Maui is expensive—or at least it can be. The cost of living in the Hawaiian Islands is one of the nation’s highest, and the cost of vacationing here in paradise can sometimes seem overwhelming. With that being said, not every activity needs to break the bank or require a second mortgage. Budget deals abound in the islands, and a little sleuthing and strategic planning can really save you some kala. Outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming are free, and so are naturally stunning moments such as spying whales or watching the sun go down. The deals aren’t limited to the outdoors, however; if you choose the right spots, you can find dining, entertainment, and even golf at discounted prices here. So hit a happy hour to save on dinner, or catch a free concert or show, and don’t forget that exploring outdoors is a free way to spend the day.
Related: Things to do in Maui
Free Hula Shows at the Lahaina Cannery Mall
Luaus are great for the endless food, but if watching hula is all you’re after, the free hula shows at the Lahaina Cannery can save you the price of a luau. There are regular shows at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; on weekends, the keiki show off their hula talents at 1 p.m.
The Shops at Wailea
Sure, The Shops at Wailea have tiny boutiques' high prices — but this swanky shopping complex also offers free cultural activities every day, such as ukulele lessons, lei po'o making, and coconut weaving. On top of that, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every third and fifth Wednesday of the month, you can enjoy free concerts from Hawaiian musicians at the main Fountain Courtyard.
Lahaina Hawaiian Music Series Concerts
On the last Thursday of each month, the lawn in front of the Baldwin Home Museum hosts free Hawaiian concerts. These “talk story” gatherings feature local musicians who usually command high fees, and the community atmosphere on famous Front Street helps celebrate Lahaina’s heritage. The shows start at 6 p.m., but you’ll want to arrive early to get a spot on the lawn.
While morning green fees at Maui’s best courses can cost upwards of $300, booking a tee time after 12 p.m. can cut the rates in half. At Maui Nui and Pukalani courses, afternoon fees are as low as $35—and if the weather forecast calls for light winds, you’ll play in exactly the same conditions as those who paid double to tee off in the morning.
Explore Maui’s Northwestern Coast
Don’t have the time to drive to Hana? The 9-mile stretch to the north of Kapalua is one of the island’s best drives. Hike the Kapalua Coastal Trail or trek to Honolua Valley, and visit the thundering coastal waterspout at Nakalele Blowhole. This drive has some of the island’s best views, and all you pay for is gas.