Maui Island Overview

Hawaii's amazing natural diversity has 10 of the world's 14 climate zones. On Maui, you can lounge on a sunny beach in the morning and explore a jungle rain forest before lunch. Drive upcountry through an arid landscape to a high mountain forest. Top off your day in the chilly subalpine climate of a 10,000-ft volcano. Experience local wildlife and plants, some found no where else in the world.

Discovering Maui's unique towns and villages adds to the days adventures. From the whaling village inspired shopping in Lahaina to the wooden sidewalk in the paniolo (cowboy) town of Makawao, each area has its own flavor. Not to mention ono grinds (really good food) which you can check out on our dining guide. 





West Maui

West Maui has the most abundant sunshine of anywhere on the island. Once the playground of island ali'i (royalty), the area is a favorite of visitors from around the world. Be sure to check out Lahaina's numerous historical sites.

The charming sea port is also a launching spot for a snorkel, dive or fishing charter. Hop a ferry to another island, browse ocean front stores or have a delicious open air meal. Further up the coast, Kaanapali Beach, set among high end-resorts, is a large, sunny swath of golden sand, great for people watching. Traveling further north, the population thins and snorkeling and hiking opportunities increase. See our beach guide or more hikes on our nature page.


Central Maui

Maui was created from two volcanos, and Central Maui is the isthmus that connects them. Quaint Maalaea Harbor village lies to the south, while the business centers of Kahului and Wailuku are to the north. 

While in central Maui, pick up vacation supplies and groceries at Costco and Walmart. Just outside of Wailuku, a must see is Iao Valley State park, or hike the challenging Waihee Ridge Trail. 


Upcountry & Haleakala

Diverse upcountry includes the towns, vineyards, ranch lands and parks on the slopes of Haleakala. Cowboys and artists blend naturally in residential neighborhoods and create an authentic visitor experience.

Paniolo (cowboys) compete at rodeo and polo grounds above the rustic town of Makawao, Mosey in and out of original Makawao storefronts and round up unique gifts, or browse galleries of filled with Maui artwork. The road from town up to the 10,000-ft summit of Haleakala is nothing short of stunning, with sweeping views of the entire island. Check out our Haleakala info before visiting.


Northshore

With a laid-back beach-town surfer vibe, Paia is home to quirky shops, a big health food store and awesome casual open air dining. It's also a great place to grab a picnic lunch on the way to Hana or one of the local surf spots.

The wind comes up strong off the Northshore, making for world-class surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Even if you are not ready to hang ten, there are perfect spots to watch the action, such as the overlook at Hookipa


Road to Hana & East Maui

A winding road, with a waterfall or jaw dropping ocean view around almost every curve, ends in a remote town that is Maui's most Hawaiian. Start early and take your time- making stops along the way is half the fun.

Among stops are black, red and golden sand beaches, lava caves, tropical gardens and a roadside stand with the best banana bread around. Get an excellent history of the area at the Hana Cultural Center, mingle with the locals at Hana bay and buy a shave ice before continuing on to more beach parks, such as the Pools of Ohe'o.

Destination Maui Vacations
Administrative Office:
380 Huku Li’I Place, Suite 206
Kihei, HI 96753
808-879-0080
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