Maui City and Town Advice
Maui city and town Advice including Maui vacation advice and recommendations for Kahului, Wailuku, Paia, Haiku, Makawao, Hana, Kula, Kihei, Wailea, Makena, Ma'alaea, Lahaina, Honokowai, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua.
See the interactive Maui map or click city below for specific advice and information by location.
The main airport (OGG) is located in Kahului, as are Maui Memorial hospital and Kaiser's main Maui clinic. Helicopter tours are located to the south side of the airport at the helipad. Kahului also has a port where large cruise ships dock, and those moving here will pick up their shipped belongings. Kahului is located on the eastern side of the Valley between Haleakala and the West Maui mountains. Weather is usually sunny with a breeze to slightly windy but the windward side does get its share of rain. Kahului is a residential community with many warehouse type businesses as well as some mom and pop stores. This is where you will find all standard shopping needs K-Mart, Costco, Borders etc. Mana foods is great for health food/co-op types, and check out Hi-Tech if you're into any kind of wave riding.
Situated northwest of, and connected to Kahului, Wailuku is where you will find the large Maui mall and Ka'ahumanu shopping centers as well as a few smaller hotels and motels. Weather is similar to Kahului and you will enjoy a nice hike around Iao Valley or golfing at the Waehu Municiple course. Wailuku is home to Maui's local and state government offices
Home of the Maui Ocean Center. Ma'alaea harbor is the kick-off point for Molokini Crater snorkel/dive trips, sport fishing adventures and a few booze cruises. There is one long beach that runs the distance south to kihei. Ma'alaea is located to the west of the Valley and thus almost always has some wind and is popular with wind surfers.
Located on west Maui, Lahaina is the main tourist destination of Maui, although Kihei is offering some stiff competition lately. Front Street is an art lovers dream destination and there are many restaurants, museums, and wonderful historical adventures. Lahaina and west Maui is home to many of my best recommendations for shows, luau, dining and adventure activities. Lahaina harbor is a famous historical destination of whalers and now is home to Goofy Foot Surf School, Maui Expeditions to Lanai, sport fishing charters and dive/snorkel/diner charters. Usually sunny and no wind however an occasional shower will pass through to cool you off. 420 Front street is not recommended but if you're looking, a better bet is befriend a concierge, hotel security or guest services professional. Kaiser has a clinic in Lahaina. Check out Dan's Greenhouse on Prison st. for bonsai's and birds, it's fun.
Just north of Lahaina. Ka'anapali "dig me" beach, black rock and many of Maui's prestigious hotels including Hyatt Regency and Spats nightclub. The weather is usually clear skies and no wind. This wasn't the tourism and hotel hotspot without good cause!
The Kapalua airport (JHM) is north of Honokowai and arriving by small plane is definitely an experience! Many Condos and apartment rentals in this area. Usually very sunny and low wind. Great access to Kapalua golf, Kahana restaurants and Honolua surf/snorkeling.
A little less settled weather in these areas with brief rain showers at times. Napili has a little market area and a fire station nearby. Some are less than impressed with an otherwise beautiful Ritz Carlton Kapalua due to the weather. Home to the Kapalua golf courses and close to great snorkeling/surfing. Plan weddings elsewhere. My favorite golf resorts are in Kapalua.
On the southwestern side of Haleakala, Kihei has become Maui's hot spot for recent mainland transplants and such has many bustling new clubs and restaurants. Although the layout of town isn't as tourist friendly as Lahaina, you will certainly find many interesting shops and are much more likely to find local families at these beaches and parks. Wailea is a high end shoppers delight with many fancy and expensive retail stores, excellent golf and world class resorts.
"Upcountry" on the side of Haleakala is home to many fascinating little towns. Ulupalakua Ranch and Tedeschi Winery are popular visitor destinations. Upcountry is known as paniolo "cowboy" country and you will find a ranch atmosphere in Makawao along with a decidedly european and artsy flare to some of the shops. A good visit preparing for a Haleakala sunset or fun shopping. Bed/breakfast's and vacation homes are the main visitor accommodations here. Sometimes cloudy and windy but usually sunny during the summer. Temperatures are much cooler upcountry than at sea level and the locals sometimes say " it's Cooler in Kula".
Maui is a very earth conscious place and Paia is the epicenter. Shops are very earth artsy and there is a good vegetarian restaurant here(Fresh Mint). Usually sunny but breezy getting windy in the afternoons. Home to Ho'okipa beach and famous for windsurfing. Stop here if you didn't already to gas up for Hana. Mmmmm Mama's Fish House.
Tip - The weather on Maui is very different from place to place. It may be pouring rain in Wailuku and dry and sunny in Kihei simultaneously. If the weather is bad where you are, go for an adventure to another area of the island! Usually a call to your concierge or a hotel on another part of Maui is all it takes for good news.
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Maui city and town Guide including Maui vacation advice and recommendations for Kahului, Wailuku, Paia, Haiku, Makawao, Hana, Kula, Kihei, Wailea, Makena, Ma'alaea, Lahaina, Honokowai, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua.