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Planning Your Maui Dream Vacation! Part-1: In Which Part of Maui Should You Stay?

So, after looking at so many options you have finally narrowed it down to Maui. We all have different reasons why we choose to Vacation on Maui. Maybe you dream of a relaxing tropical vacation sitting on the beach or perhaps rock climbing on a waterfall is more your speed. Whatever it is, Maui has something for everyone.

The easy part is over and now the real work begins. The next question that will probably come to mind is in which part of Maui should you stay?

Maui is divided into several major regions, each with its own pros and cons; however, most people tend to stay in either the West or South.

West Maui (Lahaina, Ka’anapali, Honokowai, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua)

Ka’anapali is hands down our favorite area to stay which should not be to surprising since we bought a condo there. To me, this area has it all. It has several luxury hotels and condos (vacation rentals), most of which are within walking distance (along the beach path) of restaurants, beaches, snorkeling, and the Whalers Village shopping center. The weather is great all year around and beside the gorgeous ocean views, you have the picturesque, lush, green mountains behind you. You just can’t ask for a better view.

Napili, Honokowai, Kahana are just north of Ka'anapali Beach. This area is typically less expensive and contains numerous small condo complexes and boutique hotels. The downside to this area is that not everything is within walking distance. However, most people visiting Maui have rented a car and Lahaina and Ka’anapali are just a short drive away.

Kapalua is the farthest north portion of West Maui. Here you will find a few very high-end, luxury condos and hotels. It is also home to three magnificent golf courses. However, you should also be aware that this area tends to get more rain and wind than any of other part of West Maui.

Lahaina is a historic, small, tourist town where you will find shops, art galleries and lots of restaurants and bars. There are very few actual hotels in this area.

South Maui (Wailea and Kihei)

Wailea is also home to several luxury hotels and condos. They are spread out a little more than those on Ka’anapali but still within walking distance of each other and the local restaurants. The weather here is also great all year around and is typically known for being warmer and less breezy than Ka’anapali.

Kihei is north of Wailea and home to numerous large and small condo complexes and is typically less expensive than staying in Wailea. It should be noted that unlike Ka’anapali or Napili, most of the condos in Kihei are across the street from the beach, rather than directly on the beach. This area can be a little more crowded but has a cool, local vibe with many family restaurants and bars.

Other Areas to consider: if not for your entire stay, they are definetly worthy of a day trip

Hana, which is located on the east end of Maui, is considered one of the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontiers. However, the road to get there can be tough for those that suffer from car sickness. Although the scenery is beautiful (waterfalls, rainforest, pools, etc.), be prepared for 4 hours of narrow, one-lane bridges and hairpin turns. This area can be very wet, especially in the Winter.

Upcountry boasts scenic rolling hills, the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) and a thriving art scene. In addition, it is close to Haleakala National Park (Maui's Volcano) which is known for it breath taking views of the island, especially as the sun rises. However, there are limited accommodations and no beaches there.

So which area sounds right for you?

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