Travel Koncierge Maui Guide Page One
Updated 7 October 2010
Welcome to the Kiddie Koncierge™ Travel
Koncierge for Maui!
It seems a little silly to provide activity recommendations for
Maui since the kids will be delighted to play at the beach or
pool until they are crispy. Still, there is a lot to take in there on
the days when you want to minimize their UV absorption.
Maui can be broken into about five general areas:
- South West Maui (Kaanapali, Kapalua)
- The Isthmus (from Kahalui to Kihei)
- The Resort Area (Kihei/Wailea/Makena)
- Up Country (Makawao, Haleakala, etc.)
- North Shore (catch all goes from Northwest Maui past
Kahalui all the way East to Hana)
There are a few things to keep in mind when there:
- Hawaii is a very family friendly place and kids are
welcome most anywhere although the fancier places are
getting less so.
- Mauka is towards the mountains, and Makai is towards
- Rain comes and goes. Occasionally, you will get a
storm with persistent rain, but mostly it blows over before too
- Drive time is nasty. Try to avoid it.
- Be smart about your valuables. Even though people are
nice, there is still petty theft and no need to ruin your vacation
with a loss.
- Be smart about the ocean. Respect the ocean and
respect the surf. Many visitors have to be medevac’d
because they ignore warnings or get arrogant about their
ability to handle high surf and currents. People die regularly
don’t take a chance with yourself or your family.
Hawaii is blessed with a myriad of travel options. A lot of
airlines from United, American, etc. offer direct, non-stop
flights from the Mainland. When booking travel, think also of
considering the Fly-drive or Fly-drive-stay packages available
through Expedia or Travelocity or Costco. Often you can get
better rental car rates and competitive air fares. We have
also found Costco and AAA to be GREAT sources for car
Good to know: almost every car rental agency can rent you a
car seat in case you do not wish to fly with yours (it is just one
more thing to carry). Also, we brought a stroller even though
our child was perfectly able to walk because it was a handy
way to schlep things through the airport including the child.
Finally, milk is exempt from the TSA carryon restrictions.
Also good to know: Maui is very compact and getting from
point to point is generally very quick (with the exception of
going to Hana or going around the West Maui point clockwise
to Kahalui – those drives are longer and worth taking at a
If you are reading this, you have children, so I will dispense
with the “if you have a child” beginning to every sentence. For
lodging, we found that hotel rooms are too small for three
people – even with two beds. If you have more than one
child, you can do the math. Getting more than one room is
expensive and then there is the issue of a 2 year-old being
left alone in a strange room. Our solution: suites or vacation
rentals. Hawaii has a surfeit of both. Even if it means one
bedroom with a living room, it beats a hotel room hands
down. The benefits: two bedroom equivalent, privacy for you
and your spouse, and usually a kitchen with a fridge.
Second, probably to Honolulu, Maui has the most developed
tourist infrastructure of the islands. Infrastructure means
ease of getting around, finding good accommodations at all
price points, and good dining options, but mostly, very family
friendly. Supermarkets are everywhere so finding staples to
bring back to your condo or hotel is very easy. Only caveat to
that is if you are staying in Wailea or Lahaina/Kaanapali.
Those places are largely tourist oriented, so keep an eye
peeled as you drive in for the nearest shopping center for
groceries. For Wailea, that would be Kihei, and for
Kaanapali, that would be Lahaina.
It pays to spend a little time on the Maui Visitors Bureau
Website which is uncommonly decent and comprehensive
with its information. http://www.visitmaui.com/
Good to Know If you are traveling with small children, often
times it pays to look into equipment rental agencies. In the
past we had warned readers about the Maui franchise of
www.babysaway.com because of poor service and high
prices (see below). A reader has suggested instead Akamai
Mother's Rentals (www.akamaimothers.com). You call
them and tell them what you need: crib, stroller, car seat,
toys, whatever. They deliver to your hotel or condo promptly
and pick up afterwards. The equipment is clean and
practically new. Sure as heck beats bringing your own stuff.
Note on Babies Away: each locale has its own contractors,
so service can vary. Widely. I know that when we went to
Maui , the service sucked. A reader recently reported that they
were unhelpful and that they charged a high delivery charge.
They no-showed for us and then tried to charge us. A quick
call to our credit card company fixed that. Oahu's franchisee,
on the other hand was absolutely perfect: helpful, nice, and
Check out this website for all your beach needs http://www.
visitmaui.com/beaches.html Generally, South and West Maui
have the best swimming beaches, although the other parts of
the island can be good as well. You just need to be more
aware of the ocean conditions. In general, respect the water
as the ocean can be very powerful and unpredictable.
Baby Beach Lahaina. Located in North Lahaina on Kai Pali
Street just off of Front Street, this beach is so named
because of its calm waters.
Baldwin Beach Park in Paia (North Shore on the road to
Hana) has gorgeous beaches but also has a kid-friendly
beach with a lagoon.
DT Fleming Beach Park. (West Maui, near Kapalua) Named
“America’s Best Beach in 2006”. Still, it is a beautiful beach
near Kapalua. Lifeguards on duty and restrooms. Also worth
checking out Old Fleming Beach. We prefer the older beach
as it is a little less traveled.
Hana has a special place in our hearts. First, if you survive
the drive, it rewards you with a lush paradise. The beaches
here need to be carefully watched as the conditions can be
rough. Hamoa and Hana Beach are both breathtaking and
transport you to a different world. Seven Sacred Pools is
nearby but again, enjoy it all with caution as tourists regularly
meet their demise here due to carelessness or a poor
understanding of the dangers.
Kama‘ole Beach Parks I, II and III – Kihei – You can hit any of
these beaches from anywhere in Kihei. There is a great
playground at Kama'ole I and a smaller playground at
Kama'ole III. Even though there is a beach right there, there
is something about playground equipment that gets the kids
Makena Beach. Drive past Wailea and keep going. Once
you pass the Four Seasons, the condos start to fall away and
the beach opens up amidst multi-million dollar estates. Still
beach access is good and the sand beautiful. Surf here is a
little rougher. Maluaka Beach also in Makena is a little better
for swimming and snorkeling.
We like two outfitters, Maui Dive Shop and Snorkel Bob’s.
They offer reasonable rentals, good guides, and a bunch of
boat-based snorkeling tours to Molokini and other ocean
preserves. It pays to go with a reputable operator. They are
knowledgeable, safe, and respect the ocean. Good
snorkeling spots include Baby Beach (see above), Black
Rock (north end of Kaanapali Beach by the Sheraton), Mile
Marker 14 (just south of Olowalu), Kapalua Bay, Honolua Bay,
Makena Landing, and Molokini atoll (call the shops for tours).
Snorkel Bob: http://www.snorkelbob.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.
L+scstore+ddpw0155ff53c553+1214159621 Yes, he does
everything else too.
Maui Dive Shop http://www.mauidiveshop.com/
South West Maui (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua)
South West Maui is rife with activities and places to stay.
Since this area is well documented as far as
accommodations, I will, instead focus on a few activities and
dining options that are worth the visit. Lahaina is a tourist
trap, so largely, I advise visitors to steer clear with a few
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