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Old 09-09-09, 10:36 PM   #1
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School me on Maui please

I will be going to Maui in December for my step-sister's wedding. They are getting married in Kihei but I've heard that there are other areas that might be more fun to stay. I figure that we will stay in Kihei for a few days then explore other areas of the island. We are in our early 30s and would like to find the areas that have the most "going on" in terms of nightlife, shopping, etc.

So, what town should we stay in?

We plan on taking our bikes and riding some too. Any thoughts where to ride?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:29 PM   #2
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Go to Hana. It is a long winding road but it is pretty worth it. There are a bunch of places to stop on the way. I was at Lahaina. That's about all I got. Not a lot to do unless you are a beach bum.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:09 AM   #3
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Go to Hana. It is a long winding road but it is pretty worth it. There are a bunch of places to stop on the way. I was at Lahaina. That's about all I got. Not a lot to do unless you are a beach bum.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:20 AM   #4
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Party in Lahaina. Bike the volcano? Do you snorkel or fish or surf or golf or ???
Kaanapali (sp?) is a popular vacation spot. Hana is an all day event, and probably worth it. I think the whales might be there in December, so that might be a day.
All kinds of things to do, what's your preference?
Or just enjoy umbrella drinks on a beach.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:29 AM   #5
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Whatever you do, don't take the tourist trap "mountain bike" ride down haleakala mountain. But you absolutely should go watch the sun rise up there.
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Old 09-10-09, 01:02 AM   #6
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Oh yea nevermind I was at Ka'anapali at the Westin. I always got those two mixed up.
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Old 09-10-09, 04:23 AM   #7
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Lahaina was really nice to stroll around, shopping etc. We stayed in Kihei, which was okay - very quiet.

The drive around the entire island is an all day thing (if you stop along the way) but a nice time.

If I went again I'd be bringing lots of super strong sunblock. we stopped and loaded up at the first Kmart we saw but I got burned in the car from the airport to the store The last day we went snorkeling (highly recommended if you like looking at fish) and I got lazy and burned again after the water washed off my sunblock. You burn FAST there!

If you like coffee buy some of the local fare to bring home - good stuff.
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Old 09-10-09, 05:28 AM   #8
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My favourite place to stay on Maui? In a tent at Wai‘anapanapa State Park. Quiet, scenic, and fun. Met Hawaiians on holiday from other islands. I know it's the opposite to what the OP is looking for, but had to share.
If you end up at Kahului Airport and need to kill some time, it's a short walk to a beach where you can rent a sailboard for a few hours.
I was dripping wet and grinning when I got on the plane.
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Old 09-10-09, 05:35 AM   #9
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Oh, yeah.
I wouldn't ride on any of Maui's highways.
Bring the MTB.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:02 AM   #10
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Whatever you do, don't take the tourist trap "mountain bike" ride down haleakala mountain. But you absolutely should go watch the sun rise up there.
I heard that business got squashed following a fatal accident - not sure if it was a rumor or the truth. In any event, I heard it's a lot less fun than one might imagine. The sunrise is a must-do.

Lahaina is where the most tourist-oriented activity will be found. Whale watching should be a good bet at that time of year. I don't advise attempting to drive entirely around the Island. We went counterclockwise around the northern end many years ago, and what started out as solitude and stunning vistas ended up as white knuckles attempting to not go off cliffs or wreck the car on rocks and in potholes at 3mph. That was a long time ago, but I think the road is still unpaved. Mountain biking that might be an exceptional experience, but make absolutely certain you have confidence in the brakes.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:30 AM   #11
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I don't advise attempting to drive entirely around the Island. We went counterclockwise around the northern end many years ago, and what started out as solitude and stunning vistas ended up as white knuckles attempting to not go off cliffs or wreck the car on rocks and in potholes at 3mph. That was a long time ago, but I think the road is still unpaved. Mountain biking that might be an exceptional experience, but make absolutely certain you have confidence in the brakes.
I think you are getting Maui and Oahu confused on the driving aspect.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:43 AM   #12
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I will be going to Maui in December for my step-sister's wedding. They are getting married in Kihei but I've heard that there are other areas that might be more fun to stay. I figure that we will stay in Kihei for a few days then explore other areas of the island. We are in our early 30s and would like to find the areas that have the most "going on" in terms of nightlife, shopping, etc.

So, what town should we stay in?

