Exploring the Best Neighborhoods in Maui: A Home Buyer’s Guide

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For a small island, Maui offers a diverse variety of living options. Each town has a distinct personality. Even neighborhoods have their distinct flavor.  Talk to different residents and you are bound to hear a variety of strong opinions on Maui’s best neighborhoods and places to live.

Those opinions are going to be based on personal lifestyle, climate preferences, and that person’s particular wants and needs. That makes the best neighborhoods on Maui post bound to create some disagreements.

We recognize the diversity of opinions and acknowledge own own biases. As a real estate brokerage, The Maui Real Estate Team tries to be location agnostic and provide our buyers with the tools to make their own decisions. With that in mind, this post takes a look at some of the different areas of the island more broadly suited to certain lifestyles.

If you love to play in the wind and waves, we’ve got a neighborhood you should consider. If general beachgoing is a priority, we have a community worth a look. Golfers, we give you a good option outside the more well-known resorts.

If you just want to soak in big panoramic views, we’ll tell you a good place to do it. Want to live in seclusion? We have an idea for you. Convenience is king for your lifestyle? We’ve got you covered. 

Curious yet? Keep reading and we will give you some ideas on the best Maui neighborhoods and communities to suit your personal Maui lifestyle.

For a comprehensive listing of Maui condos, be sure to explore our extensive collection of Maui Condos Listings.

The Allure of Spreckelsville for Ocean Sports Enthusiasts

Maui is a great place for ocean lovers. It is world-renowned for its combination of wind and waves. There are very few places on the planet that can match the combination of wind and waves found in the waters offshore from the North Shore’s Spreckelsville neighborhood.

Unraveling the Thrill of Water Sports in Spreckelsville

Pick a water sport, any water sport outside of ice fishing and you can do it in Spreckelsville. 

Surfing is of course a staple of the Hawaii Ocean Sports diet. From fun on a soft top in the Sugar Cove Beach Break to bombing barrels on the outer reefs that are a half mile or more offshore, you can find a variety of waves to keep you entertained.

Of course, you don’t just have to ride a surfboard to enjoy the local waves. Whether you like to body board, stand-up paddle, or body surf, you will be entertained in Sprecks.

Sprecks has always been known as a haven for wind and water sports. It first gained renown among windsurfers in the 1980s. To this day, it is considered a premier area to rig and launch to enjoy consistent tradewinds and waves.

In the late nineties, Kitesurfers started to descend on the area and nearby Kanaha Beach Park. More recently, Wing foiling became a sport of choice in the waters near Sprecks. 

The stretch of coastline between Maliko Gulch to the East of Paia and Kahului Harbor is one of the world’s best for downwind coast runs. Whether you are in a canoe, stand-up paddle board, or some variety of foil board, the glide of riding open ocean swells in this area is tough to beat. Spreckelsville is right in the middle of this downwind run!

Our Choice for Best Maui Neighborhood for Ocean Sports is Spreckelville. World renowned waterman Kai Lenny grew up playing the neighborhood's offshore waters. Spreckelsville is the Choice for Best Maui Neighborhood for Ocean Sports. World-renowned waterman Kai Lenny trains in the waters off of Sugar Cove. 

Housing Options in Sprecklesville

Living near such incredible sporting opportunities needs housing options that match, and Spreckelsville delivers. There is a pretty diverse array of properties in the area from executive homes fronting the Maui Country Club Golf Course to oceanfront estates to homes on two-acre lots and even a beachfront condominium development.

The one thing you won’t find is lower-priced properties. The Spreckslsville lifestyle comes at a premium.

Oceanfront properties are highly sought after in this area due to their proximity to the water sports action. Imagine waking up each morning and being able to check the wind and waves from your backyard- it’s no wonder these homes are prized possessions.

Sugar Cove is the area’s only beachfront condominium development. This small condo development consists of just 18 units. Due to its size, listings rarely come on the market.

Key Takeaway: 

With world-class ocean sports just offshore, Spreckelsville is a dream destination for water enthusiasts. Whether it’s surfing, winging, windsurfing, SUPing, or kiteboarding, this neighborhood offers the ultimate playground. The housing options sell for a premium due in large part to the appealing lifestyle of the community.

Honorable Mention for Ocean Sports Communities

There are other great places to live on the island if you love playing in the ocean. Heck, I know people who live way up in Kula who play in the water every day. Here are a few other oceanfront Maui communities and neighborhoods worth mentioning. 

Paia Town is just down the road from Sprecks. There is surfing right behind downtown in Paia Bay. World-renowned Ho’okipa Beach Park is close by. Kuau Point is another great neighborhood for its wind and waves. There is surfing, windsurfing, foiling, and kiting just off the point and Ho’okipa is just a couple minutes down the coast.

