Paia Makawao And Kula
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.
Where To Stay In Maui: Best Areas
These six regions are all pretty clearly distinguished in what they offer for visitors looking to stay in Maui, but specific villages and neighborhoods stand apart from others. Maui isnt huge, but theres a dozen distinct areas worth considering during your stay.
Just be sure to consider both what they offer and how their location fits within the larger context of your trip. Maui isnt huge, but it can still be difficult to navigate if you dont plan ahead.
Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary
This large bird sanctuary and wetlands are located on the opposite side of Amala Place from Kahana Beach Park. Parking is available and admission is free. The sanctuary is home to two endangered Hawaiian species, the ‘alae and the ae’o . You will also likely see the koloa maoli .
It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.
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We Left At : 00 In The Morning To Travel Up Haleakala To See
We left at 3:00 in the morning to travel up Haleakala to see the morning sunrise. A park ranger performed the traditional Polynesian sunrise ceremony to welcome the sun, which made it especially momentous. I think everyone felt some of that spiritual connection – it was a beautiful experience! We also saw Makena Cove at sunset the night prior, and its beauty took our breath away!
Is South Or West Maui Better
Those who come to Maui are drawn to the south because of its numerous natural areas, beautiful beaches, and tasty dining options. There is demand throughout West Maui, from luxury condominiums to fantastic value buys. Honokowai, Kaanapali, Kapalua, and Lahaina are some of the communities within the area.
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Mauis 5 Best Areas To Stay In
Now, lets take a look, in more detail, at the five best areas to stay in Maui. Each offers different attractions, activities, and natural wonders, so make sure you read each section carefully and pick the area thats right for you! keep in mind that Maui is one of Hawaiis most expensive islands, so make sure you plan ahead and set up the right travel budget.
What Are Some Good Local Things To Keep An Eye Out For
- Enjoy the sunrise at Baldwin BeachMaui is mostly not known for its nightlife. In fact, most locals are in bed by 8 and up by 6 to enjoy the sunrise and the best waves. One of their favorite beaches is Baldwin Beach, a spot where the water is quite literally turquoise first thing in the morning. Even if you arent a big surfer, its a great place for boogie boarding or an early run.
- Take your time on the road to HanaThe road to Hana is not meant to be rushed. Locals actually recommend that you take as long as possible and soak up the scenery and the delicious banana bread stands along the way. If your schedule allows it, make a day out of it.
- Enjoy coffee at Maui Grown Coffee CompanyHawaii has some of the best coffee in the US, and Maui Grown Coffee serves the coffee beans they grow on their own coffee farm. Start your morning with a hot cup of joe and pastries before hiking the Iao Valley.
- Go to First FridayOn every Friday of the month, there is an event called First Friday held all over the island. Local vendors set up stalls with souvenirs, gifts, and local bites while live music is played. There are also activities like lei-making classes and vintage car shows. Its one of the best ways to experience local goodies.
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Things To See And Do In Wailuku
Sang T. Tran
See the spectacular Iao Valley State Monument and explore the lush national park.
Dine on delicious American fare at The Mill House.
Celebrate local art, culture, fashion and food by attending a Wailuku First Friday event.
Explore old Wailuku by joining a Rediscover Wailuku Tour.
Hike the Kapalua Coastal Trail, an incredible 3-kilometre hike along the coast.
Marvel at the architecture and design of the Iao Theatre.
Step back in time at Hale Hoikeuke at the Baile House.
Sample variety of drinks at the Steel Horse Saloon.
Kick start your day with an incredible and satisfying breakfast at Tasty Crust Restaurant.
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.
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How To Choose Where To Stay On Maui
Need help deciding where to stay on Maui? Where are the most popular visitor areas on Maui? Is a beachfront resort the same thing as oceanfront? Whats the difference between a hotel and a condo, or a condo and a villa? Is it possible to rent a house for a week? What about a cottage or b& b? Deciding where to stay in Maui might be confusing at first, particularly if this is your first trip to the island. There are numerous options on Maui for location and type of accommodations. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect place to suit your own personal tastes, based on three key questions.
Kula To Get Away From The Hustle And Bustle Of The Busier Areas
Upcountry Maui doesnt get as much love as the coast, but Kula Town is easily one of the more popular destinations in the Upcountry.
As with the rest of the region, Kula is a largely agricultural area, and its daily commerce and interactions continue largely undisturbed by the intrusion of tourists.
Kula boasts a great harvest of strawberries and onions, and the fields make it good grazing land for goats and cows. A tour of a farm or a guided walk of a plantation isnt going to top the itinerary of most Hawaiian vacationers, but you might be surprised at how relaxing it can be.
Understandably, Kulas lack of a large tourist sector means its not exactly flush with hotels and hostels. There are certainly places to stay, but you might have to work a little harder to weigh your options.
Theres more to explore within the town. Kula has its own botanical garden which spotlights some of the rarer native plants on the island, but its also home to a lavender farm that offers tours to visitors.
In fact, visiting the local businesses is one of the most popular choices here. Whether youre curious about life on a dairy, in a winery, or at a farm, youll find people eager to open up their doors and take you on a guided tour.
