Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Where To Stay In Maui First Time

How Long Does It Take To Drive Around Maui

What Hawaiian Island Should You Visit For Your First Time? Oahu, Maui, or Big Island – Plus 8 Tips

If you really want to drive around Maui, you can do so in one day. That would allow almost no time for stops. To comfortably drive around Maui, with stops, allow yourself three days or more. Utilizing my one-week itinerary you will have the opportunity to see the best of Maui and plenty of downtime too.

Want to explore more of Hawaii? Dont forget to also check outKauaii Itinerary and Travel Tips.

Kihei Where To Stay In Maui For Nightlife

Kihei is a stunning town set on a nearly 10-kilometre stretch of coastline on Mauis southwestern coast. It is famous for being one of the sunniest and hottest places on the island, making it one of the best towns to stay in Maui for travellers looking to relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

Kihei is also our top pick for where to stay in Maui for nightlife. This stunning seaside town is home to the Barmuda Triangle, a boisterous and buzzing area of town that is packed with bars, restaurants, shops, and clubs. So whether you want to sit back and relax or party until dawn, youll love staying in Kihei!

Day : Day Trip To Lanai

The best part of visiting Maui is you have the islands of Lanai and Molokai a few miles away. We recommend taking a day trip to Lanai, the Pineapple Isle.

The island of Lanai was once home to the largest pineapple plantation in the world, by Dole. Today, it is home to 3,102 permanent residents and two five-star Four Seasons Hotels. There isnt even a traffic light on the island.

Departing five times a day, take the Maui-Lanai Ferry from Lahaina Harbor across the Auau Channel. Spend the day on one of the best beaches in the world, Hulopoe Beach, with snorkeling and soaking up the sun. Hulopoe Beach is located where the ferry drops you off.

Take a taxi or bus to Lanai City from the beach. Grab a coffee at Coffee Works and walk the small town.

For some local flavor, head for lunch at Cafe 565, Blue Ginger Market, or Richards Market. All three restaurants are around the citys central park Dole Park.

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Other Fun Things To Do In Maui Hawaii

  • Winery tour: Head up the mountain the MauiWines. They offer free tours and free tastings!
  • Surfing Goat Dairy Farm Tour: Youll see Suring Goat cheese used all over the place in Maui, thats because ITS AMAZING! They offer tours where you can hang out with goats, eat cheese and meats and more.
  • Pineapple picking: Like pumpkin picking or apple picking, but with pineapples!
  • Black sand beach aka Waianapanapa State Park: This is on the Road to Hana but is a really famous park
  • The heart rock:At the Nakalele Blowhole is a famous rock thats shaped like a heart! We didnt have time to visit this one but I will next time!
  • Helicopter Tour over the island Quick hack for the best views in Maui!
  • Pipiwai Trail / Bamboo Foresthike for you adventurous people!
  • Surfing, paddleboarding, windsurfing... like anything you can imagine or want to do, you probably can!

How To Get To Maui

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So heres the thing: getting to Maui can be pretty expensive. Unless youre coming straight from the West Coast, most flights will have a layover in Honolulu , but dont let that deter you. Mauis by far our favorite island, just trust me on that!

When you fly into Maui, youll be heading into Kahululi Airport . Make sure to look out the window upon descent the turquoise waters will blow you away before you even touch land.

Flights from SFO to Maui are roughly 5 hours, 20 minutes, with the flight from LAX being slightly longer at 5 hours, 40 minutes. I normally find flights from the West Coast to Hawaii for approximately $450, although Ive seen them offered as low as in the $300s roundtrip.

A few tips for saving on airfare:

  • I swear by Skyscanner and , and always always always use these two sites when looking for airfare. The option to watch prices and get email notifications are top notch and one of my favorite features of the two.
  • Always check budget airlines that may not be listed, especially if you are coming from other areas in the states with short flight times . A great list of budget airlines can be found here.
  • And now that Southwest has routes from California to Hawaii, flight prices have gotten even more competitive. Look out for those $200 round trip tickets from the west coast !

Not only will you possibly save a few pennies on the flights, but you can spend a few days in California and get two trips outta one!

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Best Places To Stay In Maalaea

Ocean Front Condo at Maalaea

This Ocean front condo in Maalaea comes with the views. If you are visiting during whale season youll be able to see whales breaching from your balcony. Even better you are within a 5 minute walk to the Maalaea harbor where you can jump on a boat to enjoy a snorkel, sunset cruise or whale watch tour.

This is a great central location between the west side and the south side of Maui.

Check out more Airbnbs inside Maalaea.

Day Three: Volcano Beach & Luau

For your last day in Maui, youll start your day on a high note with an epic sunrise on top of a giant volcano . Afterward youll head into Kihei for breakfast and coffee, and then spend your day relaxing at the beach!

After a long beachy day, youll explore the adorable little towns of Kihei and Lahaina, and then enjoy an incredible feast and beautiful sunset while watching a Luau on the beach.

