Here is a list of some of our favorite accessible activities that we do in Maui. We hope this lists helps you become familiar with some of the accessible activities available on Maui.
We recommend that you take the first couple of days to acclimatize to Maui and recuperate from the trip. You will have beautiful ocean views and tropical flowers to look at and enjoy by simply hanging around Makani A Kai.
During these first couple of days you will have to go into town to get food and stuff and that should be enough outings to start. After that we usually suggest 1 day with activity than 1 day off as we find the best Maui holiday is one spent relaxing at our complex as much as it is sightseeing.
Helicopter Ride We recommend going on a helicopter ride in the beginning of your vacation as it gives you a good overview of the island. We suggest taking the half island tour of East Maui that lasts approximately 45 minutes. This tour includes the stark moon-like surface of Haleakala Crater as well as the O’heo Gulch (better known as Seven Sacred Pools), lush Hana rain forest, and cascading waterfalls.
There is a full island tour available, but we feel you get a better deal with this half island tour. We think that just the helicopter ride itself is a terrific rush. Sunshine Helicopters has a lift to get you inside the helicopter.
Toll Free 1-866-501-7738
Scuba Diving is another activity that is available for the disabled on Maui. Introductory dives to full certification under the direction of Lahaina Divers are available. Lahaina Divers is trained to teach the disabled scuba diving. Scuba diving for Bruce was a wonderful adventure, but the manhandling that it included (getting wet suit on and off, getting in and out of the water) was the main hardship that stopped him from continuing this sport.
Phone: Toll Free (800) 998-3483
If you go to Hawaii it is almost a must that you experience a Luau. Hawaiian music and authentic hula dancing, Hawaiian food and unlimited tropical drinks make for an experience you’ll never forget. We recommend The Old Lahaina Luau as the wheelchair accessibility is really good and the show and food are top notch plus it has an oceanfront location. Old Lahaina Luau is very popular so you must book early.
For reservations call: 1-800-248-5828 or (808) 667-1998
Maui Ocean Center is a world-class aquarium that highlights the ocean environments of Maui and the Hawaiian islands. The aquarium is wonderfully accessible and is located just down the street from our condo. It has many indoor and outdoor tanks culminating with a 250,000 gallon tank with a clear walk through tunnel that have sting rays and sharks swimming around you. It is very educational and incorporates how the Hawaiian culture interacted with the ocean.
The Maui Ocean Center has an immersive movie experience about the Humpback whale that bring the whales and their environment to you through 4k imagery, 3D active glasses and a 7.1 surround sound system. At one point in the movie a whale swims with what seems to be just inches from your head…incredible. Non-disabled people get to sit in comfortable reclining chairs in the tiered stands but the wheelchair seating is on the floor level and by the end of the 12 minute show my neck was a bit sore because of leaning back to look up at the ceiling where the movie is projected. I didn’t feel excluded from the rest of the audience just more uncomfortable by the end. Please note that the cost of this experience is not included in the entrance fee but it is well worth the experience.
The Seascape Restaurant is part of the Ocean Center and can be accessed from within the Maui Ocean Center or from outside by a side ramp if desired. The restaurant has great harbor and ocean views and is a very nice place for lunch or dinner. The dinners are upscale with many seafood selections. The restaurant is not open every night so please contact before going.
Maui Ocean Center: (808) 270-7000
Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant: (808) 270-7068
Maui Harbor Shops is just down the street from our condo and is located next to the Maui Ocean Center and the Ma’alaea Boat Harbor. The shopping center is home to the Pacific Whale Foundation and its retail shop, a few gift shops, a dive shop, a tattoo parlor and some really good restaurants including Tante’s Fish Market and Beach Bums BBQ.
Phone: (877) 463-2731
Hula Cookies and Ice Cream
Whale watching and dinner cruise on the Calypso launched from Ma’alaea Harbor. Calypso has wheelchair access for power wheelchairs on the main deck area and the captain is accommodative to disabled passengers by maneuvering the boat so the disabled get the best view without having to change positions on the boat. Calypso is the only boat with ramped access but other boats like the Four Winds Maui will help lift manual wheelchairs aboard. Boat crews are young, healthy and helpful on all of the whale watch boats.