Fundamentally, Kula is a town that has a similar tempo to Paia, although it trades in the laid back surf hippie vibes for a more eclectic working man aesthetic.
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Hana Where To Stay In Maui In The Most Scenic Part Of The Island
Hana Highway is often referred to as the Road to Hana, but its a trip thats typically more about the journey than the destination.
The winding miles that cut directly across the seaside offer some of the most stunning views in the Hawaiian Islands, but the actual town of Hana can seem a bit anticlimactic when you actually arrive.
But if youre willing to temper your expectations and throw yourself into the right frame of mind, it can be a town worth sticking around in for a while.
But if theres one big mark in Hanas favor, its the fact that the same rugged cliff sides and beautiful ocean views that typify the Hana Highway are also present in the town itself.
Vacationers looking to be treated well will find a decent array of options like the Hana-Maui Resort, but its not as popular a long term destination as the resorts that occupy the west coast of the island.
Hana isnt a resort town but instead a sleepy residential community, and that means that there are plenty of other options if youre not trying to stay in an expensive and high class establishment.
As the most noteworthy settlement on the southeast coast of Maui, it can be worth your time to explore the surrounding areas while youre there.
The town itself has some charming landmarks like the Hana Cultural Center and Museum and St. Sophias Church, and the farmers market here presents a great opportunity to taste some of the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meats available in the islands.
Where To Stay In Central Maui
Youll likely crisscross Central Maui on your way to the airport and back from beaches in West and South Maui at a minimum. This is the middle of the island between the famous west coast and Hana Highway. Close to the airport with easy access everywhere.
But be sure to visit lush Iao Valley State Park here as well. The state park, just at the base of the West Maui Mountains, offers 400 acres of lush valley for hiking and the opportunity to ogle the famous Iao Needle, a particularly striking and thin mountain peak rising out of the valley here.
Cute little Wailuku is where Mauis county government is based. Youll fall in love with the adorable boutiques and mom and pop establishments that have been here for generations. Kahului is, of course, home to Mauis main airport, but also hosts a swap meet, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Maui Sunday market.
Pros and cons: If you can stay near the Iao Valley, this is an idyllic location for a base on Maui. You can conveniently access just about anywhere on island. Wailuku feels cozy. And budget travelers will enjoy the hostel scene here.
While Kahului is not a popular base for most visitors to Maui, it does make a great spot if youre looking to minimize drive time to spend more time on the Road to Hana or Mount Haleakala or need to be close to the airport for a flight.
On the other hand, this is not near any swimming beaches. Its more of an industrial area.
Here are my picks for Central Maui:
1. Hawaiian Dream Temple
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The West Side Of Maui Includes Kaanapali Honokowai Kahana Napili Kapalua And Lahaina
Kaanapali Beach is my favorite area of Maui to stay on. This is the luxury part of the west side of Maui. There are several large hotels with elaborate pools, grounds, and lobbies, plus a couple of large luxury condos. All of these hotels and condos in Kaanapali are within walking distance of each other, and of restaurants, all beach activities, Luaus, snorkeling, and the Whalers Village shopping center.
Honokowai, Kahana, and Napili are just north of Kaanapali Beach. They contain numerous large and small condo complexes that are less expensive than staying right on Kaanapali Beach, but they are not within walking distance of the big resort hotels and shopping and restaurants, and some of them do not have air conditioning or daily maid service. Most of these condo buildings are right on the beach.
Kapalua is at the far north end of West Maui. It has a few condos and one hotel. But Kapalua gets more rain and wind than any other part of West or South Maui, so I would not recommend this area. Although some people disagree, in my opinion, this is not the best area to stay in Maui.
- Map of Maui with links to maps of each area
Napili Kaanapali And Wailea
Why these areas are great: Youll rarely find strong currents, big waves, or winds that blow sand up into your face in these areas. Theres awesome snorkeling, a peaceful relaxing vibe, and an abundance of delicious restaurants. Plus, if you have teens looking for a surf, the 1,000 Peaks surf break in Olowalu isnt far and is great for beginners and intermediate surfers.
Keep in mind: If you are just wanting to relax at your hotel and head to the beach, local transport will be fine. But, its good to have a rental car in these areas if you want to explore the rest of the island. Also, be aware that these areas in general are more expensive than others.
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Best Places To Stay In Wailea
Spend your days relaxing pool side with a lava flow . Close to the best beaches on Maui and high end shopping. This is where to stay in Wailea.
Fairmont Kea Lani
Koas has a great happy hour and is located at the adult pool. Walkable to the beach and a free shuttle to the shops at Wailea.
Four Seasons Resort Maui
Can You Stay On The Beach In Maui
From Pia to Wailea and Kaanapali, you should try something for everyone when you go on holiday. The Wailea and Kaanapali properties offer fine dining at reasonable prices for luxury seekers. There are no issues with safety and family dynamics on Maui, however, places like Kaanapali, Wailea, and Khei can safely accommodate multigenerational visitors.
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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.
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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The Best Places To Stay For
These are the places we recommend to stay for families, beach bums, luxury seekers, backpackers, surfers, and active adventurers:
Both Wailea and Kaanapali will make luxury seekers very happy.
If you like this guide and are also visiting other islands we recommend the following accommodation overview: