The Most Popular Area in Maui: Ranking the Top Destinations

Choose the area you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Nov 26, 2023 06:58
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of the most popular areas in Maui! As the enchanting island of Maui continues to captivate the hearts of countless visitors, we want to hear from YOU - the true connoisseurs of this tropical paradise. So go ahead and dive into our exclusive ranking of Maui's top spots, where you'll find everything from the pristine beaches of Ka'anapali to the lush landscapes of the Road to Hana. Whether you're a seasoned Maui explorer or a first-time wanderer, this is your chance to make your voice heard! Cast your vote for your favorite locale and watch as the competition unfolds. Can't find your personal hidden gem? Fear not, you can also suggest a missing option to make this battle royale truly complete. So grab your lei, put on your shades, and let's ride the wave to discover the ultimate Maui destination together!

What Is the Most Popular Area in Maui?

  1. 1
    Lahaina - known for its historic charm, art galleries, restaurants, and shopping. It is also the gateway to the famous Kaanapali Beach.
    Lahaina is a picturesque town located on the western coast of the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Hawaii, known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Lahaina was the former capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and served as a major whaling port in the 19th century. Today, it is a popular tourist destination that offers a unique blend of historical landmarks, art galleries, beautiful beaches, and tropical ambiance.
    • Location: Western coast of the island of Maui, Hawaii
    • History: Former capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and a major whaling port in the 19th century
    • Tourism: Popular tourist destination known for its art galleries, historical landmarks, and beautiful beaches
    • Culture: Vibrant cultural scene with traditional Hawaiian music, hula dance, and local festivals
    • Landscapes: Stunning coastline, lush mountains, and breathtaking sunsets
  2. 2
    Kihei is a popular beach town with a laid-back vibe and plenty of shops, restaurants, and activities. It is also home to some of the best beaches on the island, including Kamaole Beach Park.
    Kihei is a popular area located on the south-western coast of Maui, Hawaii. It is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, stunning sunsets, and relaxed atmosphere. Kihei offers a mix of residential and tourist areas, making it a great destination for both locals and visitors. The area has a vibrant dining scene, with numerous restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. It is also home to a range of shops, from local boutiques to larger shopping centers. With its warm climate and abundance of outdoor activities, Kihei is a paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
    • Location: Southwestern edge of Maui, Hawaii
    • Climate: Warm tropical climate with pleasant temperatures year-round
    • Beaches: Beautiful sandy beaches like Kamaole Beach Park and Keawakapu Beach
    • Water Activities: Ideal for swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking
    • Sunsets: Breathtaking sunsets over the Pacific Ocean
  3. 3
    Kaanapali - famous for its luxurious resorts, world-class golf courses, and pristine beaches. It is also home to the Whalers Village shopping center and the popular Kaanapali Beach Boardwalk.
    Kaanapali is a popular resort town located on the western shore of Maui, Hawaii. It is known for its stunning white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant tropical ambiance. This area offers a mix of luxury resorts, condominiums, golf courses, shopping centers, and dining options, making it a prime destination for tourists seeking relaxation, outdoor activities, and entertainment.
    • Beaches: Kaanapali Beach is a three-mile-long stretch of pristine sandy shore.
    • Water Sports: Popular activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
    • Golf: Kaanapali is home to two championship golf courses: the Royal Kaanapali Course and the Kaanapali Kai Course.
    • Whale Watching: During the winter months, visitors can witness breathtaking displays of humpback whales in the waters off Kaanapali.
    • Shopping: The town features a variety of boutique shops, art galleries, and upscale stores at places like Whalers Village.
  4. 4
    Wailea is a high-end resort community with upscale shops, restaurants, and spas. It is also home to some of the best beaches on the island, including Wailea Beach and Makena Beach.
    Wailea is a renowned resort area located on the beautiful island of Maui in Hawaii. It is known for its stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, and exceptional golf courses. The area offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and top-notch amenities, making it a favored destination for travelers seeking relaxation and indulgence.
    • Location: Southwestern coast of Maui
    • Beaches: Award-winning beaches with pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters
    • Resorts: World-class resorts offering luxury accommodations and impeccable service
    • Golf courses: Home to several championship golf courses with breathtaking views
    • Shopping: Upscale shopping centers featuring high-end boutiques and designer stores
  5. 5
    Paia is a charming town located on Maui's North Shore. It is known for its laid-back surfer vibe, unique shops and restaurants, and access to some of the best surf spots on the island.
    Paia is a charming town located on the northern coast of Maui, Hawaii. It was established as a plantation village in the late 19th century and has since transformed into a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Paia offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a vibrant arts scene.
    • Beaches: Paia is renowned for its stunning beaches, such as Baldwin Beach and Ho'okipa Beach, which are well-known for their excellent surfing conditions and breathtaking ocean views.
    • Windsurfing: The strong winds and consistent waves make Paia a paradise for windsurfing enthusiasts, attracting both beginners and professionals from around the world.
    • Boutique Shops: Paia's Historic Plantation town is lined with unique boutique shops, offering a mix of local art, fashion, jewelry, and international imports.
    • Dining Options: Paia boasts a diverse culinary scene, ranging from fine dining restaurants to local eateries, catering to all tastes and dietary preferences.
    • Art Galleries: The town is home to numerous art galleries, showcasing a wide range of local and international artists, making it a hub for art lovers.
  6. 6
    Hana is a remote town located on Maui's East Coast. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, including waterfalls, beaches, and lush rainforests. It is also home to the famous Road to Hana, a scenic drive with breathtaking views.
    Hana is a popular Arabic girl name that has significant meaning and cultural significance. It is derived from the Arabic word 'Hanan' which means 'tenderness' or 'compassion'. Hana is often associated with qualities such as kindness, empathy, and gentleness.
    • Meaning: Tenderness, Compassion
    • Origin: Arabic
    • Popularity: Widely used in various Arabic-speaking countries
    • Symbolism: Kindness, Empathy, Gentleness
    • Pronunciation: Hah-nah
  7. 7
    Wailuku - the county seat of Maui and the island's largest town. It is known for its historic architecture, including the Bailey House Museum and the Kaahumanu Church. It is also home to the popular Iao Valley State Park.
    Wailuku is a vibrant town located on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It serves as the county seat of Maui County and is known for its rich history and cultural significance. Wailuku offers visitors a unique blend of old-world charm and modern attractions, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
    • Location: Located on the north-central coast of Maui
    • Population: Approximately 16,964 residents
    • Historical Significance: Served as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii in the early 19th century
    • Wailuku River: Flows through the town, providing scenic views and opportunities for outdoor activities
    • Iao Valley State Monument: Located nearby, featuring the iconic Iao Needle and lush rainforest
  8. 8
    Makawao is a charming upcountry town known for its cowboy culture, art galleries, and unique shops and restaurants. It is also home to the Maui Winery and the Alii Kula Lavender Farm.
    Makawao is a charming town located on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Known for its rich history, artistic community, and stunning natural surroundings, it is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in Hawaii. Makawao offers visitors a unique blend of traditional Hawaiian culture and modern amenities, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
    • Location: Maui, Hawaii
    • Population: Approximately 7,184 residents
    • Elevation: 1,573 feet (479 meters)
    • Historic significance: Makawao was established in the late 19th century as a cowboy town during the heyday of the Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) culture.
    • Artistic community: Makawao is home to numerous art galleries, shops, and studios, showcasing the talents of local artists.
  9. 9
    Pukalani is a residential town located on Maui's upcountry. It is known for its cool climate, stunning views of the island, and access to hiking and biking trails. It is also home to the Pukalani Country Club, a popular golf course.
    Pukalani is a charming town nestled in Upcountry Maui, known for its lush green landscapes and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This bustling community offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, suburban convenience, and a laid-back island lifestyle. Pukalani is located on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui's highest peak, providing residents and visitors with a cool and refreshing climate throughout the year. The town is populated with picturesque residential neighborhoods, local shops, restaurants, and recreational facilities.
    • Views: Breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean
    • Location: Upcountry Maui
    • Climate: Cool and refreshing
    • Landscapes: Lush green surroundings
    • Residential neighborhoods: Charming and picturesque
  10. 10
    Kula is a rural town located on Maui's upcountry. It is known for its agricultural heritage, including farms that produce coffee, lavender, and protea flowers. It is also home to the Haleakala National Park, where visitors can hike to the summit of Maui's highest peak.
    Kula is a beautiful upcountry area located on the slopes of the dormant volcano Haleakala in Maui. It is known for its stunning views, cool climate, and agricultural charm. With its picturesque landscapes and peaceful atmosphere, Kula is a popular destination for nature lovers, hikers, and those seeking a tranquil retreat.
    • Location: On the slopes of Haleakala volcano in Maui
    • Views: Offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the ocean and neighboring islands
    • Climate: Features a cooler climate compared to coastal areas, with refreshing temperatures and occasional mist
    • Agriculture: Known for its vibrant farming community and fertile lands, supporting diverse crops like fruits, vegetables, flowers, and vineyards
    • Community: Home to a close-knit and welcoming community, preserving the rural and serene lifestyle

