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Maui, also known as the Valley Island for its lush, mountainous landscape, is the third most populous of the Hawaiian Islands. Maui is the second largest island in terms of space, although the population is not evenly distributed across the different sectionMaui, also known as the Valley Island for its lush, mountainous landscape, is the third most populous of the Hawaiian Islands. Maui is the second largest island in terms of space, although the population is not evenly distributed across the different sections of the island. Maui covers a total area of nearly seven hundred and thirty square miles, and has a total population of 154,834 residents. The island of Maui takes its name from the son of a legendary Polynesian navigator and also from a Hawaiian demigod, who is known colloquially as the “Hawaiian Superman.” One of the distinguishing features of the island of Maui is Mount Haleakala, a ten thousand foot tall volcanic mountain that defines the landscape of the Valley Island. In addition to the island of Maui, the larger governmental entity of Maui Nui encompasses the smaller islands of Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. Maui’s climate is typical of the Hawaiian Islands, including warm temperatures throughout the year, pleasant trade winds, and occasional tropical showers. These conditions have made Maui and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands a leading tourist destination for visitors throughout the world. Additionally, Maui is not as heavily urbanized as the island of Oahu, meaning that the natural beauty of the Valley Island is generally preserved to a higher degree than many sites near Honolulu.
The early history of Maui Island was defined by Polynesian settlers until the arrival of European settlers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The first European explorer to land on the island of Maui was a French sailor named Jean-Francoi de la Perouse, who was closely followed by waves of settlers from both Europe and North America. For a time, the city of Lahaina was crucial to the Hawaiian whaling trade, serving as a hub for nearly two decades in the mid nineteenth century. The population of Maui grew gradually during the 20th century, and has exploded in the last decade in particular. The economy of Maui is centered largely on agriculture and tourism, although there are also a number of high technology employers and military operations on the island. There are three different airports serving the island of Maui, one each in eastern (Hana Airport), central (Kahului Airport), and western (Kapalua Airport) Maui. Traffic is not a major concern for most parts of the Valley Island, although Maui County also sponsors the Maui Public Bus Transit System.
Maui is home to the beautiful Hana Highway, a scenic route along the eastern Coast of the island. Some of the highlights of the drive towards Hana include black sand beaches, ocean views, and striking mountain ranges. Many cruise ships make a stop in Kahului, contributing to the two and a half million tourists that visited Maui over the last year. At one point, Maui was named the “Best Island in the World,” and continues to be popular among visitors from both abroad and other parts of Hawaii. Maui is a hub for water sports, and like many other parts of Hawaii has an extremely active surfing community. Maui also boasts some of Hawaii’s best beaches and even some hiking spots in addition to a wide variety of hotels and resorts. In addition, Maui offers several large shopping centers and malls as well as big box retailers such as Costco. Golfers can enjoy an impressive selection of lush, verdant golf courses, while photographers can capture some of the striking cliff faces along the shoreline. Most of the properties on the island of Maui are single family homes, although some of the larger towns such as Kihei, Kula, Kaanapali, Makena, and Makawao have apartment buildings and condominium complexes.