Visiting Maui can be a strain on your wallet. Between the airfare, hotels, rental car, and food, your vacation can start adding up quickly. 

But you don’t need to let costs keep you from having the trip of a lifetime. Once you get here, there are plenty of things to do in Maui on a budget. 

And lucky you, we’ve done the hard work. We’ve rounded up 14 of the best activities to experience the island — from people who live here. 

The 14 best things to do in Maui on a budget are:

  1. Maui Friday
  2. Hit the hiking trail
  3. Snorkel with turtles
  4. Baldwin home concerts
  5. Visit the Maui Swap Meet
  6. Milk a Goat
  7. Go Whale Watching
  8. Eat at the Food Trucks
  9. Enjoy Happy Hour
  10. Pick Strawberries at Kula Country Farms
  11. Tour the Lavender Farm
  12. Watch a hula show
  13. Tour and tasting at Maui Brewing Company
  14. Visit Maui Winery

Want the details for each activity? Read on for how you can plan to include these fun-filled activities in your Maui vacation. 

Maui Friday

“If it’s Friday in Maui, there’s a party going on.” 

That’s the tagline for Maui Fridays — a rotating calendar of Friday night events. First Fridays are in Wailuku, the second Fridays are in Lahaina, the third Fridays are in Makawao, the fourth Fridays are in Kihei, and the fifth Fridays are on Lana’i. 

Each town hosts the Friday evening with a local flair and includes vendors and businesses from the community. It’s a big town party full of food, music, and free fun. 

Hiking

Stick to dry land for this free activity. While other islands do have better tropical hikes (and more plentiful waterfalls), Maui has gorgeous hikes that are unique to itself. Hikes on Maui range from short half-mile walks to overnight trips. Some of these hikes will require that you pay an entrance fee, while others allow you to park on the side of the road for free. 

Some popular hikes include:

Iao Valley: the short 0.5-mile loop gives you a stunning view of the Iao Needle. $5 entry fee.

Haleakala Sliding Sands Trail: the 10-mile hike takes you from the summit to the bottom of the crater. $30 entry fee per vehicle.

Pipiwai Trail-Oheo Gulch: this 4-mile hike is located above the seven sacred pools and is also part of Haleakala National Park. The entrance fee is $30 per vehicle. 

Snorkeling with turtles

Luckily, one of the best things to do on the island is nearly free. Rent a snorkel set and hit the beaches. Within a short swim of the shore, you’ll be greeted with an underwater experience you don’t get at home. Swim with brightly colored tropical fish, explore the coral reef, and watch the eels slither through the rocks. If you’re lucky, you may be greeted by a sea turtle or two. 

Popular snorkel spots on Maui include Honolua Bay, Kapalua Bay, Ka’anapali, Turtle Town, and Molokini.

Hula Show at the Cannery Mall

Skip the luau and get your hula on with a free show at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. Every Wednesday and Sunday the mall offers free hula performances. You’ll be treated to performances from dancers of varying ages — small children to adults.  

Baldwin Home Concerts or night tours

The oldest home still standing on Maui is the Baldwin home in the center of Maui. The home is open for tours during the day, with general admission tickets for $7. But if you time your visit well, you could be here for another special way to enjoy this landmark.

On the last Thursday of each month, there is a free concert on the lawn in front of the home. The concert begins at 6 pm and you can check the Baldwin home online calendar for more information.

Another special way to enjoy the home is with a candlelight tour. These tours happen less frequently so be sure to check the event calendar or call the house to see if a tour is scheduled during your vacation. 

Visit the Swap Meet in Kahului

If you are looking for something to do on a Saturday morning, the Maui Swap Meet is worth a visit. Located in Kahului, you’ll find a huge number of stalls selling everything from local produce to souvenirs. If you are looking for gifts to bring home for family and friends, skip the overpriced shops and do your shopping here.  Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have a great selection of local crafts to choose from. 

Milk a Goat

What trip would be complete without a chance to milk a goat? Sure, this sounds like a strange activity to do on Maui, but it couldn’t be more memorable. 

Take a visit to Surfing Goat Dairy and you’ll be greeted by the cutest goat faces. To make a trip to the goat farm even more enjoyable, visit during the evening chore and milking time. 

The tours happen at 3:30 Monday – Saturday and last for one hour. Tickets for this experience are $20 for adults and $15 for children. You’ll end the tour with a small sampling of goat cheese and a ribbon that says, “I milked a goat.” 

Go Whale Watching

There are two ways to go whale watching: the extreme budget version and the frugal version. 

If you want to see the whales but don’t want to spend any money, pack your binoculars. During whale season, you can often get lucky enough to spot the humpback whales playing close to shore. Try the west side of the island, near Lahaina or Ka’anapali December – February to get close to the beach shot. 

If you want to spend a little money and get out on the water, you can take a whale watching tour. 

