Why Washington, D.C. Residents Love Escaping to Maui

Updated on:
February 5, 2024

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Washington, D.C., is just a hop, skip, and jump from some of the prettiest Caribbean isles. Daily flights from Dulles and Ronald Reagan International Airport whisk travelers off to tropical locations like Punta Cana, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico.

So why do so many D.C. residents pack up and head to Maui for vacation?


Well, it’s no secret that Maui is one of the best islands in the world to vacation on. But we have some theories as to why it’s so popular among Washingtonians:

Washington DC to Maui Beaches


D.C.ers love Maui for the weather.

Let’s be real, D.C. has a lot of things going for it (epic museums, storied history, etc.), but the weather is not high on D.C.s list of appeals – especially compared to somewhere as idyllic as Maui. Winters in the district can be harsh. Summers are brutally hot and humid. We visited from Aldie, Virginia, with kids, and it was a great time, even with the weather.

Meanwhile, Maui is as pleasant as can be. At sea level, winter daytime temperatures usually hang around the mid-seventies to low eighties. Summer temperatures can reach into the high eighties – and it rarely breaks into the nineties (the highest temperature ever recorded on Maui was 95 degrees, vs. D.C.s record of 105.)

Washington DC to Maui Upcountry

And yes, while it can get a little humid on Maui, we are blessed with consistent trade winds that blow the humidity right out to sea.


Maui is more laid back than D.C.’s bustling pace.

Maui has none of the hustle and bustle of D.C. Everything moves much slower on Maui, and things are infinitely more relaxed. Seeing someone wearing a suit on Maui is like seeing a unicorn. Heck, even our mayor dresses in aloha shirts for formal occasions.

Maui’s cooled-down pace is a breath of fresh air for Washingtonians that have jammed-packed schedules back home.


…but Maui also offers pockets of city life and plenty of things to do for an on-the-go Washingtonian.


On the other side of the coin, some people enjoy their go-go-go lifestyle in D.C., and spending a vacation taking it easy is not their idea of a good time. Fortunately, Maui offers a good mix of relaxation and things to do.

Washington DC to Maui Relax or Join The Fun

There’s always something going on in Maui. Festivals, concerts, and art fairs are common. Those who favor city life can explore the events and festivities in Kihei Town, like Friday block parties, bustling bars, live music, and shopping abound. Meanwhile, nature lovers can take to Maui’s hiking trails, coral reefs, and adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities like zip lining.


Maui has scenery that other tropical destinations just can’t match.

Don’t get us wrong, D.C. is a lovely city (and my goodness, how beautiful is the Tidal Basin when the cherry trees are blooming?!). But Maui’s scenery is unparalleled, surpassing what one might find in D.C. or even parts of the Caribbean.

Washington DC to Maui Scenery

Sure, you can find a crop of pretty beaches in the Caribbean. But did you know that the Bahamas doesn’t have a single naturally occurring waterfall?! Or that the highest peak in Puerto Rico is just 4,300 feet? Compare that to Maui’s abundance of spilling waterfalls or the dizzying heights of Haleakala’s 10,000-foot summit!


D.C.ers love the taste of the islands.

Washington DC to Maui Delights

If you’re a foodie from D.C., you’ve probably heard of Abunai. Known for its local-style Hawaiian grinds, Abunai was once one of the most sought-after food trucks in D.C.  A few years ago, the food truck was topping every ‘must-eat in Washington D.C.’ list.

Owned and operated by a Native Hawaiian woman from Honolulu, Abunai’s menu is loaded with classic island eats like musubis, kalua pork, mac salad, and even kulolo! Abunai has since moved to a brick-and-mortar location, but it’s not unreasonable to think the former food truck’s popularity got D.C.ers hooked on island flavors.


Maui was once home to a nation’s capital, too.

Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845. King Kamehameha established his royal residence there and built one of Hawaii’s first western designed buildings. The capital was eventually moved to Honolulu, which was favored for its deep harbors. Unfortunately, in August of 2023, the town of Lahaina and the surrounding area were devastated by wildfires in one of the most tragic events in America in more than 100 years. What you see below is a before any of the Maui Wildfire devastation.

Washington DC to Maui Lahaina


D.C.ers can actually enjoy Maui’s attractions without being swamped with unreasonable crowds.

Washington, D.C., is only 68.35 square miles. And in 2022, the district welcomed a whopping 20.7 million visitors. Read: crowds, crowds, and more crowds, especially during cherry blossom season.

Now, compare that to Maui’s 727 square miles and 2.9 million annual visitors.

Washington DC to Maui Kihei Beach

Of course, since Maui is so popular, some top attractions can feel a little crowded – like Haleakala at sunset or the road to Hana. But to a D.C.er who just wants a little elbow room on vacation, Maui feels like a tranquil escape.


Much like D.C., Maui has cultural and historic flair.

People from Washington, D.C., wake up every day to a city brimming with history outside their door. And when the National Mall is in your backyard, it’s hard to be impressed with anything less when you travel. While Maui might not have monuments as iconic as the Lincoln Memorial, the island boasts countless cultural and historical landmarks – from Polynesia’s largest heiau (temple) to the oldest high school west of the Mississippi.

Washington DC to Maui History


If you’re from Washington, D.C., what brings you to Maui? We love that you love our beautiful little island – and we hope to see you here livin’ it up again soon!

Maui line