Things to Do in Central Maui

Dine out, shop Maui’s biggest mall, tour plantations and historic sites and hike the island’s core. The top draw in Central Maui is lush ‘Iao Valley State Park, with its quiet undulating valleys and clear mountain streams. We’ve put together this guide to help you get the most out of your trip to Central Maui.alley Isle’s West Maui mountains: from a 250-foot ride to a whopping 3,600 feet.

Delightful Dining

In Wailuku, meet the locals over a hearty breakfast or noodle lunch at staple Sam Sato’s. For sophisticated New American farm-to-fork, go to The Mill House, surrounded by farmland and lush valley landscape on the Maui Tropical Plantation grounds. Take a seat at the counter of Hawaiian comfort food master Chef Sheldon Simeon. At his always-full Tin Roof, you’ll want to join the other enthusiasts diving into the garlic noodles, poke or pork belly bowls. Also in Kahului, Geste Shrimp Truck beside the harbor serves line-ups of adoring fans what they call “the tastiest shrimp on Maui.”

Explore ‘Iao Valley State Park

See Maui’s famous landmark, the ‘Iao Needle, at this lush 4,000-acre park and historic site, just west of Wailuku. Back in 1790, the Maui army used the 1,200-foot-high green-carpeted rock outcropping as a strategic lookout point in a fierce battle against King Kamehameha I. Even so, the king succeeded in his bid to unite the islands, and his pivotal victory changed the course of Hawaiian history. Hike the walking paths past the dramatic landscape of streams and deep ravines. Start early to get the best views of the valley and stream below.

Hike Waihe‘e Ridge

This is one of Maui’s most scenic hikes, taking you way up into the clouds with 360-degree panoramas of sea, sky, valleys, mountains and neighboring islands in the distance. Gain elevation — and spectacular vistas — quickly on this five-mile round-trip trail that climbs 1,500 feet past waterfalls and through tropical forest of guava, kukui (candlenut tree), ʻōhiʻa lehua (flowering myrtle) and lacy green ferns. Enjoy exotic bird watching, too, keeping an eye out for Hawaiian honeycreepers: ʻapapane, Hawaiʻi ʻamakihi, and, if you’re lucky, an ʻIʻiwi.

Wander Wailuku Town

Hawaiian history permeates colorful Wailuku — an interesting mix of the young and old, with cute wooden storefronts, longtime mom ‘n pop stores, stylish cafes and coffee houses, classic tropical scenery and backdrop of the dramatic ʻĪao Valley. Wailuku’s cultural legacy and historical significance dates back to King Kamehameha I’s 1790 victory at ʻĪao Valley and the birthplace of Hawaiʻi’s powerful sugar industry.

Shop Maui’s Biggest Mall

If you’ve got serious shopping on the agenda, spend the afternoon in Kahului at Queen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center, Maui’s largest mall. This shopping and entertainment destination has the island’s only department stores, Sears and Macy’s, and 100-plus other retailers and dining venues. Shop trendy island fashions and national brand names.

Ready to Explore Central Maui?

Our concierge team is ready to help you with information, ideas, insider tips and reservations. Email [email protected] or call us at 1 808 875 4100, ext. 290 for more information.

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