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 much more than sandy beaches and palm trees; it's a land of water and fire. Puu Kukui, the 5,788-foot interior of Mauna Kahalawai, also known as the "West Maui Mountains," is one of Earth's wettest spots—an 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 (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 (platforms, often made of stone, once used as places of worship) line busy roadways. Old coral-and-brick missionary homes now welcome visitors. 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 Makawao's T. Komoda Store & 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 26

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Kaanapali and Nearby 5

Kapalua and Kahakuloa 5

Lahaina 16

South Shore 18

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Kihei 10

Maalaea 2

Wailea and Farther South 6

Road to Hana 17

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Hana and Nearby 7

Huelo, Kailua, and Nearby 3

Keanae, Wailua, and Nearby 7

Upcountry 11

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Kula Highway 7

Makawao 4

Central Maui 11

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Kahului 5

Wailuku 6

East Maui 3

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Kipahulu and Nearby 3

North Shore 3

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Paia 3

Haleakala National Park 1

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 5

Arts/ Performance Venue 1

Beach–Sight 30

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 10

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Cave 1

Cemetery 2

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 3

Farm/ Ranch 3

Forest 3

Garden/ Arboretum 4

Geological Site 2

Golf Course 2

Government Building 1

Historic District/ Site 4

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 3

Information Center 2

Jail 1

Local Interest–Sight 5

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 2

Market/ Bazaar 6

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Mountain–Sight 5

Museum/ Gallery 8

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 2

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 7

Park/ Playground 3

Pedestrian Mall 1

Pool 1

Promenade/ Boardwalk 1

Reef 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 4

Resort–Sight 1

Scenic Drive/ Tour 4

Store/ Shop/ Mall 5

Tour–Sight 2

Town/ Village 5

Trail/ Path 11

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 11

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Family 15

Green 8

Historical 19

Views 20

Maui Sights

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Hale Hoikeike at the Bailey House

  • House/Mansion/Villa

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

Haleakala National Park

  • Geological Site

Nowhere else on Earth can you drive from sea level to 10,023 feet in only 38 miles. And what's more shocking: in that short vertical...

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

  • Educational Institution

This nature center sits in prime humpback-viewing territory beside a restored ancient Hawaiian fishpond. Whether the whales are here...

Hookipa Beach

  • Beach–Sight

To see some of the world's finest windsurfers, hit this beach along the Hana Highway. It's also one of Maui's hottest surfing spots,...

Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center

  • Educational Institution

The grande dame of Maui's visual arts scene, "the Hui" hosts exhibits that are always satisfying. Located just outside Makawao, the center's...

Iao Valley State Monument

  • Geological Site

When Mark Twain saw this park, he dubbed it the Yosemite of the Pacific. Yosemite it's not, but it is a lovely deep valley with the curious...

Kapalua Bay Beach

  • Beach–Sight

Over the years Kapalua has been recognized as one of the world's best beaches, and for good reason: it fronts a pristine bay that is...

Makena Beach State Park (Big Beach)

  • Beach–Sight

Locals successfully fought to turn Makena—one of Hawaii's most breathtaking beaches—into a state park. This stretch of deep golden...

Maui Ocean Center

  • Educational Institution

You'll feel as though you're walking from the seashore down to the bottom of the reef at this aquarium, which focuses on creatures of...

MauiWine

  • Winery/Brewery/Distillery

Tour Maui's only winery and its historic grounds, the former Rose Ranch, for a chance to learn about its history—which includes visits...

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