Top 5 Most Commonly Asked Visitor Questions About Maui
Use this as a quick “go-to” when looking for simple answers regarding your Maui vacation. Here are answers to 5 common questions visitors ask before arriving to Maui.
What are the best beaches?
Every side of the island has its own unique beaches. If you enjoy swimming and sunbathing, try the south or the west sides. If you’re staying in South Maui, any of the Kamaole Beaches are nice. Keawakapu Beach is great for swimming or walking. Big Beach is a popular spot for locals and young people. Baldwin Beach in Paia is along stretch of beach with facilities. Anywhere on Kaanapali Beach is good for swimming. Kapalua Bay and Napili Bay on the west side are always favorites of visitors and residents alike.
What should I pack for everyday?
Pack light – that’s my opinion. I’ve always said, “there’s no fashion here,” and there really isn’t. Bring lightweight clothing and maybe a sweater or sweatshirt. If you’re going up to Haleakala, bring warm pants. Many or even most people wear flip-flops (rubber slippers) here year round. For a nice dinner, consider a casual or polo shirt for men, sundress or casual wear for women. Bring a hat and a reef-friendly sunscreen, and hiking sandals if you plan on doing that. Anything you forget, you can pick up at a big box store. There’s a Walmart and a Target. No need to bring beach towels. Mostly all accommodations provide those.
Do I need to rent a car on Maui?
Yes. You’ll miss out on most of the island if you rely on taxi/public transportation/Uber. And for what you’ll pay in taxi and Uber fees, you can probably rent a car for the same price. What’s the point in spending a lot of money and time travelling to the island if you’re going to stay at a resort the entire visit? It’s worth getting a car.
What are the best dining options on Maui?
There are a lot of places to eat here. Since 2020, Maui has also gotten a lot of food trucks. What are you looking for? If you want to eat local-style, loco moco, poke, and plate lunches would fit the bill. For the fine dining, I would recommend making reservations in advance – maybe even before you get here. Some of the most popular are Morimotos (in the Wailea Andaz), Mama’s Fish House in Paia, and Fleetwood’s on Front Street in Lahaina. For cheap eats, try the Costco food court (you need your membership card), ABC Market Deli (called the Island Gourmet in Wailea), or Safeway Deli.
Where should I Stay on Maui?
The most popular visitor areas are West Maui (Lahaina, Kaanapali Beach, and Kapalua) and South Maui (Kihei, Wailea). Both sides of the island are oceanfront and have beautiful beaches. They both also have beautiful resort communities. You can still visit all the beaches if you don’t stay in an oceanfront resort, as they all have public access. I see people asking question on forums regarding VRBO’s and Airbnb’s, and being warned by others. I would simply advise you to pay attention to the listing’s reviews, and make sure the rental has the permit number in the listing. I’ve stayed in several quality, well-run vacation rentals on Maui, all permitted. Hawaii requires a permit from the county Planning Department for vacation rentals.
The mysterious island of Maui is also known as “The Valley Isle”. It is traversed by discriminating travelers for many reasons. Below are the top five.
Sun on Stunning beaches
Relax on one of many of Maui’s sandy beaches. Rolling surf, soft sand and an occasional surprise visit by a turtle, or a whale-sighting make Maui beaches a magical place to be, because there’s no other place like it.
Drive the Winding Road to Hana
Experience the thrill of the back and forth zig zag road to Hana. You’ll never forget it. Complete with extraordinary vistas, hidden trail hikes, and secret beaches if you know where to look and explore.
Observe Humpback Whale Migration
Every year the Humpback Whales traverse from Alaska and western Canada thousands of miles to play in Hawaiian water, and give birth to their young. Paddle out and get a close-up glimpse of 30-plus foot whales and their new calves. Or enjoy a beach sunset in a relaxing chair with your evening cooler, watching the whales breach with the sand between your toes, because you will never forget it. Whale season is October through March.