Calypso: (808) 856-4260
is within a 704-acre National Wildlife Refuge that is a seasonal wetland. Its water level depends on rainfall from the West Maui Mountains. The central pond can sometimes swell to 450 acres, making it one of the largest natural ponds in the Hawaiian Islands. In dry weather, the pond can almost disappear. It has a nearly one-mile wheelchair accessible elevated boardwalk beside Ma’alaea Bay. There are interpretive signs along the boardwalk to help identify the many native and endangered Hawaiian birds like the Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Stilt. The parking lot is small but has 2 really good designated disabled parking spots. The Kealia Coastal Boardwalk is open seven days a week from sunrise until 7 p.m., including federal holidays.
The Vistor Center for Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is at a different location from the Kealia Pond Boardwalk. The Visitor center has fascinating displays of native waterbirds and information about why they need protection. Visitor center hours are Monday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., closed on federal holidays.
Phone: (808) 875-1582
Café O’Lei Restaurant at the Mill House is located near Ma’alaea in Waikapu within the former Maui Tropical Plantation grounds. This is the newest Café O’Lei restaurant owned by seasoned chefs Michael and Dana Pastula. The path to the restaurant is wheelchair accessible and although we haven’t got to go there yet, we assume the restaurant is wheelchair friendly just like their other restaurants on Maui.
Phone: (808) 500-0553
The Maui Swap Meet is held every Saturday morning from 7 am to 1 pm, in the parking lot of University of Hawaii Maui College. The Swap meet is wheelchair accessible with paved pathways and has designated disabled parking. Admission is $1. This is a great place to do your souvenir shopping as there is an incredible assortment of local vendors selling T-shirts, dresses, jewelery, art and a lot of interesting items you won’t find elsewhere. The atmosphere is relaxed and you can also pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh cut flowers and eat at an assortment of local cuisine food trucks. I recommend going early as the Swap Meet so you can find the best assortment of fruits and flowers and also the later you arrive the warmer it gets.
Phone: (808) 244-3100
Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is the largest shopping mall on Maui and is located in Kahului. The mall has a nice airy feel and is set up like a traditional shopping mall with anchor stores Sears and Macy’s and over 100 other shops and restaurants in one location. The mall has many restaurants including one of our favorites for local grindz, Koho’s Grill and Bar. There is a open-air food court, movie theaters and mainland chain stores like Bath and Body Works, American Eagle as well as many local based stores like Shades of Maui and Blue Ginger clothing boutique. The mall also has storefronts for most of the main telecom companies. There are special events held in the center of the mall including a Farmers Market from 8 am to 4 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Easy access and good designated ADA parking and accessible bathrooms make it an easy shopping trip.
275 West Ka’ahumanu Avenue, Kahului HI 96732
Koho’s Grill and Bar (808) 877-5588 Website: kohosmaui.com
Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum is a wonderful way to learn about the story of the sugar industry, plantation life, and the immigrants who came to Hawaii from around the world in response to the industry’s labor needs. The laborers different cultures and traditions shaped Maui’s local lifestyle that endures today. The museum is an historical and cultural repository for the artifacts, photos, and documents that depict the history of sugar on Maui. The museum is located across from the historic Pu’unene Sugar Mill. The museum is a nice 1+ hour indoor activity that helps you understand and connect more to the island of Maui and has very good accessibility.
