Maui, Hawaii is hands down one of my favorite places on earth! The stunning sunrises, variety of beaches, and the quaint little town of Lahaina make it worth longing for. I try my best to sway clients to visit here when they say they want a Hawaiian vacation, and, like me, they are never disappointed.
Here is an itinerary of Maui goodness that I suggest to clients as must do's. Hope you enjoy them too!
Oahu is a booming and bustling island in Hawaii that is bursting with places to see and things to do. Though it isn't my favorite Hawaiian Island, I do think it is a must visit! It is a great island to start with for a long Hawaiian vacation, and is a great transition from the bustling life on the mainland to life on an island. Start your Hawaiian vacation here then end it on a slower moving island like Maui or Kauai. 4 or 5 days is all it takes at most to see the highlights on Oahu, making it the perfect stop on the way to another island.
Making it the star of your Hawaii vacation? Just know, though beautiful, Waikiki is likely not what you imagine a Hawaiian paradise to be. Don't say I didn't warn you. But like I said, there are so many beautiful things to see and do on Oahu, and I've compiled them into a handy itinerary for help planning your Hawaiian vacation.
Welcome to paradise, time to switch your clocks to island time! I can't believe I've already shared so much from our Hawaiian Holiday with you! It's been so fun to relive these precious memories, and take a dip in the salty sea with you. To wrap things up, I thought I would share a few things to help you plan a trip to Hawaii, focusing mostly on Maui. I've put together a list of places to stay, restaurant spots, shopping, attractions and more.
Ritz-Carlton Kapalua: This was our hotel of choice, and we loved the location, size, and feel of the resort. It was the perfect location for us, further out in a more quiet area, but still not to far from hot spots like Kaanapali & Lahaina. Not to mention, we got an AMAZING package deal making this swanky spot cheaper than most other resorts.
Sheraton Maui Resort: If we ever returned, this would be our hotel of choice because of the prime location on Kaanapali Beach. The views here are amazing and the grounds are beautiful.
Sugar Beach Resort: This resort is near one of our favorite spots on Maui, Sugar Beach. This is a condo style resort, which isn't typically how we like to vacation, but the views of the ocean and the location is perfect driving distance to Kihei & Kahului.
Molokini Crater: Do yourself a favor and book a snorkel excursion to explore this top-rated diving spot in the world! You'll enjoy the boat ride, the views from the water, and the snorkeling itself. We used Maui Magic for our tour guides, and I highly recommend them.
The Road to Hana: You won't want to miss out on the many stops along the famed Road to Hana. Even without stopping, you'll see amazing ocean views, vast rain forest, historical bridges, and stunning waterfalls. Use The Road to Hana plan I created here or book a tour guide, either way, you'll love the adventure!
Haleakala Sunrise Tour: Whether your choose a sunrise or sunset tour, you won't be disappointed. The drive is beautiful, and the sunrise itself is pure magic! I highly recommend a tour for this steep, winding drive.
Lahaina: We loved the quaint shops of Lahaina. You could find anything and everything here from hand carved canes to sea glass art to hand painted seascapes. Even just window shopping will give you all the feels of the Aloha life.
Kula, Maui: Our stop here was brief, but we loved the sweet little shops here. Our favorite was Proteas of Hawaii florist. They ship their beautiful arrangements all over the world.
Waikiki: Even though we didn't stop here, we did pass through. It almost felt like the Las Vegas Strip with its mixture of high end shops and boutiques. I wouldn't mind perusing the street, spending as much as my heart desires! Well, I can dream, can't I?
Kobe Japanese Steak House: This hibachi style restaurant in Lahaina is the perfect spot of a special night in Maui. We enjoyed sushi, the hibachi show, and fun atmosphere. Many tourists frequent here and with the hibachi style seating, its fun to interact with other travelers.
Cheeseburger in Paradise: The burgers are yummy, the views are even better. Grab a seat by the window and enjoy!
Pioneer Inn: Stop in this 1901 inn for a yummy Hawaii style breakfast of loco moco, or stick with my trusty favorite, eggs Benedict. A window seat boasts views of the harbor.
USS Arizona Memorial: This is an experience I will never forget. I can't recommend enough that you visit here given the chance. You'll not only visit the memorial, but learn so much about December 7, 1941 that you probably hadn't known before.
Pacific Aviation Museum: Perhaps its our love of planes that drew us here, but I think its a museum that anyone would love. There are modern war planes, World War planes, and so much more.
Lahaina Banyan Court Park: A 140+ year old tree that takes up an entire block? Need I say more!
