Island Hopping in Hawaii – Part I: Maui


I volunteered on the Big Island of Hawaii. In order to get to The Big Island I had to fly into another island first so I spent some time in Maui on the way to and Oahu on the way out. This is the first of my three part series on my adventures and mishaps in Hawaii.

Maui Lodging and Transportation

I stayed at Maui Seaside inn, which for about $100/night was a barebones hotel overdue for a renovation. In my research, there seems to be a gap between budget hotels and luxury hotels. Unless you’re willing to paid exuberant amount, expect a rundown hotels from the 80’s. 

A rental car is a must in Maui since one of the feature attractions is driving down Hana Highway. You do not need an All-Wheel Drive vehicle to get to any of the places here but I did have to turn back in my sedan on Highway 340 because of flooding. I will point out later when you might need AWD. 

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Driving through Hana Highway.

Hana Highway

The road to Hana is a two hour stretch of twisty turns through lush vegetation. There are waterfalls at almost every bend but that also meant narrow single lane bridges where you have to yield to oncoming traffic. I went at sunrise which was great in that there were no cars on the road but agonizing in that I passed by banana bread stands one after another only to find out that none of them were opened yet. There are many destinations along the way but I ended up at Wai’anapanapa State Park to check out the unique land formations.

Wai’anapanapa Natural Arch

Grilled Banana Bread at Paia Bay Coffee.

Grilled Banana Bread at Paia Bay Coffee.

Paia, Kihea, and Lahaina

Paia is a quaint town just before the start of Hana Highway with a uncrowded beach, boutique shops, and where I finally got my grilled banana bread. If you prefer a more populated area, try Kihea. There you will find chain stores and restaurants along with more people on the beaches. Go to Lahaina if you want to see the largest Banyan Tree in Hawaii dating back to 1873. This little bit of nature/history is surrounded by the usual touristy chains and souvenir shops you would find on the boardwalk of any coastal cities.

Lahaina Banyan Tree

Lahaina Banyan Tree

Continue to Part II: The Big Island of Hawai’i
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