Discovering Maui – An Island Overview

Maui has an incredible mixture of terrain for exploration and site seeing. In Maui, you can be as relaxed or adventurous as you like. You will find world class golf courses, spas, restaurants, and hotels. Experience a marvelous sunrise on the summit of Maui’s Haleakala that is 10,000 feet above sea level. Watch romantic sunsets from one of the many beautiful beaches, from your Maui hotel room, from a catamaran cruise, or from your table at an excellent Maui restaurant. You will learn of the rich Hawaiian history through a visit to the Iao Needle, luaus, and strolls through historic Lahaina. Spend a day taking a scenic drive along the road to Hana and see jaw dropping views of lush Maui rainforests, a black sand beach, and abundant waterfalls.

If you are looking for adventure, then Maui is your place! Maui offers tremendous surfing and if you don’t know how to surf, don’t worry, you can take lessons while on the island. The world’s best wind surfers love the waters and tradewinds at Ho’okipa. Even if you don’t windsurf or ride the waves on a surf board, watching the surfers can be fascinating and mesmerizing. Maui has fantastic snorkeling, snuba, and scuba diving. You will find a whole new world under the water with colorful, tropical fish and some of them are native only to Hawaii. Maui has several uncrowded beaches that you can snorkel straight from the beach. You can also take a catamaran excursion to the crystal clear waters of Molokini. Some other adventures to consider while in Maui are hiking, biking, horseback riding, star gazing, tennis, kayaking, and a thrilling helicopter tour.

Maui really does have it all! Maui is the perfect spot for a memorable honeymoon, anniversary, or family vacation. Even the humpback whales agree as they enjoy their annual vacation among the sheltered, warm waters of Maui after their long journey from Alaska. They like Maui so well that they give birth to their calves in the waters surrounding Maui. Many experts agree that Maui is one of the best places to watch the humpback whales breaching from Mid-November to April. Imagine your awe as you watch a 45 foot whale that weighs about a ton per foot breaching just off the coast or from an organized whale watching tour! It is incredible!

Maui Weather:
In general, there are two seasons in Maui, summer and winter. The summer months (April – October) tend to be drier and warmer where the daily average highs are in the mid to upper 80’s. The winter months (November – March) tend to get more rainfall and are a bit cooler with daily average highs in the lower 80’s. See my guide on Maui weather forecast resources to help you with your Maui vacation and activity planning.

Maui (Kahului) year round temperature and rain averages by month

Terrain, Geography and Highlights:
In West Maui you will find some of the best resort towns and areas. Lahaina is a historic town with lots of shops and restaurants. Just to the north of Lahaina is Kaanapali with its award winning beach and several top notch resorts and golf courses. Continuing north, you will find the beautiful resort area of Kapalua that plays host to the Mercedes Championship golf tournament in January each year. D.T. Fleming Beach in Kapalua has frequently been selected as one of the most beautiful beaches in America. The Kapalua area is also surrounded by a pineapple plantation.

The south coast of Maui tends to be a little drier than the northwestern part of the island. There are some wonderful resort towns including Maalaea, Kihei, Wailea, and Makena, with Wailea being the most popular with its great golfing and swank resorts and spas.

A trip up to the summit Haleakala (10,023 feet above sea level) is well worth your time, particularly, if you can get there to watch the sunrise over the volcanic crater. On your way to and from them summit, you will pass through the beautiful ranching area called Maui’s Upcountry.

East Maui is famous for the Road to Hana that is filled with panoramic view, waterfalls, jaw dropping scenery and its many twists, turns and bridges. No trip to Maui is complete without it.

The county seat, Wailuku, is in the center of Maui. It is a historic town and has some nice shops for antiques. Just west of Wailuku is the spectacular Iao Valley which houses the incredible Iao Needle which is a 1200 foot tall thin green mountain.

If you are considering a vacation to Maui, I recommend you order a free Maui vacation planning guide from the Maui Visitors Bureau
If you’ve already settled on Maui, get excellent ideas for customizing your own Maui 7-day itinerary

>> Go back to the main page of the Maui Vacation Guide

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