Maui Re-Opened – Aloha Welcome and Tips
Maui re-opened on Thursday, October 15th! We were waiting for this Maui Opening! It was an exciting tine for many, as the Safe Travels Hawaii Program officially launched. Under the program, trans-Pacific travelers can take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a testing partner approved by the state within 72 hours from the final leg of departure to Hawaiʻi. And if given a negative result for COVID-19, are allowed to bypass the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Maui County saw average daily arrivals jump to 2,447 in the first four days since the state launched it’s pre-travel COVID 19 testing program on October 15. That’s up from the average daily 530 travelers logged in the 12 days prior between Oct. 3 and 14, before the reopening program took effect. However, that was less than half of the 5,590 average daily domestic arrivals reported in Maui County over the same four days last year. (Source: MauiNow.com)
While the first half of the month was dominated by residential arrivals, a stark shift to visitor arrivals occurred upon the program’s launch.
FOR IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS COMING TO MAUI WITH PRE-TRAVEL PLAN, Read this post and watch this video: https://www.tomtezak.com/10-maui-travel-tips-to-avoid-quarantine/
Visiting Kaanapali and Lahaina
On Friday, October 16, I decided to go ”holo holo” with my daughter. We chose to visit the West Said of Maui to celebrate Maui’s re-opening. As Wailea Realty’s Interactive Media Strategist, I was interested to see first hand the change that will occur as a result of this re-opening. I understand that it might be a bit early to observe on the 2nd day of re-opening. However, I decided to go “now” while traffic is still light going to Lahaina from Kihei. As more tourist comes, there will be more cars and roads will get busier. Want to see Kaanapali before the reopening? Watch this video:
Why go to the West side of Maui when we can just explore the South side? After all, Southside is where Wailea Realty Office is located. Well, I know The south side pretty well and I had been sharing about Kihei, Wailea and Makena so I though it would be a fun experience to go to the West side.
In case you are wondering what “holo holo” means, It is a Hawaiian term which means “to go for a walk, ride, or sail; to go out for pleasure, stroll, promenade.”. I like saying that word and it is fun to use that word on my blog post for today 🙂 (Watch Jordan Kamikawa, RS explain what holo holo means)
I was excited about our day trip to The West Side of Maui. I must mention that the ocean view from the bypasss road is amazing! If you have not been to that road yet and you are planning to come soon, you’d now what I mean when you get there. Unfortunately, we did not take a photo – but maybe next time we go I will and I will.
Our first stop at Lahaina is at Moku Roots at the Lahaina Gateway. Moku Roots is a vegan friendly restaurant and has been gaining popularity on Maui. You don’t have to be Vegan to appreciate their food. I am telling you, I am not Vegan but I love their food and drinks! One of our agents, Nancy Beebe, recommended Moku Roots on the blog post we wrote about “where to eat on Maui in 2020”.
After Moku Roots, we went to MAHINA to check out their clothing and accessories. Mahina also has a shop in Wailea (upstairs from where our Wailea Realty Office is). When you come to Maui and would like shop for clothes, and support local biz, Mahina is the place to go!
After Mahina, we drove to the Whaler’s Village. We visited this Kaanapali/Whalers Village 2 weeks ago and it was super quiet. However, on our Friday holo holo, there were noticeably more people there. There are some stores that are open and mask is required.
WATCH THIS VIDEO OF WHALERS VILLAGE BEFORE MAUI REOPENING:
The major restaurants such as Leilanis, Hula Grill and Monkeypod were not open yet, but soon they will be. That night, there were actually Fundraising Dinners that happened at Leilani’s and Hula Grill and one of my YouTube friends mistakenly reported they were open so I shared too that they are open. Later, I was informed that it’s a private event. The official reopening of Hula Grill is on Friday, October 23., 2020. Meanwhile, at Westin at Kaanapali they are working on this new outdoor restaurant. This would be perfect for open air dining – stay tuned for updates on this new place:
Aside from hotels and restaurants, an important part of visiting Kaanapali is Kaanapali Beach. Of course I took a video to share with you:
After going around checking out stores and taking photos, we drove back to go to Lahaina.
Front Street, Banyan Tree and Maui Memories at Pioneer Inn
Once again, there were noticeably more people in Lahaina compared to the last time I passed by Lahaina ( 3 weeks ago). We visited my friend Dany, who store MAUI MEMORIES opened that day for the first time since the shut down in March. Maui Memories in located in the Pioneer Inn building across from the famous Banyan Tree in Lahaina.