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kihei or napili in february?

MINNEPOLIS
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kihei or napili in february?

Which area would be the best to stay, is they weather different that time of year in those two areas? We like to spend time on the beach and snorkeling. Thanks.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: kihei or napili in february?

My personal opinion about the two places -- Both are on the leeward side of the island so in terms of weather -- it should not be that different.

Kihei -- nice town, not as pretty as the napili area but more central to all of Maui including the airport and the road to Hana.

Napili -- snorkeling imho is better up in that area than in Kihei from what I have seen as a visitor, the whole area from Lahaina to Kapalua is a tad bit more crowded than the Kihei area but in Feb you may not notice a big difference -- if you want to go on charters and trips then Lahaina is closer.

Lahaina, Hawaii
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2. Re: kihei or napili in february?

I don't know much about snorkeling in the Kihei area, but there are many great places to snorkel along West Maui - Kapalua bay, Honolua bay, Airport beach, and Black Rock are some of my favorites. I've been in West Maui (Kaanapali Beach) in February and the weather was fantastic.

Gig Harbor...
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3. Re: kihei or napili in february?

Weather is different in West Maui than South Maui - especially in February, however there are always days when nature shrugs. Weather will be different in Lahaina than in Napili. It will be different in Wailea than Wailuku. Odds for showers will be greater in Napili, but the rainbows afterwards could be incredible. It also rains in Kihei sometimes :). It's not a very big island and checking the weather daily can tell you whether to head south for good beach time or stay put in West Maui. Sometimes it only takes a mile or so shift to change.

For trips and charters from Kihei/Wailea you can head from Maalea which is just a few miles away. For trips and charters from Napili, yes Lahaina is more convenient.

Kihei is a town - not a resort, thus it has no particular aesthetic visually, other than incredible beaches, the slope of Haleakala, the ocean, the other islands in the distance, and so beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

West Maui always feels crowded to me and I am partial to Kihei because it just feels good to me. However in West Maui I do like Napili -

Napili is a lovely bay with a little enclave of lodgings hugging it's shore, very different - and I do like Napili. It is noticeably cooler there - most lodging options do not have AC, but it's hardly cold. The view of Molokai from Napili is mesmerizing!

Frankly either area should be fine, weather has no predecitions that far out and it changes daily. All you have to do is decide which area you like.

Search the forums for snorkeling in South Maui - msfuzz can tell you there is excellent snorkeling in the area, truly amazing.

Edited: 11:39 am, June 24, 2011
S W Arkansas
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4. Re: kihei or napili in february?

As a rule of thumb, and we as avid snorklers have found to be true..as a rule of thumb .. snorkel West Maui summer. South Maui winter. We go every Sept and some Feb or March. We always stay in Kihei. There are times in Sept that south swells(summer ocean patterns) are still rolling in and we have to drive to West Maui.

Our winter visits have always provided good south snorkel. Look at top right questions on Mail page for snorkel spots.

I'm not saying that just because we have had good snorkel in the winter in south Maui that you won't have some good snorkel on the West side.

However, Honolua usually turns form a snorkel spot in summer to a surf spot during the winter.

Chicagoland
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5. Re: kihei or napili in february?

In winter the oceans are usually calmer south than north -- true on all the islands.

We have been visiting Hawaii in February for 30+ years. We stay Waikiki on Oahu and Poipu on Kauai. On Maui, we prefer South Kihei/Wailea beaches. Napili is a pretty area, but you have to get past Lahaina/Kaanapali to reach it. (If you plan to Stay Put, that's no problem, and maybe you WANT some of the buzz there!)

Just a note about A/C: It can get warm and sticky *anywhere* in Hawaii, even in winter. I wouldn't book anywhere that A/C was not an option.

Dallas, TX
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6. Re: kihei or napili in february?

Visited Maui in late March/Early April and stayed both on the South Shore (Wailea) and the West Shore (Kaanapili). During that time of year, the surf on the West Shore was pretty rough. We visited multiple beaches in that area on our last day and none of them seemed very calm for snorkeling. However, we found a number of little snorkel spots on the West Shore that were quite pretty with calmer waters for novice snorkels like us.

Side note - Kihei is a neat town with a great "Hawaiian" vibe ... way more laid back and less "commercialized" than it's Lahaina counterpart on the West Shore. However, just north of Kihei is the town of Ma'alaea which consists of a sugar mill and the island's landfill. Every so often, the wind will shift and Kihei will be downwind of these very strong smelling odors. Just be aware that if you stay in Kihei, the sour downdraft could be an annoyance. I'd recommend looking just a notch further south to Wailea for accommodations, if possible, to avoid the roaming stench.

S W Arkansas
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7. Re: kihei or napili in february?

>>>>Just north of Kiehi is Ma'alaea which consist of a sugar mill and the island's landfill. Every so often, the wind will shift and Kihei will be downwind of these very strong smelling odors. Just be aware that if you stay in Kihei, the sour downdraft could be an annoyance.<<<<

To clarify: the sugar mill is in Pu’unene (about 8 miles north of top north part of Kihei Road intersection of 31 & 311)) and the landfill is past Pu’unene toward the heliport. Ma’alaea is the harbor which is west of intersection 31 & 311 & 310.

We stay in the 900 block of Kihei Rd (about 1 mile south from intersection 31 and 311). We have stayed in this area over 20 times mostly in Sept but also in the spring. We have never smelled the mill or landfill. We do smell the landfill when we take the short cut by the mill on the way to Paia. Sorry you had this occur. However I do want others reading this to realize that this is not common. In fact I’m scratching my head, thinking what you might have smelled when in Kihei.

Dallas, TX
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8. Re: kihei or napili in february?

Hi barefootnAR! Thanks for the location clarification on the sugar mill/landfill area. You sound like you know your stuff!

We dined in Kihei often (Sansei, Da'Kitchen, Pita Paradise, Local Boy Shave Ice) and smelled the odor the strongest the evening we dined at Cafe O'Lei. At first, we thought it was someone's trash dumpster near the restaurant, but then we smelled the same odor later that week when renting snorkel gear at a shop in Kihei. At that point, we asked a few people what was causing the smell, and they informed us that it was the downdraft from the landfill. It was as if the wind would shift and the stench would disappear and then it would shift back and we'd smell it again.

I certainly don't want to mislead any fellow TA friends as we truly enjoyed the Kihei area. Perhaps we were misinformed about what caused the odor and this was merely an unfortunate and unusual circumstance that happened during our stay.

Maui, Hawaii
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9. Re: kihei or napili in february?

If you want cooler, showers, lusher vegetation and a low rise area (2 stories) then pick Napili.

If you want dryer, warmer, more action (6 stories) then you should choose Kihei.

Hartford...
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10. Re: kihei or napili in february?

Im a fan of the Kihei area and from our last trip in Jan. we felt the difference in weather, IMHO west side is a bit cooler.

But if you think you wont be into checking out the rest of the island that much then the west side will probably fit your needs. Kihei is much more centrally located.