Unique Places To Stay On Maui
Hi there, I’m taking my girlfriend to Maui and Big Island in November. Looking for somewhere affordable and different for accommodation. I was thinking of staying at the Banana Bungalow to save some money, but would also like to stay somewhere else for a few nights if it’s worth it. Something like a cottage or hut in the jungle, or a yurt, or anything that isn’t a plain hotel.
Also looking for the best spots to see/do the following –
Any help would be appreciated!
Local experts do not recommend Banana Bungalow, btw. Have fun!
HI Mike, let us know what your budget is, per night, in US$$, and then people can help suggest some places.
The “best” hike on Maui IMO is the Pipiwai Trail. That involves driving to Hana, and then another half hour to Oheo Gulch. The hike is 4 miles return, and it will take you at least 2 hours. Most people take longer, as you will want to stop and take pictures along the hike as well. It’s a wonderful experience, especially as you go through the bamboo forest.
Another great hike that I have enjoyed a couple of times on Maui is the Waihee Ridge Trail. That one takes me an hour and 15 minutes to get to the top. Much faster coming down. The views are amazing at the top! It’s harder work than the Pipiwai, but it’s easier to get to the start of the trail.
There are other hikes in the Kapalua area as well.
Then I’d move over to Hana, maybe one night at Waianapanapa.
Pick Up Some Local Fresh Fruit
Spread throughout Maui, set along the roadsides, you will find boxes full of fruit. These local road-side fruit stands which also sometimes stock eggs and other fresh produce work on an honesty system: leave the right money and take away whatever youve paid for. Simple.
Like a self-service system on the side of the road, its very cute and can actually be a lot more diverse than just fruit and eggs. Sometimes home bakeries leave out fresh-made cakes, whilst some people even sell their plants. Very local, very fun, and a great way to get around the island, bouncing from box to box!
What Are Some Good Local Things To Keep An Eye Out For
- Enjoy the sunrise at Baldwin BeachMaui is mostly not known for its nightlife. In fact, most locals are in bed by 8 and up by 6 to enjoy the sunrise and the best waves. One of their favorite beaches is Baldwin Beach, a spot where the water is quite literally turquoise first thing in the morning. Even if you arent a big surfer, its a great place for boogie boarding or an early run.
- Take your time on the road to HanaThe road to Hana is not meant to be rushed. Locals actually recommend that you take as long as possible and soak up the scenery and the delicious banana bread stands along the way. If your schedule allows it, make a day out of it.
- Enjoy coffee at Maui Grown Coffee CompanyHawaii has some of the best coffee in the US, and Maui Grown Coffee serves the coffee beans they grow on their own coffee farm. Start your morning with a hot cup of joe and pastries before hiking the Iao Valley.
- Go to First FridayOn every Friday of the month, there is an event called First Friday held all over the island. Local vendors set up stalls with souvenirs, gifts, and local bites while live music is played. There are also activities like lei-making classes and vintage car shows. Its one of the best ways to experience local goodies.
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Where To Stay In Maui
Maui, the second-largest island of the Hawaiian group of islands, is known as one of the most stunning places in the world. Named the The Valley Isle after the prodigious valley that lies between Haleakal and Mauna Kahalawai, the two major volcanoes on the island, Maui is characterized by its picturesque landscapes, extravagant luxury resorts, and a plethora of tourist attractions and activities.
Maui is the place to spot a sunrise from the summit of a 10,000-foot volcano. It is where you hike through craters and swim under butterflies. The island is also where you relax on your sunbed, sip a yummy cocktail, and leave the worries of the world behind. An absolute haven for water sports enthusiasts, Maui ensures that you do not spend even a single dull moment on the island.
Although a single island, finding accommodation that suits your needs, your taste, and your budget can be a bit bothersome, especially because there are so many. Find below a list of the popular areas on the island to decide where to stay in Maui during your visit.
The 41 Most Instagrammable Places In Maui
Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii, and as such, there are so many Instagrammable places in Maui!
Here Ill show you the best photo spots on the island!
Because of its size and because it has many wonderful photography spots all over the entire island, it is one of the most popular places to visit in all of Hawaii.
