Maui annually ranks as one of the top islands in the world on vacation surveys and for many very good reasons. It is blessed with a combination of spectacular scenery, abundant activities, excellent weather and assortment of restaurant and lodging choices to meet almost all desires, budgets and interests. Everyone can find something to love about Maui, and many fall so overwhelmingly in love with Maui that they never venture over to the other Hawaiian islands. Certainly for a first time visitor to Hawaii, Maui is a “must-do”; and if you only have time for one island, Maui should be the one.
Maui is known as the Valley isle because of its shape. Think of it as a lop-sided figure 8 with the bottom half 3 to 4 times the size of the top half. The middle is the valley where the main roads run that connect one side of the island to the other. The population centers and tourist areas are located along the sides of the figure 8 with mountain ranges occupying the centers. The local population tends to live on the east side of the island, which also happens to be the rainier side. Tourist areas are along the west side, both top and bottom, and enjoy sunny weather year round. The mountain ranges located in the middle of the top and bottom of the figure 8 protect these areas from most of the rain and wind that can sometimes affect the eastern side.
Temperatures on Maui do not vary much and there are no real seasons here. Trade winds generally keep things comfortable. It is always warm enough for shorts and sandals which allows for easy packing for a Maui vacation. Highs in the summer tend to be in the mid to high 80s with low 80s in the winter. Nighttime temperatures are perhaps about 10 degrees cooler, unless you are up in the mountain areas where it can get cool enough for a light jacket. The rainy season is usually November through March, although the rain usually affects the eastern side, there can occasionally be storm systems that affect the entire island for a few days.
For most people, choosing a time to visit Maui will have more to do with escaping the weather that they are experiencing at home than with the weather on Maui, since it is generally delightful year round. Maui has no off season, although it tends to be a bit quieter in the fall and late spring, at which times you might be able to get a bit better deal at some hotels. Whales can be spotted off shore from December through April, with peek viewing times in February and March. For anyone interested in seeing these fascinating creatures, whale watching tour from Lahaina is highly recommended. And also, planning a vacation during these months is highly recommended.