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Maui and Kauai things to do advise

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Nov 2nd, 2012, 04:57 PM
  #1
JNE
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Maui and Kauai things to do advise

We have our flight and hotels and now we need an itinerary. We are staying at the Honua Kai but will have a car to get around.

Can anyone tell me what companies to use for the following:
Snorkeling: (is molokini a must or not) advise on which tour for adults and young adults
Surfing lessons:
Luau:
Mopeds rentals?
Also looking for advise on DIY exploring with young adults. Where to go... what to see?
Where to eat?
Thinking of spending our last day and night in Paia to be near the airport for an early flight.

In Kauai we are staying at the Grand Hyatt:
Suggestions on Helicopter tours?
Other tour suggestions?
Should we visit Princeville and if so, where to go and where to eat?
Any must sees on Kauai?

Thanks so much!!
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 06:55 AM
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Hi JNE
I cant answer all your questions, but just to get this back on top of the list
1) Molokini is not a must, it hasnt recovered from a storm several years back - Lanai or just the great spots on Maui are better alternatives
2) Im not crazy about Luaus
3) never did a moped
4) Haleakla is a must, as is Hana
5) moving for a night in Paia is probably a waste of time
6) Blue hawaiian tours
7) Princeville is a must, have lunch @ Makana in the St Regis
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 07:15 AM
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Mopeds are dangerous.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Staying near Paia is not a very smart idea.

I dont see the need for an itinerary or paid activities of any sort. Many times I've been to Maui or Kauai and just enjoyed the beaches, the snorkeling, the views, the dining, the shopping. Seeing how heavily Haleakala and Hana are pushed on travel forums makes me cringe realizing there are probably 20,000 tourists a week trying to see those "must-do" sights. Substantially reduces the experience crammed wall to wall with tourists.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Definitely drive up to the North Shore, all the way to the end of the road at Ke'e Beach. Lots of cute shops and restaurants in Hanalei, I liked Hanalei Gourmet last time, Kalypso's is nice also. St. Regis charges way too much money, $12 for a glass of wine! You will love the Hyatt.

Possibly consider a boat tour of the Na Pali coast, lots of them leave from Port Allen, a short drive from Poipu. I have gone with both Captain Andy and Holo Holo, both are excellent. Captain Andy has a new boat, the Southern Star, which is getting rave reviews. Jack Harter has good helicopter tours or look at Wings over Kauai, fixed wing plane that costs less than the heli. Have a great trip.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 12:32 PM
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No point moving to Paia. (How early is your flight, anyway?) You're unlikely to be trapped in West Maui by a brush fire, and the commuter traffic will be coming in, not going out. If this is a big concern, book a hotel in South Maui -- 20 minutes from Kahului.

Skip mopeds. No safe place to use them.

Surfing lessons offered all over the beaches.

You can snorkel from shore at many beaches. If you want Molokini, book only the first boat out. Snorkels to Lanai are fun. Consider Blue Water Rafting.

Road to Hana? Haleakala? Iao Valley? Ziplining? (How long do you have on Maui?)
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 12:35 PM
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No point moving to Paia. (How early is your flight, anyway?) You're unlikely to be trapped in West Maui by a brush fire, and the commuter traffic will be driving north, not south. If this is a big concern, book a hotel in South Maui -- 20 minutes from Kahului. (Day's Inn, Maui Coast Hotel.)

Skip mopeds. No safe place to use them.

Surfing lessons offered all over the beaches.

You can snorkel from shore at many beaches. If you want Molokini, book only the first boat out, before the crowds. Snorkels to Lanai are another option. Consider Blue Water Rafting.

Road to Hana? Haleakala? Iao Valley? Ziplining? (How long do you have on Maui?)
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 02:14 PM
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We were on Maui last month - didn't do many "activities", but did drive through upcountry and up to the top of Haleakala (we actually hiked into the crater) and didn't even see 50 people, let alone 20,000! Same for Makena (we enjoyed the beautiful beach and driving through the lava fields). I walked from the Marriott on Kaanapali Beach up to Honua Kai (great walk just over 5 miles round-trip) and saw people taking surfing lessons - it might have been in front of the Westin Villas which are right next to Honua Kai. By the way, Honua Kai looks beautiful from the outside - nice pools, too. There's a very good breakfast place a little north in Napili (the Gazebo - long line but good food). We also had great French toast at Kihei cafe.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 05:38 PM
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I would recommend these activities on Maui:

- Haleakala for sunrise or sunset. explore upcountry while you are there, visit the Surfing Goat Dairy, the winery, the lavender farm, and explore the town of Makawao.

- Road to Hana. Driving past Hana will get you to the Oheo Gulch (seven sacred pools) for some awesome nature, swimming, and hiking.

- Ziplining was fun, I used skyline eco adventures but there are many companies.

- the snorkeling by black rock beach in front of the sheraton black rock was amazing.

- there are great restaurants all over the island. I have a yelp list of reviews that may be helpful: http://www.yelp.com/list/maui-wowee-...isited-maalaea

Kauai:

- If there was one island I recommend taking a helicopter tour of it's Kauai. The napali coast was stunning from the air. We used Blue Hawaiian helicopters but next time I may try one of those "doors off" rides for some extra adventure.