There are so many stunning Instagram spots, from world-class resorts to stunning beaches, as well as volcanoes, forests, and other backdrops. If youre spending a few days on Maui, try to tick off as many of these destinations as you can!
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Planning Resources For Your Hawaii Vacation
Travel Planning Resources
Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.
Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner
Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:
- World Nomads – Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
- Allianz – Occasional Travelers.
- Medjet – Global air medical transport and travel security.
Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.
North Shore Maui Is Where To Stay For Windsurfing And Visiting The Road To Hana
North Shore Maui is best known for the windsurfing at Hookipa Beach Park which some consider the windsurfing capital of the world . This is where to stay in Maui for a less crowded and less touristy experience that the Road to Hana begins from. It is also a great area to stay in Maui with kids!
In North Shore, you are closer to the natural wonders of Hawaii but further from swimming friendly beaches. The beaches in this area have larger waves and are typically windier but also less crowded. The area used to be home to a plantation town named Paia that is now full of boutiques, cafes, art galleries, and shops.
The Road to Hana with all its natural wonders along the way, including waterfalls you can swim under, a red sand beach, a black sand beach, and so much more begins at the edge of the North Shore area so this is where to stay in Maui for visiting the Road to Hana. As a slightly less touristy area, there is less traffic and any drive from here is also a very scenic experience on the way to your destination.
Upsides: Some of the best windsurfing can be found here. The road to Hana is only a short drive away. It is a short 12-minute drive or shuttle from the airport.
Downsides: There arent any major resorts and the beaches can be windy and have larger waves, better for surfing than swimming.
Best Hotels in North Shore Maui
Affordable: Nalu Kai Lodge Paia Hotel
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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.
Take A Stroll On Pailoa Black Sand Beach
Of all the beaches in Maui, Pailoa is one you should take a visit to. Set in the Waianapanapa State Park, this is a black sand beach thats so eye-catching that people stop to take pictures you can see why when youre here. Making the sea beyond seem even more bright and gleaming, you can also understand the name: Waianapanapa literally means glistening water.
One of the more unusual things to do in Maui, taking a stroll on a black sand beach as opposed to the many white sand beaches that this island boasts is a great idea: there usually arent many people here!
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Take The Ferry To Lanai
Visiting nearby Lanai is one of the most unmissable things to do in Maui. This island is what Hawaii was like before gentrification: theres only one poke shop, one gas station and 3,000 residents. There arent even any traffic lights. Visiting Lanai is like taking a step back in time so if all the hipster / hippie-ness of Maui is bugging you, take a breath of fresh air on Lanai.
Even getting to the island is pretty rustic: the local ferry isnt a polished affair and feels like something that most tourists dont do. And if youre into hiking, youre in luck: head to the Munroe Trail for some amazing views across the island. Shipwreck Beach is a cool place to visit, too, complete with you guessed it a shipwreck just off shore. Tip: last boat back to Maui is at 6pm, so dont miss it!
What To Bring To Maui
Ok, so when you are heading to Maui a few essential items come to mind: Swimsuit probably being at the top of the list! But, weve found that when heading to Maui the below items are equally essential! If you want a more comprehensive list, check out our full Maui Packing List and What to Wear on Maui page.
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Four Seasons Resort In Wailea
Remaining at the top of our list, Mauis Four Seasons Resort Wailea is still the most ahh-mazing! It is hands down, definitely one of the best resorts in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The Maui Four Seasons is nothing short of island-fabulous with everything a guest could need and more with a classic Hawaiian palace feel.
As soon as you step into the lobby at the Four Seasons in Wailea, you know that youre about to experience something special. The resort is impeccably designed inside and out, with phenomenal art adorned throughout all parts with gorgeous original pieces created by Hawaii-inspired artists. Guests will enjoy soft tropical breezes, perfect lighting, magnificent water features, the most extraordinary views of South Mauis the Pacific Ocean, the neighboring island of Lanai and the West Maui Mountains. From all parts of this resort, you feel like youve stepped into a dream, or at the very least, a very precious watercolor painting.
