For my 30th birthday, I knew I wanted to do something different. Something to mark the occasion. I thought of going to Disney World or Disneyland, but most of my 20-something birthday celebrations had been trips like that. Since 30 is a big milestone, I wanted something different. Earlier this year, we checked Japan off of our dreams bucket list. That trip was amazing, but we also spent a lot of time exploring the electric city. When we came back from Tokyo we decided that our next trip would be to a resort or beach of some kind… Enter: Maui.
Maui Travel Guide
We have been to Hawaii before but not the island of Maui. We honeymooned at the Disney Aulani resort in Oahu so we kind of already knew what we were in for on an island. Maui caught us by surprise. With its breathtaking views and more laid back lifestyle we had such a lovely time there. We were only there for 4 full days but honestly felt like we were there longer. We opted to stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and it was totally worth the splurge. We had a balanced trip full of relaxing and not really doing anything, mixed with exploring the island… If you like that kind of trip, then good news! I’ll be walking you through our 4 day itinerary!
DAY ONE: POOL + CHILL
Our first day there, we arrived around 2:00pm local time and just wanted to relax and not do anything. With the 3 waterfall pools at the Andaz we couldn’t have asked for more on our first island day. We ordered a couple of Piña Coladas and laid by the adults-only pool (which was virtually empty), and I read a whole book in one sitting.
It was a great way to set the tone for the trip and ease into island life. We even had dinner at the hotel since they have a Morimoto restaurant, which we wanted to try, so it was perfect. The “Road to Matcha” dessert was delicious btw. We truly enjoyed everything the resort had to offer on the first day and just relaxed and unplugged which I highly recommend.
DAY TWO: EXPLORING THE ISLAND
On our second day we had a rental car, which we could pick up at the Andaz (they have a tiny Enterprise in there!). We wanted a full day to explore the island and just soak it all in. We traveled to the Maui Brewery and had some beer flights to start us off. The drive off the coast is amazing and so scenic! Afterwards we stopped by the Big Beach (Makena Beach), which is kind of a local hangout and filled with less tourists. We made a picnic and just enjoyed the view and some quality time.
For an early dinner we went to the famous Mamma’s Fish House — literally every single travel guide will point you to this restaurant as a must-do. The verdict? The food is good… but the views are amazing. It’s right on the beach in its own little location right before the “Road to Hana”. It is pretty expensive which we DID NOT know beforehand. So make sure you budget this one in. We didn’t have a reservation and managed to get seated pretty fast. The restaurant is decorated in classic Hawaiian decor and I even made a friend with a very cool Tiki dude. You can also get pretty cool pictures on the beach with palm trees at the restaurant’s entrance.
DAY THREE: ROAD TO HANA
Let me just say that I am not an outdoorsy person. I don’t do any type of hiking at all. The Road to Hana is a 3 hour drive inside a mountain jungle. At times it feels like you’re in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie or something like Jurassic Park. It’s pretty cool! It’s a very pleasant drive and the views are amazing. I highly recommend downloading the Gypsy app. It works offline and will take you through Hana and let you know what places to stop at along the way.
Keal was pretty excited about this one because he loves driving. I just eat snacks and drank my birthday champagne along the way. Mostly to calm my nerves along the cliffs! Plus there’s loads to see on the Road to Hana! So many instagrammable spots, including a while surfboard wall and lots of scenic views.
You can pre-plan the stops you want to make along Hana to save time. But the app kind of tells you what you’re going to pass and makes sure to give you a bit of facts and tidbits so we didn’t really plan anything. We just enjoyed the road! The one stop I loved was at the end of Hana, lots of waterfalls, water “pools” and gorgeous views. They call them the Seven Sacred Pools and it’s just a tiny hike away in the Haleakala National Park.
This is a full day trip. It’s best to start it bright and early in the morning so you have time to drive back before nightfall. After all that exploring, we ended up having dinner at The Mill House which was delicious, amazing and scenic. It was probably one of my favorite restaurants + it was vegan friendly!
DAY FOUR: LOCAL SHOPPING
On our last day we ventured out to do some local shopping. The town of Lahaina is the most traditional looking town that has great shops and restaurants. Here you can get Dole Whip inside a pineapple, shaved ice, macadamia cookies and lots of local charm.
We walked around the pier and went into all the shops in the morning. The rest of the day we chilled by the pool at our hotel and even saw a traditional Hawaiian dancer preforming with a musician playing the ukulele.
Dining: Humble Market Kitchin | MonkeyPod | The Mill House | Morimoto Maui | Mama’s Fish House
Shopping: The Shops at Wailea | Paia Town | Lahaina Whalers Village | Lahaina Front Street
Adventures: The Road to Hana | Haleakalā National Park Sunrise | Makena Big Beach
There’s a lot you can do in Maui. The island is full of charm and adventure. You can create a trip full of exploring and hiking too! We just wanted to take a break from real life and really relax by the beach. Oh and you should try and fit in a Luau if you’ve never experienced one! We had a blast at a Luau during our Honeymoon so we didn’t experience that this time around. The Andaz actually had a Luau which you could see from one of their waterfall pools so we kind of saw one haha.
Whatever kind of trip you decide to do or how much exploring you fit in, Maui will certainly take your breath away.
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