Maui is a peaceful destination in itself. Yet, you won’t find those on the search for serenity flocking to buzzy Front Street or jockeying for a parking spot at an ultra-popular beach. Instead, tap into your inner zen and visit these ten peaceful places on Maui.
10 Peaceful Places On Maui
1. Haleakalā Crater
Deemed one of the most silent places on the planet, nowhere on Maui is more peaceful than Haleakalā’s massive volcanic basin. The 10,023-foot peak is also renowned for its striking sunrise and sunset views- Mark Twain even called the sunrise from Haleakalā the “sublimest spectacle” he had ever seen. While there is no escaping the crowds at the summit near dawn or dusk, trek deep into Haleakalā’s supernatural crater to experience reverberating silence and true inner peace.
2. ʻIao Valley
It’s impossible not to be lulled into a state of tranquility while visiting ʻIao Valley. Emerald walls soar thousands of feet overhead, guarding an icy stream that flows from the heart of the valley to the sea. Meandering walking trails snake throughout the park, offering up views of the north Maui coastline and the jade ʻIao Needle- a 2,000-foot cylindrical monolith. Once the site of a violent battle led by King Kamehameha, today ʻIao Valley’s quiet canyon is a place of utter serenity.
3. Sacred Garden
Nestled in a rainforested valley on Maui’s North Shore, this plant nursery and botanical garden also serve as a spiritual hub. Step foot in the nursery, and you’ll be met with rows of foliage, the lulling sound of windchimes, and representations of nearly every sect of faith- from conventional to new age. Grab a seat among flowering orchids and swaying prayer flags, or browse the spiritual gift shop for memorable souvenirs. Outside, a sprawling labyrinth twists alongside a rushing stream amid a sea of tropical greenery. Whether you make a quick stop or spend an afternoon here, the Sacred Garden is the ideal place to unplug.
4. Makawao Forest Reserve
At Makawao Forest Reserve, Maui’s golden beaches and bustling streets are swapped for hushed hiking and mountain biking trails. Situated in the hills above Makawao Town, the most popular trail in this expansive reserve is the Kahakapao Trail– a six-mile loop that twists through eucalyptus, pines, and ferns. At 4,000 feet, the cool temperatures and mild crowds at Makawao Forest offer a welcome respite from the sweltering beaches to which most visitors flock.
5. Lahaina Jodo Mission
Despite its location in the lively tourism hub of Lahaina, the Lahaina Jodo Mission remains off the visitor radar. The manicured grounds feature a 90-foot pagoda and an enormous 12-foot, three-and-a-half-ton Great Buddha statue– one of the largest outside of Asia. The mission was initially erected by Japanese plantation workers as a meditation refuge in the early 1900s. Today, Lahaina Jodo Mission remains a quiet haven for all people.
6. Aliʻi Kula Lavender
Lavender is renowned for its calming properties. Combine panoramic views of the Valley Isle with the herb’s soothing fragrance, and you’ll likely find your troubles melting away. Enter Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm, a 13-acre farm on the slopes of Haleakalā boasting 55,000 lavender plants and a slew of other botanicals to boot. A wander through the grounds will reveal countless tidy rows of lavender, secluded nooks to kick back in, and a well-stocked, lavender-abundant gift shop. Be sure to indulge in a decadent lavender brownie or lavender scone on the gift shop’s porch, and bask in a state of lavender-induced tranquility.
7. Ohai Loop Trail
The Ohai Loop Trail is located on the sequestered north-western coast of Maui. This 1.2-mile loop trail winds through rolling green hills that resemble an Irish/Hawaiian hybrid landscape. Hikers are afforded views of the rugged, windswept coast and the lofty Kahakuloa Headland. While the route is already serene by its own merits, the Ohai Trail at sunrise is as idyllic as can be.
Keokea is a small Upcountry enclave characterized by a smattering of mom and pop shops, undulating pastureland, verdant public parks, and rich Chinese history. Stop by the cozy digs at Grandma’s Coffee House for a tasty breakfast before getting your ‘Om’ on with friendly ungulates at Maui Goat Yoga. Then, before you head back downhill, be sure to stop by Sun Yat-Sen Park, which honors one of Keokea’s most prominent Chinese settlers, or admire the awe-inspiring views from historic St. John’s Church.
9. Baldwin Beach Park
Baldwin Beach in the north shore town of Paʻia is an often-overlooked gem. With nearly a mile of lustrous white sand, there are plenty of opportunities to find a secluded patch of beach to laze out on. Baldwin’s soft sands are bordered by ironwood and kiawe trees and bookended by placid swimming coves on both sides. Weekdays yield plenty of parking for a stress-free experience, and the beach park is equipped with pavilions, showers, restrooms, and lifeguards.
10. Wailua Valley State Wayside
The famed Road to Hana can either be a dream or a nightmare. On a bad day, crowds, traffic, and gridlock proliferate, making it impossible to enjoy your planned stops. However, one dreamy locale is routinely passed over by the masses- Wailua Valley State Wayside. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stop is tucked into a cliffside just beyond Keʻanae Peninsula. After a short stair climb to an overlook, you’ll be treated to views of the gaping Ko’olau Gap, the verdant seaside community of Wailua, and the vast Pacific Ocean- sans crowds. While the ultra-small parking lot dictates the level of foot traffic (or lack thereof), Wailua Valley Wayside is a perfect place to enjoy a moment of peace on the often hectic Road to Hana. (Keep in mind the parking lot is small, so bookmark the park for your return trip if you catch it at a crowded moment.)