The Oceanview Estates neighborhood in Wailuku is a sleeper pick. It is located right above the Sandpiles surf break. There are waves at Sandpiles almost every day of the year and the frequent tradewinds make kiting and winging a possibility.

Kihei – The Quintessential Beach Town

Known for its sunny weather and diverse beaches, Kihei is a favorite destination among locals and tourists alike. This coastal town in South Maui offers casual beach living with a variety of housing options.

The Many Faces of Kihei’s Beaches

No two beaches in Kihei are the same, each has its distinct charm that draws people to it. For instance, Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, and III have clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling amidst colorful marine life. These family-friendly parks also feature picnic areas where you can relax after enjoying water activities.

Keawakapu, another popular spot, boasts soft sand ideal for leisurely walks while watching sunset hues dance on gentle waves. It’s also known as one of the best places in Maui for snorkeling thanks to its vibrant underwater world.

Beautiful Keawakapu Beach in KiheiBeautiful Keawakapu Beach is one of the many stretches of sand that helped Kihei earn my choice of best beach town. 

Sugar Beach might be your pick if long peaceful walks appeal more to you than anything else – this five-mile stretch allows uninterrupted strolling while soaking up ocean views and maybe spotting humpback whales during their season.

Cove Park serves as a starting point for beginning surfers due to smaller wave breaks, but don’t let that fool you into thinking only beginners come here. You’ll often find seasoned surfers enjoying early morning rides too.

Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia’u (also called Mai Poina) stands out from other beaches because it’s favored by windsurfing enthusiasts along with wing-foiling aficionados or kitesurfers who prefer the consistent wind conditions of this area.

Residential Choices in Kihei

The housing scene in Kihei is as diverse as its beaches. Whether you’re a single professional, raising a family, or looking to retire by the beach, there’s something for everyone here.

Kihei has the largest number of condos of any community on the island. It’s a pretty varied bunch. Of course, there are many vacation rental-friendly condos with lush grounds and inviting pool areas.

There are also condos with fewer bells and whistles and lower maintenance fees geared towards year-round residents. If you don’t want to vacation rent, you can still live at a place that’s well-appointed. Again, the options are many when sorting through the inventory of Kihei Condos for Sale.

If more privacy is what you seek then one of Kihei’s single-family homes might be your choice. Ranging from simple bungalows nestled amidst lush greenery to executive homes to beautiful beach and oceanfront estates. There are varied options in the current inventory of Kihei Homes for Sale

Key Takeaway: 

Kihei’s charm: A beach town offering sunny weather and diverse beaches. Each beach here is unique, perfect for everything from snorkeling to windsurfing.

Residential options: Kihei is a treasure trove of housing choices. You’ll find condos boasting ocean views, and single-family homes if you’re after more privacy.

Other Beach Towns of Note

Needless to say, when you live on an island there is more than one good beach town. we already mentioned Paia town among the island’s surf towns, but you don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy Paia Bay, Baldwin, and Ho’okipa Beach Park.

Kula – A Community with a View

Beautiful beaches and tropical landscapes are two images that immediately come to mind when you think of Hawaii. But there’s more to Maui than just beachfront living. Take Kula, for instance. This community offers panoramic views, rolling green pastures, and crisp cool nights on the slopes of Haleakala.

The Majestic Views of Kula

In Kula, the landscape takes center stage. Situated at elevations ranging from 1,200 feet to 4,000 feet on Haleakala Volcano’s western slope, this rural community’s perch on the mountainside means stunning views. The range in elevation within Kula also means variety in the window dressing for your views.

At lower elevations, the climate is warm and sun-baked with an almost desert-like climate. As you gain elevation, you get closer to the clouds. Afternoon clouds can bring mist to help green the landscape. 

On any given day, residents can soak up the sights of the South Maui Coastline while sipping their morning coffee or watch as Lanai and Kahoolawe islands appear to float above the Pacific Ocean under an orange sunset. The grandeur doesn’t stop there though; Central Maui and West Maui Mountains also form part of this spectacular panorama.

Kula gets the award for best place for viewsThe best area for views? A picture from Kula is worth 1,000 words. 

Living in Kula

If Kula’s views and environment sound enticing, let’s review the options among the inventory of Kula Homes for Sale

Housing varies widely within Kula due to its size and varied topography. From sprawling estates nestled amidst the clouds to cozy cottages that are reminiscent of a more pastoral lifestyle, Kula has it all.

So whether you’re looking for ample space or something quaint and charming, this community offers a unique mix. Many homes here capitalize on their elevated location by offering expansive decks or patios – perfect spots for taking in those iconic views we talked about earlier. 

The climate, elevation, and soils of Kula make it an ideal locale for gardeners and small-scale farming. From Flower Farms to vineyards to orchards to simple vegetable and herb gardens, plant it, give it love and it will thrive in Kula. The higher elevations of Kula support some surprising produce including apples and assorted stone fruit.

