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Driving above the clouds at Halakala

To rent or not to rent, that is the question.  Each guest has their own idea of what they would like to do while visiting Maui, whether that means relaxing on the beach everyday or exploring the island to the fullest.  Maui is actually quite larger than some guests may think and usually we recommend planning on renting a car while visiting the island.  Maui’s towns are fairly spread out and it can be a little challenging to get around the island without a means of transportation, not to mention the cost of a taxi cab adds up quickly when you need to get around!  Though there are some accommodations that are very close to beaches, shops, and restaurants, many of the accommodations are located a little further away from these attractions.  It’s always a good idea to start thinking about how you are going to get around the island and most importantly, how you are going to get to your resort / condo from the airport before you arrive.  We wanted to ask a few questions if you are not sure if you should rent a car while on Maui:

  • Upon arrival, how are you planning to arrive to your accommodation?  Thought there are taxi cabs available directly at the airport, we like to make not that often a tax cab will cost more (one way!) than renting a car in most cases.  From the Kahului Airport, the Kihei / Wailea area is about 25 minutes away while Kaanapali / Lahaina is about 60 minutes away.
  • During your stay, how are you planning on getting around? Unless your mission is to spend day after day directly at your accommodation, it can be rather hard to get around.  Unlike the city where taxi’s are readily available, taxi’s are usually concentrated at the airport and at the larger hotels.  For those guests staying in a “non-resort” environment, it may be hard to get a cab quickly.
  • Are you planning on visiting any of the attractions found on Maui?  There are so many things to see and do here on Maui!  Though some activities do have transportation, other attractions such as Haleakala or some of the scenic drives are not nearly accessible with out a rental car
  • How many people will you have an what type of car rental is best for you? Rental cars come in all different shapes and sizes.  Regardless if you are in Maui for a romantic getaway with your significant other or with your entire ‘ohana (family), there is a rental car out there for you.  Popular vehicles include jeeps, convertibles, and vans.  For most families, a basic standard car will work just fine.  For guests traveling with a few more people, you may wish to rent a van or SUV.  Car rentals can hold anywhere from 2 to 7 guests.
  • Where do I pick up my rental car?  We do highly recommend making advanced reservations before arriving to Maui. During the peak times, car rentals will be limited due to high demand.  Most guests opt to pick up their rental car directly at the Airport locations and there are shuttles that run on a regular schedule to drop guests off at the rental location.  The Kahului Airport (OGG) is the main airport on Maui and most guests will fly into this location, though if you are flying into the Kapalua Airport (JHM) you can also pick up a rental car nearby.  Upon confirming the car, the address will be provided along with a contact phone number.
  • Who should I reserve my car from?  There are so many companies out there to choose from though Maui Activity Concierge is pleased to inform you that we have a great relationship with AVIS and Budget.  Over the years with working with them, we are able to quickly connect with them in the event there are any questions you have.  Did you know that Maui Activity Concierge has discounted car rental rates though AVIS and Budget?  Check out the following links for great rates on the car of your preference.  The links below already have out discount coding on them.

Reserve your discounted AVIS Car Rental here

Reserve your discounted Budget Car Rental here

As you may have read before in some of our other Maui blogs, each guest has their own idea of fun and each guest likes to experience the island differently.  It is very common for guests to stay on Maui to enjoy the beaches few days, but let’s face it, your most likely going to want to get out of the house at one point or another to explore this beautiful island.  There are so many great places in your rental car here on Maui and we wanted to share some of our favorite sites and attractions on Maui with you:


Sunrise at Haleakala National Park.

Sunrise at Haleakala National Park.

Panoramic view of colorful Haleakala volcano in Maui from summit

Panoramic view of colorful Haleakala volcano in Maui from summit

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Scenic views above the clouds at Haleakala.










One of the biggest attractions on Maui is the Haleakala National Park.  There is a lot of great options for guests to explore here such as hiking trails, watching the sunrise or sunset, or even learning more about the park at the visitor center.  The drive up to the summit is approximately 1.5 hours from Kahului and the views along the way are amazing!  This is a great excursion to experience while on Maui.  The drive up to the summit provides guests with outstanding views of the central Maui valley, West Maui Mountains, and at times the other Hawaiian islands!  Your standard rental car can easily make it to the summit as long as guests are comfortable driving on on the mountain road to reach the summit.  For further information about visiting the Haleakala National Park, check out our blog called A Day At Haleakala.


The Road to Hana has great views!

Crashing waves at the Oheo Gulch, Hana Maui

A Romanic Maui Hike

Visit the bamboo forest during your road trip

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Breathtaking waterfalls along the Road to Hana.











