Maui is home to the second-wettest place in Hawaii (the Iao Valley gets about 380 inches of rain a year). However, the Kihei / Wailea area is in sunny South Maui in the rain shadow of Haleakala and averages only 11 inches of rain a year. Maui has many micro-climates which means while it may be raining in one part of the island, chances are good it’s dry in another. That “dry” area is almost always the “Sunny South Side.”
Always good to check the forecast before heading out. And remember, in Maui one of the forecasts you need to check is the surf; especially if you plan to be on the water. Click here to my favorite Maui Weather resource.
So, what can you do on Maui when it rains? We’ve come up with a list of 7 great activities for a raining Maui day.
1. Go for a drive. It is entirely possible that another part of the island has sunshine. But, please be aware of flash flooding. Flash flooding occurs when it rains too heavily for the earth to absorb the rain.
2. Check out the Maui Ocean Center. The Maui Ocean Center is Maui’s only aquarium and features many of the fish you can see when snorkeling or diving off Maui. Most of the exhibits are indoors. They have various activities scheduled (such as at the shark tank, turtle talks etc). My favorites are the frog fish (dare them to move), the resident octopus and the glass tunnel in the shark tank.
3. Read a book on your lanai! Most condo communities or individual condos have a small library. You can also check out the very-Maui Friends of Library Book Store. You may have seen it at the Queen Kaahumanu Center or at the Wharf Cinema Center (books average $2 each). But have you checked out the the Pu’unene Bookstore at the Old Pu’unene School behind the Sugar Cane Factory? It’s a treasure hunt to find, but you will see a Maui you didn’t know existed! Your reward – 25 cent books! A warning, it may be quite muddy getting there – maybe check it out before it rains.
4. Visit a museum! We have several!
- The Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (Kihei)
- The Bailey House Museum
- The A&B Sugar Museum
- Note the Whalers Village Museum is closed until fall 2016
5. Go shopping. Grab an umbrella and check out some stores or art galleries. Remember, it’s still warm even if it’s raining and you won’t get any wetter than if you were swimming! On South Maui the Shops of Wailea is open air, but still has enough roof to keep you dry, but allow you to be outside too.
What should you NOT do on Maui when it rains?
1. Please don’t go in the ocean. When it rains, we can get flash flooding which washes all sorts of debris into the ocean. If the water is murky, definitely stay out as there is increased risk of shark activity.
2. Please don’t go hiking. It happens quite regularly that hikers need rescuing due to flash flooding. It may not be raining where you are, but rain uphill can cause flash flooding. Always have an exit strategy and please let others know where you are going before you start your hike.
We know rain is not what you had in mind when you booked your ‘Fun in the Sun’ Maui vacation. But, it may be just what you need so you can nurse that sunburn. Speaking of which – remember to use sunscreen! Hawaii is inside the Tropics and is just 20.8 degrees from the equator which means the sun is quite intense.
Do you have a favorite Maui activity for the rain? Leave a message and let us know!
Hope you enjoy these tips and Mahalo for sharing!