Wailuku Great Place To Stay In Maui For Nature Lovers
Move further into Central Maui, and youll find the coastal views giving ways to more pastoral scenery.
It might not be the expectation most people have when they plan a trip to Hawaii, but the town of Wailuku has a special kind of magic, and its well worth a trip for anyone who wants to see more than just poolside cabanas.
Lush and surrounded by verdant trees and fields, Wailuku sits happily within the shade of the West Maui Mountains. Brace yourself though, because this isnt a resort town. While youll find plenty of welcoming people in Wailuku, its off the beaten trail for most vacationers.
Instead, its become a very popular place for former visitors now looking for a reasonable place on the islands to move to.
Much of the land is rural and residential, but that means that you can sometimes find some very large and very comfortable plantation-style houses at great prices.
Wailuku is located right in the middle of the Maui, so its generally not hard to get anywhere. But the main problem is that there isnt a whole lot to do around Wailuku.
Nature lovers will find a lot to love in the abundant hiking trails in and around Wailuku, but the town itself is pretty small.
That said, plenty of people fall in love with the idyllic small town feel of Wailuku. Market Street in downtown is unforgettable a stretch of quirky shops and eateries that really captures the eccentric feel of the town.
Must See & Do On The Road To Hana
The scenic Road to Hana on Maui is the undisputed top attraction on the island. We’ve been researching the attractions on the Hana Highway since 2002 when the highway first made a major and incredibly positive impression on us. We can now offer our visitors nearly 20 years of expertise on this beautifully scenic drive. From checklists for making the drive to the best guidebooks to audio CDs- we’ve researched it all.
This entry includes resources to provide Road to Hana driving tips and advice, plus maps and even information regarding closures, when applicable.
- Road to Hana Checklist – What to do and what to take on the drive
- Road to Hana Questions & Answers
- Road to HanaTours & Excursions we recommend
Separately, you can explore theBest Stops on the Road to Hana, learn exactly what time to start, and read our driving tips for making the drive.
Every twist and turn of the Road to Hana is something to see.
Road To Hana Planning
Hello all, after much consideration, we decided to book a place in Hana so that we can take our time and break up the drive since my boyfriend will be the sole driver. We have two MUST DOs and they are hiking Pipiwai Trail and visiting Black Sands Beach. I understand I need a reservation for Black Sands Beach, but I need some advice on how to plan our two days, including when to reserve Black Sands Beach.
We are staying in Lahaina. We were advised to go directly to the Pipiwai Trail, so does that mean we will automatically be on the reverse /back road? . Full disclosure, my boyfriend is used to mountain driving and will likely do better driving with locals, but we will be in a rental, and I know that is a consideration.
We are staying about 10 minutes away from Black Sands Beach.
OPTION 1: We will leave Lahaina early. Should I book the 3-6pm Black Sands Beach slot on our 1st day and see how much we can do before the time slot? On Day 2, would we continue on RTH and have our final stop be Pipiwai/’O’heo Gulch and head back to Lahaina through the Upcountry route?
OPTION 2: Should we go to Black Sands Beach in the morning on our 2nd day? I am thinking the 10-12:30 slot would be best since we might be pretty tired from Day 1. If this is the better option, when do we go to Pipiwai
OPTION 3: Something else, what do you suggest?
Thanks everyone! You’ve been a huge help so far!
14 replies to this topic
You don’t want to drive on the southern route whether you’re coming or going.
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It Sits On Maui’s Wild East Coast Reachable Via The Beautiful But Harrowing Drive On Hana Highway Or On A 20
Hana is in East Maui, on the island’s windward coast, and is reachable by a highway that’s the island’s most beautiful road — and the most difficult to drive. Guests can also opt to fly to Hana Airport from Kahulaui, a 20-minute flight on an eight-seater plane. The hotel will provide this airfare complimentary when you book a three-night all-inclusive package. This side of the island is greener, wetter, and windier than most of Maui, where almost all resorts stick to the leeward coast for its far dryer, more consistent weather. The Travaasa Hana, Maui wouldn’t be what it is without its verdant, unspoiled natural surroundings . The hotel isn’t a beach resort in the tradition of most Maui hotels: It overlooks the ocean but its nearest swimmable beach is about 10 minutes by car, and guests are likely to spend as much time driving and hiking to the natural landmarks along the coast as going to the beach. There is a red-sand beach that can be reached via a nearby, somewhat treacherous trail, but the hotel doesn’t advise it due to the questionable safety of reaching it.
