Maui Travel Guide
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
To say we’re sad to return to normal life post-honeymoon would be an understatement! Lounging around Maui, driving through the rain forest and sipping tropical cocktails became a routine I was very much okay with. But alas, eventually we had to return to reality.
While we may or may not be already planning our next trip to Maui (!), I’m excited to be sharing all of our favorite restaurants, beaches, activities and more! Whether you’ve been to Maui a million times or you’re debating the thought of jetting off the islands, my guide is perfect for any Maui-goers!
Finding a restaurant whenever we travel is definitely a difficult task. I’m gluten free and Peter is one of the pickiest eaters in the world. Before we took off to Maui, we had a full list of places that were “pre-approved”. Some we went to and loved, some not so much! Below were our absolute favorites.
Okay so Ulani’s isn’t exactly a restaurant per say but a shaved ice shop. While it sounds like a mediocre activity (Peter wasn’t thrilled to do this originally), it was SO GOOD. Like the best shaved ice you could imagine. I wouldn’t even call it shaved ice. It was this magical flavored powder with ice cream on the bottom. We may have indulged in this more than a few times!
We were originally drawn into this place because of their incredible rooftop views and Sunset Ceremony (definitely worth the experience) but we stayed for the food! Their truffle fries were incredible and the swordfish was so fresh! Fun fact: it’s also owned by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac! So cool!
Peter is NOT a seafood eater by any means. This place wasn’t even on our list but his brother INSISTED we go there. So while Peter had the cheeseburger I had some of the second best (see below) fish tacos I’ve ever eaten! The hole in the wall shop was a little crowded and was right around the corner from our hotel so we decided to just grab it to-go and eat in our room.
Okay I have to preface this by saying, it’s probably not worth the hype. Mama’s Fish House is claimed to be the “Best Restaurant on Maui” and while yes, it’s delicious and yes, the place is adorable; we didn’t exactly have the best experience. We, again, weren’t going to go here but Peter’s sister insisted that we had to! All reservations were booked in the weeks leading up to our honeymoon, but while we were sitting poolside I checked their OpenTable and a time had opened up for 8:30 PM the following evening! Peter begrudgingly agreed to go and the next night we made the 45 min drive over from our hotel.
While we both had great meals, they weren’t anything special and the service wasn’t too great either (our waitress forgot about us). If you’re staying nearby and can get a good reservation, I’d say check it out! By otherwise we don’t think you’re missing too much.
These were hands down the best fish tacos of my life, or rather tostados! There was so much jam packed into this taco I couldn’t believe it! There was so much flavor and so much food! I can’t wait to have them again.
Peter and I had decided beforehand that we didn’t want to book a lot of activities and excursions, we wanted to be able to actually take time and relax on our honeymoon. That being said, we did still want to see what Maui was all about!
Road to Hana
If you do your research, the Road to Hana is a long stretch of highway in Maui that has waterfalls and cool hikes all up and down. But if you truly want to experience it, it’ll take 1-2 full days. We weren’t ready to commit to that kind of time but we still wanted to do some waterfall exploring! I picked out a few places with waterfalls along the beginning of the highway and we set out to explore them!
The very first waterfall you’ll encounter is Twin Falls. It’s HEAVILY crowded and EXTREMELY touristy! We literally stayed here all of 10 mins because we could barely see the waterfall because of all the people.
Continuing on we stopped at Mile Marker 6.7 to head on a hike to supposedly 3 waterfalls. The trail was steep, muddy and not for the faint of heart. The first waterfall was dried up but we made it to the second one and did a little bit of swimming! The water was freezing but we were sweating from the treacherous hike. Again, it was a tad crowded here but we could at least get into the water.
We continued along the highway passing scenic lookouts and what appeared to be more crowded trails until we reached the spot I had been anticipating: Three Bears Falls. I had read about how cool it was and had seen photos and I was beyond excited to do it. But when we arrived I hesitated.
The waterfall was underneath a bridge that had no evident trail down to it. It had just started to rain. I was a little cold and muddy from the hike before. But Peter found a spot to hike down and convinced me to go ahead with it. I was not disappointed.
After another treacherous hike down the side of a rock, we arrived to the most beautiful falls. Best part: we were the only ones there! Everyone else viewed the falls from the bridge and didn’t have the guts or time to hike to the bottom.
The water was incredible, the falls were beyond cool and it felt like our own little oasis. This was hands down both of our favorite parts of our trip. After that we decided to call it quits on our Road to Hana exploration because we thought anything else would be a let down.
On the island of Maui there is one volcano, Haleakala, which is dormant. It’s a national park that houses lots of activities and one of the most popular is sunrise. I had read and seen photos of visitors watching the sunrise from the top of Haleakala which is above the clouds and thought we HAD to do it!
It was about a 3 hour drive from our hotel, so if we wanted to be there on time we’d have to wake up at 2:30 am. Me, being the smart woman I am, figured if we did it on the very first morning we were there it would be easy enough because we’d still be jet lagged. I was right. We easily woke up at 2:30 am and made the trek over. The initial drive, I’ll admit, was a bit boring. We were completely in the dark with nothing to see. Though we did spy a few cows sleeping on the side of the road!
While doing my research, I had read that it can get down to 32 degrees on top of the volcano in the mornings. That being said, we were definitely prepared with multiple layers and jackets. We did see some other visitors in shorts and flip flops who had clearly not done their research!
We arrived in plenty of time and hung out in the warmth of the car until we started to see the sun rise from beneath the clouds. It was definitely a memorable experience that I recommend to anyone visiting Maui! TIP: You do need to make a reservation ahead of time to be able to go there at sunrise!
Peter and I are big fans of snorkeling and definitely wanted to make sure we had time to explore the ocean on our trip. Again, while doing research, we read that some of the best snorkeling on the whole island was walking distance from our hotel!
The first few days we attempted snorkeling along black rock, but the water was way too choppy for me, crowded with people and Peter said he didn’t see much. But later on in the week, the water seemed to calm down and become crystal clear. That was when we did some of the best snorkeling! There were tons of fish and plenty of sea turtles! Some sea turtles were within feet of the shoreline and almost bigger than me!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Westin in Kaanapali along the stretch of resorts. Kaanapali is home to around 8 or more resorts. The Westin had (what we thought) the best outdoor pool and beach area on the strip.
While they were doing construction while we were there, we loved staying there! We always had beachfront seating by the pool. We’d spend our morning lounging there and after lunch head down to the beach. There is also a running path along the beach connecting all of the resorts, so it was the perfect place to people watch!
While the Kaanapali area is heavily “touristy” since it houses majority of the resorts, we really enjoyed it and felt that there was a lot to do. We were 15 minutes from downtown Lahaina which has tons of local restaurants and shops. We were 45 minutes from the airport and a decent drive to all of the things we wanted to see. When we head back, we’ll definitely stay in this same area.
I hope our guide is helpful to you if you’re heading to Maui soon or want to in the future. Let me know on my latest Instagram post if I missed any places and where we should go when we head back!