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A Little About West Maui

 West Maui, especially the northwestern coastal region of the Valley Island, is one of the most scenic resort areas in the state of Hawaii. Although there is no absolute determination regarding where western Maui stops and ends, the generally accepted boundaries of the region are Papawai Point and Kahului Bay. West Maui is the older section of Maui – the volcanic activity that forged all of the Hawaiian Islands most recently affected the other portions of the Valley Island. The most striking remnants of volcanism in West Maui are the West Maui Mountains, especially Puu Kukui. Puu Kukui is one of the tallest and oldest mountains on the island of Maui, older than Haleakala and clocking in at 5,788 feet above sea level. The rugged yet lush mountain peaks of West Maui contrast beautifully with valleys such as Iao Valley, creating a spectacular panorama for those lucky enough to drive between Papawai and Kahului. Perhaps the best known city in western Maui is the historic port of Lahaina, which is also the largest western community in terms of population. In addition to local residential neighborhoods, the coastal landscape of western Maui is dotted with resort communities dedicated to serving the thousands of tourists who visit the region every month.

The history of West Maui stretches back to the days of the Hawaiian Kingdom, when Hawaiian royalty frequented the area during periods of rest. The beautiful coastline of West Maui was a perfect location for creating a royal retreat, and it continued to serve that function for centuries. In fact, West Maui was so important to ancient Hawaii that it served as the capitol of the Hawaiian Kingdom for some time. Today, that historical heritage and appreciation of unique beauty live on in the cultural activities and historic sites that define modern western Maui. One of the most breathtaking and impressive reminders of that historical legacy is the traditional cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock, which takes place daily at sunset. For those looking for something less extreme, nearby Kaanapali Beach is a great location for swimming and sunbathing, while Honolua Bay is one of the best known spots for surfing on the Valley Island. Golfers can enjoy the professionally designed and beautifully landscaped golf courses around the resorts at Kapalua, while the whole family can enjoy the impressive selection of dining options that have sprung up along the coastline of West Maui.

One attraction that has sprung up more recently is a series of ziplines slightly inland from the resort communities. A number of companies have arrived, providing a unique opportunity to enjoy the lush scenery of the Valley Island while experiencing a simultaneous rush of adrenaline. Nature enthusiasts can bask in the remarkable beauty of the surrounding island community in addition to the Kula Botanical Garden, which maintains eight acres of unique flora and fauna. The population center of West Maui, Lahaina, was a hub for the short lived whaling industry that heavily influenced the Maui economy for two decades in the nineteenth century. Today, Lahaina is home to an impressive variety of museums and historic sites commemorating that historic legacy and catering to a growing tourist population. One of these sites, Whalers Village, is located just north of Lahaina, and offers a great shopping experience as well as a wide selection of dining option and the Whaler’s Village Museum. One of the hidden gems of West Maui is Kapalua Bay, a small white sand beach that has been repeatedly named as the best beach in the state of Hawaii, the United States of America, and the world.

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