How to pick the perfect vacation rental in Maui
Maui, Hawaii is a wild, rugged island with pristine shorelines, lush jungles, and quaint beach communities—not to mention top-notch Hawaiian dining. The island is home to big adventures, like surfing, scuba diving, and the thrilling Road to Hana, but island-goers also flock to the shoreline for peace and relaxation along Maui’s 30 miles of beaches.
Whether you’re visiting for relaxation, adventure, an annual event, or a romantic getaway, here are 9 things to consider when booking your vacation rental in Maui:
- The best beaches to stay near in Maui:Kaanapali Beach is often compared to Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, although this serene stretch of Maui shoreline is significantly less crowded. While Kaanapali Beach attracts sunbathers, these shores offer much more than a tan. You can swim, parasail, surf, cliff dive, and play volleyball all along this 1.5-mile stretch of beach. For easy access to Kaanapali Beach, rent a vacation condo in the adjacent Kaanapali Royal community. For a more remote beach option, try the Keawakapu Beach. This small, natural shoreline is accessible when renting a condo in the Mana Kai Maui Resort.
- Where to stay for surfing, snorkeling, and diving in Maui:If you have experience surfing—or want to watch the best of the best catch waves—stay in a vacation rental near Haiku-Pauwela for close proximity to Hookipa Beach Park. If you’re more of a novice surfer, you can still enjoy great waves at Lahaina Reefs – rent a nearby vacation condo in a Lahaina resort community. Get up close and personal with Hawaii’s wildlife at Molokini Crater, a sunken volcanic cinder cone off the shore of Wailea. If you’re planning to scuba dive or snorkel at Molokini Crater, rent a vacation condo in Wailea; you’ll find a variety of outfitters such as Wailea Scuba and Maui Snorkel Charters nearby.
- Where to stay for fishing in Maui:Gamefish such as mahi mahi, ahi, blue marlin, and striped marlin can be caught year-round in Maui. While you can find a fishing charter in virtually all of Maui’s coastal communities, Lahaina is one of the best places to rent a vacation condo for fishing in Maui. It’s home legacy charters such as FishMaui, which has been a staple on the island for more than 20 years.
- Where to stay for the Maui Marathon:Voted one of Runner’s World’s most scenic marathons, the Maui Marathon takes runners on a 26-mile course through central Maui before heading along the coastal Honoapiilani Highway toward Lahaina and the finish line destination in Kaanapali. If you’re running—or spectating at—the Maui Marathon, rent a vacation property in Kaanapali. You’ll be grateful to finish just steps from your luxurious condo, and the event organizers run shuttles from the nearby Kaanapali Westin Resort & Spa to the start line in Kahului on marathon morning.
- Where to stay for a golf getaway in Maui:Hawaii has dozens of top-notch golf courses, but The Plantation Course in Kapalua—a bucket list course for many—is consistently ranked number one. The 7,400-yard, par 73 course offers a challenging day of golf with ocean and mountain views. If you’re planning to golf in Maui, stay in the coastal Napili-Honokowai neighborhood for quick access to The Plantation Course. Options include the lavish Kahana Villa Resort as well as the waterfront Hale Ono Loa condominiums.
- Where to stay for easy access to the Road to Hana:The Road to Hana is a scenic, hair-raising drive through 42 miles of twists and turns along the cliffs of Maui’s wild northern coast. If you have a rental car, you can drive the Road to Hana yourself; guided drives are also available. The best place to stay if you’re taking the Road to Hana is at a vacation rental near Paia, where the road starts.
- Where to stay for the Maui Film Festival:Every June, the Maui Film Festival takes over the coastal town of Wailea for a jam-packed weekend of screenings and celebrity sightings. While the festival debuts films at smaller venues throughout Maui, the literal stars of the show are the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Courses, where cinema lovers can watch the festival’s best feature films under a star-speckled Maui sky. If you’re visiting for the Maui Film Festival, a vacation condo in Wailea will put you in the heart of the event festivities.
- How to choose your own Maui vacation rental experience:Renting a Maui vacation property gives you the opportunity to tailor your trip exactly as you’d like. If you’re visiting with family, you can rent a large, multi-room condo in the family friendly Kaanapali and Lahaina communities. Many rentals in this area come with pool access and beach gear. If you’re visiting for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, rental properties like the remote bamboo cottage in Kaupakulua will whisk you away from it all in the quiet jungles of Maui.