8 reasons why we love Maalaea (and why you’ll love it, too)

If you’re into quaint harbor towns and undiscovered gems, Maalaea could be the perfect Hawaii dream spot for you.

This sophisticated harbor village in South Maui is renowned for its abundant marine life and seemingly endless stretch of uncrowded beach.

Here are 8 useful facts about Maalaea you might not know:

Maalaea is off the beaten path

The magic of Maui takes a more tranquil turn in Maalaea. Relatively quiet and “untouristy,” this tiny harbor village offers an easygoing, off the beaten path ambiance. Here, you can enjoy a slower pace of life and escape the hustle and bustle of more popular and crowded tourist destinations.

Maalaea has bragging rights to Maui’s longest beach

Sugar Beach aka Kealia Beach extends about 2.5 miles around the curve of a massive bay all the way to North Kihei. If you’re into beach walks or runs, Sugar Beach is your spot. There are no buildings and it’s never too crowded, and the offshore reefs provide excellent opportunities for snorkeling and frequent *honu* (turtle) sightings.

The Harbor is where it’s at

The most prominent attraction in Maalaea is the Harbor, a starting point for many ocean excursions, including snorkeling, whale watching, and fishing trips. It’s also home to a number of delightful shops and eateries — such as Maui Island Treasures and Tante’s Fish Market — giving you a chance to dine and shop with an ocean view​.

You can learn all about Hawaii’s diverse marine life

The Maui Ocean Center is a state-of-the-art aquarium and marine science center that TripAdvisor ranked as the “Top 10 Aquariums in the World.”

It is the premier destination to encounter and learn about Hawaii’s marine life such as tropical fish, sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, octopuses, sea jellies, and live Pacific corals. You’ll also learn about the enduring connection between the Hawaiian people and their respect for the sea.

You can surf one of best surf spots in all of Hawaii

Maalaea is also a world-class location for surfers, at a spot known as Freight Trains. It rarely breaks, but when it does between May and October, it’s one of the fastest and longest breaking waves in the world.

You can find excellent value accommodations

If you’re looking for nicely-priced accommodations without sacrificing beauty, the condos available in Maalaea are an ideal choice. The most notable benefit of these condos is they are oceanfront, just steps away from the water with no need to cross busy roads to access the beach. Pictured above: Maalaea Banyans 306.

You can access a 700-acre National Wildlife Sanctuary

Maalaea is a stone’s throw from the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Sanctuary, a natural wetland and paradise for native Hawaii and migratory birds from as far as the Mainland and Asia.

Here you can also enjoy a peaceful stroll on the coastal boardwalk while observing wildlife with the help of interpretative signage. The beach area alongside the boardwalk also serves as a nesting area for Hawksbill turtles.

Maalaea is “whale country”

Whale season in Maui is between November and May, and Maalaea is THE spot to watch whales spouting in the Harbor or take whale watching tour from the marina.

Image credits: chocolatedisco, kirt_edblom, jenniewoo, 38534720@N00, starr-environmental, Abigail Lynn, james_brennan

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at info@sunnymauivacations.com or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo or rental home in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui.

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