Phone: (808) 871-8058
Zippy’s is a Hawaiian restaurant chain serving local favorites like Mixed Plate meals like Chicken Katsu, Teriaki Chicken or Teriaki Beef with sides of Potato Mac salad or Rice or Chili on one plate or Loco Coco which is a Hamburger steak with two island eggs and rice smothered with brown gravy. Local Hawaiian meals are definately not the healthiest options but boy are they good. For a healthier choice Zippy’s has great Saimin which is a noodle soup and grilled fish meals. I also like to get Zippy’s spam musabi which is a slice of spam with rice wrapped in a seaweed to go. I’ve had their hamburgers which were not that good especially considering some of the other good burger joints on island. Attached to Zippy’s is Napoleans Bakery which has great pastries and pies to eat in or to go.
808 856 7599
Iao Valley State Monument is an incredibly gorgeous valley with a long history, not all of it accessible but is well worth going to. Accessible bathrooms are available at the entrance. There is a $5.00/car parking fee for non-residents. Open daily 7:00am – 6:00pm. Valley Isle Excursions and Polynesian Tours include a stop at Iao Valley as part of their accessible tours.
Maui Arts and Cultural Center is a public facility that hosts many events and has great wheelchair accessibility. It has a state of the art indoor theatre that can hold over 1,200 people and an outdoor amphitheater that can hold over 4,000 people. You can go to an outdoor family movie in the amphitheater, see local artists like Ukelele virtuso Jake Shimabukuro, enjoy listening to Christmas Carols, and musicians all the way up to the likes of the Eagles, Elton John and Jimmy Buffet. Check their calendar to see what is going on at the MACC while you are on Maui as it is a very nice environment to enjoy entertainment.
Adminstrative Office: (808) 242-2787
Ho’okipa Beach Park. Ho’okipa is known for its big waves that draw surfers and wind surfers from around the world. In fact world championship competitions for windsurfing and surfing take place. Pick up lunch in town and take to Ho’okipa for a nice picnic lunch while watching wind surfers and surfers either from the top of the bluff or down ocean level with the surfing crowd. Or just have Ho’okipa Beach Park be a quick stop on your road to Hana adventure.
Phone: (808) 572-8122
This highly recommended drive along the East Maui coast truly exemplifies the famous saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson
as there isn’t that much in the small town of Hana but to get to Hana you pass magnificent seascapes, dramatic waterfalls and exotic rainforests. Even though Hana is only 52 miles from Kahului, it takes a full day to drive to Hana and back as the road is quite twisty and you must cross 59 one-lane bridges and navigate over 600 hairpin curves. Pick up a picnic lunch and fill your car with gas in Paia as there are limited services along the way. Also consider downloading the GyPSy Guide (gps app) for Maui, which includes the Road to Hana on your smart phone as it helps you know where all the interesting spots are along the way. To take full advantage of the adventure requires approximately 10 to 12 hours.
Makawao is an old cowboy town with interesting shops and galleries. Rougher accessibility but do-able. Sherri Reeve Art gallery is located here and is Amy’s favorite. Sherri is often in the gallery and is really down to earth and friendly so it’s a real treat if she is there. We also enjoy Hot Island Glass. It is a glassblowing studio where you get to watch them create art. There are a few restaurants such as Polli’s for Mexican Food, Makawao Garden Cafe and Courtyard Cafe. Makawao is also home to T Komoda Store & Bakery, which although is not accessible has an incredible Long John donut with vanilla custard filling and local favorites like Guava Malasada and Stick Donut.
Sherri Reeve Gallery (808) 572-8931
Hot Island Glass (808) 572-4527
Polli’s Mexican Restaurant ((808) 572-7808
Makawao Garden Café (808) 573-9065
Courtyard Café (808) 572-4877
Komoda Store and Bakery (808) 572-7261
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner at Kula Lodge Restaurant. This restaurant has good food and beautiful views of the ocean and Maui’s isthmus and West Maui Mountains. It is located upcountry in Kula and the sunsets from the restaurant are stunning. On the way to Kula Lodge you will see a variety of landscapes from lush green rolling hills to fields of cacti. The cattle graze on the hillsides among the cacti. In the spring the Jacaranda trees are in bloom and they become full of vibrant violet colored blossoms. The restaurant is accessible and their gardens, which have a wide variety of protea, are accessible but some pathways are a bit steep. Designated accessible parking out front and have accessible bathrooms.
