A Maui Vacation is one of my personal favorite vacations in the world. Even though I have visited destinations all over the US and World, Maui is still in my top 3. There’s something about Maui. The air has a sweet perfume of Tuberose and Plumeria flowers mixed with the salty scent of the ocean. The landscape is lush with green going all the way to the turquoise waters. If you read my blog on the Hawaiian Islands, you will know that Maui is a great sampler of all the islands.
A Maui Vacation
There is so much to do and see in Maui, with great restaurants and shopping, too. In this blog, I will discuss all the fun things to do and where to stay when visiting the island.
Where to Stay?
There are two main resort areas to stay in Maui, Wailea (why-LAY-uh) and Ka’anapali (kah-ah-nah-PAH-lee). You can drive across the whole island of Hawaii in around 3 hours so nothing is too far away. Ka’anapali is closer to one of the main cities Lahaina (lah-HIGH-nah) which offers really great shopping right on the beach and restaurants. For that reason, I tend to book more clients in Ka’anapali versus Wailea. Unless a client is looking for a higher end resort like Four Seasons or the Fairmont, those are located in Wailea. From Wailea to Lahaina it’s about a 50-minute drive.
Maui’s food and gas costs are going to be more expensive than other US destinations because, well, it’s on an island and it takes longer and costs more for these items to get there. Because of these additional costs a lot of clients like to book a condo. There are a lot of benefits of staying in a Condo.
- Saves money on food because if you grocery shop at the beginning of the trip you can eat lunches and breakfasts there. In the 4 times, I have gone, I have stayed in a Condo 3 times and it does save. If you get some easy breakfast items and coffee, it’s very nice to sit on your balcony, listening to the waves. It’s also great after spending all morning at the beach to just run up and make a quick sandwich.
- Separate sleeping areas! When staying at a condo you can fit more people in a unit. Condos offer 2 – 3 bedroom units, so if you go with a big family or friends you can split the costs and share. Everyone will still get their own bedrooms and you can share your living area.
There are some however that don’t want to be making food on their vacation, which trust me, I understand. In this case, the more traditional resort route will be your best bet. There are some beautiful resorts in Maui that each has their own fun features. The Westin Ka’anapali has a great pool with slides that are great for families. The Hyatt Regency Ka’anapali has one of the best breakfasts buffets I’ve ever had, plus it is a stunning resort with waterfalls and parrots and other fun animals to visit all around the hotel.
If you are staying in Ka’anapali you can visit Whalers Village for some fun little shops within steps of your hotel or condo. Here you can visit some upscale shops and some chain shops with a boutique sprinkled here and there. The Shops at Wailea are going to offer a similar vibe as Whalers Village with some more high-end shops.
If you are visiting Lahaina you will find an eclectic mix of shops ranging from high-end art and jewelry to street carts filled with local goodies at Maui Front Street. Lahaina is a fun area to spend the day mingling around shopping and visiting the great restaurants.
While on your Maui Vacation you will certainly look to eat out at least once. Maui has some great food options! If you are staying at a resort you can always visit the restaurants there, but it’s always fun to venture out too. If you are staying in Ka’anapali a must visit is the Hula Grill at Whalers Village. You can sit with your toes in the sand with straw umbrellas and tiki torches, or you can sit in their outdoor restaurant that is a little more fine dining. I have also heard great things about Leilani’s and Monkeypod Kitchen, both also in Whalers Village.
Heading out into Lahaina your choices only become greater. Kimo’s is a great option to sit and have cocktails or dinner as they have a patio that hangs over the water that gives you a beautiful view of the ocean at sunset. Lahaina Fish Company is great for seafood aficionados. Lahaina Pizza Company is yummy for those wanting a quick bite. Longhi’s is a cute little restaurant which has a fantastic brunch or Italian American cuisine. Cheeseburger in Paradise is a must for lunch or a casual dinner! And Aloha Mixed Plate, which is a little ways off Maui Front Street, is a casual, beachy restaurant with traditional Hawaiian cuisine.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Anywhere you go on your Maui vacation is going to have great snorkeling, even just right off your resort or condo. A fun day excursion is to take a Catamaran out to Molokini Crater, which is a sunken crater right off Wailea. As the years have gone by, this once lush underwater garden has gotten a little worse for the wear, but it will still give you an opportunity to see some beautiful fish, a green sea turtle or two, and maybe even a nice little shark. One of the 3 times I have been there I was able to see a 3 – 4-foot blacktip reef shark, which was pretty neat.
The first time I ever went Scuba diving was in Maui at the Black Rock in Ka’anapali. It was an unbelievable experience. Scuba diving down 40 – 60 feet is as close as you will ever get to another world. Swimming side by side with a beautiful 3 foot around green sea turtle in its natural habitat was one of the best experiences of my life. If you are lucky enough to go during whale watching season you can also hear the whales calling to each other from underwater. I was able to experience that on my first diving trip! They sound like they are right next to you even though they are miles away! Many of the resorts offer a dive course, so you don’t have to be certified to go out and enjoy the underwater beauty that Hawaii has to offer.
Fun Things to Do!
Besides hanging out on the beach or shopping, Maui has a ton of fun activities to do on the island. Here is a fun list of things to do on your Maui vacation.
- Sunset Cocktail Cruise or Dinner Cruise
- Swimming with Nurse Sharks
- Jet Ski
- Catamaran Snorkeling Trips
- Boat Dives
- Whale Watching Trips (during whale watching season)
- Haleakala National Park
- ATV or Bike Haleakala
- Zip Lining
- Watching the Surfers at “JAWS”
- And More!
The Road to Hana!
While this is technically a fun thing to do, I felt like the Road to Hana deserved its own paragraph. The Road to Hana is a must see on your Maui vacation. It is a full day trip driving up to Hana which is one of the highest towns on Maui, but it’s the winding, sometimes one lane road that is the fun part. The trick to the Road to Hana is to go slow and stop often to take in the sites, especially for the driver that will be focusing on the road. At many turn-offs, there will be something neat to see, like a breathtaking view, a picnic area, or a waterfall and pool that you can swim in. Don’t forget to visit the 7 Sacred Pools! There are also a couple of cute little shops with some tasty treats or some handmade items to visit on your way up.
Everyone that goes to Maui wants to see an incredible Luau, and there is a lot to choose from. I have been to a couple Luau’s but in my opinion, the best Luau to visit is the Old Lahaina Luau. It is truly a treat watching the many different forms of the Hula that come from many of the other Pacific Islands with the ocean and sunset as your backdrop. While it is a little more expensive than some of the other local Luau’s, trust me, it is worth the money. Everyone that I have sent there has raved about it!
Well, I think I may have covered everything! But if I haven’t, if you have any questions, or are looking to book your incredible Maui vacation please contact Tahnee, or one of your other favorite travel agents at 281-363-0808 or email us below. Aloha!
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