How is Maui different than the other Hawaiian Islands?

Coming to Hawaii and can’t decide which island to visit? Let’s see if we can talk you into Maui!

Before we begin, it’s important to keep in mind that all the Hawaiian islands are equally awesome in their own right. In fact, many of the things that Hawaii’s known for — such as sunsets, golf and whale watching — can be found across all the islands. Beyond that, however, is where things get different.

Let’s take a look at what sets Maui apart:

It’s neither too slow nor too busy

The pace of Maui is just about perfect. Unlike Oahu, you won’t get stuck in huge crowds, lines for parking or rush hour traffic, but at the same time it’s also not as slow as a Molokai mule ride.

Population-wise, Maui is home to 154,834, which comes out to 162 people per sq. mile. That’s nowhere near Oahu’s 953,207, which means 1,636 people per sq. mile. That’s more than ten times fewer people!

It’s neither too big nor too small


Geographically, Maui is Hawaii’s second largest island.

It’s big enough to enjoy without having to drive too far to get anywhere (like the Big Island), but it’s not so small where you can circle the island in a couple hours.

The most natural diversity


Here’s where Maui really excels: the island has the highest concentration and variety of exotic Hawaiian landscapes.

This includes white sand beaches, black sand beaches, red sand beaches, jungles, rainforests, high mountains, lavascapes, and more…and most of it’s accessible!

Clear views of neighbor islands


Maui is in the middle of the island chain, and in close proximity to Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe (viewable from the south and west) and the Big Island (viewable from the east).

This means from most vantage points on Maui, you get a good view of neighbor islands. This is not the case when you’re on the Big Island and Oahu, and certainly not Kauai.

Extreme surfing


Are you a fan of surfing? Because if you are, Maui is the place to be if you’re into world-class big wave surfing (Jaws), and windsurfing / kitesurfing (Ho’okipa).

Don’t say we didn’t warn you how extreme the surfing really is on Maui.



As far as we know, there is no destination on any other island that takes you a magical day of scenic driving to get to, and rewards you with a charming beachside town with black sand and dramatic scenery.

In conclusion…sunset

For a lot of people, discovering of Maui came from a personal recommendation, a family vacation or just a whim. Many of us just fell in love and keep going back (or we move here :)).

The real appeal of Maui is that it’s the most balanced island — you get a little bit of everything here. It’s rural and laid back but you can still enjoy world-class dining, shopping, and hospitality.

And with Maui, you never lost the feeling that you’re on a really gorgeous tropical island.

We would be delighted to be part of your next Maui vacation. If we can assist you with planning your perfect Maui vacation, please contact our Sunny Maui Vacations’ team at or at 808-240-1311 Extension 21. Let us help you reserve your vacation rental condo in South Maui and assist you with island recommendations and activity planning through our in-house Concierge at 808-240-1311 Extension 71.

Photo credits: moalohaphotography, bush, ironrodart115487115@N06, demonicpixel, billadams, NASA, rosemaniahbpeggy

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at 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.