Kahului, Maui

Destination Location

  • 20.8817, -156.4675:primary
  • 20.8985996246338, -156.429992675781:secondary
Hotel reviews summary
5.0

Our guest rating from 5 reviews

Overview

Maui isn't a large island but it packs just about everything you could dream of into one amazing destination. It has everything you'd expect to find in Hawaii, including fresh orchid leis, delicious pineapple desserts, volcanoes and lush rain forests. Fields of sugar cane and green-covered mountains share the same land as black sand beaches and pristine waterfalls. Its legendary sunsets make visitors swoon. Its action-packed beaches offer all sorts of activities, including water sports, stand-up paddle boarding and championship-calibre surfing.

What separates Maui from other sun destinations is its "aloha spirit." Aloha means "hello" in English, but the concept means much more than that. Aloha is a philosophy that embodies honouring the people who visit the island with a genuine sense of caring. When you visit Hawaii, you're family. The welcome here is warm and the locals pride themselves on providing excellent hospitality.

This aloha spirit is one of the reasons why Maui is regularly voted favourite island among travellers from around the world. Its resorts are some of the best and the spas here turn relaxation into an art form.

Maui's restaurant scene is stellar as well, with casual choices and luxury options featuring fresh, local fare. Dive fork-first into seared ahi tuna encrusted with sesame seeds, then cool down with passion fruit or coconut ice cream made fresh for dessert. Dining outdoors here is a great way to take full advantage of the stunning ocean views, flower-filled gardens and tall coconut palms stretching into the sky.

Maui will fulfill everything on your vacation checklist and then some. From luxurious accommodations to eco adventures, romantic evenings to adventure sports outings. New cultural experiences with a touch of familiarity – it all comes together on this unforgettable island.

Kahului, Maui is a fantastic destination for:

  • beaches
  • outdoor adventure
  • culture and history

Airport served by: Kahului, Maui, Hawaii (OGG)

Destination basics

Maui is blessed with pleasant weather year-round. The Pacific Ocean keeps temperatures moderate and the trade winds make even the hottest days feel comfortable.

Between July and October, average daytime highs hover around 31 C. And even during the coldest months (December and January), average highs are in the mid-20s C.

Maui's geography varies widely, which in turn influences the weather conditions. For example, you'll find hot, dry lowlands on the western (leeward) side of the island, and rainy, lush valleys in the upcountry and on the eastern (windward) sides.

What's more, if you visit Haleakala volcano in the central region, the high elevation and winds will mean chilly conditions, at times close to the freezing mark! Bring a windbreaker, hat and gloves, especially for early morning trekking.

No matter when you visit, make sure you bring sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, sunglasses and a hat.

Average monthly temperature and average monthly rainfall diagrams for Kahului, Maui

Maui has an interesting mix of cultural influences, but the main influence is from the Polynesian. Maui's music, dance, art and customs all directly reflect Polynesian history. It is believed that around AD 700, Polynesians from Tahiti and Marquesas made the long journey across the ocean in outrigger canoes to Maui.

In 1778, Captain James Cook became the first European to "discover" the island – although he never actually set foot on land (he couldn't find a suitable place to dock). Over the years, more Europeans arrived, including many missionaries who greatly influenced Maui's cultural makeup.

Interestingly, the Europeans didn't allow locals to dance the hula, but they did help them learn to read and write using a 12-letter Hawaiian alphabet they created. Before this, Hawaiian history was passed orally from generation to generation. With the introduction of a written language, the native culture and history was able to be better preserved.

In 1893, the monarchy ruling Maui was overthrown and the Republic of Hawaii was established. In the meantime, Maui was experiencing major immigration from China, Japan, Portugal, Korea and the Philippines. The influence of these cultures is still very evident in Maui today, in everything from local architecture to the food.

In 1898, Maui was annexed by the United States. It became a territory in 1900, before becoming the 50th state in 1959. Today, Maui is making great efforts to ensure its customs and traditions are not lost. School children learn the Hawaiian language and have opportunities to participate in Hawaiian dance and music.

A luau is a great way to have fun and to learn about Hawaii's rich traditions. There are many luaus available to visitors on the island providing ample opportunity to share Hawaiian culture and the talents of many local performers.

