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Top 10 Accessible Attractions in Maui
By: Danielle Max | Jul 18 2018

This article was written in cooperation with the Hawaii Disability and Communication Access Board. Please see their suggested traveler’s tips here: 

People generally don’t come to Maui for museums or art galleries, although there are some fine examples of both on the island. Instead, they come to enjoy the beach, the sea and the incredible weather – and there’s plenty of accessible ways to do so. Take to the sky on a helicopter trip, dive deep down on a scuba trip or just lie back and relax on one of the many picture-perfect beaches.


View of West Maui mountains | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Dana Edmunds

1. Kamaole Beach I
75 Alanui Ke'ali'i, Kihei, HI 96753
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Woman enjoys the surf along a Maui beach | Hawaii Tourism Authority

Hawaii, beach. Beach, Hawaii. The two go together like sun and sea or, well, the beach and Hawaii! Kamaole Beach I is known to be one of the best on the whole island of Maui, which is certainly saying something. There are picnic tables, grills and a whole lot of beautiful sand. Locals recommend visiting the beach in the morning when the waters are flat and calm; later on, it can become choppier due to the trade winds.

While Maui might have gorgeous beaches, there aren’t that many that are easily accessible. Kamaole Beach I is an exception. It has an accessible shower and water fountain. There is also a sand beach chair available. The chair is “operational” from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. While it doesn’t say you need to reserve in advance, it’s probably a good idea to see if you can. Call Ocean Safety at (808) 270-6136 for further details.

There are also accessible ramps from the beach park to the beach.

Parking: Four designated on-site accessible parking spots.

Public Transportation: Bus #10 to Kamaole Beach I (2-minute walk).

Find out more here.

Top Tip: The beach chair is not available when conditions at the beach are considered “hazardous,” so make other plans if the sea looks rough.

2. D.T. Fleming Park
Lower Honoapiilani Rd at Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

Evi Radauscher on Unsplash

Since this is Hawaii, and there’s nothing better than the beach, check out another accessible option at D.T. Fleming Park. Located in Kapalua and named after the man who introduced pineapple to West Maui (in case you were wondering), the half-mile beach often places on lists of the best in the world. The beach has a lifeguard substation and rescue jet skis (think Baywatch) allowing you to swim safely. There are 12 picnic tables and five barbecue grills and plenty of shady trees, so definitely plan on staying for the day.

While there is no on-site wheelchair, there is a ramp leading down to the long, sandy beach as well as accessible restrooms.

Parking: Two designated on-site accessible parking spots

Find out more here.

Top Tip: The water can get dangerous during high surf, especially in winter, which makes it a popular boarding and surfing beach.

3. Maui Ocean Center
92 Ma‘alaea Road, Wailuku, HI 96793
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Surge Zone exhibit | Maui Ocean Center

You may be surrounded by plenty of water on Maui, but for an up-close look at some of the island’s marine life, take a trip to the Maui Ocean Center. The center is home to one of the world’s largest displays of live rare Pacific coral. The Living Reef exhibit has over 40 Hawaiian corals on show and there are also displays of Hawaiian green sea turtles, an open ocean exhibit that houses up to six species of sharks, stingrays and hundreds of fish. Unlike some aquariums, the animals here are exhibited in natural environments, which means there are no regularly scheduled feedings and shows, although there is still plenty to see, do and learn.

The center is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parking: Free on-site parking.

Public Transportation: Bus #15 and #20 to Ma’alea Harbor Village (2-minute walk).

Find out more here.

Top Tip: The Makai Theater has three shows daily. With only 30 seats for each show, make sure to reserve your seat in advance at the park entrance.

4. Haleakala National Park
30,000 Haleakala Hwy, Kula, HI 96790 (Summit Area entrance, add 10 miles driving distance to reach the entrance)/ Mile Marker 42 Hana Hwy, Hana, HI 96713 (Kipahulu Area entrance)
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Haleakala Visitor Center | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Pay homage to the world’s largest volcano (okay, it’s the world’s largest dormant volcano, but still…) at Haleakala National Park. The park is big, so don’t expect to be able to “do” it all in one visit. It rises from sea level to 10,023 feet and includes diverse ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to alpine deserts. Part of the experience of Haleakala is just getting to the park. The road to the summit is extremely winding – but well maintained. The main attraction is the huge Haleakala Crater. If you want to be at the summit for sunrise (you really do!), you’ll need to reserve in advance.

The following facilities are wheelchair accessible: Park Headquarters Visitor Center, Haleakala Visitor Center and Hosmer Grove picnic area.

Accessible restrooms are located at the Haleakala Visitor Center, Kalahaku Overlook, Park Headquarters Visitor Center and Hosmer Grove.

Accessible water fountains can be found at Park Headquarters Visitor Center and at Haleakala Visitor Center.

The summit building is accessible, with assistance, via a steep ramp.

For people who are deaf, a script is available for a backcountry slide orientation program at Park Headquarters Visitor Center and Haleakala Visitor Center.

In the Kipahulu area, there are accessible parking spaces and restrooms near the visitor center. The only paved portion of trail leads to the visitor center.

Parking: On-site parking.

Find out more here.

Top Tip: All areas of the national park are remote and prone to extreme weather conditions. Use common sense before you travel and make sure you have enough gas to get there and back!

