Maui: The Ultimate Guide

We visited Hawaii for the second time in fall 2013- to Maui! This time for 7 nights. A lot of people ask us, Oahu vs. Maui? Maui wins, hands down, no challenge. There’s just so much more to do here.

Maui rainbow

rainbow right in our backyard on Kanaapali Beach

Getting Around

Rental car all the way! The freedom that comes with renting a car is sweet and we wouldn’t have done it any other way. The island is easy to navigate and the roads are nice and wide! (except for the Road to Hana)

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Wher eto Stay

You can’t go wrong with Kaanapali (too expensive for us) and Wailea or Kihei (cheaper but further), but Lahaina was the perfect homebase for us. Whalers Village is right next door- perfect for a lazy romantic stroll down the beach after dinner.

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Priceline bidding landed us Westin Maui Resort & Spa at $168 a night. Because they were undergoing construction at the time in the tower we were staying in, we got upgraded to a king-sized ocean view room in the nicer tower. Such a steal considering that regular price is over $400 a night! The property is gorgeous and the amenities are sweet. The best part? Kaanapali Beach is right in our backyard.

What to Do

Road to Hana

We started our day early with a GPS and headed for the Road to Hana. This 5-6hr long journey was not a difficult drive, but the roads are full of bends and turns so it’s a good idea to pop a few gravols if you get carsick easily. Your butt won’t hurt from sitting for too long since there are so many stops along the way for you to stretch and soak in amazing scenery.

After a slippery trek down the side of the road, we were at the bottom of Three Bears Falls!

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Wai‘ānapanapa State Park is a must visit! There’s a small trail here and it’s an easy and quick walk.

Wai'anapanapa State Park COMING SOON

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The Black Sand Beach at Wai‘ānapanapa State Park… was more stony than sandy. But the contrast in colors is beautiful!

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Koki Beach Park – the sand here is ridiculously soft.

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The last stop was Seven Sacred Pools and O’heo Gulch Waterfalls. I think you can also hike down the Pipiwai Trail from the bamboo forest but I was just not having it at this point. Period cramps and mood swings don’t mix well with a long drive…

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Ziplining

This was our first time ziplining and it was SO FUN. Expensive, BUT SO FUN. These guys have the fastest and longest zipline course in Maui with 8 ziplines ranging from 250 – 3600 feet. We zipped through 20 ridges and valleys and were treated with panoramic views of this beautiful island.

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The ATV ride back down was intense. These guys drove like maniacs down the rugged terrain but it was AWESOME (and slightly scary). As if the zipline course wasn’t exhilarating enough. Look at that view!1234653_10151613061732441_374654278_n

Luau

There are a couple of places where you can attend a luau but we decided on Feast at Lele for its intimacy. Instead of sharing the table with strangers and food served buffet-style, you get your own table to yourself and the food is brought to you (it’s still all you can eat/drink!). This is more of a Polynesian luau than a traditional Hawaiian one so you won’t be digging roasted pork out from an underground oven. Romance and privacy were what we leaned towards so the Feast at Lele was perfect! The performers are SO JACKED.

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Pro-tip: book early and request for a center table right in front of the stage for an unobstructed view. I mean, just look at that- the perfect setting for a dinner!

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Snorkeling

Honolua Bay is a short 20min drive from Lahaina. You’ll have to go early because parking is limited, and will have to trek trough a ‘jungle’ to get to the bay. There are no facilities around and the shore can be quite rocky. Marine life can be a hit or miss depending on the weather. We were unlucky the morning we went 🙁

HOWEVER, we took a boat excursion to go snorkeling and THAT was awesome. When we were dropped off at Mala Wharf, we saw 3-4 turtles and one swam super closer to me!

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This was one of the coolest moments of my life!

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Sunrise at Haleakala

We failed miserably at this- snoozed our alarm and totally slept in! Don’t miss this if you’re able to wake up early to make the drive!

 

Where to Eat

Leilani’s on the Beach

If you want a nice romantic dinner with the best sunset view, Leilani’s is it (second to Feast at Lele). Make sure you make a reservation beforehand to be seated on the 2F deck 30min before the sun sets!

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Gazebo Restaurant

This is the spot for breakfast- fried rice breakfast that is! It’s a cute little place close to Napili Beach with a great view. We had to share the fried rice because it was literally a mountain on our plate! Apparently their pancakes are to die for too but we couldn’t have stomached that. The downside is the limited parking and long line- we had to wait half an hour for an available table.

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Coconut’s Fish Cafe

We drove down to Kihei after ziplining and stopped by for dinner. The fish tacos here are ON POINT! Prices are very reasonable too and the portions are huge.

The Fish Market Maui

We stopped by this place on the way back from the Road to Hana. It has really good reviews on Tripadvisor and it was good, but we thought Pajo’s back home is much better.

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5 thoughts on “Maui: The Ultimate Guide

    • Hi Beckie, November is supposedly the start of rainy season but it’s hard to say. We were in Oahu in December and we experienced no rain at all. You might get lucky and have sunshine every day when you’re there. Happy travels!

  1. Lovely write up! You picked some of my favorite activities and restaurants (the seared-Ahi burger at the Fish Market (Paia) is second to none). Great pics too. Glad you had such a nice time on the island! Aloha.

  2. Pingback: Lifestyle- 15 Paradisiac Islands – Islas Paradisíacas … You can’t missed / Qué no te puedes perder

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