Maalaea Travel Guide


Pronounced "Mah-ah-lye-ah," this spot is not much more than a few condos, an aquarium, and a wind-blasted harbor (where there are tour boats)—but that’s more than enough for some visitors. Humpback whales seem to think Maalaea is tops for meeting mates, and green sea turtles treat it like their own personal spa, regularly seeking appointments with cleaner wrasses in the harbor. Surfers revere this spot for "freight trains," reportedly one of the world’s fastest waves.

A small Shinto shrine stands at the shore here, dedicated to the fishing god Ebisu Sama. Across the street, a giant hook often swings heavy with the sea’s bounty, proving the worth of the shrine. At the end of Hauoli Street (the town’s sole road), a small community garden is sometimes privy to traditional Hawaiian ceremonies. That’s all, there’s not much else—but the few residents here like it that way.

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