Maui, Hawaii

Moana, make way, make way!

My husband and I watched Moana while we packed for Hawaii and listened to the soundtrack the whole time we were there, haha! Not going to lie, we were slightly obsessed.

We chose to go to Hawaii for our belated honeymoon about 5 months after we got married, and I spent about that long planning our trip. One of the most important things that Steve and I decided while planning the trip was that it wasn’t going to be a “sit by the pool” all day type of vacation for us. We highly recommend that if you’re making the effort to get all the way to Hawaii, do not miss out on the incredible adventures that Hawaii has to offer.

We spent 4 full days on Maui and 3 full days on Kauai, and we packed so much in! Here’s an overview of how we spent our time on Maui.

Activity Highlights

Discover Molokini Snorkeling Cruise

We arrived at Maalea Harbor and boarded the Trilogy V.  The crew was super friendly and they served us breakfast of Kona coffee, homemade cinnamon rolls, and fresh fruit.  It was a little cloudy, but a great temperature.  Our first stop was Molokini. We spent about 45 minutes exploring the reef. We saw two eels fighting, a little octopus, a puffer fish, and tons of beautiful Hawaiian fish.  Steve enjoyed free diving, which really impressed me and the photographer. We paid for the photographer’s amazing pictures he took of us and we did not regret it!!

Our second stop was at a bay. At this stop, we did Snuba, which was where you have a tank of oxygen floating at the top of the water and your hose is about 20 ft long. It was a little bit scary for me at first because the breathing was not something I felt comfortable with. I got the hang of it though, and Steve constantly checked on me to make sure I was okay! It was really cool to be able to dive down deep and get a closer look at things.  The reef was really cool looking but there weren’t as many fish. On the way back, they served us grilled chicken with a really good Hawaiian BBQ sauce, rice, salad and a Hawaiian roll. We enjoyed a relaxing sail home and we saw about 6 whales, which was really cool.

We knew we wanted to have a few experiences while in Hawaii that would cost a fair amount of money. This was our expensive activity on Maui, but we definitely are glad that we did it. The boat was really nice, the food was great, the staff were super friendly, there weren’t too many people in our group, and the snorkeling was really fun. It was a 5.5 hour adventure, and we felt that it was worth the money we paid, which was about $140 per person.

The Road to Hana

There is so much to say about the Road to Hana that I decided it should be it’s own post. I spent a long time just planning this day trip, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon!

Old Lahaina Luau

We arrived at the Old Lahaina Luau around 5:00 to the most perfect weather and beautiful evening. There was SO much food, but it was all delicious!  We particularly loved the pork that had been smoked in the ground, the purple sweet potatoes, ahi, crab, and banana bread with guava butter.  We liked trying octopus too, which was very squishy. There were delicious desserts too, our favorite was the cayenne salted brownie. 

We loved all of the hula dancers! When they first came out, Steve goes, “I’m mesmerized.” That made me laugh for awhile!!  We met quite a few people from Chicago and a couple from St. Louis.  I guess everyone was escaping the Midwest winter.  We got to slow dance alongside all the other honeymooners, which was really special!  It was an amazing night!!

Beaches

We went to three different beaches so that Steve could surf and snorkel, and I could relax. Puomona Beach Park and Wahikuli Wayside Park are close to Lahaina (western part of the island), and Ulua Beach Park was in Wailea (southern part of the island).

Hiking

Haleakalā National Park

If you want to visit the Moon or Mars, just go to Haleakala National Park. The landscape is pretty much how I envision those two to look, haha!

For all of the details, you can check out my full blog post on our visit to this incredible National Park.

Kapalua Coastal Trail

This gorgeous 2 mile trail is right along the rocky coast and also went through a bunch of gorgeous resorts. We enjoyed the hike, the views, and we saw a big sea turtle down by the water! 

Food Highlights

Island Vintage Coffee

Steve and I have a habit of finding a place we like on vacation and going back repeatedly. We went to Island Vintage Coffee at least 3 times during our 4 day trip to Maui. They had the most delicious Acai bowls and coffee that we couldn’t resist going back! The bowls had Acai mix (pretty much a thick smoothie) with tons of fresh fruit, honey, granola, and different fun toppings. I also got the Island Latte multiple times, which was a combination of macadamia nut and coconut flavors with rich espresso–the absolute perfect Hawaiian latte.

Gazebo

Definitely check out the Gazebo, a cute spot for breakfast. Try to get there early since it’s a popular place. It opens at 7:30, and we got there around 8:00. It was already super busy, so we enjoyed the gorgeous view while we waited in line. We even saw some whales!! When the waitress finally took us to our table, our mouths dropped.  We got a table right next to the window looking out over the ocean.  We got a delicious omelette and macadamia nut pancakes with coconut whipped cream and coconut syrup.  Such an amazing breakfast with an even more amazing view! Definitely worth the wait!!

Paia Fish Market

The line was out the door, and for good reason!! I got Fish Tacos and Steve got Cajun Blackened Ahi. Both were DELICIOUS. There are multiple locations on Maui, and we went to the Lahaina location since it was close to our hotel.

Island Cream Co.

We got Maui-Loco (Coconut with Macadamia, Chocolate and Carmel) and Almond Joy. It wasn’t the best ice cream I’ve ever had, but it was definitely tasty!

808 Deli

We were in need of a quick lunch before Haleakala, and we found this highly rated deli. Steve got a spicy ranch turkey panini and I got the porkie, which was Hawaiian pork with mango salsa on rye bread. Both were great!

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Hawaiians are known for their shave ice, and this is no snow-cone. It’s not chunky or little beads of ice and the syrups are not too sugary. The ice is smooth and the flavors are so much more real. I believe we got guava and pineapple. It was a very fun Hawaiian experience!

Overall

  • Recommended Length: 4-7 days
    • If you’re looking to combine Maui with another island, I thought 4 full days was plenty to fully get the taste of the island.
    • If you’re looking to break up the different adventures with a little more beach time, then I think up to 7 days is great!
  • Ratings (Based on our 4 day trip + activities)
    • Affordability: 4/10
    • Adventure: 6/10
    • Food: 7.5/10
    • Relaxation: 3/10

We absolutely loved Maui. It offered a great variety of adventure and relaxation activities, good food, and good beaches. Click here to read about our time on Kauai, and soon I’ll give you an overall comparison of the two islands as well! For now, aloha!


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