Maui’s North Shore – Quick Summary

Note: This is the original guidebook article that inspired the North Shore destination page, where most of this information is duplicated. Since the destination page does not have comments, this is the place to leave and read comments about the North Shore in general.

General Geographic Area: North Shore Maui

General Geographic Area: North Shore Maui

In a nutshell: The North Shore of Maui is less developed, less crowded with plenty of world-class beaches.
Minuses: Doesn’t cater commercially to resort-oriented tourists.
Sound-bite: “That guy playing in Charley’s looked and sounded exactly like Willie Nelson!”

The exact boundaries of Maui’s North Shore are not well defined, and there is overlap between Central Maui, Upcountry Maui and the Road to Hana. Even in my guide info, I often duplicate North Shore articles in Road to Hana categories since this is how the majority of resort visitors will experience it (on the way to Hana.) For the purposes of the guidebook, I define the boundaries to the west and north around the surfing scene, mauka boundaries are based on proximity (a few miles) to the ocean, and to the east I end in Huelo, where the last signs of development give way to the jungle.

The North Shore of Maui includes many off-the-beaten path vacation rentals, miles of spectacular undeveloped beaches, dramatic rugged shoreline, world-class surf breaks, and is both the native and adoptive home to a small, exceedingly diverse population. Native Hawaiians, farmers, hippies, surfers, celebrities and trust-fund babies all call Maui’s North Shore home. The spirit of Aloha can be experienced around every corner, and this unlikely eclectic mix of people from around the world have learned to live together in a way that many visitors find remarkable; even inspiring. The North Shore is safe, the people are friendly, and it is quite central to all that Maui has to offer.

For some more specific info, including beaches, towns etc., the “Should I Stay on Maui’s North Shore?” article has lots of links and info. For more specific articles North Shore attractions, browse the North Shore category.

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