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

Area

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West Maui 28

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Kaanapali 3

Kapalua 3

Lahaina 13

South Shore Maui 18

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Kihei 3

Maalaea 2

Wailea and Farther South 2

Road to Hana 15

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Hana 5

Huelo and Kailua 3

Keanae and Wailua 7

Central Maui 11

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Kahului 5

Wailuku 6

Upcountry Maui 8

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Kula Highway 7

Makawao 1

East Maui 3

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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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"Slaughterhouse" (Mokuleia) Beach

  • Beach–Sight

The island's northernmost beach is part of the Honolua-Mokuleia Marine Life Conservation District. "Slaughterhouse" is the surfers' nickname...

Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

South of Makena Beach, the road fades away into a vast territory of black-lava flows, the result of Haleakala's last eruption and now...

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Maui's largest landowner, A&B was one of the "Big Five" companies that spearheaded the planting, harvesting, and processing of sugarcane...

Alii Kula Lavender

  • Farm/Ranch

Make time for tea and a scone at this lavender farm with a falcon's view: It's the relaxing remedy for those suffering from too much...

Bailey House Museum

  • House/Mansion/Villa

This repository of the largest and best collection of Hawaiian artifacts on Maui includes objects from the sacred island of Kahoolawe.

Baldwin Home Museum

  • House/Mansion/Villa

If you want some insight into 19th-century life in Hawaii, this informative museum is an excellent place to start. Begun in 1834 and...

Banyan Tree

  • Park/Playground

Planted in 1873, this massive tree is the largest of its kind in the United States and provides a welcome retreat and playground for...

Charley Young Beach

  • Beach–Sight

This secluded 3-acre park sits off the main drag in a residential area. The sand is soft and smooth, with a gentle slope into the ocean.

Coastal Nature Trail

  • Trail/Path

A 1.5-mile-long paved beach walk allows you to stroll among Wailea's prettiest properties, restaurants, and rocky coves. The trail teems...

Cove Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

Go to the Cove if you want to learn to surf or stand-up paddle. All the surf schools are here in the morning, pushing longboard beginners...

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