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1st trip to Maui need help with driving itinerary

1st trip to Maui need help with driving itinerary

Old Apr 4th, 2017, 09:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 67
1st trip to Maui need help with driving itinerary

My husband and I will be visiting Maui for the first time, the first 2 wks of May, and will be based in Wailea for 10 nights then spending our last 4 nights at the Four Season in Wailea. I have rented a Jeep Wrangler for us to explore the island and I am looking for input on my current itinerary and restaurant ideas ( I should also mention we are foodies and love to hike in beautiful places). I was thinking about only 3 days of full day distance driving and maybe the rest of the time enjoying the local beaches, relaxing out our hotel, enjoying some of the nearby day hikes around Wailea, and maybe even a late afternoon sailing excursion.

Day one recover from our jet leg and enjoy our hotel,(staying at the hotel Wailea) then a late afternoon drive to Paia to explore the town and local shops and watch the wind/kite surfers then early 5 pm dinner res at Mamas Fish House.

My full day driving excursion thoughts are as follows; (with the intention of spreading them out over the 8 full days, so that we are not doing all day car trips back to back)

Day trip 1; The infamous Road to Hana haul! I am tempted to do this counterclockwise as my husband is slow going in the am and realistically will not be ready to roll until 9 am, so my thought was to start @ the Pipiwai Trail/ O'he O Gulch via the Pilani Hwy route. hike to the Waimuku falls then head to Hana for a lunch stop either at the Hana Ranch or roadside stop. After lunch take the long and winding road back towards Paia making a few stops at points of scenic interest along the way. Stop in Paia for dinner ( ? Paia Fish House) and a stroll through town before heading back to Wailea.

Day trip 2; Upcountry exploration day looking for a good itinerary with points of interest; lunch either at Haile Maile General store in Makawao, visit the Gardens in Kula or earlier start and lunch and farm tour at O O farms in Kula ( read some mixed reviews), then head to the Haleakala Crater for a short hike before watching the sunset from the the Summit.

Day trip 3; West Maui scenic coastal drive was told to head there from Lahaina and do this drive clockwise was also told to avoid it all together b/c was more nail biting then the road to Hana, steep cliffs w/o guardrails!!! Ideally would like to combine this afternoon with either dinner at the Mill House or Slack Guitar show at Napoli Kai beach resort 7:30 pm concert.

Shorter day hikes close to Wailea; Waihee Ridge (hoping it will be open by May), La Perouse Bay Hoapili Trail,and if by chance they re open Iao Valley

Open to any and all thoughts and suggestions from those of you who have been and like scenic drives, hiking in beautiful places, and eating yummy healthy food both upscale, farm to table, and local cheap eats!!!

tishkb is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,856
Not much to tell you, but:

1. Be aware Hailemale General Store is closed from 2:30-5 (so get there before 2:30 for lunch); and
2. The hike into Haleakala is great, particularly because the topography is different from most hikes. It's all "open" so be sure to bring water. You can go as short or as long as you want - we hiked in 2.5 miles and then turned around and came back.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
Excellant choice of vehicle for Maui. I honeymooned there in October. Depending on how many timezones you will need a day for the jet lag.

1. My first tip would be take more than one set of dry clothes - it rains a lot on that side of the island.

I would stop at Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread (210 Keanae Rd, Keanae, HI 96708). it's amazing. Behind it is Keanae Church - it's an interesting bit of history.

We stopped at the places you listed also. There are fruit stands at the side of the road - they are worth stopping at.

I suggest leaving as early as possible from Paia. If you are scared of heights or get motion sickness I would travel it clockwise as you are on the outside of the road (edge of cliff in many places) on the way back to Paia. As the guidebooks recommend, buy snacks, drinks before you go. There are places to eat closer to Hana. We had great fish n chips at the 6 miles to go marker.

We didnt drive back from Hana - as we were getting car sick so we continued to drive on (car rental companies dont allow this though). the road is rough in places but if you continue to get to see the other side of the island which is completely underdeveloped.

2. For sunset at Haleakala Crater, bring extra layers. when we were there, the temperature in Wailea was 90F and at the top of the crater it's 20-25F. if it's a clear night, stay on and watch the stars.

3. The trip round west maui is on par with the Road to Hana. We experienced huge rocks in the middle of the road but definitely worth if if you are a confidant driver.

Other things we did included snorkelling at the Molokini Crater and we visited the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm.
robyn1983 is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,309
Not a fan of the trip around west Maui, north of Kapalua. In addition to the very poor road conditions (and I don't scare easily), I found the overall landscape to be somewhat desolate, and not very scenic, by my standards.
I did have a bit of excitement when a steer charged me (bluff?), as I took his picture from a respectable distance. But I was right next to the car, into which I jumped, so no real danger.
I will not bother doing that drive again, as, to me, there are lots better things to do with your time on Maui.
And then there are the potential rental car insurance issues to consider.
kanunu is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,047
I did that trip (road around top of Maui) a number of years ago with my late husband and even though he was an excellent driver the road made me nervous.
Not only are there sections with no guardrails, but there are some hilly stretches where the road is only one lane. We were very lucky and did not encounter any oncoming traffic.
jamie99 is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 414
Here's a humorous account of one person's experience driving the northwest Maui coastal road: Note the title, then skip to the paragraph that begins, "Then we did something stupid..." I had thoughts about doing that drive once, but my wife forced me to turn around before Nakalele Blowhole even. We instead decided to walk the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which was enjoyable for the both of us. on the Slack Key show at Napili Kai though. Happy hour and sunset at the Sea House beforehand is nice too. And if the wait isn't too long, have a west-side lunch at Star Noodle.
FaceInTheCrowd is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2017, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,175
If it were me, and it has been many times, I'd shave 2 nights off of your first lodging and book a place in Hana for two nights to actually feel what Hana is all about. And your husband can sleep in. You can take a leisurely drive and provision up if you care to and have a full day in Hana and then take a leisurely drive back.

On the way back to the 4S, I would have lunch at Mama's. Same prices but I enjoy the light and colors. Last time I lunched there, a local couple on a more frugal budget had a great feast of soup and the Kalua Wild boar for $8 enjoyed with house bread, and iced tea.

We did the full loop once thru Hana, but prefer the road back and forth and usually only go to the church, which is plenty of one lane driving on a cliff.

We've done the full loop of the western drive, but usually go about half way to the gift shop on the hill, if it is still there and turn back. It can be dicey, if you find passing a one lane busload of schoolchildren passing you to be intimidating. Local road crews are always friendly in an intimidating drive. It certainly is not a drive for the timid.

HGS is great. We go often and always sit at the bar with Wendy and share the soup of the day and either one or two Sashimi Nepolean.
Inakauaidavidababy is online now  
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