[Travel Advice] Maui, Hawaii

Random Observation/Comment #778: I’m happy with switching my whole wardrobe to Aloha shirts.

Things Maui does well

  • Rainbows – To get rainbows, you also need a lot of random rain. It’s overall beautiful weather with a spritz of precipitation and high winds at times
  • Perfect temperatures – It’s always 85 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus 10 degrees depending on the month. The humidity just makes my pores so happy.
  • Clouds around the mountains – This makes views from mountains a bit more rare, but it’s super photogenic when looking from the sea.
  • Fruits – Super fresh and ripe farmer markets with delicious acai bowls. I didn’t find the pineapple to be life changing (although they were very delicious)
  • Sunrises and sunsets – People really take the time to appreciate sunrises by waking up early and going to bed by 10PM. The crazy nightlife scenes are replaced by morning walks on the beach.
  • Local dishes (e.g. loco moco, spam misubi, ahi poke) – I love seafood. There’s no shortage of great sushi places and dishes like loco moco to fatten you up for the morning.
  • Ululanis shaved ice – The specific shaved ice from Ululani’s is life changing. It literally tastes like ice cream. I love that it’s dairy free and super delicious.
  • Paia Fish Market simple dishes – Big fan of blackened or seared fresh caught fish. It’s a little expensive, but what isn’t in Maui? Their tartar sauce is delicious.
  • Wild chickens are everywhere – I love how these chickens have no fear of people. They literally just walk around with their cute chicks and pick up scraps.
  • Beautiful driving – Not a lot of crazy traffic (at least when we were here in October). I was able to drive the Road to Hana and the road up to the national park without any issues.
  • No Seaweed in the water – I’m used to the Atlantic Ocean in Long Island where seaweed is everywhere. The water is so crystal clear and soothing to just float around.
  • Mahalo – Good vibes all around.

Little bits of advice

  • Remember to always use reef-safe sunblock when going into the water – Hawaiian Tropic is a great brand for this
  • Don’t buy macadamia nuts in regular stores because they’ll be over priced – You might as well get it from Costco at bulk or buy your gifts for friends there.
  • Actually, everything has a 50-75% higher price than in other states. Gas in Denver was around $3.50 and gas in Maui was $5.09 ($4.09 at Costco). Different food truck items are closer to $9-10 with entrees at restaurants closer to $20
  • Rent a car – It’s nice to be able to drive everywhere and see the different parts of the island. Drove a minivan around and it felt like a part of the experience.
  • Don’t drive the Road to Hana if you’re not confident in your driving. We had a minivan and my daughter was fine with the winding roads by just listening to fun Spotify sing-along tunes. There are very windy roads with some single-pass yielding bridges (with no lighting). We only drove to the Garden of Eden and turned back, which was a perfect 8:30am-12:30pm activity.
  • Parking spots are really small. Luckily minivans open doors sliding or else we’d be stuck everywhere. It’s exceedingly hard to drive a big car, but I got used to it by the end of the week.
  • Book a luau if you’re into that type of thing – We did Feast of Lele and thought it was worth the price and show.
  • Book a snorkeling session – While the snorkeling isn’t as beautiful as the colorful fish in Grand Cayman, I still think it’s a worthwhile activity.
  • Bring your own snorkel mask – Super happy we packed our own snorkel equipment from getting our scuba license because all the water is super clear and you can see the sea turtles just by any of the beaches.
  • The “off season” slower time in Maui is around Sept after Labor Day to Nov before Thanksgiving

Itinerary

Sunday

Land in OGG and pick up the rental car

Check-in to the Vacasa at Sugar Beach Resort and have some dinner downstairs – Dina’s Sandwitch
Food was okay, but service was very slow. Love the signed dollar bills on the wall.

Monday

Breakfast acai bowls and some big jenga – Sweet Hula
I wish they had the Brazilian bites. Perfect light breakfast with a smoothie. Definitely down to go here everyday. Food around this area is really delicious.

Walk around beaches – drove down to Makena Beach – Beautiful expensive hotels and resorts by Wailea down the coast

Snorkeled a bit and got to see a sea turtle just floating and chilling

Lunch at Kihei Caffe
Definitely share dishes here. I liked the Kalua loco moco over the traditional one with the beef patty. It’s super yummy, but also very dense

Walk around and go to the kids playground across the street at Kalama Park

Buy some Hawaiian shirts and ugly hats at the gift shops in Kīhei Kalama Village

Rinse feet back home and hang out by the pool at the resort. Bought some fresh fruit at the market by Farmers Market Maui

Sushi at Isana
Sushi is so fresh here and definitely scratched that itch.

Tuesday

Walk along Beach to Sugar Beach Bake Shop

Drove Road to Hana – Minivan was a little difficult. Watch out for those single car bridges. We almost hit a huge truck if it wasn’t for this shoulder.

Stop at Twin Falls – Not a necessary stop, but a nice break right before starting a crazy drive. Kid friendly and some beautiful flora. We didn’t walk up the 30 minutes to get to the actual waterfall area. $10 per car parking fee.

Stop at Garden of Eden Arboretum
$20 per person entrance fee. This is definitely worth it as you can walk around for a few hours and see some beautiful embedded botanical things. I really loved the Garden of Eden vibes.

Peruvian food in Paia at Lima Cocina + Cantina
Ceviche was delish and I’d personally just eat their noodle dish with some extra sides of white rice for all that gravy goodness.

Luau in Lahaina at Feast of Lele
Loved the dancing and most of the dishes. About $200 per person for “5 courses” which is specifically family style 3x plates per first 4 course and then a cake for dessert. It’s plenty of food and goes down easy with an open bar. I would not go if you have dietary restrictions or don’t drink. I’d break it down as $75 worth of a show with $125 worth of unlimited food and drinks. Paid the $60 for the lyft so we could indulge.

Wednesday

Drove to Black sand beach – Oneuli Beach
Note that the entrance is a bit of a sand drive to a small parking lot

Snorkeling on a boat – Maui Snorkeling Lani Kai
Loved the reef spot and the huge slide. Water is super warm.

Pizza from Pizza Madness Maui

Thursday

Breakfast at Sugar Beach Bake Shop (again)

Laze at the pool and take naps

TT Themed Wedding – Congratulations Felipe and Christine!

Friday

Morning beach at Kamaole Beach Park I
The sandy beach has a gradual descent into the water. Super soft sand.

Lunch at Paia Fish Market South Side
Tartar sauce goes well with everything. Loved the char broiled ahi. Cajun Mahi Mahi also a hit. Definitely do half and half of rice and potatoes because the flavors are delicious

Relax and take naps because why not?

Table tennis at 808 Ping Pong
Definitely go visit if you like playing table tennis! Super friendly people. $10 for the night.

Dinner at Down the Hatch Maui
The burgers are huge and an amazing deal

Saturday

Drove to National Park –
Haleakalā National Park Summit District Entrance Station

Didn’t really make it to the top because we were afraid we didn’t have enough gas to make it. Note to self: always fill the gas tank before going on long drives.

Lunch at Paia Fish Market
The location in Paia is better than the one in Kihei because of bigger portions. Specify a medium rare for the Ahi

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
Absolutely delicious shave ice. It’s life changing with super long lines. Worth the wait!

We wound up buying a ukulele at Mele Ukulele Paia

Red eye flight home!

~See Lemons Love Maui