Travel Guide: Maui, Hawaii

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Good Morning Loves!! I’m back today with a travel guide from our Scott family vacation to Maui.  Maui is a truly beautiful and has a special place in our hearts as it is where Chris and I got engaged last year.  We have been three times now, so I thought I’d give everyone a bit of info on our favourite places to go and things to do.  Just an FYI this post is not sponsored by anyone.

Where to Stay in Maui

We stayed at the Mana kai Resort in Kihei and we think it’s the perfect place to stay with family.  It’s right on the water, they aren’t even allowed to build resorts that close to the ocean anymore so the newer resorts you have to walk significantly further to get to the beach.  There’s snorkelling right there, we saw a ton of tropical fish and turtles.  They have everything you need: a restaurant, sushi bar, snorkel rentals, and even a little general store.  We rented one of their BBQ’s one night for a casual but fun evening with family friends capped off by a dip in their heated pool.

Chris and I have also stayed at the Hotel Wailea and at the Andaz in Wailea as well.  Wailea is the more newer, more resort area of South Maui.  I recommend the Hotel Wailea for a romantic getaway as it’s truly luxurious.  There are no children allowed at this resort so you can just enjoy each other in a relaxing atmosphere.  They have their own shuttle to take you to the beach that they share with the Grand Wailea, or you can enjoy the pool which is what we did.  They have beautiful cabanas, just go in the morning to grab one before they are all taken. It is a releaux Chateau so the food is absolutely fabulous there as well.  Have dinner in their treehouse within the canopy of mango and avocados complete with stunning ocean views.

We stayed at the Andez the night we got engaged and they were very hospitable.  We had our own private pool and the staff there were great.  To be honest I didn’t love the food at Morimoto Maui (one of the hotel’s restaurants) considering it’s cost but the rest of the evening was so perfect I couldn’t have cared less at the time.

The places we have stayed have been in South Maui (Maalaea, Kihei, Wailea, Makena) during our trips.  If you are looking for more of a city/touristy vibe I recommend West Maui (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili, Kahana, Kapalua) specifically Kapalua.  I know it has a gorgeous Ritz Carlton.  If you like Waikiki on Honolulu, then this is where you would probably want to stay.

Where to Eat in Maui

It was so hard to narrow these down as there are so many but I tried to choose ones that each featured something different.  If you would like to know more places to go let myself or my fiancé know and we (especially him) will be able to give you a bigger list.

Mama’s Fish House – A definite must when in Maui.  The 2nd most popular restaurant on open table in the US, and one of Trip Advisor’s top 10 fine dining restaurants.  Fisherman bring in fresh caught fish daily which are prepared beautifully while you enjoy the unique Hawaiian atmosphere.

Fleetwood’s on Front St. – We book a table up on the rooftop for their Hawaiian Sunset ceremony.  The view is stunning and you learn a bit about the culture from a Hawaiian gentleman in traditional garb as you watch the sunset, torches are lit and the conch is played.  Oh and they have the best drink “KOKOMO” to get you feeling in the tropical mindset.

Hali’imaile General Store – We have only been here once, and although we found it a bit loud the food was great.  I recommend the sushi Napoleon to start.

South Maui Fish Co. – We come to this food truck every year.  The perfect lunch spot, the best poke and fish tacos I’ve ever had.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice – Shaved ice is everywhere in Maui but the best we’ve found was Ululani’s.  They use real fruit juice instead of a liquid filled with chemicals and have every flavour and topping you desire.

Aloha Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade – Great for a refreshing beverage, and our favourite açai bowls (sorry Jusu!!).

Roadside Huli-huli chicken – Anything roadside would normally make me a bit nervous but I promise this is tender, perfectly cooked and seasoned chicken.  We love to buy a chicken and a few ribs to bring home for a quick lunch.

Roasted Chilis – Being in Maui for two weeks, we were craving something other than fish one night and this was that perfect something different.  Traditional Mexican, complete with hand made tortillas, delicious guac and tasty margaritas.  My favourite is the chile relleno and Chris loves the mole con polo.  Reasonably priced too.

Koiso – Sushi in a casual eatery in Dolphin Plaza.  With only 15 seats and two sittings, reservations are a must and we book weeks in advance, it is that good. Fresh, expertly prepared and some of the best fish anywhere.

What to Do in Maui

Molokini Island Snorkeling – I recommend you take a tour with a company that goes to the back side of Molokini as there is more sea-life and less people.  Our tour stopped in an area where the whales were known to be nearby and you could actually hear their calls under the water which was an amazing experience.

Sunset at Haleakala Summit – It’s about 10,000 ft up and about an hours drive.  Leave with lots of time to drive up, a full tank of gas and very warm clothes.  You will smell the eucalyptus in the air as you drive up the windy roads, near the top and eventually end up above the clouds.  It’s well worth the journey up and a breathtaking experience.

