DREAM. COME. TRUE.
Actually, I’m not sure it wasn’t a dream…
There was swimming with turtles, killer cliffside airbnb, sunshine filled happy people, palm trees, food, food, food, ohmygawd the food and the ocean.
We started off our trip staying on the South side of the island in Kihei. Kihei is typically the hottest part of the island, has a lot of food options, and far less of the huge resorts. One fave in Kihei for breakfast (is there any other meal??) is the Kihei Caffe. It has Hawaiin classics like loco moco, and my fave mac nut, banana pancakes. It’s a small and charming little caffe and worth the wait in line. Stay tuned for the full food guide at the end of this post.
In the past you couldn’t tear me away from Makena beach, but this year we switched it up and tried as many new ones as we could or the weather would allow. Luckily it was good weather the first day we were there and we found ourselves a beautiful beach that was completely empty, except for these cute-itty-bitty-busy-body sand crabs. Doing what sand crabs do, eating all the things in the sand, balling it up and then spitting it out. I then dubbed this beach crab vomit beach.
Sounds amazing right?! Really selling you on this I’m sure…But really it was peaceful and I’d go back there in a heartbeat.
The entire time I was in Maui I might have *tried* to make friends with all the wildlife. And shrieked with excitement over any creature. Like OMG this CUUUUTE baby lizard was in our condo, it was so tiny and I think ate our doughnuts but I wasn’t mad at him/her. Then there are the Myna birds which are all things hilarious to me, they full on strut anywhere they go. If only I could acquire said strut. Still workin on it. DID I MENTION THE TURTLES??!! While we were playing in the mild surf, I noticed a wavy, flying rock go by and thought nothing of it. I get up on the shore and can see it was a turtle! SWIMMING WITH US! Not exactly big news if you live in Hawaii but I sure thought it was awesome.
Our next place we stayed was on the North side of the island in Haiku. It’s jungle magic goodness. We stayed in an airbnb that was on top of a 300ft cliff, looking out into the ocean. Our view is featured below. We stayed here last year,, but this time there was a new addition to the place. A young grey and white cat that would appear out of thin air anytime we ate this fried chicken we had picked up. And then disappear. It was like out of a horror movie. Open ziplock bag – Meow! WHERE DID YOU COME FROM??!! Oh and it loved me even though I’m super allergic. I talked to it, didn’t pet it and tried to ‘train’ it to stay down. I’m now a world class cat trainer, if what you want from your cat is to not listen to you.
After leaving the perfect Haiku Bali Cottage (Sooo didn’t wanna go. I’m still sad about leaving that place) we were off to Hana and the famous road. We had the awesome luck of driving the road to Hana with a model and friend of ours and she showed us some hidden waterfalls with no one around. The road is windy and narrow at places, but not bad at all, nothing like the terrifying Road Beyond Hana that we drove a few years back. We stopped at this cute, brightly colored, shack called Coconut Glens for THE BEST coconut ice cream I’ve ever had. AND. It was served in a coconut! I’m easily amused apparently.
In Hana we trekked out to the red sand beach, once we turned the corner around this cliff, the view revealed itself and I could not believe the beauty my eyes were seeing. Teal blue water crashing against lava rocks and lapping up onto the red sand beach. I think I might have shrieked IS THIS FOR REAL??
Hana is remote, wild, lush green, and has the most incredible beaches in all different shades, black, red, and white. The town is very slow paced. Maui is slow paced in general, but Hana, is its own thing.
I fell in love with it. Hard. I need more time there.
I hope to hold on to the memory of the day we spent at this white sand beach, lined with lush greenery, palm trees and turquoise water. We played in the shore break for hours. Time slipped by and before we knew it, it was dinner time. Sandy, happy, tan, with hair still dripping with salt water we wrapped up in towels and went straight to Hana Farm stand. They were cooking brick oven pizzas alongside the road, which they only do twice a week. Every single item was from their farm and it tasted like every foodies dream.
It was perfect.
Our last condo was on the West side of Maui in Kahana. It was North of all the giant resorts that are in Lahaina, but alas, didn’t have that magical, wild quality of Hana or Haiku. But they did have turtles so that helped. We decided to drive up the coast even further to see some more rugged coastline and sure enough as we wound are way away from town it turned into a different planet. It wasn’t coated in jungle, it was rocky and rugged and felt totally different than any other part of the island.
Kihei + South shore food guide:
- Kihei Caffe, best breakfast in Kihei
- Da Kitchen, classic hawaiin food, plate lunches, giant portions. My personal fave is the mac nut crusted ahi sandwhich.
- Horhitos Mobile Taqueria, cheap, but delicious fish/shrimp tacos
- Izakya Matsu, Japanese food that you will long for well after your trip has ended. It’s a hole in the wall, but don’t let that deceive you.
- Ono Gelato, fave on the island
- Local Boys Shave Ice, when they ask if you want ice cream on the bottom and cream on top just say yes 🙂
Wailuku food guide:
- Gestes Shrimp Truck, Hawaiin shrimp scampi heaven
- Home Maid bakery, authentic hawaiin baked goods, get the malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) hot to go, you’re welcome.
Paia + North Shore:
- Cafe des Amis, eat all the things here
- Flatbreads, awesome organic salads and killer flatbread pizzas
- Hana Ranch Provisions, farm to table, amazing salads, veggies and beef
- Paia Gelato
Hana Food Guide:
- Hana Farms, this is a must stop people. Everything from the fresh squeezed juices to the banana breads to the brick oven pizzas (pizza only available Friday/Sat 4pm-8pm) Just to name a few. It’s unforgettable. Go. Now
- Coconut Glens, coconut ice cream dreams are made of
West Side Maui food guide:
- Star Noodle, legendary, always a line, asian fusion cuisine.
- Honu Seafood & Pizza, never disappointing.
- The Gazebo, be prepared to wait in line, but the mac nut banana pineapple pancakes are THE BEST on the island. So worth it.
- Leodas Kitchen & Pie Shop, just south of Lahaina, they sell out quick of the most popular pies, like key lime.