History of Maui

More than just sun, beaches, and adventure, Maui boasts a rich and diverse history dating back centuries. The island is home to religious temples, museums, and historic trails.

Maui’s Early History on Display

Maui’s first industry was sugarcane, and visitors can explore the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum, housed in the former home of a plantation supervisor. Here, you’ll learn about the role sugarcane played in Hawaii’s early economy and the deep impact it had on Hawaiian culture and history.

Originally an all-girls school in the mid-19th century, Bailey House is now the home of the Maui Historical Society where visitors can browse a museum with period artifacts and one-of-a-kind paintings of Maui.

Battlegrounds, Heritage Sites, and Historic Remote Villages

Iao Valley State Monument is one of Hawaii’s two Heritage Sites and perhaps its most famous landmark. The site of the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790, this cultural and spiritual site features a hiking trail around which visitors can learn more about the battle and Maui’s early history.

Take a step back in time in Hana, located in a remote section of east Maui. This undeveloped area leads visitors just beyond to Kipahulu where famed aviator Charles Lindbergh is laid to rest.

Ancient Religious Temples, Shrines and Churches

Religion played a crucial role in Maui’s earliest history, and visitors can admire ancient temples and churches featuring unique architectural aspects and touches. Visit Ka’ahumanu Church on Sundays to hear traditional hymns sung in Hawaiian, or marvel at the elaborate gilt alter and tiered exterior of the late 19th century octagonal FreChurch of the Holy Ghost.

Stroll the gorgeous grounds of Kahanu Garden, located in the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and gaze up at the 50 foot-high walls of the sacred Pi’ilanihale Heiau, dating to the 16th century. Wo Hing Temple honors Chinese sugarcane workers and includes artifacts relating to the Chinese experience in Hawaii. Visitors can also take in several movies filmed by Thomas Edison at this unique shrine.

You’ll find Maui’s diverse history at every turn, so take some time between beach outings and yoga classes to appreciate this unique, historical treasure.

You'll find Maui's diverse past at every turn. The more you explore its unique historical treasures, the more you'll appreciate the rich natural experiences of this extraordinary island destination.

When you stay with us at our Hyatt Residence Club Maui, Ka‘anapali Beach, you’ll have Maui’s rich history at your doorstep.