20 Fun Facts About Maui Hawaii to Know Before You Go

Facts about Maui

Millions of travelers visit Maui each year for its amazing beaches, luxury resorts, and epic nature activities. Yet, there is so much more to this unique Hawaiian Island! Before you hit the soft sands, dive into our 20 fun facts about Maui Hawaii and learn about the history of this special destination in the Pacific. 

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Maui Travel Inspiration

20 Fun Facts About Maui to Know Before you Go

1. Haleakalā Volcano

Did you know Maui is home to the world’s largest dormant volcano? The first of our Maui facts is something you’ll see from all over the island!

Haleakalā is over 10,000 feet tall and even gets the occasional snowfall. Today you’re able to hike partway down into the massive crater which is 21 miles wide and over 4,000 feet deep.

→ 11 Best Hikes in Maui and Leisurely Coastal Walking Trails

Haleakala Volcano

2. 2nd Largest Hawaiian Island

Maui may feel large, but it’s actually only the 2nd biggest in Hawaii. The big island which is officially named “Hawaii” is the largest of the 8 major Hawaiian islands. Maui is 727 square miles in area, yet chances are it’ll feel much bigger once you start exploring it! 

Island of Maui

3. Early Years of Maui History

Maui was first inhabited by Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands sometime around 450 AD. Although they may have been the first, it was the Polonesyians from Tahiti that brought much of the culture and native characteristics still seen today.

Up until the 15th century, the island was split into three Chiefdoms. It wasn’t until around 1550 when they merged with a marriage between kingdoms. 

Early Years of Maui History

4. James Cook’s Discovery

Although there are reports of shipwrecks in Hawaii as early as the 16th century, the first European credited with discovering the islands was James Cook. He would’ve landed on Maui, but the waves were too ferocious so he settled for nearby Kauai in 1778.

The following year James Cook would return to the Hawaiian islands and get killed in a skirmish with the locals. Nevertheless, Captain Cook’s visit would signify the movement from the west to Maui and beyond.

History of Maui Hawaii

5. Maui Gold Pineapples

Now that you know some Maui history how about a little tropical fun?! One of the most delicious facts about Maui is that the island grows some of the best pineapples in the world.

Aside from their sweet flavor, Maui Gold Pineapple are known for being low in acidity and high in Vitamin C. Make sure to eat as much of this fruit as possible on your visit to Maui!

Maui Gold Pineapple

6. Waterfalls Galore

It should come as no surprise that many of these facts about Maui involve the beautiful nature of the island. There are dozens of waterfalls on the island of Maui and Waimoku Falls is one of the most scenic. The Pipiwai Trail will take you through a bamboo forest that leads to an epic 400-foot waterfall! 

History of Maui

7. The Name Maui

One of the most interesting facts about Maui is how it got its name! According to the legend, Maui was a Polynesian demigod.

He got his superhero status from lassoing the sun with a strong rope to slow it down and provide more light for the people of the islands. This allowed them more time in the day to fish and grow crops.

Best Maui Facts

8. Sea Turtles

Sea turtles are amazing marine animals, and you can see them in the clear blue waters of Maui! The most commonly seen are the Green Sea Turtles in Maui followed by the hawksbill. 

Green Sea Turtles are the largest hard-shelled sea turtles in the world. They can grow over 4 feet long and weigh up to 300 lbs, so these sea turtles would be hard to miss! Just make sure to keep your distance! These beautiful animals are highly protected. 

Maui Turtle

9. Huli Huli Chicken 

Food is a big part of Maui history and culture and that is easily seen in the heart they put into every meal. While driving around Maui you will see a delicious-looking meat spinning at roadside stands. This is Huli Huli Chicken!

The chicken is roasted with a local marinade and spices and BBQ’d to perfection along with ribs and other meat. Definitely give this a try when you’re in Maui!

→ Huli Huli Chicken to Pineapple Wine: Best Maui Food & Drinks

Huli Huli Chicken 

10. Kamehameha I and the Kingdom of Hawaii

Hailing from the Big Island, Kamehameha was the first chief to unite the Hawaiian Islands. After gaining control of his own island, he used weapons from American and European traders in an attempt to conquer the rest of Hawaii.

After much bloodshed, King Kamehameha was able to do just that. However, the island of Kauai held strong! Kamehameha would be forced to create an alliance with Kaumualii of Kauai before the islands could officially be united as a kingdom.

Maui Facts

11. Humpback Whales

During the winter months, thousands of humpback whales migrate to the warm shores of Maui. They can be seen regularly jumping out of the ocean! The best part is that you can view them directly from shore.

12. Banana and Mango Bread

After you’ve tried Huli Huli chicken and Maui Gold Pineapples, there is another roadside treat for you in Maui! Our first taste of banana bread was one morning on our way to the Iao Valley. It was warm and flavorful, and must-have when it’s fresh out of the oven.

Now we have all heard about banana bread, what about Mango? This uniquely flavored bread is one of the most mouthwatering Maui facts you’ll find on this list.

Maui Food Banana Bread

13. No Private Beaches 

All beaches in Maui are public! That means you’ll have access to all the most exclusive and beautiful beaches even in front of luxury resorts. There are even several trails that go directly in front of the hotels so you can beach hop all day!

