Considering a trip to Maui but don’t want to deal with driving? The good news is that seeing Maui doesn’t need owning a car. A wide variety of activities are at your fingertips once you know where to base yourself and that you don’t need to bring your own vehicle.
How To Get Around Maui Without Having To Rent A Motor Vehicle
If you visited Maui in 2020, you probably have vivid memories of the 20,000 rental cars that sat idle in the fields outside the airport during the quarantine period. Similarly, if you visited Maui in 2021, the exorbitant rental car fees will be ingrained in your memory and wallet for the rest of your life.
Thousands of rentals were slowly transported to the mainland for sale after being left in the fields for several months. The Great Rental Car Shortage of 2021 then erupted as traffic picked up and arrivals approached pre-pandemic levels.
Many visitors to Maui insist on renting a car. In these challenging times, anything can happen – from insanely high rental costs to last-minute cancellations, and we don’t discourage you from trying. However, despite popular opinion, getting about the island without a car is possible.
Numerous great local firms would gladly take you up at your hotel or condo and show you about the island with no additional cost to you whatsoever! It’s never been easier to get around Maui without a car thanks to services like Uber, Lyft, or even Hawaii’s own Holoholo.
What You Should Know Before Leaving
To ease your travels if you don’t plan to rent a car, stay in the Ka’anapali, Lahaina, Kihei, or Wailea districts of Hawaii. Rideshare drivers may make a lot of money in these tourist hotspots. During the day, there are usually a lot of rideshares to choose from. Visit Maui Accommodations for low-cost, high-quality accommodations on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Consider pre-booking a taxi or having your hotel or resort book one for you if you need to be someplace at a specific time.
Taking the Maui Bus is a fantastic way to move around the island’s south and west sides on a budget.
Check out the Aloha 360 podcast for the most recent information on Maui, island travel, and car rentals. It’s run by two Maui locals who have their finger on the pulse of island travel. Aloha 360
You Don’t Need a Car to Enjoy Maui’s Activities
On Maui, the ocean is a must-do, whether it’s a whale watch, a snorkeling adventure, or a leisurely dinner cruise. There are year-round options for whale-watching, including dinner cruises and snorkeling excursions. When you’re going to be spending time on the water, you don’t need a car. If you don’t have a car, many of Maui’s top boat tours can be easily reached by foot or by public transportation.
Visit Molokini with Redline Rafting if you’re staying in Kihei. The Kihei Boat Ramp is home to Redline, a highly regarded snorkel trip company. Many resorts, motels, and condos are within easy walking distance of the boat dock, which is located between the popular beaches of Kamaole III and Keawakepu.
Kai Kanani may be found at Maluaka Beach in Wailea, a few miles down the road. If you’re not driving, the laid-back atmosphere on board this sailing catamaran is ideal for whale viewing and sipping local brews from Maui Brewing. Transfer services are available from Kai Kanani’s hotel.
Ka’anapali’s golden sands, on the other hand, are home to a wide range of resorts and watersports. With Trilogy, a west side snorkeling and sailing trip is a no-brainer for Ka’anapali visitors. Ka’anapali Beach is the starting point for this journey. For this trip, all you have to do is roll out of bed, walk down the beach, and step aboard the boat.
In closing, if you’re visiting Maui without a car, consider taking a dinner cruise with Hawaii Ocean Project on their large 70-foot double-decker. The starting point of this tour is the Lahaina Harbor tour boat hub, right in the heart of Lahaina Town. Many hotels can be found within a few blocks of one other. Uber, Lyft, Holoholo, and taxis are all readily available in this neighborhood.
The fact that you won’t be tethered to a car means that you can indulge in a few more drinks. When no one is driving, there is no reason to give up wine for water. Drinking is encouraged at the Island Art Party, where you may choose from a wide variety of cocktails.
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a day on Maui, this is it. Everybody gets to enjoy themselves because no one needs to drive. The Azeka Center in Kihei is home to the Island Art Party. On the South Kihei Strip, you’ll have little trouble finding a rideshare.
To speak of free cocktails, the Royal Lahaina Luau on Maui is one of the best and offers them all night long. If no one needs to drive, why not go for a luau with an open bar?
Napili, Honolua, and Kahakuloa are on Maui’s northwestern coast.
If you’re staying on the West Side, taking the Maui Bus or using a rideshare service to get to Napili and Kahana beaches is a breeze. There aren’t any bus routes or good cell reception after you pass Kapalua, so you’ll have to rely on other people’s cars once you get there. Honolua Bay, the Olivine Pools, and the Kahakuloa Head are just a few of Maui’s most enticing attractions that can be found beyond Kapalua’s last hotel. For those who don’t have access to a vehicle, this is an issue. This area can only be explored by car.
However, all hope is not gone. Visitors to this secluded part of the coast can rely on Hoaloha Jeep Adventures to serve as their own personal chauffeur and tour guide. Hoaloha will pick you up at your lodging and take you on a tour of the island’s most hidden attractions.
Helewai Eco Tours is another option for people who don’t want to drive around Maui. Helewai Eco Tours offers clients the opportunity to explore a remote area of rainforest near Honolua Bay. A two-mile track through privately owned conservation land is included in this tour, which is rarely viewed by the general public. Pu’u Kukui Preserve is located in the West Maui Mountains and is accessible via a hiking trail. There is a vantage point here that few people have ever seen, offering a breathtaking vista of protected rainforest. Hikers can cool off by swimming in Honolulu Bay, which is home to a vibrant coral reef.
