Cody and I had the best time in Maui on our honeymoon turned babymoon! We were there for a full week and spent a majority of the time just hanging out. We really wanted to have a relaxing vacation but I made sure to include lots of recommendations that I got from people who lived there and those who have travelled there before.
To start out, if you have a long flight like we did…make sure to get Comfort+ if you can fly Delta. Those were some long airplane rides and when you’re 5’9″ and your husbands 6’5″….the regular seats just suck. Also, most flights coming out of Maui leave at night and unless you have a nice place to hang out or something to do during the day, there are 0 things in the Maui airport. It was one of the oldest and most boring airports I have ever been in. Unfortunately for us, we had to be out of our Airbnb early in the morning so we didn’t have a choice but to either lug our suitcases all over Maui on the last day or hang out there.
Our flights also kept changing / updating all the way until the week before so make sure you’re watching that! I had to change ours multiple times to make sure we were on the best available flight. Just a lil FYI, but unfortunately you can only do so much about flights and airplanes when so much of it is out of your control.
Where to Stay
You can find some really cool resorts and hotels around the island but the ones Cody and I looked at were over $600 a night and we simply didn’t want to pay that. Airbnb had a ton of options around the island so it really depends on where you want to be and what experience you want!
We stayed neared Lahaina in the Kahana Royal condo’s and had an amazing view from our balcony of the pool and ocean. I heard from other people who have stayed other places that it’s the best ‘beach’ around the area. There are tons of rocky areas along the coast but we had a perfect beach right up to the ocean.
I also heard good things about staying near Kihea which is closer to the airport (luckily to get anywhere on the island is only about an hour drive). Theres Big Beach there and some other big tourist attractions there. Kihea is more in the middle of the island.
If you want more nature and hiking, staying near Hana and Makena State Park will give you more of those views.
I would just look at tons of reviews for whatever kind of experience you want and obviously whatever is in your budget to get the most out of your stay!
What To Do
Like I mentioned before, Cody and I spent a lot of time out by the pool and in the ocean throughout the days. The sun sets around 7 or 8 every night throughout the year so we were asleep pretty early and got up around 5 or 6 to start the day. We would walk to a coffee shop near the condo or go downstairs and grab some at the front desk area. It was pretty relaxing reading while watching the sunrise or watching a show before the long day ahead.
We ended up walking to a lot of places near us for food and made an InstaCart order for snacks to have out by the pool. I am going to make a bullet point list of main attractions / ideas on what to do if you go based off what we did or recommendations from others.
- Luau – this is a must! It’s expensive but so worth it! We heard from our Uber that every Luau is different as far as the dances, food, drinks, etc. go so if you want a certain type of experience do your research before booking. We booked ours last minute at one near our condo and it was great! It was called the Myths at the Royal Lahaina. It came with an open bar and buffet, you got to learn some of the dances, and it told the history of the islands. Even if you’ve been to a Luau before, check out a different one because they can have different experiences for each place!
- Lahaina Shopping Center – There are tons of outlets all over the island. We ended up going to a few different ones just to pass the time. This shopping center is right on the ocean so bring your bathing suits and towels to hang out during the day if you’re not close! You can book snorkeling, boat tours, and more while there and they have restaurants to eat at during the day.
- Lahaina Banyan Tree – This is the oldest standing Banyan tree and it’s in the middle of a ton of shops, the boat pier, and tons of history. There are museums and historical buildings surrounding the area that you could probably last 8 hours at. It reminds of a small city on the east coast. All the shops are really close together and there’s small ally ways connecting them. Tons of art and tourist shops too! Along the pier we saw a boat bring up and clean a giant swordfish, you can go parasailing, ride a ferry, or try windsurfing along the waterfront!
- Snorkeling is huge obviously. A lot of guests rented snorkel gear for the week near the condo and went in the water on their own. I know there are better places around the island you could take tours of that will help you find and learn about more of the animals in the sea if you’d rather do that.
- Maui Ocean Center – it is a zoo but for all the aquatic animals near and around Hawaii. This is near the airport so if you need time to kill before going home or when you land, this is a good option! Not sure how it would work with luggage but you could try.
- Haleakala Sunrise/Sunset – if we had a car (we ubered everywhere) I totally would have done this. Haleakala is a volcano on the island and when you drive up it, you get above the clouds and people park their cars to watch the sunrise or sunset and bring a basket of food or coffee/drinks to have while they sit there. This is one thing I wish we did because it sounds magical…guess we have to go back another time.
- Road to Hana – super popular but I did hear people talking at the resort if you get car sick or have kids with you, be warry because it is very common to get car sick. The people I talked to said they would never bring their kids up again, it was too much for them. I am glad we didn’t do this because the roads in the Uber were windy enough that I would get a little nauseus with our short drive, let alone a 2.5-4 hour drive up the side of a mountain. Again, I know there are places you can go on mini tour buses that will lead you up and bring you around. If you go on your own, download the Gypsy Guide App because it will give you a mini tour and lead you to places off the beaten path to explore!
- Makena State Park – Another popular suggestion if you like hiking / nature!
Where to Eat
To be honest, Cody and I weren’t super impressed with any of the food we had. There was a ton of great seafood everywhere we went but nothing stood out as exceptional that we’d go back for. Most places you go, meals are about $20 a plate and $10-15 for drinks. We didn’t go above and beyond to find a ton of restaurants either so I’m sure there are great ones around we didn’t research too much about them beforehand! (Also, the nice ones are probably double the price we were already paying).
- Maui Brewing Company – this was probably our favorite place to eat. It was within walking distance of our condo and had reasonably priced drinks and really good food with a great happy hour. Their pizzas are delicious!
- Star Noodle
- Kehie Cafe for breakfast
- Dukes Bar & Grill (make a reservation as early as you can).
- Hula Grill and Leilani’s are both in the Lahaina shopping center. Along with Dukes, they serve Hula Pie which we were told from EVERYONE we needed to get. Clearly these people have never been to the midwest because it tasted the same as a Dairy Queen ice cream cake lol. It was good but not worth the hype everyone made it out to seem! Both of these restaurants really good though and right on the water.
- Honu Oceanside
- Mala Ocean Tavern
No matter what you do on the island, you’re in Maui and it is magical. There are no amount of pictures I could take that did the scenery justice. Whether you want to be really busy and pack your days sight seeing and going on excursions or you want to hang out by the pool and oceanside, you truly can’t have a bad time there. The weather was phenomenal in June when we went. There is no way to fit everything in within a week of being there so pick your most important events and enjoy!
If you’ve been there and have other recommendations that I missed, put them in the comments so people can add them to their itinerary!