Dine on World-Class Farm to Table Cuisine
Have you ever wanted to taste fresh Maui grown organic produce prepared by expert chefs while watching a tropical sun set into the Pacific? Look no further that Maui. Maui has a wide selection of restaurants to cater to all palettes, offering some of the finest dining experiences in the islands and the western Pacific.
Haleakalā , or “house of the sun”, is approximately 10,000 feet high. Surprisingly, Haleakala is actually taller than Mt. Everest! That is because the peak of Haleakala National Park is 10,023ft (3,055m) above sea level, but here is still 19,680ft of mountain concealed below the ocean’s surface. Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular from the peak of the mountain, but don’t forget to make your reservation if you’re visiting for sunrise. From Kihei or Lahaina, plan for about 3 hours of driving before reaching the top. Drive from Kahului in roughly in 1.5 hours.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. At 727 square miles, (1,882 sq. km), it’s the seventh-largest island in the US. With its lush mountain backdrops and long sandy beaches, who would not want to see it all?
Is it achievable to tour this diverse island only on foot? YES! With a little bit of leg power and creative thinking you can, and here’s how to do it.
We’ve searched the best forums, host to dedicated backpackers and budget vacationers to find resources for on-foot and inexpensive travel. Here are some ideas:
1. Rent a moped or bicycle.
There are many island rentals that rent mopeds and bicycles by the hour or day. You can stay in one part of the island and explore on two wheels until you’re ready to move on to another location
2. Use the Lahaina Shuttle.
The Lahaina shuttle runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It makes stops on the west side of Maui from Lahaina to K’anapali. Stops include Whalers Village, Hilo Hattie clothing and accessories shop, the Lahaina Cannery Mall, the Wharf Cinema Center and the Lahaina-Kaʻanapali Sugar Cane Train.
3. Choose your accommodations in strategic locations
Stay within walking distance to local attractions, and a bus line if you plan on taking one. Lahaina-town and South Kihei are some places to consider.
4. Take Ubers, taxis and Lyfts
Consider staying a few days exploring one part of the island, then taking a taxi or Uber to another side of the island for a few days, and so on.
Getting creative with your transportation and accommodations can open up new doors for travel that you may have never considered.
Renting a used car on Maui offers convenience and contactless car rental, onsite customer service, and contributes to the best vacation experience Maui has to offer.
Convenience and Contactless Car Rental
When you get off the airplane you've had a long flight you're tired. If you're renting a new car from one of the national car rentals, first you have to pick up your luggage, then head for the airport tram and ride it over to the new national car rental building. Then, wait in line with your passengers and luggage. If you rent a used car from a local business on Maui, a lot of car rentals will either pick you personally up from the airport curbside or even better, your car will be parked for you in the Kahului airport parking lot. You can simply walk to your car, and drive away.
Live Onsite Customer Service
Because many used car rental businesses on Maui are locally owned, you can call the office where you're renting your car from. You don't have to go through an automated system. You don't have to wait on hold. You don't have to push a button for your choice. You can call them directly at the used car office and speak to someone during business hours.
24/7 Roadside Assistance
Many used rental car businesses on Maui have 24 hours, 7 days per week free roadside assistance, or they offer it for a small daily fee. Many national new car companies caution against taking their new cars in certain remote areas of Maui. Many used car rental companies do not have restrictions on where you take your rental vehicle.
You Won’t Look Like a Tourist
There is a benefit to not looking like a tourist, in that if you take your national brand new car to a less-traveled area of Maui, you could possibly be a target for a vehicle break-in. Driving a Maui Cruiser will allow you to travel under the radar, and blend in with local residents. Just make sure your rental car doesn’t have a lockbox on it.
You’re Supporting Local Businesses
If for no other reason, renting a used car on Maui means you’re supporting a local business and not mega-conglomerate national new car rentals. You can feel good knowing you’re supporting local people and the economy of the beautiful island of Maui when you rent a used car from a local business.