Quick Guide to the Island of Maui

'Iao Needle in 'Iao Valley State Monument on the Island of Maui. Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com

Size of Maui:

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a land area of 729 square miles. It is 48 miles long and 26 miles across at its widest point.

Population of Maui:

As of the 2010 U.S. Census: 144,444. Ethnic mix: 36% Caucasian, 23% Japanese, followed by Hawaiian, Chinese and Filipino.

Maui's Nickname

Maui's nickname is the "Valley Isle."

Biggest Towns on Maui:

  1. Kahului
  2. Wailuku
  3. Lahaina

Maui Airports:

The main airport is in Kahului located in Maui's central valley. All major airlines offer direct service from the U.S. and Canada to Maui. Most inter-island flights arrive at Kahului Airport. There is also a smaller airport in Kapalua (West Maui), and a commuter airport in Hana (East Maui).

Major Industries of Maui:

  1. Tourism
  2. Sugar (to end by the end of 2016)
  3. Diversified Agriculture including pineapple
  4. Cattle
  5. Information technology

Maui Climate:

Maui is a tropical island with a fairly mild year-round climate tempered by the Pacific Ocean. At sea level the average afternoon winter temperature is around 75°F during the coldest months of December and January. August and September are the hottest summer months with temperatures in the low 90s. The average temperature is 75°F - 85°F. Due to the prevailing trade winds, most rainfall hits the north or northeast facing shores, leaving the south and southwest areas relatively dry.

For more information see our feature on the weather in Hawaii.

Maui Geography:

Miles of Shoreline - 120 linear miles.

Number of Beaches - 81 accessible beaches. 39 have public facilities. Sands may be white, gold, black, salt and pepper, green or garnet, due to ancient volcanic activity.

Parks - There are 10 state parks, 94 county parks and community centers and one national park, Haleakala National Park.

Highest Peak - Haleakala Volcano (dormant), 10,023 feet. The summit depression is 21 miles across, and 4,000 feet deep, large enough to hold the island of Manhattan.

Maui Visitors and Lodging:

Number of Visitors Annually - Approximately 2.6 million visitors visit Maui each year.

Principal Resort Areas - In West Maui the principal resort areas are Kaʻanapali and Kapalua; South Maui's prime resorts are Makena and Wailea. Hana, Kihei, Maʻalaea, Napili, Honokowai and Upcountry are also visitor destinations.

Number of Hotels/Condo Hotels - Approximately 73, with 11,605 rooms.

Number of Vacation Condominiums/Timeshares - Approximately 164, with 6,230 units.

Number of Bed And Breakfast Inns - 85

For more information, see our feature Top Maui Hotels and Resorts.

Popular Attractions on Maui:

Most Popular Visitor Attractions - The attractions and places consistently drawing the most visitors are Haleakala National Park, Lahaina Town, ʻIao Valley State Park, Hana and the Maui Ocean Center. See our feature on Maui attractions for more information.

Humpback Whales:

Number of Whales Annually - Up to 10,000 humpback whales spend their winters in Maui waters. There are only 18,000 Northern Pacific humpback whales surviving today. An adult whale can reach up to 45 feet in length and weigh over 40 tons. Baby whales born in Maui waters often weigh 2,000 pounds at birth.

See our feature on the humback whales of Hawaii for more information.

Golf Maui:

Maui is one of the world's premier golf destinations with sixteen golf courses appealing to every level of player. It is home to the annual Mercedes Championships at Kapalua, the first tournament of the PGA tour featuring winners from the previous year. Each January on Super Bowl weekend Maui is home to the Champions Skins Game at Wailea featuring four of golf's legends such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

For more information, see our feature on Maui golf courses.

Superlatives:

Maui has been voted "Best Island in the World" by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine for many of the past 25 years and one of the "World's Best Islands" by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine for many years also.

  • Maui has more miles of swimmable beach than any other Hawaiian island.
  • Maui has the largest dormant volcano in the world, Haleakala.
  • Maui has the second highest waterfall in the United States.
  • Maui had the lowest temperature ever recorded in the Hawaiian Islands - 11°F in 1961, atop Haleakala.

More Information on Maui