When visiting Maui, you'll want to have some U.S. cash on hand for general expenses and transit. For entertainment and shopping, your credit card will give you the exchange rate at the time of purchase. There are also numerous ATMs inside banks and public spaces where you can withdraw funds at your convenience. Just be aware that transaction fees vary by ATM.

Dining in Maui is overwhelming. Culinary styles hail from around the world, and some styles are unique to Maui alone. In one week—and in one town—a visitor can feast on Thai and French cuisine, fresh game and fresh fish, sandwiches, burritos and, of course, a few scoops of ridiculously decadent ice cream.

Ka'anapali
Amidst the five-star hotels and designer boutiques of this famous resort, one can find any number of fabulous restaurants. Most of them fall a bit short of world-class gastronomically, choosing to offer ambiance and affordable prices in lieu of top-tier culinary masterpieces. Old favorites such as Leilani's on the Beach feature live music, drink specials and amazing views. The lovely Hula Grill can't be beat for ambiance—and the fresh seafood wins local awards, if not international ones.

Kahana, Kapalua & Napili

Further along the coast the emphasis shifts from pleasing hungry crowds to pleasing educated palates. The area's gourmet restaurants include the Maui Brewing Company Fish & Game Rotisserie and Erik's Seafood Grotto. Make a trip to one of the finest restaurants in the state of Hawai'i, the Plantation House located in isolated Kapalua.

Lahaina

Lahaina Town is Maui's undisputed dining and drinking hot spot. All the best places are within a mile of each other, meaning if one place isn't working, it's easy to walk to another. Upscale restaurants range from first-class French, served at Gerards Restaurant, to the cutting-edge Pacific Rim creations found at David Paul's Lahaina Grill. The Feast At Lele, presented on the beach, wins awards for the best cuisine and entertainment in Maui. For exotic Asian cuisine, try Bamboo Cafe. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse serves a great steak every time, while Longhi's Restaurant lobster is simply to die for.

While not advertised as much, inexpensive options abound. At least once, it is absolutely crucial to try an authentic local-style plate lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate. Lahaina Coolers, a block down from Front Street, is popular with locals because of its food and its atmosphere. Each one of these places features live music most nights, and turns from a daytime restaurant to an after-hours bar.

Kihei

Dining options in Kihei range from five-star to five-dollar. Mid-range restaurants abound on South Kihei, including Spices at the Maui Coast Hotel. People who are trying to eat cheap on Maui won't find a better place than Kihei. Tasty and inexpensive meals can be enjoyed at Kihei Caffe, Maui Tacos and Alexander's Fish, Chicken & Ribs.

Wailea

The South Side equivalent of Ka'anapali boasts a wealth of fine dining options—and very little else. All of the hotels have at least two gourmet restaurants; some have more. Standouts include Humuhumunukunukuapua'a at the Grand Wailea, Nick's Fishmarket Maui in the Kea Lani, and for buffet dining, the Palm Court at the Renaissance Wailea. 

Kahului

It's not always easy to figure out where to eat in Kahului. The town is spread out, and except for the two major malls, restaurants aren't in any one location. Probably the best known restaurant in Kahului is Marco's Grill & Deli, followed by Koho—the quintessential family restaurant.

Wailuku

Surprisingly, though Wailuku is as local and un-beautiful of a town as Kahului, it has a number of excellent restaurants, mostly ethnic. If you can find your way to either A Taste of Saigon or Saigon Cafe, you won't be disappointed. Saeng's Thai Cuisine is delicious and inexpensive, not to mention central.

Ma'alaea

The restaurants of Ma'alaea are developing a reputation among savvy tourists and affluent locals.

Pa'ia

Health food nuts should make Pa'ia their first, last and only stop for dining. Whether you're enjoying enormous breakfasts at Charley's or perhaps packing a picnic lunch at—where else? Picnic's—you're sure to get something delicious, fresh and healthful.

Just outside of Pa'ia one will find a true Maui legend, and a must-visit for any self-respecting gourmand. This is Mama's Fish House. The cuisine, ambiance and service are legendary, and deservedly so.

Makawao, Kula & Pukalani

There are only a few destination restaurants in rural Upcountry Maui. En route to Haleakala you'll find the Hali'imaile General Store and the Kula Lodge Restaurant. In Makawao Town, there's only one place to go for night time entertainment: the famous Casanova Italian Restaurant & Deli. If it's more of a peaceful occasion, make reservations at the Makawao Steak House. And anyone who makes the two-hour journey to Hana and wants a fine meal should definitely try the Hana Ranch Restaurant.

