If you read my last post, you know D and I were recently in Maui, Hi. As promised, I am putting together a Maui travel guide. All of the Hawaiian islands have their own unique style and culture. D and I have been to 3 of 6 main islands you can visit, one of which was where we got married. We were so excited to finally check Maui off the list.
D and I loved the laid back & casual vibes of Maui. I was worried that we didn’t have enough things booked before we left- boy was I wrong. We felt like time moved a bit slower, you didn’t want to rush from activity to activity. Long walks on the beach, lounging by the pool, and taking in a sunset became our top priority To be fair, we were both looking for a relaxing getaway for this trip- and we found exactly that in beautiful Maui. I’m so excited to share the places we loved after spending a week on this lovely island.
D and I absolutely love Hawaiian food. I love Huli-Huli chicken, loco moco, and many other traditional Hawaiian foods. In Maui, the food we tried was a bit less authentic than we found on other islands, but it did have a lot more innovation + fusion. Here are some must-try spots!
Three’s Bar & Grill: This is a quick 5 min drive from our hotel in Wailea, so we actually went twice! The happy hour CAN’T BE BEAT ($3.50 Mai-Tais!). Both times we ended up just ordering several sushi rolls and appetizers as our dinner. They also have a super cute patio to eat outside across the street from the beach.
Monkeypod by Merriman: There are several locations around the island of Maui. All have a super hip and trendy vibe. We ended up eating here for our last dinner and absolutely loved it. I tried the fish (catch of the day) sandwich and D went with a flatbread. I should mention- Monkeypod had the best Mai-Tai on the island!
Coconuts Fish Cafe: If you are looking for a seafood meal- you need to hit up Coconuts. It’s a very casual and laid back restaurant. The menu is FULL of amazing fish meals & entrees. You can’t go wrong with anything on this menu, but the fish tacos are what they are famous for!
Kō: I wrote about this restaurant in my post about Fairmont Kea Lani. It’s the signature restaurant in the resort and was hands down the best meal we had in Maui. If you are looking for a luxury dining experience Kō needs to be on your list. Order the Ahi on the Rocks!
808 Grindz Cafe: This restaurant was off the beaten track, but it seems those are always the ones worth searching for. It’s a tiny little breakfast spot in a strip mall, but the Loco Moco with fried rice was the best start to my day. The breakfast spot has all the authentic Hawaiian dishes and you need to try it!!
Mamas Fish House: We didn’t get a chance to eat here, but every single person we talked to recommended it- so I thought I needed to add it to the list. It’s fine dining at its best! They also take reservations- so try to aim for sunset hour.
Where to Stay
There are several different areas of Maui and all have their own pros & cons. It’s important to do a bit of research prior to booking your hotel. You have 4 main areas West Maui, South Maui, North Maui, and Hana/East Maui. West Maui + South Maui are known for better weather, being on the protected side of the island, with that also come more tourists + resorts. We ended up choosing South Maui because the weather was important to us, but next time, I want to stay in Paia, or North Maui to get a bit more of that true Hawaiian experience. Another thing to point out, is I 100% recommend you rent a car in Maui. It’s very necessary to get around and experience the island.
We ended up staying in Kihei in a condo we found on Airbnb for the first 3 days of our trip. It was across the street from the ocean and the condo complex had a nice pool + ac. It wasn’t anything luxurious, but it was all you really needed as a couple in Maui. Each morning we would wake up, grab a delicious coffee and stroll the beaches in Kihei. The second 3 days of our trip, we stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani.
It was the perfect combination for us. 3 days of a more true Maui experience and 3 days in the most luxurious resort! Even though moving your stuff halfway through the trip seems annoying, we actually didn’t mind at all AND we loved getting to have both experiences.
The Road To Hana: This is a must see in Maui, but you need a car in order to tackle this trip. Hana is the town on the eastern tip of Maui. The Road to Hana is a windy, curvy, one lane road, but its pure magic. The Hawaiian jungle rises up both sides of the road with trees, flowers, and even waterfalls. I highly recommend you download the Shaka Guide for the trip. You won’t have service and this guide was a MUST because they tell you when and where to pull off along the way. The Road has about 22 stops and can take up to 10 hours to complete. Make sure you dedicate one WHOLE day to this because you do not want to be rushed. My favorite stop along the Road to Hana: The Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park.
