As most of you already know from following along over on Instagram, Joe and I just got back from an amazing couples trip with my family to Maui. With the craziness of his work schedule during the holidays and life in general, the time together in the sunshine was exactly what we needed!! Every time we travel, we get so many questions on the location. From where to stay and what to pack (which I covered here), to the best places to eat and all the funnest things to do. So Joe and I put together our own little Maui travel guide for you here!
If you know us, then you know one of our top priorities, especially when traveling is the FOOD. I swear we research recommendations for food more than anything else, and Maui did not disappoint!! From the worlds best cinnamon rolls to the yummiest dinner with a view, we loved the Maui food scene. Here are some of our favorites!
Oh my gosh this place was so good! Such a great breakfast spot. You can make your own pancakes right in front of you, or they can make all kinds of fun shapes like Disney designs. So so fun! If you are looking for something a little healthier the avocado toast was really good too!!
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This a great place to grab a bite when you first get in or when you are leaving because it is closer to the airport. We actually ended up eating here twice because it was so yummy. We got the chicken sandwich, which was hands down the girls favorite. But we also really liked “da burger”. They had so many amazing options to try we could’ve gone back 10 more times. They also have a fun dessert (pictured below) called Ubee – Oreo Sweet Potato Ice Cream.. think of a purple cookies and cream shake. So so yummy!
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**MAMA’S FISH HOUSE
Before going to Maui, we had heard about Mama’s from just about every person that had ever been to the island. In fact, it so popular, you have to get reservations weeks before you plan to go. And I am telling you I am SOO glad we did. Not only does Mama’s have the dreamiest views of the beach, but the food is out of this world incredible!! It has for sure taken a spot in Joe and I’s top places we have ever eaten, and we highly recommend it. It is a more high end formal setting, so keep that in mind if you are traveling as a family and not just adults.
I actually don’t really like fish, but the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi was so great! For dessert (which is always our favorite) we got the two pictures you see here. The Black Pearl, which I’m still dreaming about, and the Kuau Chocolate Pie. It is a dense chocolate mousse layered on top of caramel and oreo cheesecake crust…amazing!
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If you are looking for an amazing BIG breakfast, The Gazebo is your spot! They are known for their Macadamia Nut Pancakes, but honestly every single thing we tried was heavenly. It is a popular spot so plan on getting there early!
We went a little later and ordered the fried rice and it was amazing, but HUGE!!! You can split with the whole family, so keep that in mind when ordering. Everything is huge portions. We loved that you could eat your food on the beach here.
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**ULULANI’S HAWAIIAN SHAVE ICE
Oh my gosh. This was so incredible. Hands down the best shave ice on the island!! We went here just about everyday. Even twice a day a few times! So many good flavors but coconut lovers is probably my favorite combo!
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This was another yummy treat spot. They say it is not gelato, it is not ice cream, it is heaven. I can’t believe no one has ever mentioned this place before!! The ice cream was so good! They have a natural shave ice, which normally I don’t love except for the place above, but this was a very close second. I just didn’t love the ice part, but the natural topping is way better!
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** RUTH’S CHRIS
This is one of our absolute favorite places to go for a special date night, so it was perfect for our couples trip. We loved the Lahaina setting right near the beach. This location of course has a lot more fish options and their version of Hula Pie was the best we have ever had. It was 3 different kinds of ice cream with an oreo crust. Not kidding, my sisters, mom, and I inhaled it in about 4 minutes!!
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**MONKEY POD –
This is over in Whalers Village (with the great shopping) and you guys the truffle fries are to die for!! They also had really great wood fire pizza and cattle cheese burgers
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**CINNAMON ROLL PLACE
You know it is good when I am still dreaming of these cinnamon rolls over a week later. I can’t even begin to describe how good these were, but I’m sure you can tell just from the picture. Be sure to go earlier because they are only open in the mornings.
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This is a such a yummy casual spot to grab a bite. Make sure to get there early because it is only open for lunch. They had the best panini sandwiches and noodle salads. All super delicious!
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This is a great spot right off the beach and next to Whalers Village. They had the best pork tacos I’ve ever had, and believe me I have had a lot! My family got fish tacos and a bunch more stuff and everyone really loved everything they got!
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** CHOICE HEALTH BAR:
We loved the acai bowls here. They were so good and really natural tasting, not too sweet. We loved the homemade granola and the avocado toast too.