This Beautiful And Remote Oceanfront Property Offers Expansive Grounds And All
Formerly Hotel Hana Maui, Travaasa Hana, Maui’s history reads like a recap of the baby-boomer generation. Born in 1946 when a Californian developer bought 14,000 acres of land for a ranch and six-room inn, it slowly expanded and developed a hippie ethos of sorts — local, organic food, meditation and yoga classes, and no clocks or TVs in rooms — in the remote wilderness of East Maui. Renovations over the years have given guests more creature comforts, though there’s still no air-conditioning or tech aside from phones in rooms. At Travaasa Hana, Maui, visitors will encounter a remote natural setting, though no direct beach access, a faithfulness to the local Hawaiian culture, and spacious stand-alone bungalows with terraces that overlook the ocean or garden. The service is on par with luxury resorts, and with only 71 units on the property, the vibe feels intimate. Grounds are expansive here and divided into garden and ocean sides, the latter of which requires key card access. Staff are on hand to shuttle guests around via golf carts, and tipping them isn’t allowed.
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Where To Stay In Maui: 12 Best Areas
Where to stay in Maui? Where you stay in Maui is more important than it is at other destinations because the public transportation system in Maui isnt ideal. That means that youll likely want to gravitate to a certain region for most of your stay or rent a car.
Fortunately, there are areas that can suit practically any taste so whether youre hoping for an intimate honeymoon getaway, an opportunity to learn more about the local culture, or a chance for a high octane outdoor adventure, you can find somewhere to stay thats perfectly tailored to your needs.
Apart from the unique personality that each neighborhood brings to the table, the various regions of the island itself tend to have their own vibes as well.
One of the most delightful aspects of visiting Hawaii is that each island in the archipelago has its own unique identity to offer visitors. And while there are many reasons to visit Maui, it remains so persistently popular largely thanks to its biodiversity.
Any ecosystem youll find within the island chain can be found within Mauis boundaries, and that naturally makes it home to some of the most beautiful landmarks in the Pacific.
That makes it one of the perfect destinations if you only have time to visit one island but those with shorter time or a more extensive itinerary on other islands may have to be pickier with how many different places they stay in Maui.
Kihei Where To Stay In Maui If Youre On A Budget
Kihei is situated in South Maui, this beachfront town has many budget-friendly options for visitors. A great town for your visit if you dont wanna stay put and like exploring the nearby areas, Kihei provides easy access to explore other attractions of the North Shore, Upcountry, Iao Valley, and Maalaea.
This is also the best place to eat the Huli Huli chicken, plus this part of the island offers a great variety of dining options. Although it is a busy town, Kihei its not a resort community so if youre dying to get that local vibe, this is the place for you!
Kihei is a great location for surfers because of the Cove spot which is a beach park with other facilities like tennis, baseball, and beach volleyball. Birds and nature lovers can go to Kealia Pond, located in the northern part of the area, which is a lovely spot. If youre looking for more condos and bungalows in Maui, check out this handy post.
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Upcountry Kula Makawao Haiku And Iao Valley
Kula Lodge available on Booking.com
Why these areas are great: Upcountry is magical. Although not the typical beach vacation, time spent in the mountains of Maui is rejuvenating, peaceful, and only a short drive to Paia beaches, North Shore surf, and classic Paia and Makawao town centers. Dont forget to check out Haleakalas dormant volcano, Makawaos pine forest, and Iao Valleys lush rainforests and waterfalls. Also, the incredibly scenic road to Hana is right there easily accessible.
Keep in mind: You will need a rental car for all these locations as everything is about a 10-45 minute drive. If you are visiting during the winter months Upcountry can be quite cool, so bring hoodies and sweatpants. Makawao can stay misty and cloud-covered, but as soon as you hit Kula or head down to the Paia beaches, the mist clears. Haiku is notorious for massive mosquitos, while in other areas of Upcountry or Iao Valley insects are more sparse.
I Split Road To Hana Into 2 Days Staying In Hana Overnight
I split Road to Hana into 2 days, staying in Hana overnight and it was perfect. After checking in , I hit Hamoa Beach for a good swim then slept early. We hit Wailua Falls so early that there were only two other couples there, we took beautiful pictures. And there was plenty of time to do both the 7 sacred pools and pipiwai hike: were not experienced hikers and we completed everything by noon. Gave plenty of time to visit Charles Lindberghs grave before turning around returning to Paia. Highly recommend you split the trip!
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The Fairmont Kea Lani
The Fairmont Kea Lani at Wailea is outstanding. We stayed in a deluxe ocean front suite and it was stunning. With a separating living area, king size beds and view of the pool and ocean, we couldnt ask for more.
