If you're bringing the whole crew to paradise, this is your guide for a fabulous family vacation! From ziplining to helicopter riding, everyone will leave their tropical vacation with a smile on their face.
This one-stop shop has something for everyone in your group! The young at heart always seem to steer themselves straight to the lagoon, where the very friendly and hungry ducks are always waiting for their next hand out (duck food is sold in the country store). The tram ride has everyone's name written on it, as the guided tour takes you around the whole plantation while your guide shares the vibrant history of this property. Have a train lover in the group? You're in luck! The Maui Tropical Plantation is the temporary home to The Claus Spreckels, which was the second locomotive ordered by Maui railroad magnate T.H. Hobron for the Kahului & Wailuku Railroad in September, 1881. They also have bragging rights to housing the Kalakaua Coach, which is also known as "The King's Car." Any shoppers in your crew will find their happy place in the Country Store, the Moku Pua Soap Factory, the Ron L Design studio and the Rebecca Lowell Art shop. Gardeners and nature lovers will be drawn to the well-tended tropical paradise that surrounds the plantation. With the West Maui Mountains framing the property, every angle is picture worthy! And if there are any foodies that are looking for a mouth-watering meal, The Mill House Restaurant and Bar is an award-winning establishment that prides themselves in excellent and beautiful dishes. And if one of you could use a stiff drink, this 5-star bar has everything you could need to get back into the paradise state of mind!
While many people make their way to this Hawaiian aquarium on rainy days, it's even worth the trip on a sunny day! This beautifully designed aquarium is mapped out to take you from the shallow reef to the open ocean. Each step along the way is replicated to showcase the true nature of the ocean and living environment of the marine life. With over 60 indoor/outdoor exhibits, you'll be able to discover Hawaii's magical underwater world in one day without getting your feet wet! One of the biggest thrills here is the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit featuring a 54 foot walk-through tunnel. Make sure to check the scuba divers schedule and get a front row seat as the diver mingles with the sharks and answers any questions you might have. The main purpose of the Maui Ocean Center is to honor the ocean and the long-standing relationship that Hawaiians have with the sea. This peak into Hawaiian history and the beautiful inhabitants of our ocean will bring a new appreciation to your vacation in paradise!
There is only so much you can see from sea level, and many of Maui's treasures are well hidden. Thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours, you can sneak a peek from the sky. Cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs, stunning coastlines and the ever popular Haleakala, Maui's highest peak at 10,023 feet above sea level. You don't need to lug your family around in a car trying to see the sights when an hour-long helicopter ride will thrill everyone! And now you can have pool time on the same day!
It's a well-known fact that everyone loves coming to Maui once the winter weather hits, including the humpback whales. This gentle giants come in pods, and make Maui their playground. The Pride of Maui makes sure your whale watching experience is nothing less than fantastic. From aboard their spacious and stable boat, you'll enjoy amenities like a glass bottom to view the marine life without getting wet. If you feel like taking a dip, feel free to use the waterslide! This is a snorkeling tour, and warm showers are available to you after your excursion. Being out in the open sea always gets an appetite going, so this tour provides a freshly prepared bbq lunch as well as an open bar. There is nothing more spectacular than seeing a whale breech while sipping on a Mai Tai in Maui.
Known for being the most family friendly zipline company, Maui Zipline is an obvious addition for family fun on Maui! This tropical course has 5 side-by-side ziplines, ranging from 300 to 900 feet. With each line you zip, your guide will share their knowledge of Maui's unique flora, fauna and culture. After swooping over the tropical lagoon, your adventure ends in a tree house! This will be one of those memories that lasts long after your vacation has ended!
There is nothing more classic than surfing in Maui. We've got plenty of waves, but you'll want to know when and where to surf if you want to maximize your enjoyment. Thankfully, Hawaiian Paddle Sports offers private surf lessons in one of the best beginner locations on the island. These expert guides will cater to your every need and level of expertise, and they guarantee you'll surf on your first lesson! You'll get to take away the thrill of surfing and the bragging rights that you did it in paradise!
To truly experience Maui, connecting to the culture and the history is a must. The most entertaining and delicious way is to attend a ceremonial luau. Te Au Moana offers a lavish celebration of the Hawaiian culture, from their fresh flower leis to their hula and fire dancers. Their spectacular storytelling is made even more enjoyable with the sunset and ocean in the background. Put this luau on your vacation to-do list!
For some families, they really want to relax. There is nothing more relaxing than a hotel that has your every need accounted for. At the Fairmont Kea Lani, they go above and beyond to make your vacation in paradise perfect! The Kea Lani is a pool paradise with their award-winning 9,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa, three swimming pools including an adults only pool and two activity pools connected by a 140' waterslide. If the kids are looking for some entertainment while the parents soak up the blissful quiet of the adults only pool, send them over to the ever popular Kid's Club! If you'd prefer some family time on the beach, this oceanfront resort is sitting on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island! And let's not forget room service and a freshly made bed every morning!
Cheese lovers unite! The Surfing Goat Dairy is home to many award-winning varieties. If you're intrigued by their 1st place National Award Mandalay Goat Cheese (which has apple bananas and curry), their Cheese and Specialty Shop is happy to hand out a tasting or two (or three!). And if you'd like to get a little closer to the goat cheese process, make sure to sign up for their Grand Dairy Tour, which is every Saturday at 9am (call for dates). This 2-hour experience allows you to feed and milk a goat, see the cheese making process and you'll even get to simply most of the cheeses produced at the dairy (there are over 30 varieties!). Who doesn't love cute animals and delicious cheese?
Some people think that shave ice is the same thing a snow cone. If you are one of those people, you are about to experience the rainbow magic of Hawaiian Shave Ice. The reason Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice has become world-famous is their dedication to having the best shave ice with the taste of aloha in every bite. Their syrups are made from using 100% pure cane sugar, premium purees, natural fruit juices and extracts, carefully selected concentrates and local ingredients. Their ice is made in-house from their filtered water system and their add-ons make this sweet treat even better! With flavors like picked mango, calamansi lime and liliko’i, they have cornered the market on unique and delicious flavors! A local's tip for anyone new to shave ice: get the Maui-made Roselani’s Premium Haupia Ice Cream on the bottom of your cone! You will never look at dessert in the same way again.
Now that you have a fabulous list of the best family activities on Maui, all you need to do is get here! Until then, we'll keep the whales breaching and the shave ice cold for you!
All photography was either taken by Mill House staff, from owners that have given us written permission, and/or purchased for use. We have all the rights necessary to use these images on our website.