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Wheel the World’s 10 Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Maui, Hawaii

Jun 10, 2024 |

Woman lays on a longboard in the ocean and she is smiling. Another woman is positioned at the back of the board guiding her.

In partnership with Wheel the World, the Amputee Coalition will receive a donation withevery travel bookingmade using the code ‘AMPUTEECOALITION.’  Also, enjoy $50 cashback on your booking!

If you’re looking for warm weather, sandy beaches, and lush greenery, Maui might just be the paradise island you’re looking for. The 727 square-mile island is also one of the best wheelchair accessible vacation spots in the U.S. In this article, we will highlight the top accessible attractions and things to do in Maui, including an overall picture of how to effectively enjoy your time there.

How Accessible is Maui?

The island of Maui is very accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. Visitors will find that there are many options for choosing accessible things to do, outstanding accessible hotels in prime locations, and adventurous experiences for an unforgettable vacation.

Are Maui Beaches Wheelchair Accessible?

Most of Maui’s beaches are not accessible and some can be difficult to access. You won’t find ramps or pathways down to the water, however, it is very possible to still enjoy beach fun here during your vacation. Some wheelchair accessible beaches in Maui to put on your radar:

Kaanapali Beach

Located in west Maui, this 3-mile stretch of pristine sandy shores is equipped with a paved path that runs all the way along the beach. However, the path doesn’t go down to the water, so you would need to rent a beach wheelchair for access.

Airport Beach

Another beach in west Maui is Airport Beach. This beach provides great access for wheelchair users. There is a big grassy lawn before hitting the sandy shores, making it a perfect spot to spend a day. It’s like a park in paradise. The nice thing about this beach is that there is plenty of free parking available, with restrooms and showers onsite.

Kamaole Beach Park IKamaole Beach Park I

Kamaole Beach Park is a stretch of 3 beaches divided by lines of rocks. The beach park is known by locals as one of the best on the island and is a great beach for people with disabilities. There are 4 dedicated accessible parking bays in the parking lot, and a smooth pathway of wooden boards from the parking lot to the beach. One of the beach showers is accessible for people with disabilities.

Wailea Beach

Located in south Maui, Wailea Beach continuously ranks as one of the world’s best beaches, and for good reason. Wailea Beach is a stunning shoreline of white sand and picturesque views. The beach has public parking, restrooms, and showers.

Maui Beach Equipment Rentals

Because there are hardly any pathways down to the water, it is advisable to rent beach equipment that will give you easier access to navigate the terrain and allow you to go into the water. This will make your trip much more enjoyable.

Wheelchair user going into the water with a mobi-beach chair

Rent a Beach Wheelchair

There are a couple of options to consider. One of them is a mobi beach wheelchair which allows wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility to move around the beach, get into and float in the water with the help of a companion.

Another option is to go with the SOFAO Amphibian wheelchair. It is similar to the mobi chair in terms of mobility but has some slight differences. With the 4-float-stabilizer technology, the SOFAO chair is foldable without any tools and offers excellent stability and back support. It can also be a comfortable lounger with 6 different backrest positions.

Rent Beach Trax

The Beach Trax is an accessible mat that you can rent to allow wheelchair access to Maui’s beaches or other sand, gravel, dirt, and grass floors. It’s 3 feet long, easy to carry and set up, and made of recyclable long-lasting material.

Beach trax to allow for easier access onto beach areas

Where to Stay in Maui

One of the most popular areas to stay in Maui is on the western side. You will find a vast selection of beaches, a variety of restaurants and shops, fun activities, and typically immaculate weather throughout the year. Ka’anapali is a solid area to consider – and like we mentioned before, it has both Kaanapali Beach and Airport Beach nearby.

South Maui is another option to consider. Similar to the west side, it boasts long sandy beaches and is typically less crowded. However, the options for restaurants and shops are a bit more limited. In both the west and south sides of Maui, you will find excellent options for accessible hotels.

Maui Accessible Vehicles

Because Maui can be spread out, it is highly recommended to rent an adapted vehicle to get around the island. The Road to Hana, Haleakala, and other tourist attractions can be quite far from both the west and south sides of Maui.

