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Maui, the second youngest and second smallest of the Hawaiian Islands, has a population of just under 150,000 people. The island strikes a balance between the resort atmosphere of the Oahu and the more natural feel of Kauai. Maui has its fair share of wilderness to explore, but visitors are never too far from the service, shopping, and amenities of resort vacationing.

United States citizens can access this lush paradise without the need of a passport. Despite being thousands of miles from the mainland of the United States, Hawaii was the last state to join, giving citizens easier access to the islands. Though it is part of the US, Maui and the rest of the Hawaiian islands have a lush culture of their own that endures to this day. Island life tends to flow much slower than the fast pace that many Americans are accustomed to living.

Access to Hawaii is just a few hours’ plane ride away from the mainland. Maui’s main airport is Kahului, and there are direct flights there from some airports in all west coast states, Colorado, Arizona, and even Texas.

While life on the island is easy to access and easygoing, paying for everything isn’t always as easy. Being 3,000 miles from almost everything and having relatively little land mass means that most products must be shipped to the islands. Products and services tend to be more expensive in resort areas, but traveling to locally owned restaurants and shops helps keep costs under control.

Maui’s south and west sides have the most hotels and resorts. The areas around Wailea, Kihei, Lahaina, Ka’anapali, and Kapalua are Maui’s most developed hotel and resort areas. The best way to experience this “Honeymoon Isle” is to stay in these areas, but rent a car to explore the local scene and the natural, scenic environment.

Hawaii is in the thick of the yearly humpback whale migration, and Maui is in the thickest of the thick. The seas between Lanai, Molokai, and Maui tend to see the most whales during the migration. Whale season generally runs from mid fall to mid spring, running from October through April. If you miss whale season, Maui also boasts stunning sunrises, a dormant volcano, and lush tropical forests for you to explore.