Key Takeaway: 

Whether you’re sipping your morning coffee while soaking in the South Maui Coastline view or watching the sunset over floating islands, Kula life is all about majestic panoramas. The housing options are just as diverse and appealing – from grand estates to cozy cottages. 

Other Notable View Neighborhoods and Communities

Wailuku Heights sits on the lower slopes of the east face of the West Maui Mountains. From that vantage point, homes look across the Central Valley towards Haleakala. Most homes have a view of one or both of the coastlines. It is also a great place to see sunrises and moonrises.

Maui Meadows is a subdivision located just above Wailea. It is the best place in South Maui for ocean views particularly as you move higher up in the neighborhood. The topography is a lot more favorable for views than Kihei and a number of the neighborhoods in Wailea.

Pukalani- A Great Option for Golfers Outside the Resorts

Maui’s resorts are renowned for their golf courses. Every year, the first event of the PGA tour kicks off on Kapalua’s Plantation Course. Courses in Wailea and Ka’anapali also hosted professional events in the past.

That said, homes that front those golf courses tend to sell for an absolute premium. If you desire to live on the golf course but want something outside the resort for either lifestyle reasons or due to budget, Pukalani is worth a look. 

Golf with a View at Pukalani Country Club

Located on the western slope of Haleakala, Pukalani is situated between 1,000 and 1,600 feet in elevation. Pukalani translates to “hole in the sky.”

That speaks to the area’s sunny days and cooler nights. The community’s orientation on Haleakala makes for nice views of the West Maui Mountains, Central Valley, North Shore, and Ma’alaea Bay. 

The golf course in the community is the Pukalani Country Club. This 18-hole course offers reasonable greens fees and is low on pretense. It is open to the public. Local residents are able to apply for annual memberships. The membership fees mean that you get to play for a discounted cart rate.

While I am not a golfer personally, my father-in-law enjoys playing the course whenever he visits. He frequently joins up with other golfers or golfers to share a cart. Everyone he meets on his rounds is always friendly.

Living Options in Pukalani

The golf course is surrounded by both single-family residences and two townhome communities. The homes surrounding the golf course show diversity in size, age of construction, and finishing. The oldest homes in the neighborhood were built in the 70s.

The highest-priced community that abuts the golf course is The Residences at Kulamalu. This is the newest development in the area. Lot sizes along the golf course range from 7,000 square feet to upwards of 20,000 square feet.

There are a fair number of half-acre properties located within half of a mile of the golf course if you are looking for a little more land. The breadth of options for Pukalani Homes for Sale grows even more the further you get from the golf course. 

Sunset Views from a home located along a fairway at the Pukalani Country Club Golf CourseSunset Views from a home along the fairways of the Pukalani Country Club Golf Course

Key Takeaway: 

Pukalani offers golf course living with views and without a lot of pretension. Homes along the Pukalani Country Club golf course are more accessibly priced than homes in resort areas. 

Other Community Options for Golfers

The Dunes at Maui Lani is Maui’s most unique golf course. It is a Links-style course located in the heart of the Maui Lani Planned community. There are several subdivisions in the community with homes that back up against the golf course.

My sleeper pick is Oceanview Estates in Wailuku. This neighborhood is the closest to the Waiehu Municipal Course, known by some locals as the poor man’s Pebble Beach. This is the least expensive course on the island. 

Hana Town: When Seclusion and Quiet is Paramount 

Hana is located on the very eastern tip of the island. It is only 64 miles from Kahului to Hana, but the drive can take over two hours. The windy road travels through lush rain forests and crosses over 46 one-way bridges.

That means a trip of up to 2 ½ hours to get from Kahului. There is also a small airport that has two commercial flights to and from Kahului daily. This type of seclusion makes for a quiet rural community.

An aerial view of secluded Hana TownAn aerial view of Hana Town, secluded and quiet

Limited Amenities, Abundant Beauty

Hana Town is home to roughly 1,500 full-time residents. There are no stoplights in town and Hasegwa General Store is the main place to shop. Food options increased over the last ten years with several food trucks opening.

Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of conveniences and amenities. Plan on shopping at the Farmer’s Market, Hasegawas, or making periodic trips to the other side of the island to load up on staples. 

Shopping isn’t the draw. It is the quiet and natural beauty of the area. There are a few beautiful beaches, Wainapanapa State Park is on the north side of Hana and the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park is a short drive away.

While not as wet as the areas you pass through on the Road to Hana, it is the lush windward side of the island. Trade showers keep the area green and longer periods of rain are common during the winter rainy season. 

Hana Property Options

As a rural community, single-family homes are the primary living option. That said, the range of homes for sale in Hana is pretty diverse. There are more modest homes on smaller lots in Hana town itself, larger estate-type properties located on acreage, and oceanfront homes perched above the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific.