Dining in Maui is only as much of a science as you make it. If you're just looking for a good time, a quick bite, or a pretty meal, trust your own judgment.

Many people have remarked upon the verdant Valley Isle's resemblance to a woman. Whether you see it or not, this island certainly nurtures plenty of men, women and children from various parts of the world.

West Maui
The jolly, busy resort town of Lahaina resembles Main Street Disneyland in many ways. Front Street, the main drag area, is wall-to-wall art galleries and fine restaurants. Dozens of pleasure cruisers and fishing boats set sail from the harbor daily, carrying vacationers to nearby coves and reefs. Lahaina is also the hot spot for shopping and nightlife.

About 10 minutes' driving distance from Lahaina is the resort community of Ka'anapali, famed for its golf courses, beaches and fantasy hotels. The golf courses are easy to spot; as you drive down the Honoapi'ilani Highway, the rolling greens stretch for acres along the landbound side. The coast side is bordered by the famous Ka'anapali Beach. The water is warm and clear, and landmark Black Rock dominates the skyline.

Further down the coastal highway one will find the charming seaside towns of Kahana, Kapalua and Napili. The golf courses of Kapalua are also widely renowned.

South Maui
Approximately 30 minutes from West Maui is the other main tourist area, known as South Maui even though it's actually further west than south. The uppermost segment of South Maui is Kihei, site of many mid-priced hotels, condos and swimming beaches. This is a very popular spot with families; it's affordable, safe, and offers all kinds of diversions. Locals also frequent the South Kihei strip, particularly the Kamaole Beach Parks and the Azeka shopping centers.

South of Kihei is Wailea, one of the most breathtaking communities in the world. The air is perfumed with island blossoms, the beaches (all of them public-access) are white sand, and the buildings are architectural wonders. The road travels along through a few miles of dry underbrush and weeds that give some indication of what South Kihei looked like before it was developed. About five minutes down the road are the three turn-offs to Makena State Park, thought by many to be the world's best swimming beach.

Upcountry
The tiny towns in Upcountry Maui are the opposite of Wailea and Lahaina in every way. Laid-back, local, simple and friendly, they are populated by an odd mix of islanders, white locals, eccentric recluses and passionate nature lovers. Protea farms, cattle ranches and botanical gardens thrive on most of the land, while the "towns" are usually comprised of a few streets with a handful of stores and a couple of restaurants. Makawao and Pukalani are the two largest upcountry towns. Nestled in the mountains is the town of Kula. Most Haleakala downhill bike rides begin or end in Kula, as do many roadtrips to Hana. Olinda and Haiku are 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' towns, worth visiting only if one prefers birdsong to human conversation.

(One thing to keep in mind when visiting Upcountry is that as the elevation rises, the temperature drops—so bring a sweater.)

Haleakala/Hana
While Haleakala and Hana are two of Maui's major tourist attractions, almost no tourists stay in either of the areas. Hana has a couple of hotels, but it's impossible to lodge at Haleakala National Park; most of it is volcanic crater or scientific research zone. These regions are undeveloped and somewhat dangerous. It's fine to drive the main roads or to explore back roads with a guide, but venturing off alone into the Hana rainforest or the Haleakala crater is very inadvisable.

Still, no trip to Maui is complete without a Hana or Haleakala experience. The twisty road to Hana is as famous as the epic waterfalls at journey's end. The sunrise over Haleakala is truly inspirational—as any fan of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" knows.

While the adorable seaside town of Paia is not in Hana—or anywhere near—it is probably the town that is most often passed through on the way to the rainforest. This town is a destination in itself. It is arguably the world's top windsurfing location. It's also home to some fabulous art galleries, clothing boutiques and restaurants. Anyone who wonders what ever happened to the '60s should visit Pa'ia—it seems to be stuck in them.

Central Maui
While some travel writers rave about the untouched-by-tourists appeal of Hana, the truth is that Hana's main industry is tourism. Central Maui is the place that offers authentic local color. Compared with the rest of the island, it's decidedly un-lovely. Even semi-touristy Kahului is choked with asphalt and chain link, while Wailuku is, at first glance, a cluster of dilapidated buildings that seem to be under a constant black cloud. However, Kahului is the closest thing to a city that Maui has, and Wailuku is the county seat. Across the Mokulele Highway is Ma'alaea, an up-and-coming town known for its picturesque harbor and its near-constant winds.

