West Maui or South Maui

Apr 1st, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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West Maui or South Maui

So we have decided on Maui as our island of choice. Now we cannot decide where to stay, West Maui or South Maui (it isn't exactly "south" but that is what I keep seeing it called). If we stay in South, are we going to be a long ways away from everything? How long does it take to drive from South to West? I found a less expensive condo in South but do not want to have to spend a bunch of time driving to west everyday for activities. Any help would be much appreciated.
michellegreer is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 05:29 AM
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By "south" I think you mean Kihei, Wailea, or Makena? Everything you need is right there (beaches, snorkeling, restaurants, shopping, even Safeway); you would only be driving "west" (north) for a visit to Lahaina (a day trip?) or maybe for a snorkeling excusion to Honolua Bay. No way would you be driving somewhere west everyday for "activities." RElax and enjoy!
sylvia3 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:14 AM
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A less expensive condo has to be in Kihei. Not one of the most desireable areas of Maui, but it works for many people. Plus side: Close to long beaches (maybe even across the street), less expensive, lots of eateries, grocery store.
Negatives: Crowded, noisy, lots of traffic, some condos quite well-worn.

What activities are you planning on doing?
Marginal is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:44 AM
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I really enjoyed the town of Lahaina. So for me, going again, I'd pick a place so I'd be walking distance to town there. But that's a totally personal choice.

suze is online now  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:57 AM
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West Maui is rainier, windier, chillier in winter, but nicer than West Maui in summer (less heat). There is more going on in Lahaina/Kaanapali than the Wailea area. If you check out West Maui, watch out for high winds in the Maalea/North Kehei area--the trade winds funnel between the mountains to that area.
xkenx is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Those who live on Maui favor East Maui. Although the entire island is already overrun, you can still find spots on East Maui that are laid-back and not so commercial. If nothing else, the beaches on East Maui are less crowded, and you can still go naked at Makena.

West Maui is more of a tourist trap. But, like suze said, Lahaina is in West Maui, and you're probably going to want to see Lahaina. You're also going to want to see Hana, the 7 sacred pools, Iao Valley, Haleakala, and upcountry Maui (Paia, Makawau and Kula), all of which are either on East Maui or more accessible from East Maui.

In my opinion, you're going to be doing more driving FROM Lahaina-side than you would be if you were staying in the east. More of the true essence of Hawai'i is available on the east lobe.

Even if it meant staying in a cheap condo in Kihei, my choice would be for East Maui. "Maui No Ka'Oi!" ("Maui is da bes!")
Ladyhawk is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 08:36 AM
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I really screwed up my previous reply--sorry. I should have said South Maui hotter in summer, and the windy area around Maalea/No.Kehei is South Maui.
xkenx is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 08:39 AM
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West Maui is more of a tourist trap.

We tourists prefer to call it "more of a tourist-oriented area"
Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:23 AM
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Makena is south maui, not east maui, and I still have never seen naked people, even on Little Beach! East Maui would be Hana, quite a drive, and usually rainy. Nothing mentioned, except the Ohe'o gulch (7 pools), is more accessible from Hana.
So, the best sun/snorkel beaches are on the west side of the island. North (west side)would be Lahaina and Kaanaapali, and south (west side) would be Kihea, Wailea, Makena.
Io Needle is in the center of the valley (valley isle, after all), and fairly easily doable from anywhere (but Hana). Haleaka and upscountry are slightly easier to drive to from the Kihei area, but not much farther than from the north west side resorts.
Kahului (airport, costco, K-mart) is closer to the road to Hana, Haleakala, upscountry, etc., but you won't be staying there.
sylvia3 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 02:57 PM
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I like Lahaina - but honestly I'll take the west side or the south side, they both are beautiful. The west side has more rain then the south side. There's some great sugar canes in Lahaina as well, you might want to look into a tour that brings you to the sugar canes? There's also some great helicopter tours on west Maui. Front street in Lahaina is great, tons to see, places to eat, shops. Here is a pretty good site to help you. Have fun I wish I was going.http://www.123world.com/maui/maui-attractions.php
Travelattorney45 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 03:21 PM
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Any place you stay will be wonderful. For most all the activities (Haleakala, Iao Needle, Hana Highway), the drive is about equidistant from west or south Maui.

For a first time, I think I might recommend west Maui, just so that getting to/from Lahaina for restaurants/galleries/luaus/shopping/boat trips is not as long a drive as from south Maui.

The beaches along Kihei are just as nice as west Maui, and you are closer to the great snorkeling at Makena. However, there is great snorkeling on the west side, too.

If you have to drive to Lahaina a couple of times in your week there, you might regret being in south Maui. Personally, I only stay in south Maui now because of the beautiful beaches, calm atmosphere, and great snorkeling. But I've done the Lahaina thing. For a first-time visitor, Lahaina is worth it.
Marginal is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 04:33 PM
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Wow, everyone has been so helpful!!! Thank you so much for your responses!!!
michellegreer is offline  
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