Maui is known to be one of the best islands in the Hawaiian chain. A common saying is “Maui no ka oi” or Maui is the best.
Known as the Valley Isle, the dramatic West Maui Mountains remind you of why the indigenous Hawaiians living off the valleys bounty might have loved this island so much.
The second largest of all the islands, it has a population of 141,440 that is steadily growing. The average temperature runs from 69 to 76 degrees depending on where you are on the island. This island has the combination of unbelievable natural beauty and style and visitors agree that it truly is the best.
The main airport is in Kahului which is in the central part of the island. This town is known for local shopping, home of Costco, Safeway and the like. Ten minutes away is Wailuku which is a lovely old town with antique shops and a fantastic café called Café Marc Aurel that has a European wine bar feel to it.
Above Wailuku is a magnificent valley that has waterfalls and rivers that people swim in called Iao Valley. This is a fantastic place to walk around, smell the ginger and guava and to take pictures.
Lahaina and Kihei are the two main tourist destinations. Both arid and hot, their beaches are perfect places to sunbath, snorkel and play in the waves. Lahaina is on the west side of the island and is known as a bit of a party town with bars, shops, nightclubs and restaurants facing the ocean.
Front Street, which is in the heart of Lahaina, is perfect for shopping and Lahaina Store Grill is a delightful place to eat. There are many choices here and all one has to do is walk down Front Street to find what it is they want. For local food try Aloha Mix Plate across from the Cannery Mall.
Ka’anapali is Lahaina’s resort area and is fifteen minutes away. Here you will find some wonderful snorkeling near Black Rock. The beach is quite long and is a wonderful place to spend the day. Stay near Whalers Village and you can eat at Hula Grill or Leilani’s for a fabulous meal after you enjoy the Hawaiian sun.
Kihei also has fantastic beaches as well as fabulous restaurants. Wailea is the resort area for the southern part of the island and if you keep driving past this area you will find Makena which is one of the best beaches on the island.
I always suggest for people to take a drive out North to Paia, or Makawao to check out the change in scenery.
It is what the locals call Upcountry. Paia is home to many surfers, windsurfers and kite boarders and Makawao is a cowboy town with beautiful green pastures, both have great restaurants and marvelous boutiques.
On a clear day Haleakala is a must. It is known as the House of the Sun and although many folks head up to watch the sunrise, it is one of the best places to watch the sunset on the island. It can get chilly so bring a sweater.
If you are up for the drive go to Hana. It will take all day to get there and back but the town itself is wonderful. There is the Black Sand Beach and the Bamboo Forest, not to mention the Seven Sacred Pools. It is really best to stay a day or two if you can. It is definitely one of the most heavenly places on earth.
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