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How to Say the Names of Maui Towns

This is how to pronounce nine towns on Maui the correct way.

How do you say the name of towns on Maui? I frequently hear people butchering the names of our Maui towns, so today I want to share the proper pronunciation so that when you give us a call or come visit, you’ll know what you’re saying.

I live in the town called Wailea, and used to pronounce it “Why-ih-lay-uh,” but that’s the wrong way to say it. One of my viewers reached out to me and said they loved my videos but that I was pronouncing it wrong, it’s “Why-lay-uh.” Of course, he was right. So after learning them myself, here are the correct ways to say the names of towns that are commonly mispronounced:

  • Kihei“Key-hey”
  • Makena“Makenna” One of my favorite places on the island.
  • Paia “Pie-ee-uh” This is sort of gross, but I remember this one because it rhymes with “diarrhea.” However, it’s a cool town, very low-key, and has been redone with an old-world charm.
  • Makawao“Maka-wow” We call this “cowboy town” because the rodeo comes here during the Fourth of July.
  • Pukalani “Poo-cah-lan-ee” The Hawaiian word for “hole in the sky” or “hole in the clouds” because it’s usually extremely sunny there due to the way the wind blows the clouds. “Puka ” means hole and “lani ” means sky.

I frequently hear people butchering the names of our Maui towns.

  • Lahaina “La-hi-nah” This is the town that’s historically known as the place where the whaling ships would come into the island. It was one of the first resort districts here on Maui. There’s plenty of entertainment, shops, and tourism here.
  • Ka’anapali– “Kah-ah-na-pali” A resort district a little northwest of Lahaina with many hotels and highrises and a beautiful beach.
  • Kapalua– “Kah-pah-lua” This is where we hold our golf tournament. It’s a very high-end community and a great location on the northwest side of the island.

If you’d like to hear me pronounce these names, feel free to watch the video above. Now that you know how to pronounce them, watch my video about the best places to live on Maui to find the perfect place for you.

There are plenty of other towns on Maui, so if you’d like to know how to pronounce one, leave it in the comments below, and I’ll provide the phonetic spelling. If you have real estate questions or I can help you in any way, give me a call, text me, or shoot me an email. I would love to be your resource here on Maui.

Be sure to check out my blog for more information about Maui and Maui Real estate:

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