On Maui, everything is close by, easy and effortless! Maui is so easy to get around that your plans can be as spontaneous as you feel. A picnic under the palms on a sandy beach? A tour of historic sites and museums? A leisurely drive along a stretch of the Island’s 120 miles of shoreline? A sunset trip to the otherworldly landscape of Haleakala? A boat ride to Moloka‘i, Molokini or Lana‘i? Explore Maui’s unique regions, where old and new thrive side by side, where nature’s beauty is the rule and where the gracious spirit of aloha welcomes you at every turn. Mahalo to the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau for providing the wealth of information and content about Maui!
Note: We highly recommend renting a vehicle, as Maui is a driving island. Also note, Maui's airport code is OGG (Kahului, Maui Hawaii).
What’s called the South Side of Maui is a scenic stretch of beaches and small towns between Ma‘alaea Bay and the end of the west-facing road at Makena. Known for its fine weather and numerous humpback whales, South Maui is also host to outstanding restaurants, shopping and golf courses and is the closest access point to the tiny crescent isle of Molokini.
As the former commercial port of the Island, Mā‘alaea Harbor now hosts snorkel, scuba and whale watch excursions. Mā‘alaea Bay is part of the National Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary. This is also a good place to catch a dinner cruise, unless you prefer to admire the views from one of Mā‘alaea popular restaurants. Be sure to stop at Mā‘alaea Harbor Village’s many shopping boutiques, handmade arts and crafts market, restaurants and Maui Ocean Center.
Have dinner in Kīhei and spend the rest of the evening dancing it off. Kīhei is also a great spot for beachcombing, snorkeling, kayaking and catching the breach of a giant humpback whale. Kīhei is home to a vibrant community, with a mix of moderately priced hotels and condominiums. Local businesses, restaurants and one of a kind shops cater to residents and visitors alike.
Book a tee time in Wailea and golf some of the most beautiful courses in the country. The weather here is just about perfect for any outdoor activity, with sunny days and clear evenings. Wailea is also known for its beautiful beaches, so plan to spend at least a day on the sand. Nestled at the base of Haleakala Crater, Wailea is an exquisitely landscaped resort community with luxury condominiums, stately homes and award-winning hotels, restaurants and deluxe shops.
Mākena, at the end of the road, offers a wild, rock-paved trail for hikers and manicured fairways for golfers. Add tennis, pools and great dining to see why Mākena is so appealing to visitors. Oneloa (long sand) Beach, or Big Beach, is undoubtedly one of Maui’s best beaches. One look and it’s easy to see how this beach got its nickname. Visitors can swim or snorkel in these pristine waters, sunbathe on the expansive sand or have lunch at a picnic table. With so much space, this area tends to be less crowded than other parts of the Island.
Situated a little over two miles off Maui’s southern coast, the tiny island of Molokini is actually an extinct volcano. Considered one of the better snorkel and dive sites in Hawai‘i, the crater shields the tiny ecosystem from the rough waters of the open ocean, and allows for startling, clear visibility. There are over 250 species of fish that live in these waters, and the view below is awesome. Because Molokini is a protected marine and bird reserve, you need to visit through a registered tour company. We'd be glad to get you booked on an excursion!
With the green slopes of the West Maui Forest Reserve as a backdrop, the Island’s western section seems nearly an Island in itself. From the bustling beach town of Lāhainā to the championship golf courses and gracious resorts of Kā‘anapali and Kapalua, West Maui offers fantastic vistas, lovely beaches and superb dining, exciting activities, museums and shopping.
The shops of this historic whaling village have been transformed into more than 40 art galleries and restaurants. You can still explore the rich history of Lāhainā by following the self-guided Lahaina Historic Trail or hopping aboard the old fashioned Lāhainā/ Kā ‘anapali Railroad. After sunset, Maui nightlife lights up in Lāhainā. And during whale season (December through May), Lāhainā Harbor is your gateway to some of the best whale watching in the world.
