Neighborhood Guide: Kahului

7-Eleven Neighborhood Guide


Jasmine Lombardi | Jul 1, 2018


More than Meets the Eye

On Maui, when people say they’re “going into town,” they’re usually heading to Kahului. The island’s largest and most urban community is located in the valley between the West Maui mountains and the slopes of Haleakalā on Maui’s south side. Though Kahului sees a lot activity, you rarely see it in guide books or travel sites aside from an airport mention. Sure, many tourists fuel up for gas as they head to the resorts, but as residents would attest, there’s more to Kahului than meets the eye.

Explore and Discover

This bustling area is the business hub of the island. Its convenient location and affordability makes Kahului one of the best places to live and work on Maui. As it is the premier retail center, many residents travel to and from Kahului for their shopping fix. More than 100 shops and restaurants—including Maui’s only department stores—can be found at the island’s largest mall, Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. Also located near the airport and harbor are several smaller malls such as Maui Mall and Maui Marketplace. Another commercial hub in the area is Kahului Harbor. As it’s the official seaport of Maui, there’s often large cruise ships and container ships coming and going. Surfers also head to the harbor when conditions are right.
There are several spots in the area to keep on your radar, including the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum and Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary. One of the most renowned gathering places in the community is the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, which hosts nearly 2,000 events each year including major music and theater productions, hula, acrobatics, ballet, children’s art, drama, slack key guitar, symphony and more. On Saturdays, locals flock to the Maui Swap Meet, often considered the best bargain in town, full of amazing artisans and local business owners.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day at the beach, an outdoor adventure or an exhilarating experience in the water, a day on the North Shore will certainly satisfy your soul.

Surf and Sun

If you’re looking for a day at the beach, head towards Kanahā Beach Park, a popular spot for windsurfing and kiteboarding. There are lifeguards on duty, bathroom and shower facilities, as well as a barbecue and picnic area, so it’s a great place for the whole ʻohana. Another beloved outdoor activity is a trip to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens (MNBG), located in the heart of town. Here, the focus is strictly on Hawaiian plants, but MNBG also hosts a variety of workshops, demonstrations and tours for the community and local gardeners.

The Heart of Maui

From sunrise until sunset, the neighborhood of Kahalui is a lively mix of residential, business, tourism and commerce. Kahului is truly the heart of Maui, offering places for people to listen to live Hawaiian music, treat themselves to dinner and a movie, or find the perfect spot in the sand.