Most Maui vacations begin in the city of Kahului, home to this Hawaiian island’s airport and cruise port—the entry points for nearly all visitors. While most vacationers stay just long enough to rent a car and pick up supplies, stick around to experience the many sides of Maui, from its beaches to wildlife to agricultural foundation.
Kahului is Maui’s principal shopping district and its offerings are diverse: Stock up at a big retailer like Costco or a small farmer’s market; visit the island’s largest mall, shop chic boutiques, or find hidden treasures at a popular swap meet. Shopping attracts most island locals, but in-the-know travelers also can enjoy the white sand of Kanaha Beach Park, view local fauna and flora at the botanical gardens and Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, and learn the city’s history at the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
Kahului is the spot to stock up on groceries and other big-city necessities before heading to the island’s smaller towns.
Kanaha Beach Park—located right behind the airport—is the best place to catch your first rays of Maui sunshine.
Kahului is the starting point for the scenic Road to Hana (Hana Highway).
How to Get There
Kahului is the jumping-off point for most Maui vacations, and the city can be reached by plane, cruise, or ferry. There are nonstop flights to Kahului from the mainland US and other Hawaiian islands.
When to Get There
Crowds flock to Maui in the winter and summer; consider visiting in the spring or fall to catch the slower shoulder seasons. Keep in mind that Kahului is located on Maui’s windward side, so regardless of when you visit, the city gets rain year-round.
Driving the Road to Hana
Known as one of the most scenic drives in the world, the Road to Hana follows the Maui coastline from Kahului to the remote village of Hana. Prepare for hairpin turns, narrow bridges, and some of the island’s most spectacular cliff-top viewpoints. Along the way, stop to explore waterfalls, beaches, and trails.