Island Hop To Oahu: Full
On this 10-hour day-trip youll travel to Oahu to tour the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Enjoy a hassle-free day of travel where everything is taken care of for you. All transportation is provided for you and the tour is fully narrated, either by live tour guide, video or personal headset.
This tour covers three main attractions in the Pearl Harbor complex of Oahu: the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin submarine, and the USS Missouri Battleship. Your guide will take care of everything for you, from your airline ticket to your lunch! If youre a history-buff visiting Maui, make sure this trip is included in your itinerary for Maui!
Find out what people want to know when planning their Maui itinerary.
Day 1 / Stop 4 Lahaina Town
- Why its awesome: Lahaina Town is a touristy area of west Maui with a compact and pedestrian friendly Main Street. This area is filled with restaurants, bars, shops, art-galleries, and more!
- Cost: Free to visit!
- Food nearby: Located right on Front Street, Kimos Maui is a relaxed seafood spot with gorgeous ocean views and friendly service.
Lahaina is the second most visited spot on the island. This town was the former capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820 to 1845. Today, it is a compact and touristy area of west Maui. The main area of the town is Front Street. This walkable street is filled with eclectic eateries, buzzing bars, and souvenirs stores selling everything from local handicraft items to touristy trinkets.
Youll find plenty of art galleries that feature the works of local artists and world-renowned artists, and theyre all free to visit! Lahaina is home to the primary harbor in west Maui and is where the majority of west Maui snorkeling and whale watching tours depart.
The most famous feature in Lahaina is the Banyan Tree, located in Lahaina Banyan Court Park. This historic tree was planted in 1873 to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the first American Protestant mission in Lahaina. The banyan tree is not only the largest banyan tree in Hawaii, its one of the largest banyan trees in the United States Its extensive trunk and aerial root system covers 0.66-acres!
Our Favorite Vacation Rentals On South Maui
Its hard to pick our favorite vacation rentals on South Maui, but as a rule, remember that vacation rentals in Kihei are going to be significantly cheaper than rentals in Wailea.
- Hoolei: This is a luxury vacation rental resort owned by the Grand Wailea. Here youll find villas with multiple bedrooms and stunning ocean views. While its owned by the Grand Wailea Hotel you dont get access to the hotel amenities. But you may not even notice because the amenities at Hoolei are top of the line. Book a villa at Hoolei here.
- Ekahi Village: This family-friendly resort features spread-out low-rise condo buildings. While its not on the beach, the condos are walking distance to the beach and to restaurants. Technically, these rentals are in Kihei, though they are so far south that theyre on the border with Wailea. So you get Kihei prices with close access to Wailea amenities. Book a condo at Ekahi Village here.
- Kihei Kai Nani: Across from Kamaole Beach Park II , these vacation rentals have everything you need. While they are all individually owned, the reviews are stellar. These one-bedroom condos have everything you need. The location is perfect, within walking distance to a beautiful beach and plenty of restaurants, this spot delivers exceptional value for the price. Book a stay at the Kihei Kai Nani.
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Best Hotel In Kaanapali: Kaanapali Beach Hotel
Kaanapali Beach Hotel is a modern three-star hotel and a great option for where to stay in Maui with kids. It has spacious rooms which offer comfortable accommodations for families. Theres also a kids club, an outdoor pool, a rooftop terrace and a beauty centre. Guests can enjoy a meal or drink at the on-site restaurant and bar.
Napili Kaanapali And Wailea
Why these areas are great: Youll rarely find strong currents, big waves, or winds that blow sand up into your face in these areas. Theres awesome snorkeling, a peaceful relaxing vibe, and an abundance of delicious restaurants. Plus, if you have teens looking for a surf, the 1,000 Peaks surf break in Olowalu isnt far and is great for beginners and intermediate surfers.
Keep in mind: If you are just wanting to relax at your hotel and head to the beach, local transport will be fine. But, its good to have a rental car in these areas if you want to explore the rest of the island. Also, be aware that these areas in general are more expensive than others.
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Best Time To Visit Maui For The Fewest Crowds
If you are hoping to skip the crowds on Maui, there are some peak months that you should avoid. The table below shows visitor arrivals by month for 2019. Why did we use 2019? Its the most recent normal year for travel. 2020 had virtually no visitors and 2021 has just been weird so far.
According to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, if you want to visit Maui with the fewest crowds, you should visit in January, February, September, October, or November.
The busiest months on Maui are March, June, July, August, and December.
Where To Stay On East Maui
When people talk about staying in East Maui, theyre really talking about staying in one area: Hana. While many visitors take the Road to Hana and dont spend the night, Hana is the right place to stay for a few visitors.
