Shiny and Sparkly Maui
Trip Start Mar 20, 2010
41Trip End Aug 25, 2010
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In Maui there are tons of things to do. What we liked mostly were the vast array of beaches that you can find...some large and some tiny.
Some highlights from our trip:
Paia - Cute Bohemian town in the North East part of Maui. Great restaurants, Willie Nelson owns Charlie's up there, and Mama's Fish House is up there also. Just past the town begins the road to Hana with neat stops along the way...we did some of them. During the winter months up here the major tow and surf takes place at Jaws. Apparently the surfers wait all year for a small window of a couple of days in the winter where waves from Alaska come all the way over, gaining in mass and strength and come crashing against northern Maui, offering the best in class tow and surf opportunities. Unfortunately it wasn't the season for it, but we saw tons of kite surfers, wind surfers, paddle surfers and basic surfers taking advantage of the strong trade winds up here
Makena State Park - Beaches and Hiking. This is one of our favorite areas in Maui, located on the southern tip of Maui next to Wailea resort area. We hiked through lava fields, swam in tide pools then chilled in the vast sandy beaches that this park offers. We went here twice, once with Mark and Steffi. Along the road to the park are vendors that sell fish tacos and big mammas with machetes that sell fresh fruit (which they will kindly slice and dice for you, and then rob you blind with over charging after you have already taken a bite).
Wailea: One afternoon we had lunch at the Grand Wailea where we stayed last time we were here for a couple of days. This area is beautiful and is located in Southern Maui..includes wonderful beaches with some great resorts neighboring each other and connected by a small pathway..Four Seasons, Fairmont, Grand Wailea, etc. NIce shopping, nice restaurants, nice hotels, etc.
Snorkeling - Maui offers endless opportunities to snorkel and surf..we stuck to snorkeling. Our friend Mark couldn't get enough. He couldn't get in the water fast enough..actually any time we got to a beach by the time we found our position on the sand and began setting up our chairs, Mark already had his flippers and goggles on and was 100 feet into the water communicating with the dolphins! Hours would go by before we would see him again.
Before Mark and Steffi arrived we took a charter snorkel trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation to Molokai which is an island off the coast of Maui
Western Maui - Driving through Western Mauii is also one of our favorite things to do
Luau's - In order to have the full Hawaiian experience you need to go to a Luau, and they are everywhere. You can catch sneak peaks here and there as you walk around and pass certain hotels and restaurants. Last time we were in Maui we went to the Historic Old Laina Luau and went again this time with Mark and Steffi. It is still the best one to go to. Fantastic show and the food is excellent. http://www.oldlahainaluau.com/
Hiking - We did some hiking here and there. The most memorable were the hikes in Waihee (Waihee Ridge Trail) a torturous endless uphill hike, and in Makena State Park and reserve (along beaches, lavas and sea cliffs), as mentioned above.
Places where we have eaten that are worth mentioning.
Sansei Sushi - Kapalua
Malo Tavern - Laina
Aloha Mixed Plate - Laina
Pacifico - Laina (bartender was from the upper west side of Manhattan)
Hula Grill - Whalers Village, Ka'anapali
Star Noodle - Thai - Laina
Charlie's - Willie Nelson's place - Paia
Fish Market - Paia
Bettys - Laina
Laina Coolers - Laina
Maui Brewing Company - Ka'anapali
Castaway's Cafe - Ka'anapali (nice breakfasts on the beach)
Canoes - Great sunsets
Favorite Things: Coconut candy, Pineapples, Bikini Blonde Ale and Long Board Ale, Turtles, Sunsets, Laina Roads (our condo), Hawaiian Coffee, Honokawi Farmers Market, Christina's Yoga Instructor Julie, rainbows, and the endless numbers of surfers and beaches everywhere.
Favorite Beaches: Baby Beach in Laina, Ka'napali Beaches, Makena Beach (and hiking), Honolua Bay Beach (Marine Reserve - best snorkeling), Mokuleia Beach (aka Slaughterhouse Beach in Kapalua)
Boxes not checked: The road to Hana still remains a box to be checked. Though we traveled up to and past Paia, we didn't go the extra drive into Hana. There were many recommendations that if we were to go and fully appreciate the village and surrounding parks/beaches we needed to stay at least one, if not, two, nights there. So the next time we come back to Maui, which will be soon, we will do just that.
In the end we grew very close to Laina and felt very much at home. We loved where we stayed and everyone was so nice and welcoming. The count down begins now as to when we can get back here.
July 4 - July 23