While some tours can get pricey you can often find deals. Sunrise tours and last minute bookings on boats that haven’t sold out are usually a little cheaper. 

For example, a regular whale watching tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation can run you $65 per person. Booking a sunrise tour can bring the cost down to $38 per person. 

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Eat at the Food Trucks

Hawaii is known for its food trucks and Maui is no exception. If you want restaurant-quality food, often at a fraction of the price, try one of the trucks you see along the street. 

The cuisine ranges from local food to fish to Mexican so you’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of cuisines on your trip. In fact, some of the best fish you’ll find on Maui will be served from these food trucks. 

Most food trucks will have space for you to eat, but if you’d like a more scenic view, take your food to go. You can head down to a park or beach and enjoy your dining with a prime ocean view. It really doesn’t get better than this. 

Check out our Ultimate Maui Food Truck Guide to find the perfect, low priced food truck for you.

things to do on maui on a budget food trucks

When we see a food truck, we stop. We stopped when touring the upcountry at Kama Hele Cafe. It was worth the stop.

Enjoy Happy Hour

Eating out in Hawaii can be expensive. But just because you’re watching your purse strings doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a night out. And a night out can always feel better when you’re making your money go further. 

One of the best things to do in Maui on a budget is to head to happy hour. Not only will you enjoy food and drink at a steep discount, but you’ll also be able to visit oceanfront locations and enjoy the view while the sun is still up. 

Not sure what to pick? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the 10 Best Lahaina Happy Hours and 7 Best Wailea Happy Hours. We’ve scoured the island to bring you these best-of lists so you can’t go wrong. 

Pick Strawberries at Kula Country Farms

If you’re ready to spend a little time away from the beach, head upcountry to a beautiful part of Maui most tourists never see. 

While you’re there, stop at the fourth generation Kula Country Farms to get some fresh produce. 

You can pick your own strawberries or produce or visit their pumpkin patch if you’re visiting in October. Farms on Maui offer a different selection of produce than farms on the mainland, so you’re in for a treat.

And don’t worry, just because you’re away from the beach doesn’t mean you’re not getting spectacular views. The views from the farm are fantastic, with lush vegetation on the hillside and the ocean in the distance. It’s well worth the drive to visit upcountry.

Kula Country Farms maui on a budget

There were lots of things to keep Henry entertained at Kula Country Farms.

Tour the Lavender Farm

While you’re upcountry, spend a little extra time and visit the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. This 13.5-acre farm is nestled at 4,000 feet on the slope of Haleakala — a breathtaking surrounding. General admission to the farm is $3 and kids under 12 are free. If you love flowers, you will love this farm. 

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop and cafe for baked goods. If you want to learn more about the farm while you’re there, there are tours you can book in addition to the general admission fee. 

Lavender fields Maui on a budget

The rain didn’t stop us from touring the lavender farm, we actually got an entrance fee discount due to the rain.

Tour Maui Brewing Company

Beer fan? You can’t leave the island without touring the Maui Brewing Company. You can take public tours of their Kihei brewery for just $15 per person. 

That includes a 60-minute tour which ends with a tasting of the flagship beers. If you’re traveling with kids, not to worry. Well behaved young ones are welcome in the tasting room before 8 pm. 

The brewery also has daily live entertainment, 32 beers on tap, a full restaurant, and views of both Haleakala and Molokini. It’s a relaxed, family-friendly vibe that everyone can enjoy. 

Head to the Maui Winery

Just because you’re on a tropical island doesn’t mean you can’t have good wine. Take a drive and tour MauiWine. Unlike most wineries in Napa or Sonoma, you can get a tasting flight for a reasonable $12-$16. Add on the complimentary tour and you’re looking at a budget day that won’t disappoint. 

The garden and tasting house are also beautiful to visit. Our toddler Henry loved running around the garden and playing on the big wood swing. We enjoyed playing cornhole with sweeping views of the ocean. It is a perfect end of the road stop while visiting upcountry.

MauiWine is a Maui Winery

MauiWine is a welcome rest stop after driving upcountry Maui. Stop at the sign and try a flight.

MauiWine Free Tour

MauiWine offers free tours (tour group in the background) and cornhole to keep you entertained.

MauiWine Taste Testing on a Budget

Tastings are at a wood bar with knowledgeable pourers. A Tropical tasting is $12 and a Diverse tasting is $16.

While you’re here, you’ll want to try the pineapple wine (and probably get a bottle to take home). We were skeptical when we first heard about it, but we get a bottle for all of our visitors and so far it’s been a hit with everyone. 

Bonus, if you are hungry after sipping wine or want to get lunch before the wine tour, across the street is the famous Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Grill. This farm-to-table grill has burgers starting at $11 and $14 plate lunches. 

Ulupalakau Ranch Store snacks

My son Henry and I enjoying ice cream and coffee with Grandma before hitting the winery.

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Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

Author

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. You will most likely find me on the water on a SUP or swimming in the waves.

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