On the way to our condo from the airport, we drove aimlessly around the island, and simultaneously decided that Maui was way more our speed than Cabo San Lucas. While we had fun in Mexico, there is just so much more to do in Hawaii besides sitting at an all-inclusive resort and throwing back tequila. In Hawaii you can swim in the ocean for hours on end, surf (a lot), hike to unreal waterfalls, snorkel with turtles and eat your body weight in pineapples (dole whips)— all of which are our all-time favorite things to do.
Our trip was somewhat spontaneous, we decided to go only three weeks beforehand (you can read why here), so we didn’t have a full itinerary planned. We ate like the locals and spent the better half of our time on the island bouncing between the sand, sun and sea.
If you’re planning a trip to Maui in the foreseeable future, here are some of my favorite spots.
Dollie’s Pizza — This is one of those really good, but totally random hole in the wall pizza joints. We got our pizza to go and ate it on the patio of the condo while we watched the sunset— which I highly recommend everyone does if you have a decent view. Everything tastes better when you’re watching a Hawaiian sunset.
Down the Hatch — We stumbled across this place in Lahaina on accident, and I am so glad we did. I ordered the sweet potato tacos and Morgan got the fish sandwich— both of our bellies were full and extremely satisfied when we left. Down the Hatch was a cute and casual patio restaurant with a live band, yummy food and cheap, BOGO prices. Five stars all around in our book.
Aloha Mixed Plate — I got so many recommendations for this place, we had to try it. I will be the first to admit, I’m not a big fan of traditional Hawaiian plates— pork, spam and white rice don’t really do it for me— but this place was so freakin’ good. I got the Huli Chicken Sandwich, and the garlic fries, which are an absolute must. Oh, and did I mention their $4 mai-tais? Yes, please.
Ululanis Hawaiian Shaved Ice — If you didn’t get shaved ice at least three times, did you even really do Hawaii? The answer is no. Do yourself a favor— go to Ululani’s and get the No Ka Oi over macadamia nut ice cream. You can thank me later.
Slappy Cakes — The one thing we both said we wanted while in Maui was banana pancakes, and Slappy Cakes hit the spot. We shared a stack of the Hawaiian Pancakes, which was the yummiest combination of bananas, pineapples, coconut cream and macadamia nuts. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
You also have the option to spring for DIY pancakes— you choose your batter, pick the toppings and make your own ‘cakes on the griddle built in to the tables— which would be really fun if you have kiddos in tow. The wait was long to get a table, but oh so worth it.
Maui Brewing Company — Like any bar and grill, the food was mediocre, but the atmosphere and beer was what kept us hangin’ ’round. We ordered a few appetizers and a couple of flights of beer. My favorite was the Maui onion dip and bikini blonde ale. When in Rome (or Hawaii, whatever)…
Nakalele Blowhole — I love a good hike, especially when there is a total insta-worthy heart shaped rock at the end. It only took us about an hour round-trip, including a serious photo shoot at the blowhole, so if you can spare 60-minutes I highly recommend paying Nakalele a visit.
Snorkel in Honolua Bay — In Cabo we paid for a full snorkel excursion, and while it was fun, it took up half of our day. In Maui, we paid ten bucks to rent snorkel gear on our own, parked on the side of the road and took them out to Honolua Bay for an hour. We saw what we wanted to see— all the pretty fish and the cutest sea turtles— and went on our way.
Surf at Ka’anapoli Beach — Morgan is huge on surfing, and I knew he’d want to paddle out at least once a day, so I chose one day to rent a board and go surf with him. Although I’ve surfed a handful of times before, we picked a beginner-friendly spot (bless his patient heart) in Ka’anapoli. I cannot say enough good things about the locals out there. They are so welcoming and more-than-willing to help you catch a wave, which makes it a super fun spot to surf no matter what your experience level is.
I got so many amazing recommendations from you guys, but we just couldn’t hit them all. I really wanted to check out Choice Health Bar, the Old Lahaina Luau, and Mama’s Fish House— hopefully next time.
Are there any must-do things that we missed? Tell me in the comments below.