As islands go, so goes Maui. Sandy beaches? Got em. Swaying palm trees…those too! And spectacular tropical sunsets…every night!!! But Maui, The Magic Isle, offers so much more. There is something truly magical about this very special place that draws so many people for so many reasons. For over 20 years now, Maui has ben chosen by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as the very best island in the world-hands down. If you’re seeking variety, choice and adventure, you will not be disappointed. The Conde Nast Reader’s Choice award is a testament to Maui providing visitors with an authentic experience they can’t find anywhere else, and confirms Maui’s rightful place as “The best island in the world.”
MAUI NO KA `OI
Maui is the Best
It’s so wild that even today, parts of the island have never been explored. Stretching 48 miles across and 26 miles from north to south, Maui has 125 miles of coastline with over 42 miles of white sand beaches. Today’s Maui is compromised of two volcanoes, and looking at the shape of Maui, you might be reminded of a figure eight. The larger volcano on the east side, Haleakala (meaning “House of the Sun”), is slightly over 10,000 feet in elevation. Almost every conceivable geological feature is found on Maui. Surprisingly, Maui has no rivers but hundreds of streams.
The Hawaiian Islands are well known for exceptional fish. Some say it’s our central location in the Pacific Ocean along with the migrating schools of fish that pass the island chain plus an abundance of currents that keep our waters clean and clear.
Ahi (YellowFin Tuna) – “ahi” refers to two species, the yellowfin tuna and the big eye tuna. Caught year-round in Hawaii's waters, yellow fin tuna is usually most abundant during the summer season (May-September). The texture is firm, flavor is mild. It can be prepared raw (sashimi, sushi, poke), seared, grilled, broiled, sautéed or dried. Ahi is the preferred species for sashimi. Also excellent for grilling, seared or "blackened.”
Mahi-Mahi –is thin-skinned with firm, light pink flesh. It has a delicate flavor that is almost sweet. Hawaii's Mahimahi is a highly regarded product that is best eaten when fresh. Although available most of the year, mahimahi catches in Hawaii usually peak in March-May and September-November. Its’ texture is firm and flavor is sweet and mild. Suggested preparations: gilled, broiled, sautéed, tempura.
Ono – is commonly known as wahoo and is a close relative of the king mackerel. It is most available in Hawaii during the summer and fall, May-October. The texture is flaky and delicate with a mild flavor. Suggested preparations: grilled, broiled, blackened, sautéed, poached, tempura, are all good cooking methods for this “lean, dense fish.”
Opakapaka – is also known as the Hawaiian pink snapper. Caught year-round in the Hawaiian Islands, there is a distinct peak in landings during the winter season (October-February), particularly in the fishery around the main Hawaiian Islands. Texture is firm with a delicate flavor. Suggested preparations: raw (sashimi), baked, steamed, poached, sautéed, soup.
Opah – or moonfish is one of the most colorful of the commercial fish species available in Hawaii. Texture is firm with a rich flavor. Caught year round, but landings seem to peak in April-August. Suggested preparations: raw (sashimi), broiled, baked, sautéed, steamed, smoked.
Take your pick… Air, Land, or Sea. Maui has an ideal climate for just about any activity except winter sports. In fact, Maui probably has more activities available than any other destination in the world. Take to the air with an exciting helicopter tour to get a birds-eye view of all the splendor and beauty Maui has to offer. By land, discover scenic roads for motoring, as well as great biking, both road and mountain. By sea, hop aboard one of the many boating options available. Check out our “Things To Do” page to discover some of the best activities!
You can get around by taxi, tour bus or public transportation, but to really experience the beauty of Maui, consider a car rental.
The main airport on Maui is Kahului Airport (OGG). There are smaller commuter airports in Kapalua (West Maui) and Hana (East Maui).
How far is it from Kahului Airport to:
- Lahaina: 45 minutes
- Kaanapali: 50 minutes
- Kapalua: 60 minutes
- Kihei: 25 minutes
- Wailea: 30 minutes
- Hana: 2hr. 30 minutes
Hawaii follows Hawaii Standard Time (HST). We are 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. We do not observe Daylight Savings Time so make sure you add an extra hour to the time difference during this period.
Anytime of year is a good time. The average temperature is between 75-85 degrees F.
April through November is warmer and drier while winter, December through March is somewhat cooler. The islands trade winds keep our climate comfortable year round.
O’heo Gulch Pools, located on the road to Hana, are the favorite of many Maui visitors. Beautiful cascading waterfalls may look great, but there are a few inherent dangers that must be considered before visiting one. Hawaiian streams often flash flood, so be sure to be careful and check weather reports before swimming in and around waterfalls.
All of the islands of Hawaii have nicknames: Kauai is referred to as the “Garden Isle,” Hawaii is either called “The Big Island” or the “Orchid Isle,” Oahu is “The Gathering Place,” Molokai is known as “The Friendly Isle,” and Maui is “The Valley Isle.” Maui’s name is derived from the fact that central Maui sits between two mountains, with Haleakala to the east and the West Maui Mountains to the west. Nearly the entire central Maui floor is no more than 200 feet above sea level, while Haleakala soars to over 10,000 feet above sea level.
The biggest tree in Maui is a Banyon Tree in Lahaina. It is over 130 years old and shades almost two thirds of an acre!
Although Maui was formed by the overlap of two volcanic eruptions, there are no active volcanoes on Maui. One of Maui’s two volcanoes is considered dormant rather than extinct. Haleakala will likely erupt again some day, but it has only erupted three times in the last 900 years, most recently in the seventeenth century. The volcano is host to a daily downhill mountain bike tour (except Mondays).
The Highway to Hana is a road of just over 50 miles, running through the most beautiful and varied scenery of any place in Hawaii. Through flowering rainforests, across single-lane bridges, around hairpin turns, and past breathtaking waterfalls, this road reveals some of the most magnificent vistas imaginable. The small town of Hana is a quiet place that preserves Hawaiian traditions and friendliness. It features the most beautiful beach of the Pacific, as well as a traditional Hawaiian temple and delightful shops and restaurants.
The population of Maui, at about 140,000, is a little smaller than that of Dayton, Ohio. But during peak travel season, this number more than doubles. Even at the height of the season, however, the population density is less than one-sixth that of Dayton. Although Maui is home to world-class resorts, golf courses, and other attractions, the vibe is distinctly “small town.”
At 728 square miles, Maui is about half the size of the state of Rhode Island. But where Rhode Island is quite uniform in terms of topography and weather, Maui has five distinct regions and as many microclimates. Ranging from tropical to mountainous, Maui’s regions offer more diversity than most of America’s 50 states. How big is Maui? As big as it needs to be for your most memorable vacation.