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Itinerary Critique

Washington DC...
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Itinerary Critique

Hi all,

This seems like such a wonderful community, I was hoping that you all wouldn't mind helping me out a bit.

To preface, my boyfriend and I will be visiting the week before Thanksgiving for 8 nights. We are in the process of nailing down a condo in Kihei. We mainly want to relax at the beach and eat, with a few day trips scattered in. We hate crowds, so advice on how to avoid them based on our activities is more than welcome :)

Day 1

- Arrive at Airport, pick up car

- Stop at grocery store

- Stop at Da Kitchen for dinner

- Sunset on beach

Day 2

- Wailea Beach- AM (maybe head down south if too crowded)

- Massages at Grand Wailea

- Shops at Wailea/See Resorts

- Sunset at Wailea Beach

- Dinner in Wailea

Day 3

- Kihei Caffe

- Road to Hana, mainly to see Honokalani Beach.

- Dinner at condo/beach

Day 4

- Turtle Town

- Mokapu Beach, Palaeuea Beach, Secret Cove, Po’olenalena Beach, or Big Beach

- Old Lahaina Luau

Day 5

- Lahaina historic walking tour

- Lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate/ Ululani Shave Ice

- Sunset at condo/beach

- Dinner condo/beach

Day 6

- Maui Swap Meet

- Zipline tour (I've heard this is a tourist trap, but BF really wants to do it lol)

- Star Noodle carry-out, eat on the beach

Day 7

- Mokapu Beach, Palaeuea Beach, Secret Cove, Po’olenalena Beach, or Big Beach

- Sunset at condo/beach

- Reservations at Mama's Fish House

Day 8

- Explore Paia

- Hike through bamboo forest

- Pineapple Tour

- Reservations at Haliimaile General Store

Day 9

- Breakfast at Kihei Caffe

- Rest of the day open

- Plane leaves at 11 pm

Thanks, all, for your help!

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1. Re: Itinerary Critique

Help us out with your nightly accommodations budget so we can point you in the right direction. There are some great options in Kihei but prices vary.

On day 8 of your itinerary you have yourself hiking the bamboo forest. That is along the Pipiwai trail in Hana. Is it your intent to drive all the way back to Hana again? I wouldn't recommend that - especially on the day before you fly home. You also are driving across the island to Lahaina 2 days in a row. Perhaps you could combine some of those activities to one day so you're not making the drive twice. Whatever itinerary you wind up with, be sure it is "written in pencil." You'll be amazed how quickly "Maui Time" sets in and all that driving around gets pushed off the to-do list in favor of sitting and staring mindlessly at the horizon :-) There is only one thing on our itinerary any more... Never ever miss a sunset. They are different every day and always special.

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2. Re: Itinerary Critique

My husband and I are the ultimate crowd avoiders and we always stay in south Maui. Love the beaches and Po'olenalena and Makena are our two favorite beaches. My best tip for avoiding crowds on Maui and sunburn at the same time is to start your day early! We tend to be very early risers because our work world at home begins early. We get to the beach around 7:00 to 8:00 and typically at Po'olenalena, we pull into the number one spot. We travel at the end of March and September, so crowds are thinner then, but I believe that rule of thumb would apply any time.

Leave as early as possible for the RTH and you will avoid the masses of people at each stop you want to enjoy. We have had the black sand beach to ourselves at Wa'ianapanapa State Park several times because we got there at 7:00 a.m.! It was surreal to be on that beach all by ourselves for well over an hour heading into two hours, before anyone found their way down the path. I felt like we owned million dollar property for a small space of time and the memory will never fade. I look forward to hiking the Pipiwai Trail with two friends this fall. It will be a first for me and to do it with ladies I met on this forum is going to be amazing.

Having ate both a lunch and a dinner at Mama's Fish House in the past year and a half, I would suggest a lunch reservation. It is such a lovely setting and it is lost with an after dark meal. My husband still talks about how wonderful that meal was our first time as a lunch...........but he wasn't as thrilled with our dinner because the seat wasn't up front with the view of the beach and lovely grounds. He could care less if he ever eats there again, but he will for me and I will make sure we enjoy lunch there. There is no real difference in price between lunch and dinner, but the scenery is worth seeing.

Make a list of "Must Do's" and then the second list is "would like to do's". It truly is easy for island time to set in and it is scary how fast your days can zoom by........but still keep it fairly loose and you will enjoy your time more. While we prefer two to three weeks on Maui, we have had amazing nine nights trips that have satisfied our need to be there just fine.

Enjoy your planning and anticipating the good times. Once you have condo options, this forum is so helpful if you have questions and need answers about your choices. Just ask away! Deb

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: Itinerary Critique

First, welcome to TripAdvisor and the Maui forum, snowflakedc!

The best way to beat the crowds, and it uses your time difference to advantage, is to get up and out of your condo early each day you have an activity. Heck, even going to the beach!

If you want a more relaxed Kihei experience, focus on North Kihei. Those of us who love it can attest to the more open, uncrowded feel of the area with long stretches of beach perfect for long walks, nice neighbors playing with their dogs in the surf or fishing from the shore. I felt so at home there.

