Are you planning a trip to Maui? Come stay with us at Napili Point, where every room has an ocean view!
Here is a great article By John Fischer, About.com that gives a great outside look on the island we call home.
More than likely if you’re staying on Maui, you’re probably staying either in West Maui or in one the resorts on the Kihei and Wailea Coast.
There are many attractions in West Maui to keep you busy, most of which are in the old whaling town of Lahaina.
Lahaina is probably the second most famous town in Hawaii, second only to Honolulu. Lahaina served as capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom from the early 1820’s until 1845. The 1840’s saw Lahaina as the major whaling port of the Pacific. The whaling ships and whalers are long gone, and today’s Lahaina is both a bustling shopping mecca as well as a city steeped in the culture of old Hawaii.
Lahaina becomes very crowded with tourists and locals alike from noontime until late into the evening, because it is located close to the resort areas of Kaanapali and Honokowai. Due to this proximity, driving through and especially along the waterfront in Lahaina becomes increasingly difficult as the day wears on. Parking can, at times, be next to impossible.
Aside from the many shops and galleries which you’ll want to explore in Lahaina, you should allow yourself some time to explore the historic sites of the town including the Baldwin Home, the famous Banyan Tree and the Maria Lanakila Church. An excellent guide to the historic sites of Maui is the Lahaina Historical Guide which is available at the Visitors Center in the Courthouse near the Banyan Tree.
Located on the northern edge of Lahaina at Puunoa Point is the Lahaina Jodo Mission, the home to the largest Great Buddha statue outside of Japan. There is also a beautiful temple and 90-foot-tall pagoda.
Just a few miles north of Lahaina, the resort area of Kaanapali is home to Whalers Village, a wonderful open-air shopping center filled with great shops and restaurants, as well as the Whale Center of the Pacific, a museum which celebrates the “Golden Era of Whaling” (1825-1860). Whalers Village also is located right at world famous Kaanapali Beach where you can watch the boogie boarders, parasailers and surfers frolic in the waves.
West Maui’s North Shore
Driving north from Kaanapali through Honokowai and Kapalua, you will embark upon one of the most rewarding adventures in Hawaii. While far less publicized than the drive to Hana and officially prohibited by car rental companies, the drive from Kapalua to Wailuku along West Maui’s North Shore is breathtaking.
You’ll pass one of the most rugged coastlines in the world and some very lovely beaches and bays such as Mokuleia Bay and Honolua Bay which are not well known, but amazingly beautiful.
Be sure to stop at Honokohau’s rugged Boulder Beach and make the hike to Nakalele Point. Soon you will be able to catch a glimpse of the north shore’s most famous landmark, Kahakuloa Head. The remote town of Kahakuloa has one of the loveliest churches on Maui.
Be sure to stop at the Kaukini Gallery and Gift Shop for excellent buys in Hawaiian art and crafts. As you near the end of your journey watch for the overlook for Makamaka’ole Falls.
The drive itself can be done in a couple of hours without stops. In order to really appreciate the views, however, it will take you between four and five hours.