Top Maui Adventures

Top Maui Adventures

When your best friend is getting married in Maui, you book your ticket and say, “what do you need help with?”. You don’t need an excuse to visit the islands, but when you have one, take it!

Maui Bride wanted something that would not stress her out. Wanting to enjoy her day and her vacation. Bonus that her guests had a built-in vacation.

bride and groom holding just maui'd sign on maui beach
Best friends Maui wedding

This was my fourth time to Maui, but Sasquatches first. We go at different speeds on vacation. He likes to relax on the beach and read a book all day. I want to hike to the waterfall and then kayak around the island and then…. you get the idea. I usually need a vacation after my vacation. This time in Maui I slowed down. For every two days of activities, we took a beach day, of reading, rest, and relaxation.

My best recommendation is to buy this book: Maui Revealed The Ultimate Guidebook. I buy the newest addition every time I go to an island. We have one for every Hawaiian Island now, and three for Maui.

Where to Stay

We stayed in Kihei, South Maui, in a condo with a partial ocean view by Kama’ole Beach Park III. It was nice to have a condo you could have breakfast in and not have to eat out as much. Plus space allowed Yeti some privacy. Teenagers need some privacy. I love staying in South Maui, I like the beaches and the sun. The price for the condo was very reasonable, especially compared to a resort. We were also able to enjoy the fancy pools of a resort since our friends stayed in the Hyatt Regency and we spent time with them relaxing.

A lot of people, when they rent a Condo or house, go to the Costco on the island for their provisions. With just the three of us, we went to Safeway. Bulk purchases at Costco wasn’t practical. Groceries are expensive here, but still cheaper than eating out every meal.

Road to Hana.

Don’t miss the Road to Hana when you are in Maui. It is a 3-hour drive from Kihei to Hana, but longer with all the stops to check out waterfalls and small diversions. Have cash on hand to buy banana bread and shaved ice along the way.

Yeti next to a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree along the Hana Hwy

I recommend doing the road to Hana the day after you arrive. You can get an early start, I suggest no later than 7 am (which is 9 am PDT time). My body hasn’t adjusted to sleeping just a little later and 7 am on vacation doesn’t seem so early when it is 9 am at home.

Ideally, I would have stayed a night in Hana and made the trip back home the next day, in order to see and do ALL THE THINGS! If you chose to stay overnight in Hana, you may be lucky enough to have waterfalls and stunning views to yourself. Since we did not stay overnight, we traveled clockwise around east side the island, avoiding backtracking and being able to see more of the island. We just skipped a few of the thousands of waterfalls along the way to make the trip doable in one day.

Seven Sacred Pools (Ohe’o Gulch) and Pipiwai Trail.

The pools have only been closed once in the four times I have been there. However, I read that they are closing them more often for “safety”. Don’t want to be swept out to the Pacific Ocean during a flash flood. We lucked out and they were open this time. However we had just hiked in the heat on Pipiwai trail and the crowd at the pools made our tired, cranky bodies decide that dipping our feet and not our whole bodies would be fine. If you stay in Hana and go to the pools early in the morning you will most likely have them to yourself.

Pipiwai Trail is a fairly easy hike 5 miles hike, past a banyan tree, through a bamboo forest to Waimoku Falls. Waimoku Falls is a 400-foot waterfall that is difficult to get into a picture of, for a shoot and point photographer such as myself. I am sure you will take a much better and more artist photo when you get there.

Haleakala National Park

Want to feel like you are on Mars? You can at Haleakala Summit. Get good views at Leleiwi Lookout and at the upper visitor center. I have been at the summit for both sunrise and sunset. I prefer Sunset and watching the stars come out. Sunrise has too many people and requires leaving your hotel at 3 am. No thank you. Once is enough. Remember sunscreen and lots of water during the day and warm clothes for when the sun goes down. It gets cold on top of that mountain as it is 10,000 feet above sea level.

Sun rising above the clouds 10,000 feet above sea level

Lahaina

I am considering staying close to the town of Lahaina on my next visit. I always end up spending a full day just walking around town, browsing art galleries, and eating at amazing restaurants. Lahaina has an old jail made of Coral that is worth checking out, along with some other fun historical sites. If you want any nightlife, Lahaina is your town. Although Maui is growing and changing it is still a quiet island. One of the reasons I like it.

Sasquatch and Yeti posing by the Banyan tree

Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole is a natural geyser, a place where seawater trapped inside an underwater lava tube escapes in spectacular fashion. Check the tide, and be there at high tide. For a bigger show try to be there during high surf and high tide. It is worth the scenic drive to get there.

Snorkeling

Maui has some beautiful places to snorkel at. Historically my favorites have been: Honolua Bay, Black Rock, Five Graves/Five Caves, and also if you are in for a boat ride – Molokini Crater. I always bring my snorkel equipment but you can rent it from one of the many places once you are in Maui.

Turtles of Maui
Soooo many turtles

Luau

My blue Maui Bible, Maui Revealed, says the Old Lahina Luau is the best one on the Islands. I have never been to that one, because this lucky gal has always been treated to Luaus. This last visit the newlyweds had their reception at the Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency in Ka’anapali. It took a tour of the Pacific Islands. I found the performance fantastic and would see that show again. Food was delicious and there were more options for drinks than the last Luau I went to at the Maui Marriot.

They paused the festivities as the sun was setting so people could take some stunning sunset photographs.

Mama’s Fish House

Mama’s Fish House is worth every cent you spend. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is worth it. This is why we didn’t eat out every meal when we were here, so Yeti and Sasquatch could also experience this place. The menu will say something like: Ehu caught by Wilfred Katiya bottom fishing near Makena beach. Talk about knowing where your food is coming from! Dinner is perfection, the wait staff is attentive and friendly, and the view….oh that view. Get a reservation as soon as possible. I booked ours out a month and still had to have the 4:30 pm slot because the sunset slots were taken already.

View from Mama's fish house
View from Mama’s fish house

We will return again to Maui and the other Hawaiian Islands. We can’t stay away from the Aloha spirit for long.

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