Aloha

We just got back from our trip to Maui and had the best time. The first part of the trip was just Grant and I to celebrate our two year anniversary and then some of his family arrived for some family time. We had a great time—lots of sunshine and relaxation, which was exactly what we needed.

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Flying to Hawaii from the east coast is no joke—we stopped in LA on the way there and Denver on the way back. My necessities for long haul flights: a cozy scarf, the softest sweats, a moisturizing face mask, compression socks and noise cancelling headphones.

This was our second time to Maui together and we focused on relaxing and enjoying plenty of beach time. We checked off most of the popular spots on our last visit, but I included them below in case you are planning your first trip there.

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Stay:

We stayed our first 3 nights in Kaanapali at a hotel and the remainder of the trip in Wailea at a condo. If it’s your first visit to the island, I’d recommend staying in Wailea and exploring from there. There is a gorgeous public beach walk (first photo) that connects all of the hotels and is amazing to walk along during sunset.

If you are looking for a more remote & relaxing type of trip, I recommend staying on the far eastern side of the island near Hana. There are a couple newer hotels there worth checking out.

While you can find vacation rentals on AirBNB, I’d recommend looking on VRBO and Homeaway. We rented one of these villas for the 6 of us and couldn’t recommend it more.

  • Andaz Maui—After having dinner on the property, this hotel jumped to the top of our list for a future visit!

  • Travaasa Hana—Situated in the more remote area of Hana, you’ll experience tons of peace and quiet.

  • Marriott Wailea Beach Resort—We got lots of recommendations to stay here, which is along the Wailea beachfront.

  • Ritz-Carlton Kapalua—We almost stayed here; it’s situated in a really pretty part of the coast and is near Merriman’s restaurant.

  • Fairmont Kea Lani—There’s something about the architecture of this hotel that I just love.

  • Sheraton Black Rock—This is where we stayed, however it was under construction while we were visiting. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite place and I’d stay elsewhere on our next trip. That being said, it does have access to a nice beach with some great snorkeling around the famous Black Rock.

  • Paia Inn—We briefly stopped in the town of Paia and I wished we had more time to explore. Lots of cute shops to browse and great restaurants. This hotel is relatively new and situated in the heart of town.

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See / Do:

  • Sunrise or sunset at Haleakala—Highly recommend this unique experience to see the sunrise or sunset from the top of a volcano, above the clouds. You can drive yourself or do a guided tour group. The drive up is really cool—it is the world’s highest elevation gain in the shortest distance. You’ll pass through as many ecosystems as if you drove from Mexico to Canada! Pack layers—the temperature can be a difference of 20-30 degrees from the base of the volcano to the top.

  • Snorkel—We rent equipment at Snorkel Bob’s and got recommendations for the best places to snorkel that day.

  • Road to Hana—A fun all-day drive to the eastern side of the island. You can stop along the way and hike to waterfalls, a black sand beach and eat lots of banana bread!

  • Beaches & Hikes—Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and there are so many to explore. We love this guidebook for finding off-the-beaten-path hikes and beaches.

  • Shopping—Definitely check out the town of Paia for boutiques such as Pearl Butik and Imrie.

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Eat:

  • Mama’s Fish House—Popular for a reason! Even locals recommend this spot. Book a reservation around sunset (pictured below).

  • Morimoto—Amazing sushi.

  • Merriman’s—This restaurant is situated on a beautiful point with insane views.

  • Ululuani’s Shave Ice—We stopped here randomly and came back two more times throughout our trip! Highly recommend the Sunset Beach with Coconut Ice Cream!

  • Monkeypod Kitchen—A few locations on the island, we love the one in Wailea.

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