Maui Trip Report

Old Jun 8th, 2003, 06:29 AM
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Maui Trip Report

Part 1:
My husband and I just returned from Maui (I wish I was still there!). We had a wonderful time, and I thought I?d share some of our experiences to help others trying to plan a vacation in Maui. Just so you know, my husband and I are in our late 20?s, are pretty active, and have no kids.

The biggest advice I can give is to go buy the book Maui Revealed. This book was our bible while on vacation. It is extremely well written and contains so much information that we would never have seen elsewhere.

We stayed at the Kea Lani in Wailea. I like the fact that all rooms there are suites; more room to stretch out. We upgraded to an ocean view room, which was worth it.


Sunrise at Haleakala: We drove up to Haleakala on the first full day we spent in Hawaii since we knew we would be waking up early anyway due to jet lag. However, I don?t know if we would have naturally woken up at 2:30am. The sunrise at the summit was beautiful. We also hiked a little (didn?t go the whole way) on the Sliding Sands trail, which heads into the crater. We didn?t do the bike tour, and I?m glad we didn?t. I?m not he best on a bike, and the riders had to ride a small 2-lane highway with no bike lane while dodging cars. Plus, if we had done the bike ride, we wouldn?t have had time to hike around the national park.

Snorkel Trip: We booked the Ocean Odyssey with the Pacific Whale Foundation which was the Molokini and Lanai snorkel/dolphin eco-adventure (or something like that). We go really luck because there were only 26 of us on a boat that usually holds 100 or so passengers. The staff didn?t know why the boat was so empty, but we didn?t mind, more room for us to get comfortable. The snorkeling (2 spots) was pretty good, but since we are from Florida and have snorkeled often we are somewhat spoiled. The best part of this activity was when a pod (around 100) of wild spotted dolphins swam up to and around our boat.

Road to Hana: I know that there is much debate on these message boards about the road to Hana and whether it is worth it. After doing the drive, I don?t understand the debate. This was the best thing we did on the island. We used Maui Revealed as our guide on the journey and went to Ching?s Pond, Blue Pool, Nahiku Road, black sand beach, red sand beach, Venus Pool, Infinity Pool, 7 Sacred Pools and many waterfalls. To get to these locations, you have to be willing to get out of your car and hike. If all you are doing is driving straight through without ever stopping to look around, I can understand why you?d be disappointed.

We drove all the way around in a convertible; it was bumpy, but easily doable. By driving the whole way around you get to see 2 very different terrains-- the lush side to Hana and the desert-like climate south of Haleakala.

West Maui Mountains: We drove the circle around the West Maui Mountains and saw the Nakalele Blowhole, Olivine Pools, Mushroom Rock. While this was worth the drive, we should have done this trip before we did the road to Hana, since the road to Hana is so much more impressive.

Snorkeling at La Perouse Bay: Unfortunately, we saved this activity for our last day on Maui which turned out to be really windy. There were huge waves here, so we didn?t get to snorkel here. Instead we went a little farther north to Fishbowl. We had to hike about 30 min. from the road to get here. Again, snorkeling was pretty good. The only downside was that the water was cloudy from the rough seas. Despite the cloudiness of the water, we saw many varieties of fish and even an eel.
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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Part 2:
Shows, Restaurants, Etc.:

Old Lahaina Luau: Ok, I can?t really comment on the food since I don?t eat seafood or Pork, but everyone seemed to be enjoying his or her meals. The show was very entertaining and very well done. No, there were no fire dancers, but that is because fire dancing is not a Hawaiian tradition. I have read that some people felt like cattle at this Luau, which I can understand, but what do you expect at a show that holds a large number of audience members? Anyway, I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn?t do a luau again if (when?) I go back to Hawaii.

Warren and Annabelle?s: At fist when we heard about this show, my husband and I thought, are you kidding, we?re not going to waste our time seeing a magic show while on vacation. However, Maui Revealed raved about it, and since they were dead on about everything else, we thought we?d give it a try. The fist hour when you are sitting in Annabelle?s Piano parlor was horribly cheesy. We were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. However, once the magic show began we knew why the show had gotten such good raves. Warren did many tricks that still have me wondering how did he do that? Also, he was funny and interacted with the audience the whole time. We were one of the couples picked to sit in the front row, which made it even more memorable since we got to participate in some of he tricks.

Sarento?s on the Beach: This restaurant in Kihei was where we had dinner on our last night, and all I can say is wow. The food was amazing as was the service and the views from our table. My filet was so tender and delicious, I think it was truly the best steak I have ever had. I have nothing but good things to say about this place.

Safeway: Local supermarket on Maui. You can apply online for a Safeway discount card before you arrive. We bought bagels and Pop Tarts for breakfast in our room, and before the Road to Hana, we stopped and got custom deli sandwiches, chips and a Styrofoam cooler for our picnic lunch.

Please feel free to post any questions you have. I?m still loopy from the travel back to the east coast, and I may have left something out.
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 06:36 AM
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Sorry, I don't know why it changed all my ' to ? .
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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Thanks for posting your trip report, it sounds like you did many of the activities my husband and I are planning for next month.

I am very interested to hear about your hike down Sliding Sands. How far did you go and how long did it take you? I've heard it's a rough hike back up due to the elevation. We'd like to hike down about 2 miles, but don't want to be exhausted on our first day in Maui! Not sure if the jet lag will contribute to our ability to hike, what do you think?

For Warren & Annabelle's, did you pre-book the tickets or did you purchase them in Maui? I'm hesitant to prebook because I don't know what night we will want to attend. However, I don't want to miss out if they are sold out.

