Holy Poseidon, we’ve had a wild winter here on Maui. While Wailea, Kihei and Lahaina tend to be dry pretty much year-round, this winter has been something else. Normally, the rains come in the form of showers that last less than 10 minutes. But if you happen to be here during those rare times when the rain clouds park over your hotel or condo, you still have plenty of options besides a soggy afternoon at the pool or beach. Here are six fantastic options for a rainy Maui day.
Hawaii Ocean Project Whale Watch
Can you whale watch in the rain? Of course you can… if you have a big, comfortable boat with a covered area to sit. Or, honestly, the rain here is so warm, sitting on the upper deck of a luxury yacht is actually kind of nice. We recently devoted an entire article on how best to prepare for a whale watch during inclimate weather. Whale Watches start at just $24.99. Book your trip here.
Maui Ocean Center
The best aquarium in all of Hawaii is also the most environmentally friendly. Eschewing popular mammal attractions like dolphin and penguin shows, Maui Ocean Center instead focuses on the fish, turtles and crustaceans that inhabit Hawaii’s oceans. The highlight of every trip to the MOC is the water tunnel that allows you to walk through a shark tank. Both kids and adults are in awe when they watch sharks, rays and fish swim above, below and all around them. Just this month (February, 2019), the aquarium opened its latest attraction, the Sphere, a 360 degree, 3D, fully immersive movie experience. The current featured movie called “Humpbacks of Hawaii” was shot over two years right here in Maui’s waters.
For the uninitiated, an escape room is an immersive, interactive “puzzle/game” in which groups of people must work together to try to solve a mystery. On Maui, there are escape rooms in Lahaina, Kihei and Wailuku. Each has their own themes. At the time of this writing, in February, 2019, the themes breakdown as follows…
– Lahaina: Prison Break, Pirate Ship, Ka Puka Bunker and Tesla’s Escape
– Escape Kihei: The Curse, Mafia Bomb Squad and The Heist
– Mystery Maui (Wailuku): The Ramen Shop and Stella Superstar
Escape rooms are great for groups of friends, families or corporate events. They usually last about an hour.
Museums and Galleries
While there’s nothing as large as Oahu’s Bishop Museum or the Honolulu Art Museum, Maui does have some beautiful and informative museums and galleries. Here are five that we recommend, listed alphabetically.
– Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum (Puunene): Though they no longer commercially grow sugar cane at this location, the A&B Sugar Museum keeps Maui’s rich sugar cane history alive at this award-winning museum.
– Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House (Wailuku): The home of the Maui Historical Society, Hale Ho’ike’ike showcases and preserves the largest collection of Hawaiian antiquities on Maui.
– Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center (Makawao): Located upcountry, the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center showcases local artists in a gorgeous, century old home that’s been converted into an art gallery and offering workshops and classes.
– Maui Arts and Cultural Center Gallery(Kahului): With rotating exhibits, the MACC showcases local and internationally renowned artists. Check the schedule to see what’s being exhibited.
– Wo Hing Temple Museum (Lahaina): Located in the heart of Front Street in Lahaina, the Wo Hing Temple Museum, while small in size, gives visitors a full and detailed history of Chinese immigrants on Maui. Especially popular is the Thomas Edison Hawaii film archives.
Maui has six public libraries located in Lahaina, Kihei, Wailuku, Kahului, Makawao and Hana. If you’re not a resident, you can acquire a 3-month visitors card for $10. If you’re someone who visits annually, you can get a five-year card for just $25. With a card, you have computer access (even if it’s sunny every day of your holiday, you may consider this if you like to print out boarding passes or maps,) you can use wi-fi, and of course, check out books and magazines. Rather than paying $15 for a guidebook, you can visit the library and check a few out, then return them at the end of your vacation. Another reading option is a bookstore. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many around. Kahului has a Barnes and Noble, but the only other “major” bookstores are the Friends of Library stores, located in the Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall, Puunene and Lahaina. At Friends of Library, the books are either new or gently used, with proceeds going back to the Maui libraries to purchase new books and supplies.
There are only four movie theaters on Maui: Queen Ka’ahumanu Center and Maui Mall in Kahului, Kihei Theatres, and the Wharf Cinemas in Lahaina. The crowds on Maui tend to be somewhat, let’s say, talkative. So, the movie-going experience here isn’t all that great. That said, on a rainy day, you can always count on a good movie. The three theaters beyond Wharf Cinemas have all been recently renovated with lounge-style chairs and the ability to choose your seats prior to entering the theater. All four theaters are all built around shopping destinations so, after your movie you can get your souvenir shopping done, pick up a raincoat or sit down for a nice meal.
By the way, did you know that you can now save $10/person on our Maui Princess Dinner Cruise or a Snorkel Adventure to the island of Lanai? Well you can! Just use the promo code VIP20 after clicking on this link: Hawaii Ocean Project Adventures.