The second largest island in Hawaii, Maui boasts lush land, beautiful beaches, renowned resorts, restaurants, and world-class shopping destinations. If you’re looking for a place that is less populated than Oahu but busier than Kauai, Maui is the ideal place to spend part or all of your adventure-filled, tropical vacation in paradise.
From Kahului, where Maui’s main airport (Kahului Airport) is located, it is a two-to-four hour drive to the rural town of Hana, depending on which how far up you go and how many stops you make along the way. The 52-mile Hana Highway has many great points of interest, including the Garden of Eden Botanical Arboretum, Kaumahina State Wayside Park, and Punalau Valley Falls. Once you reach Hana, you can go for a swim at Hana Beach Park, then hike to Kaihalulu Beach, which is also known as Red Sand Beach because of its unique sand color. Another great town to visit is Lahaina, which is located in West Maui and known for its historical sites that include the old courthouse, the giant Banyan tree, and the Baldwin House – a restored house from the 1850s. Haleakala National Park is home to a dormant volcano, and also hosts a variety of endangered species and wildlife. Other fun activities include shopping on Front Street, indulging in a spa day at the Grand Wailea Beach Resort, a visit to historic Paia Town, strolling through the Kula Botanical Gardens, and going on one of the Maui Brewing Company Tours.
The beauty of the Hawaiian Islands is their close proximity to one another, making it easier to island hop over the course of a day. Islands closest to Maui are Molokai, the Big Island, and Oahu. Flights between Oahu and Maui are approximately 40 minutes long. A flight to Molokai is only 25 minutes, and flight time between Maui and the Big Island is thirty minutes. Kauai is slightly further away, but by plane it is around 45 minutes.
The island is divided into five districts: East Maui, West Maui, Central Maui, South Maui, and North Shore. East Maui is very peaceful and is home to Hana, a small, rural town on the eastern coastline that has many beach shacks as well as elegant estates. West Maui offers the best of resort living, set against forests and the West Maui Mountains, along with pineapple fields, golf courses, and sandy beaches. South Maui is home to Wailea, another resort community that has crescent-shaped beaches and golf courses, and has many luxury condominiums and private villas. In the North Shore area, there is a rural, artistic community known as Makawao, and there are many beautiful upcountry estates in the area.
The public bus system in Maui provides services to the island’s most popular areas with ten major routes, and runs seven days a week including holidays. The fare costs $2 per boarding, and there are three routes (Kahului, Wailuku Loops and Lahaina Village), which are free to passengers. There is also a rural shuttle service that runs three times a week, and two inter-island ferry services that travel to Lanai and Molokai.
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