After spending four and a half days in Oahu, we flew into Maui and spent eight days there.
Day 1 – Arrived Maui in the morning and picked up our rental car. Grabbed breakfast at McDonald’s (do you know they serve saimin at McDonald’s?) and checked into our condo. Visited the Lahaina Banyan Court Park and the Nakalele Point Blowhole. Bought grocery and had home-cooked dinner.
Day 2 – Had shave ice at Ululani’s. Explored beaches and shops nearby rest of the day.
Day 3 – Went on a short hike at the Iao Valley, and visited the Kepaniwai Park & Heritage Gardens on our way down. Headed to Star Noodle for ramen lunch.
Day 4 – Went on a self-guided tour at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Then went on to visit the Sugar Museum.
Day 5 – Woke up very early to watch sunrise at Haleakala and spent some time hiking afterward. Had lunch at Paia Fish Market. Ended the day with luau at the Feast at Lele.
Day 6 – Watched kiteboarding competition in Paia.
Day 7 – Full day trip on Road to Hana. Stopped by Upper Waikani Falls (aka Three Bears Falls), Kahanu Gardens, Waianapanapa State Park (aka Black Sand Beach), and Aunty Sandy’s for a loaf of freshly made banana bread.
Day 8 – Had lunch at Sam Sato’s samin. Went snorkeling at the Ahihi-Kinau Nature Reserve afterward and relaxed for the rest of the day. Packed our belongings at night and got ready to head home the next day.
I have to admit, eight days in Maui was a little too long (we’ve been warned by others) but at the end of the day, it was a very slow paced and relaxing trip. I enjoy trips where you are not rushing from place to place everyday, trying to fit in as many activities as possible. There should be days where you can just relax, walk around the neighborhood, and feel like you’re part of the community.
Hope you like my 2-part Hawaii travel posts (see part 1 here). Have you been to Oahu and Maui? And do you have any suggestions that I didn’t cover? I’d love to see your comments!
There’s a short hike on a nicely paved trail. You can see the Iao Needle without hiking to the top.
875 Iao Valley Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793
Daily 7:00am – 5:30pm / 6:00pm
Replica of buildings and gardens that represet the different cultures in Maui, including Hawaiian, American missionary, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, and Filipino cultures. It’s located near the entrance to the Iao Valley State Monument and not much tourist, so you can stroll around quietly and enjoy the serenity of the garden.
Walk around the garden for free and learn about all the tropical fruits that are grown in Hawaii. Or take the Tropical Tram Tour for a fee.
1670 Honoapiilani Hwy, Waikapu, HI 96793
Daily 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sugar cane used to be a major corp grown in Maui. The museum shows how sugar is made and documents everyday lives of the plantation laborers. It’s a good place to learn about the history of Hawaii and how people used to live.
3957 Hansen Rd, Puunene, HI 96784
Daily 9:30am – 4:30pm
I think everyone goes to Maui because of Road to Hana. You have to do it at least once because that’s what everyone talks about. Tons of driving guides online, just pick the spots you want to visit and drive!
You’re going to be there with a hundred other persons, so go early and wear a big jacket! The sunrise is great, but also take some time to go for a hike afterward. The scenery is simply amazing. I think there’s a campground (at the end of a long hike) that I would love to stay at next time I go back.
It’s always hot in Hawaii, so go and get some shave ice. They have multiple locations in Maui so you can find one near you.
Serves Hawaiian plated lunch at a reasonable price (if you don’t know yet, everything is more expensive in Hawaii).
2439 South Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
Daily 9am – 9pm
There are a lot of good Japanese restaurants in Hawaii, Star Noodle serves pretty good Japanese ramen and Asian fusion small plates. Get your noodle, and don’t forget to get the steamed pork buns and malasadas, too.
286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761
Daily 10:30am – 10:00pm
There are a lot of choices for luau in Hawaii, but at the end I settled for Feast at Lele because the dishes were more interesting and the show was spectacular. The location was great too, it was right next to the ocean and seating started right around sunset, so we watched the sun set while waiting to get seated. It was a bit pricier than others but very well worth it.
505 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761
Adult (13 & up): $130.21, Kids (2-12): $98.96
Fresh and tasty fish tacos, and big portion, too! Definitely share if you’re not a big eater. Paia is right on the Road to Hana and is a great place to grab lunch before heading out, or have dinner after you returned.
100 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779
Daily 11:00am – 9:30pm
We didn’t go here on our trip but I’ve heard they have really good sushi (I couldn’t eat sushi because I was pregnant at that time, which was such a bummer.) There are multiple locations in Maui and Waikiki so check it out if you love sushi.
This is another place that’s highly recommended but we didn’t go.
799 Poho Place, Paia, HI 96779
A down-to-earth , nothing-fancy restaurant serving good saimin and manju.
1750 Wili Pa Loop, Wailuku, HI 96793
Monday – Saturday 7:00am – 2:00pm
BEACHES & WATER ACTIVITIES
Steve had his first snorkeling at Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve. There’s a small cove with very quiet water and a lot of fish and corals. It’s a great location to try snorkeling for the first time. However, since the area is pretty small, it can get crowded as the day goes by so come early.
Beach around Paia
Not sure what beach it is but along the coast in Paia, a lot of people are kiteboarding in the ocean. If you’re interested in kiteboarding, this seems like a great place, or if you’re like me, just hang out and watch other people do it.
I can’t tell you how extensive the public transit is, but I do recommend getting a rental car as there are places the bus can’t take you.
Photos taken by Vean Chen and Steve Chou