Perhaps the main appeal of Maui is the way it manages to have a little bit of everything. It is simultaneously an undeveloped jungle and a bustling town. By offering the perfect combination of secluded natural beauty and sophisticated commercial appeal, this little island manages to touch a special place in everyone's heart.

North Shore
The North Shore of Maui offers a refreshing change from the ordinary vacation. Between exotic recreational opportunities, a peaceful and natural setting, and a diversified cultural environment, this is not your typical vacation spot. The North Shore (encompassing Paia, Kuau, Sprecklesville, Haiku and Huelo) has both pros and cons compared to the more popular west and south areas. On the positive side you will enjoy a relatively unspoiled tropical setting and be close to rainforest hiking trails, waterfalls, world class windsurfing, and uncrowded beaches. While there are plenty of shops and restaurants, there is a welcome absence of commercialization and high-rise development. Accommodations will be small-scale, privately-owned B&B or vacation rentals, where you can become acquainted with your hosts and have more access to an authentic experience of island culture. You will be conveniently situated for a day trip to the remote jungle village of Hana, or a visit to the crater of the dormant volcano.

Unfortunately, few north shore properties offer direct beach access, so it will be a short drive to reach the white sand. For those of you who must have your creature comforts and round-the-clock service, North Shore will be roughing it. Imagine, no 24-hour room service, no night life within walking distance, and it will rain! (after all, it is a jungle). Maybe you'll find North Shore a hardship, but if you are tough enough then this is the ideal island getaway. 

Maui doesn't have a quarter of Oahu's population, but it seems to have almost as many activity choices. Whether hiking, biking, snorkeling or windsurfing is your passion, there are a dozen places to go and a dozen companies to act as guide.

Beaches
The first thing to do on Maui (aside from checking into the hotel, of course) is to hit the beach. Ka'anapali Beach on West Maui is one of the top sunning spots, while Makena State Park Big Beach is probably the most popular swimming and bodyboarding beach. There are dozens of other beach parks, and since all of Hawaii's beaches are public-access, you're free to plop down in any spot that appeals to you.

Cruises
Whether it is an early morning whale watch complete with breakfast, a full-day cruise to neighboring Lanai or a sunset cocktail cruise, Maui's boats are built for pleasure. For something a bit different, climb aboard one of the Atlantis Submarines vessels.

Snorkeling/Diving
The best time to snorkel or dive in the waters off Maui is the early morning. Tradewinds begin to pick up in the late morning, and usually by noon the water is a bit murky. Around 8 am dozens of tourists emerge from vans and busses onto Ulua/ Mokapu Beach, South Maui's favorite snorkeling spot. For equipment or excursion booking, Snorkel Bob's and Boss Frog's Dive & Surf Shop-Napili are two standby companies.

Scuba companies are also numerous. Mike Severns Diving and Maui Sun Divers will work with any level diver, even the most nervous beginners. Makena Coast Charters offers a variety of underwater excursions to offshore wrecks, reefs and caverns.

Golf
As a world-class golf destination, the Valley Isle boasts over a dozen courses, spread across the island and ranging from inexpensive municipal courses to internationally famous resorts. The three Wailea Golf Clubs cater to South Maui visitors, while on the West side lie the famed Kapalua Golf Club and Ka'anapali Golf Course.

Shopping
While it doesn't have as much shopping as Honolulu, which seems to have a Louis Vuitton on every block, Maui certainly has its fair share of shopping areas. The largest is Kahului's Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. On the West side there are about a half-dozen smaller shopping centers, including the Lahaina Cannery Mall, Wharf Cinema Center and Whalers Village. Major shopping strips are located along South Kihei Road in South Maui. The latest shopping centers to open on the South Side are The Shops at Wailea and the Ma'alaea Harbor Village.

Galleries
Maui boasts more galleries than any other city on the West Coast. Most of them are located in two blocks on Front Street. Don't forget to make a trip to the famous Wyland Galleries. Among the countless other Maui galleries are Maui Hands, and hidden in the jungles of Hana, the Hana Coast Gallery, critically acclaimed as the top cultural art gallery in the state.