If youre looking for a remote experience and you want the feeling of staying off the beaten path in a lush environment, Hana is your spot. Its quiet , has few accommodation options, and offers plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors. You can hike to waterfalls, swim on black sand beaches, and have a vacation truly away from it all.
But be prepared for rain. East Maui is on the windward side of the island. Its green and lush but rains often.
While there arent many places to stay, there are a few options that stand out:
Looking to stay just one night in Hana? Read more about picking the right Hana accommodations.
Jordan and Henry at our Waianapanapa cabin in August.
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Where To Stay On Maui Locals Guide
We just moved back to Maui with our two young kiddos after being away for almost five years! Its one of the most magical places in the entire world. We love it so much.
When most people think of a Maui vacation, peaceful beach time comes to mind. But actually, the island is incredibly diverse. It has six individual microclimates, each one different. Even the beaches vary dramatically. For example, Maui is known for its wind. Some spots are awesome for kite or windsurfing but are terrible for a peaceful swim or casual walk on the beach. So, before you book a hotel or short-term rental its important to make sure that what you are wanting from your vacation lines up with where you are staying on Maui.
Also, check out our sections at the bottom of the page on what to bring, what to wear, our favorite restaurants, and other awesome tips from us locals.
Day 1 / Stop 1 Nakalele Blowhole
- Why its awesome: This natural blowhole shoots water up into the sky on a regular basis!
- Cost: Free!
- Food nearby: The Honolua Farms Kitchen is the closest restaurant to the Nakalele Blowhole. This organic and eco-friendly restaurant serves delicious and wholesome meals, including vegan and vegetarian options!
The Nakalele Blowhole is set on the islands northwestern coast. Its a natural geyser where seawater trapped in an underwater lava tube makes a forceful explosion that erupts on a regular basis! A column of water is powerfully jettisoned up to 100-feet in the air!
There are numerous trails that lead down to the blowhole. We recommend taking the trail from mile marker 38.5, its considered the safest route and also offers a look at the famous heart shaped hole in the rock! This is a popular photo posted by many Instagrammers and is one of the ultimate things to do in Maui.
The hike down from the main road takes about 10-15 minutes. We strongly recommend you wear proper shoes for this excursion, as hiking down in sandals or flip-flops can be dangerous, especially when the ground is wet.
Despite the geysers beauty, its important to remember the blowhole is dangerous and tourists need to keep a safe distance, as accidents happen frequently. If you stand too close, you risk slipping and falling on the rocks. Tiny micro-ecosystems live inside of geysers avoid getting to close to protect them fragile ecosystems.
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Along The Hana Highway
Fewer tourists choose lodging along this bucket list drive on the east side of the island. The bonus, of course, is that youll enjoy the epic views and waterfalls galore here without the crowds when the day-trippers go home. Best for those who love active adventures with fewer crowds.
Read more on west coast hotels and vacation rentals:Amazing Joshua Tree vacation rentals
Best Airbnb In Maui: Private Condo In A Great Location
With white sands, crashing waves, and beautiful sunsets right outside the front door, youll be hard-pressed to find a better deal for the price. Split bedrooms and beach access make this ideal for a group looking to make the most of the waves.
Set nearly 3,000 kilometres from the west coast of North America, Maui is an island paradise best known for its towering palm trees, golden sand beaches, and shimmering turquoise waters.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It covers an area of 1,883 square kilometres and is divided into six districts which are further subdivided into a handful of charming small villages.
This guide will explore the five best areas to stay in Maui based on your travel interests and needs.
Set on the western shores of the island is Kaanapali. The best are to stay in Maui with a family, Kaanapali is packed with fun and adventure plus great food and postcard-perfect beaches.
Travel south along the coast and youll arrive in Lahaina. A lively and vibrant town, Lahaina is the best area in Maui to stay in for sightseeing, dining, shopping and exploring.
Continue heading south along the coast to Kihei. This bustling and energetic town is known for its eclectic nightlife scene. Here you can enjoy a few drinks on the beach or dance the night away at a seaside club.
Still not sure where to stay in Maui? Dont worry, weve got you covered!
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A Word About The Seasons In Maui
Maui is found far south towards the equator, and for this reason, the island doesnt have the traditional four seasons that are found further north in the USA.
Instead, the weather in Maui is positively tropical, and the year is broken up into more distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season runs from November to April, while the dry season runs from May through to October.
Correspondingly, the wet season in Maui coincides with winter and spring in the northern USA while the dry season corresponds with Summer and Autumn.
Confusingly though, in Hawaii, the wet season is simply referred to as winter and the dry season as summer. Across the board though, temperatures remain stable with averages of 25 degrees Celsius in winter months and 30 degrees Celsius in the summer, while even in the wet season, the rain is never really that bad!
To make things easier though, weve sectioned our guide to the best time to visit Maui below into the traditional seasons that are found further north.
