Kahului is a bustling port city and a gateway to Maui. The town is home to the island’s main airport and harbour, making it a first point-of-call for many visitors. While it’s easy to breeze through, attractions like a bird sanctuary, botanical garden and tree-lined beach make Kahului a rewarding destination if you want to venture off the beaten track.
Things to do in Kahului
Kanaha Beach is Kahului’s signature stretch of sand. Bask in the sunshine, cool off in the crystal-clear water and relax under the shade of an ironwood tree. When the swell is up, you can watch surfers riding waves offshore. The southern end of the beach is popular with thrill-seeking kite surfers.
Kanaha Pond Bird Sanctuary is a haven for rare and endemic birds, including the famous Hawaiian black-necked stilt, also known as the aeʻo. Bring a pair of binoculars and you could also spot native coots and black-crowned night herons wading in the shallow marshlands.
Another local gem, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is filled with native Hawaiian trees, flowers and plants. Once a zoo, the space has been reimagined as an excellent attraction for botanical enthusiasts.
Housed within the Maui Arts & Cultural Centre, Schaefer International Gallery showcases works by local and foreign artists. In winter, the grass in front of the cultural centre moonlights as a venue for outdoor concerts. On Saturdays, Kahului’s swap meet attracts locals from across Maui. Pick up art, jewellery, clothing, fresh produce and more at the colourful community event.
Getting around Kahului
Kahului is compact and easy to get around on foot. The port city is a 45-minute drive from Lahaina and 20 minutes from Kihei. Rental cars are the easiest and most flexible way to explore Maui at your own pace. Kahului Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre.