There is no best time of year to come to Maui, but different times of year have different opportunities, costs, and somewhat different weather. Let your preferences be your guide.
One of the great attractions on Maui is whale watching. The whales start arriving in late October and November and are present in their thousands sometime in December. The most spectacular displays are usually in January, February and March. You can see impressive sights from shore, and even more amazing views on a whale watching cruise.
The HIGH season runs from a few days before Christmas until spring vacations for schools and universities. Most accommodations, including ours, are more expensive during high season. An even higher premium is charged for the days around Christmas.
The spring and fall tend to be quieter times. There is more room on the beaches, in restaurants, and at tourist destinations. There are more families with children in the summer.
The average high and low temperatures near sea level vary by less than 10 degrees over the course of the year, but the extremes in summer are hotter than those in winter. You’ll see local school kids waiting at the bus stop bundled up for the “winter” weather when morning temperatures are in the 60s. Water temperatures change even less: the average low water temperature is in February and March at 74 degrees Fahrenheit; the average high (in August/September/October) is 79/80 degrees.
Rainfall is a different matter – both by time of year and location. Every month the average number of days of rainfall is less on the south coast of Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena) than in the northwest by Kaanapali and Kapalua.
Our friends and neighbors from the mainland, Denis and Janet, visited us on Maui last fall and Janet kept snapping picture after picture after picture. I really thought she was going overboard. Then she shared her photo album with us. Wow! This collection of flower pictures is a small sample of the beautiful images she took. Good eye, Janet. (Click on any image to enlarge it and start slide show.)
At Maui Vista 2418 we’re often asked, “Where’s the best place to rent a car?” The answer depends on your needs. If you want a shiny new car and the convenience of renting directly from the airport, we highly recommend going through Costco’s website. If you’re not already a member, the savings will probably cover the cost of your membership and then you can shop at Costco when you pass it on your way to our condo! (You can join Costco on line at www.costco.com .) Although renting from the airport is convenient, it costs more because the airport tax is added to the price and, after all, convenience costs money.
Alternatively, you might consider a local vendor with airport shuttle service. Kihei Rent A Car is a locally owned company with airport service. http://www.kiheirentacar.com/index.html Book early because this business is popular among those in the know and they do run out of cars.
The cars at Kihei Rent A Car are not sparkling new, but they do the job at a good price. Although it will be tempting to rent the oldest models, drivers are hard on rental cars and we recommend renting the newest model year available. We’ve also heard stories of Kihei Rent A Car not getting upset if you return the car with a small scratch or bumper ding. This claim is supported on their website, something we’ve never seen on any major carrier’s site:
“Fewer Fines ~ Realistic Usage Expectations Kihei Rent A Car is a truly unique car rental organization on Maui. Through our years of experience in the industry, we have found that customers who rent new cars (like those models offered by the larger mainland companies) often regret their decision. Hawaii’s many terrains can be very unfriendly to automobiles. Upon returning their vehicles, rental customers often encounter hefty fines for blemished exteriors and soiled interiors as a result of touring the wild Hawaiian environs. Since our cars are used, we are not as strict when it comes to small dings and scratches.”
Regardless of where you rent your car, if you’re a Costco member and in the area, buy gas at Costco. As of late 2012, it was thirty to forty cents per gallon cheaper than most other gas stations. That’s a savings of $5 to $7 per tank!
Maybe the nice man will give these ladies a ride
The wind was up, the paddle boarders down – stranded on Charley Young Beach a half mile from Maui Wave Riders where they’d rented their boards.
Gotta get back. What to do?
Hey, here’s a man with a truck. Maybe he can give the ladies a ride. (Hmm, why’s he wearing plastic gloves?)
Looks like he’s going their way! “Rainbow Rentals – Service is Our #1 Priority.” I wonder if that’s what the boss had in mind. Thank you Rainbow Rentals!
This is SO Maui (well, maybe not Wailea, Kaanapali or Kapalua – but definitely Kihei).
POST NOTE: Our neighbor reported she saw the truck going up the road and the ladies were waving to people as if they were on a beauty pagent float!
(Photos courtesy of Sandi Rethage. Thanks Sandi!)
Rowena is located about a 12 minute walk from Maui Vista 2418 just north of Foodland in the Aloha Open Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
It is not unusual to see the farmers stopping by with boxes of dragon fruit, wing beans and many varieties of avocados. Another family operates it during the rest of the week, but we find Rowena has the best local selection at the best prices. Rowena stands by her word. A customer told her an avocado he bought a few days ago was bad, so she gave him another avocado. She said, “It’s hard to see inside and I am sorry.”
Whether you’re looking for locally grown shitaki mushrooms or tender butter lettuce (at half the price in the grocery store), you’ll want to get there early (she opens at 7) because it can get elbow to elbow in the afternoon and the best things are gone.
Do you prefer to eat local organic food? Are you vegan or do you have food intolerances such as wheat/gluten/dairy? Do you want to save money by buying just the right quantity in bulk foods rather than a whole jar or package of something? Perhaps you are looking for a good selection of Hawaiian Sea Salt. If so, Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods is the place for you.
Just a few minutes walk south of Maui Vista 2418, Hawaiian Moons is located at 2411 S. Kihei Road and has a nice selection of local produce, organic meats and bulk foods. They also have a hot lunch bar and an extensive supply of dietary supplements and natural remedies.
Although we provide a fairly extensive carousel of spices at our condo, you might find you only need a teaspoon of something different. Why spend $6 or more for a whole jar at another store when you can spend less than a dollar at Hawaiian Moons for the quantity you actually need?
We’ve written about Maui artist Dale Zarrella in this blog before. (See Maui Artist Dale Zarrella at Work, Frank Lloyd Wright and the King Kamehameha Golf Club, and Dale Zarrella and Helper Create a Vision in Sand.) His koa wood sculpture of Father (now Saint) Damien is entering the polishing phase. Saint Damien, “the Apostle of the Lepers” was canonized in 2009 for his work in the 19th century caring for those quarantined in the leper colony on the peninsula of Kaluapapa on the Island of Moloka’i.
If you look closely at the picture below, Damien has his hand on the shoulder of a young child. Next to Damien’s shoes you can see the child’s toes sticking out beneath the robes that hide his leprosy ravaged body.
Zarrella often works with large blocks of monkeypod but chose the the harder koa wood for Damien because “he was a tough old bird.”
Dale Zarrella’s Saint Damien – September 2012
As we’ve noted before, Zarrella works outdoors overlooking the sea at the north end of Charley Young Beach. He began this piece with a plaster study, about one-quarter life size. A bronze cast from the study now resides in the Vatican Museum in Rome. This life sized sculpture is destined for the Damien Museum in Honolulu.