As a result of its proximity to the Napili Marketplace and nearby ridesharing and bus stops, the Helewai Eco Tours base yard is easily accessible. A vehicle will pick you up at the trailhead and drive you there.
In the morning light of Haleakala’s summit
Sunrise at Haleakala is Maui’s most breathtaking sight. The crater is illuminated by the rising sun each morning. Basin floor is illuminated by warm tones as sunlight falls on the volcanic soil. This year’s parks reservation system means that only a select few will be able to see this show.
Even if you have a car, you won’t be able to see the dawn here because tickets for the morning sell out in a matter of seconds. The good news is that there are reputable tour companies that will not only guarantee you a place at sunrise but will also take you from your lodging to the summit.
Known for their sunrise tours and transportation, the Haleakala Ecotours are a trusted organization. Haleakala Ecotours explores the north shore post sunrise before returning back to your lodging. If you don’t have a car, this is an excellent way to spend a day on Maui.
The highway leading to Hana.
Some tourists insist on taking the Hana Highway by themselves. Having someone else drive is far superior, however, as you’re about to learn. All the hard work is done for you by some of the firms we mentioned above that offer Hana excursions. Ecotours of Haleakala is a fantastic option.
Waianapanapa State Park (which also requires reservations) and Kahanu Gardens, home to Hawaii’s largest heiau, are also included in their Road to Hana tour. This route is also used by Hoaloha Jeep Adventures, which may accompany you in a 4WD Jeep to places that other rental cars can’t reach. Your lodging can be picked up at your convenience by either company.
To break with tradition, this next method of experiencing the Road to Hana does not require any kind of vehicle or vehicle-related activity. However, you won’t be driving a car when you’re behind the wheel.
You can take your first flying lesson from Kahului Airport with Fly Maui. In this course, you’ll study the fundamentals of piloting, and you’ll even get to fly to Hana. You’ll get to visit all of Hana’s most famous sights, including Keanae Peninsula, Waianapapa, and many waterfalls, in just an hour-and-a-half flight. The “road to Hana” experience can be preserved in this way. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft may take you right to Fly Maui from OGG’s heliport.
How can I get about Maui?
Is a car necessary to move about Maui?
Yes, if you intend to visit Maui’s more populated areas. You don’t need a car on Maui thanks to services like the Maui Bus, Uber, Holoholo, tours, and shuttles. To get to rural areas like Haleakala Crater or Hana, you can’t use services like the Maui Bus or Uber. Tour companies like Hoaloha Jeep Adventures offer hotel pick-up and drop-off, as well.
To what extent is the Maui Bus accessible?
Taking the Maui Bus is a simple and convenient method of getting about the island. For the most part, it’s best used for local commuting and exploration, rather than for long-distance travel. On the island of Maui, the Maui Bus provides hourly service to locations such Front Street and Wailea Ike Drive in West Maui and South Maui.
To see another part of the island without transferring buses and losing a significant portion of your day in transit, you can’t get around on the Maui Bus because service usually ends at 8 p.m. or earlier, the bus can be late, or none of these things are available. However, the Maui Bus is an excellent option if you’re on a low budget or don’t mind being on island time. It’s a cheap method to go around, costing $2 one-way. The mauibus website has comprehensive schedules and maps.
Is Maui’s free shuttle service available?
On Maui, there aren’t any free buses. However, a few of hotels offer complimentary buses for visitors. If you’re staying at one of the Westin hotels in Ka’anapali or the Westin KOR, you may take use of a complimentary shuttle to Lahaina, which stops at the Lahaina Outlets and The Wharf Cinema Center. Additionally, some hotels offer complimentary airport transportation.
If so, where can you get one?
Renting a moped or a bicycle is an option. In spite of this, biking on Maui isn’t as easy as it could be. For short distances, mopeds can be a convenient mode of transportation, but they should not be used for lengthy distances. As a result, riding a moped on many of Maui’s roadways can be dangerous due to the lack of adequate shoulder space and poor nighttime lighting.
For those who don’t own a car, where is the greatest lodging option?
The Westin Resort or the Sheraton Resort in Ka’anapali are the ideal places to stay on Maui if you don’t have a car. Both resorts are just a short walk away from numerous restaurants, a beautiful beach, snorkeling, and the Whaler’s Village Shopping Center.
Shuttle services to Lahaina are available from both the Westin and the Sheraton hotels. In addition, you can use one of these Ka’anapali resorts as a home base to tour the entire West Side of the island using public transportation or an Uber.
Which part of Maui is the most pedestrian-friendly?
Maui’s most walkable town is Ka’anapali. Nearby Ka’anapali resorts, there are several dining and shopping options, as well as a number of activities that take place or depart from Ka’anapali beach, such as sunset cruises and snorkeling.
Second is Wailea, which has a walkway that connects seven resorts, a slew of eateries, and a number of beaches. Several Wailea resorts can be found near the Shops of Wailea, a huge retail mall.
A Few Parting Thoughts
The number of excursions, rideshares, and the Maui Bus means that if your car rental doesn’t work out, you won’t have to give up your Maui vacation. In fact, you’ll probably meet a lot more locals and learn a lot more about the island if you take a guided tour rather than winging it on your own.