Planning Your Trip
People tend to come to Maui for 6 reasons...sun, sand, sea, sights shopping, sports. There's more to do here than you could accomplish in a lifetime. We know, we've been at it for 24 years.
It's good to sort out your priorities, then pick a base to work out from. The map will give you a general idea of what's happening where. Most of the tourist action happens along the North Shore (Lahaina side) or along the West Shore (Kihei side).
When to come? November and December are the most crowded and most expensive. Summer is the hottest time and a good time for families. Spring and Fall are least crowded and best times to get a package deal.
Good stuff is spread out all over the island, so you'll want a car. Be sure to reserve one before you come. Ask about an AAA or AARP discount if you are a member. Ask your hotel about a package that includes a car. Pick up a free map at the airport. And, if nobody is meeting you, buy yourself a plumeria lei at the airport shop. The fragrance will remind you why you're here. Keep it in the refrigerator and it will last for days. The roads are good and it's hard to get lost. From the airport to Lahaina is 30 miles and will take you about 50 minutes. From the airport to Kihei is about 25 minutes. Tune your radio to KPOA, 93.5 FM for some Hawaiian music.
Stop at the Borders book store, about a mile from the airport on Dairy Road, and pick up the Paradise Family Guide to Maui and Lanai by Christie Stilson or the new Maui and Molokai Locations Guide by Richard Stillman. You can buy these and many more from our bookstore These books have lots of things to do and more detailed information than we can give you here.
There are about 20 major hotels, 100 condos and dozens of B & B's to choose from. Don't accept the first rate you are quoted. Always ask for discounts, seasonal specials, package plans. To explore the possibilities, go to our Hotel, Condo, B&B Listing.
The North Shore, from Lahaina on, is a string of white sand beaches backed by hotels or condos. Lahaina's Front Street is loaded with shops, galleries, restaurants and a few sights like an old whaling ship. Our favorite hotel is the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel older, comfortable, filled with aloha and Hawaiian culture. Be aware that all beaches on Maui are public. You don't have to be staying at a hotel to enjoy the beach in front.
The West Shore, from Maalaea on through Kihei, is a string of white sand beaches backed by condos and strip malls until you get to the ritzy hotels at Wailea. The only real sight here is the new Maui Ocean center, way cool. Our favorite hotel on this side is the Kea Lani.
Drive to the top of Haleakala Crater and walk down Sliding Sands trail a little way. Take warm clothes, it's cold up there. While you're Upcountry, drive over to Makawao, an old cowboy town now gentrified, and look through the shops and galleries.
Then downhill to Paia to watch the windsurfers at Hookipa Beach. If you want to have a beach pretty much to yourself, try Baldwin Beach Park just west of Paia.
Pack a lunch and take a long, unhurried drive the Road to Hana, a long, twisty drive along the East shore cliffs through tropical rain forests, past pools and waterfalls. The drive is the trip since there's not much to do in Hana except visit the Hana Coast Gallery in the Hotel Hana Maui and the Hasegawa Store. You can drive on to the Seven Pools and even all the way around the South side if you're adventurous. That will bring you to the Ulupalakua Ranch and the Tedeschi Winery tasting room for little tipple. Long day, but wonderful scenery.
From October to March, you can whale watch from the beach or roadside on the west shore near Maalaea. Or take a whale watching cruise.
Maui has lots of attractions. The Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea is a must. The Sugar Cane Train in Lahaina is fun. One of our favorite pastimes is to wander around the grand hotels, enjoying the facilities and grounds, maybe a meal. Try the Grand Wailea in Wailea for art, pools, gardens. The Hyatt Regency in Ka'anapali has gorgeous grounds with live animals, pools and waterfalls.
Our weather is usually sunny and warm (low 63, high 85), ocean water 77 degrees. You could run into a few days of grey clouds and showers between December and March but there is almost always a hole in the clouds somewhere with sun shining on a beach. You can get today's weather at Glen Jame's Maui Weather Today. Don't forget your sunscreen. The sun is intense
Wear casual summer clothes, even in fancy restaurants, but bring warm pants and a windbreak if you're going to the Crater.
Let us know more about what kind of experience you'd like to have here and we'll come up with some other suggestions.
Contact us here.
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