Kahului, Hawaii Guide

Kahului, Hawaii Guide
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Address , Kahului, HI 96732
Complete guide to the city of Kahului, Maui, Hawaii.

• General: Educational • General: Guide • General: History

Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
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Kahului Location

Kahului is one of the larger cities on Maui and located in the middle, or central part, of the island. It's surrounded by Wailuku to the west and close to Paia on the east. This is also where the island's main airport, Kahului Airport (OGG), is located and where you'll be flying in an out of if you're coming to the island. Access to and from Kahului is pretty easy as all of the islands major roads seem to eventually come here.

Kahului History

Before the 1850s, Kahului was basically an un-populated part of Maui. But as the market for sugar increased throughout the world, Kahului the city began. It was incorporated in the mid 1850s when Henry Baldwin and Samuel Alexander purchased the land between Makawai and Paia.

The land in Kahului was ideal for growing and producing sugar cane so a sugar mill and plantation was built. Workers from throughout the Hawaiian Islands and Asia came to Maui for work. A 17 mile irrigation system was built to provide water to the fields, as was a railroad to haul sugarcane from the fields to the refinery and then to the harbor. It was only very recently that sugar production, along with burning of the cane fields, finally stopped on Maui. For more on sugar be sure to read Sugar in Hawaii.

As the population grew, Alexander and Baldwin managed development of the area. In the 1940s, they had created the first planned community in Hawaii and the Western United States to handle the large amount of workers and commerce in the area. Kahului emerged into a major Hawaiian city and the harbor, ship port, and Kahului Airport (OGG) confirmed its significance. Today, Kahului Airport (OGG) is the second busiest airport in Hawaii (Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on O'ahu is the busiest) and likely where you'll be flying out of if you take a helicopter tour on Maui. Cruise ships dock at nearby Kahului Harbor.

Kahului Attractions

Kahului is not generally considered a tourist destination but is home to Maui's popular mall, Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. For visitors, Kahului is the best place to pick up supplies for your vacation. After you pick up your rental car, head over to Costco, Kmart, or Walmart to stock up on food and beverages.If your staying in a condo you can save a ton of money by eating in (see Top 13 Ways To Save Money Living In Hawaii and Top 9 Ways To Save Money At Hawaii Restaurants for more money saving tips).

Near Kanaha Beach Park is Kanaha Pond Bird Sanctuary, a large wetland sanctuary for endangered birds and waterfowl. It was registered a National Natural Landmark in 1971. The sanctuary is home to two particularly endangered species - the 'alae (Hawaiian coot) and the ae'o (Hawaiian stilt). Nature lover's should also check out Maui Nui Botanical Garden.

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) hosts a huge amount of events each year. From musical productions to convention events and concerts, the MACC is Maui's premier venue for community gathering, productions, meetings and events.

If you want to learn more about Sugar in Hawaii along with information on sugar plantations and the history of agriculture in Hawaii be sure to stop by the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum.

Tourists seldom visit Kanaha Beach Park, but locals love this place. It's popular for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Local families enjoy picnicking here because of its large open spaces, restrooms, showers, and barbecuing facilities. There are lifeguards on duty here as well.

If you plan to explore Maui in your car, the infamous Road To Hana starts here as well and can be a great way to spend a day.

View all that Kahului has to offer here.

Kahului Fun Facts

All airports have a 3 letter code that identifies them and are often named after the city they are in. So why is the Kahului Airport code OGG rather than something like KAH? Because the airport was originally named after Jimmy Hogg who was a former Hawaiian Airlines pilot who flew many test flights after the radio tower was installed at Maui airport.