Eat, Stay, Play: Maui

This December as you know I am heading to Hawaii (hurray!) and I will get to check out Oahu for the first time and my fourth time visiting Maui. We typically go for a little over 2 weeks to Maui so I think in total I have spent over a month and a half on the island and have gotten to see so many things. In that time I’ve gotten to see and experience many awesome things in Maui so take my advice on the places to eat, where to stay, and how to play!

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Eat

Kihei Cafe

This restaurant has been rated Best Breakfast in 2009 and with good reason. You can get exceptional breakfasts here! I highly recommend the pancakes if you’re planning a busy of swimming because these decadent stacks will keep you full for a while. I love the banana macadamia nut because when in Hawaii you have to eat macadamia nuts (it’s like in the constitution).

Kihei Aloha Ice Cream

After a long day I love walking up and getting the chocolate macadamia nut ice cream. I have a frequent customer punch card in my wallet that I am bound and determined to fill. It is my mission. I love making a night of walking up and getting an ice cream then walking the beach back to our condo.

Kula Bistro

If you are planning on heading to Haleakala summit you should definitely check out the Kula Bistro. This was the BEST ahi tuna I have ever had. It has ruined me for all other ahi tuna because they just don’t cook it as well. Not to mention the amazing desserts you can pick from their case. It’s off the beaten path a bit but is just not to be missed. Oh and it’s BYOB for dinner, BYOB! Kula’s may actually win for my favourite place on Maui (don’t tell the others).

Three’s

We checked out this little place tucked behind Serendipity’s Boutique the first time we went to Maui and I always make sure to come back and get their amazing food. I get something new every time and have never been disappointed. I definitely recommend checking it out during happy hour as the prices are great and the appetizers are awesome.

808 Grindz

Open for breakfast and lunch it is worth the wait, and trust me there will be a wait. The meals are low price and high value. Definitely check out the eggs benedicts in all their amazing flavours. It’s got such a perfect Hawaiian vibe unique to the island.

Mama’s Fish House

This is not a budget friendly choice but the price is well worth it for the quality of the food. It is set on it’s own secluded beach and is the perfect location for a high end dinner and watching the sunset. This is one not to miss if you have room in your budget.

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Stay

Hotel or Condo?

This is the main thing to consider for where to stay when you’re on Maui. We have always stayed in a condo mainly for the kitchen. Having a kitchen heavily reduces the cost of travel since you can easily make your own meals and it is always cheaper to stay home than eat out. We typically stop by Costco our first day on Maui and pick up what think we’ll need for the week. Then the different couples/groups are responsible for alternating dinners so no one is cooking every day. It works out really well and definitely helps to save cash.

Grand Wailea

Play

Surf

Maui has so many beautiful beaches and some really awesome places to surf. The North Shore is the more wind blown area of Maui and usually has the best surf. The beaches there tend to be a little different, the sand is a bit coarser and the wind that builds those waves can make it a bit less appealing of a beach to hang out at. I would say it’s worth a trip even just to go see the wind surfers dotting the sky like a flock of birds.

Hike in Iao Valley State Park

This is one thing that has been on my bucket list for some time. I am hoping this year is my chance to do some hiking and find some off the beaten path treasures that I haven’t seen before. Private waterfall anyone?

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Snorkel

You can either pay for a snorkelling trip to Molokini Crater but I prefer to just snorkel off the beach of our condo. I have seen more turtles by our beach than I did at Molokini, though to be fair the one time I tried it was an unusually choppy day so they had to take us to an alternate snorkelling spot than their standard one.

Standup Paddleboard

If surfing isn’t your vibe but you still want a chance to be out on the water standup paddle boarding is a fun alternative. I found it kind of expensive for rentals so keep in mind this isn’t a super budget friendly option and you want to go when the ocean is pretty calm. It can be very challenging to maintain your balance on rough seas.

Explore Upcountry

There are so many beautiful spots to see upcountry which many people rarely go to. There is the amazing lavender where farm you can go explore the garden or go horseback riding through so many different landscapes. A few times on our horses I could have sworn we were in New Zealand.

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Road to Hana

Quintessential and for good reason the Road to Hana is stunning. Abounding with opportunities for beautiful scenery photos and unique roadside food carts and fresh fruit stands your eyes and belly won’t go hungry. There are some interesting hikes on this way to stop and stretch your legs from the journey. Don’t forget to keep your eyes out for the rainbow eucalyptus trees.

Haleakala National Park

Honestly this is one thing I’ve never done in my many times to Maui. The idea of waking up super early to watch the sunrise doesn’t hold much appeal since I live within driving distance of the Rockies. That being said the people who have ventured out to do the sunrise at Haleakala all say it is well worth it. If you stay somewhere upcountry it will make the journey easier. If you’re extra adventurous you can bike down the volcano but as someone who goes downhill mountain biking that looks terrifying. The forest floor is a lot more forgiving if you fall than a road.

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Whale Watching

We did a whale watching tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation on Christmas last time we were in Maui. The greatest Christmas gift I’ll ever receive was being on a boat in a competition pod of humpback whales. There were multiple males vying for one female and showing off breaching and splashing all over the place.

Explore Downtown Lahaina

Eat all the things. There are so many amazing restaurants in Lahaina that it is a foodie paradise. The docks and beaches are also right there to go and walk down after. You can take some photos with the historic banyan tree and listen to the guy proselytize about the end of the world.

Go to a Luau

There is also the most Hawaiian thing to do, the Old Lahaina Luau. The Old Lahaina Luau is considered the most authentic luau with traditional hula dancing and fire dancing. It is definitely worth going to once, the food is great and they have free cocktails (at least when I went).

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Is there anything I missed that is a must see in Maui? Any hidden gems of a restaurant? Leave a comment!