The site of Kahului International Airport, Central Maui is the first part of the island most visitors will encounter. Kahului is the island’s largest town, with about 26,000 residents. Neighboring Wailuku is the location of most government offices.
More than just the island’s business and commercial hub, Central Maui has an underlying charm and a lot of history that stretches beyond the big-box stores and dozens of traffic lights.
Although the backdrop of the verdant mountains and the turquoise water along the shoreline creates a tranquil scene, Central Maui is anything but passive. Kahului’s Kanaha Beach Park is home to some of the world’s best windsurfing and is one of the beaches where kitesurfing was born. If you want to put your finger on the pulse of the local water sports scene and are looking to step outside of “resort Maui,” this is the place.
Wailuku, just beneath the mist-shrouded cliffs of ‘Iao Valley, is in the midst of a renaissance. The culinary scene takes its influence from everything from Filipino to German sources. And even among the residential sprawl, there are still rugged hiking trails, ancient heiau, and long, sandy beaches perfect for taking a stroll.