A resort on Wailea Beach in South Maui.

Discover South Maui

If one word defines South Maui, it’s “beaches.” South Maui is graced with dozens of sandy stretches waiting for your footprints. In fact, you could visit a different beach every day of a weeks-long vacation and still leave some areas untouched.

Everyone should experience a Haleakala sunrise at least once in their lifetime.

Visiting Haleakala National Park on Maui

Hale-a-ka-la: House of the Sun. Few places are more aptly named in the Hawaiian language than this 10,023-foot volcano. The biggest question surrounding Haleakala is not if you should visit, but when: both sunrise and sunset offer truly breathtaking views.

Maui offers downhill rides and single-track trails where even the most hard-core mountain biker can have a good time.

Mountain Biking in Maui

Many people are surprised to learn that on an island best known for its ocean activities there is decent mountain biking. Head to Waiakoa Loop Trail for an easy ride or tack on Skyline Drive’s 3,000-foot climb for a screamer of a descent. If you don’t have a day to devote to a downhill epic, there are a few places to simply work in a few hours on the trails.

Keawakapu is one of Kihei’s most popular beaches.

South Maui Beaches: Kihei and Ma‘alaea

When it comes to beach weather in dry South Maui, the wind and clouds can greatly affect the comfort level. The morning hours are the best time to hit any beach. In the afternoon, the pocket of beaches in south Kihei and Wailea have the best chance of being sunny and calm.

Waves crashing on the rocks at Ka‘anapali Beach.

Enjoying Ka‘anapali Beaches

The beaches in Ka‘anapali are long, wide, and lined by resorts. Much like Kapalua, however, the wind can often be a factor here in the afternoon, so it’s best to get your water activities in early before the trade winds start blowing.

A speckled tropical fish in the reef at Honolua Bay.

Snorkeling West Maui: Kapalau, Napili, and Honolua

Snorkeling is the most popular activity in West Maui. Hundreds of people ply the waters of the island’s western shoreline, but there’s always room to find your own section of reef. Mornings are the best time of day for snorkeling, and remember: different times of year also mean different snorkeling conditions.

The calm waters of Napili Bay in western Maui.

Discover West Maui

The slopes and shores of West Maui are what many visitors picture when they close their eyes and envision paradise: white sandy beaches, rocky coves, lush valleys, and oceanfront restaurants where the clinking glasses of mai tais and the smooth sounds of a slack key guitar complement the setting sun.

Color Map of Maui, Hawaii

Planning Your Time on Maui

Maui is a destination where any amount of time spent will never seem enough. The best way to take full advantage of all there is to do and see is to find accommodations that suit your taste and stay put for the duration of your stay, creating a home base from which you can trek out and explore.

A sea turtle in the water off Olowalu, Maui.

The Beaches South of Lahaina, Maui

On the stretch of shoreline between Lahaina and Ma‘alaea there are a grand total of zero resorts. Most visitors choose to pass these beaches by without giving them another thought, but they’re all excellent for simply enjoying a day at the beach especially with a picnic or barbecue.