Maui Sights

Those who know Maui well understand why it's earned all its superlatives. The island's miles of perfect beaches, lush green valleys, historic villages, top-notch water sports and outdoor activities, and amazing marine life have made it an international favorite. But nature isn't all Maui has to offer: it's also home to a wide variety of cultural activities, stunning ethnic diversity, and stellar

restaurants and resorts.

Maui is more than sandy beaches and palm trees. Puu Kukui, the 5,788-foot interior of the West Maui Mountains, also known as Mauna Kahalawai, is one of Earth's wettest spots—annual rainfall of 400 inches has sculpted the land into impassable gorges and razor-sharp ridges. On the opposite side of the island, the blistering lava fields at Ahihi-Kinau receive scant rain. Just above this desertlike landscape, paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) herd cattle on rolling, fertile ranchlands. On the island's rugged east side is the lush, tropical Hawaii of travel posters.

In small towns like Paia and Hana you can see remnants of the past mingling with modern-day life. Ancient heiau (stone platforms once used as places of worship) line busy roadways. Old coral-and-brick missionary homes now house broadcasting networks. The antique smokestacks of sugar mills tower above communities where the children blend English, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Filipino, and more into one colorful language. Hawaii is a melting pot like no other. Visiting an eclectic mom-and-pop shop—such as Upcountry Makawao's Komoda Store and Bakery—can feel like stepping into another country, or back in time. The more you look here, the more you find.

At 729 square miles, Maui is the second-largest Hawaiian Island, but it offers more miles of swimmable beaches than any of its neighbors. Despite rapid growth over the past few decades, the local population still totals less than 200,000.

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Fodor's Choice


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West Maui 28


Kaanapali 3

Kapalua 3

Lahaina 13

South Shore Maui 18


Kihei 3

Maalaea 2

Wailea and Farther South 2

Road to Hana 15


Hana 5

Huelo and Kailua 3

Keanae and Wailua 7

Central Maui 11


Kahului 5

Wailuku 6

Upcountry Maui 8


Kula Highway 7

Makawao 1

East Maui 3


Kipahulu 3

Haleakala National Park 1

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 4

Beach–Sight 20

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 7

Cave 1

Cemetery 1

Educational Institution 2

Farm/ Ranch 3

Garden/ Arboretum 4

Government Building 1

Historic District/ Site 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Jail 1

Market/ Bazaar 6

Museum/ Gallery 5

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 5

Park/ Playground 3

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 2

Scenic Drive/ Tour 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Town/ Village 5

Trail/ Path 2

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 2

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Family 13

Maui Sights

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Upcountry Farmers' Market

  • Market/Bazaar

Most of Maui's produce is grown Upcountry, which is why everything is fresh at this outdoor market at the football field parking lot...

Upper Waikani Falls

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Though not necessarily bigger or taller than the other falls along the Hana Highway, these are the most dramatic—some say the best—falls...

Waianapanapa State Park

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Home to one of Maui's only black-sand beaches and freshwater caves for adventurous swimmers to explore, this park is right on the ocean.

Waikamoi Nature Trail

  • Trail/Path

Slightly after the town of Huelo, the Hana Highway enters the Koolau Forest Reserve. Vines wrap around street signs, and waterfalls are...

Wailea Beach

  • Beach–Sight

A road near the Grand Wailea Resort takes you to Wailea Beach, a wide, sandy stretch with snorkeling and swimming. If you're not a guest...

Wailua Overlook

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

From the parking lot on the side of the Hana Highway near mile marker 21, you can see Wailua Canyon in one direction and Wailua Village...

Waiola Church and Wainee Cemetery

  • Cemetery

Immortalized in James Michener's Hawaii , the original church from the early 1800s was destroyed once by fire and twice by fierce windstorms...

Waipuilani Park

  • Beach–Sight

Fronting the Maui Sunset Resort, Waipuilani Park is a spectacular place to sunbathe, relax, or picnic on golf-course-quality grass. (You...

Whalers Village Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

The skeleton of a massive whale leads the way to the Whale Center of the Pacific on the second floor of Whalers Village. Here you can...

Wo Hing Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Smack-dab in the center of Front Street, this eye-catching Chinese temple reflects the importance of early Chinese immigrants to Lahaina.