After spending 2 weeks in rainy Seattle for Thanksgiving, we wanted to go somewhere warm and tropical. We knew we were going to go to Asia and then Australia/New Zealand, so Hawaii seemed like the perfect stop over. We’ve been to Oahu before but never to Maui so we were super excited to explore it.
Maui has over 80 beaches which meant we had to go to at least a few of them! Hawaiian weather is our absolute favorite: low humidity, few bugs/mosquitoes, and the temperature stays around 80 degrees F all year round. We have complied a list of the beaches we visited and why we loved them. Hopefully this will help you navigate around the island and help you find your favorite sandy shore regards to the sandy shore!
We were also fortunate to have Liana’s parents come out to hang out with us while we were there which made made it an extra special trip for us.
Looking back on Maui, it’s one of those places we could see ourselves living in for a while when we come back to the USA after this trip. The people living on Maui seem to have all adapted a laid back, no rush, and kind style of life which we love.
Beaches we loved in Maui:
- Makena Beach State Park aka Big Beach: this was one of our favorite beaches. It’s huge (hence the name), it’s clean, and you can snorkel by the rocks on the far right side.
- DT Fleming park: this was one of Alex’s favorite beaches. The waves get pretty big but small enough to body surf on them. We came here a couple time because it was so fun!
- Ho-okipa beach: during sunset, massive turtles come out to rest on the shore. This beach is also known for surfing since the waves get pretty big. You can’t swim here but if your a pretty good surfer, this would be a good beach for you.
- Black Rock Beach: we didn’t get the chance to make it here but many people say it’s a great beach to snorkel off of and see turtles
- Kapalua: great beach for snorkeling. It’s pretty secluded and small but it wasn’t too crowded.
- Maluaka beach: good place for snorkeling and to see turtles swimming.
Driving the Road to Hana:
After spending a lot of our days on the beach, we were ready to do some exploring! We decided to drive down the Road to Hana and make some stops along the way. You can do the full loop but we ended up going to Hana and back. The road is curvy but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. I get motion sick pretty easy and was a little bit worried about it but it wasn’t a problem! There is an app that you can download that will give you some history and information about the stops, it’s called Shaka Guide. Here are some stops we made along the road:
- Paia- first stop in the road, cute little town
- Twin Falls Maui
- Na’ili’ili-haele Stream & Waterfall aka Bamboo Forest– walk through a bamboo forest that leads to 4 waterfalls. We loved it!
- Halfway to Hana- has THE best banana bread. They claim they made the original banana bread
- BBQ Pit Stop – On one of the turns you will see a juice truck and bbq off the side of the road. You have to try the bbq, it’s amazing
- Upper Waikani Falls– beautiful waterfall you can hike down to and swim in or just view from the bridge
- Black Sand Beach– amazing black pebble beach with some walking trails with beautiful views.
- Thai Food in Hana – In Hana there is a pretty good Thai place. It’s just off the side of the road.
- Red Sand Beach- we really wanted to stop here but couldn’t find a way to get there. We asked one of the locals and she said she won’t tell us because it’s so dangerous to get there. Multiple people have died trying to get there. Must’ve been meant to be that we didn’t find it.
Small towns we loved in Maui:
Maui has small towns scattered around the island which we loved to visit.
Lahaina: is a cute town that’s close to Kaanapali beach (resort area). The streets are lined with cute boutique shops and good restaurants. There is also a massive Banyan Tree that covers the whole park. It looks like it’s straight out of Avatar.
Wailea: is a really beautiful part of Maui. There’s a large golf course, gorgeous homes, a fancy shopping center, and 5 star hotel resorts. The clean streets are lined with beautiful trees and palms. We really enjoy driving through the neighborhoods here.
Paia: is a cute little town that’s on the north side of the island. It used to be a small farming town but has gotten pretty “touristy” due to being the first stop on Road to Hana. Now the street is lined with stores and cafes. At night the restaurants have live music so it gets pretty busy.
Food Spots in Maui:
The food is Maui was a huge highlight for us as well. From fresh seafood to açaí bowls. Here is a list of some of our favorite spots:
- Down the Hatch (Lahaina)
- Lahaina Grill (Lahaina)
- Coconuts Fish Cafe- best fish tacos EVER (Kihei)
- Wowow Lemonade & açaí (Kihei)
- Akamai Coffee (Kihei)
- Mamas Fish House- make sure to make reservations (Paia)
- L&L Hawaiian Food (Kaanapali)
Where to stay in Maui:
for the first part of our stay we stayed in an Airbnb in this area. We loved the “local” laid back vibe and it’s proximity to a lot of the beaches and attractions.
Ka’anapali- Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.
This place is huge and has everything to offer. It’s set on a beautiful beach with massive swimming pools, hot tubs, and a swim up bar. They also have a luau called Drums of the Pacific that we really enjoyed experiencing. It’s close to lists of shopping (Whalers Village) and delicious restaurants.
We love Maui and will be back soon!
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