Phone: (808) 878-1535 Website: kulalodge.com
Drive to Haleakala Crater at Haleakala National Park. This drive goes through Upcountry Maui and climbs up 10,000 feet from the ocean to the crater. The crater looks like a moonscape with ever changing colors. The crater is about 3 miles in diameter and 64 miles around. There is a big hype about going for sunrise, but we find it more enjoyable to go after having had a good night’s sleep. We suggest going there towards the beginning of your vacation as the temperatures are very cold and the longer you get used to the warm weather, the harder it is to enjoy the crisp, cold weather at Haleakala. Even with the cold temperatures, we really enjoy the time we spend at the crater. Remember to take warm clothes with you and also note that the air is thinner at 10,000 feet so be careful. This adventure takes about 5 hours round-trip and the road to the crater from Kula has many switchbacks. If you decide to go there for sunrise you will need to call in advance for reservations. And you may want to stop at Kula Lodge Restaurant for breakfast on your way back down. Valley Isle Excursions and Polynesian Tours have accessible tours to Haleakala.
Phone: (808) 572-4400 Website: nps.gov/hale/index
Maui Wine – Hawaii’s only winery is located upcountry Maui at the elevation of 1800 feet on the historic Ulupalakua Ranch. The grapes are grown on site and the tasting room which is wheelchair accessible was originally built as a cottage to accommodate King Kalākaua, the last reigning King of Hawai’i during the 1870s. The drive to the winery is along a rolling paved road that passes massive eucalyptus trees and jacaranda trees with violet blossoms in season. Sweeping views of the ocean, Lanai, Kaho‘olawe, Molokini crater, and the West Maui Mountains fill your vision to the South and West. To the east, rolling hills of green frame Plantation-style homes, herds of sheep and cattle, and snaking lava rock walls.
Phone: (808) 878-1266
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop located in Olowalu is a unique and fun lunch stop on the way to Lahaina. The restaurant is in a comfortable but sometimes crowded, plantation-era building that has personality and is accessible. The food is really good and the pies both the savory and sweet versions are incredible. Leaving the restaurant heading back to the condo is a bit challenging as you are getting on a busy highway but we find with a little patience there are breaks in the traffic so it is doable.
Phone: (808) 662-3600
Lahaina Historic Trail Lahaina was the whaling capital of the world around the mid 1800’s with it peaking in 1846 with 734 whaling ships coming through Lahaina. That is a lot of ships with a lot of rowdy sailors converging on a small town making for a colorful period. Many buildings from this period have been saved including the courthouse, jail, fort, Bailey House, etc. The walking “trail” is accessible with most of the buildings being at least partially accessible. Lahaina can be quite hot especially when touring the historic sites that are a block away from Front Street so take this into consideration when planning the walking tour.
Lahaina Front Street Friday Night Art Crawl is a lot of fun and very accessible. Lahaina is home to many incredible art galleries and on Friday night they arrange special events and some galleries greet you with a complimentary glass of wine. The galleries have many incredible paintings and art pieces to look at with great staging and lighting to maximize the experience. Don’t let the prices intimidate you ($50k + is common) or stop you from experiencing Art Night as the galleries know most everyone won’t buy a piece and even though the salespeople in the galleries are looking to sell you the pieces I have never felt awkward or pressured from the salespeople. Lahaina’s Front Street also has great tourist shopping for clothes and souvenirs along with many fine restaurants and bars. Lahaina can be hot during the daytime so doing Lahaina Front Street at night time is more fun as it becomes a warm summer night adventure with a background energy of happy crowds and music. All of Front Street has curb cuts and most sidewalks have been widened so getting around in a wheelchair is easy even with crowds.
