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 the West Maui Mountains, also known as Mauna Kahalawai, 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 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 and Nearby 5

Kapalua and Kahakuloa 5

Lahaina 18

Upcountry 22

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Kula Highway 21

Makawao 1

Road to Hana 18

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Hana and Nearby 7

Huelo, Kailua, and Nearby 3

Keanae, Wailua, and Nearby 7

South Shore 18

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Kihei 10

Maalaea 2

Wailea and Farther South 6

Central Maui 12

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Kahului 5

Wailuku 7

East Maui 4

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Kipahulu and Nearby 1

North Shore 4

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Haiku 1

Paia 3

Haleakala National Park 1

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 5

Beach–Sight 30

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 9

Cave 1

Cemetery 2

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 3

Farm/ Ranch 5

Forest 3

Garden/ Arboretum 4

Geological Site 2

Golf Course 1

Government Building 1

Historic District/ Site 4

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Information Center 2

Jail 1

Local Interest–Sight 4

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 2

Market/ Bazaar 7

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Mountain–Sight 4

Museum/ Gallery 9

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 2

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 6

Park/ Playground 4

Reef 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 4

Resort–Sight 1

Scenic Drive/ Tour 8

Store/ Shop/ Mall 3

Tour–Sight 7

Town/ Village 5

Trail/ Path 10

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 9

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Best For

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Family 17

Green 3

Historical 14

Views 4

Maui Sights

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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...

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...

Fort Ruins

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Coral stone ruins are all that remain at the site that served mostly as a prison; however, the ruins are actually not the real leftovers...

Grave of Charles Lindbergh

  • Cemetery

Many people travel the mile past Oheo Gulch to see the grave of Charles Lindbergh. The world-renowned aviator chose to be buried here...

Hale Paahao (Old Prison)

  • Jail

Lahaina's jailhouse is a reminder of rowdy whaling days. Its name literally means "stuck-in-irons house," referring to the wall shackles...

Halekii-Pihana Heiau State Monument

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Stand here at either of the two heiau (ancient Hawaiian stone platforms once used as places of worship) and imagine the chief of Maui...

Hauola Stone

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Just visible above the tide is a gigantic stone, perfectly molded into the shape of a low-back chair and believed by Hawaiians to hold...

Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Built in 1927, this beautiful open-air church is decorated with paintings depicting Hawaiian versions of Christian symbols (including...

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