Disclaimer: When my mom and I got to Maui – the lure of the beautiful beach drew us in and we ended up spending most of our time just relaxing by the water. However, I was lucky enough to have a coworker that used to live in Maui that gave me a lot of recommendations, so I tried to include those in this blog post.
WHERE TO STAY:
HYATT REGENCY (200 Nohea Kai Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761) – We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Lahaina based on a recommendation from my coworker who actually waited tables at the Hyatt. The grounds of this hotel were lush and gorgeous – and there were penguins in the lobby of the hotel. Our room had both a view of the ocean and a view of the island, where we saw a rainbow almost every day. The hotel is on KA’ANAPALI BEACH, one of the more popular beaches in Maui.
FRONT STREET IN LAHAINA – This area was near our hotel and was full of restaurants and shops. We drove in to town to watch the fireworks for the 4th of July. It was a little touristy and crowded, but definitely worth stopping by for the great views. Make sure to go around sunset and pick a restaurant facing the water. While in Lahaina, check out the OLD LAHAINA LUAU.
Luau Photo Credit: Utah Tour Doctor
IAO VALLEY STATE PARK – This is a great place for hiking (all trails are paved). There is a fee of $5 for parking, and you should spend at least an hour there. (However,you would be able to see a lot with only 30 minutes). This park is historically significant and is where the Battle of Kepaniwai took place. Check out: Iao Valley for more information. Make sure to check out the IAO NEEDLE (most of the hikes offer a great view of the needle).Tip: A short, easy trail that I would recommend is the IAO NEEDLE LOOKOUT TRAIL, it is under a mile long and offers great views.
MAKENA BEACH – aka “BIG BEACH” to the locals is one of the largest beaches in Maui. This beach was huge and not very crowded with tourists. Unfortunately, it started to pour after we’d been there only an hour – but it was definitely worth the trip. There is plenty of parking and the beach is not too far of a walk from the parking lot. The waves here are large and would probably be great for surfing or boogie boarding. I heard the snorkeling here was good, but we were not able to try it.
BLACK ROCK – this was a short walk from our hotel, along the KA’ANAPALI BEACHWALK, so we would walk here each morning. A lot of people snorkel in this area, or climb and jump off the rocks. I would definitely recommend stopping by if you are staying at one of the hotels that is really close by. Tip: this is a great spot to see sea turtles.
OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS: Below are the recommendations I received that we were not able to get to in our trip.
HALEAKALA CRATER – rent a bike and bike down to the summit to catch the sun rise. Tip: it is very very cold at the summit, so bring warm clothes.
Photo Credit: Jim Reitz
ROAD TO HANA – We decided not to do the road to Hana due to the fact that you need to wake up super early in the morning to make it there and back. Also, my friend said he always knew which families had just gotten back from the Road to Hana because the dad would always look exhausted and pissed off during dinner. Looking back, I wish our trip had been a little longer so that we could have done this. Here is some helpful information I found while researching online:
- Stay overnight – the road to Hana will take the entire day
- Rent a convertible car to enjoy the views
- Bring food – dining choices in Hana are limited (however, there are fruit stands with fresh coconuts on the side of the road)
- Check out the black sands beach at Waianapanapa State Park
- The road is a lot of one lane bridges, and hairpin turns – so be prepared. If you don’t want to drive – you can rent a car service to take you.
- If you do drive yourself, drive carefully, the road to Hana can be dangerous
Photo Credit: Discover Hawaii Tours