Ka‘anapali was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Today, the playground is known for its championship golf and beautiful white sand beaches, which are great for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. If you’ve had enough sun, head indoors for some shade and shopping. The cool, air-conditioned stores at Whalers Village are a refreshing change. You’ll find a fine selection of quality fashions, restaurants, jewelry, art and a whaling museum.
Nāpili located along the coast between Kapalua and Ka‘anapali, the area is home to several moderately priced condominium complexes and hotels. A variety of nearby shops and restaurants make this a great area for your Maui vacation.
Kapalua is a resort community of luxury accommodations located on the northwest end of the Island. In addition to renowned golf, you’ll find award-winning restaurants, boutique shopping, beaches and historic sites. Snorkel at Kapalua Beach and look for humuhumunukunukuapua‘a, Hawai‘i’s state fish. If you’re here in June, be sure to try some delicious dishes and drinks at the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival.
Central Maui populates the narrow waist between the two mountain dominated sections of the Island. Home to historic plantations, the stunning ‘Īao Valley State Park, Kūkaemoku, or ‘Īao Needle, and the commercial centers of Wailuku and Kahului, central Maui rewards careful exploration.
Here you’ll find Maui’s larger shops, malls, restaurants and the commercial harbor where cruise ships and ocean barges dock. Kahului is also home to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Check out Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, Maui’s largest mall. Or return to Kahului Airport for a helicopter sightseeing tour. From Kahului, you can venture Upcountry, begin a road trip to Hana or head to the resort areas of West or South Maui. Kahului is the gateway to your Maui adventures.
Historic Wailuku is the county seat and, along with Kahului, it is one of the commercial centers of Maui. You’ll find a good selection of local and ethnic eateries, boutiques, antiques and collectibles in uniquely charming shops. Ka‘ahumanu Congregational, named after Queen Ka‘ahumanu, is Maui’s oldest church. Visit the Bailey House Museum, converted from an early missionary home, and view Hawaiian artifacts, furnishings, clothing and artwork from the 19th century.
The cool pastures and quiet towns of Upcountry prove there’s much more to Maui than just sun and sand. Located on the slopes of Haleakalā Crater, Upcountry seems like a world away from Maui’s oceanfront resort areas. Small, charming towns are scattered throughout the area’s winding roads. With lower temperatures than most of the Island, it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket.
The combination of its pineapple plantation and paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage along with a thriving arts community make Makawao a uniquely enjoyable place to hang out. Since the late 19th century, horseback riding paniolo have been wrangling cattle in Maui’s upland fields. These days, however, you’re just as likely to run across a serious art collector browsing the town’s several art galleries and boutiques. It is this mixture of personalities and interests that make Makawao so fascinating.
In Kula, you’ll find fruitful farming communities that harvest some of Maui’s freshest produce (including the famous Maui onion). The delicious Kula onion is sweet, flavorful and appropriately mellow. Most of the local restaurants incorporate it into their menus. There are several other farms in the area, including protea, flower and an aromatic lavender farm. To the south, in peaceful ‘Ulupalakua, you’ll find a working ranch.
The picturesque plantation-era storefronts of Pa‘ia are home to many ethnic eateries and dozens of colorful boutiques offering unique gifts, surf gear and a variety of locally produced art, jewelry and clothing. Browse the charming shops and galleries before heading out to Ho‘okipa Beach Park.
The eastern side of Maui is dominated by the flanks of Mt. Haleakalā, the Ko‘olau Forest Reserve and the Hāna Forest Reserve. Dozens of streams rush down the forested slope and plunge over banks into waterfall-fed pools. Take it all in as you enjoy scenic stops along the meandering road to the unique town of Hāna.
A magical little hamlet of simple homes and quiet gardens, Hāna’s isolation is the source of its charm. The main attractions are the gentle nature of Hāna’s people and the area’s unpopulated beaches. One of the best ways to get a taste of Hāna culture is to stop by the charming Hasegawa General Store, a local institution since 1910. You’ll soon see why the town is known as “Heavenly Hāna.” Hāna is also home to some real adventure. In addition to dramatic coastal hikes, you can hang glide high above Hāna, rewarded with unmatched views of Haleakala, or go underground and explore a cave.