The Road to Hana is another very popular journey that guests will take in their rental car.  From Kahului, this journey is about 2 hours to get to Hana Town pending on the number of stops you make.  There are many incredible sites to see along this journey including waterfalls, hikes, and breathtaking views of the ocean.  Guests can easily make a trip to Hana and back on one tank of gas as it is about 70 miles each way pending on the exact point you wish to head back to Kahului.  The Road to Hana is a scenic drive that allows guests to see other attractions such as amazing beaches (such as the Black Sand Beach, Koki Beach, and Hamoa Beach).



West Maui's Honolua Bay

West Maui’s Honolua Bay

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This hono (turtle) enjoying a great afternoon by the reef.












Located in West Maui past Kapalua, Honolua Bay is another beautiful place to check out in your rental car.  This scenic drive is almost like a “mini-version” of the Road to Hana, only much shorter.  When driving in this area, it is very peaceful and greenly quite quiet.  Honolulu Bay has a fairly large pullover just before you arrive to the actual bay which provides incredible views of the neighboring island of Moloka’i and of the bay (above image).  At times there may even be surfers riding the famous waves of Honolua, especially in the winter time.  Along the way, guests will enjoy lush landscape with beautiful views of the ocean.  This location is a great snorkeling spot, though please use caution as there are not any lifeguards present here.


Lahaina Town's Front Street

Lahaina Town’s Front Street

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There are shops, restaurants, and beautiful views on Front Street

Walk along the shoreline

Walk along the shoreline











Lahaina Town is located in West Maui and is about 45 minutes away from the Kihei / Wailea area of the island.  The trip out to Lahaina is very pleasant as the highway runs along the ocean and offers guests with beautiful views.  Upon arrival to Lahaina, Front Street is another great place for guests to find shops, restaurants, and even find a nice place to relax and enjoy the views of the ocean just literally steps away from the street!  The Lahaina area is also nearby Kaanapali which has amazing beaches, shopping, and golf courses for guests to enjoy.


Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

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Driving above the clouds at Halakala

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Ziplines are a perfect for those adventurous families












Upcountry Maui is located along the slopes of Haleakala.  In addition to visiting the Haleakala National Park, there are many great places to stop along the way such as the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.  This garden will not only allow guests to see many beautiful flowers but always has sweeping views of central Maui.  Don’t forget your camera on this trip as the views from this elevation are ones you will certainly not forget! There are so many great things to see and do when visiting the upcountry area of the Maui including, wine tasting (Ulupalakua), Haleakala National Park, Makawao Town, Poli Poli State Park, and many great restaurants such as Grandmas Coffee House and Pollis Mexican Restaurant.


Big Beach is located in Makena

Big Beach is located in Makena

Beautiful views at Little Beach.

Beautiful views at Little Beach.

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Waves washing up along the sand at Big Beach.












South Maui is home to Big Beach, one of the most iconic beaches on Maui.  Though this beach has a rather remote location in the southern region of Maui, this beach offers incredible views of the aqua blue water and the white sand melts between your toes.  Guests will often come to this beach to relax and enjoy the views.  The drive down to Makena State Park (Big Beach) is quite pleasant and provides some views of the ocean along the way.  Big Beach is known to attract the local crowd mostly due to the waves that are found here.  As pretty as the water is here, this beach is well known for it’s shore breaking waves and we encourage guests to be aware of the conditions before entering the water here.


South Maui Sunset at La Perouse Bay

South Maui Sunset at La Perouse Bay

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Hiking the Kings Trail in South Maui

Aqua blue waves crashing on the lava rocks.

Aqua blue waves crashing on the lava rocks.












At the southern tip of Maui is La Perouse Bay.  Guests may travel past Makena into this remote area of the island. This is a perfect place to watch the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean.  This location also has a really great hiking trail that guests may go on as well and will take them through the lava fields and along the shoreline. The drive down to the bay is really pleasant and it goes by several places that make for great picture taking opportunities along the shoreline.


Like most activities on Maui, we like to suggest making arrangements in advanced for car rentals as at times there can be a limited number of cars for guests without reservations to rent (especially around the holidays!).  Car rentals can range in size from a compact 2 door car to a full size SUV.  Some of the most popular cars that guests request are Jeeps, Convertibles, and Vans.  There are many different companies offered on the island to rent a car from and they typically have multiple locations around the island including at the Kahului Airport (OGG) and other satellite locations either in Lahaina, Kihei, Wailea, or Ka’anapali.

Sharing our aloha

Sharing our aloha with you – mahalo!

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Beautiful plumeria blossom in the garden

Enjoying a beautiful view from the luau grounds.

Enjoying a beautiful view from the luau grounds.












Maui Activity Concierge is pleased to assist you with your car rental.  We have great relationships with various companies and can help assist confirm your car rental.  We do recommend renting a car while on Maui to ensure you can take advantage of the various attractions here on the island such as the ones notes above.  We hope this information has been helpful and that it will better assist you enjoy your Maui experience.  Please feel free to reach out to us at 808-868-0253 or via email at

Mahalo nui loa,

Maui Activity Concierge ‘ohana (family)

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