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

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

1 Bed
1 Bath
642 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 360345
Property Type Condo

3200 Wailea Alanui Dr Unit 701 Kihei, HI 96753

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.

471 Kanai Pl Wailuku, HI 96793

15 Beds
6 Baths
3,724 SqFt
Status Pending - Cont. To Show
MLS # 362845
Property Type Sf W/det Ohana Or Cottage
A most unusual property that has development possibilities. Located directly across the street from the renowned surf spot, Big Left, the large yard has an imu for your family luau. Two buildings have rental potential on half an acre. Views of Kahului harbor and majestic Haleakala where you can view beautiful sunrises, can be seen from the property. Open parking area has plenty of room for residents and guests. Centrally located in Wailuku and just a short distance from grocery shopping, banking and restaurants. Kahului Airport is only 15 minutes away. Make this special property into that of which you have been dreaming. Add a second story and a view of the ocean could open up before you. Building permits were obtained for structures.

2376 Kamehameha V Hwy Unit 15 Kaunakakai, HI 96748

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

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

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!!!!!

100 Lio Pl Unit M1 Maunaloa, HI 96770

1 Bed
1 Bath
616 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 365196
Property Type Condo
These seller have been able to enjoy their unit for about 35 years and have owned it since they were built in the 80's. Over the years the owners have upgraded their unit with tiled bathroom, painting, redoing floors, replace furniture as needed and you will see how well maintained their unit is. It's an end unit so there are two sides to the enclosed screened in lanai which makes it feel so much bigger inside when all the doors are open to the lanai. Off to the side of the living room is the bedroom with no stairs at all to climb. At one time it's view was off the fairway of the Kalua Koi Golf Course but now it a just nested back in the trees and has distance ocean views of the Kepuhi Beach in front. It's just a short walk from this condo to some of Molokai's amazing west end beaches. Make Horse around the corner has tide pools to play or soak in. Paniolo Hale is not directly on the ocean and there is the old fairway in-between the grounds and the beach. Great sunset from the west side and awesome surf in front in the winter along with whales, and summer time just one beautiful blue ocean to swim in. In a vacation rental pool, so call for availability to show.

32 Polohina Ln Unit 8 Lahaina, HI 96761

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,098 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 365629
Property Type Condo
Many extras in this the best 3 bedroom in Napili. This rare one-level top floor condominium enjoys beautiful ocean views from the living/dining room. The condo features vaulted ceilings, granite countertop, plantation style wood louvered window coverings, and a floor-to-ceiling built-in book case in one bedroom or office. The living room wall mirror enhances the ocean views. This unique end corner floorpan has the extra square footage and extra windows. There is one bed included, but otherwise it is offered unfurnished. Pet friendly with pet park nearby. There is a storage closet off the lanai. The 2 bedroom right next door same level is also for sale.

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.