Kimo’s Restaurant is located on Front Street in Lahaina and is a great place to enjoy oceanfront dining. The lunch menu has burgers and fresh fish meals and dinners are more upscale. Dinners are usually served upstairs but they’ll accommodate a wheelchair user by bringing meals down to you and the wait staff are happy to do so. The accessible bathroom offered is the employee’s bathroom which has awkward accessibility but works when needed. And…if you think you might return to Kimo’s or go to another of TS Restaurants (Duke’s, Leilani’s on the Beach, or Hula Grill) keep your receipt because when you present the receipt on your next visit you will receive a complimentary slice of Hula Pie with a purchase of 2 entrees.
Phone: (808) 661-4811
Warren and Annabelle’s Magic Show. I haven’t been to it but a few of our guests say it is absolutely incredible and a highlight of their trip. The guests who went included one couple on their honeymoon and they said the magic show was lots of fun and slick, food and service was first rate and the wheelchair accessibility of the eating area and theater was inclusive and not separate. This is a fun option when looking for a different evening activity.
Phone: (808) 667-6244
Jesus Coming Soon neon sign If you are a fan of the Eagles there is an interesting landmark on Maui mentioned in their song “The Last Resort” from the Hotel California album. The lyrics of one of the last verses goes:
You can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina
Just like the missionaries did so many years ago
They even brought a neon sign ‘Jesus is Coming’,
Brought the white man’s burden down, brought the white man’s reign
This was the first time I ever heard of Lahaina and here is the actual sign that is mentioned in the song and it is located just outside of Lahaina. The verbiage is a bit different (Jesus Coming Soon) but this sign was the inspiration.
Location: Apostolic Faith Church 1361 Palolo Ave. Lahaina
Star Noodle is an oceanfront restaurant located at 1285 Front Street, north Lahaina. Great food and service with a casual atmosphere. Good accessibility, designated parking and accessible bathrooms.
Phone: (808) 667-5400
Half or Full Day Ka’anapali Adventure Consider starting this adventure by driving to Kapalua for breakfast at the Plantation House Restaurant. We suggest your next stop be the Ka’anapali Trail/Boardwalk. The trail, which is boardwalk and pavement, is approximately 4 miles (out and back) or 6 miles if you go all the way to the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort. The trail/boardwalk meanders through open space, parks and resorts while following the shoreline. There is free public parking located at the end of the Honoapiilani Park Access Road that is on the north end of the trail/boardwalk. Designated accessible parking spaces are located closest to the ocean and there are accessible washrooms here. We started this adventure knowing it was a long walk so our plan was to return using the public Maui Bus if we got tired or if it was too hot. There is a bus stop at Whalers Village Shopping Center located midway through the resorts of Ka’anapali and the West Maui Islander Bus Route #28 which leaves every hour goes north with a stop close to the Honoapiilani Park Access Road. We
really enjoyed the walk along the ocean and wandering around a few of the resort. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort has incredible exterior art located throughout the grounds and they even have penguins in one of their water features. On our return back to Whalers Village we missed the bus by 7 minutes so we decided to walk back with our next stop to be Duke’s Beach House. In the end the girls had 6.2 miles on their iPhones. There was a nice breeze and everything was level so it was enjoyable. We got to Duke’s for happy hour around 3 p.m. and had a great late lunch and drinks while chilling out watching the ocean and people and listening to relaxing music. We had no time line so we just sat there as I think the girls were a bit tuckered out. It was a short walk to our van and on the way home we stopped at Front Street in Lahaina to check out several souvenir stores. It was almost sunset as we drove home so we stopped at McGregor Point for got to watch an amazing sunset. It was a long day but without any time commitments we just meandered through the day. We all slept very well that night and had an easier day the next by staying oceanside at the condo.
Duke’s Beach House Maui is a very nice but casual restaurant located in North Ka’anapali within the grounds of the Honua Kai Resort. Duke’s is named after famed surfer and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku and the restaurant walls are filled with Duke and his surfing memorability. Duke’s Beach House has great views, great service and great food at affordable prices. We highly recommend it! And…if you think you might return to Duke’s or go to another of TS Restaurants (Kimo’s, Leilani’s on the Beach, or Hula Grill) keep your receipt because when you present the receipt on your next visit you will receive a complimentary slice of Hula Pie with a purchase of 2 entrees.
