I’ve read and appreciated the insights of travelers on Trip Advisor for years but have never written a post until now. Hopefully I can provide some insight and if there is interest I’ll send regular reports during our early 2013 stay in Maui.
It’s 35 days until my wife & I return to Maui for our 6th visit. We like to stay right on the ocean in the January, February, or March time frame and have also been to the Poipu area of Kauai twice, Kona on the Big Island, and rented a funky house in Hauula on the northeast side of Oahu. In Maui we’ve stayed at the Westin in Kaanapali, Napili Kai, and a beautiful rental house on Papaua Place in Napili. Everywhere we have stayed has been wonderful but we especially like the quietness, beauty, and the very few steps to the ocean of the Point Oceanfront condos at Napili Point. So we will be returning to Napili Point, for our fourth visit to these condos, from January 11 until March 7. That’s 56 days of Maika’i Ola in Hawaiian, La Dolce Vita in Italian, and the Good Life in English.
Now retired we’ve done most of the activities on Maui including: Road to Hana & beyond, Trilogy to Lanai, snorkeling and visiting most of the beaches, Upcountry, Haleakala, Iao Valley, Blow Hole, Farmer’s Markets, various trails, shopping, golf, watching kids take surf lessons, etc, etc. The Humpback whales don’t eat while they are in Maui (as the food is too expensive) but we enjoy sampling the fine cuisine. I don’t eat seafood other than shrimp, scallops, lobster, & clams but my wife loves Maui fish. We choose our restaurants based on menus, recommendations and ambience. We are not Merriman fans, think Mama’s Fish House is overpriced, and were very disappointed with the service and severely under cooked fish during our last visit to the Lahaina Grill. We will be returning to some of our favorites such as: The Plantation House, Pacific O, Hula Grill, Sarento’s, Maalaea Waterfront, Mala Ocean Tavern, Star Noodle and the Gazebo for breakfast. We look forward to trying the following new places: Hali’imaile General Store, Amasia, Class Act at UH Maui, Coconuts, Leoda’s Kitchen, Baan Thai, Flatbread Pizza, Huli-Huli Chicken from the locals at Wahikula Beach Park and one location to which I am sworn to secrecy. Critically, we have an extensive list of Aloha Hour / Pupu establishments we love or will try anew.
But often our best epicurean delights are grilling at the condo while enjoying a libation, watching whales and other ocean activities and the sunsets between Molokai and Lanai. We regulars at Costco and the markets between Napili and Lahaina including the Farmers Market and Store in Honokowai which is the only store we’ve found that sells Passion Fruit Juice for a delicious and wicked spin I do on Mai Tais. I’ve fished in many waters and was not impressed with the Fish Market Maui as if smelled like some of the worst bait shops I’ve been in - - but we may give it another try.
Some may question Napili due to a few postings speaking of weather concerns in mid January thru early March. However, during the 75 January – March days we’ve stayed in the Napili area over the course of five years we’ve had two mornings of rain and 6 hours of light drizzle (Pineapple spit). Meanwhile there was flooding in Kihei on a number of days. We found Wailea are too hot for our tastes as we explored the island. The National Weather Service shows the historical Napili average highs of 78 – 80 with the average lows 66 – 67 during January, February, & March with a 75 degree water temp. Historical precipitation (much of it at night) is 4.1” in January, 3.1” in February, and 3.8” in March. That is very little difference than Kihei. At 26%, it is slightly cloudier than some other areas but most days the clouds evaporate quickly. The average winds are about 11 mph in January & February which is less blustery than some posters. Also if the weather turns poor in Napili we drive to and explore new areas where the weather is better on that day. Moreover, we are from a suburb of Minneapolis where it’s snowing 10-12” today and where the average high on our day of departure to Maui is 21 degrees and the average low is 4 degrees (with a record low of -31 degrees). We don’t pack any long pants, sweaters, or jackets. Like the humidity the weather you want is “relative”.
The other question some might ask is why return to Maui again and for such a long period. Since there are a lot of TA Maui members from Minnesota who will be in Maui we should get together & discuss Maui versus Minnesota “quality of life”. Uff Da. Let’s see we could: bundle up versus never get out of shorts and sandals OR shovel snow versus lay in the sun with a great book and tunes, OR drink Schnapps and Grain Belts versus Rum and Longboard Lagers, OR jump our car batteries versus exploring beaches and trails, OR watch our breath freeze versus snorkel and swim, OR watch cars collide on icy roads versus watching whales and surfers OR golf versus watch it on TV OR eat and cook outdoors with fresh produce versus Chef Boyardee and DelMonte fruit cocktail. Okay maybe I’m too harsh, we also have a second place on a lake in Alexandria, MN which we love and compare the nicest weather days there to Maui. Bottom line is my love and I will decide over a mimosa or coffee on the lanai each morning what we will do and live Maika’i Ola (at least until the money runs out).
Song for the Day on the I-Pod is Carly Simon’s: Anticipation.