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Most visitors to the island of Maui rent cars – at least part of the time. Most other modes of transportation are expensive, even though there are several options.
Upon your arrival, the trip from the airport to your lodging will cost about $60 per person, considerably more if you opt for a limo.
If your visit is still in the planning stages, consider staying on the west side. In Lahaina Town, the Lahaina Shores Beach Resort and the Pioneer Inn both offer reasonable rates and place you near plenty of things to do. In its early years, Lahaina was an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. When the tall ships began sailing to the islands, Lahaina’s natural harbor made it a popular town. Several of the buildings and the area’s history revolve around the 1800’s.
Lahaina attracts more than a million visitors each year. Resident celebrities, like you, have a choice of more than sixty restaurants. Whether they stay in the town or not, a stroll through Lahaina is a must-do item on the itinerary of almost all Maui visitors. You’ll discover hundreds of places to browse. Curio shops, boutiques, jewelry stores and galleries offer terrific gifts and mementos of your visit.
Gaze at the 110-year-old Banyan Tree in front of The Wharf Cinema Center. It’s one of the largest in the world. The Center itself has more than 50 shops and restaurants. Beyond the Banyan Tree you’ll find 505 Front Street, a nautical village of oceanfront shops and restaurants next to the Lahaina Shores Hotel.
Or Consider Kaanapali, just a couple of miles north of Lahaina. It’s a burgeoning resort area with all the trimmin’s. Accommodations are pricier there, most being major resort hotels on Kaanapali Beach: Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui Marriott (now mostly timeshares), Westin, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Sheraton Royal Lahaina, and Maui Kaanapali Villas.
If you stay at a condominium, chances are you’ll be happy with your neighborhood and its attractions, prepare most of your own meals and “eat in,” and have relatively little need to go abroad. Maui does have a public bus system. If you’re content to sunbathe at the condo or hotel and shop at the nearby malls, the bus is an economical way to go. In most cases (the commuter lines), fares are $1.00 in each direction, or you can buy a pass for unlimited trips for $25.
If you are among those who don’t drive or simply don’t want to rent a car, here are your other options:
The free Whalers Village Shuttle runs along the Kaanapali strip stopping at all major resorts, the golf course, and the Whaler’s Village shopping complex. The Lahaina Express shuttle, also free, has various stops in Lahaina and Kaanapali. The West Maui Shopping Express runs between Lahaina and Kaanapali. Stops include the hotels in Kaanapali, the Whalers Village shopping mall in Kaanapali, and the Wharf shopping center, Hilo Hattie, and the Lahaina Cannery Mall in Lahaina. Buses run every hour or so from mid-morning until mid-evening for a fee of $1 each way.
There are about two-dozen taxi companies that offer shuttle service, as well as tours. The fares are metered by distance traveled. Around Lahaina, expect fares in the $5-$10 range.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher on May 28, 2008