The 5 Best Locations to Elope on Maui
Known as the Valley Isle, Maui is made up of a diverse natural landscape. From the pristine beaches and tall peaks of the west to the lush jungles and rugged coastline of the east, the island is full of spectacular beauty. Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is a wonderful mix of outdoor adventure, small island towns, and luxury resorts.
Its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and aloha spirit are just a few reasons why its a top destination for elopements. Whether you’re looking to elope on a secluded beach or in the midst of a tropical rainforest, you’ll find it here on Maui. Divided into five distinct regions, each unique in its own right, you’ll quickly discover why Maui is an ideal elopement destination full of adventure and romance.
Best Time of Year to Elope on Maui: Spring and Fall
Maui’s weather is fairly consistent throughout the year with temperatures hovering in the 80s year round. Although any time of year is a good time to visit, if you’re after fewer crowds and more affordable prices, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are your best bet. The months of April and May and September through November are considered the best time to visit the island.
As far as precipitation, winter sees the most rain, usually from November to March but is also the best season for whale watching and surfing. Historically drier months are between June and September. Ocean currents also tend to be stronger in the winter and calmer in the summer.
1. West Maui
What was once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and home to Hawaiian royalty, West Maui is now a popular tourist destination with beautiful stretches of white sand beaches and some of the best resorts on the island. The area is characterized by rocky coastline, hidden coves, sandy beaches, and some of the most amazing sunsets in the world.
Driving west along Honoapi’ilani Highway, you’ll first come across the historic whaling town of Lahaina. One of the most visited spots in Maui, this bustling beach town is filled with unique shops and restaurants that run along the water. As you continue up the west coast, you’ll find Ka’anapali, one of the most popular resort areas on the island. If you’re wanting beautiful beaches and a resort getaway, West Maui is the perfect elopement location for you.
Tips for Eloping in West Maui
Getting There: About 40 minutes on Honoapi’ilani Highway (Hwy 30) from the Kahului Airport.
Best Locations: Secret spots near Kahakuloa and Kapalua.
Top Nearby Activities
- Visit Honolua Bay – A popular spot for experienced surfers in the winter and snorkeling in the summer, Honolua Bay is definitely worth a visit, even if just for the views.
- Explore Lahaina – Situated along the ocean, the historic Front Street of Lahaina is well-worth exploring, with art galleries, small boutiques, and plenty of good restaurants.
- Relax at Ka’anapali Beach – Boasting 3 miles of white sand beach and turquoise blue water, this beach is one of the most popular on the island and was once named America’s Best Beach. Be sure not to miss Black Rock at the northern side of the beach.
- Explore Nakalele Blowhole – and go for a short hike to see this natural phenomenon, but be careful and don’t get too close!
- Go Whale Watching – The shallow channel between West Maui and the neighboring islands make this area one of the world’s best spots for whale watching. If you’re on Maui during the winter, this is a must-do!
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2. Central Maui
Located between West Maui and Haleakala, Central Maui is where most of the island calls home. The area encompasses the towns of Wailuku and Kahului, each a bit different than the other. In Wailuku, you’ll find a charming small town filled with mom and pop shops housed in quaint wooden buildings. Just to the east, neighboring Kahului is a busy shopping district and home to the island’s main airport.
Right in the heart of Maui, although well-populated, the region is also home to some stunning natural scenery. A few minutes west of Wailuku, you’ll find Iao Valley with its towering mountains and lush tropical terrain. For couples seeking convenience and stunning Hawaiian nature, Central Maui is an ideal elopement destination.
Tips for Eloping in Central Maui
Getting There: Located in Central Maui, you can fly directly into Kahului Airport from most major west coast cities in the U.S.
Best Locations: Iao Valley and Waihee Ridge Trail
Top Nearby Activities
- Set Sail from Ma’alaea Harbor – Located along the southern coast, Ma’alaea Harbor is a hub for island boat excursions. Set sail on a glass-bottom catamaran, take a romantic sunset sail, or catch a boat to Molokini Crater for some of the best snorkeling on Maui.
- Hike Waihee Ridge Trail – Located in the West Maui mountains and considered one of the most scenic hikes in Maui, this 5 mile round trip hike takes you through lush forests and into the clouds with epic views of the valley below.
- Hike Iao Valley State Park – This mountainous valley is home to one of Maui’s most iconic landmarks, the Iao Needle and a peaceful river flows down the middle with some of the freshest water on island. Towering high into the sky, the Iao Needle is truly awe-inspiring.
- Explore Market Street – Spend the afternoon exploring some of the cute boutiques, coffee shops, and art galleries of one of the main streets that runs through Wailuku.
- Visit Maui Tropical Plantation – Explore more than 60 acres of tropical fruit and plants on a guided tour of the plantation. You’ll learn about the different varieties and have a chance to sample the fruit.
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3. East Maui
Full of raw natural beauty, East Maui is unlike any other part of the island. Lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and hidden swimming holes make this side of the island a welcome retreat from the busy resorts of West Maui. With its overgrown jungles and rocky coastline, East Maui makes the perfect escape for an intimate elopement.
