Wailuku, HI

Travel Guide
Wailuku

It may take its name from one of Hawaii’s bitterest and bloodiest battles, but today this charming town is all about peace and tranquility.

Wailuku is Maui County’s capital town, a place where fierce battles were fought, Hawaiian kings went to rest, a sugar industry was born and missionaries worked. Its eclectic history is only part of the appeal. Today, it charms with its old churches, wooden storefronts, antique stores and quaint cafés.

The town is situated at the foot of the West Maui Mountains and bordered by Iao Valley’s lush green forests and tropical plants. This was the setting for one of Hawaii’s most savage battles, the origin of the town’s name. In 1790, the invading King Kamehameha defeated Maui warriors in his attempt to unite Hawaii. So many men died, it was said that several miles of the 'Iao River ran red with their blood. Wailuku translates as “waters of destruction.”

The area changed when the missionaries arrived in the early 1800s, bringing with them Christianity and Western culture. Further upheaval came with the growth of the sugar industry. This boom attracted immigrants from Europe and Asia, many of whom settled in the area.

Glimpse Wailuku’s history with a visit to Kaahumanu Church, the oldest on the island. This large bluestone structure is the fourth place of worship for the Wailuku congregation on this plot of land; the first was a shed, the current structure was built in 1876.

Explore the Bailey House Museum, the former home of missionary teacher Edward Bailey and his family. The 19th-century building’s displays include Hawaiian and missionary artifacts, paintings and furniture.

One of the most popular parts of Wailuku is Market Street, with its assortment of retail shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafés. It’s here that the town’s peaceful atmosphere is pleasantly disrupted on the first Friday of every month: The area is closed off to traffic for 2.5 hours and plays host to a lively street party, which features singing, dancing, magicians and street vendors.

Located on central Maui, Wailuku is 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Kahului Airport.

Where to stay in Wailuku

The Northshore Hostel Maui
The Northshore Hostel Maui
1 out of 5
2080 W Vineyard St, Wailuku, HI
The price is ¥13,632 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Situated in Wailuku, this hostel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, West Maui Mountains, and Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Queen Ka’ahumanu ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (64 reviews)
"Friendly staff, a lot of activities offered and a great location. A mini-fridge in the private room could have been great."

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2022

The Northshore Hostel Maui
The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
3 out of 5
2199 Kaho'okele Street, Wailuku, HI
Situated in Wailuku, this bed & breakfast is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from West Maui Mountains and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. Maui Arts and Cultural ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (162 reviews)
"Lovely property but with restrictions we didn’t get full benefit of what I suspect is great service. We saw no one short of the person who dropped off our box breakfast at our door. It was delicious but certainly not what is ‘normal’ I suspect. We weren’t sure if we were welcome to explore the areas ..."

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2021

The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono
Vacation in Paradise - Maui Hawaii, Ocean Front Condo
Vacation in Paradise - Maui Hawaii, Ocean Front Condo
Wailuku, HI
This family-friendly Wailuku condo building is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Maalaea Beach and West Maui Mountains. Maalaea Harbor is 0.8 mi ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (53 reviews)
Great family vacation
"Nice launching pad for our Maui vacation. Very comfortable accommodations. Ideal for two young adult kids with their own beds in one bedroom and a queen bed for us in ours."

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2022

Vacation in Paradise - Maui Hawaii, Ocean Front Condo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
RARE DIRECT BEACHFRONT! Ground Floor Unit, Turtles, Whales!
RARE DIRECT BEACHFRONT! Ground Floor Unit, Turtles, Whales!
Wailuku, HI
The price is ¥27,332 per night from Feb 14 to Feb 15
Nestled on the beach, this Wailuku condo building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Maalaea Beach and 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Maalaea Harbor. West Maui Mountains is 0.2 mi ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (71 reviews)
Peaceful getaway for mother & daughter
"I have to say that Tracey's property in Maalaea was exactly what I expected and hoped for. Travelling throughout my lifetime with my mother, we love quiet, beautiful locations to visit and re-charge. It is in an ideal location, right on the beach with easy access to miles of beach to walk daily. ..."

Reviewed on Jan 15, 2022

RARE DIRECT BEACHFRONT! Ground Floor Unit, Turtles, Whales!
Vacation in Paradise - Maui Hawaii, Ocean Front Condo
Vacation in Paradise - Maui Hawaii, Ocean Front Condo
Wailuku, HI
This family-friendly Wailuku condo building is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Maalaea Beach and West Maui Mountains. Maalaea Harbor is 0.8 mi ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (53 reviews)
Great family vacation
"Nice launching pad for our Maui vacation. Very comfortable accommodations. Ideal for two young adult kids with their own beds in one bedroom and a queen bed for us in ours."

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2022

Vacation in Paradise - Maui Hawaii, Ocean Front Condo
Koa Built 2
Koa Built 2
Wailuku, HI
Situated in Wailuku, this golf condo building is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Bailey House Museum and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. West Maui Mountains ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Camping in Maui!
"My husband and I are avid campers, and really enjoyed Jeep camping in Maui. Nick & Dave give you EVERYTHING you need, down to the boogie boards. We rented for 8 nights and enjoyed every minute of beach camping. Highly, highly recommend Koa 2, Nick, Dave and exploring Maui."

Reviewed on Sep 17, 2021

Koa Built 2
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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