5. Maui Tropical Plantation
1670 Honoapi'ilani Highway, Waikapu, HI 96793
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Tropical Express | Maui Tropical Plantation

The Maui Tropical Plantation grows over 40 harvested crops and hundreds of tropical and native plants. Take a 45-minute tram tour of the plantation and learn about the techniques used for planting, nurturing and harvesting these crops, which include pineapple, Sunrise papaya, apple bananas, Maui coffee, sugar cane, macadamia nuts, mangoes and herbs. The tour also includes a coconut husking demonstration. After you’ve seen these goodies in the field, stop into the Scoop Shop for a taste of plantation fruit or sit down at the Mill House Restaurant for a full meal. If you are lucky – and the weather cooperates – you can get great views of the West Maui Mountains from the plantation grounds.

The tram used on the tour is wheelchair accessible. Email or call 808-270-0307 in advance to ensure accessibility.

Parking: On-site parking.

Find out more here.

Top Tip: If you don’t want to go on the tour, entrance to the plantation is free. Download the plantation’s guidebook app to get the most out of any visit.

6. Lahaina Divers
143 Dickenson Street Suite #100, Lahaina, HI 96761
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Coastal aerial of Lahaina | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Maui is stunning from above the water, but it’s even more breathtaking once you take a plunge into the blue coastal waters. If you are on the island for any length of time, think about booking a dive or two (or more) with Lahaina Divers. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done anything more than scuba before – or even if your previous deep-water experience consists of taking a bath. Lahaina Divers has been taking guests diving for over 25 years. Best of all, the company has a PADI Accessibility Award, which designates a dive business with a special commitment to divers with a range of disabilities. It might not be the most dignified experience, but dive leaders have plenty of practice with helping divers get in and out of wetsuits and equipment and in and out of the water.

The company’s two boats – Dominion and Dauntless – have accessible boarding and an accessible restroom.

Parking: Parking available in a nearby lot.

Public Transportation: Bus #20, #23, #25 and #28 to Wharf Cinema Center (2-minute walk).

Find out more here.

Top Tip: The boats cannot accommodate motorized wheelchairs or divers who weigh over 195 lbs.

7. Sunshine Helicopters
1 Kahului Airport Road, #107, Kahului, HI 96732
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Tour Helicopters on tarmack in Maui (illustrative photo)

Everyone deserves a little sunshine in their life. Head high into the sky and up, up, up towards the sun with Sunshine Helicopters. On your flight, you’ll see sea cliffs, tropical rainforests, verdant valleys, waterfalls and, well, it may all seem like a giant Hollywood set, but it’s all real! If you come to Maui in the “right” season (believe us, there is no “wrong” season), you may even get to do some aerial whale watching. The specially designed touring helicopters can hold six passengers, plus the pilot.

Sunshine Helicopters has a portable lift to transfer passengers into the helicopter.

Find out more here.

Parking: On-site parking

Top Tip: If you are the adventurous sort, make sure you leave more than 24 hours in between going scuba diving and taking a helicopter ride.

8. Queen Ka’ahumanu Center
275 West Ka’ahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI 96732
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Queen Ka’ahumanu Center

The Queen Kaáhumanu Center offers more than just shopping – although that’s certainly the main attraction. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday there’s a farmers’ market; every third Friday of the month there is “Kamaaina nights," described as “a locally grown Hawaiian concert series;” and on the first Sunday of each month, there’s “Maui Made Sunday” where you can enjoy live Island-style entertainment and shop for locally made products. There’s also a decent cinema if you want to get out of the heat.

Wheelchairs are available during mall hours free of charge at Guest Services (valid ID required).

Parking: On-site parking.

Public Transportation: Bus #1, #2, #5, #6, #10, #20, #35 and #40 to Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.

Find out more here.

Top Tip: The shopping center is a good destination to visit on your way back to the airport. There is complimentary luggage storage and real-time flight departure info and the airport is only three miles away.

9. Old Lahaina Luau
1251 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
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Old Lahaina Luau | By Luke H. Gordon from Greenwood Lake

The Old Lahaina Luau is one of Maui’s top-rated luaus. The event starts early so guests can enjoy the Hawaiian sun setting on the ocean as part of the evening’s events. Over the course of three hours, you’ll get to experience traditional Hawaiian regional cuisine (including the kalua pig), music, cultural dances and demonstrations. The luau takes place seven nights a week.

Let the venue know at the time of booking if you use a wheelchair to make sure you are seated in an appropriate location. The luau overlooks the beach, but the seating and buffet are situated on a paved area.

Parking: Parking at the adjacent Lahaina Cannery Mall.

Public Transportation: Bus #23, #25 and #28 to Lahaina Cannery Mall (4-minute walk).

Top Tip: Make sure to reserve in advance. This is a really popular attraction that usually sells out.

10. Lahaina Banyan Court Park
671 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761
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Historic Banyan Trees of Lahaina | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

The Lahaina Banyan Court Park is a humble attraction. The star of the 1.9-acre park, which occupies the site of the Old Lahaina Fort is an almost 150-year-old, sprawling banyan tree. The tree was planted in 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American Protestant mission in Lahaina and has achieved super arbor status as the largest banyan tree in Hawaii and one of the largest in the U.S. As for what to do here - be like everyone else and just enjoy the shade, watch the people and hang out (check the calendar, various cultural activities take place here during the year). And really, that’s it. A simple, free pleasure.

Parking: There is a parking lot across the road from the park.

Public Transportation: Bus #20, #23, #25 and #28 to Wharf Cinema Center (2-minute walk).

Top Tip: There are no restrooms in the park, so plan accordingly.

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