MAUI TRAVEL GUIDE
OMG GUYS - I can't believe it took me 3 months to write this post - I am seriously disappointed in myself haha. But better late than never, right!?
First things first: planning your trip
- Light layers
- Rain gear
Car: Rent a car! You'll need it. There are ubers but they are much fewer and far between than the main land, and you'll want to be able to drive to different activities, golfing, etc. Some hotels have entire rental car facilities
Flights: We flew American Airlines since we are both members of their loyalty program and were able to use miles and fly for free. We sat in coach which was (not surprisingly) cramped, and the food left A LOT to be desired. Cold wraps and chips for the meal, but at least we had lots of free movies!
Where to stay:
Wailea: Marriott Beach Wailea - one of my favorite hotels of ALL. TIME. Absolutely wonderful staff, nice & modern rooms, and incredible campus. The lobby itself is so picturesque and beautiful. 3 different pools, one for the young adult/married-couple-without-kids crew, one "serenity" pool that was very chill - nap city! And one very family friendly pool, shallow waters, pool toys, slides - and the slides are fun for adults too... Yep we did em :)
There's a store and a Starbucks on-site, as well as even an escape room! They also have fun lawn games and tons of activities, like their own Luau that people come to from all over the islands!
Restaurants in the hotel - we liked going to the Whale's Tale for a snack or light breakfast, juice, coffee or cocktail. Awesome views of the water and Molokai, and you can see the luau too.
Restaurant at the 2 adult pools was awesome. We had salads, fish tacos, and a few other things and they were all great. Roy Yamagutchi Has a restaurant on-site called "Humble Market Kitchin" and we were very disappointed. It was hard to get reservations, and very expensive which misleadingly told us it would be great - but as it turned out, it was overpriced and underwhelming. Most disappointing was the bland and unimaginative "vegetarian menu". It was a veggie sushi roll (I think it was just asparagus and carrot..? and a tofu stir fry) We would NOT recommend this place.
While You are There:
The Mill House: loved this dinner! Awesome service and delicious, unique food and drinks. Fairly expensive, but we loved it. We even went back the next day for coffee and breakfast, because the property is so beautiful and fun to walk around. It was an old sugar mill and just a great place to spend a morning and/or a meal.
Mamas Fish House: This is the place that everyone who's ever been to Hawaii will recommend to you. The view and property were the best part about it if you ask me, but their specialty dish "crusted stuffed fish" was legit one of the best dishes Jared and I have ever had. Unfortunately I didn't get that. 😑 But Jared did, so at least one of us enjoyed it haha! My entree, as well as our appetizer were very overpriced and lacked flavor, but I WOULD go again, just to get the dish Jared got. It was also a fun atmosphere and we has great great service. Fun experience overall - I'd recommend a late lunch or early dinner so you can be there while the sun is out!
South Maui Fish Company: This Food Truck was maybe the best meal we had in Maui! This place is the most unassuming ever - it's a random food truck in a parking lot behind a strip of other restaurants and shops in Maui, but they go out at like 3am, catch fresh fish and serve it up that day. Tacos, platters, and some other key items make this place a must do. The guys know their fish and take a ton of pride in it. We LOVED it.
Monkey Pod: This was recommended to us by our hotel and it was obviously super popular, it was packed. We had great food and they had a ton of different drinks. Since I'm pregnant I got a virgin cocktail and the server had so many great suggestions and it was delicious! Jared had this awesome tuna steak with wasabi mashed potatoes that were to die for. Totally recommend that dish.
Morimoto @ Andaz: Great spot, it was small and we liked the environment. I didn't eat sushi which I think its known for, but my bibibop was pretty good. I would say it was overpriced but we did enjoy our dinner so I'd still recommend. The bang bang shrimp in 2 styles was AMAZING, one had the standard bang bang sauce and one was wasabi -- I'm pretty sure other Morimoto restaurants have this, but if not I will have to go back to Maui just to get it - sooo good!
Whale Watching: We did not plan this beforehand but were SO happy we did it. So to whale watch in Maui, you have to be there during the Feb - April time period, as thats before the whales migrate back up north. At our hotel, we could see whales from the pool and another guest highly recommended that we do a tour. I was against it at first - I legitimately was afraid of whales going up (so big!), but wow, did this change my mind. We did one of the larger boats, I think the small ones would be cool but I'm a little too scared! Our guide from Hawaii Ocean Project was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and entertaining, and without a doubt, we saw a ton of whales. It was totally worth the money. It was soooo cool to see the whales jumping out of the water, and everyone would yell "breach" when they jumped out haha - so exciting. But the best part was when a whale was right behind the boat and my husband and I both ran towards the back, just in time to see the ENORMOUS tale just 15-20 feet from the boat. It was magnificent! I don't know if I've ever used that word before haha but thats what it was. We loved it.
Surf Lessons: Jared and I had a ton of fun at Goofy Foot Surf School - we did the private lesson so we had one guide between the 2 of us, which gave us a ton of time to practice. We actually got super tired from all the paddling back and forth but this was sooo fun. We both got up a ton and it was a great way to spend a morning. This was over in Lahaina which is a bit of a drive, but we did the surf lesson & whale watching in the same day (they were actually right next to each other) and it worked out perfect.
Haleakala Bike Tour: This was the 2nd time I took this tour but it was very different. So there are about 5 companies that run tours from the top of the Haleakala Volcano to the bottom via bike. There used to be more but due to conservation efforts there are less, which raised the price but wasn't that much more. We did the sunrise tour so we had to wake up at like 3am, drive to the meeting point, take a 1.5 hour bus ride to the top, and then we watched the sunrise over the entire island. We then did a self-guided tour down the entire volcano which was super fun and actually easy - downhill, go figure. Plus since its so early, you still have like the whole day to explore or go relax and nap at the pool :)
Golfing: Although we both wanted to (Jared way more than me), we didn't end up golfing in Hawaii. It was super expensive and we decided we'd rather just hang at the pool more. This is still on the to do list for next time!