We all know Maui is paradise. But what you may not know is that Maui is also one of the most naturally and culturally diverse islands in the world. From the misty rainforests of Haikü and the rugged peaks of Haleakalä to the palm-fringed beaches of Wailea, Maui is indisputable proof that variety is indeed the spice of life.

Just like snowflakes, no two places are exactly alike on Maui, which means there truly is something for everyone here. I call it “variations of perfection.”

South Maui (Wailea, Makena and Kïhei):

Arguably, there is an intrinsic appeal to any coastal community, but I believe South Maui gives the rest a run for their money. There’s a reason why visitors flock here year-round—and why I chose to build a home here. Considered by many to be the crown glory of Maui, Wailea, Makena and Kïhei boast pristine white sand beaches, impossibly blue waters and breathtaking sunsets that inspire the inner romantic in each of us.

Like me, if you’re inclined to indulge in sun, sand or surf, the perpetually sunny and dry (South Maui averages less than 15 inches of rainfall annually) climate is guaranteed to deliver optimum beach time, day or night. Just a 26 minute drive from Kahului Airport, it is an easily accessible area, with two, main intersecting roadways (the Pi‘ilani Highway and South Kïhei Road), convenient bus routes and ample parking.

But what sets this seaside community apart from the rest of the island is that it has just about everything under the sun (and I mean that quite literally). You’ll find an assortment of retail shops and award-winning restaurants to suit every taste and budget, as well as a dizzying array of amphibious activities, such as SCUBA diving, surfing, stand-up paddling, kayaking, nature hikes, marine education courses, sunset dinner cruises, tennis and some of the best golfing in the world.

But wait, there’s more. South Maui is brimming with cultural events, farmers markets, craft fairs, a vibrant nightlife scene featuring live music and entertainment and “Hawai‘I’s Answer to Sundance,” the world-renowned Maui Film Festival.

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2481 Kaanapali Pkwy Unit 1023 S Lahaina, HI 96761

$65,000
2 Beds
2 Baths
1,444 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 358557
Property Type Time Interval
Two bedroom, two bath time interval unit on the 10th floor overlooking the popular courtyard side of Tower 1. Spacious floor plan sleeps 6 people comfortably. This unit has recently had a full renovation to the kitchen including new counter tops and new appliances. Also newly renovated is both of the bathrooms. The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach offers amenities that include an ocean view pool, spa, sauna, workout gym, salon, underground parking, and a business hub center.

3543 Lower Honoapiilani Rd Unit A207 Lahaina, HI 96761

$580,000
1 Bed
1 Bath
642 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 360345
Property Type Condo
DIRECT ONE BEDROOM OCEANFRONT UNIT. THIS IS ONE OF THE LARGER ONE BEDROOMS. EXCELLENT RENTAL PROPERTY. POOLS, JACUZZI, TENNIS, AMENITIES GALORE.

3200 Wailea Alanui Dr Unit 701 Kihei, HI 96753

$778,000
1 Bed
2 Baths
1,022 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 362068
Property Type Condo
At the entrance to the world renowned Wailea Resort is this fully furnished 1 bedroom, 2 bath ground floor unit with a split A/C system in the master bedroom for you to enjoy the best of Maui's Island living. This corner end unit is located just a short stroll from the gorgeous sandy beach at Keawekapu. The swimming pool area and front desk/club house is also very close to the unit. Phase I of the Palms of Wailea allows short term rentals and this unit is currently booked by Outrigger. There's a lovely garden view, mini ocean view, and ample parking for owners and guests. Showings are subject to availability with the vacation rental manager.

2387 S Kihei Rd Unit D-205 Kihei, HI 96753

$359,000
1 Bed
1 Bath
700 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 362877
Property Type Condo
Lowest priced unit in Kihei Alii Kai at time of listing! Enjoy this wonderful vacation rental unit just a short stroll to Maui's most popular beaches - Kam I, II, and III. Close to many shops and restaurants but perfectly tucked away for privacy. The pool, tennis courts, and barbecues are just some of the amenities you will be able to enjoy. Sit back and relax on your large lanai taking in the incredible ocean views and sunsets. Get your offer in now, coming out of a long escrow with no price increase so get your gloves on and let's get ready to rumble!

2376 Kamehameha V Hwy Unit 15 Kaunakakai, HI 96748

$949,000
3 Beds
3.5 Baths
2,120 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 363676
Property Type Single Family
Popular Plantation style oceanfront home. Great open floor plan designed for gracious living. This is the perfect beach house. Owner is in the process of obtaining after the fact building permit for home remodeling. Views include ocean channel to Maui, Lanai, sunsets, whales breaching etc. Perfect location for kayaking, paddling, wind surfing, fishing. Great neighborhood.

960 Front St Lahaina, HI 96761

$2,700,000
3 Beds
2 Baths
1,676 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 363878
Property Type Single Family
Great oceanfront property and backyard mountain views. Walking distance to the attractions of Front Street Lahaina. World class cuisine, art galleries, harbor and nightlife. Spacious lot size where you can stay at home, barbecue on your covered lanai and watch Maui sunsets with views of Moloka’i, Lana’i and our winter visitors the Humpback whales right from your lawn.

