Free Things to Do in Maui Near Kaanapali Beach

Nasreen Stump Avatar
Find free things to do in Maui and free Kaanapali options with our hints.

Maui, part of the Hawaiian archipelago, is a bucket list destination. The devastating fires in Lahaina changed Maui though it is open and welcoming visitors. It’s a big island, and there are lots of areas to explore from the beautiful Maui Beaches to its National Park site; many of them are free. Here are the best free things to do in Maui for your Hawaiian vacation.

Free Things to Do In Maui

After flights to Hawaii and hotels, one of the best ways to stay within budget is to add some free things to do in Maui to your itinerary. We rounded up free Ka’anapali things to do along with the rest of Maui. From hiking to beach combing to sunset watching, some of the best things to do in Maui are free. After all, visitors come to Maui to enjoy its beautiful scenery.

Free Ka’anapali Beach (and all Maui beaches)

You can’t come all the way to Hawaii without visiting at least one of its beaches. The Ka’anapali Beach might have limited free parking. However, your best bet is Whaler’s Village Shopping Center, located close by. Receive up to 2 hours of free parking with validation, so treat yourself to lunch on your day of free. Otherwise, parking is $4 for a half-hour.

Want to change up the scenery? All beaches on Maui are free!

Whale Watching

It’s true. A whale-watching tour on a boat will cost you. During Maui’s famous whale season (peak is January through March), you can view these majestic creatures from shore for free. Pick a good spot on the beach and set up camp to see whales and dolphins right in front of your eyes! This is one of our favorite free things to do in Maui. It’ll be even better if you pack some binoculars.

For some thrilling free fun in Maui check out Black Rock's nightly cliff diving show- or jump off yourself!
For some thrilling free fun in Maui check out Black Rock’s nightly cliff diving show- or jump off yourself! Photo credit: Dia Adams

Daily Cliff Diving Ceremony at Black Rock

This nightly event at the Sheraton Maui has been in practice since 1963! It’s short at 10-15 minutes long and happens every evening roughly 5-10 minutes before sunset. It’s worth it to check the time during your visit before heading over so that you don’t miss it! This ceremony recreates a dive taken by the last King of Maui. During the day you can try your hand at cliff diving from Black Rock if you’re feeling brave. Just be sure to look out for snorkelers and swimmers below before jumping!

It's not a visit to Maui without some time on the beach. Be sure to make one of your free in Maui stops a beach visit. Soak in the sand at a free Ka'anapali beach!
It’s not a visit to Maui without some time on the beach. Soak in the sand at a free Ka’anapali beach! Photo credit: Nasreen Stump

Walk along the Ka’anapali Beach Walking Path

Lined with hotels, the Ka’anapali Beach Walking Path is ideal for those who want to enjoy the beach without getting wet. This 5.5-mile path is mostly level and paved. This route passes Black Rock along with Ka’anapali Beach. There are even places to eat along the route. Parking at both ends of the walking path, along with Whalers Village.

Sunrise in Haleakala National Park is well worth the early wake-up.
Sunrise in Haleakala National Park is well worth the early wake-up. Photo credit: National Park Service

Haleakala National Park

Maui has its own national park celebrating the wonder of its volcano. Its regular admission is $30 per vehicle for 3 days.

However, National Park offers free passes for 4th graders. Additional passes include military, seniors and annual NPS passes. There are also designated National Park Service Fee-free days throughout the year. You could check out this stunning national park for free.

Free Ka’anapali Events at Whalers Village

It may seem odd to recommend a mall as a place to find free things to do in Maui, but Whalers Village is no ordinary shopping center. This Maui outdoor mall offers an abundance of activities, and on a daily basis, you can find the kid’s playscape there. If the kids want to run out some energy and you want to sit quietly and sip a coffee, it’s the perfect spot.

From hula to coconut frond weaving to ukelele, there’s something going on at the Whalers Village. It’s best to check out its schedule to see what’s happening during your visit. And it even offers free wifi.

Drive the Road to Hana

Have some time while you’re on the island? The road to Hana is roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes away from the Ka’anapali resort area but is well worth the drive. Ranked as one of the most gorgeous scenic drives, a picture is worth a thousand words here, and your picture could be free (or come at the cost of one fill-up at the gas pump)!

There are plenty of scenic stops at overlooks and waterfalls on Maui's Road to Hana to take family photos.
There are plenty of scenic stops at overlooks and waterfalls on Maui’s Road to Hana to take family photos. Photo credit: Mimi Slawoff

Ride the Free Ka’anapali Trolley

As a guest of a Ka’anapali Resort area hotel, you have access to the free Ka’anapali trolley. The trolley stops at most resorts and Whaler’s Village. Attend free events at other resorts in the area without having to pay for parking or just go for a scenic ride! Check with the Ka’anapali Trolley for a current schedule.

Nasreen’s adventures started out as business travel. Working as a territory sales manager she covered 21 states during her tenure, traveling 3-5 nights a week. As she visited new cities and states, she always worked in a quick stop at a unique or iconic site. A travel writing career was born. When her father-in-law’s cancer came back she started writing and consulting full-time around his chemotherapy schedule. Traveling with her firefighter/paramedic husband, kids, friends and solo allows her to cover a variety of situations and topics. Her four kids (19 year old boy, 13 year old girl, 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy) are professionals at the cross country road trip. After 10 years in Texas, their family is back in the Northeast exploring both familiar and new destinations. There she runs her own business providing go-to-market, sales strategy, podcast, and content marketing consulting for websites and B2B businesses. Whenever possible she writes for a variety of publications in the podcast, travel, and business space. Connect with her on LinkedIn to chat about travel, content, sales, and podcasts!
Read full bio