Wow oh wow, is Hawaii beautiful! If you’ve been following along on Instagram, then you probably saw that I spent last week on the incredible island of Maui.
My friend Jessica (you probably know her from my Iceland or Seattle videos) and I had been waiting and waiting for the day that Southwest would release their flights to Hawaii. This past spring they finally did and we booked ASAP. That’s the first thing you need to know about this vacation: just how cheap our flights were.
This past January Southwest ran a credit card promotion where you got a companion pass for the year if you signed up and spent $1,000 in the first 3 months. We of course hopped right on this deal and were able to get another year of companion travel.
When Southwest released their Hawaii flights, they offered introductory fares for super low prices and we each only had to pay half because of the companion pass. All in all, we each spent $258 for round trip tickets from St. Louis to Maui.
So now you know why we were in Maui. Because who could possibly pass up that deal?! This post is just a recap of our time spent there: videos, photos, restaurants we loved, and excursions we recommend.
Okay, now onto the recommendations…
Restaurants You Must Try in Maui
Geste Shrimp Truck
Must must must. Seriously guys, I can’t say it enough. Honestly, this might’ve been the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. It’s near the airport. Just a small cash only food truck with 5 things on the menu, but don’t miss it.
I ordered the pineapple shrimp and Jess ordered the spicy pineapple. Neither of us could get over how amazing it was.
Halfway to Hana
On your way to Hana, make sure to stop at Halfway to Hana. You can’t miss it; it’ll be on your right. Order one of their banana bread sundaes! They are seriously amazing and a road to Hana classic.
This was a super fun spot after we spent the day exploring Iao Valley. It’s in Kihei and is just darling. The lemonade is delicious and refreshing and the shop is super cute. It’s definitely worth going to after a day at the beach!
Akamai Coffee Co.
If we are mentioning drinks on this restaurant list, I can’t go without talking about our favorite coffee shop!! We went here every single morning. The ladies at the coffee shop were so friendly and gave us recommendations for each day — we loved it! Also, the coffee was amazing. If you are wanting coffee and not quite knowing what to do for the day, definitely drop in here. It’ll likely solve both your problems.
Maui Brewing Company
Locals raved about this place, so we knew we had to try it out. I have to say, it did not disappoint. I got the fish and chips and it was amazing. If you are the root beer float type, definitely order one of those. They make their own root beer and it is super tasty!
Things to do in Maui
You must must must go to a luau while you are in Hawaii. Yes, they are touristy. Yes, they are overpriced. But they are also incredibly fun. And where else can you wear a necklace of fresh flowers and it be totally acceptable?!
We went to the Feast at Lele and thought it was great. The food was delicious, the dancing was very entertaining, and the sunset along the beach was incredible. They also had a fire dancer at the very end which made my entire night. I have no other luau experiences to compare it to, but we had an amazing time at this one.
Road to Hana
If you’ve done any research on Maui at all, then you’ve read about the road to Hana. It’s an iconic 50 mile drive from Pāʻia to Hana. Though it’s only 50 miles, the drive takes several hours due to the curves, hills, one way bridges, and all the stops you’ll be making.
I already mentioned stopping at Halfway to Hana, which is a must, but there are tons of places worth seeing along the road. We stopped at a few places to swim, a couple trailheads with waterfalls, and ate picnic lunches near the end along the coast. There are a ton of bloggers who are more qualified than me on this that have written posts on where to stop! Do a quick Pinterest search and your road trip will be packed with stops!
Jess and I both agreed that snorkeling was a highlight of the trip. We went into Boss Frogs to rent a surfboard and the cashier recommended that we check out the snorkeling tours they offered. It’s a 3 hour boat ride on the ocean for $25 a person; we booked it right on the spot.
I totally recommend that you check this out if you are in Maui. The folks running the boat were incredibly fun and friendly and we had an amazing time. I will say that Jess and I lucked out with insanely good weather. Apparently other tours weren’t as lucky. You can book it the day of (if it isn’t full) so just try to watch the forecast and you should be good!
Iao Valley State Monument
Another recommendation from a local was the Iao Valley State Monument. We went here the first day and had so much fun that we went back for one of Jessica’s photo sessions. In total honesty, the monument isn’t all that exciting. You can skip it all together and you wouldn’t be missing anything. But the surrounding park is incredible.
Jess and I always say that the best thing to do while traveling is to just keep going around the next corner. We did it in Seattle and found a beautiful dock off of Lake Crescent. In Iceland we found a view of waterfalls and streams uninterrupted by people at Skogafoss. And in Hawaii we found a rad spot to swim in Iao Valley without other people around. I totally recommend just hiking wherever the path/creek takes you. You’ll find the most amazing views that way!
That’s all of my Hawaii info for today, but look out for a lot more Maui posts in the future! I’ll be doing my absolute best to convince y’all to go asap! 😉
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