While I fully admit I am not a travel or Maui expert, I did just get back to Portland, OR and I figured my experiences were worth sharing. First off, if you haven’t flown Hawaiian Air
, you are missing out! As flying has become more and more tedious, I think Hawaiian Air has done the best at keeping up their customer service. They have direct flights to and from Portland, OR’s PDX
daily. The flight I took out leaves at 8:45am and gets into Maui at 11:35am. Not too shabby. The flight back leaves around 2pm and gets back to PDX around 9:30pm. Round trip flights to and from Maui range from about $260-$400 depending on the time of year.
After arrival I went to the Enterprise counter, which I had lined up previously through hotwire.com
, and got an upgraded Ford Taurus fairly inexpensively, about $100 for 5 days. I have to say, it’s been a long time since I have driven a Ford, but this car was actually really nice! It had leather, power everything, a sun roof, and was just an all around comfortable car. I would even consider buying one if I was in the market for a car!
Here is why the rental car is key. When I arrived in Maui, it was absolutely pouring rain and blowing like a monsoon. However because of the geography of the islands, it can be cloudy, wet, and windy on one side of the island, and sunny and 85 on the other. If you have a car, you just drive to the sun! That being said, if you are going to go there in winter I suggest going south and west. Lahina is a great little town on the west coast of the island and Kihei and Makena are on the south side of the island. Depending on where the sun is, I would check out any or all of the above. While it is neither south or west, I really liked Paia as well.
Ok, here are the must see places while you’re there:
• The Jewelry Stand Maui: This place has great gifts for all of your loved ones and is hand made on Maui. Plus the people that run the stand are really friendly! Check out their website: http://www.jewelrystandmaui.com/
Ululani's Shave Ice
• Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice: When I thought shave ice, I thought of a snow cone. This is nothing of the sort, it the best thing I’ve had in a long time! The one I got had coconut, leche, and strawberry toppings with macadamia ice cream in the bottom and mocha balls on top. DELICIOUS!!! Here’s their website: http://ululanisshaveice.com/
• Ono Gelato: Gelato, enough said! It was awesome! Check out their site: http://www.onogelatocompany.com/
Big Beach, Makena, Maui
• Big Beach, Makena: This was the most scenic and pretty of the beaches I saw. Beware though, the waves were big and crashed right onto the sand!
• Kimos, Lahina: This restauant sits right on the ocean and has a great outdoor deck. It’s a nice place for a happy hour or dinner. I had the mahi mahi sandwich and it was delicious!http://www.mauihawaii.org/restaurants/kimos.htm
There were many more places to see and I had other good food, but these stuck out to me. This place is worth the trip and I would go back in a heartbeat. Enjoy!