We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Palo Alto, CA
8 posts
Save Topic
Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Neither me, nor wife nor my 2 year old daughter would be doing anything which requires swimming. None of us know how to swim. That means we don't care for the pool in the resort we are planning to stay. That also means we won't be snorkeling.

So the question are :

1. What are the top 2-3 things to see which we must see in Maui?

2. What is the best area to stay for folks like us? We do like to have lots of food options available for us which are reasonably priced. Is it true that Kihei would be a better area to stay in instead of Lahaina?

3. So far we are thinking of staying in Westin or Sheraton in Lahaina. I keep hearing that Whaler's village has good eating place. Is that true?

Beaverton, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Cannon Beach
Level Contributor
6,031 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

you mean you are not going to let your daughter wade in the shallow water on the beach or dig in the sand

Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
1,554 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Get a good driving map (from the baggage area of the airport) and check out the points that interest you. Explore and drive and take wonderful pictures of this beautiful, magical island!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
Level Contributor
9,446 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Ok for the parents:

Start each day on the lanai drinking island coffee and talking to each other about what you will be doing that day (hopefully before your daughter wakes up). Drink in the wonderful island flower aromas and watch as the island wakes up for the day.

End each day sitting on the lanai talking about what you did that day while enjoying a tropical drink and watching the best sunsets you will ever see.

OK for the family, I would say go to the Maui ocean center, Iao needle and maybe bum around downtown Lahaina. I would go to the beach and at least let your daughter play in the sand. I know it might look a bit dorky but either rent or buy a life vest for you and your daughter and let her wade a bit off a calm beeach. Not knowing how to swim means you are limited but even still if you take a few simple precautions (like stay knee deep of so) you can still go in the water.

Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
35 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Wish I could speak to your Kihei question. We are Ka'anapali people. I have driven through Kihei, but that is it. Our top must sees on Maui are:

Road to Hana (it's the journey not the destination)

Sunrise at Haleakala

Sunset viewing from your lanai in Ka'anapali

Other recommends are:

Lahaina

Iao Needle

Torch lighting at Blackrock (Sheraton)

Mac pancakes at Charlies

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
42,965 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Whalers Village and the Westin and Sheraton are actually in Kaanapali. They have a Lahaina address because that is where the post office is!!

You can find resonable accommodations there or in Kihei. That also goes for most eating establishments.

Kihei is more centrally located, meaning you can get to the other parts of the island without a lot of driving.

Since you are not water people a trip to the Maui Ocean Center should be a must. Your daughter will love the turtle exhibit. Plus a tank where she can actually touch some living creatures such as star fish. The Ocean Center only has fish and marine life that are indigenous to Hawaiian Waters. This is a wonderful way to learn all about the ocean without going in it!!

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
20,161 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

A ground floor resort condo with a nice lanai and lawn would be my choice when traveling with a toddler. Since there really are no inexpensive places to eat out, having a kitchen is very worthwhile. If you rent a nice place, you can enjoy rather than endure having to be inside while Baby naps or is put to bed early.

We like South Kihei's Kamaole Beach Parks for kids. There are lifeguards and rest rooms, and plenty of grass and shade trees -- also calm beaches for wading even if you don't *swim*. There are fast-food places across Kihei Road from the beaches and picnic tables in the parks.

I'm sure your 2-yr-old would like the Oceanarium -- bet she will know 'Nemo' when she sees him swimming by! That's at Maalaea Harbor; the docks and boats are always interesting. You don't have to swim to have fun poking around a tidepool -- a bucket and a net on a pole are great to keep a child entertained. (Apply sunscreen often and wear hats!)

I wouldn't do Road to Hana with a child. She is too apt to get carsick on the twisty road. If you see Iao Valley bring some long-sleeved clothing and pants -- and insect repellant. It is very cool at the top. (Same for Haleakala.) There's a Sugar Cane Train; skip that.

I suspect your daughter will be most intrigued by the water, sand, flowers, birds, geckos -- and all the other children.

Can you plan to hire a sitter at least one night so Mom and Dad can have a romantic dinner out?

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
42,254 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Lahaina/Ka'anapali is a good choice. We far prefer the Sheraton. If you do choose the Westin, make sure that you get a large room. Many are very small, but there is a tower with larger one. Westin is noisy ... attracts alot of families with kids because of the kids' pool. Next door to Whaler's Village (part of the noise issue).

Sheraton has a single pool - long, but not skinny with various parts to it. At one end is a kids' pool shallow and perfect for a two year old. It's about a 5 minute walk to Whaler's Village along the paved beach path.

Lahaina is about 8 miles away - lots of food options, and you will pass a Safeway as well. There is a shuttle to Lahaina from either the Westin or the Sheraton. Whaler's Village has two major restaurants - Hula Grill and Leilani's. Both have excellent outdoor seating (umbrellas). Indoor seating is more expensive ... different menu. Also a new restaurant is going in, Cane and Taro which is still a mystery. There is also a small food court in Whalers.

I agree with Texas about the map, but strongy recommend that you pick up a map of the island at Borders Books or from AAA. The maps in the advertisement books are cartoonish and incomplete. And there are pages of ads between the parts of the maps.

Maui Ocean Center, Haleakala, Iao Needle, Road to Hana. Explore Paia and Makawao (our fave) and other spots on the slops of Halekala. Shop. Kick back and relax ... go to a concert.

Feel free to PM me with questions.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
42,965 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Actually, there are no "NEMO's" in Hawaiian waters. They are clown fish and we don't have any!! There is a fish that has the same coloring as "NEMO", it is a juvenile version of the yellow tail coris. Just a bit of fish geek trivia!!

Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
26,786 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

Might I respectfully suggest you all learn how to swim? It's not that hard and might save one of your lives someday.

But you don't have to know how to swim to enjoy the beach and the pool! Pools have shallow ends...and stay by the shore but get wet - jump over the waves!

Even if you just learn how to tread water you will greatly increase your fun and safety!

Washington
Level Contributor
1,783 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Top 5 things to do in Maui ( if you are not into swimming)

The Sheraton would be a good choice. I would take your suits and enjoy the shallow area of the Sheraton pool. There are steps going in with a hand rail. You can just dangle your feet or sit on the steps. They have a nice grass area around the pool with lounge chairs. Whaler's Village is very close (no driving) and has Hula Grill, the Barefoot Bar (children allowed), and Leilani's, both upstairs and downstairs. Whaler's Village has some cute shops. Take the shuttle from the Sheraton to Lahaina for some tourist browsing and dine along the water. Maui Ocean Center would be fine. We love the Kaanapali area. IMO, I would not do Kihei if you are not comfortable in the water. The area is drier and not as lush with greenery and flowering plants like Kaanapali. You might also enjoy the drive to Iao Valley and the trails there. The Garden of Eden might work, but may be too much with a 2-year old.

Get answers to your questions about Ka'anapali