Jake and I visited Maui for a week in April 2021, and it was the absolute best trip! I put this post together to share some Maui travel tips, a few of our favorite things on the island, and some of our iPhone pics from the trip. We can’t wait to go back!
Where We Stayed
We rented an Airbnb in Lahaina, which was a great spot to stay! It was close to everything we needed, had lots of beautiful beaches and shops within walking distance, and it wasn’t too far of a drive from things we wanted to do. A lot of people also stay in Kihei, another beautiful part of the island; but on our next trip, we definitely want to stay Upcountry (one of the most unique parts of Maui!)
What We Ate
One of our favorite places to eat on the island was a food truck in Lahaina called Earth Aloha Eats. They actually have two food trucks on the island, the other is in Kahului. This food truck is completely vegan, and almost all of their menu items are gluten free or can be made gluten free. I’m a vegetarian, but Jake is not, and he still agreed it was the best food on the island!
I can’t attest to this since I don’t eat meat, but Jake swears that Temura’s Fine Wine & Liquor has the best poke on the island! He also said that Foodland’s poke is very good.
We got pies from Leoda’s, and their pineapple macadamia nut and banana cream pies were our favorites! There’s also some fruit stands nearby this roadside pie shop.
We stopped at a lot of roadside stands and food trucks that were phenomenal. If you see a spot that looks good, just try it! One of our favorites was malasadas from a roadside stand – SO. DAMN. GOOD.
Every morning, we got iced coffees from Hawaiian Village Coffee in Lahaina. Their lilikoi donuts are also phenomenal!
The absolute best thing we had on Maui was Julia’s Banana Bread with passion fruit butter! If you only eat at one of these places, it needs to be Julia’s!
And if you love pizza, Lahaina Pizza Co. has amazing deep dish pizza!
What We Did
We spent a lot of time snorkeling and on the beach. There are lots of places to see turtles while snorkeling, which was my favorite thing because I’m completely obsessed with honu (sea turtles)! I even have a tattoo of a honu on my wrist.
We did the road to Hana in one day – and I cannot recommend splitting this up into two days enough! It was a long, exhausting day, and there were a few spots we wanted to stop at that we didn’t have time for. We left very early (by 7 am) which was great as we missed most of the traffic. But we still wished we had driven one day, stayed overnight in Hana, and then driven the rest on the second day.
Our favorite spot on the road to Hana was Nahiku, a little side road that takes you down to a closed bridge that you can park at and then walk about 10-15 minutes down the road. There were great little side paths, hidden waterfalls, gorgeous coastline views, and no one else around! AND THERE WAS A DOG. She lived in one of the homes in Nahiku, and she greeted us, gave us kisses, and walked around with us for a while before going back home.
If you want to see the black sand beach in Waiʻānapanapa State Park, make sure you make a reservation beforehand! The best banana bread on the road to Hana was definitely Aunt Sandy’s (and it was fresh too!), but sorry Aunt Sandy, Julia’s is still better. There’s breathtaking coastlines and waterfalls all along the route. My best advice for road to Hana (besides breaking it into two days) is to take your time – the road is definitely winding (over 600 turns), but if you take your time with it, it’s really not too bad!
We also went shopping in Lahaina Town, which was so much fun. Definitely arrive early (around 9 am) to get a parking spot – but keep in mind that most shops don’t open until 10 am. There were a ton of great shops here, great food, and the banyan tree park which has the largest banyan tree in the world!
Another one of our favorite spots was Paia Town on the North Shore. There’s amazing beaches here and great shops. Also, the north coastline near the Nakalele Blowhole is breathtaking!
I also got a tattoo by Miranda Rose at Paia Tattoo Parlor! I’ve been following Miranda’s work for a long time, and she books out several months out at a time, but she happened to have a cancellation for a time I was available on my birthday, and she squeezed me in! I’m telling you, Hawaii is a magical place.
On our last day, we checked out ‘Iao Valley – it was a quick and easy walk with gorgeous views! And the drive up was beautiful too. One hike we really wanted to do but didn’t end up with enough time for is Waihe’e Ridge Trail – we’re definitely hiking it next time!
A few money-saving tips!
I definitely recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights (or a similar service) to get alerted when flight prices drop. You can save $100s of dollars doing this!
Another recommendation is a travel credit card with great rewards. I personally use the Capital One Venture Card which gives you 2x the miles on every $1 spent, 100,000 bonus points, and will cover the fee to get TSA pre-check approved (which I highly recommend!).
If you’re not TSA pre-check approved yet, it will save you so much time in the airport! You have a much shorter line for security, you don’t have to take off your shoes, and you don’t have to take any liquids or electronics out of your bags. It’s a game changer!
Get married in Hawaii!
I also photographed a styled elopement and a surprise proposal while on Maui, and I cannot recommend getting married in Hawaii enough! If you’re interested in getting married in Hawaii, these blog posts might help:
Enjoy your trip to Hawaii, it’s unlike anywhere else in the world!