At one time, all the islands surrounding Maui formed one big island, which geologists called Maui Nui. (Meaning Big Maui—darned clever, those geologists.) In fact, if you’d visited here just 18,000 years ago, during a mini ice age that drastically lowered the sea level, you could have driven from Maui to Lana‘i and on to Moloka‘i. (Of course, finding a rental car might have been an issue.) As the volcanoes sank and the seas rose, the mountains separated, forming today’s configuration. They continue to sink, and in about 15,000 years Maui will be two separate islands. We live in an era when Maui is perfectly arranged to easily explore the two sides. Enjoy our fortunate timing.
Explore Maui like a local using our Maui map. Visit our map page for more details on Maui’s different regions, as well as maps plotting all of Maui beaches, hotels, and attractions.
Maui Hawaii weather
Hawaii Maui weather is radically different around the island. Many times we’ve been at the airport in Kahului and seen people coming off the plane looking gloomy and worried. “It’s so windy and rainy here,” they often say. Sometimes we wish the county would erect a sign at the airport saying, “No worry, da weatha stay mo betta in Kihei and Lahaina.” For more information on Maui Hawaii weather in each of its regions, visit our Maui weather page.
Things to do in Maui Hawaii
July, August and Christmas are busy times on Hawaii Maui, and it may be difficult getting what you want on short notice. If you have your heart set on a particular activity, consider reserving it from the mainland (by phone or Internet; the latter often has discounts), just to make sure there’s room for you.
This is probably the single biggest activity that people pay to do on Hawaii Maui, and for good reason. The calm, clear waters make it a boater’s heaven. Maui’s boating conditions are superb due to the shape of its coastline, and it has close island neighbors to visit.
So many choices and fleeting characteristics make it dizzying. We may take a boat tour and rave about it, but the day after we go to press, the boating company may sell their 50-foot sailing yacht and begin taking passengers out on an inflatable raft from Walmart. It’s hard to keep up.
OK, here’s where Maui’s often placid waters pays off. The diving here can be incredible. The usually calm morning waters off South and West Maui make boat rides short and sweet. In addition to its nearshore dives, Maui has two great offshore dives. West Maui has the awesome Cathedrals II on Lana’i, and South Maui has the humbling back wall of Molokini.
We’ve noticed that, overall, the dive operations on Hawaii Maui seem to be of a slightly higher caliber than the other islands, perhaps because there’s so much competition. Prices can be lower, too. (It’s good to see that some things are actually cheaper on Maui!)
OK, OK, let’s be honest. A place that’s known as the windsurfing capital of the world surely can’t have world-class golf, right? So you’d think. But the truth is the golfing on Hawaii Maui can be outrageous. Granted, it’s probably not quite as good as some on the Big Island, but some courses are pretty close and will blow away most of the courses you’ve ever played on the mainland. The trick here is to play early. Wind can be the instrument of your doom here, and the later you play, the greater the doom.
Maui Hawaii hotels
These Maui Hawaii hotels are a real gem among the island’s many places to stay. You can read our candid opinions of Hawaii Maui’s best resorts on our Maui resort reviews page. For a full list of Maui’s hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals, download the Hawaii Revealed app for access to the free Where to Stay section.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
This 15-acre beachfront resort setting was completed in 2013, making the Andaz Wailea’s newest resort. The buildings are modern in both style and décor while still embracing the resort’s beachfront location. Their modern lobby is where every guest is personally greeted with a lei. There’s even a large “sandbox” (actually a sand-covered floor area) to hang out in and dip your toes into while you wait for your room.
Though not at the ocean’s shoreline, this condo is still in dreamy Wailea, and the units are large and comfortable. Many have very nice touches inside. Upstairs units have high vaulted ceilings at this 3-story walk-up property. Many units have fine golf course views, and all have discounts at the South Maui golf courses and the Wailea Tennis Club.
A dreamy gated condo property right on Napili Beach with clean, comfortable, updated rooms, and an extremely warm staff make you feel at home. In fact, they often greet guests by saying, “Welcome home.” As with many Napili resorts, most visitors are long-time repeats, and they can book out a year in advance. Layouts and furnishings are amazingly variable, but most are updated, very clean, and most face the ocean. It was built in 1961 and is not plush, but Hale Napili is an easy place to like—and an easy place to return to. We gave this resort a Solid Gold Value, but it is also a Real Gem.
Hawaii Revealed App
More things to reveal in the app:
- Reviews on Hawaii Resorts with their locations
- Reviews on every single beach on the islands
- Interactive maps of Kauai, Maui, Oahu and the Big Island
- Details to help plan your visit to Hawaii’s best sights, tours, activities and more
Download our app to find everything you need to know about Hawaii Maui