The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands is the United States' 17th largest island. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai.
The climate of the Hawaiian Islands is characterized by a two-season year, mild and uniform temperatures everywhere (except at high elevations), marked geographic differences in rainfall, high relative humidity, extensive cloud formations (except on the driest coasts and at high elevations), and dominant trade-wind flow (especially at elevations below a few thousand feet). Maui itself has a wide range of climatic conditions and weather patterns that are influenced by several different factors in the physical environment.
For a more extensive summary on Hawaii, and Maui in particular, please visit gohawaii.com and gohawaii.com/maui.
A shopping mall, Whalers Village, is located next to the Westin Maui Spa & Resort. Whaler's village offers approximately 100 shops featuring apparel, jewelry, gifts, etc. More information can be found at http://www.whalersvillage.com/
Some popular things to do on Maui we recommend:
KA’ANAPALI BEACH. The Westin is on the beach and you can swim, snorkel, windsurf, catch some rays and watch wahines. Add ocean kayaking, parasailing, body boarding and whale watching. There are 1,500 to 2,000 humpback whales that winter in Lahaina Roads. April is near the end of the season but in recent years they linger until early May. You can go on offshore whale watching excursions or see them from your hotel room’s lanai (balcony). Scuba diving, sunset dinner cruises: all available on the beach.
Ka’anapali Beach is 3 miles (about 5Km) long and Maui boasts several other world class public beaches. Maui is a sizeable island.
LAHAINA the old capitol of the Kingdom of Hawaii during the 19th century whaling days has quite a few artifacts from that time. Front Street along the harbor has great shopping, dining and people watching. In the center stands an Indian banyan tree planted in 1873. Today it is 50’ high and the circumference of its canopy is about 1/4 mile.
The Pioneer Inn, a classic wooden hotel near the banyan tree, (see adjacent pix) was built 110 years ago as accommodations for business travelers visiting Pioneer Mill, the old sugar plantation. Today the “PI” is more modern. Now, as then, it has a popular bar and a good restaurant. http://www.pioneerinnmaui.com/
GOLF. Royal Ka’anapali is a tournament-tested design by Robert Trent Jones Sr., host to such events as the Champions Tour Ka'anapali Classic and the LPGA Kemper Cup. Ka’anapali offers spectacular views and a challenging 36 holes of championship golf. GOLF. Royal Ka’anapali is a tournament-tested design by Robert Trent Jones Sr., host to such events as the Champions Tour Ka'anapali Classic and the LPGA Kemper Cup. Ka’anapali offers spectacular views and a challenging 36 holes of championship golf. www.kaanapali-golf.com
Nearby Kapalua was rated the #1 Course in Hawaii by Golf Digest magazine. PGA’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, held there has included golf greats such as Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Justin Leonard, and Ernie Els. www.golfatkapalua.com There are about 20 other courses on Maui. So golfers are spoiled for choice.
LUAU. One of the best evenings in the islands is the Old Lahaina Luau. Hawaiian food, Polynesian culture, music, hula dancing, fire dancing. A luau of course is the classic Hawaiian feast featuring food from an underground oven called an imu. www.oldlahainaluau.com
SUGAR TRAIN. The LK&PRR steam railroad runs between Kaanapali and Lahaina. It is a relic of the days when narrow gauge steam trains helped gather the sugar crop on all islands. Today it carries passengers along the West Maui coast line.
AQUARIUM. About a 20 minute drive from Kaanapali, the Maui Ocean Center has an acrylic tunnel that allows seeing an ocean tank from the inside. There are thousands of fish in the tank. www.mauioceancenter.com/
HALEAKALA. This 10,023 ft. (3,055 m) high dormant volcano rises precipitously from the sea. Its name in Hawaiian means House of the Sun and in Hawaiian mythology was dredged from the sea by the demi-God Maui. Viewing the sunrise from the top is a great experience though it requires rising early. Wear warm clothes if you go to the top. Summit temperatures can fall to 32o F (0oC) at dawn. The crater is about the size of Manhattan Island and is the home of the rare Nene goose, a protected species adapted to living on lava not the sea. Amid the lava blooms the Silversword, endemic to Haleakala and a two peaks in the Himalayas.
The peak is a U.S. National Park with hiking trails, an observatory and some cabins. The summit hosts an extensive astronomical telescope complex that does space surveillance for the USAF, the University of Hawaii, the FAA and the Smithsonian. The Mees Solar Observatory offers a summit webcam at: http://kopiko.ifa.hawaii.edu/html/msocrater.shtml
An interesting excursion is riding a bike down Haleakala. Tour operators organize the trip down. (They haul you and the bike to the top.) http://www.bikemaui.com/
UPCOUNTRY MAUI (Kula) The high ground on the slopes of the volcano on the way to Haleakala is a different place, geologically, culturally and climatically. It is where many of the islands flowers and vegetables are grown. Cattle ranches make Makawao a popular Paniolo (cowboy) town.
Ulupalakua Ranch, a storied 20,000 acre (8,000 Hectare) cattle ranch is where King Kalakaua and other royalty took their leave. Pronounced OO-LOO-PAHL-AH-KOO-AH, the ranch is as beautiful as its name. For decades Hawaiian Telephone Company engineers relished the time spent at the VHF Interisland Repeater station on the property. Driving along grassy pastures on a road lined with 100 year old flowering Jacaranda trees and breathing the pure, cool, Upcountry Maui air is as close to Paradise as we are allowed. Pardee Erdman, the owner, sees his role largely as a good steward of the land. http://www.ulupalakuaranch.com/index.htm
The Tedeschi wine making family from Napa Valley have a vineyard in Ulupalakua. At their store you can sample (and buy) their local wines; while steaks of Maui Cattle Co. beef, Kalua Pig and even Maui Elk sandwiches are available at the ranch’s deli and store. www.mauiwine.com
The Surfing Goat Dairy where Da' Feta Mo' Betta is on the slopes of Lower Kula. It is owned by a German expatriate who makes award winning gourmet goat’s milk cheeses-which, of course, are available at the dairy. www.surfinggoatdairy.com.
Flyin’ Hawaiian Zipline in the West Maui Mountains offers 8 ziplines, the longest being 3,200 ft. (about 1Km).Their runs cross 9 valleys and 7 ridges. Other ziplines are on the slopes of Haleakala. http://www.flyinhawaiianzipline.com/
HANA, a small town on the back side of the Island is accessed by a 52 mile (84Km) narrow paved road that winds through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. Tight curves, waterfalls, rainforests, traditional Hawaiian agriculture add to the challenging drive. www.hanamaui.com or Google: Road to Hana and select Images.
PAIA: on Maui’s North shore is a cool surfer’s town with excellent beach restaurants, shopping and arguably the world’s best windsurfing beach. http://www.paiamaui.com
HC&S SUGAR PLANTATION: operates Hawaii’s last large sugar plantation on Maui. It farms 35,000 acres (14,200 Hectares.) HC&S produces about 8% of Maui’s electricity, generating steam by burning bagasse, a waste product of its sugar mill. It is in the big central valley.
WAILUKU is the county seat and the business and industrial center of Maui. It is adjacent to the main airport in Kahalui. Wailuku like the rest of Hawaii is an ethnically diverse community of Hawaiians, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipinos, Europeans and Chinese.
“MAUI NO KA OI” Maui’s slogan (Maui Is the Best)
Some Pictures from the place of interest