Performing Arts: Music & Theater
The newest show to hit Maui is wowing the crowds and winning the hearts of critics and locals. Called 'Ulalena, it is performed nightly in the grandiose Maui Myth & Magic Theater. It uses dance, music, theater and a multi-million dollar lighting system to tell the story of Maui's creation.

When major acts come to Maui (which actually happens more often than one might think), there is really only one place for them to perform: the Maui Art & Cultural Center. The outdoor amphitheater has a maximum capacity of 5,000—most of the seating being on the lawn. It has hosted acts such as Santana and Ziggy Marley.

Smaller acts can perform practically anywhere in Maui. Every major hotel has thousands of square feet of conference space, and the three major malls (Whaler's Village, Lahaina Cannery and Ka'ahumanu Center) all have main stages which regularly host all kinds of entertainers.

Luau
Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the music on the radio or maybe it's just the infectious Aloha spirit. Whatever the cause, it's a fact that anyone who visits Maui feels compelled to get to a luau. West Maui offers several spectacular luaus. The Old Lahaina Luau and the Marriott Luau are two of the favorites, but everyone agrees that the Feast At Lele, held at Pacific'O, is one of the best.

Nightlife
Everybody knows, if it's raging nightlife you're after, you should go...to Honolulu. That said, Maui does its best to rabble-rouse once the sun goes down. There are no full-scale nightclubs on the islands, but Casanova Italian Restaurant & Deli offers decent club nights. Live Hawaiian music is presented everywhere, and recently there's been a surge in the popularity of live jazz, swing and ballroom. Among the best places for dinner and dancing are Longhi's Restaurant and Lahaina Pizza Company.

Had enough yet? If not, don't worry; there's more where that came from. Just when you think you've seen all of Maui, you realize that—no pun intended—you haven't even got your feet wet.

Maui


State: Hawaii


Country: United States


Maui by the Numbers

Population: 154,834
Elevation: Ranges from 0 feet at sea level to 10,023 feet (3055 meters) at its highest point.
Average Annual Rainfall: 19.8 inches
Average Winter Temperature: 72°F / 22°C
Average Summer Temperature: 80°F / 27°C


Quick Facts

Electricity: 115/120 volts AC, 60 Hz; standard two-pin plugs

Time Zone: GMT-10

Country Dialing Code: 1

Area Code: 808


Did You Know?

Considered the most scenically beautiful of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui attracts tourists in search of an Eden-like experience away from the hustle and bustle of the more urbanized cities of Honolulu and Waikiki.

Maui is home to the largest dormant volcano in the world, Haleakala, which means “house of the sun.”


Orientation

The island of Maui is located in the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean; it is 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of the island of Hawaii and 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) east of the island of Molokai.

Like the other Hawaiian Islands, Maui's formation can be traced back to volcanoes. During the ancient eruptions of Puu Kukui and the Haleakala, the lava formed a valley. This valley is modern day Maui – sometimes called The Valley Isle.

Maui is the second largest of the 132 Hawaiian Islands. The island's five distinct regions (namely West Maui, South Maui, Central Maui, Upcountry Maui and East Maui) each have their own microclimates.

Most of the resorts in Maui are located on the leeward side of the island, which is hotter and drier than the other areas. Lahaina, situated in the heart of the resort area, receives just 30 cm of rain each year. In contrast, the West Maui Mountains receive an average of 1,106 cm a year, making this the second-wettest place on the planet.

The wet and dry cycles in Maui make for an abundance of rainbows. You will likely spot at least one during your trip. These cycles also provide optimal growing conditions for two of Maui's main crops: pineapple and sugar cane.

You'll be dazzled by the beauty of the island's diversity: from lush valleys to Maui's highest point, the 3,055-metre tall Haleakala volcano.

Approximately five million years ago, an undersea eruption created two volcanic mountains, Mauna Kahalawai and Haleakala. Mauna Kahalawai, now an extinct volcano, became the rugged West Maui Mountains. Majestic 10,023-foot Haleakala, meaning "house of the sun", last erupted in 1790 and is now considered a dormant volcano. Centuries of lava flows and erosion created an isthmus between the two mountains. This vale composed of rich volcanic soil gave Maui the nickname "Valley Isle".

According to ancient legend, the Hawaiian islands were created by Maui, the "god of a thousand tricks", who pulled the islands from the ocean with his magic fishhook. This mythical demigod also lassoed the sun god La from atop Haleakala, releasing it only after it promised to move slowly through the sky, thus providing abundant daylight and warmth for the islands.

