Aloha, Maui.

You really have to love a place if you decide to get married there, right? Welcome to my love affair with Maui.  Pineapple cocktails and gorgeous sunsets… does one really need anything else?

Sunset at the Sheraton Maui cannot be missed!

If you do find yourself needing more, you’re covered! With near endless adventures to be had, beaches to relax on and poke to eat, Maui is a true gem.

Here’s a collection of my favorite places to stay, eat and visit on the Island! And since I now basically go once a year, I will continue to keep this updated with my top picks.

Where to Eat

Obviously, the most important part of any trip…or at least the most important part of my trips!  There are a lot of places on my “to eat” list, but I am only noting ones that I have tried and HIGHLY recommend:

  • Baya Bowls ($)
    • Hands down the BEST acai bowls that I have ever had from this food truck
  • Coconut Caboose ($)
    • This coconut food truck serves fresh coconuts, hacked right in front of you! They also have yummy coconut gelato
  • Geste Shrimp Truck ($)
    • I have been on the hunt for a good shrimp truck in Hawaii after watching Hawaii Five-O (lame, I know). Geste is THE ONE!
    • Deliciously flavored shrimp (we got the Spicy Pineapple) served with rice and a crab mac potato salad (you heard me right!) 
  • South Maui Fish Company ($) 
    • Beyond incredible fish tacos and poke at this food truck – caught fresh in the morning!
  • Leoda’s ($)
    • If you asked me before, I would not have thought “Maui” and “pot pie” went well together but hooooooly moly they do. And lucky for you, they also specialize in dessert pie.
  • Paia Fish Market ($$)
    • Super casual and such delicious grilled fish and fish & chips – YUM!
  • Mill House ($$)
    • Farm-to-table yumminess with most ingredients coming from their own plantation – the mountain views are INCREDIBLE so make sure to come when there’s still daylight
  • Lineage ($$$)
    • Foodie alert! This restaurant by a Top Chef favorite celebrates his Hawaiian lineage with traditional favorites with a twist. 

Where to Stay

You all probably know by now that I have a major Starwood problem. And now that they’re combined with Marriott, it opens up even more possibilities.  Here are some of my favorite SPG places to stay:

  • Sheraton Maui ($$)
    • This is my tried and true favorite! It’s located on Kaanapali Beach, but at the very end by the infamous Black Rock cliffs.  They have a nightly cliff diving ceremony which is so much fun to watch!
  • Westin Maui ($$)
    • A great option for those that want to be centrally located on Kaanapali Beach, near Whaler’s Village.  It’s a gorgeous property, though be aware that it’s going through renovations until 2020 so may be noisy. 
  • Marriott Wailea ($$)
    • If I had to pick, I think this is my overall favorite hotel on Maui that I have stayed at! It is centrally located in Wailea, gorgeously renovated and has TWO infinity pools with sunset views that are to die for. Note that it is oceanfront, but not beachfront – there are 2 beaches about a 5 minute walk in either direction.
  • Ritz Carlton Kapalua ($$$)
    • I hate the Ritz Carlton…said no one ever! This location does not disappoint – it’s more secluded (by design), provides incredible service and has an amazing spa! Note that it is set back from the beach – it’s about a 5 minute walk down (or there are golf carts).

What to Do

Whether you’re a land-lover or a sea-lover, there’s plenty to do on Maui! The weather is just glorious year-round as well, so there’s never a bad time to visit.  

Pro tip: Aim to travel during the shoulder seasons (April – May or September – November) since these times have incredibly lovely weather, but are considered “low season” in terms of costs and crowds. Hooray for that!

Here are some of my favorite things to do:

  • Beaches
    • Chances are good that there’s a beach nearby, wherever you’re staying on the island, especially if you’re on the west side (Kaanapali, Kihei, Wailea). Do some research to find your favorite spot. Or, just go for a drive and see what you find!
    • Pro tip: Swing by Costco when you land in Maui and buy a cheap beach chair to bring with you – it will save you a lot of money in rentals!
  • Sunset Sail
    • What better way is there to see the sunset than out on the water? I highly recommend a sailing with Trilogy – they are top notch and the food is delicious!
  • Hiking
    • There are lots of amazing hikes and walks – some along the coast and some in the mountains!
    • Pro tip: A local favorite is Iao Valley – a lush mountain valley that offers wonderful hikes and scenery!
  • Haleakala National Park
    • What could be better than visiting the world’s largest dormant volcano? Maybe watching the sunset from the top and then biking down? Yes, please!
  • Road to Hana
    • This is a gorgeous drive around the East coast of Maui with tons of amazing stops along the way! 
    • Pro tip: Self-driving gives you the max flexibility to stop wherever, whenever.  But, if you get car sick (or want to make sure you can see everything), there are also tours that you can take, so you can leave the driving to someone else!
  • Lanai
    • Technically, this is not an activity on Maui – it’s traveling to the nearby island of Lanai for the day!  This is the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii.
    • Pro tip: There’s a daily ferry from Lahaina Harbor over to Lanai, but you also can sail over there with Trilogy.

Have you been to Maui before? Comment below with your favorite places to stay, eat and visit on the Island.

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