I apologize to everyone about my extended hiatus, and this post is a long time coming. But I absolutely had to share my experience traveling to Maui last fall because it was truly life changing.
And I am just going to dive right in. First and foremost, you must go to Haleakala National Park to see the sunrise or sunset. But for sunrise, you have to make reservations because that many people want to go. It’s 1.5 hours to go up the mountain so make sure you plan enough time. And bring warm clothing, it’s 70-80 degrees at the bottom & 40 degrees & windy at the top! But you’ll be higher than the clouds at 10,000 feet and it’s incredible.
Maui Wine has the freshest tasing Pineapple wine I have ever tried hands down. The tasting fee is between $10-15 depending on which selection of 5 wines you choose. But they pour them generously. Maui Splash was my favorite but Maui Blanc was a little less sweet, as far as whites go. My favorite red was Mele. You can also purchase the wines by the glass & they have the entire selection of wines available in store & they can even ship them to most states!!
Now, as far as food goes, the best restaurant on the island is Mama’s Fish House. The entrees are $50+ each but you can share one, share an app & stick to one drink to make it reasonable. The fish is so fresh they will actually tell you who caught it for you that day.
Wailea is gorgeous and Kihei has some amazing bars & restaurants. Sansei sushi is amazing. Monkeypod is a hotspot for apps & mixed drinks, I do recommend a reservation though, and don’t go too late. After about 8pm they run out of all of the popular dishes because they make everything fresh each day & eventually run out of ingredients. The pumpkin ravioli, potstickers & brussel sprouts are fabulous!
Little Beach in Kihei is a nude beach, you don’t have to take your clothes off if you don’t feel like sharing 🤣 but the only access is up a steep cliffside, and it closes at dusk so they can get everyone back down safely, make sure to plan accordingly.
You MUST get shaved ice somewhere on the island & I recommend Peace Love Shaved Ice in Kihei. And you also need to try some kind of flavor of WOW WOW lemonade (located in Kihei, and other various spots) If you need a good detox, I recommend adding charcoal to yours as shown above (you can’t taste it I promise).
Now in Paia, Paia Fish Market is the best, hands down. You can get fresh Mahi or any kind of fish you want cooked to order with fresh sides.
Mana Foods is a must, it is the local version of Whole Foods & everything is fresh. They have unique local fruit such as Rambutan, Lychee, & Lilikoi, which you have to try just to say you did whether you like it or not (I personally enjoyed them all!)
And they have a bunch of boutiques & shops in the downtown Paia area that are perfect for a day of shopping & there is a beach just down the street. And you absolutely HAVE to take a pic by the rainbow surfboards as you go into town!!
I would recommend going to Hana, but this will be an all day excursion. However, there are beaches, wineries, hiking excursions, and lush scenery that will make the trip worth it. Twin Falls is a beautiful wooded spot in Haiku on the way to Hana, but is only 25 min east of Paia if you don’t want to make the 2 hour trip to Hana. And if you like sea turtles visit Hookipa, there were 39 turtles in the bottom right pic!
Things to keep in mind, when I went I had guides with me (shoutout to Ashleigh & Meggi who are bomb AF ♥ them both) that had been staying there for months-years, which made it much easier to know which spots to hit first & foremost. You will be jet lagged for at least the first 2 days when you get there. The flight from Cali alone is 5 hours & with the time change, be prepared to not feel like staying out until 2am initially. I was there for 5 days and I truly feel 10-14 days are necessary to be able to see everything. The island is literally jam packed with sites that are all absolutely worth seeing.
You will likely only be able to do a couple things each day because everything on the island is very spread out. Wailea to Maui Wine in Kula alone is about an hour drive because the region where Oprah’s house is located is not an accessible by public road, so instead of driving straight through in 15-20 minutes, you have to drive an hour around the island, so time management is key.
Now I promise the time will melt away & you won’t mind all of the driving a bit because the views are absolutely breathtaking in every single spot on the island. It truly looks like Ireland with the greenery that surrounds you, and you can see mountains & ocean from nearly every vantage point.
Maui is literally my favorite place in the world, but full disclosure I am 100% a beach girl. The beach town vibe that exists throughout the entire island is incredibly chill. You can do whatever you want & no one cares. No shirt, no shoes, no problem! And everyone you meet is happy, I mean why wouldn’t they be with perfect weather & surrounding beauty year round!
And with the lush green landscape, colorful bright flowers in abundance, and having the ocean at your fingertips, it’s hard not to fall in love. You can clear your mind, reach a state of peace within yourself where you are free to let your flaws, your fears & your doubts go. Here you can to be who you want & everyone will accept you. You will truly understand the importance of taking in every minute, and cherishing the experience mind, body, & soul.
Now as you are visualizing your Maui trip, you should know it is really not as expensive as one might think. My round trip flight was $780, and if you get an Airbnb or stay with another couple or group you can find something reasonable. I was lucky enough to stay with my bestie Meggi in Paia while she was on a travel job. But I promise it will be the trip of a lifetime if you go, although it should not be on anyone’s bucket list. You WILL want to go back and as soon as possible. I know I want to make a point to go every year or at least every other year & I would drop everything to live there in a heartbeat.
I hope you enjoyed my post, please reach out with any follow-up questions you may have!
~ If you feed your soul, you will find yourself ~