Maui With Teens

Jun 7, 2024 | 0 comments

Maui With Teens: 10 Unique Things To Do On The Valley Isle With Teenagers

There are approximately a million posts about things to do on Maui with kids. But what about teenagers?!

We all know teenagers are notorious for being moody and easily embarrassed – especially when it comes to hanging with their parents. But if there’s one way to get your teens to crack a smile – and actually enjoy spending time with their parents – it’s with a trip to Maui.

Maui With Teens Hookipa

So, if the goal is to get your teenager out of bed and out from behind their screens, here are unique things to do on Maui that are sure to keep them occupied, interested, and smiling.


1. Take A Surfing Lesson

Maui is a great place to learn how to surf. The water is warm. The views are epic. And Maui boasts tons of top-notch surf schools and beginner surf spots.

Learning to surf with your teens can be a great way to bond as a family, cheer each other on, and make everlasting family memories. And speaking as a surfer (and former teenager), nothing boosts a grumpy teenager’s mood like riding a wave.

Maui With Teens Surf Lessons

There is a crop of surf schools to choose from, but the best way to learn is from the pros, which is why we recommend Rivers to the Sea Surf School. Many instructors at Rivers to the Sea have dipped their toes into the professional surfing realm. In turn, they can offer a level of ocean and surfing insight that other surf schools just can’t match.

And in the eyes of most teens, a professional surfer is just about the coolest job anyone can have. It’s a win-win.


2. Go On A Restaurant “Pupu” Crawl in Paia Town

A Maui visitor with two teenagers recently shared this idea on social media. It sounded like fun, so we’re passing it along.

The drinking age on Maui is 21, so rather than a bar crawl, take your kids on a family pupu (appetizer) crawl. Head to Paia Town on Maui’s North Shore, park, and stop at any of the restaurants you see. The town is only one stoplight, but there are plenty of great food options to check out. Order an appetizer or two, then move on to the next restaurant until you’ve had your fill. End the crawl at a dessert shop like Tobi’s or Ululani’s Shave Ice.

Maui With Teens Paia

The benefits of a pupu crawl are twofold. You’ll get to spend quality time with your teens, and the fun shops in between the restaurants make for a nice adventure as well. Plus, you might be able to introduce your teens to some of Hawaii’s local fare.


3. Charter A Sailboat

There are few better ways to impress a sultry teenager than by chartering a private sailboat on Maui. Maui Custom Charters is the best in the biz, and they’ll pull out all the stops to make sure you and your eye-rolling teens have the best time on the water.

Maui With Teens Sailing

Maui Custom Charters offers whale watches, snorkel trips, and sunset sails, but it’s hard to beat the private custom charter – a “choose your own adventure” type sail. Custom charters depart from Maalaea Harbor and range from two to twelve hours. You and your family can snorkel, learn to sail, go fishing, or watch for whales (in season). The choice is yours.

Plus, Maui Custom Charter’s 42-foot sailboat is gold in the eyes of a TikTok or Instagram-obsessed teenager. Be prepared to take lots of photos and videos.


4. Bond as a Family in an Escape Room

Let’s talk escape rooms. Initially, your teen might not be thrilled about being locked in a room with their parents and siblings. But the escape rooms at Mystery Maui are so fun that it’s just a matter of time before your teen cracks a smile.

Mystery Maui in Wailuku offers two unique escape rooms with multiple puzzles and tasks that require teamwork to solve. Rooms are private and can accommodate up to six guests. Plus, guests only get 60 minutes to solve the mystery, so after that, your teen can go back to burying their nose in their TikTok feeds.

Maui With Teens Escape Room

Mystery Maui is a great way to bond with your family – and it’s also a great thing to do on rainy days. Because as much as you love your teenager, being cooped up in a hotel room with them all day isn’t high on your list of things to do.


5. Explore Whaler’s Village

Whalers Village in Kaanapali is one of Maui’s premier shopping centers – rife with luxury stores, souvenir shops, and eateries.

It’s also a great place to turn older teens loose. They can explore the stores, pop into one of the coffee shops or acai bowl shops, or check out the Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center, which features fascinating exhibits about humpback whales and other local marine life.

