Maui Need-to-Know

Crazy Cars 2 – Getting Around Maui without A Rental Car

Posted on by jim

Maui is pretty spread out. You probably want to rent a car for at least a couple days. Especially up around Kahana district where my condos are at. There’s some stuff around them, but not a ton.

That said, depending on what you want to do, you can probably get away with not renting if you really can’t find anything for less than $300/day.

Getting to/from the Airport:

If you’re not going to rent a car, try to reserve a taxi/Uber/Lyft in advance. There can be a bit of a wait. That’s usually going to be the cheapest option if you party has multiple people. It’ll be about $100 to get to the West Side/Lahaina. You can also get a transport van, but they’re usually ~$60/person.

You definitely want to reserve something in advance to GET to the airport. Don’t let Uber leave you hanging when you’ve got a flight to catch.

Option 1: Just Chill

Who goes on a Maui vacation to relax?!? We’ve got to do stuff! All the stuff! Nah… you actually don’t.

Maui is pretty beautiful no matter where you’re at. So take some time to relax, explore the area nearby to where you’re staying, and not try to do all the things. There’s usually decent snorkeling and beaches within walking distance no matter where you’re at (well, unless you’re in Kula or Haiku or something). Both of my condos are on the ocean, and just puttering around the lanai, pool, or lawn area is pretty awesome. The lanai is specifically set up for hanging out on. Same goes for most condos. There’s something mystical about just sitting down and staring out to the sea.

Also, you can rent bikes or e-scooters. Not sure what the rates are these days by traditionally they aren’t too expensive and should make life a bit easier.

Option 2: Do Stuff! Take a taxi.

Taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc… This probably works better for short distances, i.e. less than 20 minutes and stay in populated areas. So better for going to Lahaina for dinner or Black Rock for snorkeling than long sightseeing trips.

But if you want to expand beyond stuff within walking distance, a taxi isn’t going to be too expensive for short distances. Especially if it’s only a ‘once a day’ type of thing. But for long trips (say, 30+ miles one way), a round trip will be more expensive than renting a car.

There is definitely some great stuff within a 15 minute drive of Kahana (where my condos are at). So this is an option for going to Lahaina, Ka’anapali, and Kapalua. Possibly even somewhere like Honolua, but that’s off the beaten path for a taxi, so might be at risk of not being able to get one to come back. If you do, talk to the driver before going out there and see if they’ll come pick you up at a specific time.

Option 3: Do Stuff! Water Tours.

An awesome way to see Maui is from a boat! Go on a sunset sail, do a snorkeling trip to Lana’i, or try out parasailing! These all leave from Ka’anapali or Lahaina and are an easy taxi ride.

Spending time on the water is fun and definitely something you couldn’t do with a car anyways. For me, it handily beats being cooped up in a bus. But…

Option 3: Do Stuff! Land Tours.

Personally, I’m more into renting a car and doing my own thing. However, given the current state of things, staying close to home most of the time and using tours for sightseeing is pretty appealing.

There are plenty of companies that will take you to Hana or Haleakala. So if you really want to go to those places and don’t mind spending 4-8 hours in a bus, this is an option. Frankly, I REALLY don’t recommend doing Hana this way. I don’t even recommend doing the drive there and back yourself in one day (you’ll be in the car for at least six hours). Either spend a night out there or drive about half way. There are plenty of good hikes and scenery half way. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time in the car than checking stuff out.

There’s a lot to do on Maui’s West Side

You really don’t NEED to have a car. Yes, it simplifies things a bit and let’s you explore a bit further. In normal times, I’d definitely recommend you get a car. But these aren’t normal times. There are a lot of great things to do within a 10-15 minute radius of Kahana, so don’t feel obligated to ‘do all the things’, if those things require spending a ton of money.

Instead of spending hours in the car going hither and thither… take an intro to scuba lesson. Go on the submarine out of Lahaina. Meditate at the Lahaina Jodo Mission, which has the largest Buddha sculpture of it’s kind outside of Japan (and is right next to Baby Beach, a super calm, beautiful beach). Walk the Labyrinth by the Dragon Teeth lava formation in Kapalua. Or just kick it pool side and relax.

Explore the West Side like a local and see some of the cool stuff!

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