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.
Where to stay in West Maui: Kuleana Resort
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. This convenient spot is located between Maui’s sunny south and west shores
Miles of golden beaches are easily accessible in South Maui. This area is consistently one of the sunniest spots on the island, flanked by the verdant slopes of Haleakala volcano on one side, and glittering sand and sea on the other. In South Maui, you’ll love spending time outdoors!
Stunning views from shore include the islands of Kahoolawe and Lanai in the distance, plus the tiny Molokinin islet- a favorite snorkeling spot accessible by boat. Explore the miles long Sugar Beach on the north end of Kihei, to Makena State Park, aka Big Beach, to the south past Wailea. In between is a plethora of shops, golf courses, outdoor markets and restaurants to fit any appetite.
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.
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. See our road to Hana page for more info.
Note: There are very few places to stay from the Northshore to Hana, including Upcountry Maui. Staying in Maalaea in Central Maui or North Kihei in South Maui are great jumping off points for these locales. It is safest to book with a reputable on-island management company like Destination Maui Vacations. Unfortunately, illegal rentals are common on the internet, and can truly ruin a vacation.
To further explore what to do on Maui, DestinationMauiVacations.com has the best Things to Do guide around. Enjoy!