Where to Stay on Maui for the Best Weather

Kaanapali Beach

I suppose the phrase “best weather” is a subjective term. Probably most people would define it as warm and sunny.  On Maui you’re always going to be able to find wonderful warmth and usually lots of sun. (See our article on what’s the weather like on Maui.) In this article, we’ll identify the sunniest spots.

Now please bear with me as I discuss rain in Hawaii for a moment. My husband laughs at me because for some strange reason, rain doesn’t bother me in Hawaii.  I think it must be because the showers tend to be brief and you almost always get to see a rainbow.

From around November through about mid-March, Maui tends to have the most rainfall. So, you may be wondering, should you avoid that time for your Maui vacation.  My answer to that question is not at all!  I’ve been to Maui in January, the wettest month of all, and experienced very little rain.  A couple of reasons to visit Maui in these wetter months is that the waterfalls can be spectacular and it’s humpback whale season – two great rewards, in my opinion!

Still with all that said, where should you stay on Maui for maximum sunshine?  Your best bets would be from the towns and areas of Kihei, Kamaole, Wailea,and Makena as these areas tend to get about 15 inches per year.

Your next best options would be in Lahaina and Kaanapali which gets approximately 17 inches per year. Going further north from there and you’re more likely to find increasing rainfall amounts.  According to my Maui Trailblazer guidebook, just a 10 to 20 minutes drive north from Lahaina, the area of Kapalua averages 31 inches of rainfall. Personally, I wouldn’t avoid Kapalua, in fact, it’s my favorite place to stay on Maui. It’s worth noting that the Mercedes-Benz Championship Golf Tournament is held in Kapalua each January, so it can’t be all that rainfall laden, can it?

On the windward side of Maui, you’ll find the gorgeous little town Hana which is well worth a visit on the famous road to Hana. Along this stunning drive, you’ll see tons of lush green tropical plants and trees and waterfalls.  Um, guess what waters these green plants and feeds these waterfalls?  That’s right, rain! Hana averages approximately 83 inches of year per year.

I hope this article helps you narrow down your choices.  The good news is that you can’t make a bad decision, it’s just that you may find some places sunnier than others.

  1. Sheila, I agree with you, Kapalua is a great place to stay and sometimes the water there is full of whales, they seem to love it too:-) We lived in the Kihei/Wailea area for many years and a trip to Kapalua was always a nice break from the intense heat that you can find on the South end of Maui. Also, Kapalua is not quite so congested as Kihei in the busy season.

  2. Hi Janice – thanks for sharing your opinion as a former resident. We always enjoy dining at the Plantation House in Kapalua any time of year, but during whale season, it’s even better. There does always seem to be more whales in that area and it’s such a treat to watch them from that commanding view at the Plantation House.

  3. We stayed in the Maalaea Bay area about 10 years ago. We rented out a condo during our stay and I really enjoyed it. Yes it was a bit windy and not the best beach but there were three things I loved about it. First is that while it wasn’t the best beach, the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks is something I still vividly remember and wish I would have taken a recording of that sound for those nights I am having trouble sleeping. Second, it was quiet. It wasn’t as touristy there so we could walk somewhat enjoy the natural sound of the island. Finally, it was cheap. I’m not talking dirt cheap but compared to many of the hotels in the area it was worth it.

  4. Great blog. I have read all of your entries regarding where to stay and weather but still have a question. We are planning a multi-generational Christmas trip (Dec 25 – Dec 31) and are looking for two specific things 1) which is better for weather (less chance of daytime rain) Lahaina and Kaanapali or Wailea? 2) Which has more variety of walking distance activities from the major resorts for our group of multi-generational visitors ( kids, adults and seniors) who want to go to the beach, shop and play golf?

    1. Sheila Beal says:

      #1 is answered in the article.
      #2 they’re pretty equal.

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