Things To Do In Maui When It Rains | Maui Ocean Center

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Things To Do In Maui When It Rains

August 14, 2023

So you’ve just booked your dream vacation to Maui. You were thrilled at the prospect of beach days and waterfall tours, but of course, life has a sense of humor, and the moment you land, you’re welcomed by an unexpected rainy forecast. We get it. But don’t let that liquid sunshine deter you from discovering Maui’s unique charm in a different light. To help you make the most of your time, we’ve provided some exciting ideas right here:

1. Discover the Maui Ocean Center

Who needs a beach when you have the Maui Ocean Center? The Maui Ocean Center offers a variety of indoor exhibits, allowing visitors to explore and learn about Hawai’i’s marine life without being affected by the weather. 


One of the main attractions is the Open Ocean Exhibit, featuring a massive 750,000-gallon saltwater tank with a 54-foot-long acrylic tunnel. Here, visitors can marvel at the graceful movements of sharks (Manō) , stingrays (Lupe), and other fish in their natural environment. 


The Living Reef Exhibit showcases Hawai’i’s vibrant coral reefs and the diverse marine life that calls them home, including various reef fish, invertebrates, and colorful corals. For those fascinated by sea jellies, the Sea Jelly Gallery features mesmerizing displays of different jelly species, showcasing their ethereal movements and captivating beauty. 


The History and Healing Exhibit is dedicated to the cultural significance of Kaho‘olawe, providing a tribute to the sacred island’s rich past, present, and future. Kaho‘olawe holds immense cultural significance for Native Hawaiians, once serving as a hub for celestial navigation training, agriculture, and spiritual practices. Its history also includes a period of intense U.S. military target practice and a subsequent movement led by Native Hawaiians to reclaim and restore the island. In collaboration with the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), Maui Ocean Center has curated an exhibition that complements KIRC’s previously displayed content from the Smithsonian and Bishop Museum. Through informative exhibits, you’ll learn about the island’s unique ecosystem, its importance to Native Hawaiian culture, and the ongoing conservation efforts to restore and protect it.

The aquarium’s unique exhibits are both indoors and outdoors so if you do get a break in the weather you can set aside some time to grab a dole whip and enjoy the Ma’alea harbor views. Either way, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for Maui’s aquatic world, regardless of the weather outside.

2. Explore Maui’s Museum’s

Exploring Maui’s museums on a rainy day is a great way to delve into the island’s rich history, culture, and artistic expressions. The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum offers a comprehensive exploration of the island’s “King Sugar” era, which had a profound impact on its landscape and multiculturalism over 168 years. The museum features various themed rooms, each providing insight into different aspects of the sugar industry’s influence. 


Through diverse exhibits and themed rooms, visitors can learn about the impact of the sugar industry on the island’s landscape and multiculturalism. From the influence of Maui’s geography and weather patterns to the partnership behind the industry’s development, the museum delves into various aspects of this influential time. Visitors can also gain insights into the lives and contributions of diverse immigrant communities who traveled to Hawai’i to meet the labor needs of the sugar industry. Additionally, the museum provides a glimpse into plantation life, the work of plantation workers in the fields, and the machinery used during the era. 


On the other hand, the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center celebrates Maui’s rich artistic heritage. The center provides an array of programs and workshops taught by skilled artists, offering an opportunity for visitors of all ages and artistic backgrounds to explore and develop their creative skills. Whether one is a seasoned artist or a beginner, the Hui No‘eau ensures that everyone can access quality visual arts instruction and foster a deeper appreciation for the arts.


The historic estate of Kaluanui, where the Hui is situated, provides a serene and inspiring setting for visitors to connect with the island’s past and the surrounding natural beauty.


Whether you attend workshops, explore exhibitions, or simply soak in the artistic atmosphere, the Hui No‘eau ensures that visitors leave with a deeper appreciation for the arts and a meaningful connection to the artistic spirit of Maui.

3. Learn Hawaiian Crafts

In Maui, you can find various cultural centers, workshops, and activity providers that offer classes in traditional Hawaiian crafts like lei-making, hula dancing, and ukulele playing.  


Some of the places where you can participate in these activities include:


  1. Maui Cultural Arts: Located in Lāhainā, Maui Cultural Arts offers classes in hula dancing, ukulele playing, and lei-making. They provide a fun and immersive experience to learn about Hawaiian culture and arts.
  2. Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center: As mentioned earlier, Hui No‘eau offers workshops and classes in various arts, including traditional Hawaiian crafts. Keep an eye on their schedule for specific lei-making and other cultural craft classes.
  3. Napili Kai Beach Resort: This resort in West Maui often hosts cultural programs and activities for its guests. Check out their weekly activities here:

4. Take part in the Lāhainā Historic Walking Tour

We know, walking plus rain typically don’t go hand in hand but this walking tour is not only educational but also a pleasant way to spend a rainy day, as you’ll be walking along Lāhainā’s charming streets, protected from the rain by the overhanging buildings. 


This free walking tour takes you on a leisurely stroll through Front Street, the former capital of Hawai’i, where you can immerse yourself in the fascinating stories of the area’s colorful characters, natural beauty, and unique lifestyle. The tour includes 28 well-preserved historical sites that are within easy walking distance, making it a convenient and engaging activity for a rainy day.


Starting at the corner of Front and Dickenson streets in Lāhainā Town, the tour takes approximately one to two hours, depending on how much time you spend at each location. You’ll find a diverse array of sites, from old missionary storehouses and officers’ clubs to historic churches, cemeteries, and even a former prison. As you explore, you’ll gain insight into the lives of influential figures like Rev. Dwight Baldwin and King Kamehameha III, and learn about Lāhainā’s significant role in Hawaiian history.


Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply curious about Lāhainā’s fascinating past, the Lāhainā Historic Walking Tour promises an enjoyable and insightful experience for visitors of all ages.

If you’re interested in taking this tour, start HERE!

5. Grab a Beer at The Maui Brewing Company

Maui Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts and anyone looking to experience the vibrant craft beer scene on Maui. Located in Kīhei, the brewery offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the art of brewing and savor a variety of locally crafted beers, making it an excellent rainy day activity.


The brewery tour will take you behind-the-scenes through the brewing facilities, allowing you to witness the beer-making process firsthand. You’ll learn about the ingredients, the brewing techniques, and the passion that goes into creating their signature brews. Knowledgeable guides share insights into the company’s history, the art of craft brewing, and the unique flavors that make each beer special.


Following the tour, visitors have the chance to indulge in a tasting session of their exceptional beers. From refreshing ales and lagers to bold IPAs and creative seasonal brews, Maui Brewing Company offers a diverse selection that caters to various palates. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of craft beer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


Beyond the beer, the brewery itself boasts a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere, making it a perfect spot to relax and escape the rain. Gather with friends or fellow beer enthusiasts, share stories, and savor the taste of Maui in each sip. Additionally, the brewery often features a pub-style menu with delicious food pairings, enhancing your overall experience and complementing the beer tasting adventure.

Soak It In!

While the rain might change your original plans, there’s no shortage of enjoyable activities to partake in on the beautiful island of Maui. So, fret not about the weather, and seize the opportunity to explore and appreciate Maui’s unique offerings, regardless of the forecast. Remember, every drop of rain can unveil a different side of paradise, adding a touch of magic to your unforgettable Maui experience.

When traveling to Maui there will never be a shortage of things and places to see. Make sure you’re always abiding by local and cultural laws when exploring the natural beauty of Maui and most importantly, relax! That’s what you came to do after all. 


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