Guide to Central Maui: Kahului, Paia, Wailuku & More | Go Hawaii

Central Maui

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Central Maui

Most visitors to the island will begin their vacations in Central Maui, arriving at Kahului Airport (OGG). Home to much of the island’s population, this area offers plenty of interesting attractions and off-the-beaten-path treasures to uncover. 

The top attraction in Central Maui is peaceful Iao Valley State Park, with fog-shrouded forests, lush valleys and burbling streams. Take an easy hike on a paved trail to view one of Maui’s most iconic landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. 

At the gateway to Iao Valley State Park, you can browse local shops, restaurants and historic sites in the charming town of Wailuku

The neighboring town of Kahului is a bustling shopping district with Maui’s largest mall, and if you want to stock up for an epic trip, everything you need can be found here. The Hana Highway leads past town — follow it toward Paia Town where the legendary Road to Hana begins.  

Regions of Maui

Maui
Wailuku
Visit Wailuku and explore the charming wooden storefronts around Market Street, showcasing dozens of family businesses, many of which have been in continuous operation for generations.
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Iao Valley State Park
This peaceful 4,000-acre, 10-mile long park is home to one of Maui's most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle.
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Hana
Along Maui's rugged eastern coastline is the peaceful town of Hana, nestled in a remote and beautiful corner of the island.
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Pools of Oheo
Just 15 minutes south of Hana on Highway 31 on the lower slopes of Haleakala are the famous Pools of Oheo in Oheo Gulch.
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Honolua Bay
Honolua Bay on Maui's northwest shore is a favorite spot for experienced surfers.
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Lahaina
Once known as Lele, which means “relentless sun” in Hawaiian, Lahaina is a historic town that has been transformed into a Maui hotspot with dozens of art galleries and a variety of unique shops and restaurants.
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Kapalua
Kapalua, loosely translated to “arms embracing the sea,” is one of Maui’s premier resort areas located at the foot of the verdant Kahalawai, or West Maui mountains.
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Kaanapali Beach
With three miles of white sand and crystal clear water, it’s no wonder why Kaanapali Beach was once named America’s Best Beach.
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Paia
Just four miles into your drive to Hana from Kahului, you'll discover the historic town of Paia on Maui's north coast.
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Haleakala National Park
Towering over the island of Maui and visible from just about any point, Haleakala Crater is a force of nature in every sense.
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Kula
In the heart of Upcountry Maui, Kula is a quaint, rustic area on the slopes of Haleakala.
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Makawao
Located on the mid-slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano, Makawao has one foot in its plantation past and another in its thriving arts community.
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Kihei
Kihei is beach-combing territory on Maui’s southwest shore, the sunniest, driest end of the island.
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Makena Beach State Park
Maui's southwestern shores are home to many extraordinary beaches, including Makena Beach, also known as "Big Beach" and considered one of the island's best.
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Molokini
Molokini is a small, crescent moon-shaped islet that is a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District.
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Wailea
Known for its five beautiful, crescent-shaped beaches and stellar golf courses, Wailea is a luxurious resort community in South Maui that spans 1,500 acres of land with staggering ocean views.
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Central Maui
Iao Valley State Park in Central Maui
Kahului is home to the island’s main airport and interesting attractions. Head to Wailuku for mom-and-pop shops and eateries along the way to the Iao Valley State Park.
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East Maui
Waterfall off the Hana Highway in East Maui
Visitors who brave the Hana Highway’s signature hairpin turns and narrow bridges are rewarded with out-of-this-world views of lush rainforests, gorgeous waterfalls and exotic beaches.
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South Maui
Wailea in South Maui
Escape to the tropical beaches of Kihei, Makena and Wailea; relax and unwind at a world-class resort or tee off at one of the 13 world-renowned golf courses.
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West Maui
Honoapiilani Highway in West Maui
One of Maui’s most famous stretches of coastline, Kaanapali Beach offers three miles of paradise where ocean adventures and total relaxation await.
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Upcountry Maui
Child feeding goats in Upcountry Maui
Watch the sunrise from the peak of Haleakala, see ancient Hawaii’s desert landscapes and discover unique, locally grown food.
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Central Maui Highlights

Wailuku

Wailuku

Visit Wailuku and explore the charming wooden storefronts around Market Street, showcasing dozens of family businesses, many of which have been in continuous operation for generations.

More
Iao Valley State Park

Iao Valley State Park

This peaceful 4,000-acre, 10-mile long park is home to one of Maui's most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle.

More

Read More About Day Trips From Maui To Lanai and Molokai

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