Located directly on the beach, you have direct access to a 2.5 mile walkway along the waterfront where you can visit the other nearby resorts. The Willow Stream Spa gave us one of the best massages weve ever had but there are plenty of other things to keep you busy here. There are three swimming pools, two are large lagoon size pools snaking through the property, and Polo Beach is a 600 foot wide sand beach that is the perfect place to hang out, do some stand up paddle boarding, sun tanning or simply go for a walk and take in the beautiful sunset.See more of the Fairmont for rates and availability.
Best Hotel In Kaanapali: Kaanapali Beach Hotel
Kaanapali Beach Hotel is a modern three-star hotel and a great option for where to stay in Maui with kids. It has spacious rooms which offer comfortable accommodations for families. Theres also a kids club, an outdoor pool, a rooftop terrace and a beauty centre. Guests can enjoy a meal or drink at the on-site restaurant and bar.
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What Are The Best Places To Eat In Maui
- Lahaina Grill
The minute you find yourself on Lahaina Grills website, you will see a long list of awards that the restaurant has one. In fact, its even been named #4 of the top 10 fine dining restaurants in the US by TripAdvisor. Thats a pretty huge award to win. Opened in 1990, the grills menu consisting of natural meats and freshly caught fish has garnered international attention.
Where To Stay On East Maui
When people talk about staying in East Maui, theyre really talking about staying in one area: Hana. While many visitors take the Road to Hana and dont spend the night, Hana is the right place to stay for a few visitors.
If youre looking for a remote experience and you want the feeling of staying off the beaten path in a lush environment, Hana is your spot. Its quiet , has few accommodation options, and offers plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors. You can hike to waterfalls, swim on black sand beaches, and have a vacation truly away from it all.
But be prepared for rain. East Maui is on the windward side of the island. Its green and lush but rains often.
While there arent many places to stay, there are a few options that stand out:
Looking to stay just one night in Hana? Read more about picking the right Hana accommodations.
Jordan and Henry at our Waianapanapa cabin in August.
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Where To Stay On North Maui And Upcountry
We really believe a trip to Maui isnt complete without a trip to Upcountry and North Maui. Away from the more tourist-popular zones, youll get a completely different vibe when you explore these areas.
On North Maui, you can hit up the most famous restaurant on Maui, Mamas Fish House. You can take windsurfing lessons. And you can stroll the charming town of Paia.
Upcountry youll find the scenery changes. You start driving up the mountain towards Haleakala and the scenery begins to get green and lush. In Upcountry you can visit the Kula Farmers market for fresh fish and tropical produce, stroll through historic Makawao, or visit Surfing Goat Dairy, The Kula Lavender Farm, or stop in for a tasting at Maui Wine.
Youll find North Shore and Upcountry to be a little more residential and you wont find large resorts. Your options here include smaller, boutique hotels and vacation rentals.
Staying in Paia gets you close to the historic cowboy town of Makawao.
Our Favorite Hotels For Foodies
Budget:Best Western Pioneer Inn
Short-Term Rentals: For short-term rentals and additional hotels in Wailea and Lahaina, we have a helpful interactive map below. You can also use the search field to search the other nearby locations. Paia and Kihei also have a lot of fun restaurants. You really cant go wrong anywhere you stay.
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Finding A Place In Maui
Where to stay on Maui? That’s a good question if you’re planning a visit to The Valley Isle. Maui is divided into several areas where the major resorts are located, and each has pros and cons when it comes to your accommodations.
First, lets get a lay of the land that is Maui. Maui isnt a huge island, at about 48 miles long and 26 miles wide, but it still takes a solid half-day to drive around the island, not that anyone does that, but it should give you some idea of the size. Maui is 728 square miles in size and can ultimately be divided into a couple of useful regions: West Maui, South Maui, East Maui , Central Maui, and Upcountry Maui. The two major resort areas are located in West and South Maui, so well focus on those areas below.
Your journey on Maui likely began in central Maui at Kahului Airport , nestled between Haleakala to the east and the West Maui mountains to the west this valley isthmus is why they call Maui the Valley Isle. Besides picking up your rental car here, youll also find shopping resources like Costo, Walmart, and Whole Foods in central Maui. This isnt the only location for grocery shopping, though, so dont feel like you have to pick up all your supplies in Kahului.
On this page, we’ll cover each of the major Maui regions you can find accommodations within. Here are this page’s highlights…
- Search for Maui Hotelsand find the Best Rates
Where To Stay In Kihei
Kohea Kai Maui is a great mid-range option in Kihei featuring a free breakfast, swimming pool, and rooftop deck.
The Maui Coast Hotel is another great mid-range option that sits directly across from Kamaole Beach Park, and is home to nightly entertainment, tennis courts, and a free shuttle service around Kihei and Wailea.
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