Maui is the second largest and second-most visited Hawaiian Island, trailing only Oahu. Known as “The Valley Isle,” Maui is well-known for its world-famous beaches, migrating humpback whale sightings (in the winter), stunning sunrises and sunsets, the sacred Iao Valley, delicious cuisine, and much more. Tourism is one of the leading industries on Maui, and the island offers a broad selection of private rentals, condos, hotels, and resorts for visitors to choose from.
Maui is often referred to as the “Playground of the Wealthy” and caters to those seeking more luxury accommodations while avoiding the crowds on Oahu. However, the island does still provide to all travelers, including those on a budget. It has a reputation for being a welcome place for all tourists and not only the super-rich. From its gorgeous beaches to the West Maui Mountains, remote towns, snorkeling, windsurfing, surfing, shopping, and more, Maui offers something for everyone.
Maui has a wealth of beautiful beaches, particularly along the West Coast of the island. There is also an abundant amount of sun here as well since the volcanoes located in the middle of the island block out most of the precipitation so that it rarely reaches the island’s leeward side. Although parts of the west coast of Maui are barren and dry, the eastern part of the island is green and lush paradise featuring numerous valleys and waterfalls.
There are two main volcanic areas on Maui, an expansive volcano called Haleakala located on the eastern part of Maui, and the extinct and older West Maui Mountains. In between those two areas is a valley full of deposits. The middle part of the island is where the “Valley Isle” nickname for Maui comes from. The isthmus stretches from the West Maui mountains to Haleakala.
The major tourist areas in Maui include Lahaina, Iao Valley, Haleakala National Park, and Hana Highway. The Hana Highway runs across Maui’s east coast, curves around the mountains, and then passes by waterfalls and black sand beaches. Haleakala National Park is the home of the dormant volcano Haleakala. Snorkeling may be done at virtually every beach along Maui’s coast. Other favorite outdoor activities on Maui include windsurfing and surfing.
The major tourist areas are South Maui and West Maui. Kahului is the main port of call for the cruise ships. Smaller ports are also located at Ma’alaea Harbor and Lahaina Harbor. Lahaina is one of the island’s main attractions, with an entire street of restaurants and shops leading to the pier where visitors can set out on a whale watching trip or sunset cruise. Known as Lahainatown by the locals, it has a diverse and long history from its original Hawaiian population to becoming a significant whaling port and the major tourist destination.
The beautiful island of Maui has a rich and diverse past as well as the present. Renowned for its beauty, rich culture, and various tourist attractions, it is one of the top places to visit in the world and should definitely be on every traveler’s bucket list.