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Maui Hawaii

Maui Hawaii

Maui’s nickname is the “Magic Isle”, and once you’ve visited, it isn’t very difficult to discover why.  From volcanic craters to rainforests and sprawling beaches, this small island is a fantastical experience unlike any other no matter where you may travel around the globe.

This is the second largest of the archipelago of Hawaiian islands (727.2 square miles), though it’s much tinier than the Big Island.  Its compact nature makes Maui the perfect experience for travelers who want to take part in a wide range of very different activities, without having to do a lot of travelling while they are on their vacations.

The landscape of Maui is extremely diverse and unique, leading visitors to experience different elevations, vegetations, and even climates.  The entire island was the result of millions of years of volcanic eruption, as liquid lava flowed down from the volcano and dried, leaving rich soil and black iron-rich rocks behind.

The original people who lived in Maui came from the Marquesas and Tahiti.  They brought the strict social kapu system to the islands, building the foundation of the Hawaiian culture.  It wasn’t until 1790 that the modern history of the islands began with the invasion of King Kamehameha I, who ruled the Big Island.  This brought about the Battle of Kepaniwai, which did not have a conclusive winner by the time the King returned to his own island.  However, he returned a few years later to achieve his victory.

The first European to see Maui was Captain James Cook, the explorer who arrived November 26, 1778.  Though he did see the island, he did not land on it, as he could not find a suitable place.  Instead, the first European to actually walk upon Maui was in 1786, when admiral Jean-François de la Pérouse, a French explorer, landed on the shore that is now called La Perouse Bay.  After that point, Europeans returned regularly from many countries of origin, from whalers to missionaries, and from loggers to traders.

Today, Maui has undergone a massive growth in population.  As the fiftieth state, Americans choose this Hawaiian island as a favorite vacation destination, where they can experience everything exotic and luxurious, without leaving the country.  That said, it also receives visitors from the rest of the world, as well.  Tourism is now one of the two primary industries of the island – agriculture being the other. 

From history to sports, relaxing beaches to the highest quality resorts, there is little doubt that this is one of the most ideal locations for a dream vacation.

Maui Hawaii is indeed an amazing tropical paradise. It consists of endless beauty, for the crystal clear water to the white sand beaches, Maui Hawaii will take your breath away. Whether you explore the island of Maui Hawaii of sunbathe at one of the stunning local resorts by the pool you won't be disappointed with your decision to vacation in Maui Hawaii.

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Maui Hawaii Travel Guide

Maui Hawaii Map

The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727 square miles (1883 km²). Three other islands, Lāna'i, Kaho'olawe, and Moloka'i belong to Maui County. Together, the four islands are known as Maui Nui.

Click on the map for a more detailed view.

The island of Maui is the second largest in Hawaii, a state of the United States of America. Maui offers travelers and vacationers a wide variety of experiences, including seeing the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala, sunning on the beaches in Kaanapali and Kihei, driving the Road to Hana through lush rainforest, and watching humpback whales during the winter in the waters off Maui. The diversity of Maui makes it one of the best vacation destinations.

Maui has a population of about 150,000 people, about the same as the Big Island but in a fraction of the area. Shaped like a figure eight, Haleakala takes up the lion's share of the east side of the island, while the West Maui Mountains, the remnant of an extinct volcano, is on the west. The area between the two volcanoes gives the island its nickname: The Valley Isle.

Maui Hawaii Central Valley

Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains meet in the middle of Maui, and form the Central Valley. The Central Valley area is the main population center of Maui, with twin towns surrounded by acres of sugar cane and pineapple fields.

The two towns of the Central Valley have two distinct personalities to them. In Kahului, it's all about commerce, trade, and transportation. This area has large strip malls and many other commerce and shopping based businesses. The island's two largest malls are located here, as are the island's principal deep-water port and main airport.

Several miles west lies the smaller town of Wailuku, and you step back about 50 to 100 years, back to the days when daily life revolved around Main Street. In Wailuku, this is still the case; buildings here maintain the look and feel of the early 1900s. The site of county government, Wailuku is also home to several buildings listed on both state and national historic registers. It is the gateway to the Iao Needle, but has few other tourist attractions. Two golf courses are located in nearby Hyashi Village.

West Maui Hawaii

West Maui is the main tourist center of the island, home to most of the island's resort destinations.

Lahaina is an old whaling town on Maui's west coast, with a charming (though touristy) feel these days. Nearby are the master-planned resort areas of Kaanapali and Kapalua.

South Maui Hawaii

South Maui is one of the fastest growing areas on Maui, with high tech industries and a tourist center on the southwest coast.

Kihei is a recent upstart on the south coast. Beyond the busy beaches and resorts, Kihei is home to Maui's small but growing high-tech industries, including a supercomputing center.

Wailea and Makena are master-planned resort areas located just south of Kihei.

East Maui Hawaii

Sparsely populated East Maui centers around the village of Hana and the winding road that leads to it.

Isolated Hana is located on Maui's eastern tip surrounded by dense rainforests. The Highway to Hana is a tourist attraction in its own right, as it winds for hours through green valleys, past waterfalls, and over one-lane bridges.

Upcountry Maui Hawaii

Located in the foothills of Haleakala, the area known as Upcountry is a ranching area, and its cooler temperatures also lend itself to specialized agriculture.

Pukalani and Makawao are the two largest communities of Upcountry Maui. Pukalani has a rural residential feel to it, while Makawao is home to larger lots and ranches and a funky town center.

Kula is also home to large ranches, and is home to the only winery on Maui, Tedeschi Vineyards.

Maui Hawaii is in paradise...why aren't you?
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Maui Hawaii

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March 8, 2012 11:31 AM

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