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A Guide to: Maui, Hawaii

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Guide to: Maui, Hawaii

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A Guide to: Maui, Hawaii

by Eric for kristraveler.com

Kaanapali beach is always our home when we visit Maui – it is on one of the nicest beaches on Maui and some of the best snorkeling and diving on the island is right at the doorstep of the hotels.

Some of the properties have a free shuttle which has 3 stops in the historic whaling town of Lahaina, one of our favorite getaways. It’s a really fun place to stroll and go shopping, lots of art galleries, great restaurants etc.

One of our favorite, must-go restaurants on Maui is just outside Lahaina. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall called Mala Ocean Tavern, in a converted home, right on the ocean. Try to get one of the tables outside – there are only about 10 of them but the food is spectacular and the view is amazing, with the ocean literally lapping at your feet.

View to Kaanapali from Mala Ocean Tavern - Source: Tripadvisor

It’s a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or sunset dinner – if you can get in. And don’t tell anybody else ’cause that’s our secret spot on Maui! They use all local vegetables and coffee that grows just up the hill.

Besides Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina has many other great dining options – I recently wrote a post with recommendations of few other restaurants you might want to check out: Eat, See & Do in Maui, Hawaii

Wailea is a nice resort but a bit too groomed and new for my taste – it lacks some character and patina. After all, if you’ve seen one Chanel or Ferragamo store you’ve seen them all. And the beach gets very windy there in the afternoon – at noon, every day, like clockwork.

There are lots of things to do on Maui:

– You’ll want to rent a car one day and take the road up to the summit of Haleakala Crater, elevation 10,023 ft…! The real diehards go up for the sunrise, but it takes about an hour and a half to get there, so you have to leave in the middle of the night!  Whenever you go, take a warm jacket, because it actually freezes in the winter and has been known to snow there.

– On the way up (or back down) you can stop at Maui’s only winery: Tedeschi Vineyards. You’ll see beautiful views down the rolling hills and slopes of Haleakala as you taste a variety of mostly white wines. It’s very pastoral and scenic.

– Further downhill there’s the also the small historic cowboy town of Makawao, You’ll also find some great art galleries with suprisingly high quality artwork by local artists, along with arts and crafts stores and a true cowboy store.

– Near Makawao, but in its own spot on a lone road you’ll find Hali’imaile General Store, Chef Bev Gannon’s flagship restaurant and one of the best anywhere. The tough decision there is who will be the designated driver, as they have a great bar, incredible fresh fish entrees and you have to eat thei signature upside-down pineapple cake dessert.

– Further down the hill as you near the ocean you’ll find the (also historic!) little sugar plantation town of Paia, which you’d never know but it sits right along the ocean. It also has some great eateries and art galleries, surf shops, clothing stores. Our favorite place to eat there is Flatbread Company, a kiawe-wood-fired brick oven place with great beer to boot.

– If you like to golf, Kapalua Resort, just North of Kaanapali, is home to some of the finest golf courses on Maui. They also have some great diving spots

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About the Author:

Eric is an architect, born and raised in Brazil but lives in Hawaii. Avid traveler and former hotel executive – so very picky about his accommodations.

Favorite thing to do on a trip: photograph the experience so he can share it with others who may not be able to get there.

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