Really in need of some help with planning the Maui leg of our Hawaii trip this year!
We have seven nights in Maui split between Hana & West Coast (still deciding between Kaanapali, Napili and Lahaina) in September.
We would love to fit in lots of the big ticket items like RTH, sunrise at Haleakala, South Coast beaches/snorkeling/Molokini crater, Pipiwai trail, Old Lahaina Luau, eating out at Mama's Fish House, Merriman's Kapulua, Lahaina Grill etc but don't want to overload ourselves or spend too much time driving to and fro across the island as the hubby will be doing all the driving so wants a few driving free days so he can have a few drinks, relax and soak up the sun on the beach!
We will be spending the first few nights in Hana and are catching a small plane to and from Kahului airport to Hana so given that we are seeing this side of the island we'll probably end up leaving the actual RTH drive for another visit.
In terms of deciding where to base ourselves on the West Coast I know it seems a pity not to go actual beachfront (Kaanapali/Napili) but we were thinking Lahaina would work well as we could do beach during the day when the hubby is happy to drive places and then in the evenings we could easily walk down to restaurants/bars along Front Street, go to a Luau at either OLL or Feast at Lele one night and we will be there for the Friday Town Party as well.
So we would really value your local knowledge and guidance to help us make a few tough choices between the following:
- We have 2 full days in Hana (1 x beach day & 1 x day exploring Ohe'o Gulch, Bamboo fortest, Pipiwai trail) & 4 full days on West Coast so wondering if we should stay West side for beach time at Kaanapali/Napili etc for all 4 days or drive across to South Coast beaches for at least 1 x day.
- If we can only do one fancy restaurant for lunch or dinner should we make it Mama's Fish House or Merriman's at Kapulua? If we don't get to Merriman's in Maui we'll probably head to his Waimea restaurant on BI.
- Which Luau would you recommend between OLL and Feast at Lele? Quality food is probably our priority over entertainment but if there's not much difference food-wise then we'd be keen for whichever has the best show.
- Is Haleakala a must-see given that we're really not not early risers at the best of times as it looks like it we'd have to hit the road by 3:30am at the latest to make it across by 5:30am in time for a 5:45/6:00am sunrise. I think it would pretty much write us off for the day other than lazing by the beach/pool afterwards. Although we could potentially do this on our last day in Maui before we fly out from OGG to Hilo, BI at 1:40pm as we're not planning on doing much for the rest of the day other than checking into our cottage in Volcano and having a quiet night.
One other thing is I have heard parking can be tricky/costly at Kaanapali... So was wondering if anyone could tell us if it's plausible to catch the bus or a taxi from Lahaina to Kaanapali beach and roughly how much we should expect to pay?
I know, so many questions... it's getting late after a long long day at work so I really hope that all made sense?!
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated :)
Thanks so much,