Vacationrentalpeople.com guide. West Maui is separate from the rest of Maui, both geographically and in feel. It’s physically cut off by the steep cliffs of Kahalawai Mountain in the middle of the north-western part of the island, it has developed on its own and taken a different path from the rest of the island, and so rather than rural natural beauty, you have five star resorts, world star golf courses, contemporary shopping, and lots of tourists. You also have some lovely West Maui vacation rental homes, incredible white sand beaches and lots of historical points of interest, since this used to be the whaling capital of the island, and there are lots of (albeit staged and polished) local shows and dances and feasts which celebrate Hawaiian culture. And best of, from the luxury of your West Maui vacation rental home, you’ll be able to catch the best sunsets of the whole island.
One of the main touristic hubs is Lahaina, a historic whaling town which was once the Royal Family’s getaway spot and playground and is now a luxurious resort which is full of souvenir shops, art galleries and fine-dining restaurants and also some lovely West Maui vacation rental homes. It is also now on the National Register of Historic Places. This where you can explore some of Maui’s thriving art scene and there are many galleries ranging from local native art to contemporary pop art, and the best way to experience it all is between 7-10pm each Friday, when all the galleries open their doors, host live music and different artists talk about their work and the whole place just generally celebrates the arts.
From your West Maui vacation rental home you can visit the Fort, archeological ruins which are now mostly just a bunch of rocks and two cannons brought over from a sunken ship, this used to be a fort until it came under attack from angry sailors, got torn down and then rebuilt into a prison in the 1850’s. Or you could take a look at the Hauola Stone, a gigantic rock naturally molded into a shape resembling a chair and sunken in the sea just off the shore, and just about visible, this rock is believed to have healing powers.
Also near Lahaina and your West Maui vacation rental home there’s the Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church, a beautifully decorated church full of paintings of Hawaiian versions of Christian symbols and native birds, and here the congregation is always typically dressed in local garments, or the Waiola Chrurch and Cemetery, the spot where most of Hawaii’s most important monarchs are buried. There’s also two museums nearby, the Hale Pai, an old center of learning and printing shop, where the Hawaiian written language was first devised and the first books printed, and where you’ll find old original facsimiles of early printing, and the Chinese Wo Hing Museum, which contains old artifacts and historic photos of Lahaina, but, best of all, there’s a rustic old theater next door which plays some of Thomas Edison’s first ever films, shot in Hawaii in 1898.
To see all the rest of Lahaina from your West Maui vacation rental homeand get a glimpse into its historical past, you can take the self-guided Lahaina Historical Tour which takes you past more than 50 historical points of interest where plaques will inform you about early plantation life, the whaling industry, and the influence of the early missionaries. Launiupoko Beach, just south of the main town, is a favourite with families with kids due to the natural pools formed and surrounded by lava rock, making it super safe for swimming.
Another major center near your West Maui vacation rental home is Kaanapali Resort, where you can a stroll on the boardwalk and bask in the hubbub of a thriving tourist hub, or go shopping in the big shopping mall and just generally enjoy the five star luxuries you’re surrounded with, or go to the Whalers Village Museum, where you can learn about the life of a whaler in C19th, see a replica of their living quarters and tools, photos and other artifacts, as well as see the massive skeleton of a whale at the entrance. There also the fantastic white sand Kaanapali Beach which was once named America’s best beach, two championship golf courses with ocean views, and you can also catch the Puu Kekaa, the famous daily cliff jumping ceremony where a local diver re-enacts King Kahekili’s memorable feat.
Kapulua, nestled at the bottom of the slopes of the mountain, is also filled with boutiques, shopping malls and restaurants, and you can also find some world-class golf courses and three beautiful white sand beaches, most notably the mind-blowing DT Fleming Beach and the Kapulua Beach (both former America’s Best Beach), whilst all the while being surrounded by acres of pineapple and vibrant pines and an understated elegance.
There are so many other beaches on this side of the island near your West Maui vacation rental home that it’s hard to list them all, but Puamana Beach Park is a good beach for beginner surfers, Napili Beach is a protected cove with smaller waves and the chance to see turtles, Olowalu Beach is another one that’s great for families and snorkelers, whilst Ukumehame Beach Park is not much of a beach but offers great waves for surfing and body-boarding.
West Maui is manicured perfection with constant sun, perfect sunsets, family-friendly beaches, boutique shopping and organized touristic activities, and whilst it may not be for everybody, it will be a lot of peoples’ idea of heaven.