Staying in Lahaina in June - what are your recommendations?
May 2, 2016 2:58 PM   Subscribe

We'll be there in early June, with access to a car, for about a week. Accommodations are sorted, but we'll be free for most of the days. This thread had lots of great recommendations, but I don't want to miss anything. Two adults in average shape, neither of us are SCUBA certified, but we might like snorkeling. Looking online has my head spinning.
posted by korej to Travel & Transportation around Maui, HI (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Pick up a copy of Maui Revealed from your library or bookstore. This is the best guide I've found for Maui and it has a discussion on Lahaina. I used it during both of my visits and was not disappointed. It will help you narrow down what you care about there.
posted by FireFountain at 3:10 PM on May 2, 2016

Best answer: Don't try to do too much! Pick a couple of things you really want to do and be sure to leave time for just hanging out and relaxing.

Ululani's for shave ice (get the snow cap and add a bunch of ling hing mui powder for a great sweet & sour treat).

Napili Bay is fun to spend some time at; if it's low tide you can check out the tidepools.

I like to go to farmer's markets and also the Maui swap meet.
posted by mogget at 3:48 PM on May 2, 2016

Best answer: Lahaina town itself is sort of interesting for its history, the little museum in the middle under the amazing banyan tree is worth half an hour. It's also crowded and full of traffic.

If you have the means to splurge, a helicopter tour is phenomenal. We took a Blue Hawaiian tour of the cliffs at Molokai and it was great.

Mama's Fish House is my #1 recommendation for dinner; it's touristy, but in a good way.

I'd skip the drive to Hana unless you really want to spend an entire day in the car with occasional stops for a swim in a waterfall pool. However if you do go, this audio guide for smartphones is really great. They also have a "all of Maui" thing which is 3 guided tours together.
posted by Nelson at 4:12 PM on May 2, 2016

Best answer: Definitely get Maui Revealed. A few basic things:

-Haleakala - sunset is easier than sunrise; but the park (and drive up to it) is cool during the daytime too
-Hiking - Lahaina Pali is my favorite hike on Maui; for a fun waterfall hike check out Bamboo Forest/Na'ili'ili haele (unless it's been raining a lot that week in Haiku).
-Road to Hana - it's best if you stay overnight in Hana so you can take your time getting there and back and making lots of stops for hiking
-I don't find Mama's Fish House to be worth the cost, though the location is nice and the food is tasty (if you do go, I recommend the fish curry). If you're doing one expensive meal, Lahaina Grill is a better choice.
-Top Chef's Sheldon Simeon just opened Tin Roof this month - I've heard it's pretty good.
-Consider a day trip to Lana'i, either on your own (ferry is $60 round trip; a Jeep rental is ~$100 for the day) or with a PWF snorkel or dolphin tour. Shipwreck Beach is really cool. Don't bring anything to Lana'i that you don't want covered in red dust.
-the best mai tais are at Monkeypod in Wailea; Fleetwoods in Lahaina has good cocktails and a decent happy hour with a great view.
-Maui Brewing Company - the new facility in Kihei is really nice and the beer is delicious.
-if you have a Costco membership, there's a Costco conveniently located right next to the airport for purchasing cheaper booze and snacks on your arrival.

Driving between towns here takes a long time, plan your days based on where on the island you want to be that day, rather than trying to schlep all over in the same day.

Depending on when you'll be there in June, there may be a Maui MeFi meetup! There are a couple of us who live on island and another mefite visiting in mid-June, so we're trying to make it happen. Keep an eye on IRL (I haven't posted anything yet, but plan to do so soon) or memail me!
posted by melissasaurus at 5:18 PM on May 2, 2016

Best answer: If you have a car, you have access to the full island. As others have said, the book is a very, very, very good idea.

Go nearly anywhere on the island and hike for awesome sights and great hiking. Snorkeling is very worthwhile, and the tour groups you can take will take you to some awesome places.

Drive around West Maui Mountain! Stop, see, hike, take photos.

Haleakala has lots of great hikes, and there's a lot of other stuff in the area in addition to the main stuff at the top and bottom. Road to Hana is chock full of great stuff on the way.
posted by Strudel at 8:28 PM on May 2, 2016

Best answer: If you want to see a luau, Old Lahaina Luau is good (you'll need to buy your tickets way in advance). Aloha Mixed Plate (located next door, owned by the same people) is excellent; same with Star Noodle, but you really need a reservation there.

When exploring downtown Lahaina, you can park at The Outlets of Maui; when you're ready to leave, buy something at the ABC Store and ask them to validate your parking.

Crazy Shirts has fun shirts, shorts, pants, etc.; there are several locations, and they all have slightly different stock. There's one in the Lahaina Cannery Mall (which is kind of underwhelming otherwise), and at the Whaler's Village (which has a bunch of high-end shops).

If you like beer, definitely visit the Maui Brewing Co. brewpub in the Kahana Gateway Shopping Center. Their lunches are really great, too. (Make sure your directions take you to the brewpub; I made the mistake of driving halfway to their facility in Kihei before realizing I'd picked the wrong Google result.)

The Nakalele Blowhole isn't far from Lahaina, and the drive is only marginally harder than the drive up Haleakalā. Be sure to heed the warnings about the hike; take a big bottle of water with you, and don't leave valuables in your car.

I'd definitely recommend going up Haleakalā even if you don't want to do a sunrise or sunset visit.

There's a really good Filipino restaurant close to the airport called Bistro Manila; it looks sketchy as hell from the outside, but inside it's nice, and the staff is lovely.
posted by neushoorn at 12:12 AM on May 3, 2016

Best answer: Nthing Aloha Mixed Plate, Ululani's, and especially Star Noodle. We ended up eating at SN three times and still have dishes we want to try next time.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:06 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you do the Road to Hana (which I recommend) definitely stop at the lava tube and black sand beach along the way. The Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls is one of the coolest short-ish hikes you'll ever do. It's extra money, but Kihei Rent a Car will rent you a Jeep that you can use to go all the way around the Road to Hana, where you would normally need to backtrack a very long way at 'O'he'o Gulch. WELL worth the $60 bucks. Leave for Road to Hana before the sun comes up. You'll avoid a LOT of slow, annoying traffic, and you'll actually be able to pull over to see the waterfalls. Remember that there's nothing actually in Hana. It's very much the journey and not the destination.

Haleakala is a must-do, though we skipped sunrise and sunset, and just hiked there. Make sure to hit the viewpoints along the way.

I enjoyed the boat trip to Molokini. It was much better than the cynical things I had read. Definitely take ginger pills/bonine/dramamine if you're at all prone to seasickness. They sometimes don't have that many pills on the boat. We bought them and gave all the ones we didn't use away, but some people got stuck.

100% recommend Mama's Fish House. Love that place. I like the Wailea beaches much better than the ones in Kaanapali. They tend to be far less crowded, and many have snorkeling spots right off the beach.
posted by cnc at 10:03 PM on May 3, 2016

Response by poster: Thank you all!
posted by korej at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2016

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