The island of Maui, Hawaii is a tropical paradise with a population of almost 150,000. It’s Hawaii’s second largest island and plays host to hundreds of thousands of tourists each month. Known for its cultural luaus and gorgeous beaches such as Makena Beach and Napili Bay, along with excursions like The Road to Hana, it’s a must-visit for anyone with a case of wanderlust. The high season is in the wintertime when most other places are freezing cold, and the low season falls in both spring and autumn. Having visited during both peak and slow season, the latter is the way to go.
On The Cheap: While vacationing to Maui doesn’t come cheap, if you’re up for staying in a hostel, Lahaina’s Last Resort was clean and friendly. Situated just steps away from the town of Lahaina and “Baby Beach” its location won me over. I would definitely recommend it if you’re travelLing solo or with friends, rather than for a romantic getaway.
Solid Mid-Range: Ka’anapli Beach Club is surrounded by luscious gardens and beautiful ocean views. Located a short drive away from snorkeling paradise, Napili Bay, and the charming town of Lahaina, it’s a lovely resort in a key location.
Tropical Luxury: If luxury is what you crave, the Grand Wailea Resort sits minutes away from Wailea beach. The upscale hotel features everything from a gorgeous 50,000 square-foot spa with 40 treatment rooms, to a thatch-roof restaurant floating atop a lagoon, to morning beach yoga.
EAT & DRINK:
Mama’s Fish House in Paia is a must-visit for anyone who loves seafood. Featuring fresh Hawaiian fish brought in daily, it’s a family-owned bodega located right on Maui’s North Shore. I still dream about the ahi, ono and a’u ku, a dish sautéed in Panang curry and coconut milk, with their speciality mango chutney. And the strawberry guava fizz was a fresh and intoxicating mix of strawberry guava, lemonade and a dose of vodka.
If you find yourself in the mood for a mid-day snack, Café Café in Lahaina has a lot to offer. The smoothie bowls were second to none, with options ranging from an acai banana bowl (highly recommended), papaya bowl, granola bowl and more. They also serve eggs, bagels, sweet treats and smoothies.
For the best morning pick-me-up, grab a coffee or iced coffee at Bad Ass Coffee Co.
Make sure to make a stop at Cheeseburger in Paradise, a tiki-inspired spot with the best burgers on the island. Their Baja burger, topped with avocado, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, salsa and more, is completely mouth-watering.
Best View: With so many breathtaking beaches, it’s hard to choose just one, but Makena Beach, also known as “Big Beach”, has to take the top spot. The turquoise waters are crystal clear, with a golden sand beach that stretches 2/3 of a mile long and 100 yards wide.
SEE & DO:
Take a day trip on the Road to Hana, a gorgeous excursion along a curvy coastal road with views of beaches, waterfalls, cliffs and rainforests. Stop off at different spots along the way such as Waikani Falls and the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park.
If you’re an adventure-seeker, watch the sunrise at the top of Mount Haleakala and spend the day biking down the mountain. Beautiful views included.
NOT TO BE MISSED:
The surf town of Paia boasts charming boutiques, cafés, and ice cream shops, and gives you a taste of Hawaii’s rare, small town culture.
If you want to be immersed in Hawaiian culture, grab a ticket to a luau. With a classic Hawaiian buffet, hula lessons, a fire show and more, it will be one of your favourite Maui experiences.