The city of Wailuku sits on the northern coast of Maui, once a major tourist destination on the island and now a commercial and governmental center. As the Maui County seat, Wailuku is home to the county government and was historically home to some of the Kingdom of Hawaii's most esteemed leaders. It was also a major center of the sugar cane industry in Hawaii in the 19th century.
The town is situated on the coast, but at its back is the mouth of the Iao Valley, a gorgeous and lush state park that was sacred to the old Hawaiian gods and a burial ground for Hawaiian royalty. The valley was also the setting for a legendary 18th century battle in the fight to unify the islands as one kingdom. Visitors to Wailuku today can explore the city's historic monuments, browse its unique local shops and restaurants, and use it as a base for visiting the Iao Valley.
Wailuku is a short 10-minute drive from Kahului Airport, Maui's main airport. It has a very different feel from the more touristy parts of Maui, and lacks the big resort hotels.