Maui Guide

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Traveling to Maui? Then start here with our Maui Guide.

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Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It embodies the best of Hawaii with it's beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and breathtaking sunsets. Maui has some of the world's finest luxury resorts, attractions, and restaurants.


There are rich traditions relating to the island of Maui. Legend has it that Maui was born a Demigod. His father was the holder of the heavens and his mother guarded the path that led to the netherworld. Maui was a master manipulator and held no loyalties to friends or gods. He was an inept fisherman but, Maui's father sent him and his brothers to retrieve the magic Manaiakalani, which translates to The Chief's Fishline symbolizing the discovery of new islands.

Maui, in an attempt to one up his brothers, ordered them to paddle as hard as possible while he would try catch the great fish. He threw the magic line in the water and the paddling commenced. Behind the speeding canoe, the hook grabbed hold of an underwater mountain range. The brothers continued to paddle and tall mountains rose above the ocean. Against the wishes of his brothers, Maui broke the magic line and what remains are the Hawaiian Islands.

Maui Regions

The island is generally broken out into a few key regions as listed below:

East Maui

This side is best known for it's winding, 52 miles of highway on the beautiful Road To Hana. The road twists around sharp corners revealing striking ocean vistas and waterfalls in a tropical rainforest. It's a lovely drive and not to be missed. That is, unless your predisposed to car sickness.

The drive is slow, but there is hardly a straight section along the way. The drive will take you to the remote town of Hana, which is nestled in the Kipahula section of the Haleakala National Park. The inspiring Seven Sacred Pools / Ohe'o Gulch are located a few miles outside Hana, where there is a short hike to beautiful pools that flow into each other and ultimately to the ocean.

West Maui

The west captures the majority of Maui's sunlight along the northwest coast. This region was a favorite vacation area for the Hawaiian Ali'i. North of Maalaea, is the rustic whaling village of Lahaina, a quaint town with touristy shops, restaurants and fun activities. Whale watching boat tours are one of the most popular attractions. Up the road from Lahaina is the community of Kaanapali, with some of West Maui's most premier hotels and resorts.

The Beachwalk along Ka'anapali Beach fronts the many resorts, which fade gently into one another leaving the natural beauty of the islands to be enjoyed by visitors. Kapalua is known for having the some of the most exclusive resorts and homes on Maui. If your planning a romantic getaway with world-class golfing, then Kapalua is the spot for you. The skies above West Maui are particularly striking at sunset.

South Maui

The southwestern coast of Maui is geographically the most arid region of Maui, but blessed with miles of long sandy beaches offering clear views of Lanai, Molokini Crater, and Kahoolawe Island. There are several luxury resorts in Wailea, including the Grand Wailea A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, and the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

The community in Wailea is upscale with fine dining, shopping. Kihei is popular with younger beachgoers and families. One of the most popular activities offered from Kihei is the snorkel tour to Molokini Island. South Maui has several breathtaking beaches, including Makena Beach State Park.

Upcountry Maui

This is the area that's inland, surrounding Haleakala, and is higher in elevation. It is known for organic agriculture, with small farms to tour and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in the town of Kula. The fertile volcanic land is ideal for Maui farming. The farm tours will introduce visitors to the uses of taro, as well as other vegetables such as sweet potatoes, and the famous Maui onions.

Central Maui

Located in the center of the island, this area is the home for most of Maui's local residents. There are several trails and sacred location to visit, such as 'Iao Valley State Park. Central Maui also has a bustling art community, with performance centers where local artists and professional entertainers perform.

Explore Maui

For more information try one of these links:

Maui Home Page

Maui Beaches

Maui Activities / Things To Do

Maui Hotels / Resorts

Maui Restaurants / Bars

Maui Shops / Services

Maui Information

Or head over to our Guide To Hawaii for an overview on the Hawaiian Islands.

Ready to start planning your Maui vacation? Then be sure to read Maui Itinerary - Intro and to use our free Maui Travel Planner.

Still Have Questions?

We're here to help! If you have a question about something, want to post a trip report, or just wanted to say Aloha then please post a message in our community forums. We read everything that is posted and do our best to answer any questions you have. If you'd like to contact us for another reason please drop us a line here.