Maui With Teens Whalers Village

Whalers Village also hosts semi-regular cultural activities that might interest some teens. Activities on offer include lei making, coconut frond weaving, and hula lessons.


6. Hike the Sliding Sands Trail

Adventurous teens will love hiking in Haleakala Crater. Teens who love Instagram will also enjoy hiking in Haleakala Crater – because the views and photo opportunities are simply out of this world.

The Sliding Sands Trail boasts one of the most mind-bending landscapes on Maui. It’s akin to being on Mars, with huge red-orange cinder cones rising from the crater floor.

Maui With Teens Hiking

Self-guided hiking in Haleakala Crater is possible, but going with a tour takes the experience up a notch. Find hiking guides with fountains of knowledge and their riveting – and at times funny – commentary will keep even the most disinterested teens entertained.


7. Explore Maui’s Small Towns

It’s not all about the beaches on Maui. The island’s small towns are defined by classic charm and unique character.

The best downtowns to explore are Kihei, Paia, and Makawao – the latter being one of our favorites.

Maui With Teens Small Towns

Makawao is Maui’s old-school cowboy town, but it’s also known for its art scene, boutiques, and coffee shops. Oh, and it’s also home to the most famous bakery on the island – Komoda Store – which has been in operation for over 100 years.

There are tons for teens and adults alike to do in Makawao. You can get your caffeine fix and enjoy cozy vibes at Vida by Sip Me, munch on the out-of-this-world cookie creations from Maui Cookie Lady, or browse mind-bending works of glass art at Hot Island Glass.


8. Go on a Rafting Whale Watch Tour

One thing is for sure: you won’t see any huffing or eye-rolling on a whale watch. After all, it’s impossible to be sour when 40-ton humpback whales are breaching in front of you.

Whale watching is one of the most popular activities on Maui during winter. Whale watch tours are plentiful in whale season, but the best tour for an adventure-loving teen is with Redline Rafting.

Maui With Teens Rafting Whale Watch

As the name suggests, Redline Rafting utilizes a 35-foot raft rather than a big, clunky tour boat. Whales tend to be more curious around smaller vessels, which yields occasional up-close sightings.

Whether a whale decides to approach the vessel or not, Redline’s exciting tour is the perfect way to get your teens engaged and stoked about nature.


9. Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala Crater

We’ll be frank: It’s going to be a challenge to get your teens out of bed early enough to watch the sunrise at Haleakala Crater. This endeavor requires a wake-up call between two and three a.m.

But the memories your teens will make are worth getting them out of bed by any means.

Maui With Teens Sunrise

Few things are more magical than the sunrise at Haleakala Crater. But it can be tough to get a reservation. Instead of skipping the sunrise entirely, you can take a tour with Haleakala EcoTours.

Taking a sunrise tour is a win-win, especially if you have teens. Not only will you get to see the sunrise without a reservation, but since no one has to drive, the entire family can catch up on sleep on the ride up to Haleakala summit – and when you’re dealing with teenagers, having everyone well-rested and in a good mood is worth its weight in gold.


10. Swim with the Fish at Molokini

Snorkeling at Molokini is one of the best things to do on Maui. Molokini is a one-of-a-kind snorkel spot about two miles off the South Maui coast. The waters here are crystal clear, and the island is home to a multitude of tropical fish.

Maui With Teens Molokini

Myriad snorkel tours visit Molokini, but the creme de la creme is Kai Kanani. Kai Kanani departs from the sand at Maluaka Beach and is the only boat tour to beach load in South Maui. Beach loading is always a bit of an adventure, but from there, it’s smooth sailing to Molokini (literally).

After snorkeling at Molokini, Kai Kanani visits Turtle Town, where green sea turtles are plentiful. If your goal is to get your teen out into nature and away from their devices, Kai Kanani’s dynamic snorkeling tour is the best way to do so. Your teen won’t even think about picking up their phone — unless it’s to take some photos. But who can blame them for that?

Maui With Teens Sunset


Need more inspiration? Check out this in-depth list of family things to do on Maui – which covers all the best things to do with kids of all ages.


Have you traveled to Maui with teenagers? What is your favorite thing to do on the island with them? Let us know! We hope to see you here enjoying Maui’s sunshine and good vibes soon.



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