Maui is known for its natural beauty — with its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and diverse animal life — which is why Maui is such a popular destination for both outdoor and nature lovers. While Maui is generally warm throughout the year, rain still comes to visit the area, usually during winter (November to March) in which afternoon thunderstorms are often a daily occurrence. So what happens when you happen to visit during those months?
Here is a list of what to do in Maui when it rains so your plans go ahead regardless of how the skies look.
Do you want to get up close to one of Hawaii’s treasures? Do you want to know more about life underwater? Then the Maui Ocean Center is perfect for you! The Maui Ocean Center is known for having one of the world’s largest collections of Pacific live corals, together with more than 60 exhibits of different underwater species such as sharks, stingrays, and various kinds of tropical fish. All of this can be viewed in their 54-foot (15.4 m) long walk-through tunnel with a 240-degree view of their Open Ocean Exhibit.
They also have other events such as the Sea Talk Series in which various kinds of people — from members of their community to renowned marine biologists — come to talk about marine life, science, current issues, and so much more. Another feature of this aquarium, which could be perfect to those who are greatly interested in underwater creatures, especially sharks, is their overnight aquarium experience! You could spend a night in the aquarium seeing and learning about the different animals that you wouldn’t have been able to encounter during the day.
The Maui Ocean Center has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Best Aquariums in the U.S. and is one of the best places to gain an understanding not only about marine life or Hawaiian culture, but also the relationship of the Hawaiian people with the ocean.
Maui Ocean Center
Address: 192 Ma'alaea Rd Wailuku, HI 96793
Price: 19.95 USD (Children - 3 to 12), 27.95 USD (Adult), 24.95 USD (Senior 65+)
Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm. Last admission is at 4:30 pm
Contact: (808) 270-7000
Website: Maui Ocean Center
Maui Ocean Center Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 day
If you want a more close up interaction with the Hawaii’s marine life, then try to immerse yourself underwater — without getting wet — with Maui’s submarine tours.
The Atlantis Submarine Tour takes you 130-feet (39.6 m) deep underwater with their 48-passenger submarine. This experience gives you the opportunity to see and observe aquatic species in their natural home. One of the highlights of this tour is the sunken replica vessel, “Carthaginian,” located 95 feet (~29 m) deep where there are no coral reefs. The sunken ship was created by Atlantis in order to act as an artificial reef for sea animals.
Atlantis Submarine Tour
Address: 658 Front St #11, Lahaina, HI 96761
Price: 38 USD (Child - up to 12 years old), 105 USD (Adult), 115 USD (Adult w/ Free Child - up to 12 years old)
Opening Hours: 7:30 am - 6 pm. Open daily.
Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Contact: 1-800-381-0237 or 808-667-2494
Website: Atlantis Submarine Tour
Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure
Duration: 2 hours
If you are interested in learning about the community of Maui, then museums are one of the best places to go. Maui has a lot of museums that preserve their history and culture. They have various museums that feature a time in their history such as the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum that shows the history of sugar and the sugar industry on Maui, and the Bailey House Museum that displays different missionary and Hawaiian artifacts.
Meanwhile, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation is the organization that aims to restore and preserve the historical landmarks and structures in the town of Lahaina. Structures such as the Baldwin Home Museum, Old Lahaina Prison, Wo Hing Museum, and Hale Pa'i Printing Museum are all under the management of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
Website: Maui Institutions
Historic Surf Town Loop Hop-On, Hop-Off from Kahului
Duration: 1 to 10 hours
Are you an artist? Or someone who genuinely enjoys painting and art? Then put your creative juices to work during your vacation in Maui by joining a painting class.
Island Art Party is the only art studio in Maui where you can paint and enjoy a drink at the same time. Painting skills are not a requirement to join this class, knowing how to hold a paint brush and how to have fun is enough to sign up for this activity. Painting materials and drinks ranging from soda to cocktails are all provided, all you need to bring is yourself (and ID to prove your age). Just make sure to wear clothes that are all right to get painted on.
Kids age eight and up are welcome to join their Family Classes and for their evening sessions, people aged 16 and up can attend as long as they are accompanied by a guardian.
Island Art Party
Address: 1279 S. Kihei Rd #109 - Kihei, Maui, HI - 96753
Price: from 39 USD to 59 USD
Opening Hours: 2 pm - 9:30 pm (Wed to Fri), 1 pm - 9:30 pm (Sat-Sun). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Duration: around 2-3 hours.
Website: Island Art Party
Island Art Party on Maui in Kihei
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
5. Catch a live show at Maui Theatre
You can catch live shows in Maui’s performing arts center, Maui Theatre, located in Lahaina, Maui. They have three regular shows that are performed weekly: ‘Ulalena, Burn n’ Love, Fourever Fab in Maui. If you’re up for watching and listening to music performed by Elvis Presley and The Beatles cover bands, then Burn n’ Love and Fourever Fab in Maui are shows you should not miss. If you want to watch a show that tells the story of Maui and its culture, performed with dance and music, accompanied by over 100 instruments, then 'Ulalena is the show for you.