Adapted van in Maui with a rampRenting a vehicle will give you the ability to see everything you want and maximize your vacation days. That decision can depend on what kind of vacation you’re looking for. If you would rather set up shop in one area and take in the beaches, local shops, and nearby activities, then definitely consider staying in Ka’anapali (west Maui) or Wailea (south Maui). A vehicle would not be needed, and you’ll have everything you need. But if you want to see more of the island (ex: Road to Hana), a vehicle is necessary.

The Maui Bus Transit System is Accessible

Additionally, you can always opt to use Maui’s Bus Transit System which offers various routes around the island but doesn’t cover all areas. According to their website, “All vehicles on the routes are ADA accessible.” Check out more information, including a map of routes, by clicking here.

Top Accessible Things to do in Maui

Now let’s get into the most fun part – the activities! Maui is jam-packed with exciting sites, tours, and surreal landscapes that make this island a paradise.

Go Snorkeling

I mean, you’re in Hawaii, right? It’s worth diving into the crystal-clear water and observing the vast coral gardens and diverse marine life close to the shores. A safe way to do this is to opt for a guided experience.

On this 2-hour activity, you’ll snorkel, swim and explore clear waters with equipment included and two guides to accompany and assist you if necessary. With various flotation devices available and professional assistance throughout, you’ll see beautiful ocean sights and enrich your Maui visit. Learn more about this activity.

Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

Visit Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for a self-guided visit during your time on the island. The refuge stretches over 704 acres and is home to over 30 different species of birds. There is a large modern visitor center which has educational exhibits about the natural habitat of the marshland and the important role it plays in the local ecosystem. The refuge is covered with wooden boardwalk trails so that you can explore different areas of the marshes. There are also shaded structures along the pathways with additional information boards, where you can rest and take a moment to look at the birds. You can bring binoculars and a camera to snap shots of the local wildlife.

The refuge was designed with accessibility in mind, as the wooden board pathways can be navigated independently in a wheelchair. There is also an accessible bathroom in the visitor center.

Try an Adaptive Kayaking Tour

Adaptive Kayaking in MauiEnjoy Maui waters with an adaptive kayak experience! The best time to enjoy easy ocean conditions is in the early morning. For this reason, the tours will start after an 8 AM check-in at Makena Landing. Your kayak guides will instruct you on paddling and safety and accommodate any special needs before getting on the water.

Once in your kayak, you’ll paddle out to enjoy the incredible and inspiring views of the Makena coastline and the rising green hills up Haleakala. You may even see a turtle or two! Each tour includes two guides for safety and comfort. Learn more about this adaptive kayaking tour.

Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National ParkBreathtaking landscapes, scenic sunsets and unique flora and fauna, the 30,000-acre Haleakala National Park is a must stop when visiting this beautiful island. Hosting the Haleakala mountain, Maui’s highest peak, experiencing and photographing natural surroundings can be inspiring and memorable.

The Park Headquarters Visitor Center, Haleakala Visitor Center, the summit building and Hosmer Grove picnic area are wheelchair accessible. Also, publicly accessible restrooms and parking are available. For visitors with hearing impairment, a script is available in Park Headquarters Visitor Center and Haleakala Visitor Center. Service animals are welcome!

Consider taking a group tour!

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean CenterIn Maui, you can enjoy the sea by relaxing on its beaches but also learn in the Maui Ocean Center (Aquarium of Hawaii). Focused around Hawaii’s diverse and one of a kind marine life, this place exhibits the unique Pacific coral extensively. Dive into the unique underwater ecosystem of Hawaii at this comprehensive aquarium. It is a great activity for the whole family.

Given that the center is wheelchair accessible, you will be able to explore it at its fullest potential. Housing many fish species, tunneled aquariums give you an in-the-ocean experience. Audio tours are available and service animals are welcome. For more information on accessibility and booking tickets, click here.