This may be the most Maui perfect day in Maui, like, ever.

Sunrise at Haleakal

One of the most unique things to do in Maui is to watch the sunrise from above the clouds on Haleakal. If you wake up before dawn and drive up to the top of the volcano, youll be rewarded with one of the most epic, amazing sunrises of your life!

Or so we hear. We arent physically possible of waking up before sunrise, even with our favorite fancy instant coffee waiting for us in the kitchen. Weve been trying for years and its literally never happened once. Not even the promise of a stunning sunrise on top of an epic mountain can lure us, drool-covered, out of our warm, cozy beds. We are terrible travel bloggers.

Weve realized that if theres any chance of seeing the sunrise at Haleakal, well have to do it the day we arrive when were still jet-lagged and our bodies think were waking up later than we really are. If that describes you, switch this morning in your itinerary!

Thankfully, our friends at The Whimsy Soul have a fantastic and comprehensive guide with everything you need to know!

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Best Airbnb In Wailuku: Renovated Plantation Home

Yeah, so its not exactly cheap but it is cheap for Maui plus youre getting a lot of bang for your buck! A small cottage housing up to three peeps, it still holds on to its historic fel but the amenities have been updated theres even A/C! The owners also run a business right next door so anything you need help with theyre right there.

Day : Last Adventures And Departure


In many cases, your flight back to the mainland will be late at night, meaning you can take advantage of your final day in full. The morning is a great place to tie up any loose ends you may have leftover from your trip sneak in that last half day tour, take a final surf or snorkel, go shopping in Lahaina for souvenirs, or simply relax on the beach.

There are no goodbyes in Hawaii, so before you leave, youll want to learn the Hawaiian saying, A hui hou, which means, until we meet again.

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Kaanapali Vs Wailea: Snorkeling

Does one area offer better snorkeling than the other? This one is truly a draw.

Near Kaanapali youll find great snorkeling at Honolua Bay, Kapalua Bay, and Kaanapali beach.

Down south near Wailea, youll find great snorkeling at Turtle Town and Ahihi-Kinau reserve. Famous snorkeling crater Molokini is located just off the coast of Wailea, but if you want to snorkel there youll need to take a snorkel boat. And most of those boats leave from Lahaina, just a few miles south of Kaanapali.

Bottom line: youll find great snorkeling in both spots.

Where To Stay In Hawaii: What Is The Best Island For You

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Each of the eight islands that make up the Hawaiian archipelago has its own unique sense of identity, and they each offer different advantages for tourists. Its important to know where to stay in Hawaii if youre planning to visit this archipielago

The islands of Hawaii are renowned throughout the world for having some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth, but Hawaiis role in popular culture can sometimes obscure the sheer ecological and cultural diversity in Hawaii.

But before you start considering the individual islands you want to visit, there are some basics you should know about visiting Hawaii.

The first is that theres a premium in paradise. Roughly a fifth of the Hawaiian economy is centralized in the tourist industry, and that means that theres a constant influx of visitors.

And since the weather is so consistent throughout much of the year, it also means that influx doesnt change too much as the seasons do.

You can expect to meet a lot of tourists whenever you visit Hawaii, and you can expect to pay at least a little more on just about anything.

Regardless of which islands you make a part of your itinerary, youre probably going to want to get a rental car. While most of the major towns have public transit and there are shuttles that hit most of the main landmarks, Hawaii isnt quite the same as all-inclusive resort islands.

Having flights, accommodations, and rental cars booked in advance will be more crucial than it is at most vacation destinations.

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Wailea Best For Luxury Travellers

If youre a person who loves to travel in style then Wailea, a town located in South Maui, is the top choice for you. Maui is home to some of the most beautiful and high-end resorts. This south side town has many luxurious activities, like renting a luxury vehicle and driving around the area that looks exactly like in the movies. Have you ever heard of pineapple wine? Because I havent and I feel like having some right now! in Wailea you can visit a vineyard on the south side and try some of this unique wine.

Tons of sunshine and not so many rainy days, the perfect way to describe this southside spot, the weather here is even drier than West Maui, and the beach is really good if you want to try snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking. If you get tired of all the beach fun, although that might be hard, you can hit the shops at Wailea for a change of scenery.

Kahului Airport, which is situated on the North Shore, is just 30 minutes away from Wailea. This South Maui town is known for its unique crescent-shaped beaches. If you love that sense of privacy then you should check out this place to stay the beaches in South Maui are a lot less crowded than the others.

You’ve Searched In Airbnbwhy Don’t You Search In Booking

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Royal Lahaina Resort

If you are visiting Maui for the first time, there is so much to see and do, itâs easy to get intimidated when you start making plans. Maui is one of the most diverse of all the Hawaiian Islands. Inland, you will find lush tropical landscapes, but the Volcano Haleakala blocks some of the rainfall from the west side of the island, which produces a drier climate.

