The Island of Maui: Highlights & Overview

The beautiful Lokelani flower is the flower that represents the island of Maui.
Official flower of Maui: Lokelani
Regional map of the island of Maui is handy and helpful.

The Island of Maui

Maui, also referred to as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest island in the Hawaiian island chain. It is also second in commercial development.

Maui County is the largest county in Hawaii because it includes its three surrounding islands: Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.

The population in Maui is approximately 168,500

The main city on Maui is Kahului.


There are three airports on Maui:

The main airport is the Kahului Airport, Airport Code: OGG

The other two airports are small commuter airports: Kapalua Airport, Airport Code: JHM and Hana Airport, Airport Code: HNM


The best way to get around in Maui is by rental car. Using ride shares (Uber/ Lyft) will get expensive really quickly. You’ll want to explore the different sites while on Maui and the distance between is lengthy.


There are many different types of lodging options in Maui. From AirBnB’s, hotels, and high class resorts.

Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua has many awesome hotels to choose from.

Kihei offers a lot of duplex apartment type of lodging which is really good if you’re traveling with family. Most will come with a full kitchen. I would recommend staying in a duplex especially if you are staying in Maui for an extended time.

Makena and Wailea has many awesome duplex / condo style lodging options. If your budget allows, book your stay at the Grand Wailea Resort.

Main Attractions on the Island of Maui

Haleakala (House of the Sun)

I encourage you to wake up early and head up to Haleakala to watch the sunrise. There will be plenty of people so you’ll want to beat the rush so you can position yourself in the most optimal spot.

Before heading up, make sure you check the Haleakala site for the most current alerts and conditions as it is always changing.

It is a sight to see as the environment may give you the feeling like you are on another planet.

Hang out on top until the sky is fully lit so you can see and enjoy the views on the drive down.

If you can afford to take a helicopter tour, I highly recommend it. I took a tour with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter and it was worth every single penny.


Road to Hana

Visitors to Maui usually have the “Road to Hana” as one of their top three must-do’s.

To be honest and speaking from a local resident perspective, I really don’t think it’s that great or really worth it. It’s a long drive with many hairpin turns and its kind of dangerous. The lanes can get very narrow and some turns are so sharp you’re just relying on faith that you won’t crash into something while taking the turn.

I promise I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy. I’m just trying to be a friend and give you the heads up.

If it is on your bucket list and you have the burning desire to check the box then go ahead and do it. I’d hate for you to take my word for it and then regret not going later.

I would suggest going with a tour if you want to do this as the locals will know where to make stops for photo opportunities.

Road to Hana

Summary of the Island of Maui

Maui is the second largest island of the Hawaiian island chain. It is second to Oahu in regards to development and is developing quite quickly. You’ll want to rent a car since the cities with lodging are far from the Kahului Airport. The gem of Maui is Haleakala. If you do decide to take the road to Hana, don’t forget to pack your motion sickness remedies.