Phone: (808) 662-2900
Ka’anapali Boardwalk This is approximately an one mile paved oceanfront walkway stretching from the Sheraton Maui Resort at Black Rock past many hotels, restaurants, shops and condos. The Sheraton is on the North end and the Hyatt is on the South end. While walking the boardwalk, you will have experience the atmosphere and have amazing views of one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches. Parking can be a bit hard to find in Ka’anapali so the easiest option is paid parking at Whalers Village. Whalers Village has lots of interesting shops as well as great places to go for food and drinks. The Maui Bus stops at Whalers Village so taking the bus here is another transportation option.
Whalers Village (808) 661-4567 whalersvillage.com
We recommend driving clockwise from Ma’alaea and stopping to have breakfast or lunch at the Plantation House in Kapalua. From there, continue north which will lead you all the way around the West Maui Mountains to Wailuku. The scenery is very beautiful, but keep in mind that there are some tight, twisty roads and one-lane bridges (similar to the way the road to Hana used to be). The drive is well worth your time and effort.
The Plantation House Restaurant in Kapalua. The Plantation House restaurant is located in the club house of the Plantation Course which hosts the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. There are breathtaking views from the restaurant as it overlooks the golf course onto the ocean and to the other island of Molokai. The open-air restaurant is roomy and easy to get around in a wheelchair. The service is very good and the Blackstone Benedict on their Brunch menu is my absolute favorite. It is a wonderful way to start the day.
Phone: (808) 669-6299
DT Fleming Beach is a beautiful, full service public beach that has a life guard, picnic tables, accessible bathrooms and ample parking including designated disabled parking spot. The beach park is accessible to the top area where you get the views of the big waves and the benefit of the shade trees but getting down through the sand to the beach in a wheelchair is problematic.
is an exotic oceanfront pathway through a protected bird nesting area. The trail is hard terrain but doable so well worth the challenge and adventure.
Maui Brewing Co Maui’s own craft brewery is the largest craft brewery in Hawaii. 60-minute guided tours on the half-hour provide an up-close glimpse of their brewhouse, cellar and packaging line. The tour ends with a tasting of our flagship beers with one of their wonderful guides. The brewery tour, tastings and restaurant all make for a fun afternoon with beautiful views. Located at 605 Lipoa Parkway in Kihei open daily 11:30 am – 9:30pm.
Phone: (808) 201-BEER (2337)
Kihei Aquatic Center. Located at 303 E. Lipoa St., Kihei this is a great public aquatic center that has two large heated pools with lifts. It is never busy and works great for me when I am swimming for exercise. Visitors are welcome and there is no cost to use the facility.
Phone: (808) 891-4960
meanders along the black lava coast of Wailea and the grounds of the big four star resorts. Easily accessible parking can be found at the Ulua Beach Park which is a free beach parking lot just south of the Grand Wailea resort or at Polo Beach Park, a county park with a parking lot and facilities located at the sound end of the coastal walk near the Fairmont Kea Lani. Please use sunscreen and take extra water as there isn’t much shade along the walk and it can get hot during the day
Phone: (808) 875-1234
is a beautiful, quiet beach park located in Makena. Grass goes up to the sandy beach. Good public parking and accessible bathrooms. Keawala’i Congregational Church a beautiful stone church founded in 1832 is located in the area and well worth your time to visit.
is at the end of South Maui and is raw nature. The last volcanic eruption happened over 200 years ago and this is where it entered into the ocean. To get here you travel a paved undulating road across the lava field and end at Ahihi-Kinau Bay. The black of the rock, blue of the ocean and the white of the surf are dramatic. It is quite bumpy for getting around as the parking lot is rocky and there isn’t much shade, but it well worth the adventure. On the way out to Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve you pass some interesting private estates.