Maui County, now four islands, was originally one land mass called Maui-Nui. During the polar ice age, the glaciers thawed and the oceans swelled to separate the mountain peaks into the islands of Maui, Moloka'i, Lana'i and Kaho'olawe.

According to legend, Hawai'i-loa and eight navigating seafarers from the Marquesa Islands, 2000 miles to the south, discovered the Hawai'ian islands in the eighth century A.D. The first inhabitants developed a simple agrarian culture.

Around the 12th Century A.D., the Tahitians arrived in Maui. Their chiefs became the ali'i, the Hawaiian ruling class. The Tahitians established the kapu system, the rigid social order that became the foundation of ancient Hawaiian culture. Additionally, they introduced their religion with its many goddesses.

For several centuries, warfare raged among competing ali'i on Maui and between chieftains from the neighboring islands of O'ahu and Hawai'i. In 1550 A.D. the Ali'i Pi'ilani unified all the Maui districts, and after he died his two sons battled for control of the island. With the help of warriors from Hawai'i, Kiha-a-pi'ilani prevailed to become the supreme ruler of Maui.

During the late 1700s, Kamehameha I, ruler of the big island Hawai'i, invaded the adjacent islands to establish the Hawaiian Kingdom. One of his armies, led by Kalani'opu'u, attacked Maui in 1776. He was soundly defeated by the warriors of King Kahekili, who surprised the invaders by hiding behind the sand dunes at Ma'alaea Bay. However, in 1790, Kamehameha I invaded Maui once again, this time with a fleet of war canoes so large it is alleged to have filled the bay from Hana to Kahului. Kamehameha finally conquered Maui in the brutal battle of Wailuku. This historic battle is now known as Kauwaupali ("clawed off the cliff") and Kepaniwai ("the damming of the waters"). In 1802 Kamehameha I built the "brick palace" in Lahaina, where he lived for a year.

The British explorer Captain James Cook landed in Kahului Bay on November 26, 1778, an event that began the influx of Western influence. French explorer Captain Jean-Francois La Pérouse, the first Westerner to settle on Maui, established a village in 1786. Probably the most significant influence was that of the Christian missionaries, who founded the first mission under Reverend Richards in Lahaina in 1823. However, whaling had begun to boom in Lahaina, and it swiftly introduced some of the more unsavory Western elements to the port town. A riot broke out in 1825 when a law was passed prohibiting the sale of alcohol, but it did not squelch the Christian presence. Meanwhile, the missionaries established their instrumental role in educating the local population. Since the Hawaiians had no written language, the missionaries developed a written language based on a twelve-letter alphabet. In 1835, the governor of Maui ordered all children over four to attend school. Missionaries taught reading, writing and Bible studies in Hawaiian, and by 1850, Hawaii had the world's highest literacy rate!

Unfortunately, the Westerners also brought diseases that over the next century would obliterate the native Hawaiian population. Viruses such as measles that were endemic in Westerners had a devastating effect on the previously unexposed Hawaiians. Soon the ratio of Hawaiians to immigrants began to drastically decrease.

As Western traders and seafarers flocked to Maui, commercial growth expanded. Lahaina became a major port during the whaling era, and by the 1840s, hundreds of ships anchored there. Merchants, prostitutes, saloons, and gambling establishments prospered, although tensions between the whalers and missionaries created social unrest. The discovery of oil in 1850 signified the decline of whaling.

George Wilfong, an entrepreneurial whaler, established Maui's first sugar plantation in Hana. During 1853-1854, a smallpox epidemic killed many native Hawaiians, resulting in a depleted work force. Immigrants from China, Japan, the Philippines, and even Europe flocked to Maui to work in the sugar cane fields. American businessmen began to invest in pineapple and sugar plantations, and in 1875 negotiated a reciprocity treaty with the governor of Maui to protect their investments.

The expansion of foreign power and influence ultimately led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. In 1894, American pineapple tycoon Dole became the governor of the Republic of Hawaii, which was annexed to the United States in 1898 and made a U.S. territory in 1890. During the early 1900s, Japanese immigration swelled; Maui's population was 40 percent Japanese by 1925.