Hawaiian Luau: I think this is an absolute must for anyone visiting the Hawaiian Islands for the first time. You'l have delicious food, yummy drinks, and learn so much about Hawaiian culture.
Dole Plantation: We loved exploring this spot in the middle of Oahu. There's so much to see and do just on this plantation. The pineapple fields around it and the mountains in the distance make for great views as well.
Atlantis Submarine: This little adventure was a pleasant surprise! I expected it to be a bit cheesy, but it was filled with wonder and excitement instead. This is a great experience for children and adults alike.
I also wanted to share our itinerary. We had jam packed days and leisurely days. It was the most amazing vacation that we'll never forget! Hopefully you can take tidbits & tips from our itinerary to form your own perfect Maui vacation.
Of course there are a thousand other things to do on the islands, but these were some of our favorites I hope that you will enjoy. Thank you so much for coming on this grand adventure with me! I loved SO much sharing and reminiscing this trip with you. Be sure to check out all the details of our trip below. Thank you again for exploring with me!
Golf & Joy
The Road to Hana
Snorkel & Snuba
Under the Sea Submarine
Dolphin + Whale Watching
Lahaina: The Sweetest Town on Earth
North Shore + Waikiki Shocker
Pearl Harbor Part 1
Pearl Harbor Part 2
Dole Plantation + Pineapple Fields
I'll finish up with a Hawaii trip wrap up tomorrow, but I can't do that without sharing about our absolute most favorite spot on Maui. Lahaina, Hawaii is the sweetest little town I have ever seen, bonus that it is right on the ocean!
It boasts the cutest little shops with unique art, fabrics, and paintings, yummy restaurants with views to die for, and history galore, including a thriving banyan tree planted in 1873! This was hands down our favorite area on Maui. We frequented here nearly everyday during our 10 day stay on the island. Whether for tours, eating, shopping, sight seeing, or just relaxing watching the boats go by between islands, it's an amazing, quaint spot for just about anyone.
The famous Front Street in Lahaina, Hawaii on the island of Maui.
The 140+ year old Banyan Tree in Lahaina Banyan Court Park.
Note: That is only ONE tree! It takes up nearly an entire block.
There is tons of historical artifacts located near and in the park.
Cheeseburger in Paradise & it's AMAZING views!
Cute little shops are all over Lahaina.
The Pioneer Inn where we enjoyed breakfast over looking Lahaina Harbor.
I LOVED their eggs Benedict.
We enjoyed just about every ice cream parlor in Lahaina! :)
Lahaina Pizza Company had amazing deep dish pizza, not to mention killer views!
The sunsets over Lahaina Harbor were the icing on the cake for this little town!
Lahaina made a lasting impression on both of our hearts. We speak of and long for it often. I imagine it to be the perfect place to raise a family. I think my heart will always long for Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. I don't think we've ever loved a place or felt more at home anywhere other than Lahaina. We have it in our hearts and minds to head back there someday. And I HIGHLY recommend a visit to this sweet little town to anyone heading Maui's way.
So I've saved some of the best for last to share from our Hawaiian Holiday! I'm so excited to share our adventures whale watching off the coast of Maui. November through March Humpback Whales migrate to the Hawaiian islands to breed. We were there right for the beginning of the peak of the season. Unfortunately, our first charter out to whale watch didn't bring us much luck in the whale department. However, we did see a pod of native Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, which their name eludes only live in the Hawaiian islands. It was SO fascinating to me to see animals in Hawaii that you can only see there. It made these adventures that much more special! Anyway, even though we didn't see whales the first go round we loved seeing the friendly dolphins play & follow our boat. The sunset & views of the islands, well they weren't so bad either!
We were in a small raft, pontoon style boat so we felt SO close to the ocean, which I loved. Even though we didn't see whales, I'd say it was a successful boat ride! Our second chance at seeing whales was on our snorkel/snuba trip. We weren't out to see whales, but we saw several during the span of the morning. At the time, it was fairly overcast so the photos aren't that great, but it was the most AMAZING sight and experience of my life! It literally brought tears to my eyes. To see a creature in person with your own eyes that you have only dreamed of seeing, read about in books, or seen in photos was the most magical I've ever had!
Can you believe how close they are to the boats! Pretty spectacular! We also had the pleasure of seeing this majestic whales during a sunset dinner cruise. I didn't worry with photos then, and it was worth it to just take them in. Now I've become completely entranced by whales, and went out of the way to see killer whales during a visit to Seattle (more on that another day). Every time I plan a trip for myself or someone else now, I always check to see if it's whale season! I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on such an amazing adventure.