Vacationing on Maui is a no-brainer. From lush bamboo forests and miles of coastline to a national park with a 10,023-foot volcanic summit, the Hawaiian island is easy to fall head over heels for.

It comes as no surprise, then, that nearly 3 million people visit the Valley Isle each year. But what if you are in search of solitude, or at least a little elbow room? No problem – here are some places to eat, sleep and play to help you escape the crowds and feel like a local in no time.

Two people hike along a trail through a volcano in Maui's Haleakala National Park; Maui sites without tourists
If you skip the sunrise crowds, Haleakalā National Park becomes an otherworldly private volcanic experience © M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

1. Explore a volcano

Haleakalā National Park, known as one of the quietest places on earth, should be on your short list. Named for the impressive Haleakalā volcano, this national park is packed with spectacular terrain as far as the eye can see. Skip the sunrise crowds (and the permit that goes along with it) and trek with Hike Maui mid-morning instead, when there are fewer people in the park.

A guide will take you on Halemau’u trail, a rocky path that leads to a crater overlook, and Sliding Sands trail (also known or Keonehe’ehe’e Trail) where you hike into a crater so large the island of Manhattan could fit inside. Since each hike is about two miles round trip, it’s the perfect intro to Haleakalā. No doubt you will want to return.

When you do, consider sunset at the summit to take in views reminiscent of the moon’s surface. On clear days, you can see four more Hawaiian islands. But bring your jacket – it’s chilly at the top. Another option is to go to the summit just after the sunrise crowd leaves. Around 8 a.m. on most mornings you will have many locations to yourself. Stay on the trail as the ecosystem is fragile, and be prepared for high altitudes and rainy conditions.

A woman walks along a black beach with bleached white rocks in Hawaii; Maui sites without tourists
While the crowds opt for powdery white beaches, you'll have the path to yourself if you stroll along the oceanside King's Trail © Sarah Sekula / Lonely Planet

2. Take an oceanside hike

Fairmont Kea Lani, Hawaii's only all-suite and villa resort, will win you over from the get-go. With the resort’s focus on wellness, there are plenty of ways to score quiet time. Sign up for a 4-hour guided hike along King’s Trail, an area that unified Maui’s 12 districts in the 16th century. Other than the resident goats, you’ll almost have the trail to yourself – the hike is from 6:30 am to 10:30 am and is for only two to four guests. Not only will you get in your steps before lunchtime, you will also get a wallop of Hawaiian culture. The Fairmont’s energy ambassador, who has a BS in exercise physiology, provides historical and cultural tidbits (not to mention snacks).

Back at the resort, continue your day with a view of Wailea's Polo Beach (which is rarely crowded) for an al fresco yoga session or deep-tissue massage at the Willow Stream Spa. Come evening, settle into a Wellness Suite with a vitamin-C-infused shower, sleep-enhancing linens and diamond-infused facial masks.

Like this? You might also like: Top 10 Maui travel experiences

A woman picks lavender at a farm, with the mountains of Hawaii behind her; Maui sites without tourists
You can sample all things Lavender – and have a glorious meal as well – at an upcountry lavender farm on Maui © Sarah Sekula / Lonely Planet

3. Visit a lavender farm

Head upcountry to Kula for a peaceful day at Ali`i Kula Lavender farm, where there’s 13.5 acres worth of beautiful rolling hills to explore. Not only is it home to about 55,000 lavender plants and 25 different varieties of lavender, you can also roam among juniper, Italian cypress, grapevines, wisteria, 30 citrus trees, sugar cane and avocado trees.

Up your plant knowledge with a 30-minute walking or golf-cart tour. Don’t leave without sampling lavender tea and scones. For something a bit more fancy, schedule a gourmet picnic lunch or private tea party (pinkies up!). Before hitting the road, pop in the gift stop for lavender-related gifts like body butter, gourmet seasoning and shortbread cookies. Pro tip: Wear comfy shoes; the farm is on the slopes of Haleakalā.

A man in a black apron advertising O'o Farm holds out a freshly baked pizza; Maui sites without tourists
Let the folks at O'o Farm help you start the day off right, with a breakfast frittata © Sarah Sekula / Lonely Planet

4. Breakfast at O’o Farm

Good things happen when two surfing-buddies-turned-restauranteurs decide to buy a citrus and stone-fruit orchard. The result? Quality local produce for their local Maui restaurants (Pacific’O, The Feast at Lele and Aina Gourmet Market) and a place where people can learn about living off the land.

The 3-hour coffee tour at O’o Farm takes guests through rows of fruit trees and garden vegetables and among Hawaiian coffee plants (if you look closely, you might spot the many chameleons). After sampling herbs and veggies in the meticulous garden, enjoy a gourmet breakfast. Around the table it’s easy to get to know your fellow travelers. And the cool, upcountry climate and bi-coastal views are sure to put a smile on your face.

A sea turtle swims in a sapphire blue sea surrounded by coral; Maui sites without tourists
Provided you abide by the rules, snorkeling with sea turtles can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience © OverboardDadPhotography / Getty Images

5. Snorkel with sea turtles

Off the shores of Maui’s Makena Beach is the perfect snorkeling spot. Maui Kayak Adventures takes guests out to a series of underwater lava formations developed long ago by the eruptions of submarine volcanoes. Green sea turtles flock to this area, and there’s nothing like swimming alongside them (don’t get too close, though, it’s illegal to pet, chase or ride them). Through the sun-dappled, turquoise waters, it’s easy to spot the adorable creatures along with red pencil sea urchins, butterfly fish and moray eels.

It’s blissfully peaceful below the surface. In other words, if you’re serious about getting away from it all, snorkeling should do the trick. Squeeze in some volunteer hours while you’re at it. Maui Kayak Adventures and Hawaiian Paddle Sports host beach cleanups and other opportunities to give back each month.

The gnarled hands of a senior hold fresh, ripe pineapples at a farmers' market in Hawaii; Maui sites without tourists
Fresh produce from a farmers market in Hawaii will taste unlike anything you've had on the mainland or other parts of the world © Sarah Sekula / Lonely Planet

6. Buy fresh produce at the farmers market

On any given Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you’ll find a farmers market at Maui Nui Farm well worth the drive upcountry. Thanks to the cooler temps, rich volcanic soil and consistent rainfall in Kula, produce flourishes here. Marketgoers can purchase everything from dinosaur kale, dragonfruit, lettuce, zucchini, bananas, papayas, strawberries, avocados and pineapple.

Be on the lookout for a lovely lady named Nui who runs the 40-acre farm along with her son, Kit, six dogs and seven cats. Nosh on Thai food afterward at Nui’s Garden Kitchen food truck, which serves up tasty pad thai, kalua pork and smoothies.

Looking down from a helicopter at the Hana rainforest and a large waterfall pouring into a lagoon; Maui sites without tourists
The road to Hana is usually thronged with visitors, but you can literally float above the crowds with a helicopter tour © Sarah Sekula / Lonely Planet

7. Visit Hana via helicopter

Take to the skies with Maverick Helicopters on a 75-minute tour that swoops guests away to the remote Hana rainforest. Soar over Maui’s photogenic north shore where it’s easy to spot waterfalls, the winding road to Hana, seaside mansions and the iconic Jurassic Rock. You’ll also pass over Jaws, a famous surfing spot that whips up monster waves. But that’s not all: The chopper lands on a former taro plantation in Wailua Valley where you can eat fresh mango, stand under a monkey pod tree and gaze at the  overwhelming views.

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