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.

First time to maui

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
5 posts
1 review
Save Topic
First time to maui

Aloha,

I am traveling to Maui with my wife and 7 yr old son(staying in Lahaina) in April 2012 for a week.I have also booked a rental car for that period. We are interested in and would need your valuable advice on:

1)Snorkeling-Best places to snorkel from the shore, never snorkeled before

2)Whale watching-Does it matter if I book a whale watching tour now versus when I get to Maui? Are we in good season for that?

3)Surf lessons-Which ones to choose from, never surfed before

4)Road to hana-Is it preferable to drive yourself or take a tour?

5)Luau-I already got some info on that

6)Any other must sees that I can drive around to?

Thanks for your expert opinion

VK

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
22,341 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time to maui

OK...where are you staying on island? And when? Over Easter week? Only consider The Road to Hana if you have a kiddlet who does not get car-sick or bored... 12 hours of riding in the back seat is boring for most kids.

lake forest park
Level Contributor
186 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time to maui

The key word is vacation.You are trying to do alot especially in 7 days with a 7 yery old young son. Take every day by day and just have fun. Every day in Maui is a great day.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
1,694 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time to maui

1) Snorkeling-Black Rock at Kaanapali beach and Kapalua beach are both good for beginners. Both of these beaches should be just north of Lahaina, and not very far.

The best snorkelng beach is Honolua Bay (further north of Kapalua bay), but it is more challenging, not so much for beginners.

2) Whale Watching-you can book when you arrive on Maui. We have went on Whale Watching tours during spring break. It is the tale end of the whale season, but we saw whales.

3) Surfing-My kids took surfing lessons from Maui Wave Riders. They have a location at Lahaina.

4) Road to Hana-Drive yourself. Most people drive themselves. It is more flexible, you can stop anywhere you want, and keeping going if you don't feel like stopping. We have brought our kids to Road to Hana 3 or 4 times (since they required car seats). It is a beautiful road trip. If you guys love road trips, definitely don't miss it.

5) Most people visit Haleakala, and there is also Iao Valley. Both of these are on East Maui (by airport area). You can easily visit both sights on one day. Also visit Hookipa beach to watch the windsurfers.

Maui, Hawaii
Level Contributor
8,395 posts
186 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time to maui

For a whale watching tour go to Lahaina Harbor and walk past the boats.

The fast inflatable boats travel faster and get to more whale siteings in a faster amount of time.

Where are you staying in Lahaina?

Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
1,145 posts
100 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First time to maui

Hmm 7 year old boy? Lucky you! Nothing better. Please consider Blue Water Rafting. Little guy probably has the attention span of 15 minutes and loves motors? Blue water Rafting will take you to places nobody else can and see things that he'll never forget. Oh and you might enjoy it too. M

Level Contributor
35,424 posts
899 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First time to maui

Kapalua Beach in the morning is a nice place to snorkel. We did the Road to Hana ourselves and it was fine. It is an amazing drive, we packed a picnic and stopped at Black Rock where there are several picnic tables. Coconut Glen's for ice cream was also really fun. The Road to Hana is the perfect place to take alot of photos, the scenery is spectacular on the entire drive.

Aloha and have fun! :)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
211 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First time to maui

You should also think about driving from Lahaina past Kapalua and follow that road around the tip of the island. You can stop and walk down to the blow hole, my kids loved that when they were younger, and then stop at what looks like an abandonded school bus for the best smoothie ever. After that you stop at the little hut on the left side of the road for banana bread and coconut candy.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
45,339 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First time to maui

The Kahekili Hwy which is the road going past Kapalua towards Kahului, around the west Maui mountains is fine until you get to the blow hole. After visiting that, turn around and go back down the same way. Going any further is prohibited by your rental car contract. Not to mention it is a cliff hugging, one lane (traffic going 2 ways) white knuckle drive.

For beginner snorkelers on the west side, the only place I recommend is Kapalua Bay. Black Rock is ok but very crowded and can have a very dangerous current if you aren't careful enough to stay out of it. Kapalua Bay is generally calm and you can see fish just a few yards off shore.

You may want to take advantage of a company called Ocean Project. They take out inexperienced snorkelers and teach then to snorkel while teaching about the critters you will see.

I generally recommend driving to Hana in your own vehicle but since it's just your son and you, taking a tour would be very advantageous. If you or your son gets car sickness, you may want to re think going to Hana.

For surf lessons either Maui Wave Riders or Goofy Foot. Both are excellent companies.

You will be coming at the very end of whale season. The best way to possibly see them would be by boat. I like to reserve ahead of time. Generally speaking you will get good discounts by booking ahead of time and on line.

Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
12,215 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First time to maui

Ms. Fuzz is exactly right...and I second the Ocean Project. They educate you and your kids about the marine life and how to snorkel correctly so you feel comfortable out on your own. They made my kids feel so comfortable and appreciate the ocean life.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
5 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: First time to maui

We are planning to visit during our sons spring break i.e April 2nd week and we are staying at the Aston Kanaapali