I don't know your budget, but this condo complex was really comfortable, low rise, and made me feel like I had Maui mostly to myself:


Washington DC...
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4. Re: Itinerary Critique

Thank you for the replies!

VCSnowbird- I was wondering about the bamboo hike. I thought I read somewhere that it was near Paia, but I guess I read it wrong. Thanks for the heads up! I'll definitely be sure to catch it when we do the Road to Hana. Also, thanks for the advice about Lahaina. Will try to combine as much as possible. Any idea how long a self-guided tour around Lahaina would take? And yes, i have sunsets built into every day. Can't miss those! :)

ASAP- Thanks SO much for the crowd advice! That is exactly what I was looking for! As I said, Wa'ianapanapa State Park is a must-see for me so I'm thrilled to hear that I could have it to myself for a bit! I am also going to rearrange my schedule so that we hit Mama's for lunch. I definitely want good ambiance, and thinking about it more, we would miss a perfectly good sunset if we went at dinner, since it's on the north shore.

ddffpp- I'm definitely looking at North Kihei. I hadn't seen those condos that you mentioned. I will definitely check those out. The atmosphere around there sounds perfect!

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5. Re: Itinerary Critique

Part of the reason we have enjoyed our stays at the Koa Lagoon is that the beach isn't the best for swimming therefore not many crowds. It is a smaller condo complex, only 35 or so units for rental, and all face the ocean. We are more than happy to enjoy walking the beach, although Sugar Beach is much more awesome for walking, like ddffpp said. We will be staying at the Kihei Surfside this fall and it is on a fantastic beach, after a short walk through the parking lot. It is going to be interesting to see how we do at a complex with twice as many units and on a wonderful beach. I think we're going to love it ,but for our spring 2014 nine nights, we are back at Koa Lagoon. Deb

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6. Re: Itinerary Critique

I am the first to admit that "itineraries" for an island visit make me sad. Make a "list" of things you would like to do , decide each morning over coffee what appeals and go for it! It truely is the random, special moments that will make your stay

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7. Re: Itinerary Critique

ASAP- I will check out Koa Lagoon as well. we'm open to anything. Upon thinking about it, we want to try to stay around $150/night so that we can spend the majority of our budget on food.

mamma0233- I completely get where you're coming from. Unfortunately, my Type-A personality necessitates schedules, itineraries, and structured plans to put my mind at ease. In fact, I don't think I could relax and enjoy my vacation if I *didn't* have everything planned out to the minute. Sad but true :(

Thanks again, everyone!

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8. Re: Itinerary Critique

What Mama said.

We never know what we're going to do tomorrow and do whatever sounds appealing that day. We loaded up the car with a picnic, chairs and snorkeling gear and were going to head to South Maui, got to the highway and decided to go north instead and had a wonderful day. Save your detailed itinerary planning for Disneyworld. Maui should be relaxing.

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9. Re: Itinerary Critique

Aloha Snowflake, sounds like a wonderful trip! Planning a few things can really help you enjoy Maui to the fullest.

I definitely agree with Deb, that you should reserve lunch at Mama's rather than dinner after dark. A late lunch, about 2:00 allows you to have a leisurely experience and enjoy the views. Enjoy some time on the grounds before or after your meal and just soak up the atmosphere. When you check in be sure to ask for a table with a good view. You may have to wait a bit longer, but it's worth it. They don't take table requests until you check in, so asking with your reservation won't help. If you are celebrating a special event, though, let them know when you reserve.

The bamboo hike is part of the Pipiwai Trail that is just past Hana in the National Park at Oheo Gulch. We haven't done this hike yet because we made too many stops on the way. We were late and tired. So planning can help you here. If this hike is a priority I would drive there early without stopping elsewhere, hike, then make other stops on the way back. Oheo Gulch is gorgeous and not to be missed, hike or no hike, and it's much less crowded early in the day.

Planning is fun! I understand wanting to get everything just right and make the most of your trip! It is so much easier to just go with the flow when you've been to Maui several times already and you know you'll be back again before long. Maybe what you can take away from Mamma's and rscotty's comments is a little bit of flexibility. We have always planned a couple of activities ahead of time and just chosen from a list of ideas for the rest. If that's not you, though, just be prepared to do a little less than you originally planned ( you won't have time for it all) and maybe switch things around according to the weather or your mood. Make sure to enjoy just being on Maui! And go ahead and start planning your next trip back on your flight home!!!

Edited: 08 July 2013, 18:10
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10. Re: Itinerary Critique

I too like to have a plan when I visit a place I've never been. It does ease the mind, especially when you have other's around you that can't decide what they want to do and then waste precious hours trying to figure it out. I'm a planner and decision maker. That said, just be flexible enough to soak in the magic and perhaps let spontaneity take over when it seems appropriate!!

Charles Lindbergh is buried in Kipahulu, just about 30 minutes past Oheo Gulch. I suggest you drive all the way to see this area, then back track until you get to Oheo Gulch, hike the trail then site see on your way back.