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Wailuku is Maui County’s capital town, a place where fierce battles were fought, Hawaiian kings went to rest, a sugar industry was born and missionaries worked. Its eclectic history is only part of the appeal. Today, it charms with its old churches, wooden storefronts, antique stores and quaint cafés.
The town is situated at the foot of the West Maui Mountains and bordered by Iao Valley’s lush green forests and tropical plants. This was the setting for one of Hawaii’s most savage battles, the origin of the town’s name. In 1790, the invading King Kamehameha defeated Maui warriors in his attempt to unite Hawaii. So many men died, it was said that several miles of the 'Iao River ran red with their blood. Wailuku translates as “waters of destruction.”
The area changed when the missionaries arrived in the early 1800s, bringing with them Christianity and Western culture. Further upheaval came with the growth of the sugar industry. This boom attracted immigrants from Europe and Asia, many of whom settled in the area.
Glimpse Wailuku’s history with a visit to Kaahumanu Church, the oldest on the island. This large bluestone structure is the fourth place of worship for the Wailuku congregation on this plot of land; the first was a shed, the current structure was built in 1876.
Explore the Bailey House Museum, the former home of missionary teacher Edward Bailey and his family. The 19th-century building’s displays include Hawaiian and missionary artifacts, paintings and furniture.
One of the most popular parts of Wailuku is Market Street, with its assortment of retail shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafés. It’s here that the town’s peaceful atmosphere is pleasantly disrupted on the first Friday of every month: The area is closed off to traffic for 2.5 hours and plays host to a lively street party, which features singing, dancing, magicians and street vendors.
Located on central Maui, Wailuku is 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Kahului Airport.
You may not find a wide selection of hotel deals in Wailuku, so it would be wise to explore the latest listings and deals on Expedia's hotels guide.
This family-friendly Wailuku hostel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. Iao Valley State Park is 4 mi (6.4 km) away.
Situated in Wailuku, this bed & breakfast is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Bailey House Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Queen Ka’ahumanu Center and The Dunes at Maui Lani are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in Wailuku, this hostel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Bailey House Museum, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, and Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Iao Valley State Park is 3.1 mi (5 km) away.
Situated in a national park, this bed & breakfast is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Bailey House Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Iao Valley State Park and Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. Maui Arts and Cultural Center is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.
Surrounded by shops and restaurants, this seven-story hotel is across the street from Kamaole Beach Park I, 3 miles from upscale Wailea, and 7 miles from Maui Ocean Center.
Across from Kaahumanu Center, the hotel is within 3 miles of the airport, downtown Kahului, and Wailuku, and within 7 miles of Kihei beaches. The hotel is also near the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
Tikis dot the lawn of this Maui hotel, right on the harbor in Kahului, Hawaii, 2 miles from Kahana Beach Park, and 5 miles from Iao Valley State Park. Kahului Airport is less than 2.5 miles away.