Kahului Airport is just east of Kahului town, which is on the island’s north-central shore, an isthmus connecting the larger mountain landmasses of east and West Maui. Kahului is a newer residential community with more development than its upslope neighbor. Kahului has shopping centers, service stations, supermarkets, fast food outlets, theaters and just about everything else.
Wailuku, the county seat of Maui County, lies at the foot of the West Maui mountains just a couple of miles upslope from Kahului and the harbor front area.
Wailuku has more of an air of a historic old plantation town with a number of older buildings. In fact, Wailuku had a working sugar mill right off Lower Main Street until it closed just a few years ago. Wailuku has filled in the gaps with a few trendy restaurants and specialty shops thrown in for good measure.
Main Street above Wailuku passes by the historic Ka`ahumanu Church and Bailey House Museum, winding its way up the Iao Valley to Kepaniwai Park Heritage Garden and Iao Valley State Park. There are nature trails to stroll through lush green gulches surrounded by sheer cliffs and the famous Iao Needle Just south of Wailuku at Waikapu is the Maui Tropical Plantation and Country Store. From Kahului and Wailuku, roads branch out in all directions, leading to East Maui and the Hana Highway, upcountry to Makawao, Kula and Haleakala, south to the Kihei, Wailea and Makena resorts, or west around the pali (cliffs) to West Maui’s Lahaina, Ka`anapali, Napili, and Kapalua resorts.