Live the Island Life with an Adaptive Surfing Lesson

Take a private and adaptive surfing lesson that allows you, your family, or your friends to have the time and attention required for a successful surfing experience. Whether you are a first-timer or not, instructors will support you in getting into the water and catching waves tandem style, riding the beautiful Maui waves with you and sharing the “stoke.”

The surf spots have been carefully selected for their year-round beginner and intermediate surf conditions. Assistance will be provided at all times. If you are a wheelchair user, a beach wheelchair may be provided if needed. Learn more about this experience.

Views along the Road to HanaThe Road to Hana

A great reason to rent a vehicle is for this activity. Undoubtedly one of the most scenic highways in the U.S, the Road to Hana is a must-do while in Maui. You will want to carve out several hours, preferably a full day, for the journey. The road can be quite windy throughout many stretches, but the views and stops along the trip make it incredibly worth it.

You don’t need to do the entire highway. Making it to the actual town of Hana is perfect. Some notable accessible stops along the way:

  • Maui’s Garden of Eden – This is where the opening scene of Jurassic Park was filmed! It is a lush arboretum making up 26 acres of nature trails, extensive gardens, picnic areas and waterfalls. The trails consist of packed gravel with inconsistent leveling, so it can make it difficult to navigate as a wheelchair user. However, you can still see a lot of what the garden has to offer. Find the gardens at mile marker 10.
  • Kaumahina State Wayside – A stunning area to stop to view the northeast coastline of Maui. This is at mile marker 12.
  • Wailua Overlook – At mile marker 18, this overlook is a perfect spot to have a picnic and take in the views. There is only room for a few cars at this spot, so keep that in mind.
  • Nahiku Marketplace – Located at mile marker 29 is this neat Nahiku Marketplace, a perfect spot to grab a bite, do some souvenir shopping, and take a nice break from exploring.

To view all the mile markers along the route, check out their website.

Luau Night Show

Fire show at Luau night in MauiThis show combines culture, entertainment, food and drink so that you can enjoy a traditional Hawaiian night. Listen to the beating of the drums, the Hawaiian chant, the sound of the conch. Admire the lighting of the torches, the sunset, authentic dances, with a fire-knife dance finale, and taste the exotic flavors of Hawaiian cuisine after witnessing a traditional imu ceremony. This particular Luau show takes place at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, one of the best accessible resorts in Maui.

This evening is a journey throughout the islands of Polynesia in one night! You will be able to enjoy an all-you-can-eat type buffet, and a hosted open bar with alcoholic beverages for 21 and over. Gluten, dairy, and nut free options are available. Book your Luau Night Show.

Maui Arts and Cultural Center

Maui Arts and Cultural CenterSince 1994, Maui Arts and Cultural Center has been a public facility that offers to its community and visitors world-class spectacles: music, movies, dancing and more. A perfect family activity, there is an outdoor theatre to watch amazing performances breathing Hawaii’s fresh air.

The premises are wheelchair accessible. With designated seating, an accessible elevator and restrooms for wheelchair users, headsets and Sennheiser infrared assistive listening system are available in the Castle Theatre. Service animals are welcome!

As a public facility, Maui Arts and Cultural Center welcomes you. If you would like to attend one of its shows, tickets can be bought onsite!

Go Beach Hopping

Going to Hawaii isn’t complete without bumming around the beaches! As we mentioned before, there are quite a few accessible beaches to try out. If you rent a beach wheelchair, you will be able to try out tons of incredible beaches that Maui has to offer. To name some beaches to consider:

  • Kaanapali Beach
  • Airport Beach
  • Kamaole Beach Park I
  • Wailea Beach
  • Napili Bay
  • Kings Beach
  • Kapalua Bay

Plan Your Accessible Hawaii Vacation with All the Accessibility Details You Need

One of the best ways to enjoy an accessible trip is to go through a travel agency that is 100% dedicated to accessible information. How does a Maui vacation sound? Find hotels, activities, and vacation packages in Maui.

Blog originally published by Wheel the Worldand edited by Amputee Coalition.

In partnership with Wheel the World, the Amputee Coalition will receive a donation withevery travel bookingmade using the code ‘AMPUTEECOALITION.’ Also, enjoy $50 cashback on your booking!