one that’s complete with nuanced info on Haleakala’s geology and cultural significance. (Bonus points: Haleakala Eco Tours—one of four outfits to score a contract with the National Park—performs services that protect the island’s fragile environment.) When night falls, take a break from the resorts and head to the center of the island, where Kahului Ale House serves “aloha on tap” in the form of boutique beers, Big Kahuna burgers, pool tables, and live music.
5. Black Rock + Maui Steel Guitar Festival
Chief Kahekili—Maui’s last ruling king—earned repute for leaping into the sea from the top of Ka’anapali Beach’s Pu’u Keka’a, a lava-promontory that’s now referred to as Black Rock. Experience the thrills he found in the 18th century by jumping into the Pacific from the same spot. The water below is perennially warm and clear (and filled with flamboyant marine life). This is definitely one of the more exciting things to do on Maui.
Sunbathe for a spell—or check out the shops at Whalers Village—before making your way to the 10th annual Maui Steel Guitar Festival. Held at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, this free, all-day event will feature performances by some of Maui’s leading musical talent. In addition, they will have instructional workshops, presentations, and jam sessions.
Not visiting from the 13th-18th? Backtrack to Fleetwood’s on Front St., where live music is offered nightly—and where the venue’s founder, Mick of Fleetwood Mac fame, has been known to give an impromptu jam sesh of his own.
6. Zip Line + Maui Chef’s Table
Whether you’re half of a couple, a parent, rolling with a crew, or vacationing solo, riding a zip line at Maui Tropical Plantation is a must-see—or, rather, do. Towering above the verdant fields of Waikapu Valley—and offering breathtaking views of the island’s central coastline—this keiki-friendly zip line strikes the perfect balance between fun and exhilarating. (Should you want to amplify that exhilaration, check out the plantation’s Maui Zipline Company, which offers “zips” across this beautiful property.)
The plantation’s excitement isn’t just up in the air, either: the star visitor attraction also presents a roasting café equipped with antiques, a pond filled with a ducks, a general store brimming with arts, crafts, and culinary pleasures, a soap factory that sells body butters, and a farm stand that features tropical fruit, fresh herbs, and organic veggies. Planning on a weekend visit? Book a seat at the Maui Chef’s Table.
A stellar dining experience in which an extraordinary meal—sourced by the plantation’s (and other island) farms’ produce and fresh proteins—is prepped in an open-platform kitchen that invites conversation. (And if you pop over to the plantation on a weeknight, don’t distress: Maui Chef’s Table founder Jeff Scheer is also the executive chef at the plantation’s on-site restaurant, The Mill House, where you’ll find fine-crafted cocktails and exquisite, farm-inspired dishes.)
7. Road to Hana + East Maui Taro Festival
The Road to Hana is an event in itself—52 heart-stopping miles of one beauty after another, from waterfalls and cliffs to black sand beaches and rainforests. Dubbed “one of Hawaii’s great drives” by National Geographic. This is “arguably the most storied of our road trips” says Hawai’i Magazine. The trek to Hana proper—a tranquil town that offers some of the prettiest coves on the island—can easily take up a day (and a blissful day at that), but if you happen to be visiting Maui on April 21st, plan to spend some time at the East Maui Taro Festival.
Now in its 26th year, the annual festival celebrates taro (or kalo), the revered canoe crop that served as a Native Hawaiian staple. Hula, music, arts and crafts, a farmer’s market, poi pounding, lauhala weaving, and over 20 food booths (all of which will feature taro as a main or side dish), the East Maui Taro Festival has become one of Maui’s signature—and most beloved— events.
8. Horse Back Riding + Happy Hour
Horseback riding isn’t necessarily synonymous with the Hawaiian Islands, but those who know the islands’ past—and the legacy of riding started by our first paniol0—also
know that Maui has no shortage of scenic trails. Mendes Ranch—a family owned and operated homestead that’s been serving Maui for over 150 years—boasts some of the serenest and most spectacular paths on the island (think: lush, windswept, and romantic). Hustle up for a morning or afternoon ride, and then head to South Kihei for pau hana: the beach town’s “Triangle” has everything from a raucous Irish pub and a divey karaoke bar to a veritable tiki lounge.
9. O’o Farm + Star Lookout
April may have meant the start of potato season back in the day, but at O’o Farm—an organic ranch at 3,500 feet on the slopes of Haleakala—potatoes are supplanted with 60 crops ranging from blue Toscano kale to kaffir lime and cherries. One of the great things to do on Maui is come for a gourmet luncheon prepared with plants collected on your tour of the grounds before heading towards Star Lookout. A private cabin in rural Keokea, Star Lookout provides precisely what its name suggests: unspoiled views of Maui’s dramatic night sky.
South Kihei for pau hana: the beach town’s “Triangle” has everything from a raucous Irish pub and a divey karaoke bar to a veritable tiki lounge. 9. O’o Farm + Star Lookout April may have meant the start of potato season back in the day, but at O’o Farm—an organic ranch at 3,500 feet on the slopes of Haleakala—potatoes are supplanted with 60 crops ranging from blue Toscano kale to kaffir lime and cherries. Come for a gourmet luncheon prepared with plants collected on your tour of the grounds before heading towards Star Lookout. A private cabin in rural Keokea, Star Lookout provides precisely what its name suggests: unspoiled views of Maui’s dramatic night sky—and enough quiet to sate you till summer.
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