We plan on taking our bikes and riding some too. Any thoughts where to ride?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
Don't know if I'd ride to Hana.? It's narrow , but beautiful.. Riding , Mostly I"d circle the island once or twice Kihei to Lihania . Then head up to the highlands about Makawao and head up the mtn road ( road bikes work) towards Haleakala Volcano as high up as you feel inclined. The grade might not be suitable for newbies.. South of Makawao in the highlands is an interesting Hawaiian vintner...
As to night life.. Kihei seems too suburban.. I think you'll agree Lihania has more character.And an active night life. . North of Lihania are all the biggest hotels on the islands..
Lihania is also where you can catch the boat for a day trip to Lanai, which is sort of fun and some of the best snorkeling. A mountain bike on Lanai is more suitable since it's sort of undeveloped.. Maui , road bikes work just fine.. For the least touristy city and for the most "Hawaiian,' Kahului and Pa'ia fit the bill and some what less high rise hotel oriented ..
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Old 09-10-09, 06:45 AM   #13
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I think you are getting Maui and Oahu confused on the driving aspect.
I lived on Oahu for 2-1/2 years. Even though I'm 50 now, my mind isn't that far gone. It is not inconceivable though that they may have paved the road around the north side of Maui since I was last there, but the maps we got when we went back 6 years ago indicated the road was still "off limits to rental cars".
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Old 09-10-09, 07:29 AM   #14
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Hana Hwy (north side) is paved, winding and narrow.
Sections of Piilani Hwy (south) is unpaved, straighter, and Budget doesn't want you to go there.
Which, of course, makes it even more fun.

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Old 09-10-09, 07:41 AM   #15
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we went in '04. Our rental car company strongly advised against doing the drive around the island, but didn't forbid it outright. It wasn't all paved and some of it was narrow but not nearly as bad as we thought it'd be from all the hoopla
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Old 09-10-09, 07:50 AM   #16
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One explanation we heard about not driving about the south side of Maui( south west of Hana). Should you have a problem the car rental companies will really soak you should they have to come and retrieve your arse. The worst of the Piilani Hwy was the pot holes.. Wow.. You could loose a wheel to em.
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Old 09-10-09, 08:52 AM   #17
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Go buy the book Maui Revealed. It has a blue cover and a picture of the island on the cover. Gives you all kinds of insider tips, self guided hikes etc. and reviews of hotels, restaurants, tons of good info.

There is a great magic show in Lahaina, Warren and Annabelle's. Small intimate theater, the guy is amazing and it happens just a few feet in front of you with very few props.

http://www.warrenandannabelles.com/

Maui is my favorite vacation spot. When we go, we do more hiking, swimming, snorkeling than anything. On the drive to Hana, there are some great spots to park, hike, find waterfalls, and swim. It is lots of fun. The beaches are great, our favorite is by black rock. You can swim, snorkel, and if you don't mind ignoring the signs, you can climb up and jump off of black rock. We have seen sea turtles every time we have been there. In fact, we have seen sea turtles more than 50% of the time we have been at any beach on Maui! It's funny, some people get really freaked out when they swim right next to you.

The snorkeling is unbeliveable. If you drive south from Kehei as far as you can, and hike across the lava bed to a place called "The Aquarium" it is just like snorkeling in an aquarium. No waves, because it is completely protected from the open sea by the lava.

We've done the ATV tour, that was fun but my wife was a little nervous on some of the hills. They pace you really slowly, but the scenery is georgeous.

Don't forget about driving around the opposite end of the island from Hana. There is a blowhole over there, and some really cool natural pools in the lava rocks you can hike down to and swim.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:06 AM   #18
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The snorkeling is unbelievable. If you drive south from Kehei as far as you can, and hike across the lava bed to a place called "The Aquarium" it is just like snorkeling in an aquarium. No waves, because it is completely protected from the open sea by the lava.
Yes. we hiked to a spot we were told is called "the fish bowl" - may or may not be the same place (a small lagoon, maybe 50 feet across). wear sturdy hiking type shoes or tough sneakers for the walk, not flip flops, etc. It's about a mile or so on very rough surfaces. But nice, and fun
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Old 09-10-09, 10:25 AM   #19
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Hana Hwy (north side) is paved, winding and narrow.
Sections of Piilani Hwy (south) is unpaved, straighter, and Budget doesn't want you to go there.
Which, of course, makes it even more fun.
Yep I was there in June.
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Old 09-10-09, 01:30 PM   #20
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Go buy the book Maui Revealed. It has a blue cover and a picture of the island on the cover. Gives you all kinds of insider tips, self guided hikes etc. and reviews of hotels, restaurants, tons of good info.
+1 The Hawaiian guide books in that series are great. I have used them on visits to Maui, Kauia, and the big island.

http://www.wizardpub.com/maui/maui.html
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Old 09-10-09, 11:22 PM   #21
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Thanks for the tips everyone. There are some great ideas on here! Definitely plan on doing some snorkeling and lots of swimming/beach time too. We have road bikes, so do we really want to avoid the highways?
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Old 09-10-09, 11:52 PM   #22
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I found the road to Hana a complete bore and would never do it again. Of course i live on Oahu so I saw nothing along the way I hadnt seen before. The road is only like 45 miles long but takes 4 hours one way. I would never ride my bike on it. The volcano ride is supposed to be great. I woiuld ride up..that would make the long downhill all that much better.
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