Missing your favorite area?


Ranking factors for popular area

  1. Number of visitors
    The number of tourists visiting the area is a crucial factor in determining its popularity. Areas that receive a higher influx of visitors can be considered more popular.
  2. Attractions
    The presence and quality of tourist attractions such as beaches, parks, water sports, hiking trails, cultural sites, and historical landmarks play a significant role in the popularity of an area.
  3. Accommodations
    The availability of lodgings such as hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and hostels influences the popularity of an area.
  4. Reviews and ratings
    Online reviews and ratings from websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp indicate the satisfaction level of tourists who visited the area. Areas with higher ratings and positive reviews are likely more popular.
  5. Accessibility
    How easy is it for tourists to reach the area? Good accessibility through airports, roads, and public transportation can boost an area's popularity.
  6. Dining and shopping options
    Areas with a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers cater to the needs of tourists and contribute to an area's popularity.
  7. Events and festivals
    Cultural events and festivals can draw large crowds to an area and increase its popularity among tourists.
  8. Climate and weather
    The climate and weather conditions in an area can greatly affect its popularity. Tourists usually prefer areas with pleasant weather and favorable conditions for outdoor activities.
  9. Activities and entertainment
    The availability of recreational activities such as water sports, hiking, golfing, and cultural experiences also plays a significant role in attracting tourists to an area. Additionally, nightlife and entertainment options like bars, clubs, and live music venues can boost an area's popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular area in Maui. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or area is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 208 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each area once every 24 hours. The rank of each area is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular area in maui

Maui, known as the Valley Isle, is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is a top destination for tourists seeking a paradisiacal experience. With its stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes, and fascinating culture, Maui has something for everyone. When it comes to the most popular area in Maui, it's hard to pick just one. Lahaina, located on the west side of the island, is a historic town with plenty of restaurants, shops, and galleries. Kihei, situated on the south side, boasts miles of white sand beaches and warm waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. If you're looking for a more upscale experience, Wailea is the place to be. This luxurious resort area features world-class golf courses, high-end shopping, and some of the island's most beautiful beaches. And let's not forget about the famous Road to Hana, a scenic drive that takes you through lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque small towns. No matter which area you choose to visit in Maui, you're sure to be captivated by its natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality. It's no wonder Maui is consistently ranked as one of the top travel destinations in the world.