Lahaina is the "Waikiki" of Maui, centered around tourism.
The "Valley Isle" of Maui, the second-largest island in Hawaii, is divided into six main regions: West Maui, South Maui, Central Maui, East Maui, Upcountry, and North Shore. Additionally, the islands of Lanai and Molokai are considered districts of Maui County. The island of Maui is great for adventure seekers especially nature lovers. From the peaks of Haleakala to the beautiful master-planned community of Wailea, you’ll find living on Maui a very relaxed place with an abundance of outdoor activities to energize your lifestyle.
By providing a glimpse of the different neighborhoods on Maui, you can see that your options are wide open when it comes to finding a place to live on the island. Your decision depends on a variety of factors. Whether you want to live closer to work or the beaches, or in cooler temperature areas, there’s definitely somewhere suitable for your living needs on the island of Maui.
Although Maui experiences fewer transactions than Oahu, the median prices for both single-family homes and condos are notably higher. In November of 2023, the median price for single-family homes on Maui reached $1,100,000, while condos had a median price of $890,000. By way of comparison, back in 2013, the median price for single-family homes in Maui was $475,000, with condos at $370,000. These statistics are compiled and reported on a monthly basis by the REALTORS® Association of Maui, as part of our regular statewide housing market report release.
West Maui was one of the most visited resort areas by both locals and tourists. It provided many attractions such as shopping, boating activities and a variety of local hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Unfortunately, due to the recent wildfires in Lahaina, many of those businesses and restaurants were lost and it's going to be a long road to recovery. Nonetheless, the Lahaina community and its people have an unwavering spirit of resilience. We hold strong confidence that as the recovery process unfolds, the town will be reconstructed in a manner that honors those we've lost and preserves the profound historical and cultural significance that defines Lahaina.
Although the fires didn't extend to Napili, Kaanapali, and Kapalua, the State has made the decision to close the area. We expect the area to open back up for tourism and recreation within a few months. If you were looking to purchase a home in the area, you may have to wait a while.
Located in the central area of Maui, you’ll find towns such as Kahului, Wailuku, Waiehu and Waihee. When living on this side of the island, you’ll be just minutes away from numerous markets, shopping malls, boutiques and coffee shops.
You’ll need to be aware that this side of the island is the hottest area on Maui. In this area, you’ll also find yourself driving along roads of sugarcane and pineapple. If you do plan on traveling to another island or elsewhere, this is area is conveniently located near the airport.
On this side of Maui, you’ll find it to be a bit more touristy, especially with all of the high-end hotels in the area. Here you’ll find more of the older crowds (late 30s and so on) and vacationers in the area.
One thing you can’t complain about though are the beautiful beaches that are just minutes away by car. One of the beaches include “Big Beach”, which is also one the top rated beaches to visit in Hawaii by USA Today.
South Maui offers a great environment for different outdoor sports such as golf, swimming, tennis and running. You’ll also find yourself just walking distance to different restaurants and shops.
Also known as the “upcountry” part of Maui, this area is home to fields of lavender flowers and Haleakala. When living on this side of the island, make sure you have some jackets on hand because the air generally does get pretty cool up there.
If you think about Kula, imagine amazing panoramic views of the beautiful nature that surrounds this country-like town. Eucalyptus and jacaranda trees are pretty common when driving along the neighborhood roads.
If you imagine yourself living in Makawao, picture a “paniolo” (cowboy) town. Here you will find rodeo activities and events happening in the area. You’ll also find numerous health spas and hip art galleries and boutiques. You’ll also be surrounded by a variety of farms in the neighborhood.
With the town of Pukalani, you’ll find yourself in a more country-like neighborhood with cooler temperatures. Before the famous mountain of Haleakala, the town of Pukalani offers more of a country-living lifestyle with many small shops and markets in the area.
Considered the “North Shore” of Maui, this place is great if you love the surf culture. On this side of the island, you’ll find famous surfing spots such as Ho’okipa and Jaws. Wearing “slippahs” and surf shorts or yoga pants is definitely the daily fashion here. This artsy community of Maui provides a more laid back lifestyle. Haiku is a great place for those who enjoy the ocean and also love being in a more rural community.
This side of the island also offers many restaurants and cafes to visit for your enjoyment. You can also check out a few boutiques and art galleries in the area. Although not to large, the community and lifestyle on the north shore of Maui will provide you many things to explore.
Just a heads up before deciding to move to this side of the island, you will be basically be away from everything. That pretty much includes shopping malls and many restaurants. As far as it is, the beautiful town of Hana is a close-knit community of less than 1,000 people. This would be perfect if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. You will find yourself living in a more quiet, peaceful neighborhood that continuously enriches the Hawaiian culture within their community.
When living on Maui, you’ll be exposed to an abundance of adventures awaiting your exploration. You’ll find many shops, restaurants and other outdoor activities for your enjoyment.
You can find yourself driving on the whindy roads to Hana, strolling through the lavender fields in Kula, or kicking back on a beach in Wailea or Makena. You could also catch a concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center or sipping on a glass of wine in Ulupalakua, the upcountry side of the island.
Weather in Maui can significantly be different depending on which area you live in. Areas such as Lahaina and Ka’anapali are often sunny and hot. With areas such as Central Maui, it does get pretty breezy from all the tradewinds. When living on the south side of Maui such as Kihei, Makena and Wailea, these areas tend to be hotter in the day and a bit cooler in the evenings. The cooler temperature areas on Maui are located “upcountry” which includes Kula and Makawao. When living in the upcountry parts of Maui, make sure to have a jacket to keep you warm on the daily. If you plan on living out on the east side of Maui which includes the small town of Hana, this area tends to rain more than other parts of the island.
Although not too common, one thing to keep in mind is the drought that Maui is currently experiencing. There are chances of brush fires happening in the area, as it already has in the past.
Commuting around Maui for the most part is less hectic than commuting on Oahu. With occasional traffic, you still want to keep in mind the amount of time it’ll take you to commute around, especially from home to work. There is a public bus on Maui but just a heads up, these buses run only a few times a day and is very limited to where it travels to on the island. The best solution is to have a car.
Lahaina is the "Waikiki" of Maui, centered around tourism.
A small town with a big heart; and many housing options.
Wailea is known as Maui's exclusive beach resort community.
Hana is known for its natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle.
Kaanapali is the Waikiki of Maui - a coastal resort community.
Makawao is an artsy town with a laid-back vibe in Central Maui.
Kula, in upcountry Maui, is widely known for its lavender farm.
A beautiful town with reknowned beaches on Maui's North Shore.