Road to Hana-About what time did you leave, and what time did you return to Wailea? We also plan to stop off at the sights described in Maui Revealed-some posters here mentioned that you shouldn't go all the way around if it starts getting dark. Just looking for an indication of how long it took for you to complete the journey.

Sounds like you had a great trip (due to smart planning, right?!)
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 07:35 AM
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great report. I will be in Maui in one week and, hopefully, everything will go as well as your trip.

I kept debating about where to go for our special meal and you helped me solidify Sarento's as the place.
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 04:39 PM
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How did you cook pop-tarts in your room?
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 05:37 PM
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Tasha440: We didn't hike very far on Sliding Sands. There weren't any markers to tell how far you had gone, so I'm not sure of the distance we walked. Going downhill was easy, but uphill was really tiring. You could really feel the difference in elevation. Make sure to bring lots of water. We were starving after all the hiking and on our drive down Haleakala we stopped for breakfast at the Kula Lodge. Good food and great view.

We booked our tickets to Warren and Annabelle's after we arrived on Maui, 3 days before the show. I don't know if anyone purchased tickets on the day of the show, but it was sold out.

We left for the Road to Hana at 8am. We probably should have left earlier but it was a vacation and we felt like snoozing. On our way aound the bottom of the island it was dark, we just drove slowly and had our high beams on. The only thing we really had to watch out for was cows. They really were right next to the road. We didn't think much of the cow crossing sign unitl we noticed one staring right at us not more than 2 feet from the side of the car. We got back to our hotel a little after 9pm.

islandmom: Our room had a microwave, so we could have heated them up, but just ate them uncooked. I think they're just as good that way.
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 06:28 PM
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SRJ-- Great report, sounds like a lot of the stuff we plan on doing when we go in mid-July. I'm curious what the Hana hwy waterfall flows were like--heavy, light? Also, was the infinity pool easy to get to (I have Maui Revealed)? How were the Maui Revealed book's directions in general?

How crowded did you find places like the blowhole, olivine pools, and the places you mentioned on the Hana Hwy?


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Old Jun 9th, 2003, 12:09 PM
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Most of the waterfalls we went to were running low. People from the northwest weren't too impressed, but being from Florida I don't see waterfalls very often so I still thought they were beautiful.

The directions in Maui revealed were very good. A couple of times we missed something and had to turn around, but that was mostly because we weren't paying close enough attention to the mile markers. The infinity pool was easy to find, as the trail was clearly marked. You have to hike about 3/4 of a mile to get there, but it was an easy hike.

There were other people at all of the Hana Highway sights, but the only place I would call crowded was the seven sacred pools.

The West Maui sights such as the blowhole and Olivine Pools were pretty much empty. We saw 1 other group (they had Maui Revealed too) leaving the blowhole as we were walking towards it. That was the only time that day we saw other tourists.

Let me know if you have other questions.

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Old Jun 9th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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How was the footing for the various hikes you went on. I love hiking, but I have a crappy knee and use a hiking pole. Trying to decide if I should bring it with me or not.


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Old Jun 9th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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Susan, glad you and your husband had a great time! I think we were twin husband and I are in our late 20s, active (no kids), just returned from maui and kauai and did much of the same...loved the road to hana and haleakala sunrise (without the bikes ;-))

we've been home for just over a week and I'm SO ready to go

Bogart's mom
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Old Jun 9th, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Susan, that was a terrific report which I'm sure will be very helpful to others. Glad to hear you had a great time and sorry you had to return. Your experiences at Haleakala and the Road to Hana mirror my own, so I'm glad I'm not the only crazy fool who seems to have enjoyed some hiking during both. Most of all, thank you for allowing me to recall all my fond memories of Maui through your own experiences.

Did you enjoy some restaurants other than Sarento's? Dying to hear your opinions!
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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The only places I can remember as having tricky footing are as follows:

(Road to Hana)
Three Bears Waterfall: A bad beginning step down, but after that all was fine.

(West Maui Mountains)
Mushroom Rock: Somewhat unstable, rock terrain.

Walk to Olivine Pools: If you have a bad knee, I would skip this one. It was the most difficult.

Good luck!

Bogart's Mom,
If it weren't for the dog quarantine policy (Jaffe's mom) and the loads of cash needed to live there, My husband and I would move to Maui in a heartbeat. Needless to say, I am VERY ready to go back.

Sarento's was the only "nice" restaurant we went to. Most of the other upscale places are seafood oriented, which neither my husband nor I like. Some of the other places we ate were Cheeseburger in Paradise (pretty good value, great French fries), Tommy Bahama's Cafe (decent food, but nothing special), Lealani's downstairs (pretty good food, but great view), Peggy Sue's (good burgers, not so good fries, the shakes looked great, but we didn't have one), Maui Taco (pretty good, fast Mexican food) and Kula Lodge (the breakfast was great, as was the view)


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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 04:02 AM
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Susan, we said the exact same thing. I did talk to a woman on Kauai that had just moved with her husband and dog from NYC...she said that if you do some preliminary testing that the quarantine is only 1 month as opossed to 3. She also said that the facilities on Kauai were very nice...and she could visit her fur baby every day.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 08:55 AM
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Susan, great trip report! We are going to Hawaii, Maui, Kauai & Oahu next March. Maui Revealed sounds like a great source, but does anyone know of a comprehensive book on all of the major islands, so we don't have to buy one on each? Also, what is the cheapest way to buy inter-island air tickets, buy them once you get there, or would a package deal incl with flight from US be best? thanks for any tips.
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