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Maui Trip Report

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Maui Trip Report

As two former backpackers, my wife and I are usually more adventurous; but, having a girl and a boy (ages 6 and 3) has changed how we approach a vacation. On this trip, my first to Maui, 6th or 7th to Hawaii overall, we didn't do too much.

Some things that stuck out to me about Maui:

Long sandy beaches - I don't recall other islands having this many long ribbons of sand. Kauai has lots of great little "pocket" beaches, but nothing, other than isolated Polihale, as long as Ka'anapali, Kahekili, Big Beach, etc...

Views of other islands offshore - I suppose i knew they'd be there, but it really is cool being able stare right at Moloka'i and Lana'i at the same time.

Wind - Ka'anapali was steadily windy. Not just "breezy", but downright windy. South Maui is less so, I hear?

Frogs - luckily, we brought two small flashlights. Watching my son and his cousin, both 3, chase and catch frogs, absolutely screaming they were laughing so hard....that alone was worth the price of airfare.

Variety - Maui has a little bit of everything that the other islands have individually - great scenery, great beaches, cultural sites, very good snorkeling, good food/nightlife/shopping, good outdoor activities.

Other islands may do some of these things better than Maui, but they don't have all of them together, like Maui does.

Stars - With my wife, laying on a lounge chair near the beach at night, under a couple of swaying coconut palms, with little white clouds whisping by, Hapa playing in the background, gazing at a gazillion stars....the moment was so "Hawaii" that my wife and i actually laughed.

'Iao needle - We never had any plans to go here, but it ended up being one of my favorite days in Maui. The kids played in a clear mountain stream while the wifey and I soaked up the scenery..it was great.

Kahekili Beach - I was impressed with the coral here, lots of it. Not a ton of fish, but a decent variety. The beach had good sand, pretty good swimming, some shade.

Food - Didn't do much high end dining this trip. I've learned not to treat Hawaii as a "dining vacation". It's never lived up to it, imo.

That said, Maui was very good overall. Especially compared to Kauai and the BI, where food costs the same but isn't of the same quality.

The meal we had at Hula Grill was excellent.

We also ate at the Ma'alaea Grill twice. Once when we went to the Maui Ocean Center, and once on our way back to the airport. We thought it was pretty good relative to the price.

Maui Ocean Center - This was great for the kids. If you go, make sure you get to watch the feeding of the sharks. Ma'alaea is uber-windy, but you're mostly inside there, so that was OK. If you're into gift shops, this place has a tremendous example of one.

A bit about where we stayed:

Westin Ocean Villas - Although it's not really my type of resort, I can't really say anything bad about it. Sure, it's a mega-resort, but everything is clean, the landscaping is prolific and maintained, the staff were nice, etc.

I had no negative experiences there, and if you have a family and don't want to ever have to leave your resort, then this place should do the trick.

Our kids loved the water slide, the pirate ship, all the pools (which weren't any deeper than 4 feet). There's also a kids' activity center, but we didn't use it.

Things i didn't do - It was my first trip to Maui, and i'll be back, so maybe i'll catch one of these activities next time around...

Road to Hana

Boat/Snorkel trip

Haleakela National Park


Explore South Maui

In the end, Maui was fantastic. We had some amazing experiences as a family, and we can't wait to return.

When i told my daughter that we'd go back to Kauai

next year, she corrected me and said, "No Daddy, Maui".

Mahalo for all the tips

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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1. Re: Maui Trip Report

Thanks for the trip report. It's like a pay check to us regulars!! I can just envision(is that the right word)? your son playing with the frogs. Made me chuckle!! Hope you will be able to come back and see the rest of the island. Save those pennies!!

Napa, California
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2. Re: Maui Trip Report

I will never forget my 2 year old (now 14) looking for the frogs at the Wailea Renaissance. I remember that laughter - just bliss.

I really love Maui best for the family vacation.

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3. Re: Maui Trip Report

I know there was some concern recently of hurricane activity in the area and some stormy weather. Is Kaanapali usually windy?

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4. Re: Maui Trip Report

Kaanapali isn't windy most of the time but in the Summer, the trade winds are pretty much a regular occurrence. Some days are stronger than others and yes, South Maui gets the same winds. They start kicking up sometime after about 11am. Somehow Wailea and the northern parts of Makena never seem that windy while you are on the beach.

The beaches of Maui are why we keep returning. I would love to return to Kauai (haven't been since our youngest was about 20 months old) but we love hiking there and getting our kids to do the Awa' awapuhi trail with us seems almost impossible. Plus, the direct flight to Maui from PDX is another draw. So Maui it is. If you go back to Maui, try either staying in South Maui or at least visiting a couple. Now, I almost want to stay on Kahekili beach next visit. Glad you had a great trip.

5. Re: Maui Trip Report

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