When it comes to a balance between peace and proximity, the harbor town of Maalaea might just provide the perfect option. Tucked into Maui’s sunny southwest coast, the lovely little beachfront community is a quiet hideaway in as central a location as you could hope to find!
From the nine condo complexes that line Maalaea Beach, residents can watch the sun rise over the Haleakala volcano, enjoy a perfect vantage point for whale-watching in the winter months (after all, Maalaea Bay is part of the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary!), and experience spectacular sunsets with the island of Kaho`olawe and the Molokini crater in the background. Also known as a popular hangout for honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) year-round, Maalaea Beach connects with Haycraft Park and then Sugar Beach to the south, creating the longest walkable beach on Maui.
Despite its quaint appearance and tiny size, Maalaea actually has a rich history – and thanks to the Maui Harbor Shops (featuring a general store, restaurants, bars, and gift shops), it now functions as its own small village. The area is also home to the Maui Ocean Center aquarium, the Maui Golf & Sports Park amusement center, and endless boat tours focused on snorkeling, whale-watching, fishing, and sunset chasing. The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, a paradise for bird watchers, is also within walking distance.
Ideally situated between Maui’s bustling south and west sides, Maalaea contains no hotels, making it less touristy than some of the island’s other areas. But a 20-minute drive leads to the heart of Kihei’s restaurants and nightlife, and just a bit farther south, exceptional golf and upscale shopping and dining await in the Wailea resort area. A 25-minute drive to the west leads to waterfront shops and restaurants in Lahaina, and just a bit farther north, golf lovers will find the renowned courses of Kaanapali and Kapalua.
Maalaea is also less than a 20-minute drive from Kahului’s airport, big box shopping options, doctors’ offices, furniture stores, and car dealerships. With less than a 15-minute drive, residents can access Maui Memorial Hospital and the government offices of Maui’s county seat, Wailuku, as well as the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and the University of Hawaii Maui College.
Contact me to talk about Maalaea’s real estate possibilities!
Leslie MacKenzie Smith, REALTOR(S), RS-42147