- Poipu is lovely but yes I wouldn't miss Hanalei and Princeville. It had a really nice old town Hawaii vibe. Loved it. In poipu I'd also visit Sueoka General Store and try some Hawaiian local eats from the take out window.

- A visit to Waimea canyon is beautiful

- The Kauai coffee company was a nice visit if you like coffee.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 06:12 PM
  #10
JNE
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Great ideas and advise....Thanks so much!!!
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 06:22 PM
  #11
JNE
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Questions about Paia...
Some say not to move to an airport by Paia but we were planning on spending the last afternoon there shopping, watching surfers and having dinner. Then going to the courtyard marriot by the airport so we are closer for our 8am flight. Someone said that my daughter's might really like Paia. The other thought was to spend that last day going to Hana and Oheo Gulch and then to the courtyard. Any thoughts on this?
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 06:58 PM
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When you drive the road to Hana, Paia is sort of the "entry point" so you'll be passing it going there and back. We did do the Road to Hana early in the morning, stopped at Oheo Gulch for a bit, and got back to Paia at around 4pm. We were definitely tired though after our drive, so didn't do too much exploring in Paia, but it is a wonderful surfer-vibe town, and Mama's Fish House is not to be missed. It would be up to you when you want to do Paia. I don't think it's a bad idea to stay there overnight if you really just want to stay locally. You can spend the day in Paia and have dinner at Mama's on your last night. You will definitely be full so you may not mind the short drive to the courtyard.

I wouldn't save Road to Hana for your last day in case the weather is less than favorable and driving wouldn't be so fun (or safe!).

Enjoy!
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Nov 4th, 2012, 03:42 AM
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JNE
Since all the flights back to the States are late afternoon/evening, I cant speak for spending that last night near the airport for an early flight. But I can say if you go that route, when you check out of the HK drop off your luggage at the Marriott on the way as you will be very uncomfortable leaving your valuables in the car during your stops in Hana, Paia, OG or hiking to waterfalls along the way
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Nov 4th, 2012, 05:54 AM
  #14
JNE
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Our flight is actually just to Kauai that morning for a few days. Great idea about leaving our luggage first...hadn't thought of that.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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The Honua Kai is beautiful both inside and outside, you will love it. And the snorkeling between it and the Westin Villas is great!

We enjoyed the Road to Hana and a visit to Iao Valley.

For a luau that you might all enjoy, I would suggest the Drums of the Pacific at the Hyatt. The dancers are so talented, and the fire dancer was amazing to watch.

For breakfast, the Castaway Cafe is a short walk down the beach from Honua Kai, and it has wonderful macadamia nut pancakes and a gorgeous view. Duke's at Honua Kai is great for any meal, with live music in the evenings. You will need a reservation for dinner.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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We were in Kauai last month

For a Napali Coast ride www.liko-kauai.com/

For the Kayak and hike to secret falls - some reviews say this is strenuous but it wasn't for this 63 yr old
http://kauaiwailuakayak.com/SecFall.html

For tubing down the irrigation canals
www.kauaibackcountry.com/
It's a little expensive but we really enjoyed it

Waimea Canyon is a nice trip.

We met a couple who hiked the first 2 miles into the Napali (from the north) and they really enjoyed it.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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I just got back from Maui yesterday. We like to take rides so this time we drove over the top of the island. It is a beautiful trip although I did yell "slow down" at my husband several times. It is a one lane, cliff hugging road with lots of hairpin curves! It rivals the road to Hana.
We stay in Makena so we always drive through the lava flow at La Perouse.
If you take the road to Hana I vote for going all the way around. I enjoyed the scenery past Hana as much as the road to Hana.
We like Makawao and usually have a meal at the steakhouse.
Have a great trip!
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Nov 4th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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On Maui we used the Pacific Whale Foundation for snorkel and whale watching trip- thought they did a great job. We had booked a Molokini snorkel trip but was too windy so they took us to Shark Fin Cove off the coast of Lanai instead and it was great. We were the only boat there and the snorkeling was very good- I would suggest a trip there if possible.

Merrimans restaurant on Maui is a beautiful spot- its quite expensive but the views are fabulous- and we just went for happy hour instead of dinner. The whales were putting on quite a display when we were there.

I liked Kimo's restaurant in Lahaina for happy hour/dinner as well.

I think Paia is a cute little town - we stopped there to get a lunch to go before heading up Haleakala -

I do not recommend the drive from Hana through the West Maui Mtn range- its one of the most hair raising rides I have ever done.

We attended church one Sunday in Lahaina- one of the oldest Hawaiian churches in existence.
Music was a piano, ukelele and guitar- hymns were in Hawaiian as well as some of the prayers, responses etc. Everyone was very welcoming, there is a lunch in the church hall afterwards with lots of traditional Hawaiian food-

Next door is a historic cemetery where many of the old missionaries are buried as well as Hawaiian royalty- its pretty interesting. I don't usually attend church when I am on vacation but have to say it was a very pleasant experience.

Enjoy- love Maui
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Nov 4th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Sunbum,
Pacific Whale Foundation had a reputation of doing the opposite of your recent experience. In years past I have heard many cases where people book trips on windy days, PWF makes an 'attempt' towards the channel before canceling due to wind with no refunds offered


Its good to hear they have changed their ways
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Nov 4th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Interesting Frank- not our experience for sure!

I also enjoyed whale watching with them- but then, I don't have anything to compare to as they are the only ones we used.
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