Amenities at the Four Seasons in Wailea are out of this world. Fine-dining opportunities on the property are endless with Ferraros, DUO, and Spago easily within arms-reach. The concierge can make your dreams come true, and the staff is possibly the most engaging and friendly resort staff in all of Maui. The Four Seasons in Wailea is genuinely spectacular and highly recommended*
The Fairmont Kea Lani
The Fairmont Kea Lani at Wailea is outstanding. We stayed in a deluxe ocean front suite and it was stunning. With a separating living area, king size beds and view of the pool and ocean, we couldnt ask for more.
Located directly on the beach, you have direct access to a 2.5 mile walkway along the waterfront where you can visit the other nearby resorts. The Willow Stream Spa gave us one of the best massages weve ever had but there are plenty of other things to keep you busy here. There are three swimming pools, two are large lagoon size pools snaking through the property, and Polo Beach is a 600 foot wide sand beach that is the perfect place to hang out, do some stand up paddle boarding, sun tanning or simply go for a walk and take in the beautiful sunset.See more of the Fairmont for rates and availability.
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Finding A Place In Maui
Where to stay on Maui? That’s a good question if you’re planning a visit to The Valley Isle. Maui is divided into several areas where the major resorts are located, and each has pros and cons when it comes to your accommodations.
First, lets get a lay of the land that is Maui. Maui isnt a huge island, at about 48 miles long and 26 miles wide, but it still takes a solid half-day to drive around the island, not that anyone does that, but it should give you some idea of the size. Maui is 728 square miles in size and can ultimately be divided into a couple of useful regions: West Maui, South Maui, East Maui , Central Maui, and Upcountry Maui. The two major resort areas are located in West and South Maui, so well focus on those areas below.
Your journey on Maui likely began in central Maui at Kahului Airport , nestled between Haleakala to the east and the West Maui mountains to the west this valley isthmus is why they call Maui the Valley Isle. Besides picking up your rental car here, youll also find shopping resources like Costo, Walmart, and Whole Foods in central Maui. This isnt the only location for grocery shopping, though, so dont feel like you have to pick up all your supplies in Kahului.
On this page, we’ll cover each of the major Maui regions you can find accommodations within. Here are this page’s highlights…
- Search for Maui Hotelsand find the Best Rates
Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Whale watching in Hawaii is a bucket list activity for many. Luckily, the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is the perfect place to do it. The sanctuary stretches from Maui to Penguin Bank, Kauai, and the north and south shores of Oahu, where whales can be seen swimming, breaching, and waving their tails. The Whale Sanctuary Visitor Center in Kihei is also open year-round. Read our blog about Mauis whale season for details.
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Bonus: The 5 Most Instagrammable Places In Maui
Maui is my favorite island in Hawaii and a top choice for a vacation, Oprah Winfrey says so as well! She is a huge fan of this place.
Who wouldnt be? People are warm, they greet with a hug, not a handshake, and offer free fruits! It has some of the greatest beaches with hotels and resorts right on the beach and some parts of the island will make you feel like youre in paradise! The easiest way to get to any of these places is by renting a car as it allows you the most freedom to explore all the awesome areas of the island.
Wake up surrounded by bamboo forests and a unique oceanfront view in this corner of heaven. I do know that every part of Maui is special but there are spots on the island that are so good for some Instramming, so to save you the time you could be spending on the beach, here is a list of the most Instagrammable places in Maui that I highly recommend to snap some pictures of!
1.Haleakala National ParkHave you ever been told that your head is in the clouds? Well now it can literally feel like that, one of the most popular attractions in East Maui, the sunrise and sunsets at Haleakala are just epic! This part of Maui will make you feel like youre on top of the world. With light coming from everywhere and clouds all around you, it will be hard not to snap a pic of Mauis best view. Haleakala National Park should definitely be on your bucket list.
2. Maui Goat Yoga
Things You Havent Done On Maui
Maui draws people back to its sandy shores again and again. Its easy to get hooked on this beautiful place! But once you have visited the island multiple times, you might be tempted to think youve done it all. Not so! There are always some great new, off-the-beaten-path, unique Maui activities available here hidden gems that await your discovery. For your bucket list, here are 20 activities you have probably NOT done on Maui.
NOTE: This blog was updated in January 2022, but due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions, some of the businesses, events, or activities mentioned in the blog could be temporarily changed or suspended. Please check with these places directly to verify their latest operating status and hours. Mahalo!
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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.