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1st trip to Maui

Winter Park, Florida
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2 reviews
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1st trip to Maui

I am planning my 1st trip to Hawaii, plan on spending 9-10 days in Maui for my honeymoon this Oct/Nov. Looking for suggestions on which town to stay in? We're not big fans of cheesy touristy type places, but still want to be where there are a few bars, shops, and a little action. We are from FL, so we like the beach, fishing, and cold beer. Looking for a town that has more of a local laid back beach feel, but don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere. But we also don't want to be surrounded by tourists and cheesy t-shirt shops. Any suggestions???? Just trying to get a fell of what each of these towns are like. Thanks all!

Overland Park...
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1. Re: 1st trip to Maui

You are in luck because the place on Maui with too many tourists and cheesy tshirt shops is Lahaina and it has no resorts for you to stay in. You will have a very non-Florida laid back experience by staying in either of the two main resort areas: Wailea or Kaanapali. Each area has multiple high quality resorts that are on the beach and within walking distance of good restaurants and high end shopping. Be aware that an even more laid back island than Maui is Kauai. Have you considered that?

Edited: 14 March 2014, 02:42
Spokane, WA
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2. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Based on your comments I would say the wailea area or Kihei areas on the south side would be your better bet. I my self prefer Kaanapali on the west side but I like the crowds and more touristy scene. Kihei is very laid back lots of restaurants/bars. Wailea is more ritzy but would have very nice accommodations for a honeymoon.

Philadelphia, PA
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3. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and welcome to Tripadvisor. Have to smile when tourists don't want be around tourists :) You might like the Honokowai to Napili area.

NORTH CAROLINA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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4. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Well how much are you wanting to spend per night because that will impact where you can stay.

We stay in the Honokowai that was mentioned above and love it very laid back but no fancy resorts there just more budget minded condo complexes.

Overland Park...
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5. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Your request for "a few bars, shops, and a little action" will not be found in the Honokowai or Napili areas. That will only be found in Wailea or Kaanapali both of which have higher end resorts suitable for a honeymoon. To me Kehei is more like a low rise beach town in Florida with many strip malls. There are bars and restaurants there with a little action but IMHO it is not a honeymoon quality area.

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Yes, the budget, but also are you open to staying in a condo? Or do you prefer a resort?

Chicagoland
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7. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Kihei has three different 'areas'. North has less expensive vacation rental condos, although many have permanent residents. The beaches are sea-weedy except for Sugar Beach. Central is the hub of this residential community, with post office, hardware store, banks, etc. and fast food -- like all small towns. South Kihei has nice vacation rental condos and one hotel; anything from 2000 South Kihei Road and south will be walking distance to the good Kamaole beach parks. Plenty of small restaurants and bars, including nightlife. Farther south is Wailea -- more manicured and expensive.

Sorry, you will see that cheesy, touristy stuff *somewhere* many places in Hawaii -- mostly made in China. Look for Made on Maui crafts. Would you want to stay a night or two along Road to Hana? Check out Upcountry's artists. Avoid more than a couple hours in Lahaina Town or the tall elevator buildings of Kaanapali and that area's Mall, Whalers Village. I think you'd like 'the ends' of Maui best. Look at Napili in West Maui too.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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8. Re: 1st trip to Maui

Seems like most visitors want to come to Maui and not be around any other visitors. Not gonna happen!! Maui is a prime island for honeymooners, families, singles , you name it.

Letting us know what your nightly budget for accommodations is and whether you want a resort hotel or condo would be very helpful.

You will find a lot of the accommodations on the west side have a Lahaina address but are actually located in the resort community of Kaanapali, just a few miles north of there. It's due to zip codes!!

Winter Park, Florida
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9. Re: 1st trip to Maui

We don't care if it's a condo, hotel, resort, vacation rental, we just need a kitchen ... looking to spend about $200/night. Someplace average, I don't need 4 star accommodations, but also don't want to be in a dump.

Thanks for all your input, this is great info. I know where I do not want to be :)

Overland Park...
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10. Re: 1st trip to Maui

For a kitchen in your price range, you'll be looking at condos. A great place to start searching is VRBO.com.