Kapalua Coastal Trail: An Adventurous Maui Beach Walk

Wailea Beach Walk: Strolling Along Maui’s Luxury Hotels

Maui HI Facts

14. Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is an epic all-day drive that will take you on Maui’s most stunning road. It’s full of over 600 twists and turns, amazing scenery, waterfalls, hikes, and over 40 one-way bridges! At the end, you will pass through Hana town and Haleakalā National Park.

→ 10 Road to Hana Tips to Know Before Taking Maui’s Most Famous Drive

Maui History

15. Lahaina Banyan Tree

In the town of Lahaina in Maui you can find one of the largest Banyan trees in the United States! The sprawling branches take over practically the entire park in the center of town. It was planted in 1873 and stands at over 60 feet tall!

Banyan Tree Lahaina

16. Farmers Markets Galore

The farmer’s markets in Maui are a staple of the island. They range from large to small and are set throughout the most popular towns. At the local farmer’s markets, you can find many crafts, art, and unique foods to try. Don’t miss the many roadside stands too when you’re driving around!

Our 7 Favorite Maui Farmers Markets & Local Fruit Stands

Hawaii Farmers Markets

17. Millions of Travelers 

Can you believe Maui welcomes over a million travelers per year? In general, Hawaii is known as one of the top tourist destinations in the United States and Maui is one of the most traveled too.

This makes it easy to get to with direct flights from several main cities in the U.S. We flew direct from San Diego on Hawaiian Airlines and paid just over $100 to Maui! If you’d like to experience Maui with fewer crowds try traveling outside of peak season which runs from December to March. 

Hawaiian Airlines Review: Is it the Best Airline to Fly to Hawaii?

Travel to Maui

18. Lava Fields

The Haleakalā volcano hasn’t erupted since around 1600, but it left lasting effects on the island of Maui. Today you can walk right through the hardened lava fields along the Southeast coast of the island! There are even wild goats that will keep you company along the trail.

History of Maui Lava Fields

19. Endless Beaches on Maui

There are over 80 beaches on Maui all with their own unique features. The colors range from red and black to white and golden sands. Some you have to hike into while others you can drive right up and park! Whatever kind of beach you’re looking for, Maui has it all!

10 Best Beaches in Maui to See on Your First Visit

Maui Hawaii Facts

20. Tropical Flower Paradise

The last of our facts about Maui is something you’ll surely see plenty of! Tropical flowers bloom in abundance all over the island and bring out colors from your wildest dreams.

The Plumeria is Hawaii’s most famous flower, and you will also see the state flower yellow hibiscus to name a few. Take a visit to one of the many botanical gardens, or simply take in the beautiful nature wherever you go!

Tropical Flowers

Have any questions about our Maui facts or want to share some of your favorite Maui history? Let us know in the comments below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Where to Stay in Maui Hawaii

For a complete look at the island check out Where to Stay in Maui: 4 Top Areas With Hotel Picks

Ultra LuxuryFour Seasons Resort MauiWailea – Known as one of the most elite hotels on Maui, the Four Seasons has three swimming pools, 5-star service, and is just steps from the beach. 

Fun VacationAndaz Maui at Wailea ResortWailea – This modern, upscale hotel is packed with swimming pools and ocean views. You also be close to some of best local food in Maui.

Bed & BreakfastMaui What a Wonderful World Bed & BreakfastWailea – Get all the local charm you can handle at this unique bed and breakfast. Awesome location that will also provide a homey welcome to the island. 

Aparthotel – Napili Sunset Beach Front ResortLahaina – Great for travelers looking to have a little more space and a kitchen.

Hostel LifeHakuna Matata Maui Hostel –  Lahaina – Walking distance to the town center, this hostel is set in a beautiful garden. Also, Hakuna Matata offers free bikes for guests and is close to the beach.

Remote ResortHana Maui Resort A Destination by HyattHana – Located in the far remote part of the island along the road to Hana. Amazing resort by Hyatt offering seclusion and luxury. 

For more places to stay in Maui you can explore the latest prices here!

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Hawaii Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we got our flight from San Diego to Maui for under $100 USD on Hawaiian Airlines!

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Rental Car: Hands down the best way to explore Maui Hawaii is with a rental car! We used Discover Cars to explore the island. Just make sure to book in advance because there are limited cars on the island in the high season! 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find hundreds of Maui activities. You can book a sunset sail from Lahaina, Road to Hana full day tour, or go wild and take a rainforest helicopter tour

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad (if you’re traveling to Hawaii from outside the USA) without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Maui Hawaii

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4 Comments

  1. S,kye
    December 27, 2021 / 3:59 pm

    You should have included laws stating distances required from Honu (sea turtles) & whales & dolphins. Also, visitors should be reminded to be aware of weather predictions & changes that could be dangerous or deadly.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      December 28, 2021 / 8:18 am

      We have some other blogs about planning a trip to Maui with safety tips. That’s super important information though! Thanks for sharing (-:

  2. November 1, 2021 / 2:35 pm

    Aloha, would you like to read my novel β€žA House in Hanaβ€œ? Most reviews say the island descriptions are awesome and take you back to Maui!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      November 1, 2021 / 4:25 pm

      Sure! Will definitely check it out (-:

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