We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

After looking at Google maps street view....

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
810 posts
34 reviews
Save Topic
After looking at Google maps street view....

I am a bit concerned. Maui kinda looks like Tucson or Mexico without cactus & with the ocean thrown in. I thought it was going to be real tropical with flowers everywhere. I guess I looked at too many sunset pics when making my decision to go to Maui and not actual street view. I thought there would be some thatched roofed buildings. Lahaina looks fun but looking inland I didnt see much of any orchards,plantaions or much vegetation really in the valley. Is the only lush area near Hana? We wont be going that far.

Here is our itinerary

9.20.11/Tues Arrive 11:35am

dinner : tacos/marg at Leilani's on the Beach

9.21.11 /Wed Maui Tropical Plantation tram tour, Iao State Park and Needle,

9.22.11/Thur Volunteer, Old Lahaina Luau 5:45pm

9.23.11/Fri Lahaina /west coast

9.24.11/Sat Food tour – Komoda, Surfing Goat Dairy, Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, Holy Ghost Church

9.25.11/Sun Paia, Ho’okipa Windsurfers

9.26.11/Mon REST

9.27.11/Tues Home

someone tell me everything will be ok :)

29 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
10,601 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

The south end of Maui is very dry.

Other areas are more lush, especially northern Maui, but other than the Hana region, it's not exactly dripping tropical rain forest. The resorts and hotels all have landscaping that provide gorgeous tropical foliage.

Thatched roofs are not really a Hawaiian theme, unlike the Mexican palapa.

You will have a lovely time and enjoy it. Your itinerary seems busy to me, but I prefer more relaxation, beach wandering and puttering about in the water time. That Tropical Plantation tour is not much more than a trip to a large store selling souveniers and such.

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
13,845 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

I think you'll be surprised once you get there how spectacular the scenery is ... with the mountains on one side of you and the ocean on the other, it's hard to focus on the 'street view'.

Everything will be more than OK :)

Level Contributor
257 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....


It will be beyond ok,especially after the summer we have had in Seattle.

Maui is gorgeous !!!!!

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,293 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

I hear your concern, the first time I was on Maui driving from the airport through Kahului, which is more of a town and less of a tourist destination, I wondered what all the hoopla about Hawaii was. Then driving down Kihei road I thought, well this isn't much different than SoCal where I grew up....what's the hype?

Then after being there about 12 hours the Maui magic started to set in. I felt it and now every time I think about it I can feel it. There are many beautiful parts of the Island that are paradise, but there are also places where ordinary folks live that look a lot like many towns in the U.S., don't be discouraged and let Maui do it's magic on you....it is something you just have to experience.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
39,477 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

You are describing Mo'orea. :) South Pacific.

The desert climate is the reason you can expect sunshine on your visit.

You will see lots of tropical plants on the dry side thanks to irrigation.

I do not like Lahaina town much. If you want something different, spend more time north in Napili and Kapalua, and honestly, I would go to Hana. But then there is something like one day of your itinerary that would interest me, so we may not have the same tastes, and I don't want to influence you if that is the case.

Level Contributor
49,560 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

Given your requirements for "lush", I'd say forget what you have planned on Wednesday and drive Road To Hana instead.

Or, for a easier drive, and still leaving time for Ioa, drive up to Haleakala seeing all the different microclimates on the way. You can do that in a long morning, fit in Iao in later afternoon, you only need an hour or two.I'd certainly advise either of those over a visit to a dairy farm and a lavender garden because surely goat farms and lavender are 10-a-penny?

And as others have said, its as much about the mountains and sea as well.

Milwaukie, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,186 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

Where are you planning to stay? That can make quite a difference in your perceptions. My nephew and his wife stayed at a condo complex in Lahaina on their honeymoon and were very disappointed with the in-town location and lack of tropical ambiance. (They should have asked TA or Auntie for advice!)

Reedsport, Oregon
Level Contributor
3,997 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

In the Hawaiian islands Maui and and Hawaii have 11 of the worlds 13 climate zones. Which means you can experience everything from hot dry desert to lush tropical rain forest to snow capped mountain peaks. And with Maui you can move through these zones quite quickly due to it's size. I think it's one of the amazing aspects of Maui. The road to Hana you can see and experience changes just in a few miles. You can stand in Kaanapali which is relatively dry, 14 inches a year, and look north and see clouds over Kapalua which gets around 40 inches a year. Then turn again and look up at the west Maui mountains which can get over 300 inches a year.

To answer your question "Will everything be OK?" there's a pretty good chance the answer is yes. Maui has won over millions of visitors including me. The only problem can see is your schedule isn't getting out to the areas you are looking for in the "lush" category. Iao valley is nice but a pretty short visit IMHO. Upcountry you have down is beautiful but has a feel much more like northern California than a tropical feel. Since most of the west Maui mountains are inaccessible Hana and the road to it are your best bet for lush, tropical forest.

Also remember that the Google street views are just that street views. And most of them are in towns where there is businesses and attractions and even in some of the outer areas they may have added street views the view is so distorted it doesn't give you a good perspective.

When you plan your next trip, and I bet good money you will, the islands get into your blood and call you to return, but look into Kauai next time for the more all over lush vegetation.

Level Contributor
3,115 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

Your statement... "I thought it was going to be real tropical with flowers everywhere......

That would be Kauai !

Level Contributor
13 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: After looking at Google maps street view....

Maui has micro-climates. The dry area has little development and you will likely not go there. Have you built any time to relax on the beach or just hang out? Try to savor it a little.

Reply to: After looking at Google maps street view....
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted