Explore Maui by Region
There is much debate about how to split up an island like Maui by region so we can describe it on a website such as this. Why the controversy you ask? Well, Maui, like all the Hawaiian islands, is part of a county politically divided into several districts, clockwise: Lahaina, Wailuku, Makawao, and Hana. Since Molokai and Lanai are also technically inside Maui county, they are also districts, but we're ignoring them here. Quite honestly, to the modern-day traveler, these districts serve no purpose.
The remedy then is to find a way to divide the island into segments that are easy to recognize, describe, and access via the major roads of the island. This is where much of the debate comes from. Every "expert" has their own way of dissecting the island into pieces.
Our way is pretty simple, and the method we've followed online mirrors the format we've utilized in our physical guidebooks and eBooks too. Ultimately we've divided the island in a manner that helps us group attractions together so that they are easily accessible along the major routes of the island. This allows us to use our mile by mile directions to quickly and accurately describe each spot here on our website.
Lahaina & Ka'anapali Region Guide
The resort areas of Ka'anapali, famous for three-mile long Ka'anapali Beach, and historic Lahaina Town grace the shores of western-most Maui. While both technically inside our West Maui region, we've dedicated a unique section here, for each of the major attractions located within these two popular areas.
With plenty of sunshine and great weather year-round, this stretch of Maui coastline has become the playground of visitors from around the world and is a popular location for taking a snorkel cruise, doing some window shopping, or catching one of the very best Hula shows in all of Hawaii.
Hana Highway Region Guide
Hana Highway (northeast and parts of southeast Maui), ranges from Pa'ia town to the community of Hana (Haa-na) on the northeastern tip of the island and is renowned for great wind surfing, lush rural scenery, and, of course, the famous Road To Hana (Hana Hwy - 360) drive that curves along the coastline toward Hana town.
Known often as the windward side, it is largely undeveloped and much of the narrow Hana Highway winds along the island's beautiful northern coastline.
Kihei & Wailea Region Guide
Sheltered on the leeward side of Haleakala volcano, this side of Maui is quite drier and sunnier than the rest of the island.
Today, South Maui includes the coastal communities of Ma'alaea and Kihei and the growing resort communities of Wailea and Makena. There's also a good deal of Wailea real estate and Wailea condos available on this part of Maui.
Upcountry Maui & Haleakala Region Guide
The term Upcountry Maui refers to the towns, ranches, vineyards, parks, farmlands, and visitor attractions on the upper slopes of Haleakala volcano, including Haleakala National Park. Enchanting and rural, Maui's Upcountry is the heart of the island's agricultural industry, as well as a thriving artists' community.
Many compare the beautiful landscape of Upcountry Maui to the countryside in Scotland. You'll also be sure to discover several unique floral gardens in this part of Maui. Plus, some of the best views of the South Pacific anywhere on the island can be found from the high elevations of the upcountry.
West Maui Region Guide
With plenty of sunshine and an abundance of rainfall (as much as 390 inches a year), West Maui was once a major Hawaiian population center and the proverbial playground of royalty (the ali'i) in old Hawaii. Today, west Maui has become the playground of visitors from around the world.
Along the shores of West Maui you'll find the resort area of Kapalua (northwest), Kahana and Honokowai (mid-way), visitor community of Napili, and while technically located within west Maui, our Lahaina and Kaanapali region (both in the southwest of this region as noted previously) has been devoted a section unto itself.
Ultimately, west Maui is one of the more developed portions of the island, with several resorts and small towns. The most north-western portion of this region is almost completely undeveloped and is raw and somewhat barren terrain.
Central Maui Region Guide
The proverbial 'heart' of Maui, Central Maui, is the isthmus that connects Maui's two volcanoes. Your visit to Maui likely began here at the airport in Kahului.
Today, Central Maui includes residential communities, sugar and pineapple plantations, county and state government offices, and various visitor attractions including the Kahului Airport (OGG), the Maui Tropical Plantation, golf courses, parks, shopping areas, and more.
We've also included the 'Iao Valley State Park in this area since it's accessible only through Central Maui.