Welcome to Central
Iconic and historic, this bustling portion of Maui is the hub of the island.
Considered the heart of the island and prized for its prime location, Central Maui includes the towns of Wailuku, Maalaea, and Kahului and makes up the industrial and commercial hub of Maui. Visitors begin their vacations here, arriving at Kahului Airport, and usually return for many of the area’s attractions.
In Kahului, you’ll find Maui’s largest mall. Wailuku consists of many charming storefronts and family businesses. Maalaea is a vibrant harbor town that is home to the Maui Ocean Center, Hawaii’s largest aquarium.
Central Maui houses Maui County government, plus all of the island’s big box stores. Two protected wetlands, ‘Iao Valley and Ma’alaia Harbor, and the Maui Ocean Center are among the main attractions.
Homes here are desirable due to their proximity to downtown businesses, and properties feature beautiful views. Beaches are just a short drive away.
What to Love
• The area’s designation as Maui’s hub
• A mix of large malls and charming boutiques
• Vibrant town with plenty of activity
People & Lifestyle
More than 40,000 people live in this 22-square-mile section of Maui, most employed in the area’s commercial center. You’ll find fewer travelers here and more of Maui’s year-round residents, but the vibe is still laid-back and serene.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
Many casual eateries can be found in this section of Maui. Local favorites include Saigon Cafe
, a cozy Vietnamese hideaway known for its jovial waiters; Maui Coffee Roasters
, which offers local coffees and baked goods; Ululanis Hawaiian Shave Ice
, a gourmet ice shop; and Tin Roof
, a bustling counter-service turning out pork belly bowls, garlic noodles, and other Hawaiian comfort fare.
Things to Do
Some of Central Maui’s most popular attractions include Maui Arts Cultural Center
, a large performing arts facility with indoor and outdoor stages, plus an art gallery and several dance studios; Iao Valley State Park
, a lush, 4,000-acre valley offering hiking, sightseeing, a nature center, and views of the Iao Needle; and the Maui Ocean Center
, an aquarium and oceanography center which boasts the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.
Central Maui is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
• Maui High, 9-12
• University of Hawaii Maui College, Central, The University of Hawaii Maui College is a public college, one of 10 branches of the University of Hawaii system, and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges