Subject: Tips for Maui
Dear Mae:

I spent 3 days at Maui last year in November. I took the scenic drive to Hana in Maui. The drive has great views of the mountain and the beaches. Lots of opportunities for short hikes, some snorkeling and just enjoying the more rustic area of Maui. The drive is tough since the roads are narrow and winding. The drive can be done as a back and forth trip or a circle drive. Either way the drive is long and takes a full day with stops along the way. The circle drive has the last stretch as dirt road that is very bumpy and should not be attempted during rain. Rental cars are not allowed on the dirt road. I would recommend you stay at the one hotel at Hana overnight. This would allow you to take your time enjoying the drive and doing some hiking and snorkeling, plus you can also spend time experiencing the friendly and laid back atmosphere of Hana. A helicopter is a great way to see Haleakala and Hana in just one day but the trip is very expensive (I think the price is around $200 per person). I took a tour to Hana and back in just one day. The tour is relatively cheap ($65 per person) and I could look at the scenery instead of looking at the road. The disadvantages are one cannot do much hiking, and one cannot go off the beaten path. The tour does go through the dirt road if weather permits. Any tours to Hana must be done in a small van since the road cannot accommodate a huge bus. I used Survive the Road to Hana van tour by Ekahi Tours. I enjoyed the tour.

You must see the crater of Haleakala. Not seeing Haleakala is like going to Yellowstone Park and not seeing Old Faithful. I thought Haleakala crater was the most interesting part of Maui.

I can't recommend any lodging. We stayed at a hotel that was decent but a bit expensive. The luau at Outrigger Wailea Resort in Wailea was good. The luau is right on the beach if the weather is good. Some luaus are inside but I like them on the beach. The buffet tasted great and the entertainment interesting.

I would not recommend the Maui Ocean Center because of the high price. It is a first rate aquarium but small. The admission is expensive at $18.50 per adult although AAA membership reduced the price by $2.00. The aquarium has many tropical fishes with almost all of them found around Hawaii.

Hope this helps, Ed