Wailuku Travel Guide

Discover Wailuku, Maui's cultural and natural attractions, best sights, places to stay, and where to eat. Read our in-depth Wailuku travel guide today and start planning your trip!

Introduction to Wailuku

Located in the valley of the West Maui Mountains, Wailuku is the county seat and largest town on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Wailuku is known for its historic downtown and vibrant arts and culture scene. Wailuku serves as an excellent base for exploring the rest of the island. If you’re looking for an authentic Hawaiian experience, Wailuku should be high on your list.

List of Places to Visit in Wailuku

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Maui is home to a rich Polynesian culture, and Wailuku is no exception. Here are some must-visit culturally significant attractions:

1. Bailey House Museum

Located in the heart of Wailuku, the Bailey House Museum tells the story of Maui’s diverse history through exhibits, artifacts, and photographs. Visitors will be transported back in time as they learn about the island’s indigenous practices, European colonialism, and plantation era.

2. Iao Valley State Park

This park is an important cultural and historical site. It is home to the Iao Needle, a natural rock formation that served as a monument to ancient Hawaiian royalty. Visitors can learn about the area’s rich history and significance to the culture at the onsite cultural heritage center.

3. Hale Hoʻikeʻike

Hale Hoʻikeʻike is a historical mansion that offers a glimpse into Hawaiian high society in the mid-19th century. The property houses many historical artifacts and sheds light on the daily lives of Hawaii’s wealthy elite.

Natural Attractions of Wailuku: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Maui offers visitors plenty of opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the island, and Wailuku is no exception. Here are some natural attractions to add to your bucket list:

1. ‘Iao Valley State Park

In addition to its cultural significance, ‘Iao Valley State Park is also home to beautiful scenery. Visitors can hike through lush vegetation to reach the park’s waterfall and enjoy panoramic views of the valley.

2. Waihe’e Ridge Trail

Hikers will love this trail that offers gorgeous views of the Maui lowlands. The trailhead is a short distance from Wailuku, and the hike takes about four hours to complete.

3. Nakalele Blowhole

Located on the northern coast of Maui, the Nakalele Blowhole is a natural phenomenon that’s worth visiting. Waves crash into a lava tube, causing water to shoot up into the air.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Wailuku

Outdoor enthusiasts will delight with the hiking and biking opportunities in Wailuku, Maui. Here’s some of the best routes to try:

  • Waihee Ridge Trail
  • Iao Valley State Monument Trail
  • Kanaha Beach Park
  • Kapalua Coastal Trail

Best Things to Do in Wailuku: Activities and Tours

Wailuku offers many activities and tours for visitors to enjoy. Here are some must-do options:

  • Road to Hana day trip
  • Surfing lessons at local beaches
  • Hawaiian cultural experience at Maui Nui Luau
  • Snorkeling and whale watching tours

Week-Long Itinerary for Wailuku

If you’re planning to spend a week in Wailuku, here’s a sample itinerary:

Day Activities
1 Visit the Bailey House Museum and explore historic downtown
2 Hike Waihe’e Ridge Trail and see the Nakalele Blowhole
3 Attend the Maui Nui Luau for an authentic Hawaiian experience
4 Take a day trip to the Road to Hana
5 Visit Iao Valley State Park and hike to the waterfall
6 Spend the day lounging at the beach and trying out surfing lessons
7 Take a whale watching tour for an unforgettable experience

Food and Drink Scene of Wailuku

Hawaii’s cuisine is a fusion of different cultures that have come to the island. Expect to find a mix of Hawaiian, Japanese, and American influences when dining in Wailuku.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Poke
  • Spam musubi
  • Lau lau
  • Shave ice

Local Beverages

  • Kona coffee
  • Pina colada
  • Mai tai
  • Hawaiian Sun juices

Where to Stay in Wailuku: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Wailuku offers visitors a wide range of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious. Some of the best options include:

  • The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
  • Maui Seaside Hotel
  • Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport
  • Wailuku Guesthouse

What to Buy in Wailuku: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Maui offers visitors plenty of options for souvenirs and locally made products. Here are some items that are unique to the island:

  • Handmade jewelry
  • Quilts and blankets
  • Hawaiian shirts
  • Macadamia nuts

Local Culture and Customs of Wailuku

Respect for Hawaiian culture is essential when visiting the island. Visitors should try to learn a few basic phrases in Hawaiian and follow customs, such as removing shoes when entering homes.

Best Time to Visit Wailuku

Wailuku is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the low season (October to May), when there are fewer crowds, and prices are lower.

Do’s and Don’ts of Wailuku


  • Respect Hawaiian culture and customs.
  • Take part in traditional Hawaiian activities and experiences.
  • Try local delicacies and products.


  • Disrespect the culture, traditions, and customs of the Hawaiian people.
  • Touch or disturb sacred sites or objects.
  • Remove shells, sand, or other materials from beaches or natural areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Wailuku

Wailuku is a relatively safe town, but visitors should still exercise caution when exploring the area. Some tips to follow include:

  • Don’t leave valuables in your car.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night.
  • Follow posted signs and warnings.

Health in Wailuku

Visitors should take precautions to stay healthy when visiting Wailuku. Some tips to keep in mind include:

  • Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when spending time outdoors.
  • Stay hydrated, especially during hot and humid weather.
  • Avoid drinking tap water and stick to bottled or filtered water.
  • Follow proper food hygiene practices.

Getting to Wailuku: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Wailuku

The nearest airport to Wailuku is Kahului Airport (OGG), which is about three miles away. It offers direct flights to major cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Bus Stations Near Wailuku

The Maui Bus is the island’s public transportation system and offers routes throughout the island, making it easy to get from Wailuku to other towns and attractions.

Other Options

Visitors can also rent a car or book a shuttle service to get to Wailuku from the airport.

How to Get Around in Wailuku

Wailuku is a small town that is easy to navigate on foot or by bike. Visitors can also use the Maui Bus or rental car to reach nearby attractions.

Where to Go Next from Wailuku: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Wailuku serves as an excellent base for exploring the rest of Maui. Some nearby destinations and excursions to consider include:

  • Lahaina
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Molokini Crater
  • Kihei


If you’re looking for an authentic Hawaiian experience, Wailuku and Maui offer a unique blend of culture, history, and outdoor activities. Book your trip today and experience everything that this wonderful destination has to offer.