Snorkeling: Maui is known as a world-class snorkeling destination! If you are into seeing bright and colorful fish, turtles, and more- rent some snorkel gear (there are LOADS of places around the island to rent for cheap about $40 for a week) and get out there. I suggest Kamaole Sands in Kihei because you can snorkel right off the beach.
Beaches: Try to visit as many beaches as you can! We tried to visit at least 1 beach in north, south, west, and East Maui. They were all stunningly beautiful. As most of you know- I’m an ocean person- so I could spend all day hanging out on Maui beaches. My favorites: Koké Beach (on the Road to Hana) and Kamaole III beach park!
Luau: If you have never been to Hawaii a Luau is a great idea! It’s a great way to learn about the Hawaiian culture, food, and dance! A luau usually has fire dancers, hula dancers, and TASTY food. It’s a huge part and one worth checking out! Try the Old Lahaina Luau!
My final tip: Catch every single sunset you can.
Our trip to Maui was only 7 days which never feels long enough! Hopefully, you will have as much fun on your trip as we did and use this Maui travel guide. My favorite part of Hawaii is the care-free, peaceful state of mind you instantly find when landing upon any of the islands. Truly take advantage of that Aloha spirit and enjoy.
Rachel Cossette says
Your photos are gorgeous and now I’m hungry and want to lay on the beach!
Thank you! Yes I’d love to be back right now!!
Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and your trip sounds amazing. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. Pinning this for future reference! Thanks for sharing pretty girl.
I agree with the last poster–these photos are gorgeous. While I’ve really only been to Kauai, I really think that I need to visit some of the other islands.
Thank you for sharing about the Shaka Guide–that is a great resource, for sure!
Cassie |White Sands and Cool Breezes says
Thank you for all these great tips. I’ve been only once but I can’t wait until I can go back!
This is a great travel guide that I am going to pin! We were looking at going to Hawaii in November but decided to go Bali this year instead. Great reference for our next trip!
Bali is a great alternative!! lol Lucky you <3
Allison - Celebrating Sweets says
Gorgeous photos! I am ready to plan a trip right now!
Thanks so much Allison!!
I want/need to be here right about now. Your photos just make me miss having a relaxed holiday. I need to travel more this year.
a relaxed holiday is good for soul!! I hope you get to have one soon.
Jodi Graham says
OMG your photos are amaze-balls! Thanks so much for the tips and insights – I’m going to keep these on hand for when I finally get to Hawaii!
Ha ha! Thanks so much Jodi!!
This is a great guide with lots of options with restaurants because food is important. The pictures are lovely and thanks for sharing the many activities to do. It looks like a great place for a romantic getaway.
There were SO many more I wanted to add! lol A lot of great food options.
Oh wow, your photos are gorgeous! I’ve only been to Oahu but want to visit Maui one day.
Thank you so much! Oahu is one of the islands I’ve never been too!
I’ve been to Hawaii numerous times but never stayed in Maui before. Thanks for this through guide, I will bookmark it for when I travel
Oh really? Where is your favorite place to go in Maui?
Christina Beauchamp says
I remember Moana everytime I hear or read Maui. 🙂 I’m sorry just have to share it! Hawaii is a great place to visit and I’ve heard they have the best shaved ice cream!
Hahaha I haven’t seen that movie, what island do they live on?
This looks and sounds beyond amazing! I’m dying to go anywhere in Hawaii!
I’ve heard all of the islands are amazing!! You can’t go wrong.
Your food pictures are making me hungry– everything looks so good! Love the sunset shots, too. Hawaii is on my bucket list 🙂
Erin- You need to go!!! it’s such a magical place.
Great guide! Definitely going to look back at this when I go to Hawaii.
Thanks for stopping by Amanda!
Oh my god. Maui looks amazing! I hope to hop on over to this island someday!