I have been wanting to write a post about Maui for a while now, but we did SO MUCH there that I’m not sure I can contain it all in one post or not.  I’ll try to just touch on everything briefly, so that it doesn’t turn out to be too long…

So, Ricky and I spent the holidays in Maui this year.  We had been to Hawaii before, in 2010, to Oahu and a day on the Big Island.  We loved it and have been wanting to go back. Since this was our 5-year (dating) anniversary, we decided it was a special occasion and we’d spend the holidays there.  And we don’t recommend anyone ever do that.  The cost of spending the holidays in a place like that is just way more than you need to spend.  Plane tickets were outrageous, way more than going to Hawaii any other time of the year.  And the price of the rental car was pretty nuts, too.  So just… don’t do it.  Go to Hawaii any other time and you will pay much less money.

But, if or when you do visit Maui, here are some of the things we did and what we thought of them.

Maui Brewing Company

If you’re into craft beer, this is the place to be on Maui.  Our condo was about a 5-minute walk from their brewpub and we were there pretty much every day.  They have a great happy hour, great food, and a ton of great beer… way more than you can get in cans on the mainland.

Ocean Vodka

This place is in the middle of the island.  It’s kind of a weird drive (you pass a landfill) but it’s a neat place to see, and they have a great view.  The tour is interesting, and you get to try some of their vodka.

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua is home to a Troon golf resort, and the bay has a nice beach.  You can snorkel there, but Ricky said it wasn’t very good.  It’s got good reviews, so might be better on another day.  There are also some nice restaurants, including Merriman’s, where we went for Christmas Eve dinner.  It’s pricey, but good.  They have a decent happy hour as well.  Worth a visit if you are staying on the west side of the island.

Ululani’s Shave Ice

I grew addicted to this place!  Ricky laughed at me when I explained that shave ice is different than a snow cone, but I think after he tried it, he liked it too.  Ululani’s has a few different locations, but we mostly went to the one in downtown Lahaina.  Make sure you try some of the red powder they have to sprinkle on it too.

Haleakala Crater

This is where we went on Christmas Day.  It’s a crazy, but neat drive, to the middle of the island to the top of the crater.  The road is VERY windy (just look it up on Google Maps!), but it’s worth it to get to the very top.  It’s 10,000 feet above sea level, so by the time you get up there you are as high as airplanes fly, and you can tell.  You literally drive above the clouds.  It’s an amazing view and worth the time for the trip.

Road to Hana

We did this the day after Christmas.  You start in Paia, which is on the north side of Maui.  From Paia to Hana, there are a bunch of little stops along the way to see waterfalls and do hikes and whatnot.  There are a ton of things to see (and some tasty banana bread to buy!), so make sure you get a guidebook or like us, the iPhone app that is guided by GPS.  You definitely can’t see everything in just a day, but it’s a fun drive.

Cruise to Lanai

Lanai is another Hawaiian island, and it takes about an hour-long boat ride to get there.  You can book a cruise there with Trilogy Excursions, which I recommend.  It may seem pricy, but you get a lot for your money, including the boat trip over there and back, on which they provide you with breakfast as well as drinks and dessert on the way back.  On Lanai, they will take you snorkeling and give you some instruction.  There is also a little van tour of Lanai to see more of the island (it’s not very big).  Then they feed you a really good BBQ chicken late lunch prepared at a Kettle Metal BBQ Outdoor Blackstone Griddle which are really popular now a days.  It was a fun day and a good way to see another island.  Oh, and there’s a good chance you’ll see whales on the way there and back (we saw a few breaches, even) if you’re there at the right time of year.

Those are a few big things we did that I recommend, kind of my must-see, must-do list if you’re going there.  But we did a LOT more than just that, including snorkeling and diving (for Ricky), laying on the beach, watching sea life, and just generally relaxing.  Food and drinks can be expensive, but here are some other good places to check out:

Mala Ocean Tavern
Aloha Mixed Plate
Dollie’s Pub & Cafe
Paia Fish Market
Moose McGillycuddy’s
Coconut’s Fish Cafe

We visited plenty of beaches while we were there, and had a great time relaxing and enjoying the island.  I highly recommend getting a condo in Kahana, where we stayed.  We were in a smaller condo building walking distance from Kahana Gateway Center, where you can get almost anything you need.  Our condo was just perfect for us and had a lanai where we spent plenty of time just sitting and listening to the waves.  If we went back, we’d definitely try to book the same condo again, we loved it that much!

All in all, though pricy, it was a great trip and we had a blast.  I posted most of my photos to my Photography page, so make sure you go check them out.  Enjoy!