The Best Areas To Stay In Maui
Year after year Maui remains one of the worlds best island destinations. Of course, Mauis long white sand beaches and clear skies are the main draws, but the island is also home to a waterfall-studded rainforest in the east and a parched, mountainous desert in the west. At the heart of the island is Haleakala, the worlds largest dormant volcano with panoramic sunrise and sunset views and a crater larger than Manhattan. Known as the House of the Sun, Haleakala is the point from which the demigod Maui lassoed the sun to lengthen the day. Travelers to Maui can enjoy its tropical ecosystem with big wave surfing, coral reef snorkeling, volcano hiking, waterfall swimming, and winter whale watching. The gastronomic scene here focuses on fresh, locally sourced fish and produce with a mix of Hawaiian, Polynesian, and pan-Asian flavors served up in roadside shacks, down-home diners, and haute-cuisine restaurants. Large, luxury resorts are the predominant beachfront accommodation type here, though boutique hotels, cozy B & amp Bs, affordable hotels, and youth hostels are scattered around the island to suit any budget.
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Things To Do On Maui In October
October is one of the best times to visit Maui. Expect warm weather, beautiful beaches and a bucket list of places to explore minus the crowds. Part of Hawaiis shoulder season, Maui in October caters to budget-minded travelers. Look for deals on airfare, hotels, rental cars and a wide range of activities. If youre really missing fall festivities, head Upcountry to Mauis quaint towns of Makawao and Kula both great stopovers when traveling to/from Haleakala National Park. Check out the hiking trails in Makawao Forest Preserve and Polipoli State Park, and dont forget to stop at the Kula Country Farms pumpkin patch. Boasting bi-coastal views , Kula Country Farms is one of the most scenic pumpkin patches youll ever visit!
Best Area To Stay In Maui
So what is the best area to stay in Maui? Every part of Maui is wonderful, so you cant go wrong whatever your choice. If you want a luxury hotel or resort, choose Wailea on the south side of Kaanapali on the west side. If you want a condo, choose Kihei on the south side or Honokowai-Kahana-Napili on the west side. Then choose your specific hotel or condo from the reviews and photos at Where to Stay in Maui, which has links to reviews of each individual hotel and condo.
What part of Maui has the best weather? The least rain is in Wailea or the south part of Kihei. On the west side, the farther south you stay, the less rain you get, so Kaanapali has less rain and Kapalua has more rain. There is much less rain everywhere on Maui in the summer than in the winter. For details of rain and temperature in each month, see Maui Weather.
It is about an hours drive between West Maui and South Maui . And no matter where you stay, youll need to get all around Maui to see the sights. So once you have decided on your hotel or condo, make sure to reserve your Maui car rental.
Now that youve decided whether to stay in a hotel or a condo and have picked which part of Maui youd like to stay on, you are ready to move on to these next two steps:
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Where To Stay In Central Maui
Youll likely crisscross Central Maui on your way to the airport and back from beaches in West and South Maui at a minimum. This is the middle of the island between the famous west coast and Hana Highway. Close to the airport with easy access everywhere.
But be sure to visit lush Iao Valley State Park here as well. The state park, just at the base of the West Maui Mountains, offers 400 acres of lush valley for hiking and the opportunity to ogle the famous Iao Needle, a particularly striking and thin mountain peak rising out of the valley here.
Cute little Wailuku is where Mauis county government is based. Youll fall in love with the adorable boutiques and mom and pop establishments that have been here for generations. Kahului is, of course, home to Mauis main airport, but also hosts a swap meet, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Maui Sunday market.
Pros and cons: If you can stay near the Iao Valley, this is an idyllic location for a base on Maui. You can conveniently access just about anywhere on island. Wailuku feels cozy. And budget travelers will enjoy the hostel scene here.
While Kahului is not a popular base for most visitors to Maui, it does make a great spot if youre looking to minimize drive time to spend more time on the Road to Hana or Mount Haleakala or need to be close to the airport for a flight.
On the other hand, this is not near any swimming beaches. Its more of an industrial area.
Here are my picks for Central Maui:
1. Hawaiian Dream Temple
Things To See And Do In Lahaina
Visit Lahaina Banyan Court Park and see the oldest Banyan tree in Maui.
Unleash your inner adventurer by canoeing, hiking, or kayaking.
Explore the historic US Seamens Hospital.
Step back in time at the Hale Paahao Old Lahaina Prison.
Delve deep into history on the Lahaina Historic Trail.
Enjoy a night of traditional food, drinks and dancing at Old Lahaina Luau.
See giant sea creatures up-close on a whale-watching cruise.
Feast on local delicacies at Lahaina Grill voted Lahainas best restaurant more than 20 years in a row.
Sip a cold one at Fleetwoods On Front Street.
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