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Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island's name in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the Polynesian navigator attributed with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates how he named the island of Maui after his son who in turn was named for the demigod Māui. The Island of Maui is also called the "Valley Isle" for the large fertile isthmus between its two volcanoes.

Maui County welcomed 2,207,826 tourists in 2004; 2,263,676 tourists in 2005; and 2,405,257 tourists in 2006 with total tourist expenditures of US$3.5 billion for the Island of Maui alone. While the island of Oʻahu is most popular with Japanese tourists, the Island of Maui tends to appeal to visitors mostly from the U.S. mainland and Canada: in 2005, there were 2,003,492 domestic arrivals on the island, compared to 260,184 international arrivals. The big tourist spots in Maui include the Hāna Highway, Haleakalā National Park, and Lāhainā.

The Hāna Highway runs along the east coast Maui, curving around many mountains and passing by black sand beaches and waterfalls. Haleakalā National Park is home to Haleakalā, a dormant volcano. Lāhainā is one of the main attractions on the island with an entire street of shops and restaurants which lead to a wharf where many set out for a sunset cruise or whale watching journey. It is also a port of call for cruise ships. Snorkeling can be done at almost any beach along the Maui coast. The main tourist hotel and condo areas are West Maui.

Two airports provide scheduled air service to Maui:

Kahului Airport in central Maui
Kapalua Airport in western Maui


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Member Since 1990
Not sure which island (or
islands) you want to visit?

Click on an island name at right to get some very general information.
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The Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau
Visit Maui - the Maui Visitors Bureau
Kauai Discovery - the Kauai Visitors Bureau
Hawaii (the Big Island guide)
Lanai (Manele Bay and the Lodge)
Molokai - the Molokai Visitors Association
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