Sunday, August 4, 2013

Backtracking: Honeymoon Adventures in Maui

We'll have to wait until the rest of our pictures are back for the wedding posts, for now, here's all the stuff we recommend for anyone planning a trip to Maui.

We stayed in Lahaina at the Marriott Maui Ocean Beach Club; we very much enjoyed the resort, but our accommodations were gifted to us by my mom, so we can't really comment on value for those planning a trip. We loved the view, the pool, and the fact that the resort was right on Ka'anapali beach.  The rooms were really nice and had kitchenettes too.

View from our balcony 

the pool 
In Lahaina, we enjoyed eating at the Lahaina Grill. The restaurant was expensive, but it was the best non-sushi meal of our trip.

We also found the best shaved ice on all of the islands in Lahaina at Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice. I'm still dreaming about it!

Also in Lahaina, a great breakfast over at the Sunrise Cafe (cash only, FYI).

We rented snorkel gear from Snorkel Bobs (about $40/week for each of us) and enjoyed snorkeling at black rock (on Ka'anapali Beach) (possibly my favorite of the trip), Kapalua Beach (eat lunch after at the Honolua Store), and Napali Bay.

SPF Shirts: essential for snorkeling.
When in Maui, leave a day to do the Road to Hana, it really is the #1 experience on the island (in our opinion!): get an early start and leave plenty of time to explore the Wai'anapanapa State Park (we did an amazing hike there) and the black sand beach in Hana. Everyone says to bring food, but we found there were plenty of food stands to stop at along the way, all with delicious offerings! We liked the Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand and the Up in Smoke Hawaiian food stand. Also, banana bread at Ke'anae Landing Fruit Stand.

At the Haleakala National Park, everyone says the thing to do is get up super early and watch the sunrise. We opted to do the sunset instead, as it would be less crowded, and we were told by native Hawaiians that it was just as spectacular. We have no regrets about driving to the summit for sunset, but do bring warm clothes. Even in July, in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, I was freezing.

The drive up to Haleakala--kind of scary! 
If you have time, the 'Iao Valley State Park is beautiful...we also checked out the Kanaha Pond Bird Sanctuary (pictured below) and enjoyed a great meal at A Saigon Cafe (Vietnamese).

For one night of our trip, we stayed at the Aston Maui Lu resort. This was the view from our balcony. It was really nice to be right next to the beach, and the rooms were a good value (very comfortable, but not fancy).

While staying at the Aston, we ate at nearby Sansei sushi...this was some of the best sushi we had on the trip (but there was soooooo much good sushi). 

Random odds and ends:

The Maui Brewing Company was a great stop for dinner and beers.

If you encounter any medical issues, I highly recommend Urgent Care Maui in Kihei...they had me in and out in an hour, prescription in hand for a sun rash I got, despite using sunscreen, and it cleared up in a day. A tip they gave me was slowly build up sun exposure before you go to Hawaii and in the first few days you are there... because of it's location in relation to the equator, the sun there is more intense than in other places.

Every rental car place in Hawaii will try to get you to upgrade to a jeep or convertible for almost double the price...we never did this and never regretted it. You don't need a special car to experience any of the islands (but if you want to, go for it).

Overall impressions of Maui: It's a busy island with tons to do and tons to see. We had 6 days and 6 nights in Maui and that felt like a good amount of time to see and explore a lot of it. This was my second visit to Maui (Brendan's first), and it was just as romantic as I remembered it being almost 10 years ago. There is more of a nightlife scene here than on other islands...we found ourselves turning in early from busy days, but it is available for those that desire it.

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