Interested in growing your food or having a small farm? The combination of sun and abundant rainfall makes for flourishing fruit trees. There is one condominium development in Hana. The Hana Kai is a small 20-unit, vacation rental-friendly development overlooking Hana Bay.

Due to its small size. Sales are pretty infrequent. Due to the smaller pool of properties in Hana, patience or compromise can be important when shopping for a Hana home. 

Key Takeaway: 

Hana Town offers peace, quiet, and tropical tranquility. What it lacks in amenities it more than makes up for in natural beauty.  Residential options include homes on smaller lots in town, small-scale farms, and oceanfront homes. 

Other Places to Find Seclusion

You don’t have to head to the eastern tip of the island to find seclusion. The Huelo area of Haiku is located at the start of the road to Hana. This rural community offers quiet without having to make the full drive to Hana.

Ulupalakua is a Tranquil community in the Kula area of Upcountry Maui. Properties don’t come on the market very often, but it is a great place if you want to live a little off the beaten path with big views. 

Kehalani- Convenience and a Truly Central Location

Let’s face it, living a life of seclusion isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you prioritize ease of access to shopping, medical facilities, and entertainment or you just want to be relatively close to everywhere but Hana, Central Maui is the place to live. We wanted to highlight the master-planned community of Kehalani, one area in particular that offers convenience to its residents.

Kehalani is A Newer Community Close to It All

Kehalani first broke ground in the mid-1990s. New construction continues to this day. New releases in development tend to go quickly. Location is a significant reason why. The community is set at the base of the eastern slope of the West Maui Mountains.

It is within a 5-minute drive of downtown Wailuku, Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the University of Hawaii Maui College. Costco, Target, Lowes, and other Big Box Stores are right around 10 minutes away. You can be on a beach on the North Shore, South Maui, or West Maui in 20 minutes or less. 

Kehalani is the pick for best Maui Neighborhood for ConvenienceKehalani is the Best Maui Neighborhood for convenience. 

Kehalani Offers Condos or Single-Family Homes

Convenience isn’t just about location. When it comes to where you live, it might mean less home or yard maintenance. Kehalani offers a variety of both condominium and single-family home developments that offer easier living.

The combination of newer construction and smaller lot sizes means that owners spend less time maintaining their property and more time enjoying all that Maui has to offer. That being said, there are 23 unique neighborhoods within Kehalani.

If you like having a little more yard space, there are neighborhoods like Koa at Kehalani with lot sizes between a quarter and a half acre. 

Key Takeaway: 

Kehalani offers easy access to Central Maui Amenities and is a twenty-minute drive from beaches on three sides of the island.  There are a variety of residential options within this master-planned community ranging from condos to custom executive homes. 

Other Maui Communities to Consider When Convenience is Paramount

Add another Central Maui Planned Community to the list. Maui Lani is located just down the hill from Kehalani and shares similar attributes. Newer construction and easy access to all of the amenities in Wailuku and Kahului. For that matter, most of Wailuku and Kahului offer convenience and easy access for owners.

Discover Maui’s Best Neighborhoods with The Maui Real Estate Team

Let’s look back on our picks for some of the best neighborhoods in Maui.

Spreckelsville – where water sports enthusiasts find their paradise. Here, surfing, kitesurfing, winging and windsurfing are a daily thrill. 

Kihei – the quintessential beach town that gives you variety at every turn with beaches like Kamaole and Keawakapu for snorkeling or swimming.

Kula – an elevated rural community offering breathtaking views from sprawling estates to quaint cottages.

Pukalani – laid-back living along the fairways of the Pukalani Country Club. A more affordable option to live along the links. 

Hana – for those who want to get away from it all. A great option if quiet and natural beauty take precedence over amenities.

Kehalani – location and lower maintenance are two of the reasons that make this community ideal for those who value convenience above all.

One last note about this article. You will notice that there are no neighborhoods listed in West Maui. To be clear, there are a lot of great neighborhoods on that side of the island that would normally be contenders for this list.

That said, West Maui is facing a massive housing crisis in the aftermath of the Lahaina fire. Over 6,000 residents are in temporary accommodations looking for long-term housing. In light of that situation, we did not feel it was appropriate to draw additional competition to the limited housing resources available. 

As we have said at the beginning of our post, this is an imperfect list bound to create disagreements. It is also worth noting that you don’t have to be a surfer, windsurfer, or kiteboarder to enjoy a community like Spreckelsville. For that matter, you don’t have to play golf to enjoy Pukalani.

You may have passions or visions of a Maui Lifestyle that aren’t covered by the list. Give us a call or send us a message with your interests, needs, and budget and we would be happy to come up with options for the Best Maui Neighborhoods for you!

Are you looking for a new Maui home?
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