Maui Vacation

Updated on:
September 10, 2021

10/12/2021: If a few of these pages look a little wonky, I'm sorry!  I've just rebuilt the site and have over 400 pages left to go through for final fixes.

How to Plan Your Maui Vacation

Maui Vacation Ideas, Suggestions, Tips, and Plans

How are you going to plan the perfect Maui vacation?  Where will you find the best place to stay, the best places to eat, the best sights and activities for your own personal preferences, and keep it all within your budget?  You have come to the right place to solve those problems.

When you’re done reading these Maui Vacation tips, be sure to check out the photos and video further down on this page.

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When to go on your Maui vacation

If you can avoid Christmas week and any other holiday, do it.  Holidays are when Maui is the most crowded and the most expensive. Winter is a good time to get away from cold weather back home, and winter is the only time to see the whales.  If you prefer to avoid crowds (and get the best hotel or condo discounts), then spring and fall are the least crowded times, as long as you don’t go near any holiday. Here are details about Maui weather.

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Where to stay on your Maui vacation

The beaches, hotels, and condos that Maui is known for are mainly on the south side (Kihei, Wailea) and the west side (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua). The south side is a little more congested, but a little more convenient for driving to the sights of central Maui.  The west side has the town of Lahaina with terrific tourist shops and restaurants, though there are plenty of shops and restaurants on both sides.  Either area will be good.

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What’s the best hotel or condo for your needs and budget

For luxury, the resorts of Wailea and Kaanapali are tops.  These include the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, Hyatt, and Sheraton, among others.
For a less expensive hotel, I’d suggest the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.
If you’d like a condo (to include a kitchen), best are Kaanapali Alii, Honua Kai, and Wailea Villas.  Less expensive are Hale Kamaole, Maui Banyan, Royal Kahana, and Napili Kai, or click for more choices.

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Where to eat on your Maui vacation

You don’t need to eat at Maui’s most expensive fine-dining restaurants to get excellent food.  Some of the best moderate-priced restaurants are Cafe O’Lei, Three’s, Taverna, Kimo’s, and Leilani’s.  Very good inexpensive restaurants include Penne Pasta, CJ’s, Eskimo Candy, Da Kitchen, Pita Paradise, Lahaina Coolers, and Cafe Des Amis.  Lots more Maui restaurant reviews.

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You need a car for your whole Maui vacation

The sights and activities and restaurants of Maui are spread out, and public transportation is minimal.  Here’s a page about how to get the best Maui car rental deals.

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What will you see and do on your Maui vacation?

My favorite sights on Maui are the crater at the top of Haleakala volcano, the town of Lahaina, the road to Hana, and the gardens of Upcountry.  Some of the most popular paid activities are luaus, whale watching (winter only), snorkeling, golf, helicopter tours, and guided group tours by van.  Here are more things to do in Maui.

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How and when should I book my airplane flight to Maui

It’s impossible to predict when airfares will go up or down.  I’d suggest booking at least three months in advance, and much farther ahead if you are going during any holiday period.  A search box to help you look for good airfares is at Maui flights.

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Where can I get more information to plan my Maui vacation

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Maui Vacation photos

Maui Vacation photos

MOST RECENT UPDATE:  Group or Private Maui Surf Lessons