The second largest Hawaiian island has a smaller population than you’d expect, making Maui popular with visitors who are looking for sophisticated diversions and amenities in the small towns and airy resorts spread throughout the island. From the scenic slopes of fertile Upcountry Maui to beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world, a visit to “the Magic Isle” recharges the senses.
Maui is best known for the Haleakala National Park (Maui’s highest peak), the road to Hana (scenic drive to a charming town), Lahaina (historic whaling town and hot spot), beautiful beaches (from Kaanapali to Makena), and whale watching.
Travel to Maui:
Kahului Airport (OGG) is the Maui’s main airport. There are two smaller commuter airports as well: Kapalua Airport (JHM) in West Maui and Hana Airport (HNM) in East Maui. Many airlines offer non-stop flights direct to Maui. You may also fly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu before heading to Maui on a short, 30-minute flight. There is also daily ferry service to and from the nearby islands of Lanai and Molokai.
Geography of Maui:
Maui is separated into 5 distinct regions: West Maui, South Maui, Central Maui, Upcountry Maui and East Maui. The Hawaiian Islands are generally drier on the western, or leeward side, and wetter on the eastern, or windward side. Most Maui resorts can be found in sunny West Maui and South Maui or at the end of a lush drive to Hana in East Maui. Haleakala volcano dominates the southeastern region of Maui with a crater 3,000 feet deep and 21 miles around. The cool temperatures and rich volcanic soil of Upcountry Maui make it the optimal location for fertile farms and gardens.
Weather in Maui:
Maui contains a number of microclimates. It is generally drier on Maui’s leeward side where you’ll find the spectacular beaches and resorts of Kapalua, Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kihei and Wailea along the western coast. On the wetter windward side you’ll find lush Iao Valley and the scenic road to Hana. It’s warmer along the coast than Upcountry Maui where temperatures are typically 8-10 degrees cooler. If you’re driving up to the 9,740-foot Haleakala Visitor Center atop Haleakala National Park, expect temperatures in the 40s or lower, so bring warm clothes.
There are generally two seasons in Maui. Winter (November through April), when temperatures typically range in the low-70s to mid-80s, and summer when the high can run into the low-90s. The trade winds keep you comfortable year-round so any time of year is a good time to visit Maui.