The next stop on our honeymoon adventure was the island of Maui. This island had a totally different vibe than the bustling city of Honolulu. It was almost like everything was happening in slow motion..the true definition of island life. After much consideration (and research) we decided to stay at Lahania Shores Beach Resort - the only beachside hotel in the area. Lahania is an old whaling village and serves as the island's "downtown" with an abundance of shops and restaurants, all within walking distance. An added bonus we didn't have to worry about finding a parking spot - which can be a real challenge in this small town. The rooms are condo style so we had access to a full kitchen which allowed us to save some money by purchasing breakfast foods and snacks and eating in our room.
Don't get me wrong Maui has some of the most beautiful resorts in the country *cough I'm looking at you Ritz Carlton* check out my spa adventure on Day 4 if you don't believe me. But we really enjoyed the boutique feel of Lahania Shores and like I mentioned in my Oahu travel guide - we aren't big pool people and never seem to spend a lot of time at our resort. We're usually out and about. Totally a personal preference!
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Day 1: Lahania
We landed in Kahului airport mid afternoon, picked up our rental car and drove to Lahania to check into our hotel. We got settled and unpacked before heading downtown for our reservation at Warren and Annabelle's - a comedy magic dinner show. There is a reason it's been named Maui's favorite nightlife. This show was worth every penny and the magic tricks were mind-blowing!
The start of the night is an adventure in itself as you enter Annabelle's Parlor in a very unique way for pupus (appetizers) and cocktails. I won't give it all away because you seriously need to go! During the cocktail hour my husband and I were chosen (we must have had that newlywed glow) to play a special part in the show which made it even more fun.
Day 2: Site Seeing in West Maui
Today was all about seeing some of the beauty Maui has to offer! We had breakfast at our hotel and hit the road early. The first destination on our list was the Nakalele Blowhole - a natural geyser which shoots water up through a lava tube hundreds of feet in the air. When heading north from Kapalua you'll reach mile marker 38.5. You'll have to park and hike down the rocky terrain to get to the blowhole. Once you do, It's quite the sight to see but depending on the tide, can be quite powerful so make sure to keep a safe distance. There is also another hidden gem here which was honestly one of my favorite finds on our trip. With the blowhole on your left, turn around so it's to your back and you'll see the famous heart shaped rock. **Update as of January 2020 the heart rock broke in half and no longer exists**
Day 3: Molokini Snorkeling
We woke up early and headed to Maalaea Harbor for a snorkeling trip with Calypso. Parking within the harbor can be a bit tricky and the lines were long so give yourself some extra time. As soon as we boarded the triple-decker catamaran we were welcomed by a friendly crew and a delicious breakfast. It was a short boat ride to our first snorkel site: Molokini Crater. This site is only accessible by boat ride and offers beautiful, sheltered views of several species of fish. When we had seen our share of fish we got back on the boat to enjoy the two water slides and a second deck jumping-off point. Our next stop was Turtle Town and if you read my Oahu travel guide you'll know about my love for sea turtles. Let me tell you - this site didn't disappoint. We were able to swim side by side with multiple turtles both big and small. It was one of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip. The tour also included lunch on the boat ride back.
After leaving the harbor we made a pit stop at Wow Wow Lemonade in Kihei. I wasn't kidding when I told you we were obsessed after trying it on the North Shore of Oahu. Next on our list was Maui Ocean Center an aquarium and oceanography center which offers up close views at ocean life and the biggest sting ray I think I'll ever see in my life. It's a relatively small center so it didn't take long to make it all the way through but it would be a great activity for little ones.
Once we got back to Lahaina we decided on Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for dinner - one of our favorites no matter where we travel. The restaurant is located right on Front Street and offers ocean-side seating. August seemed like the perfect month to be on Maui as it was their off season so we hardly ever had a wait for dinner.
After dinner, we walked along Front Street popping in and out of the many shops. Lush Cosmetics and Honolulu Cookie Company were a few of my favorites (all the free samples you can eat!). We also discovered Dole Whip - which if you've never tried it, you need to. We went back at least three more times throughout our stay. Good news - it can now be found at some of the froyo shops in Michigan so I can still get my fix every now and then!
Day 4: Golf and Spa
If there's one thing I've learned about marriage..it's all about compromise. This day was dedicated to that! We started the morning with breakfast at the Plantation House. Crab cakes eggs Benedict seem to be a speciality in Hawaii and these didn't disappoint. My husband's one request for our stay on this island was to golf Kapalua Plantation Course. So while he teed off, I headed over to the Ritz Carlton for a full body relaxation massage. This was my first ever massage and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. They also encourage you to arrive to the spa early so you can enjoy their many other amenities before your treatment. I left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and headed back to the golf course to meet my hubby on hole 9 and rode along for the rest of the course. The views were simply stunning!
We headed back toward our home base in Lahania for dinner at Paia Fish Market and to wander around the town again (aka more Dole Whip). Lahania also has a huge banyan tree in the middle of town which is quite the site to see. After dinner, we walked back to our hotel to enjoy a few Maui Brewing Company beers by our pool. Read my full guide to Lahaina here.
Day 5: Road to Hana
If there's a definite must-see on Maui - this is it! The Road to Hana is unlike anything I've ever experienced before with bamboo jungles, rainbow trees, countless waterfalls, black sand beaches, and the best banana bread I've ever tasted. With approximately 600 curves and 54 bridges it is truly about the journey and not the destination. And one of the first decisions you need to make is how you'll get there: should you drive yourself or do a guided tour? We decided on a guided tour booked through Viator because we didn't want to have to stress about driving ourselves around those hairpin curves and instead could enjoy all the gorgeous views through the large windows of our limo van. We also didn't have to worry about doing a lot of research ahead of time and relied on our very knowledgable tour guide to show us the best spots and share lot of great history and culture we wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
We met our tour guide and the other three couples we would be traveling with at the Kahalui airport. Another great thing about the tour is there were only eight of us so it seemed very intimate and it was like we had all known each other forever by the end of the tour. We started the journey driving through the small town of Paia which the last town before you make your journey clockwise to Hana Town. We didn't get a chance to explore the town so it's definitely on my bucket list when we go back in February!
After driving for a while we pulled off to the side of the road and made our way to a small grove of the coolest trees I've ever seen. Like seriously who knew you could get so excited about trees but the rainbow eucalyptus are a sight to see.
There are certainly SO many more stops you can make on this adventure - these were just a few of our favorites. The most important thing is to not try and see it all in one trip. It's best to do your research and choose four or five must-sees so you can really make the most of your time.
I love creating detailed travel guides to ensure you get the most out of your time. On this blog I'll be sharing some of my past trips in hopes that it helps you plan your next adventure. Pack your suitcase you never know where I'll be heading next!
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