As you head east, you’ll quickly discover the infamous Road to Hana, a 52-mile drive on a winding road along the island’s northern coast. With magical vistas around every turn, the experience will leave you breathless. Once you’ve made it to Hana, also known as “Heavenly Hana,” you’ll see that everything moves at a much slower pace in this charming small town. Surrounded by jungle on the edge of the sea, it’s just you and nature in Hana.
Tips for Eloping in East Maui
Getting There: About a 2 hour drive on Hana Highway (Hwy 36) from the Kahului Airport.
Best Locations: Koki Beach, Hamoa Beach, and Kaupo area
Top Nearby Activities
- Hike Pipiwai Trail – One of the island’s best trails, this several hour long hike through a dense bamboo forest takes you to the impressive 400 ft tall Waimoku Falls.
- Swim in the Pools of Oheo – Otherwise known as the Seven Sacred Pools, these tiered waterfalls cascade down the lower slopes of Haleakala forming seven distinct swimming holes.
- Drive the Road to Hana – Take the drive on the narrow winding road along the northern coast of the island for incredible ocean views and cascading waterfalls. This drive is a must-do while visiting Maui!
- Visit Hamoa Beach– This beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its crystal clear water and peaceful solitude.
- Visit Wai’anapanapa State Park – As lush green hills give way to rugged black lava coastline and natural sea arches, this park is a must-visit along the Road to Hana. Be sure not to miss the Black Sand Beach.
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4. Upcountry Maui
Inland from the sandy beaches and rugged coastline, you’ll find Upcountry. A stark contrast from the rest of the island, the landscape is characterized by rolling green hills and open land. This mostly rural area is home to the small communities of Makawao and Kula, where you’ll find quaint bed and breakfasts and family farms. If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience, head to Upcountry Maui.
Also home to Haleakala, the island’s highest point and a dormant volcano, green land quickly turns into a barren, desert-like landscape. As you traverse the foothills of Haleakala, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a whole new world. The rocky red cinder landscape offers an otherworldly scenery for a truly unique Hawaiian elopement.
Tips for Eloping in Upcountry Maui
Getting There: About a 15-25 minute drive from the Kahului Airport to Upcountry, and about an hour to reach the Haleakala Summit.
Best Location: Olinda Forest, private Kula cabins, and Haleakala National Park
Top Nearby Activities
- Hike Haleakala Crater – Known as “The House of the Sun,” ascend 10,000 ft above the clouds to the crater’s summit. Although a long hike, the epic views from the top are absolutely worth it.
- Visit MauiWine – Famous for their pineapple wine, Maui’s only winery is set on a beautifully landscaped estate and is definitely worth a visit. Be sure not to miss out on one of their daily complimentary wine tours.
- Take a Helicopter Tour – One of the best ways to take in the views of Maui is from high above the clouds. Get a bird’s eye view of some of the island’s most remote areas with a helicopter tour of Upcountry.
- Explore Makawao – One of Hawaii’s last paniolo or cowboy towns, Makawao is home to local boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. Stop by my favorite eateries Freshies or Sip Me.
- Camp in Haleakala National Park – If you’re feeling adventurous, backpack to Haleakala’s wilderness area and spend the night in a remote campground. Stay at Paliku or Holua campgrounds where both tent camping and cabins are available. Reservations are required and get booked quickly so make sure to reserve your spot well in advance!
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5. North Shore Maui
On the north side of the island, you’ll find miles of beautiful undeveloped beaches and rugged shores. North Shore Maui is well-known for its untouched natural beauty and epic surf breaks. It’s here you’ll find the quaint towns of Paia and Haiku. The surf town of Paia is home to hippies, backpackers, and artsy folks with a super laid back vibe. Lined with colorful shops and delicious eateries, any free-spirited couple would feel at home in Paia.
Just up the road, you’ll discover the small community of Haiku. Set in a peaceful jungle setting, much of the area is made up of family-run farms and private residences. A bit off-the-beaten-path, Haiku is the perfect place to escape for a secluded and romantic honeymoon after your adventure elopement.
Tips for Eloping in North Shore Maui
Getting There: About 20 minutes to Paia and 30 minutes to Haiku from the Kahului Airport.
Best Locations: Baldwin Beach, Twin Falls (private property – permission and a fee are required), and secret spots along Hana Highway I only share with my couples!
Top Nearby Activities
- Stop by Baldwin Beach – With glistening white sands and crystal clear blue water, this popular beach shouldn’t be missed. On the west side, you’ll find Baby Beach and further east you’ll find Baldwin Cove.
- See Turtles at Ho’okipa Beach – One of the best spots to watch the Hawaiian green sea turtles as they make their way to the shore to rest and soak up the late afternoon sun.
- Visit Mana Foods – Get a local’s experience by dropping by Mana Foods in Paia. This health food store is my fave place to get groceries on the island aside from the Upcountry farmer’s market.
- Hike to Twin Falls – Take the short 1 mile round trip hike through a jungle forest to a series of small waterfalls and swimming holes.
- Explore Paia – The colorful, quaint town of Paia is filled with small boutiques, surf shops, and local restaurants along its main street. This funky little town is certainly worth a visit.