On Maui, you really have the opportunity to cater your trip to your personality. There are all sorts of water recreation options, daring adventures to be had, and of course, miles upon miles of beaches.

Among all that there is to see and do in Maui, here are the top five sights you might not want to miss.

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Day : Historic Lahaina Town And North Shore

Jet lag will have you out of bed early. Embrace the opportunity with a run or walk along the beach paths in Kaanapali or Wailea. Then get some Hawaiian breakfast.

Youre heading to West Maui today for sightseeing and snorkeling. Maui has the best snorkeling in Hawaii.

Breakfast: Hit up Leodas Kitchen and Pie Shop in Olowalu if coming from South Maui. It is never too early for a chocolate mac nut pie. They also have a phenomenal lunch menu but you can beat the crowds by going for breakfast. Staying in Kaanapali means you can visit CJs Deli and Diner for breakfast or drive into Lahaina for a lot of breakfast spots on the ocean.

Snorkeling in North West Maui: Continue to drive up the Honoapiilani Highway past Lahaina and Kaanapali. The road gets windy but it is paved. Go snorkeling in the Honolua Bay, a marine preserve at the end of a 5-minute jungle walk. If the waves are big or snorkeling visibility is poor, go to Nakalele Blowhole that is a few minutes past Honolua Bay.

If you have kids or dont enjoy the rocky beach at Honolua Bay, head to Napili Bay or Kapalua Bay for a sandy beach with facilities and showers. There are public parking lots but arrive by 10:00 am for a spot or park along the road.

These three bays are well-protected and rich in Hawaii-only-fish and sea turtles. Snorkel on the sides of the bay to find the sea turtles.

Napili Bay Beach in northwest Maui is excellent for snorkeling and a day at the beach.

Walk the harbor and the historical trail.

Molokai Off The Beaten Path

Molokai is the island least visited by tourists, and there are a few reasons for that. There arent a lot of Molokai landmarks showing up in tourist guidebooks, and Molokai Island is irregularly visited by cruise ships.

In all, the island is home to around 7,500 people, and its a mere 40 miles long and 10 miles wide. But thats just how the locals like it. While other islands have centered their economy around the tourism industry, Molokai has stubbornly resisted.

That means that finding a place to stay in Hawaii in Molokai Island can be a little more difficult than on the other islands. Theres only a very few hotels on Molokai, and actually reaching the island can be more of a challenge.

The single airport in the center of the island has direct flights from Honolulu and Maui, and theres little in the way of public transportation. There are also ferries to and from Molokai twice a day.

A rental car is suggested for any trip to the Hawaiian archipelago, but having your own car is going to be a practical necessity in Molokai unless you have a host family.

If youre planning on visiting Molokai, youll want to take a little bit of extra time to make sure that your lodgings and transportation are fully arranged for by the time you head out.

The residents of Molokai may be suspicious of the tourist industry, but that doesnt mean they arent friendly. You simply have to put in a little more effort to get them to open up. Thats well worth your time too.

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Things To See And Do In Kihei

Sip cocktails in the open-air lounge at the South Shore Tiki Lounge.

Indulge in delicious tacos, drinks and more at Hauis Lifes a Beach.

Listen to live music at Kahales Mauis Local Dive Bar, Mauis oldest dive bar.

Excite your senses at Monkeypod Kitchen.

Grab a pint at the Dog & Duck Irish Pub.

Indulge in saucy, savoury and succulent dishes at Fat Daddys Smokehouse BBQ.

Drink fruity cocktails at Threes Bar and Grill.

Rest, relax and enjoy the views from Kalama Beach.

Eat fresh and delicious seafood at Coconuts Fish Café.

Best Hostel In Wailuku: Banana Bungalow Maui Hostel

Maui Vacation – Where To Stay

The Banana Bungalow wins our vote for the best hostel in Maui, ideal for travellers visiting Hawaii on a budget. Conveniently located in Wailuku, this hostel regularly hosts free tours, pancake breakfast and happy hour parties. Guests can enjoy comfortable and clean accommodations, as well as wifi, a jacuzzi, and a garden.

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Day : The Road To Hana

The Road to Hana is one you will never forget and an absolute highlight on any Maui itinerary. The drive is not for the fearful though- with 52 miles of winding roads , youll want to make sure you get plenty of rest the night before!

Highway 36 is one of the most famous highways in the entire country and takes about 3 hours, but youll want to carve out an entire day on your Maui itinerary to linger around. And trust me, there are lots of stops on the road you just wont want to miss! Black sand beach, anyone?!

Remember, if youre staying in Lahaina or Paia or anywhere else other than where you end up on your drive, youll need to make your way back to where you came from. And that means even more driving time. Be sure to back some road trip snacks, read my Road to Hana guide in advance .

If you dont feel comfortable driving back in the dark or would rather let someone else do the driving , book yourself on a Road to Hana tour.

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