Maui Off Road Adventures – We had a blast on 1000cc Razors (a 4-wheel type vehicle). Remarkable views, wildlife, heartpumping fun, knowledgable and chill staff; I’d agree it was an adventure for sure.  Not for young children or the elderly.

Road to Hana – We do this every year and you really get to see the different landscapes of the island. The lush forests, incredible beaches, and volcanic terrain.  Before the trek we stop at breakfast in Paia at cafe Mambos, they open at 8AM sharp.  Some of our favourite places along the rest of the journey are below:

Aunty Sandy’s for banana bread, Twin falls, Wai’anapanapa State Park, Bamboo forest (Na’ili’ili), Koki beach, Heavenly Hana, Hamoa Beach, Wailua Falls, Ohe’o Gulch/Seven Sacred Pools, fresh fruit and juice stand, and the back side of Haleakala.

You need to leave early if you plan to take the loop to go all the way around, also I recommend driving a jeep and being a confident driver as parts of the road are very narrow.

   

Helicopter ride – We have never done this yet, but it’s on our list.

Shop – I especially loved Mahina, a Hawaiian boutique with 5 locations on Maui. They only have a few items on their website but in store they have a huge selection of chic vacation wear.  Also Lahina is an interesting place to shop, not for clothes so much per-say but we found a couple pieces of great art there.  One piece I’m super excited to get up in the bathroom of our future home.

Have any of you been to Maui, or any of the Hawaiian Islands? Tell me about your favourite places to go there, or what is on your Wishlist of things to do while there!

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18 Comments

  1. Montana says:

    Hawaii looks so beautiful! I have yet to go, but it is definitely on my bucket list! Are there kid friendly spots, or would you suggest an adults only adventure for the first time?

    Thanks for sharing – looks like you had an amazing time ☀️

  2. Jennifer says:

    This makes me so excited for my own trip to Hawaii

  3. April says:

    Maui is the best ❤️ ☀️🥥🍍 I can’t wait to go back someday!

  4. Andrew Locke says:

    Maui looks amazing, your blog has been very helpful in my plans for Maui in May this year.

  5. Regina says:

    Stunning images! I didn’t know what is shaved ice! Well, today I learned something new!

  6. Samantha says:

    This is an awesome post, Hawaii is a place on my list of places to go. Hopefully I’ll be able to go soon, looks so beautiful

  7. Kim says:

    I am saving this post for our next Maui trip !! We LOVE Maui and you listed a lot of places we still need to try 🙂

  8. Jodi says:

    Your trip looks fantastic! I need a post like this for Kauai as we are planning a trip there next month, might have to consider Maui!

  9. Danielle Craven says:

    Maui is probably one of my favorite places in the world and I have travelled lots! I always stay in Kihei or Wailea. I love renting condos, but have stayed at the Wailea Marriot, the Grand Wailea, and Mana Kai. Mana Kai is on my favorite beach in Maui and has a restaurant called Sorentos where I usually get breakfast. Mamas Fish House in Paia is one of my favorite restaurants but I also love Spagos in Wailea, as well as The Monkey Pod.
    My boyfriend has never been to Hawaii and I really want to be able to take him. I love the road to Hana and have done it many times. One of my dear friends Charley owns Scuba Shack in Kihei and he does snorkeling and diving tours out by Molokini and Turtle Bay. You can get your diving certificate through him! I highly recommend. I have yet to do a helicopter tour but that’s next on my bucket list. ❤️

  10. Jennilin says:

    I’ve been to Waikiki, but next I want to do Maui!
    Such great tips, and beautiful photos 😍

  11. Danielle says:

    Awesome post. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m heading out early April. First time. Super stoked! Will take your recommendations into definite consideration!

  12. Taryn Haywood says:

    Looks beautiful- I’ll have to make my way there one day. All the food looked amazing! Glad you had a spectacular trip!

  13. Brittany Gale says:

    Looks like a beautiful place! Definitely up there on my bucket list after reading your blog post.

  14. Carrie Ceasor says:

    Great guide. We r planning a trip to Maui next year and loved the idea of 4 wheeling. Going to save this to show my husband. Great ideas on restaurants as well. Thanks Laura!

  15. Coral says:

    Oooh! I’ve never been and always wanted to go! I love both the luxury and simple travel tips you gave us! KOKOMO here I come! 🙌

  16. Carrie says:

    Nice pictures and great recommendations! Have not been to Hawaii yet but it is definitely a place I would like to visit very soon.

  17. Tracy says:

    Hawaii looks amazing..hope to make it there one day. Maybe during the next Winnipeg deep freeze❄❄

  18. Victoria Ucer says:

    Awesome pictures! Definitely on my bucket list! Your Instagram pics are raw and earthy.

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