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** LEODOS KITCEH AND PIE SHOP
So I am not a pie person at all but my people are for sure. So naturally my dad bought every flavor you could and I will tell you they were actually pretty amazing. My favorites were the apple pie and the hula. And that is coming from an extremely picky pie person!
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This a little mexican food spot we tried out. The chips and salsa were good, but other than that I really wouldn’t recommend it for the price.
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:: THINGS TO DO
Usually when we go to Hawaii, we go to Oahu. It is definitely the more “touristy” style island and is filled with a lot of well known attractions. You can check out our favorites here. So it was fun to explore a new island this time. Maui definitely has a more relaxed vibe than Oahu. Of course there are still a lot of tourists, but it feels more laid back and slower pace. But that doesn’t mean it is lacking in things to do! These are some of our favorites we tried, and some that we have heard others love to do on the island.
** WHALE WATCHING
February is whale watching season in Maui and it was absolutely incredible. The company we went with (Ultimate Whale Watch) was so kiind. They did a really great job and we loved it! I recommend going on the smaller boats, because you can get closer to the whales and have less people trying to see and take pictures. We did a bigger one in Boston that had a ton of people and we could not see even close to what we saw in Maui. We would do this again in a second and HIGHLY recommend it! It was really pretty affordable too at only around $40 person for 2 hours
If you go in February you are pretty much guaranteed to see a bunch! We saw so many throughout our trip. We even saw one only about 200 yds away from us one night while sitting on the beach. They are incredible.
*SHOPPING AT WHALERS VILLAGE
I couldn’t take a trip with my mom and sisters and not get some shopping in! We absolutely loved the shopping at Whalers Village. It is the perfect mix of local shops + your favorite beachy surf brands like quiksilver, billabong, and volcom, but still had some of our tried and true faves like lululemon. We loved that lululemon does decals on items you buy, so it was a fun souvenir to take back!
Maui has some great hikes that take you to some amazing scenery. This trip we only managed to fit in one but we loved it! It is called Wai’hee Ridge Trail and I am so glad our friends Erika and JJ recommended it! It is a steep hike so maybe considered a little more advanced, but the beginning is deceiving and it is not that bad. The views at the top are worth it! My parents both did great and they don’t workout regularly. I would recommend starting early to beat the crowds and the heat on a sunnier day. It was so beautiful!
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The beaches in Maui are so beautiful. I could’ve just laid there all day and done nothing!! Our very favorite weas DT Flemings. It has such great waves and was so fun!! Some of other great ones are Ka’anaplai Beach, Napili Bay, Kapalua Bay, and Wailea Beach.
** MAUI ESCAPE ROOMS
We only had one really rainy day, so we split up. A few of us did the spa and the rest went to the escape room. Joe and the boys all said it was better than any they have been to in Utah, which is saying a lot because I think we’ve tried all of them and loved them! Joe said it is different than the escape rooms here because instead of a bunch of different rooms, it is just one big room. So we would definitely recommend if you got stuck with a rainy day on your trip.
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A few things we didn’t get a chance to do but got lots of recommendations for :
**ROAD TO HANA
We were short on time, so we didn’t get a chance to do this, but have heard amazing reviews of it. Our friends Erika and JJ said If you can handle the long windy roads, the road to hana is so beautiful, and full of views you can only get from this spot. There are plenty of little spots to stop and take a break for driving to see waterfalls, grab some food from local food trucks, and I think even take hikes. 100% worth it!
Snorkeling in Maui is very popular because there are a lot of coves and bays with calmer water. It is a great spot to fulfill your dream of swimming with sea turtles as they are very popular on and around the island.
:: WHERE TO STAY
I wouldn’t call myself an expert on this one, but I would say you can’t go wrong with any of the hotels on the west side. The area between Kapalua and Lahaina is absolutely beautiful and perfect distance from all the restaurants and shopping amenities. Wailea is another awesome area full of some great hotels too.
We stayed at Luna Villas at Honua Kai. They are BRAND NEW and so amazing! It had 3 bedrooms and baths which worked perfect for a group. They are so modern and clean and we all absolutely loved them. The owner and staff were incredibly nice and accommodating and we highly recommend them!
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I know that was kind of a lot of information, but Maui is honestly one of our new favorites and I like to give as much info as possible for those planning their own trip!! If you have any favorites we missed, please share so I can add them here!! We are always looking for new places to eat or things to try out!!
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