100 Ridge Rd Unit 1013-15 Lahaina, HI 96761

$1,300,000
2 Beds
3 Baths
1,778 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 364451
Property Type Condo
All on one level remodeled 2 bedroom, 3 bath floor plan. Great ocean views! Granite counter tops throughout, air conditioning in each bedroom plus living room. PROPERTY IS LISTED UNFURNISHED!! Close to the main pool and recreation center at The Ridge. Enjoy all that the magnificent Kapalua Resort has to offer with 2 championship golf courses, exciting restaurants, free shuttle service within the Resort, and beautiful sandy beaches. The Kapalua Resort also boasts Ten Tennis Courts in a Garden Setting. The Ritz Carlton Hotel at The Kapalua Resort and The Montage Resort at Kapalua are just a short walk away for dining, spa services or for hotel accommodations for friends and family. THE RIDGE HAS LEGAL VACATION RENTALS!!!!!

2750 Kalapu Dr Unit 7 Lahaina, HI 96761

$685,000
2 Beds
2 Baths
1,244 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 365885
Property Type Condo
A quintessential island cottage, International Colony Club unit 7 at Kaanapali offers an all natural environment that takes one back to old time Maui plantation style living. The remodeled, two bedroom, two bathroom cottage boasts 1,244 square feet of living space. This comfortable stand alone home is perfect for full time, part-time or as an investment rental! International Colony Club allows vacation rental activity. Ask your Realtor about potential rental income. ICC has a close knit ownership and is proactive in keeping this tropically landscaped community in top form. No interior parking allows for peace and serenity. Enjoy the island breeze and relax! Call your Realtor for your immediate showing.

564 Umeke St Unit 48 Kihei, HI 96753

$1,210,000
3 Beds
3 Baths
2,506 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 366141
Property Type Condo
Location is everything! This home offers a wide expansive three fairway view with the West Maui Mts and Maalaea Bay as a back drop. The new look of Hokulani Golf Villas is embodied in this home with beautiful granite countertops, custom hardwood cabinets, Italian porcelain tiles. The homes at Hokulani have been uniquely designed to offer the comfort and privacy of a luxury home, combined with the carefree lifestyle of a condominium. Features include, an eco friendly design with 9-foot high ceilings, spacious covered lanais, gourmet kitchens, gas barbecue outlets -- all in a gated community on the expansive greenbelt of the beautiful Maui Nui Golf Course. Hokulani is conveniently located just minutes away from all the great beaches, activities, shops & restaurants that Kihei has to offer. Every detail of the Hokulani Villas, from the thoughtful designs to the quality of the construction and materials, exemplifies the character of this resort class community.

And that’s just to name a few.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the piece de resistance of South Maui: From November to April, pods of humpback whales make their annual voyage just a few miles offshore, offering spectators a rare opportunity to witness one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts.

This is, as the saying goes, just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much to see, do and experience here, which is why Wailea, Makena and Kïhei are three of the most coveted locations on Maui.

Of course, I may be a bit biased. After all, I do live here.

West Maui (Lahaina, Ka‘anapali, Kapalua and Napili):

West Maui was once the playground of the Hawaiian royals, and today, it’s an equally coveted destination for those seeking the royal treatment. The popular “resort towns” of Lahaina, Ka‘anapali practically burst at the seams with things to do, places to go and people to see.

You’ll find a lot of people in the water here—surfing, paddling, parasailing, swimming and snorkeling—and for good reason. West Maui is arid and hot.

Along Front Street, Lahaina’s iconic promenade, there is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, museums, retail shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, live music and entertainment and the world-famous Banyan Tree Park, where you can enjoy the cool reprieve of the shade from a 60-foot-tall Banyan tree.

Throughout the year, both Lahaina and Ka‘anapali host a variety of special events, including the Halloween Celebration (dubbed the “Mardi Gras of the Pacific”), King Kamehameha Day Parade, the International Festival of Canoes and the Taste of Lahaina.

Further down the Honoapi‘ilani Highway, you’ll find a slower pace of life in Kapalua and Napili, not to mention some of the world’s most legendary golf courses (Kapalua hosts the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the LPGA Classic Tournament and the Mercedes Championship each year).

If you want some R&R or to escape from the “real world,” West Maui can certainly deliver. Depending on weather and traffic conditions, it’s a 45-minute drive from Kahului Airport, and it is only accessible by Honoapi‘ilani Highway—unless you have a private jet or helicopter, of course.

North Shore (Pä‘ia, Ha‘ikü and Spreckelsville):

When it comes to small town charm and character, Maui’s North Shore has the market cornered.

We call it the “wet” side of the island, which is why it’s not uncommon to see a rainbow or two while cruising along Häna Highway, and if you plan on spending a day at the beach there, I’d recommend bringing an umbrella. The North Shore is also considerably quiet and mellow (at least, compared to rest of Maui), which is why many residents travel to other areas of the island for business and pleasure.

But the North Shore is best known for its unique wind and surf conditions, which has made it one of the world’s premiere destinations for surfers, kitesurfers and windsurfers (H‘ookipa Beach Park is known “Windsurfing Capital of the World” and “Jaws” is appropriately named for its jaw-dropping big wave surfing).

If you’re not into extreme sports, though, don’t worry. The North Shore offers plenty of other outdoor activities and adventures, as well as opportunities to enjoy some “quiet time” with your family. In fact, you might just find me there one Sunday afternoon with my daughters, collecting seashells along the beach.