In the early days of Hawaii's Western colonization, trains were used to haul sugar cane from one spot to the other. ... More
Sugar Cane Train
In the early days of Hawaii's Western colonization, trains were used to haul sugar cane from one spot to the other. Eventually, more modern forms of transportation became popular, and today almost nothing can be seen of the original Hawaiian railroads. However, the tracks between Lahaina and Ka'anapali are still functional, and the cherry-red Sugar Cane Train still travels them regularly. A dinner ride is available during the week; check out the website or contact Sugar Cane Train for more information.
The train itself was cool because it was a real steam engine but to pay $23 per adult to ride along the main highway you drive on and see the in people's backyards and to see a lot of junk piles, is ridiculous. There was no sugar cane and the train doesn't even make a loop, it goes back the same way.
Too much of this trip (half?) journeys through the industrial area on one side and junk-filled yards on the other! We actually saw a motorcycle that looked like it had been set afire! Towards the Kaanapaali station, things improved scenery-wise, but I can see a golf course at home any time. Some of the history was interesting and it was cool to watch the engine on the turntable at the Lahaina station (which you can do for free). We took the afternoon trip and were not approached by anyone to buy things. We had expected the train to go through the sugar cane fields or something like that, but were quite disappointed. I don't think that it lives up to the price.
It was nice to hear the history of the sugar cane industry on Maui, but mostly you went along the main road, and through some not so beautiful neighborhoods.
We jsut did the 60 minute day trip- not the evening dinner trip.
Our 2 year old loved it- so it was worth the time.
This short 1 hour train ride was so great for the kids. They love it and continue to be so excited when we pass the train station wanting to go for another ride. You pass through the Kaanapali Golf Courses and pass through the unseen parts of Lahaina and Kaanapali. It's quite serene.
You are essentially paying an obscene amount of money to take a cramped train ride along the same street on which you drove to reach the station, while getting continuous announcements about uninteresting "history" and repeated reminders about one rider's birthday. All the while, people come down with carts selling random food and other items for, again, obscene prices.
My husband, son, and I took a wonderful ride through the city. We used our AAA card for a discount, though one can use a printed discount coupon, found in magazines. The tour guide was very personable and knew interesting facts about the area. The steam engine had to be filled with water from the water tower. We all enjoyed seeing that. We also got a kick out of the engine letting off steam. We were told of photo opportunities, so we could take these memories home. Also, at the end of the ride, the engine had to be put on a wooden turntable, so that it could be turned around. We enjoyed the entire experience. A slow ride to get pics of the area.
They need to improve this big time, make it more like a 'shuttle' train from the Kaanapali resort area to Lahaina town, and lower the price, the hwy between the two is CLOGGED with cars (several times during the day it is like rush hour in any major city--stop/go, stop/go), so, it would be nice to have a nice nostalgic shuttle for one to hop on, go to Lahaina for the day, hop back on, and go back to your hotel at a decent price/schedule--JMO. Make it not only nostalgic, but an important way for people to get from one place to the other without using a car! Maybe have the 'terminal' pull up by the Whalers Village or some place in the middle of the Kaanapali area.
It cost our family of 4 over 200 for a train ride and a meal. The food, while catered by the Marriot offerred ribs (that's the best on the menu), chicken and hot dogs...The entertainment was definitely so-so...I don't think this was worth the $206.00 we spent for 2 adults and 1 4yr old child. Our little one (2yr old was free)
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