The opening of the Best Western Pioneer Inn in 1901 signaled the beginning of tourism in Lahaina. Visitors Mark Twain and Robert Lewis Stevenson praised Maui, and Lahaina became a vacation hot spot for the rich and famous. After World War II, sugar production declined and tourism experienced phenomenal growth. Maui's first resort hotel, the Travaasa Hana (formerly the Hotel Hana Maui), was opened in 1946. After Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959, investment capitol poured in for development of vacation resorts. Ka'anapali, dubbed the world's first "master planned resort," and site of such mega-resorts as the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. In the 1970s, sunny South Maui, with its great snorkeling beaches and constant sunshine, was discovered. Over the next few years, several plush resorts and championship golf courses were developed in Wailea. Maui continues to grow as more and more people discover the allure of the island.

In total, Maui offers 1173 sq km of land and 193 km of coastline to explore. Although it is not possible to drive around the entire island, half-day and full-day trips are very popular and free driving maps and tours books are available in the baggage claim area of the airport.

Rental cars are the most popular way to get around here. But whether or not you need to rent a car during your stay in Maui depends on what you want to see and where you want to go. If you're looking to explore and discover Maui's vast beaches and lush rainforests, you'll probably want to rent a car. Many of the area's most scenic spots are a few hours outside the resort areas.

Should you choose not to rent a car, there are airport transfers and public transportation options available. Maui Bus, the island's public transit system, is an affordable alternative to get you where you need to go – the fare is just US$1.

Arrival

Kahului Airport is Maui's main airport, receiving both domestic and international flights. When you depart Canada, you will go through security and U.S. Customs. Once you arrive in Maui, you'll proceed straight to the general baggage claim area.

If you've pre-booked a transfer or a Maui orchid lei greeting & transfer with WestJet Vacations, please look for the Diamond Head Vacations representative in the baggage claim area.

If you've rented a car, shuttles to the car rental depots are located outside the baggage claim to the far right (at the end of the airport terminal). Each car rental company has a designated pick-up area and shuttles operate continuously. You can also catch a taxi, but do keep in mind that most of the resort areas are 30-90 minutes away. Advance reservations may be required.

Departure

Smiling WestJetters are ready to assist you at the check-in counters located in Bay 3 of the main terminal. WestJet counters open three hours prior to departure and close 15 minutes after departure time. Guests can check in and select their seats ahead of time using the WestJet Web check-in service.

Services in the terminal include restaurants, gift shops (with plenty of souvenirs for your friends and family back home) and Internet access. Please note that most airport vendors do not accept debit cards. It is best to have some cash on hand to purchase last minute travel supplies, such as water, snacks and magazines. There are also no duty free stores at Kahului Airport.

Maui has so much more to offer than just sun and sand. It's no wonder it consistently ranks as the No. 1 island among Condé Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure magazine readers. Every year, the island attracts more than 2.2 million visitors.

Kaanapali and Kapalua are the main resort areas on the west side of the island. To the south, you’ll find most hotels in Makena and Wailea.

Maui is home to over 193 km of coastline, including its more than 81 accessible beaches – more than any other Hawaiian island. The sand here ranges in colour from white and gold, to black and salt and pepper. These variations are due to ancient volcanic activity.

The island has 10 state parks, 94 county parks and one national park. The latter is Haleakala National Park, home to Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano in the world.

The ocean around Maui is home to up to 10,000 humpback whales who visit every winter to give birth to their young. The baby whales, who weigh more than 900 kg each, fatten up on their mother's milk before making the long trip to more northern waters. Whales arrive in Maui as early as November and stick around until roughly the end of April. While there are many whale watching tours available, you can often spot whales right from the beach – and even from some of the island's oceanside golf courses.

Maui is considered one of the best golf destinations in the world. It has more than 16 beautiful courses that offer stunning ocean and mountain views, as well as some incredible holes of golf. The island's famed Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort is also the location of the annual Tournament of Champions – the first event of the PGA Tour season.

Kahului Airport is Maui's main airport, receiving both domestic and international flights.

When visiting Maui, you'll want to have some U.S. cash on hand for general expenses and transit.

In total, Maui offers 1173 sq km of land and 193 km of coastline to explore.

Departing from:

^Total price one-way per guest. See terms and conditions.

*Prices are per guest, based on double occupancy and are limited; may not reflect real-time pricing or availability. See terms and conditions.

Explore our world.

or find your dream vacation with our Vacation Finder

Logo: Kahului, Maui