Address: 878 Front Street, Lahaina, HI 96761
Contact: (808) 856-7900
Website: Maui Theatre
If you don’t want to spend extra cash watching live shows, there are always free hula shows on the island. Hula is a dance form that has always been associated with Hawaii, and it is definitely something you should not miss when you visit Maui. You can watch these free hula shows in different venues such as Whaler’s Village, Kapalua Shops, and the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel. However, if rain happens to come during your visit, there is still a free hula show inside the Lahaina Cannery Mall. Their hula shows are performed every Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm.
Address: 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
Opening Hours: 1 pm - 2 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Contact: (808) 661-5304
Website: Hula Shows
Maui Sunset Luau Cruise from Ma'alaea Harbor
Duration: 2 hours
7. Go shopping in Makawao
Shopping has always been a staple activity whenever you’re visiting a new place. Maui has plenty of places where you can shop for your souvenirs, unique items, clothing, and so much more. Queen Ka'ahumanu Center is Maui’s largest mall located in Kahului. It has over a hundred stores and the only place where you can find Maui’s two major department stores, Macy’s and Sears. Other places for shopping are the Lahaina Cannery Mall, Front Street, and Maui Swap Meet, a flea market in Kahului.
However, if you are looking to buy from small shops and boutiques, the town of Makawao is the place to go buy your souvenirs. This town mostly sells clothing, jewelry, and art. Their most famous shop is the Hot Island Glass where you can buy glass art and even watch glass blowing.
Shopping in Makawao Town
Website: Makawao Town
8. Enjoy the rainy landscape at Maui Kula Lodge
If you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rainy weather in Maui, then Kula Lodge will provide that for you. Kula Lodge and Restaurant was built 3,200 feet (957 m) above sea level, surrounded by flowers and trees. Their restaurant provides not only food that can fill your tummy, but also a spectacular view of Maui that can delight your heart.
Located at the west slope of the Haleakala Crater, the restaurant has an outdoor terrace that opens up to the west side of Maui. From there, you can see the West Maui Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and several towns in Maui.
Kula Lodge & Restaurant
Address: 15200 Haleakala Hwy. Route 377, Kula, Maui, Hawaii 96790
Opening Hours: 7 am - 9 pm
Contact: (808) 878-1535
Website: Kula Lodge & Restaurant
If you find yourself wanting some wine, MauiWine in the Ulapalakua Ranch offers free wine tasting everyday from 10 am to 5:30 pm and a complimentary tour of their estate, production area, and wine cellar at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. MauiWine is located in Kula, on the eastern slope of the Haleakala volcano. Other than their wines, the winery also offers a spectacular view of Maui due to the place being at an elevation of 2,000 feet (609 m). The vineyard is also surrounded with trees and flowers, and the building itself is full of history — called the King’s Cottage due to the fact that it was used as the mountain retreat of the last reigning King of Hawaii, King Kalakua.
You can also request a private wine tasting and tour, and a chance to visit the vineyard, depending on the season and availability.
Address: 14815 Piilani Highway, Kula, HI 96790
Opening Hours: 10 am - 5:30 pm. Closed on public holidays.
Contact: (808) 878-6058
Private Hana, Ocean, Turtle Town, Winery Tour of Maui
Duration: 4 hours
10. Treat yourself to a spa treatment
If you’re on vacation, you might as well treat yourself to a spa! Another way to spend your day indoors during a rainy day is to spend it by going to a spa. Maui boasts various world-class spas such as the Spa Grande in Grand Wailea Resort or the Willow Stream Spa in Fairmont Kea Lani. Spas in Maui also offer spa treatments that you can only experience in the island such as the lomilomi massage and Maluhia. This is the perfect way to relax and unwind, especially if you’re visiting Maui for pleasure.
Spa Grande at Grand Wailea
Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, HI 96753
Opening Hours: 8 am - 7 pm (Spa), 9 am - 7 pm (Salon)
Website: Spa Grande
While it is pouring outside, why don’t you head indoor and pour some delicious wine into in wine glass? Instead of singing “Rain, rain go away”, go on a winery or distillery tour in Maui. The wine and liquors in Maui are unique as they include some of the area’s delicious tropical fruits. For instance, some liquors include locally sourced pineapples and sugar cane. As you tour a distillery, you can learn how various alcoholic beverages are made, sample some drinks, and purchase your favorites. You will have so much fun, you’ll forget all about the rain.
Iao Valley, Hawaiian Distillery and Lavender Farm
Duration: 5 hours
If it is raining in Maui, why not leave Maui? Yes, Maui is absolutely gorgeous and usually has great weather, and you may never want to leave. However, if it is raining, why not take a day trip to another amazing place. There are organized day trips from Maui to Pearl Harbor. You can head to the historic site, have a professional guide you around the area, and learn about a crucial part of U.S. History.
Oahu Day Trip to Pearl Harbor from Maui
Duration: 14 hours
Beat the rain!
The weather can be unpredictable at times, and would dampen your plans for a sunny day in Maui. However, there is more to Maui than beaches and nature hikes and outdoor activities. Taking a class, going to a wine tour, or just appreciating the beauty of Maui — if you just know where to look, you will definitely be able to still make the most out of a rainy day in Maui!
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